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”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Paulinho

    Dream10 – Yeah there is something not right there. Seems very indulgent and the height of luxury when teams wake up and start making us work the other way. Lots of talent and technical ability once in and around the box but I don’t see them as a long-term or even medium-term four-ball due to the lack of David Silva type to control the pace and add that nous.

  2. Ishola70

    Un na naai
    ” just calling you out on your bullshit. You claimed he wasn’t suited to the league, wasn’t a dm, that we needed a proper dm, that he wasn’t fit enough to start for emery and that he was better further up the field”

    lol you’re full of the smelly stuff.

    I’ve just told you how he plays the game and you can’t even refute it.

    Just comes out with porky pies.

  3. Lego Hair

    CA serious question. Have you an Ozil looking uncle that was inappropriate with you?

    You really need to stop been so bitter it’s not very becoming.

  4. Bamford10


    That comment doesn’t even make sense. I’m supposed to be irrational because I’m the fan of a particular team? No thanks.

  5. Batistuta

    Good game from granit Xhaka too, but i absolutely love Lucas Torreira, looked dead on his legs and managed to finish the game putting in tackle after tackle, man was everywhere….

    If we can sort out the midfield, get it to protect the defence a little bit more, then we’re onto something

  6. Gentlebris

    ‘Very good game but more importantly, i loved how they attempted to conserve their energy unlike against Chelsea…’

    That really surprised me. I thought they were gone then they suddenly woke up in the last ten minutes, having defended so brilliantly all second half……United saw that and just wished the ref would end the game.

  7. Marko

    Pierre let’s see how long old frog eyes can sustain it for before we think about another contract for the cunt. I say cunt because how he’s played in the last game and a half shouldn’t excuse his abject play and appalling attitude the last 3 seasons. I still see them wanting rid because his wages are a hindrance to ffp and his output still doesn’t warrant keeping him. From what I’ve seen the last couple games from Arteta all I can think of is what he could be capable of doing with someone like Olmo or Rainier or even Buendia and Rabiot or Can and not Özil and Xhaka. Because despite slight improvements we’ve seen all that we can get from them over the last number of years

  8. Un na naai

    field”lol you’re full of the smelly stuff.I’ve just told you how he plays the game and you can’t even refute it.Just comes out with porky pies.

    Ah. Denial. Your old go to when your hoeing predictions and verdicts blow up in your face
    It’s a staple of yours. Anyway, I’m done. Some of us have a business to run

  9. Chika


    “I am quite happy about our beating United”

    After months of dreadful performances, this supposed Arsenal fan is only “quite happy” we put up an impressive performance in out victory over United.

  10. CG

    Let’s Hope Arteta has some of our Wengers FA Cup magic- and wins it for us the 14th time.

    But I suppose that dont count for the Delinquents and Deplorables…its only the oldest Cup tournament in the world after all.

  11. Champagne charlie


    It makes perfect sense. You’re shitting on Arsenal and covering your bases to do so.

    “It was a great effort. But Emery had a good start as well. We just lost to Chelsea the other day. And we started the Arteta era by drawing with a woeful Bournemouth team. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.“

    So Emery had a good start as well (and we should be mindful), but then you retell how we’ve just lost to Chelsea and drew against a “woeful” Bournemouth….so not a good start then?

    Literally every way you slice it you’re angling to stifle us. Proper fan that.

  12. LeMassiveCoq

    Very impressed with Torreria and especially David Luiz today.

    Luiz seems to have suddenly matured into a leader and responsible defender. He speaks highly of Arteta, I can see him being made captain very soon.

    My god i have had so much boooze in the last week or two… perhaps I’m having visions, but for the first time in a long time… I feel positive. Very positive.

    Peace for 2020 all x

  13. Bob N16

    Red, you’re striving so hard to be controversial. The good news is that it’s only a blog so you don’t have to be embarrassed if front of real people.

  14. Nelson

    I think Nelson needs to change the shoe. Two times, he fell down by himself. Also he flew away and lost the ball when someone touched his shoulder. It could also be that he had to recovered from the Chelsea game. Anyway, Pepe has found his footing and he is a much better player skillwise (shooting).

  15. Ishola70


    All I will say is this present Man United are not a team to tie your mast to.

