Arteta makes Mesut Özil the centerpiece

by .

via @Arsenal

HAPPY NEW YEAR! HOW ARE YOU FEELING? Ok, ok, I’ll stop the shouting, but I will maintain a quiet energy with the prose because I need you up for the BIG game today.

It’s a huge one, Arsenal takes on Manchester United at home for Arteta’s 3rd game.

I think it’s a stretch to think we’re going to take points from them today. A draw would be excellent work, 3 points would have us all buzzing, but when you look at how their squad is fitness-wise and look at ours, it makes for grim reading.

We are missing a lot of defenders, which is difficult to deal with because even when we’re fully fit, we’re not exactly 90s Milan at the back. There might be some good news with regards to Bellerin who is close to returning, but knowing how fragile he’s been, you’d be hard-pressed to imagine he’ll start.

The manager was keen to impress that the defensive failures at Chelsea; with a very weak backline, were not structural.

“It wasn’t a transition where we had a bad structure or a bad organisation, when we are defending big spaces on equal numbers or are outnumbered – it wasn’t the case at all,”

“We made one half-bad decision [to back off] and these teams, when in space, they punish you, for sure. But the other option is to defend all the time and be there [in defensive areas] and we don’t want that.”

So at the very least, we’ll be prepared to deal with United. They have extremely fast forwards, they’ll probe for counter-attacks and they’ll look to stretch us using width. Arteta only recently tasted a loss against them when he was at City, it was quite a lucky United performance, but OGS had his team of workhorses make last years Champions look very old.

Going forward is where we’ll have to provide something more interesting. Containing their threat won’t be enough, we need to create chances. The good news here is Gabriel might be back in contention, his aggression in the press and all-round threat could be highly valuable to us. I’d also imagine we’ll be seeing a start from Pepe, there has to be some rotation today and that seems like the most obvious place to start. It’s hard to work out what the issue is with the Ivorian because no one will say explicitly, but it reads a blend of work rate and general fitness levels. 3 managers in a row can’t be wrong.

Ceballos is also back in contention, people forget he’s a young player, under a coach that helps him, he might be U21 Championship Dani, so it’s a new start for him.

Xhaka is also fit. Again, not my favourite player, but he’d start in our midfield at the moment. If he doesn’t play, we’ll know he’s off to Berlin. Worry with him is he mails it in as a final fuck you to the fans that booed him.

I mused before the manager started that he’d look for a turnaround project, and it seems he has one, he’s going all out to make Mesut Ozil the star of the show again. Makes sense, he’s used to having lots of #10 like talents to work with at City and on his day, no one can touch Ozil. Additionally, we have no one that gets close to him on the creativity front. We are a more intelligent team with him at his best. The German looks happy on the pitch, he’s put in two dirty shifts, he’ll have another chance to find his level again today and hopefully offer something more decisive.

“Mesut is putting in everything he has and his numbers, physically, have improved so much,”

“On his own he can’t do it. He needs the collective structure, organisation and his teammates. He needs the team to play in a certain way to facilitate his strengths more and more in the game. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“I put him in the team if I see every day that his attitude, desire and understanding of what we’re trying to do is there. The moment that this changes, then he won’t play.”

At the end of the day, he loves living in London, he loves his contract, and he’s a human… he’ll want to be impressing the fans, no one wants to be hated. He might also have the afterlife on his mind, if he tanks another manager, no one will risk giving him the big bucks in 18 months. Wenger didn’t have a machine that worked for him towards the end, Emery couldn’t see past running him into the ground in a shit system… it seems like Arteta has a more thoughtful approach to extracting creativity from him, whilst pushing him to support the system. It’ll be very interesting to see what the physical output looks like today, because he has done a lot of work in a short space of time. Some will say we’ve seen this film before, but maybe with a more elevated thinker in the dugout, it could be a different ending this time.

The main worry I have about today is how another loss will affect morale. Bournemouth was just an unlucky day at the shooting range, the Chelsea game was bad luck with fitness and Mustafi… we really need a result to prove out the hard work and progress. The fans will be buzzing for the game this evening, a classic win would be a great way to start the year, let’s see where we land.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments x

1,337 Responses to “Arteta makes Mesut Özil the centerpiece”

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  1. Sid

    The sheffield game will be a better gauge of things because man united usually havent been doing well against bottom half teams.
    Until then enjoy the win.

  2. Nelson

    I can’t hide my smile while reading how Mou exploded at Southampton. He went over to the Ref. to voice his displeasure at apparent Southampton time-wasting. He confronted Saints goalkeeping coach Andrew Sparks before receiving a yellow card from referee Mike Dean. He branded Sparks an ‘idiot’ after the game. He admitted he was “rude, but rude to an idiot”

  3. China1

    You can attribute torreiras turn around in form as much with sacking emery as bringing in arteta

    Whilst arteta does seem to have a serious coach’s hat on with fine tuning players performances, I also think anyone and their uncle could get torreira playing well putting him central and not an AM. Hardly rocket science I’ve honesty no idea wtf emery was doing with him

    But credit to arteta because he’s doing well at getting more out of players

    I predict basically every result wrong this season so I don’t get many chances to say told you so, but seriously so many of you lot writing off torreira after he was one of our best players at DM last season then injured and put out of position in a dismal emeryball setup this season – it made absolutely no sense

    People said he’s not happy here and should leave – he wasn’t happy because his talent was being counted around by Unai Emery. Who would be played out of position and dumped on the bench in a crap system and be happy?

    Torreira always has been and will continue to be a very useful player for what he brings our defense, with any forward contribution useful but entirely secondary

  4. Tony

    Woke up at 6:30 this morning (the game was 3A.M. my time) to watch the match full of hope and a gut feeling we’d improve on the Chelsea game.

    Arteta is also improving his in game management. Leaving Ozil on as a nuisance factor to the United back line/midfield was/is a must for now. Something Arteta should have done against The Chavs.

    The signs were there in Freddie’s last game and we are improving with each game under Arteta’s tutelage/game plan and a win yesterday should boost confidence for 2020.

    So good to see happy faces again all over the pitch.

    That was a “Top 4” performance that a few of us said we had in the squad at the beginning g of the season. Arteta is slowly proving to be the quality coach needed top get such a performance from the squad – again what most of believed we needed to accomplish CL football for next season.

    I always thought that Pepe was special and will eventually go onto be a potential legend of the future, especially if the coaches get Him to improve his right peg.

