Arteta makes Mesut Özil the centerpiece

by & filed under News Review.

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

1,501 Responses to “Arteta makes Mesut Özil the centerpiece”

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  1. Un na naai

    Eagle

    Luiz has been too
    And sokratis
    That overload on the left with AMN tucking in is working a treat
    They are doubling up on Pepe giving ozil space to get on the ball

    Brilliant

  2. andy1886

    Looking like a point wouldn’t be a fantastic point after all. No need to lower expectations if you’re confident in this appointment. Let’s hope we can keep it up for a full 90, looking very good so far.

  3. vickingz

    AMN already showing signs of complacency, I hope he gets warned seriously, you can’t be aimless when releasing the ball. Arteta has clearly improved this team, it’s obvious from his first game

  4. Dolomite

    Arteta still needs time yo work on their fitness

    But the organisation and gameplan are clear for all to see.

    Arteta is a better fit for Arsenal than Emery.

  5. Ishola70

    They just had a sniff there right at the end of the half.

    And they looked a little dangerous in the first few minutes of the match.

    That’s it from them.

    No need for Arsenal here to get over-excited in the 2nd half.

    Just continue to play controlled attacking football. Controlled. Don’t over commit.

    And then what Man United planned to do to Arsenal we can do to them in the 2nd half as they have to commit more being behind. Arsenal counter the counter attacking team.

  6. rollen

    Pedro stop making lame excuses for Arteta.
    Looks like you have been right all along.
    Best half since last year.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Lacazette’s hold up play so much better than against Chelsea.

    Just need to come out fired up for the second half.

    United score and I worry about the mentality of the players ruining everything.

  8. Marko

    I haven’t seen anything special from Xhaka to warrant any special mention. Has to be said though Torreira looks transformed under Arteta. He’s quietly becoming dominant.

    Look the signs are looking good early doors back him with better players and watch us go

  9. Samesong

    We haven’t been chasing the ball as much as the Chelsea game the energy levels should be ok. I dont expect United to change and half they look shell shocked.

  10. bennydevito

    Looking good guys. Confidence is looking like it’s returning and Arteta already squirting his sauce on Pepe.

    4 nil final score.

    We should have beaten Chelsea. I expected us to get 4 or 6 points from these 2 games and had the ref done his job and sent Jorginho off we would have done.

    The difference in our play under Arteta to Emery is like night and day. Long may it continue.

    Happy New Year Grovers!

  11. Nelson

    We start to see an identity of our team. Our right back helps out the midfield. Our left FB supports the attack. Two midfielders stay back. One ACM supports the attack.

  12. Crabregas

    What a great half, one of the most enjoyable halves of football by us in absolute years.

    Kola still trying to get himself sent off, James will fall over at every opportunity.

    Interesting to see how the second half plays out but it’s been so refreshing

  13. DUIFG

    Bamford still creaming over emery. Cant see the clear improvements arteta is making.

    Quite a bizarre viewpoint , at least Wenger had the odd trophy to point to for the apologists to hold on to. Emery had a distinct similarity to a Spanish waiter, outside that weird figure to stick your colours to.

  14. Pierre

    Obvious that Arteta is having a positive effect on our players.

    Pepe told to play more conservative and wait for his moment.

    Lacazette has been bloody quality.

    Torreira and Xhaka are a solid partnership.

    I always knew Ozil just needed the right platform to perform and I expect him to be back to his very best within a few weeks.

  15. TR7

    God I wish we win against United for I hate them and it will mean Dissenter doesn’t used the R word for a few weeks. Absolutely intolerable his continuous relegation battle waffle.

  16. Un na naai

    Bamford10January 1, 2020 20:47:31
    Un NaNo, they remain better than us everywhere. But we have shown up and they have not. Kudos to our boys. But this does not for one moment touch what I’ve said about the quality of these two teams. They’ll be 4 points ahead of us even if we win, and that gap will be even wider by season end. Just watch.

