Mikel Arteta is a Xhaka fanboy

by & filed under News Review.

Well, this is awkward… Mikel Arteta is… a… Xhaka fan.

“When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list,”

“This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.

“ He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded. But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him. Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him.”

This certainly appears to be the dead body under the patio the entire exec team missed when they interviewed him late at night when it was clearly too dark to see!

I mean, there’s only one thing to do here, look for the light that shines on this turd the best.

There’s no one else in the squad that can play the better bits of Xhaka’s game like he does, so unless there’s a spare £50m in the pocket of the Kroenke’s, it’s very likely this is as good as we can do right now. Just to double down on the claim that we spent next summers money last summer, Raul said this to the press.

‘It is in general. The strategic window by definition is the summer window that’s when you plan the season ahead. ‘Last summer we did an incredible effort where we were very grateful to the support we got from our ownership.

‘We went really one step further and made a real investment that increased our expectations for the season.’

Doesn’t sound like he’s keen to splurge. I’m also not sure I trust the club to do good work in January, so unless there’s a player we can loan, I’d rather us save what little powder we have for sharp moves in 5 months time.

Back to Granit.

You either build him up, or you cut his throat right away. If we’re in the hearts and minds phase at the moment, there’s no one that needs as much heart as the player who told us to fuck off in a shit fit the other week. It’s also clear to anyone that’s been paying attention that Xhaka is a big personality behind the scenes… he managed to bulldoze his way to the most undeserving captaincy of all time. It makes sense that anyone who is feeling out the squad would give him a chance to make good on his ‘potential’ because he really does have to show some of the players his words mean something (they didn’t under Emery who flip-flopped).

I really do think we have to take a lot of the press talk with a pinch of salt over the next few weeks. Arteta has to win over big names in the squad and he has to make the best of the mess he picked up from Emery. I would imagine he’ll also fancy himself as a proper coach, he needs to have case study signed off over the next 6 months, no bigger player to take on than one of the most misunderstood (as in, WHAT DOES HE DO?) and mistake-ridden players of the decade.

This following quote kind of confirms my thinking, but as it’s Boxing Day, I’ll be honest, I read the below quote and built my blog around it to make it seem like I’m insightful.

“I don’t want to change everything drastically in two days,”

“I want to put my feelings slowly, I want to see what is going around, and in the right moment I will make the decisions for the benefit of the team and the club. At the moment I don’t think it is the right time, with the amount of games coming up and the amount of things that have to be done, to change too many things.”

The most important thing for today is the win (also insightful). Bournemouth is in a mess, they’ve won 2 games in 8 and lost the rest. Sure, they beat United and Chelsea in that time, but they’ve been awful. Their confidence is shot to pieces, they’ve conceded 10 in their last 6. Literally the worst team in the league right now… but remember, we are normally a gift for struggling managers, and it’s not a given that we’ll get a new manager bounce.

That said, we are still only 4 points off 5th –  if we beat Chelsea, we’ll be 3 points away from top 4 at the start of January, which is unreal. There is certainly a very real chance we could make a power play for the Champions League this season if Areta gets things to click. Again, it feels unrealistic considering the drama, the contracts and the confidence… but hey, crazier things have occurred. Spurs are going to be up and down, Jose struggling to impact them like you’d have thought. Chelsea boasts a young squad with a young manager that will be inconsistent, and United are shite.

I still think the brief to Mikel is simple… find out who is worth keeping, deliver a quick appraisal of the kids, and lay the foundations for next season.

“The context is very important, and the context right now, here, is not Manchester City. It is completely different. So I can’t demand the players to do some things because I will expose them and that is the last thing I want to do. I want to give them confidence, reassurance and guidance. But slowly, slowly, slowly, hopefully we will get to where I want.”

Today is a huge first step and it’s exciting. However, I want to stress over and over, the next 6 weeks are going to be very difficult. We could well be replacing 7 first-team players this summer, he has to find out if the kids have the mustard he needs, and he has to win over the fans. Arteta has to somehow build a culture, lay technical foundations, and make brutal decisions all without a preseason.

Bear with it… it’ll come good. I’m certain. See you in the comments and listen to my podcast if you were rude enough not to have already.

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940 Responses to “Mikel Arteta is a Xhaka fanboy”

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  1. Edu me a favour

    “” I say to Arteta ,be your own man and ignore any outside influences.””

    Agree and I think he’ll do just that – he knows what he wants and if he doesn’t get it he’ll make the changes needed when he can If he can get the ‘3 hate figures’ playing well then who can argue ? I certainly won’t. If we’re Winning with those guys and winning convincingly , no one can knock that.

  2. CG

    Arteta

    “”“When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list,””””

    These comments show -that in Arteta we have a potentially very exciting manager and not just an exceptional coach.