    It’s a great start to 2020 but nothing to get carried away with – just continue with the hard work Arteta has planned for the squad.

    A couple of additions or at least one CB to this TW with say Mustafi being sold will help at the back.

    I was one of the few who thought Luiz still had a decent season left in him when we bought him where his last 2 games have illustrated his experience and in some ways leadership. He’ll always have the odd howler in him as he did for The Chavs and Brazil, but what player doesn’t make stupid mistakes over a season?

    He’s also useful as a back up DM to LT and Xhaka for rotation or injuries for now but not long term.

    I feel we’ve turned a corner away from our disastrous start to the season, and now it’s on Arteta to keep the ship on an even keel and keep improvements being made throughout the squad with the squad ALL giving 100% in implementing Arteta’s game plans and teaching.

    I would imagine Palace will have looked at that game and will know we will be going to Selhurst Park looking solely for the win with a renewed confidence and ready for a real scrap if need be.

    Still a very long way to go but at least we have hope and the beginning of belief for the future of our great and beloved club.

    Watching the game I couldn’t help but be envious of Bob N16, ES, Marc and other STHs here being in the mix of it all live. What a feeling that must have been.

  5. China1

    Also way too much has been made of our lack of a new manager bump in terms of results

    The bump itself means very little if the long term trend isn’t progress.

    I don’t care for a 15 game winning streak and top 4 achievement if next season it falls apart as nothing but a purple patch of form and by next Christmas we want a new manager.

    Just ask most utd fans what they think about OGS and you get a lot who don’t think he’s good enough. A hot tub of form on joining equated to no silverware or achievements (so far). Who cares they got a big short term bump?

    If our manager sets the wheels in motion for genuine, meaningful progress and we start forward along that path then it’s ridiculous to worry so much about the lack of a bump.

    We got performance improves from day 1, maintained in game 2, improvements for game 3. The direction and trend are what we should be most interested in.

  6. China1

    Just look at emery if you want another example of a manager who very early got a purple patch of results but behind the scenes was hopeless and needed sacking just a year later

  7. Dark Hei


    “I couldn’t help but be envious of Bob N16, ES, Marc and other STHs here being in the mix of it all live”

    Argghhh it is the first day of school so I can’t watch the game!

  8. Dark Hei


    Sorry but Emery’s underlying stats were not great during that unbeaten run. Results were defying stats until things start to even out and he got the sack.

  9. Receding Hairline

    A bit too early to proclaim one win as the “start to a prosperous new era” especially when you spent the last few days telling everyone a win was asking too much.

    The Torriera debate is also funny, didn’t know players can get in shots on the opposition goal sitting right in front of their own defence, some shot that.

    Also all the congratulations to Pedro for the Arteta thing shouldn’t that come when we are finally competing at the top end of the table as prophesied… I mean you can’t believe so much in a coach then go overboard when he wins a football game. Consistency has always been the issue, great win then onto the next game.

  10. China1

    Receding oh you mean the same way our old DM Gilberto never occasionally got forwards and took shots?

    Unless it’s been beaten since, Gilberto holds the record for the fastest goal in CL history against Roma. And he was the invisible wall, demonstrably a deep lying player to protect the defense

    No one is saying torreira stays routed to the spot or that he will never step forwards whether on or off the ball – but that emery was playing him as a winger and a n10.

    I know you reeeeaaaally don’t like people saying bad things about emery receding (though I’ve no idea why) – but yes, torreira’s main strategic value is defensive and playing him as an AM and winger when we didn’t have anyone capable defensively and the team was so badly disorganized defensively was an absolutely ludicrous tactical error

    Much the same as kante, the best DM in the league got shunted out of position to accommodate Jorginho and has never looked world class since. Not that torreira is as good as kante, but that torreira’s n1 use is defensive with auxiliary value in being good at starting transitions quickly

    Watch how much of the game torreira spends quite literally in line with in DM partner

  11. China1

    Un una because if you repeat something enough times people start to believe it

    It was never logical before and we’re starting to see that being proved again now

  12. Aussie Gooner

    Much, much better! This win was so needed, a loss would have been unthinkable. Utd were there for the taking and we made it count. Abu was once again all over the place, fantastic effort – I do hope he is not just putting himself in the shop window! Torreira – what can I say? Play him in ‘his’ position and you get results, not hard – he is a tiger. Pepe – a real threat to all defenders, has to play consistently to get the real benefit from him.

    Also noticed more tackles going in, hard but fair, kept the pressure on. Still way to much sloppy play, particularly during scoring opportunities, hope that can be improved upon. Lets get a run going!

  13. China1

    You can also compare his heatmap with the rest of the team for reference points

    A DM who contributes bits and pieces elsewhere

  14. Receding Hairline

    Torriera was never used on the wings. No need to resort to lies.

    Nor was he ever asked to play AM

    Maybe watch Kante play before deciding what a DM should be and shouldn’t be . this whole debate was done with Kante and Sarri..its boring.

    Arteta has him playing better yes. He probably buys more into Arteta vision and demand than he did Emery. Lets not forget he had some storming performances too earlier under Emery.

    All this looking to score points by telling outright lies on here is boring too. No one gives a fuck as long as this football club is winning and moving in the right direction

  15. Valentin


    You do realise that you look like a real plonker by arguing against Arteta, David Luiz, Sokratis, Rio Ferdinand, RvP, Martin Keown and most of pundits.
    Everybody can see that Arsenal fitness level are not up to the level Arteta wants them to play.

    Keep posting my previous posts out of context in an obvious attempt to smear me because of your scorned love for Emery does not change the fact that Arsenal need IMPROVED FITNESS. That fact as repeated officially by the club looks the club is blaming the previous regime for the players current level of fitness.

    Extracted from

    For the second home game in three days, the players left nothing on the pitch. Their effort was admirable. But it’s clear that the level of intensity we’ve shown in our last two first-half performances has so far been impossible to sustain in the second half. Against Chelsea we paid for our fatigue in the last 10 minutes, and we dropped off against United too.

    In the first half we had six shots from inside the box and 13 crosses from open play; the equivalent numbers were two and one after the break. The complex of the game had changed by then of course – Sokratis’ goal meant we could stay compact and play on the break. But in the long-term, improved fitness will close the gap between those first and second-half levels.