    Bam

    Do you want some beans with that waffle?? Wipe the egg off your face and accept you’re wrong for the umpteenth time.
    Emery is nothing more than a skid mark on the underpants of arsenal history and Arteta is the fucking daddy now

    It feels so good to be so right.

  17. PhD2020

    Bamford10January 1, 2020 20:47:31
    Un NaNo, they remain better than us everywhere. But we have shown up and they have not. Kudos to our boys. But this does not for one moment touch what I’ve said about the quality of these two teams. They’ll be 4 points ahead of us even if we win, and that gap will be even wider by season end. Just watch.
    ———-
    Total jerk this Perez Hilton,even on New Year’s day.

    More concerned with being proven right,rather than saying what an upturn in performance from Arsenal..

    Fornicating douche bag ‘ole Perez Hilton…

  18. Un na naai

    Dissenter

    Na I’ll stick with the win thanks
    I’d hoped for a win but this has exceeded my expectations so early for Arteta but I was always of the opinion.l that we should have hired him over emery
    I’m feeling quite smug right now as I expect Pierre CC and Pedro are right now too

  19. Valentin

    HillWood,

    Yesterday I described the most common move that at Lille Galthier had worked for Pepe to score: Jonathan Bamba to go on the byline on the left side cut back to the penalty point for Pepe coming from the right to score.
    Looks like Arteta has decided if I can’t teach Pepe new tricks in two weeks, I am better off using the old tricks he is used to.
    Arsenal keeps using the same ploy of sticking on the left CB Aubameyang to anchor ManUtd right back inside to release Kolasinac on the left go to the byline and cut back to the penalty point.
    OGS will need to change tactically because he is getting schooled.

  20. Ishola70

    Marko
    “I haven’t seen anything special from Xhaka to warrant any special mention.”

    Very clear tactic carrying on from Arteta from the Bournemouth match.

    Xhaka many times is clearly getting out of the road in the central position and positioning himself on the left which allows the CBs primarily Luiz to bring the ball out himself more.

    Been a weakness for Arsenal for a while now. CBs not previously driving forward with the ball themselves because Xhaka was usually there to take it off them short.

  21. Dolomite

    Dont underestimate the confidence and positivity a game like this can generate

    However the best of all is the simple fact that Arteta is THE MAN

    Not a rookie or dud signing.

  22. S Asoa

    Arsenal looks to have flabbergasted ManU playing Emeryball. Backpass, backpass ,and the Nancs got confused which direction to play lol.
    Otherwise can’t explain the 2-0 result of a shitspow.

  23. Lego Hair

    Amazing what an experienced left back and a midfielder that can look after the ball can do to a team.

    If they’d played against Chelsea we’d have won that game and had a lot more of the ball.

  24. Un na naai

    NelsonJanuary 1, 2020 20:55:28
    We start to see an identity of our team. Our right back helps out the midfield. Our left FB supports the attack. Two midfielders stay back. One ACM supports the attack.

    Nelson
    You got the eye son!! Same thing I’m seeing. He will mix it up though I’m sure. This is a young man with big ideas and clearly a big personality too
    We’ve hired a man on the up.
    As Pedro said, king maker.

  25. Valentin

    Bamford is not an Arsenal fan, he is a narcissist with a chip on the shoulder. He is more concerned of being right despite the evidence showing the contrary than Arsenal winning.

  26. Claver

    bennydevito
    Looking good guys. Confidence is looking like it’s returning and Arteta already squirting his sauce on Pepe.

    😂😂There’s something fundamentally wrong with that statement.

  27. Dissenter

    Unai naa
    None of us are responsible for what the Arsenal executives do or don’t do.
    Arteta is the manager now and we all want him to succeed because if he does, we all win.
    I think some of you people trying to prepare the ground for him under-estimated the transformative benefits of a young manager getting his first Arsenal win. That’s why you were being so defeatist with the acceptance of a 2-2 scoreline.

  28. PhD2020

    Left TesticleJanuary 1, 2020 20:59:16
    Who the fuck is Perez Hilton?
    —-
    Bumford..Work out the similarities…??