    They are Kloppe-eque- players love this sort of thing.
    (tell them they are the best- chances are they will start playing like it.)

    They dont even have to be true.

    We have had far too much obsessive coaching at Arsenal post Wenger and very little man managing – hopefully this is a start of reversing that trend.

    I have oft stated top players don’t need coaching- they need whipping and man- managing. Thats why they are top players. They should know how to kick a bloody ball.

    Young players need coaching.

    Fergie never took a coaching session in his life- and he didnt do too bad.
    But he was the greatest manager there has been.

    Less Coaching more Managing please Mikel.

  3. Danny

    Xhaka should be sold next Wednesday along with Ozil and Mustafi. All 3 are crap. If Xhaka stays he should be booed every time he touches the ball, maybe only then Arteta will realize he’s not wanted.

  4. KAY Boss

    Arteta a Xhaka fanboy?

    Looking forward to the day’s game.
    Hoping for a win. A word of advice.
    Don’t watch the match too much hope and optimism. With that u can enjoy the game.

  5. Sid

    Today is a win, no doubt.
    Everytime someone gives the house Key to Xhakalson the house locks get jammed.
    Sangare is achievable this winter.

    Im telling you this for free!

  6. China1

    Arsenal will win today. Saw it in another holy vision.

    Getting this prediction right would raise my prediction success rate for the season to about 5% so read in to that what you will…

  7. Major_Jeneral

    At the moment, I think The contingency approach in leadership that Arteta is using is known as path goal theory.
    Here we give each member of the team or the Organization what they need in order to reach their goals.
    The leaders select specific behaviors that are best suited to the players’ needs and the working environment so that they may best provide the high performance needed to achieve the organisational’s goal.
    This can be in the form of directive leadership (need for guidance), supportive (need for affiliation and human touch), participative leadership provides involvent (need for clarity& control) , achievement-oriented leadership provides challenges (need to excel).

  8. Nelson

    Auba is down tooling. I have the feeling that he wants out.

    I hope that today’s game will give us an idea what system Arteta wants to use. It is important for the players to build up the chemistry and practice the same system every game.

    I still think that EPL should give the players 24 to 26 Dec off for their families to enjoy X’mas. That’s what we did in NHL.

  9. Unai

    “The context is very important, and the context right now, here, is not Manchester City. It is completely different. So I can’t demand the players to do some things because I will expose them and that is the last thing I want to do. I want to give them confidence, reassurance and guidance. But slowly, slowly, slowly, hopefully we will get to where I want.”

    So much to take from one small quote.

    1. He realises there is a gap in quality between us and the top and wont get a cityesque performance out of our lot.

    2. He will probably be pragmatic to begin with to build new foundations.

    3. Hes not going to push anyone under the bus at this point regardless of what the fans think.

    4. Confidence is clearly shot and hes trying to instill belief in the players again.

    All feels like the right approach and hopefully just an uplift in motivation and application will change our fortunes somewhat as, as pedro says, a few wins could completely change the outlook of our season.

  10. Nelson

    Pedro has ignored Leicester City and Wolves. I think these two teams will also be fighting for a top 4 finish, along with Chelsea, Spuds and Manure.

  11. Freddie Ljungberg

    We wouldn’t need anything close to 50m to replace Xhaka though.

    HB are rumoured to offer 20-25m for Xhaka, that’s enough to get someone like Sangare who would improve us massively. Don’t know if Atl Madrid already snagged Bruno Guimaraes but he’s available for 25m if not.

    Plenty of other players that would better what Xhaka gives us that we can get just for the fee we’ll get from him.

    If we don’t do something about that midfield in January then I expect very little change in our play unless our existing players steps up at least 2 levels, can’t see that happening.

  12. China1

    Merson picked his arsenal team of the decade and it included wilshere but not cesc… I wonder what he’s smoking

    For me (based on assuming all players performances from their best season with us in that time)

    ——————Leno
    Sagna-vermaelen-kos-monreal
    ——————-flamini
    ————-cesc——-santi
    Rosicky————————Sanchez
    ———————-RVP

    Peak Cesc and Santi in the same midfield would be overpowered lol

    Rosicky for all round contribution. Sanchez for crazy goal scoring record and rvp as the best striker we’ve had post invincibles by a country mile
    Imo

    Flamini from that season we nearly won the league when he played like gattuso!

    Sagna for a nailed on 8/10 every match and same for monreal

    Kos and vermaelen the best of our CBs imo

    Leno had no competition… Chesney maybe…?

  13. China1

    I know he was a heathen for joining utd but I was watching vids of RVP the other day and just wow what a fucking player he was for those few weeks each year when he wasn’t broken

    Unreal talent

  14. Useroz

    Or simply using the City angle to squeeze more dish out of Hertha Berlin Better be.