  16. Valentin

    Arsenal victory masked the absolute shocking refereeing bias by the official in the middle. Despite their continuous not very subtle rotational persistent fouling ManUtd finished the game without a single yellow card while Arsenal had two.
    Until the club starts to make public noise about that rampant discrimination made to please Mike Reiley, nothing will be done about it.
    English journalists are complicit in not wanting to confront the evidence by fear of losing their access to the officials.

  17. SP

    Looks like Xhaka is going to stay which is a good thing. Arteta has managed to get the best out of both Xhaka and Torriera. We dont really need another CM if both of them manage to perform consistently. this season. The top priority this transfer window has to be defense. Buy a couple of good defenders and we should be set for the remainder of the season. But we definitely need a striker if we are going to offload Laca. Auba looks set to stay.

  18. Chika

    “That “five-second law” of Pep Guardiola clearly being utilised by Mikel Arteta with #afc. Press in numbers, hard and fast, try to win the ball back quickly (or force Maguire to send it flying into the stands). Arsenal look a completely different team under Arteta.”

    It’s just three games but the identity is already starting to take shape. This is what you get with a smart coach unlike the useless fraud we were cursed with.

  19. Unai

    “It showed that already after just two weeks he can do more with this team who many claim are inferior to Man yoo and Chelsea ”

    With the exception of our attack, Chelsea do, imo, have a better squad.

    United are like us, some good players supported by kids, we are fortunate Pogba was ‘injured’.

    I love what Arteta has done, most compact I’ve seen us in years, motivated, organised and we have a clear game plan.

    Very excited to see what he can do long term but I’m still of the opinion that we need more than a few additions.

    We simply don’t have the depth to be consistent and with a higher intensity we may see more injuries.

    As well as AMN, Saka & Nelson have done, we shouldn’t be relying on them.

    On the other hand, it’s great to see some of the black sheep coming back into the flock, much easier to get a performance out of them than to replace them.

  20. Chika

    Besides one terribly misplaced pass, AMN had a pretty solid performance. I hope he continues to improve, he has the physical attributes and a decent technique needed for the RB role.

  21. Dream10


    I don’t think Aubameyang and Lacazette will leave this window. They’ll get more offers in the summer. One will be 31 and the other 29, so they’ll will be looking for three year deals.

  22. Unai

    Luiz’s comments after the game were telling, clearly there was a lot of discontent in the camp and heads were down.

    Whatever you think of Emery, it’s hard to defend his reign, he may go on to do great things again but he was a shambles for us.

    Well happy with Arteta, looks like we got the right guy, just in time too!

  23. TitsMcGee

    One was a false dawn, the other a genuine start to a prosperous new era. Back to munching the rainbow you crayola chewing bellend”

    Impossible to tell if this isn’t a false dawn either though right?

  24. Unai

    Un, Outside of Liverpool & City, I’ll agree theres probably not a huge different in first 11s between the rest of the ‘big 6’ plus Wolves n Leicester.

    I do think our Achilles heel is our squad depth though, if we aspire for more than a 4-6th place finish we can’t go into a season with 1 RB and 1 #10.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this but imagine if Ozil got injured now…. where’s out creativity coming from?

  25. Redtruth

    Pierre March 10, 2019 21:50:01
    “Today’s performance against a very good football team showed that if the team is set up correctly and play with the right attitude , we can compete with the best.”

    Pierre speaking after Arsenal beating Man Utd 2-0 at the Emirates in March 2019….lol

  26. Dream10


    Ideally, we buy a young creative player who can play wide and central to play with or instead of Mesut. He has to be dribbler though. Other than Pépé, we lack dribbling in the advanced areas.

    It’s a massive opportunity for Nelson and ESR to step up and get minutes. Have to take advantage of their 15 minute cameos and their domestic/Europa cup starts.

  27. Freddie Ljungberg

    Nice to see a continuation of the the play that started to take shape against Bournemouth, and most importantly a very important 3 points, made it well worth it staying up until 5 in the morning to watch the game, haven’t been able to say that in a long time (yes, longer than 18 months)

    We’ll still need to go out in this window and buy though. A lot of our players are not built for this high intensity style, even though we managed the game better last night than against Chelsea.

    Afraid it’s going to take it’s toll in the long term and can’t really see Ozil keep this up or do it away on a consistent basis, would love to see him prove me wrong though.

    Lovely to see Torreira back to his early form from last season, do worry what happens if he gets injured or even drops a bit in stamina, he’s so dependent on being at peak fitness with his all action style that a 10% drop makes him much less effective. Need someone to partner him that takes some of the defensive burden away from him.

    There’s been an improvement from players like Xhaka and AMN but they still have their moments that on another day could punish us. AMN with 2 sloppy passes through the middle that found a Man u player and Xhaka with his fouling when he can’t keep up. Luckily Fred was trying out his Rugby kicks so no harm done this time.

    Really nice to see Pepe get a goal and and assist, could well have been more from him with a bit of luck. Can’t believe some posters were already writing him off months ago, smh.

  28. Redtruth

    Victorious March 10, 2019  18:28:43
    “Emery was spot on today, he seems to be more clued up when facing the top teams Beginning to like the man more.”

    Victorious full of joy and optimism after Arsenal beat Man Utd 2 -0 at the Emirates in March 2019…lol

  29. Dream10


    You’re right on the refeering last night. It was abject. Fred got away with out getting a yellow for persistent fouling. Kolasinac would have been sent off he committed a couple of more fouls.

  30. Pierre

    All we have heard over the past few months is how we should sell half of the squad because they are so poor.

    The more perceptive posters on Le Grove urged for patience , stating how difficult it is for any player to play in a dysfunctional system.

    Let’s look at Luiz, Ozil, Xhaka, AMN and Torreira.
    All players that many on Le Grove wanted to leave the club.

    They are already thriving in a functional system under a proper manager and as far as I’m concerned, will only get better.

    Lacazette was a beast out there last night, his contribution should not overlooked.
    He made life hell for the United defenders and Matic in midfield.

    Ozil did well , he was alway tidy on the ball, intelligent in his play and played an unselfish role for the team.

    As far as I’m concerned, he was better on the ball v Chelsea and Bournemouth but because he ran further than anyone , the perception of his game from many is that he played better than he really did .

    It is only the tip of the iceberg for Ozil , on the ball he can be much more proactive, but that will come as his confidence builds.

    At the moment, he is intelligent to know that it’s as much about what he does off the ball than on the ball which will gain the manager’s trust.