    Or you can call him Triple S-(Sneerer,Smearer and The Snitch)

  29. WengerEagle

    Would love us to double down and really send a message with a hammering of these cunts but I’d opt for Ishola’s approach, no need for us to force the issue in the second half and play chances into their hands with easy counters.

    We have enough pace ourselves to sit back, absorb and hit on the break.

  30. Marko

    I pray that dissenter doesn’t mention relegation Bamford mention United or Ole and Val doesn’t mention the Lille manager. Please it’s making my ears bleed

  31. PhD2020

    Criticism of Arsenal,we’ve been wasteful in front of goal.Should have been at least 4-0 up.Let’s hope,those chances wasted don’t come back to haunt us in the second half..

  32. S Asoa

    Key today is Lacs neutralizing Fred ?
    Recently he can’t shoot but tackling and hold up is excellent. So utilizes his plus points. Good going Arteta

  33. PhD2020

    Left TesticleJanuary 1, 2020 21:05:01
    PhD,
    Forgive my ignorance but I don’t know who Perez Hilton is.

    Oh he’s some LA Gossip columist/blogger.Really poisonous ,horrible individual.If he doesn’t get his way,he goes all out to smear you and basically destroy your credibility.He has a huge complex problem..Google him and listen to him..Similarities to Bamford are quite striking.. He appeared on some reality show a few years ago..Nasty,spiteful individual..

  34. WengerEagle

    TR7

    Laca is playing very well alright but it’s not enough to just turn up at home the odd time, he’s shockingly poor away from the Emirates and he rarely plays this well even at home.

  35. Paulinho

    Don’t do anything stupid and we should be fine. The likes of Rashford are garbage unless you leave them loads of space, like City did.

    Combative performance more than anything. First goal reminded of some of the classic wide play we saw under Emery with Kolasinac getting in behind 😉

  36. Marko

    Hopefully some of the detractors of Laca will also tone down their criticism of the guy.

    Eh? Sure. Gervinho mark 2 though no way he’s still shit

  37. Bamford10

    PhD

    Can you point out where I have been “nasty” and “spiteful”? Seeing as you say this is a defining feature of my commentary here, you should be full of examples — recent and historical. In truth these words far better describe your bizarre and insult-laden commentary here.

    I may say things that cut across the grain, but I say these things because I believe them to be true, not because I am “nasty” or “spiteful”. In truth I’m a million miles from either of those two things.

    You carry on with your weird campaign, though.

  38. Bamford10

    Ishola

    Not at all. He’s been on the ball a lot, and he is decent on the ball as always, but he holds on to the ball too long and he plays too slowly. They are better, like most teams, when they move the ball more quickly.

  39. TR7

    Marko/Same song

    Regarding Pepe, I have said he is a player who will produce moments in every game but his overall game will leave a lot to be desired. When I call him Gervinho MKII I don’t mean to say he is trash but that he lacks composure and poise real top players have.

    WE

    Laca has been underwhelming away from home and this season he has not been playing well even at home. But he is still a 7/10 striker for me, hearing some of the comments on him from some you would get the impression he were Chamakh MK II.

  40. PhD2020

    Bamford10January 1, 2020 21:17:21
    Can you point out where I have been “nasty” and “spiteful”?

    I may say things that cut across the grain, but I say these things because I believe them to be true, not because I am “nasty” or “spiteful”. In truth I’m a million miles from either of those two things.
    ——-
    Dishonest as well..I see ?

    Let’s just jog your short memory shall we??
    ———-
    Pedro December 22, 2019 19:11:57
    I’ve got Bamford on here after he savaged me to my journalist friends and went onto a rival site to sell the story on Le Grove like some sort of undercover agent.

    ——-
    As you were saying Perez Hilton?Not nasty,nor spiteful,but just an honest guy-non??

    Have a good evening,guy!!!

  41. PieAFC

    Decent performances from AMN at right back. Is this a thing we’re a player, that’s got something there, being coached right can perform…