    Seriously the thought of wanting to keep Xhara would wake up the most intoxicated from last night …

    Not something you wanted to see opening the boxes today!

  15. China1

    If arteta can get a couple of wins and try not to lose (or to play acceptably when we do lose) over the next 4-5 games then it will be a great foundation for the team to build on

  16. Ishola70

    It’s true Hertha Berlin were more than interested in signing Xhaka this winter transfer window due to a new investor at their club but it seems Arsenal want to hang onto Xhaka even coming to the scenario where they want to convince him to stay.

    So be it. Maybe Arteta sees a bit of himself in Xhaka as a player. Arteta wasn’t particularly good off the ball either.

    Hertha Berlin are now sniffing around Draxler.

    Arteta needs the win today.

  17. Danny S

    We are just doomed as a club. I really hope Arteta has his turd polishing kit out and ready.
    What does xhaka has ever that makes managers forgive his 1 or 5 mistakes a game!

    Next article

    Arteta – ‘I’ve been really impressed by Ozils chances created stats in training’.

  18. China1

    I think arteta is telling the truth if he says he rates xhaka

    In his first interviews he was saying that it will be live up to the expectations and Arsenal culture or get fucked and that he’s ruthless, so if his next step is to pander to our overrated babies (the senior players lol) with gushing praise regardless of how bad they are, he will have no credibility

    If you wanna get them on side and be nice to them ok, but then no point telling the fans you’ll be ruthless and care about the culture etc as thisnis the opposite of that

  19. China1

    And yeah they were vaguely similar players, tho arteta wasn’t error prone and read the game well which made him fundamentally useful even if not amazing. He was also a decent organizer so was a net positive to the team

    Xhaka is like arteta’s inbred brother in terms of playstyle

  20. G

    ” if Xhaka stays he should be booed every time he touches the ball, maybe only then Arteta will realize he’s not wanted.’
    With fans like yourself hopefully you don’t go to games..

  21. Ramgun

    Unless he is talking Xhaka up to sell him then I already know that Arteta is a dud. Could you ever imagine Man City or Liverpool having a midfielder who combines suicidal passing just outside his own penalty area with cowardice when he should be heading the ball plus total lack of pace.
    I said that I would judge Emery more on who he got rid of than his signings and the same is true of Arteta. Emery failed and it now seems likely that Arteta will too.

  22. habesha gooner

    Pedro, It is okay to criticize Arteta you know. What I think is this, If arteta values Xhaka to be a proper player for us my doubts about him will be magnified. What we don’t need is a player with weaknesses like Xhaka. Ruthless and keeping Xhaka don’t go together. And we can’t Create Mancity type of football with the likes of Xhaka in our squad. If it is a game from Arteta to Increase his value and sell him later I will applaud him, if not he It’ll just be like Wenger and Emery who both failed to get the best out of him because he is ill suited to the league.

  23. Ishola70

    China1

    ” care about the culture ”

    Maybe the overall culture is the problem here.

    Arsenal can bring in as many new managers as they want but if the overall culture stays the same then we can continue to have scenarios where a player that has had so many errors off the ball and some on it is still indulged.

    Xhaka had a good match against Everton. He was even winning a header in his own penalty area in the last few minutes in that game. But that game was an overall dead one and he is going to need much more error free games in the future for many fans to forget what has gone on before with him.

  24. Ishola70

    Þorkell Einarsson
    “0-2 Granit to score and play well in a clean sheet away from home”

    As said in the other post he had a good game against Everton but it was an overall drab match but there is hope he could possibly go on a little run of form on the back of that which basically means he doesn’t make big errors in a game.

    With Xhaka though you always feel he is prime at any time to revert back to type.

  25. Unai

    Ramgun, you know Jordan Henderson plays for Liverpool?

    2-3 years ago Xhaka was rated above players like Henderson.

    We need to stop judging players who have been playing in severely dysfunctional systems for over 3 years and at least give Arteta time to implement his system before saying this or that player wont work.

  26. Ishola70

    China1
    “And yeah they were vaguely similar players, tho arteta wasn’t error prone and read the game well which made him fundamentally useful even if not amazing”

    Yeah they were similar in that Arteta was pretty slow as a player in the holding position as well.

    But as you say Arteta had far less errors in him.

  27. Ishola70

    Unai

    Henderson used to be mocked because he was seen as not very good on the ball.

    His overall work rate and his off the ball stuff was not mocked to the same level as the above.

    So the comparison between Henderson and Xhaka is not the best one.

    If you can think of a player that was heavily criticised for being very suspect off the ball but improved with a new manager and system then that would be a better comparison.