    A couple of times in the first half when Ozil was on the ball in space with Pepe out wide, I would have liked to see Pepe put his foot on the pedal and commit the full back to give Ozil the option of the killer ball, however Ozil had to play the easy ball to the wing as Pepe held back on the run…maybe he was playing under orders.

  31. Unai

    Definitely Dream, will become even more necessary if, in the unlikely event we win EL and get CL. Can’t see Ozil playing that many games at 32.

    My worry is we are relying on AMN, Saka, Nelson, Willock n ERS all making the grade, as much as I’d like it to work out, I’d be surprised if they all do.

  32. Unai

    Un, without getting into semantics I think you could probably argue either way depending of form and fitness.

    I’m fairly confident saying our squad is not a ‘nailed on’ top 4 squad though, if we want regular CL football and to compete with Pool n City we will need far more strength in depth, particularly as Ozil, Auba and others are entering the twilight if their careers.

    We have an opportunity, the right manager with a lot of good will and support around the club, if FFP will allow, we really should back him without him having to sell his starting cast first.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    Very important to get a convincing win and a clean sheet before this mini break in the PL.

    Hopefully we can rest a fair few first teamers against Leeds and Arteta will have more than a week on the training ground with them to keep drilling until the next game.

    Get some more players back from injury, some others given a breather and maybe a new signing or 2 and 2020 looks a lot more positive already. Amazing what a win can do.

  34. Jeff

    It was a good performance last night and I’m very happy we won. Note of caution though – we have to be consistent. We have, in the recent past, had runs and wins against big teams but we’ve always come unstuck later. If after 10 games of Arteta’s reign we are exhibiting the same level of drive and desire, I’m willing to change my mind about Arteta’s appointment. We still need more stamina in the last third of the game but we will see. My hopes have gone up from -10 to +1 as things stand.

  35. Dream10


    It’s really difficult for academy players to establish themselves at a rich PL club.

    Take Chelsea for example. They struck gold with Tammy Abraham. He’s basically a 60m pound striker who is on pace for his 3rd 20 goal league campaign before the age of 23 (two of them in the championship). That’s so rare. He is the exception, not the rule.

    Think AMN and Saka will continue to be regulars. They’re versatile, can play anywhere down the sides from full back to wide forward. Combine athleticism with technique. At worst they can be guys who play 20 times a season. Those types are like 25m in today’s market. Massive success.

    Think ESR, Nelson and Willock will follow the traditional path of an academy player. Star at the younger level, followed by loans and eventually being sold to a PL/Ch’ship/BuLi side. It shows Hale End is producing players. In the last 25 years, the PL and Ch’ship was littered with Man Utd graduates.

    Opportunity is the main determinant of an academy getting in the first XI. In the fall of 2016, Iwobi got in the XI because the team needed a link player between the CMs Cazorla/Coquelin/Xhaka and the final third to Giroud/Özil/Walcott/Alexis. He was very good for the first few months

  36. Bob N16

    Red, you’re pointing out that Arsenal supporters will always enjoy beating Manu with your archival digging. Not exactly Bernstein and Woodward!

  37. Pierre

    The return of Kolasinac gave us a boost.

    He is a player who can turn defence into attack in a blink of an eye.

  38. Brooklyn

    What nonsense about fitness level….No teams can press full 90 mins and definitely not when when you have 5-6 of first teamers(first 11 and first choice substitutes) injured with game coming in every 2 days…. Also being young doesn’t matter till they experience enough high intensity match for them to be fit….anyways age between 21-29 is physical prime rather than 18-19 years old…

    Only question is player buying into managers demands, for that to work manager should communicate properly, player should be played to their strength and most importantly player should see results , otherwise they get demotivated quickly…

    Good on Arteta for tailoring tactics by placing players in their favoured role and being good communicator to make the likes of Ozil and Auba buy into it….

    First time in ever I have felt secured about Arsenal defense, especially organisation part….
    Chelsea never looked like scoring despite their dominance in possession before Leno’s howler. Also, defense felt comfortable against Man Utd….

    Chances for top-4? If we get first choice CB and CM/AM hybrid during this transfer window??

  39. Gentlebris

    Seeing the look on Arteta’s face as the game was about to start, well I had some doubts about my assessment of him.

    I hope he proves me very very wrong. If he does, I would buy me a classic Arteta shirt and rock it through next season!

  40. Brooklyn

    The way Arteta is having us play, gulf in quality between Ozil and his replacement should he go down injured or have drop in form is huge…Links to Buendia, seems most welcome to me??

    Sad that Chambers is injured otherwise I would postpone buying a CB till summer and get Buendia and a CM/DM to replace rotate with Torreira and Xhaka….also playmaking winger is needed but can wait till summer…

  41. James wood

    Just caught up on the game .
    What a weak ref only one yellow for a quite
    aggressive approach by an Arsenal side that
    was for a change at it.?
    Martinelli in that side for a bandaged Laca
    would have been the icing.
    Although Laca did contribute more than he has
    is he carrying a long term injury or is it age.?
    Good result going forward .
    And certain players actually came to the game.

    On another note “I’m going to say less .” Turned up again
    and soured the occasion .
    He’s “ There’s a second half” comment used in the last two games
    Is almost a WISH that we loose and it proves he’s bang on with he’s
    predictions.( “ I told you so”.)
    A despicable RICHARD of a man who should be put into isolation
    as Arseblog rightly and quickly done.

  42. Habesha Gooner

    James wood Exactly My thoughts. I can’t wait to see Martinelli in this team. He was the only one who was pressing before, Imagine him getting help and winning the ball up the pitch, we will be unstoppable.

  43. Dark Hei

    BTW, Kola proved me wrong.

    I thought his lack of ball control and poor passing will be detriment to the team always but he was massive.

  44. azed


    Can you show me where anyone of those said Emery under trained the players?

    Emery’s team left end of November, and Freddie took over for three weeks.
    What was happening for three weeks?
    Was Freddie also under training the players?

    Like I said you like to make up stuff from your arse and pass it of like facts when it’s rubbish.

    You claimed Saka’s cramp was due to under training but I posted what causes cramp in players.

    The players are not fit because they downed tools under Emery and were not interested in playing b Freddie.
    It’s as simple as that.