  28. Champagne charlie

    Oh here we go…

    Some people here would rather see Arsenal fail than see them successful with a redefined Xhaka (or whoever else you dislike).

    We’re at the very start of a radical new era of modern Arsenal football. Fucking spare me that anyone has some elite insight into who or what is best suited for that. Have your suspicions all you like as to who isn’t, but draw the line before making claims about Arteta based on a sentiment of admiration for a player you don’t care for. It was the same bullshit line Emery got.

    Arteta is creating an environment to thrive at the club, he’s treating every player relevant to their individual needs. Xhaka has had a bad year publicly so he needs an extra arm around the shoulder in public to have the conditions created for him. The remainder of the season is clear as day, Arteta will assess, and then he will judge who suits his system. Exactly how I’d expect it to be.

    Get over yourselves, it’s Arteta day, let’s hope we see some germination from starting now.

  29. S Asoa

    Pablo
    You got the Tro4phy
    I instituted it to celebrate or rather deride the bullshit celebrations by AFC management for being failures.
    Was first called Tro4pheu
    Congratulations

  30. Valentin

    If you are a new manager in a bad situation. You already know that you want to get rid of some bad apples, but you can’t do it straight away and until you do you need those people on your side.
    What do you do?
    Go in hard and tell them upfront that they are finished, alienating everybody in one full swoop leaving with nobody on your side and tanking until you can get rid of the entire staff. By that time, you may have already been sacked anyway.
    Or use psychology and keep them on board until you can get rid of them at the appropriate time for you. That give breathing space and restore calm within the camp.

    I know which one any intelligent reasonable manager would go for.

    Ignore what Arteta says, just look at what he does. I am willing to bet that Xhaka will not play for us next season. Same with Özil, unless he adapt to Arteta’s demand, Özil will either be gone or sit on the bench with the occasional appearances in easy games.

  31. Danny

    With fans like yourself hopefully you don’t go to games..
    ————————-
    I do whenever I can and I hope it pisses you off.

  32. Marc

    “and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him”

    Because they thought he was leaving – the only argument was about which lucky fan got to drive him to the airport.

  33. S Asoa

    Hey guys
    Every government or coach needs a short honeymoon period. The Club management dithered in outing Emery until it is very difficult ( not impossible ) to get 4th place.
    We need MATURITY to lay off the boos for a couple of months. You’ll might even make it Impossible to get 4th place if do not support the team in the interregnum.

  34. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I know that I will be in the minority on Le Grove, but I can see the logic in
    Arteta’s viewpoint not to sell either Torreira or Xhaka in January. Both players
    are on contracts which expire in June 2023.

    So if he believes that he sees the potential in upgrading their performance levels he has time to satisfy himself one way or another in the next 6 months.

    The real problems for Arteta at the moment is the lack of quality in the Centre
    Back position. Mustafi is a disaster and both Sokratis and Luiz are not starting
    X1 players. If there is a genuine chance of shifting a couple of these players
    out of club in January and we can recruit Koulibaly I would certainly go for
    that deal. He is an experienced CB and a proper defender.

    The second problem is with our two CFs Aubameyang and Lacazette. Both these players are on contracts which expire in June 2021. Arteta has therefore
    limited time to convince either of them to commit to club and sign new contracts.

    Personally I don’t want to see them leave if they are 100% committed to club,
    but if not I do not want to see a repeat of the situation, which developed with
    both Sanchez and Arteta.

    If we are forced to sell either or both of these players then we need to find a
    replacement who is or has the potential to become at least as good as these
    players.

    Martinelli has the potential to at least match these players and Nketiah is also
    a very good striker in the making, but neither is ready to start in the team and
    score goals on a regular basis in EPL. That may be the case also next season.

  35. S Asoa

    “ for.Ignore what Arteta says, just look at what he does. I am willing to bet that Xhaka will not play for us next season. Same with Özil, unless he adapt to Arteta’s demand, Özil will either be gone or sit on the bench with the occasional appearances in easy games. “

    Spot on Valentin

  36. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    First off, shocking that it was you coming to Xhaka the terribles defence…

    “Some people here would rather see Arsenal fail than see them successful with a redefined Xhaka (or whoever else you dislike).”

    No you plonker. It’s the opposite, we want Arsenal to succeed and it’s clear as day to everyone except you that that’s not going to happen with players like Xhaka in the team.

  37. Lego Hair

    Danny

    ‘ Xhaka should be sold next Wednesday along with Ozil and Mustafi. All 3 are crap. If Xhaka stays he should be booed every time he touches the ball, maybe only then Arteta will realize he’s not wanted.’

    Great solution Danny. What if we have no money for this window and don’t improve the squad and sell your favourite players for pennies? Won’t we be in a worse position?

    Any chance these players could perform better in a better structured team with clear instructions?

  38. Bob N16

    Completely agree CC. As Pedro wrote ‘we’re at the hearts and minds stage’. He’s attempting to nurture the right mind set and that is going to include public utterings that are designed to trigger a positive response in individual players.

    All Arteta has said is that before he arrived at Arsenal, he rated qualities that Xhaka possessed. He’s not commenting on his performances recently. He’s not saying last transfer window City decided on Rodrigo after contemplating Xhaka.

    He’s saying, in this case publicly, show to me that you are a player that I can depend on as you’re capable to be successful under my management. He’s not in this case saying, in the same sentence, if you don’t play to your potential you’re no good to me.

  39. Champagne charlie

    Freddie

    I didn’t defend Xhaka you melt, I said spare me the run down of Arteta because he’s publicly backed one of the players you don’t like and let him have the remainder of the season to judge.

    Illiterate as ever well done.

  40. Unai

    Ishola, not the point, both have had very poor periods, one is now more than serviceable with the right coach and system.

    Who knows how well Xhaka will fair under Arteta but I think it’s right to have an open mind at this stage.

  41. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Ah, yes, the “poor misunderstood boy” routine, well played as ever, pulling out your favourite move this late in the year, can we hope that it’s because you’re retiring it after new year?
    It is getting a but old, get some new moves already.

  42. Danny

    Lego Hair
    ——–
    Ozil is 31 and way passed his best, Mustafi and Xhaka just aren’t good enough and are both error prone. These 3 should be sold next week and hopefully Kroenke had promised Arteta some funds to get in at least one decent defender and a midfielder.

  43. Ishola70

    Unai

    “not the point, both have had very poor periods, one is now more than serviceable with the right coach and system.”

    Well there is a point there Unai.

    Henderson was never heavily criticised for being suspect off the ball.

    Where people have been more impressed with Henderson more recently is his input on the ball and offensively.

    We don’t need to see great improvement from Xhaka on the ball. We need to see great improvement from Xhaka off the ball.

    So as said before the comparison between these two players are off in this instance.

  44. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    I am not flip flopping.

    Do I think that Xhaka will suddenly improve? Frankly the answer is no. However, Arteta has time over next six months to satisfy himself one way or anther if that is the case. Xhaka’s contract expires in June 2023.

    Our centre back position on the other hand is in my view critical. We have on
    the books Mustafi who is a disaster and two players in Luiz and Sokratis who
    are also playing poorly and their contracts expire in June 2021. As I said many
    times finding a top notch CB with experience and quality would be my priority
    in January.

    The urgency of striker situation is because both Aubameyang and Lacazette
    have contracts expiring in June 2021 and not because I don’t rate them as players. So my comments there are based on commercial risk.

  45. Freddie Ljungberg

    All people are saying is it’s worrying if Arteta in fact rates Xhaka, a player totally unsuitable to the PL and one of our weakest links, that is undeniable to anyone with eyes and a working memory of the last 3+ years of bang average to poor performances.
    It doesn’t take 6 months to suss that out when he has all those years as a body of evidence. It’s a question mark over his judgement that’s all. Most reasonable posters are still going to back him, would be a dick move to turn on him now or after a couple of games like some did with the former guy in charge.

  46. Dissenter

    We all need to to pipe down this Arteta hype, it’s been rarified praise that’s beginning to grate especially when the dude doesn’t get to coach his first premier league game till today.
    Calling it the ‘ very start of a radical new era of modern Arsenal football” is just laughable cringeworthy stuff.

    Truth be told, Arteta has to play with the players the club has already. He has to deploy man-management tools to achieve those goals. He has to boost their self esteem.
    Arteta’s remit does not include moving a single player out so he has to deploy the resources at hand, which includes an international captain that knows how to schmooze managers.
    We all want him to succeed FFS but stop building castles in the air with this unreal expectations.
    Arteta hasn’t done a damn thing that’s radical … how do I know? ….because he hasn’t managed a single game yet.
    Relax people. Give the guy some elbow room to do his job which will include good mistakes and bad errors like young managers always do.

  47. Ishola70

    Emirates

    tbf you have rated the problem areas of the side differently according to which game has just passed.

    A few months ago you were telling us the midfield was the real problem. Now this area has been relegated in problem behind CBs again and now CFs.

    Never ending and evolving eh lol

  48. Bob N16

    ES, like reading your posts but your formatting does not enhance the message. It appears that you have a tourette’s -like attitude to the return key. What’s going on?

    Any chance 2020 can see a change?

  49. Distant legrover

    I think the only way Xhaka can ever be consistently good in this league and team is by having water carriers, Ndidis orbiting him consistently. Put any lightweight, indisciplined guy next to him and you get Xhaka the imbecile.