  45. Romford Pele

    And it’s not just based on last night either. If you haven’t seen evident signs of progression in 3 games I don’t know what you’ve watched. He’s been in charge 10 days. Had 3 games in 6 days with very few training sessions yet you’ve seen buy-in from all the players and effort from everyone to a man.

    It won’t be perfect for a while but I defo have faith in him to get it right long-term. Seen more from him in 3 games than i’ve saw from Emery over 18 months.

  46. salparadisenyc

    Feel this is the start of post Wenger Arsenal, we shall see.

    Love the way we hunted in packs for ball, protagonists at home against United. We had a feel i’ve not seen in ages. Can’t deny Arteta has made serious effect in very short time.

  47. TR7

    Right from his first conference, Arteta has looked the part, looked the man to take us forward. He has an aura about him. He has been very impressive.

  48. Pierre

    I will be interested to see if Eddie Nketiah is given a chance now that he is back , or will he send him out on loan.

    Arteta may have seen something in Eddie that he can work with , he is not that dissimilar to Gabriel Jesus in his movement and style of play.

    Personally, as I said before, I was disappointed that he was sent out on loan to Leeds .
    I always believed he would have had more than enough opportunities to impress with Arsenal in Europa and league cup comps with possibly the occasional league start.

    With the emergence of Martinelli and Nketiah , they will provide good back up and could possibly force their way into the starting line up.

  49. Words on a Blog

    Great to see inventive patterns of play last night when we in possession, and even better to see clear structure, pressing and movement when we were out of possession.

    Torreira was back to his best, playing in his favourite position of (yes, Receding) DM, snuffing our attacks with tackles and interceptions. It turns out you don’t need to be 6 foot tall or bigger to be effective DM. Loved his little cameo when he lifted up Sokratis after the Greek scored!

    Özil back to his creative best whilst (yes, Pierre) also performing defensive duties, AMN, vastly improved. Kola and Luiz great. The players are responding to Arteta and the atmosphere at the Emirates last night was crackling.

    You can clearly see Arteta’s plan/vision begin to emerge, and it reminds me a little of Wenger (when we’re in possession) crossed with Pep (when we’re out of possession).

    Early days, but I do hope that Arteta can sustain Arsenal’s progress, and that Edu/Raul support him in doing so.

  50. Romford Pele

    “Love the way we hunted in packs for ball, protagonists at home against United. We had a feel i’ve not seen in ages. Can’t deny Arteta has made serious effect in very short time”

    Sal – my man! Long time, hope you’re well.

    Loving the effect Arteta has already had. As Luiz and Sokratis said yesterday in the press conference, they’re not yet ready to press for 90 mins but give it a couple months..

  51. Romford Pele

    “I will be interested to see if Eddie Nketiah is given a chance now that he is back , or will he send him out on loan.”

    He’s going back on loan, to Bristol City apprently. This season he needs games so no point in him being here, especially following Aubameyang’s comments last night.

  52. Romford Pele

    “Right from his first conference, Arteta has looked the part, looked the man to take us forward. He has an aura about him. He has been very impressive.”

    Spot on. When you factor in we’ve played 3 games in 6 days. He’s had very little time to train with the team you can already see what he’s trying to implement. Will take about 18 months before it’s at its optimum but defo see signs of progress.

  53. China1

    A gift for you receding

    I actually had to search around to find games he started under emery because emery thought he was only good enough for the bench this season 🙂

    But I found this cracker of a game, like for like vs utd no less. Check his heat map. Wide and AM primarily.

    So please stop shitting on other posters and saying they’re lying when everyone and their uncle except those who like emery (eg you and Bamford) could see with their own eyes that torreira was not being used as a defensive player let alone a DM.

    At least have the integrity to let it be if you won’t apologize for calling me a liar…

  54. Valentin


    You keep accusing the players of not being fit because they had down tools under Emery.
    Have you any proof of that?

    And if they had down tools, Whose fault is it?
    Whose job is it to motivate a team of professional athletes so they perform to the best of their ability?
    The headcoach.

    You can try to obfuscate that simple fact as much as you want. Instead of trying to defend Emery, accept that Emery Arsenal tenure was a failure. He upset them so much that numerous players “accidently” liked social media messages asking for his sacking.
    Not all failing were Emery’s fault for example he did not get the players he wanted, but the physical and psychological training was his sole responsibility. And in that department Arteta is clearly showing that there was way to do much better than he did.

  55. Dream10


    Happy New year. Too stuff from the lads yesterday. Özil 11.53km, Torreira 11.41km, Aubameyang 11.03km, Xhaka 11.02km.
    Is that sustainable?

  56. Romford Pele

    That David Luiz and Sokratis interview yesterday was revealing though right? You can tell these guys were depressed under Emery.

  57. DigitalBob

    salparadisenyc – That’s the feeling I got from yesterday as well. Really feels like the post wenger era. Not much to be said about yesterday except fantastic coaching and endeavour from the Arteta and the players. All impressive and I’m very optimistic for the future.

    David Luiz the liability he can be was immense it must be said. LT was also superb in the middle and the constant running and effort from the strikers was just beautiful.

  58. salparadisenyc

    Romford P

    Ahoy Matie! Excellent you’re back in this space!
    I took a lil holiday hiatus from the interweb, things finally looking optimistic for first time in ages where Arsenal are concerned. Loving it.

  59. Romford Pele

    Dream, Happy New Year to you too buddy. The energy levels they’ve put in the last 6 days over 3 games has been phenomenal. I’m glad they have a break now and Arteta will rotate for the FA Cup against Leeds.

    I think they’ll be sustainable over time. We might have a dip and players will probably pick up more muscular injuries as a result of what they’re doing under Arteta but it’s the right way forward imo. If we are to eventually get back to competing, we need to replicate the energy levels of City and Liverpool

  60. Romford Pele

    Sal – yeah like you been mad busy with work over the last two years and been travelling. Now I’m back in the Uk a bit more and will start going to games again if what Arteta has shown so far is gonna be the norm. Loving everything he’s introduced so far. Just need the intensity levels to go up so that we can play this style for longer during games

  61. azed

    You keep accusing the players of not being fit because they had down tools under Emery.
    Have you any proof of that?


    Did you watch the games under Freddie?

    Did you see any running from the players apart from Martinelli?

    By the way, I am not defending Emery, I am calling you out on your lies that Emery under trained the players.
    You need to learn to stop lying especially on a faceless blog.