  50. Useroz

    Mid field is the biggest problem not defence I’d say. If Arteta walks the talk some defensive disciplines ,structure and energy can be added but with wot we have you can’t add pace, guile and creativity in MF even if you forget about physique and aerial for a moment. In which case the forwards don’t get enough services and our back and front would remain as disjointed as it is … Mid field is a must fix and even a Xhara 1.1 isn’t an option.

  51. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    Midfield has been a real problem. I agree 100% with that statement.

    However, Rome is not built in a day. January transfer windows are always
    problematic and finding a top class midfielder particularly one who is not
    going to be sold at a grossly inflated price is probably beyond the club’s current budget.

    Let’s be frank Ozil is unsaleable and Xhaka’s valuation will have dropped. So
    there is not a lot of budget available to cover that particular area in the current
    transfer window.

  52. Dissenter

    If Arteta doesn’t start Xhaka, then what other meaningful choices does he have.
    if he’s realized that then the comments were spot on. he has to massage the players ego. Xhaka is a leader in this group, regardless of how the last few seasons have been.

  53. Ishola70

    I think it has been mentioned before that even if people see how much of a handicap Xhaka has been in too many matches selling him this winter and not getting in a senior experienced player as a replacement will not really see an improvement in the midfield to any great extent and that is an indictment on the midfield personnel as a whole currently at the club.

    And that would tie in with Dissenter’s post about Arteta having to work with what he has at his disposal at this time.

    The selling of Xhaka and a replacement brought in this winter was a very good scenario for many but it seems it is not going to happen.

  54. Dissenter

    Emirates
    I agree that out financial position is anything but strong.
    Maybe we get one player in on loan with a clause to buy buy there’s not going to be a sweeping change of the squad next month.
    Arteta has to make it through to the summer. I suspect that even his backers will change in the summer too.

  55. Champagne charlie

    Freddie
    No, it’s you displaying you cannot read. Maybe own the fact you jump down peoples throats because you’re a bit dim. There’s something you can work on in the new year.

    Dissenter
    That’s why you were called a clown. Rarified praise that’s beginning to grate?

    Imagine being upset that your own fans are excited lol

  56. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    “Xhaka is a leader in this group, regardless of how the last few seasons have been.”

    I would say this is correct but it doesn’t reflect well on the team or squad as a whole does it.

    Xhaka is a leader in the group that has been stripped of the captaincy.

  57. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    Our season is over as far as finishing in top 4 and qualifying for Champions League.

    So what we are discussing at the moment is how to improve the current team and also perhaps offloading a couple of players and replacing them with upgrades.

    Arteta does not have time, money or availability in January transfer window to achieve what most posters hope he will do.

    His priority at the moment is to stabilise team and if possible hope for some improvement with resources he has got currently.

  58. Freddie Ljungberg

    “No, it’s you displaying you cannot read. Maybe own the fact you jump down peoples throats because you’re a bit dim. There’s something you can work on in the new year.”

    Bohoho, I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me. Same old same old Charles, that record has been broken for years.

  59. Dissenter

    CC
    Yea …”very start of a radical new era of modern Arsenal football”

    Sure you don’t want to put the bong down.
    What nonsense. let him manage his first.
    Some of us Arteta backers are pragmatic, he is a blank slate. We expect him to serve his own share of turd as he learns his trade. he will make mistakes like all inexperienced manages, regardless of sauce. It’s people like you that keep painting him in unreal times. You’re setting him up for failure with all the highfalutin PR language.
    Only a clown will be writing such nonsense as “radical” to describe a blank slate.

  60. Gentlebris

    Well, it seems Arteta plans to be very different to his former boss.

    Pep walked in and immediately weeded out players he thought unfit to the culture he wanted to create. Pep was immediately ruthless.

    Then we have to consider the possibility of Arteta talking up Xhaka to raise his market value.

    Because if Arteta indeed thinks there is possibility of Xhaka holding the middle for Arsenal going forward, then I can tell you that maybe Arteta is not really ready.

    Apart from the certain one or two deadly errors per game(which I don’t see being coached out of him), Xhaka is super slow, way too slow for the premier league, and unless Arteta thinks he can actually make Xhaka run faster than his ability, then retaining Xhaka is a dead move.

    Let’s hope Arteta was only hyping Xhaka to con the market.

  61. Marc

    They’ve just said on Soccer Saturday that since Mourinho’s appointment the Spud’s have conceded more goals than any other team in the PL!

  62. Marc

    bris

    Didn’t someone mention Berlin looking to put together a bid of 25 – 30 million euros?

    I can’t see us getting anymore than that for him and would bite their hands off!

  63. Gentlebris

    ‘I can’t see us getting anymore than that for him and would bite their hands off!’

    You can’t blame a man for trying. Some sucker might bite.

  64. Champagne charlie

    “Only a clown will be writing such nonsense as “radical” to describe a blank slate.“

    Obviously your blinders have been on for 18 month because everything anticipated/expected of Arteta in terms of his football vision is a radical difference to the muck we’ve seen over the previous 2 years.

    Ergo we’re at the start of a radical change in our football. Not a hard one to grasp coco.

    Freddie
    Give it a rest, you’re boring as it comes. There’s nothing misunderstood about me, you’re just pretty stupid. Cure that and get back to me.

  65. Dream10

    Adam Webster is a top player. Better version of big Lewis Dunk. Good in both boxes. Ideal for a back three. Nice that the Spuds are re-signing Toby and Verthongen and not targeting a player like him. Should be on our list

  66. Useroz

    Focusing on MF doesn’t mean ignoring defence, forwards, or contracts. All for upgrading defenders and/or trading strikers to raise additional fund during the January TW.

    If Auba is remotely downtooling sell immediately to minimise loss. With Kroneke ownership can’t afford to piss more finances like what Ivan the snake did.

    Assuming Arteta manages to introduce some systems we may not strictly need Auba and Laca.

  67. Tee

    Gentlebris

    Pep was ruthless because the money was there to buy players of his choice.

    The same can’t best said of us presently. We don’t have the cash and even we do, it not entirely enough

  68. Bamford10

    I think Emirates is right that Arteta has looked at the situation and decided that while neither Xhaka nor Torreira is ideal long-term, he needs them for the next five months, as it’s hard to revise your entire central midfield in a January window. Arteta spoke directly to Xhaka in order to instill confidence in him and to make him feel wanted at the club, and I’m sure Arteta believes that under his tutelage, Xhaka can be a solid, reliable component of his XI over the next five months. Whether Xhaka would be or will be in Arteta’s plan for his first-XI next season, however, is another question, and a very different question.

  69. Gentlebris

    Spuds bar Son and Kane are a collection of below average players coached and motivated to perform way above their level by Poch. Now that the motivation is gone, what remains for Jose are below average talents with big names and big bitching.

  70. Bamford10

    Brighton up 1-0 over Tottenham’s talented bunch led by Jose Mourinho. Today’s PL is a tricky and competitive beast.

  71. Lego Hair

    Xhaka has to be used until he is sold or we get in someone better.

    Some people, as hard as it is to swallow, need to realise he’s the best midfielder we have.

  72. Dream10

    Bamford

    Torreira’s agent has been complaining since the moment Lucas arrived in North London. Decent player but I don’t think he has another level to reach at Arsenal where a defensive midfielder has to play in space and be able to handle typical chaotic end to end PL football. Move him on as soon as possible

  73. Paulinho

    When you’re midfield options are Guendouzi and Willock, you’ll grasp onto anything – even a Swiss bollard, such is the paucity of quality options in central midfield.

  74. Paulinho

    Lego – Yep, he knows his game, while our other options are still trying to work whether where their strengths lie.

    Excited about Torreira. Feel like he’s moving into form.

  75. Gentlebris

    I would run as fast as I can away from Xhaka and Ozil even in my first few months until the summer window.

    Those two might have been something in the past but they are now more of a professional coach wreckers than professional footballers.

    If Arteta wants to gamble his new career on them…..by all means, let him.

    Whenever I see a combo of Ozil and Xhaka filling out in Arsenal colors, I would temporarily suspend my football expectations and settle down to enjoy a great show of comedy.

  76. Graham62

    It’s so difficult not to be be consumed with the negativity that has enveloped the club over the past decade.

    Arteta needs time and space to try and put his methods and philosophies in place.

    I’m willing to give him that, even if it means backing off for the time being from the GX and Ozil bandwagons.

  77. Receding Hairline

    Charlie still trying to convince posters the problem with Arsenal started just two years ago. This on a blog that has been crying for change for the better part of a decade.

    Yet he calls posters clowns.

  78. Marko

    There’s no one else in the squad that can play the better bits of Xhaka’s game like he does, so unless there’s a spare £50m in the pocket of the Kroenke’s, it’s very likely this is as good as we can do right now

    It’s not going to take 50 million to replace him though. Honestly it’s going to say a great deal about Mikel Arteta if he comes in and Xhaka yet again is irreplaceable to the team. It’s honestly getting beyond a joke at this point with that specific player. He’s currently being linked with Hertha Berlin for 20 million euros after they were knocked back for their first choice Tousart of Lyon. That’s his level in all honesty. Luckily for City they decided on Gundogen and Rodri and not Xhaka as suggested by Arteta. Warning sign number one right there but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt it could just be a generic thing he was saying about someone he’s forced to play with over the next few weeks given our options

  79. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “if we beat Chelsea, we’ll be 3 points away from top 4 at the start of January, which is unreal. There is certainly a very real chance we could make a power play for the Champions League this season if Arteta gets things to click.”