    If a student doesn’t like a teacher, the student would find it hard to pay attention. Does that mean the teacher under taught the student? No.

  62. Romford Pele

    For me, Torreira, AMN and Luiz have seen the most immediate improvements under Arteta. Xhaka and Ozil have been good too. Everyone has improved though.

    It’s weird because I want Xhaka out of the team but he seems integral to what Arteta wants to do in terms of build up and progresssion of the ball from deep. And it looks like Arteta has gotten him to stay for the rest of the season. Whatever replacement we find has to have more mobility (as a given) but also needs to retain Xhaka’s quality in terms of being a high volume passer who can retain and build deeper.

  63. Romford Pele

    “It beggars the question, why the fudge didn’t we hire Arteta when Wenger left?”

    It’s looking that way right? But tbh it’s probably better that he’s taken over now with expectation a bit lower. He can get buy in from players and the board (Raul) will bend to his will a bit more after messing it up loads with Emery.

  64. TR7

    Both in Chelsea and United game, Arteta showed he can get his team to play in two modes – in 1st half of both the games the team played with freedom and flair and in 2nd half we played with discipline and organization even though it was more of a compulsion than a choice due to fitness related issues.

    The second most impressive thing about is his ability to extract good performances from existing players. Ozil was brilliant for 45 mins in both the games and Torr is finally playing at the level most of us thought he was capable of playing at. AMN has been good too. Nelson is an incredibly limited player but Arteta ensured he ran a lot to at least help in defense and be a second fiddle to Ozil in building up play. Luiz has had two of his best games in Arsenal shirt.

    Things can get wrong and they will go wrong as we move along but as I said Arteta looks like he knows his stuff and even players think the same which is very critical when things will go awry.

  65. azed


    I’m pretty sure Eddie is going back out on loan.

    We have three players in Lacazette, Aubameyang and Martinelli who can and want to play through the centre.

    There’s no point keeping Eddie who would not even make the bench in the EPL.

    It’s best for Eddie’s development if he went back out on loan.

  66. DigitalBob

    Looks like Granit will be staying this month. I personally would prefer another CM but Arteta likes him or likes the idea of the challenge to get the best of of him.

    We have to back the manager and so back Xhaka but this one is a bit annoying.

  67. Romford Pele

    Digital – it is a bit annoying right? But I guess maybe we have to stop projecting what we want and trust the manager in his process. Plus at the moment Xhaka is more robust and positionally astute than all the other options there. If we have shown what we have against the likes of Chelsea and United, no reason why it can’t be shown against others.

  68. Nelson

    One lasting impression from last night’s game: Luke Shaw was fully beaten, lying flat on the grass, watching helplessly how Pepe calmly sent the ball to Auba for a one timer. Priceless!

  69. Jim Lahey

    “It beggars the question, why the fudge didn’t we hire Arteta when Wenger left?”

    Those extra 18 months under Pep may have been highly beneficial to both Arteta and to us.

    A few word on last night. The game was a joy to watch. Not just the performanace but also who doesn’t love beating United?! Don’t care if this is the worst United side the Cretaceous, beating (in my opinion) our fiercest rival at any point is a good night!

  70. Romford Pele

    Pepe was good last night. The ability is obvious. But he does need to be more intense off the ball and i’m sure Arteta will be in his ear about that. If Ozil is starting to do it then you have no excuse. I’m sure it’ll come though. It’s always easier to make a player work harder. You can’t give a player talent.

    Has ozil ever run as much in the last 3 games? it’s crazy. Shows what can happen you get player buy-in. All those media reports about the players not liking him seems like BS right now. Also he is the only option that offers constant availability through the lies as a receiver. That will need to be addressed later.

  71. azed

    “It beggars the question, why the fudge didn’t we hire Arteta when Wenger left?”

    I’ll say it’s good we didn’t hire Arteta straight. The low expectations at the club gives Arteta the time he needs to build his team.

    Emery’s failure was/is good for Arteta.

  72. Jim Lahey

    Torreira was a different class last night, what on earth was Emery doing with him?

    Credit where credit is due, Ozil was fantastic. When he wants to be, he is unplayable. Remember a moment last night where he sold Maguire down the river and was chopped down.

  73. DigitalBob

    Romford – 100% right mate, 100%.

    Xhaka and Luiz being more consistent and less erroneous and Mesut putting in a shift. Its all great to see.

  74. Romford Pele

    “Xhaka and Luiz being more consistent and less erroneous and Mesut putting in a shift. Its all great to see.”

    it’s all down to the structure and organisation. A good structure hides a player’s weaknesses and accentuates their strengths. That’s the most important thing that Arteta has done imo. Aside from the end of the Chelsea game where fatigue really ended us we have looked more compact both on and off the ball. Even when we’ve had to defend for large periods we’ve done it as a unit. And Arteta has done that in 10 days. What was Emery doing over the last 18 months?

  75. azed


    The Independent claim interim boss Ljungberg and his fellow coaches have been taken aback by the ‘slack’ attitude of Arsenal’s first-team stars.

    Arteta on Kolasinac
    “He came to me yesterday and said, ‘boss, if you want me to play, I can play’. We decided to play him and that’s the attitude of the players that I want and he got rewarded.

    “He made an effort, he put himself on the line and he had a great performance.”

    When Emery played Ramsey, you went on a tirade, now Arteta has done the same thing, I expect your long post on how Arteta doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  76. HighburyLegend

    “Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka will not leave the club in January, according to head coach Mikel Arteta.”


  77. Brooklyn

    Re: Nketiah,
    I hope he continues his goal scoring form otherwise his loan to another team would be far more detrimental to his career.

    If he doesn’t score goal continuously he will drop to impact/super sub role same as with Leeds, but won’t have good coach to help him improve his overall game.

    Case of playing time against good coaching for player long term development.

    I would have preferred for him to continue with Leeds and force Biesla’s hand to make him starter by improving his general play.

    Doing this he would have higher chance of playing in PL with Leeds(high chance they get promoted??)next season…

    I am still sceptical of his scoring pedigree, but this one I could be wrong as he has scored continuously in lower level.

    Can he outscore Bamford from now on to the end of season??

  78. Valentin


    You keep dodging the questions and accusing people of lying when you were the one making stuff up because you did not like the facts.
    Like when kept arguing that Arsenal were top of the running distance last season when official numbers clearly show they were not.