    Sorry, Pedro, but I think you’re being overly optimistic about our situation, and such optimism will not help Arteta manage expectations within the fanbase. We aren’t going to beat Chelsea, we will still be nine or more points off 4th as of January 2nd, and there is no chance we will contend for 4th place this season. None. I think we’re unlikely to challenge even for 6th place, in fact, and while people will say I am being overly negative or pessimistic, I actually think we’ll be lucky to finish 8th or better. Wolves and Palace have an easier run of games in the near term and I see us being anywhere from four to six points off Wolves and 8th place as of January 2.

    A smart, first-XI-changing January could make me more optimistic, but I think people would be wise to temper expectations and to aim, first, for top 8, then maybe top 6.

  80. Champagne charlie

    “Charlie still trying to convince posters the problem with Arsenal started just two years ago. “

    Where exactly?

  81. Receding Hairline

    “The muck we have seen over the previous two years”

    What does that mean Charlie? We have been witnessing world class football prior to the past two years?

    Freddie was right, the poor misunderstood lad routine got old long ago.

  82. Bamford10

    Marko

    “It’s not going to take 50 million to replace him though.”

    Sure, but a January window is not an ideal time to be doing this replacing, and Arteta can’t know in advance that we’ll be able to bring a midfielder in in January who will successfully do this replacing. So he’s likely hedging his bets: he is making Xhaka feel wanted and self-confident, but he’s also looking at Rabiot and/or others in the window.

  83. Unai

    Paulinho, great point.

    As much as we would all probably like to 3 or 4 of our players removed from the starting 11, we aren’t flush with alternatives.

    Bamford, while I don’t think top 4 is out of the question completely (as football can be crazy) I think your right about managing expectations.

    For this season Arteta should be judged on his ability to improve the current squad output and implement a semblance of style back into our football.

    Rest of this season is basically a gimme.

  84. Marc

    People need to differentiate between what it would to cost to replace Xhaka and what it would cost to bring in a quality CM we need.#

    You replace Xhaka with a card board cut out and it would a major upgrade.

  85. Champagne charlie

    Receding

    The subject was quality of football and Emery had us at the lowest ebb we’ve seen for decades.

    So it’s a clear reference point when I’m talking about Arteta’s footballing aims, and is going from that to the speculated. A change I deemed “radical”.

    There’s no poor misunderstood anything, just the usual suspects trying to pot stir and score cheap points by taking what’s said and running down a rabbit hole with it inferring their own version of what’s said. It happens a lot on here.

  86. Nelson

    Arsenal XI confirmed: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Saka; Torreira, Xhaka; Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

  87. Receding Hairline

    Charlie maybe wait to see the quality of football consistently over at least three games before proclaiming anything radical.

    We did not play crap football for all of Emery’s 70+ games in charge. I know you want to sell that as a fact but it isn’t. We witnessed some thrilling games last season.

  88. Hitman

    Arteta a Xhaka fan, noooo.
    Would he get into pool or city side.
    Nooo. Not even their reserves. Suspect judgement not a good sign.
    Mikel failing even before his first match. This is risky appointment. Not convinced.
    Let’s see what happens at Bournemouth though.

  89. Bamford10

    Receding

    In finishing 5th, Emery over-achieved. The football wasn’t fabulous, but it wasn’t crap either. It was just a little drab and uninspired. But that drab and uninspired football got us 7 more points and a higher finish in the table than the season prior and it got us a higher finish (2 points behind Chelsea, 1 point behind Spurs) than should’ve been expected given the weaknesses and inadequacies of the squad. Certain people here will try to tell a different story about last season, but they have it wrong. Emery over-achieved.

  90. Victorious

    WTF is Arteta up to?..why is he shoehorning all all the ‘experienced’ wasters and less of the exciting youngsters we have at the club

    Very very poor line up imho

  91. Marc

    RSPC

    No argument but Arteta’s inherited this squad that’s missing a clutch of players through injury and also Chambers who’s suspended.

    Again anyone not happy with the line up who should be have picked?

  92. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sure the lineup is crap but at least we have a top 4 squad.

    Have to spend 6 months giving Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi and co their 456th chances, they’ll come good, you’ll see, they just need some coaching and a full body transplant.

  93. Hitman

    Luiz and Sokratis & Xhaka? Come off it.
    Give AFC Bournemouth the 3 pts already.
    The only way we will win this is if we see defensive resilience and fight like we haven’t seen since 2008.