    Still refusing to admit that the players are not fit for 90 minutes of Arteta intensity football when every coach, players, pundits is now acknowledging that simple fact.
    Easy to understand: single Player not fit, his responsibility, team not fit coaching staff responsibility.

    still trying to divert from simple conditioning issue by blaming the players and absolving Emery of any responsibilities. Your “I am not defending Emery, but he was not responsible for any of Arsenal woes” act is wearing thin. You keep accusing the players of not liking Emery. Have you any proof of that?
    And if they did not like Emery, why was that in your “expert” option?

  79. Spanishdave

    Great win last night we needed it badly
    We still need to get Laca scoring again he was poor finishing last night.
    Auba can’t cross the ball when playing out wide he messed up a few counter attacks.
    His general footballing skills are poor .

  80. Valentin


    “When Emery played Ramsey, you went on a tirade, now Arteta has done the same thing, I expect your long post on how Arteta doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

    Don’t let the fact gets into the way of your obfuscation. The medical team had told Emery not to play Ramsey, he overruled them and it backfired.
    There is no indication that the medical team was against Kolasinac involvement in yesterday’s game. If there is, I would make the same comment: it’s a bad call and being lucky once does not mean that repeating that bad call will not lead to long term injury.

  81. azed

    Like when kept arguing that Arsenal were top of the running distance last season when official numbers clearly show they were not.

    Can you point how many times I have mentioned the above?

    Why did Freddie complain about the attitude of the players?

    Freddie and Shad were in charge of the player conditioning for 3 weeks, what happened?

    Did they also under train the players?

  82. Pierre

    It looked to me as if Arteta told pepe that when the opposition have the ball to just get goal side and don’t let AMN get outnumbered, which he did to good effect.
    And when we have the ball for pepe to retain possession and be more patient in his play.

    Playing with Ozil , Pepe should understand that if you give the ball to Ozil, you are only loaning him the ball as he always gives it back…

  83. azed


    Since you are an expert on Arsenal training and conditioning, it will be good to explain to us what happened in the 3 weeks that Freddie and Shad were in charge.

  84. Graham62

    Kolasinac is becoming a sort of cult hero.

    Torreira was excellent.

    Best game( work rate) Ozil’s ever had. GX also very good.

    Lacazette, no goals but you’ve got to love the guy. Maguire was shitting himself.

    Pepe, another step forward.

    Luiz has suddenly woken up.

    Everyone else, very good.


  85. azed

    “Is pedro writing an 18 pages, FRONT AND BACK post?”

    Pedro is not done soiling his pants.

    Give the man time, there’s lots of built up energy that needs releasing.

  86. Brooklyn

    Pretty sure Arsenal were top for distance covered for first 10-15 game weeks last season…

    As for player being able to handle intensity required by Arteta, let’s wait till we get some of our injured players back or wait till game frequency decreases…

    Chelsea rested Mount and Emerson, substituted Willian around 60 mins mark, Kovacic was suspended, before playing us. We were playing with almost same players just 40-50 hrs before….

    On top of that they could bring in Jorginho(top 5 DLP at present??) to change their tactics. Of course we lacked intensity after intial burst, especially against their midfield who has been coached and experienced to regularly hold 60% possession under Sarri just last season.

  87. HighburyLegend

    Maybe before doing many blow jobs to Arteta, we could wait a bit longer, see what happens against stronger teams ??

    Remember we were over the moon after Emery’s first months… so for myself I prefer to be cautious and see what happens.
    But the players seems to be happy, so it’s already a good news.

  88. Pierre

    “Credit where credit is due, Ozil was fantastic. When he wants to be, he is unplayable. Remember a moment last night where he sold Maguire down the river and was chopped down.”

    I think he can do better, yesterday he only did the things on the ball that he has been doing for the last couple of years ….though I have to say ,he was much better off the ball.

    It’s just what he does , he makes the game look too easy at times due to his superior technique and immaculate first touch .

    I have never doubted him for a second , not once.

    My argument was that we gave him a massive contract and then employed a manager who didn’t have a clue how to get the best of him.

    I will be forever indebted to Arteta if Ozil continues with his improvement, I love watching him play football and I think Ozil was a criminal waste of talent whilst Emery was at the club.

    No one could see my point of view regarding Emery’s misuse of Ozil , I pointed out how he used him as a man marker in the Europa final and everyone wondered why he wasn’t creative.

    The thing is Arteta gets it , he knows what makes him tick , and he will do the utmost to get the best out of him .

    If Arteta fails with Ozil , it won’t be for the want of trying.

  89. Pierre

    Let’s just remember that Emery left Ozil out of even the Europa league squad this season…let that sink in .

  90. Valentin


    That was exactly what I said earlier and that Azed disagreed with.

    Arsenal were top of distance covered and number of sprints until January. I made the point that doing double session in November was a recipe for future injuries and tiredness. This is exactly what happen. Injuries started to take its toll and the team physically collapsed. In the end Arsenal did not finished as top in term of distances covered nor number of sprints per 90 minutes.

    We had a person in charge of conditioning that was completely new to the EPL, not fully realising it relentless and the impact of a lack of winter break. He made changes to the conditioning without consulting the internal Arsenal team. That was initially heralded by Emery as proof that Arsenal was moving on from Wenger and the team was initially much fitter. Unfortunately like under Wenger our in-house team of expert were pushed aside. In January and February Emery and his new team were forced to hastily completely change the workload.

    This season the same guy decided to adjust his training regime, but it looks like things swang too much the other way around. This team is not fit enough to play 90 minutes at the high intensity that Arteta wants to play. BTW the guy was let go before Emery, so even Emery had realised that something had gone awry.

    Azed is now just arguing that the team is fit. And that if the players are not fit it is their own fault because they downed tools.

  91. PieAFC

    Everyone with proper coaching and tactical understanding is improving. AMN isn’t and would be stupid enough to know he couldn’t nail down the RB slot to make it his own.

    Personally I think someone behind the scenes has said to him, maybe FJ, that sorts out some errors and the knowledge on positioning and defending, his athleticism will keep him in good shape.

    Just loved how we looked content at 2-0 and it felt like we could actually hold on.


  92. Bill

    Where’s Bamford?

    Anyone want to wager that we’ll see a changing of goalposts by our resident Emery / KSE apologist to “prove” that he’s right about Arsenal achieving 10th place “at best” and the club being wrong about sacking the “genius” Emery.

    Can we get an unequivocal apology from JM Bapple / Bamford / Mrs Emery?

  93. Romford Pele

    “Let’s not blow this win against a poor Man Utd side out of proportion.”

    Why are they poor? Because we won?

    United have been in great form and hadn’t lost to a single top 6 side yet this season. Bar Liverpool, they have the quickest front three in the league. The reason they looked ‘poor’ was because of how we beat them into submission.

  94. Leftsidesanch

    Let’s not blow this win against a poor Man Utd side out of proportion.

    Struggling with this and wonder why Legrove has so many posters that wish the temper the excitement of fans. It’s part and parcel of following the beautiful games. We’ve also been on a wretched run of form so we should be feeling optimistic today.

    Before the game, many were predicting a comfortable United victory so let’s not forget that also.

  95. China1

    Eh receding that’s weird and seems to be that the link doesn’t load correctly

    Anyway if you wanna argue it go check our PL games against spurs and Utd from previously this season. The spurs game is October. Heatmap for torreira is plain as day

  96. azed


    That was exactly what I said earlier and that Azed disagreed with.

    Stop lying.

    You said Emery under trained the team. You said Emery changed the conditioning regime, now you are saying it’s the fitness guy.

    Dissenter has told you so many times that you are not privy to things that happen inside Arsenal, stop passing your opinions are the gospel truth.

    Julen Masach was the strength and conditioning coach that came with Emery and he was fired same time as Emery.

    Can you please tell us who the guy that was let go is?

  97. Cesc Appeal

    Interesting that some people are saying the players did a drill in the warm up that was basically the replica of how we got Pepe’s goal.

    Great to hear.

    Also agree with others saying it looks like Arteta is using Guardiola’s territory defence style press for 5 seconds and then drop into shape. Also you can see the players not even pressing when it doesn’t make sense and then going hard when they saw United players clustered or with their backs to play…that is the key to the press knowing when to go and when to not. When they went everybody did and the whole team stepped up. Brilliant.

    As someone else said, not a fan at all of AMN but credit where it’s due I think he’s been solid since Arteta’s arrival aside from that one really sloppy ball last night. Really athletic, looks as though he loves the tackle as well.

    That was something I saw last night. Particularly Luiz, he was thumping the challenges in as if wanting to let the opposition know ‘not up in here’. Love that. Aubameyang sprinting a third of the pitch to put a meaty sliding tackle in. Love that.

    The scenes at the end. I hope the players carry that forward. That feeling.

  98. Receding Hairline

    China your claim was that Emery used Torreira on the wings, if you can show me a single starting eleven where we started in a 4-2-3-1 or in a 4-3-3 or whatever with Torriera as a winger I will apologize.

    Starting in a three man midfield does not a winger make. A winger is a forward

  99. China1

    October match against Spurs his heatmap was hugging the fucking touchline dude and peppered with loads of spots all around the opposition box

    Please stop reaching because you’re coming across as a proper Bamford about this

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Torreira was magnificent last night.

    You rarely see players who just instinctively know where to put themselves to break up play.

    Glad to hear Arteta talking about him as a ball winner, wanting to fight for every ball.

    Need to give him a partner who can really make things happen in there.

  101. China1

    I don’t even know why you are continuing to argue something that everyone on here apart from Bamford plainly saw and is evidenced by heatmaps

    Wing play and AM play for some of the rare starts he got

    Which again is part of the point because he only made a handful of starts all season under the utterly hapless emery because he was a bench player (who remembers us chasing games and torreira being brought on as a late sub? Why would you bring on a torreira post 80 mins when chasing a game if you plan to use him as a DM…? Ie he didn’t…)

    Ultimately I dunno what your beef is with this but I assume it’s just because I say shit that reflects badly on emery and his awful setup.

    With wenger at least I get why he has loyalists because he did actually deliver in his early years and was here for yonks, but what exactly did emery do to deserve much credit outside of a single early season run of form – one which you even accept included torreira, our best DM which has been my point since the start

  102. Receding Hairline

    Oh you mean at old Trafford where we started with a 4-3-3 , Pepe and Saka on each flank? Matteo, Torriera and Granit in midfield?

    Guess Pepe was the DM that day and Torriera the winger

    Chambers was at full back that day, his mobility or lack of it means he will get caught out a lot when he goes forward and someone has to cover.

    And please stop with the coming across as bamford nonsense. You made a claim Torriera was used as a winger, a false claim and it was pointed out. Players especially DMs react to snuff out danger where it exists, if in that game danger was from a flank left open by an overlapping fullback who isn’t very fast the heat map will naturally show him covering that area.

    Do enjoy your day please. This is getting tiresome

  103. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s dilemma.

    Everyone who supports, writes about or even works at Arsenal know that our defence is not fit for purpose.

    We have attempted in recent years to shore up our leaky defence with low budget options or players who turned out to be duds like Mustafi.

    The situation has not been improved by the lack of talent coming through our

    Arsenal are in urgent need of recruiting one or two defenders in January on account of the long term injuries to both Tierney and now Chambers. Also both Bellerin and Holding have suffered serious injuries and we know that
    their recovery will take time.

    The situation has not been helped by recruiting Saliba and agreeing to a season long loan.

    Our current resources are now waifer thin and one or two more injuries could well create a major crisis as was the case several years ago when Arsenal had
    an acute shortage of Centre Backs.

    Defence is of course a perennial problem not just at Arsenal but at many other
    clubs as well. Many leading clubs including those with deeper pockets than ourselves are also looking for cb and lb/rb.

    What I do not want to see at Arsenal is a repeat of what we have done before and go out into the market and buy at inflated prices players who are not better than what we have got.I would certainly not buy Boateng. He may be
    experienced but he is a player in decline.

    The reality is that if you want to buy a top class cb today you are going to need
    to pay an inflated transfer fee as was the case with Van Dijk when Liverpool
    paid £70 Million for player.

    Bluntly there are few such players in the system let alone in the market with
    those credentials.

    The two players who might fit the bill are Upamecano aged 20 and my preference Koulibaly aged 28. The latter is of proven quality over several years and not just a one year wonder.

    Whether Arsenal can buy either of these players this January or indeed in the
    future is of course debatable factoring in our lack of Champions League Football and perhaps also limited Budget.

    My view is that we should not spend money in haste unless it is the right player. If Arsenal were to go for Boateng my view is that it should be on a
    short term loan basis.