    And they will be absolute crackers if they carry on next season as the little elf as their manager.


  16. Bamford10


    “That really surprised me.”

    You clearly don’t read my commentary. I highlighted this from the outset. That was much of the point of our possessing them to death. (And we were still dog-tired at the end.)

  17. Lego Hair


    If you’ve watched united this season and come to the conclusion you think they’re all that then I’d really hold back claiming you’re a 30 year student of the game.

    Are you blind or stupid?

  18. Nelson

    Luiz gave the pregame talk . He is already acting like a captain. I am also very impressed by the work that Auba put in. He is one of the fittest player in our squad.

  19. Dream10


    The thing is Reiss doesn’t have the explosiveness to beat ppl like Pépé. More of a combination player. Better on the left or at #10. Expect him to start on Monday against Leeds. Hope he does well

  20. Cesc Appeal

    ‘I liked him tonight, but he really, really needs to learn how to use his right foot’


    That left foot is a weapon though.

    There are times I feel he’s slightly too cautious and you just want him to kick on and stretch his legs. Decides to front someone up while stationary as opposed to running them.

    I wonder if Arteta might try out playing him at LW as making him our Sane who is also heavily one footed.

  21. Pierre

    “Torreira clearly presses opponents high, very high, as well as retreats back.”

    When you say he presses opponents very high, are you saying he is higher than Lacazette and Ozil who do the pressing through the middle .

    If Ozil and Lacazette are pressing higher than “very high ” , they would be behind the goal in the north bank.

    So how high is “very high” because I can’t remember Torreira ever being higher than Lacazette or Ozil.

  22. Ishola70

    “Luiz gave the pregame talk . He is already acting like a captain. ”

    He also gave the pre-game talk against Chelsea.

    Auba isn’t a traditional captain.

  23. Gentlebris

    ‘I hope he smashes the door on them- if they intrude into the Locker Room tonight.’

    Hey there mate…….whatever you are high on must be very potent stuff……your dealer is an honest citizen.

    You are sounding like a poet gone mad!

    Happy and healthy new year to you.

  24. Lego Hair


    ‘ That was much of the point of our possessing them to death’

    It’s passing them to death you wanker. It’s not the fucking exorcist.

  25. Paulinho

    Cesc – Ultimately we lack quality all-around the pitch and it shows itself when we have to work harder to progress through the lines. We can’t punish their high press and get them backing off, so they keep going at us, and we keep giving off distress signals when they do.

    Anyway, early days, and we’ll see how it all evolves in the next few months.

  26. Pierre

    “‘I liked him tonight, but he really, really needs to learn how to use his right foot’


    All I can say, good job you wasn’t around when chippy Brady in the team.

  27. Cesc Appeal



    Watching tonight the rumours Arteta wants a RM/LM player start to make sense as he looks for maybe a bit more technical ability outweighed while retaining work rate. Sort of a wide playmaker as opposed to a wide forward type.

  28. Bamford10


    I haven’t concluded that they’re “all that”. I’ve simply concluded that they have more quality and athleticism than we do. That is all.

    And I was using the phrase “posses them to death” throughout the course of the match, so I’m going to stick with it. Thanks for your stylistic advice, though.

  29. Batistuta

    Auba ran all game, his dedication is something that sort of goes silent….He tracked back put in tackles and looked to get involved though I’d rather much prefer him through the middle….Have a feeling he’ll stay though, his body language points to that, especially if he like the rest of the squad fully buy into the Arteta project and i wouldn’t mind one bit to be honest… Not a lot of consistent goal scorers knocking about in Europe these days

  30. PhD2020

    And on New Year’s day,a week back on the blog, suddenly slipping into 3rd/4tbh gear to make it all about the Perez Hilton show…

    Me,me,me..I am right,you will see..Manure are better than us..
    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves..One swallow does not a summer make….Blah,blah,blah..

    Guy,I think you are on the wrong blog..

    Should you not be on the SNP website, stoking up fires about Scotland wanting a referendum for independence?

    Because,that’s all they seem to bang on about every couple of years…

    When really,it’s about me,me,me..I want attention,don’t forget us..Let’s make as much noise as possible to get some attention..Because we can and we will..F**k all else to do..
    Much like yourself…

    Enjoy your New Year dude and give it a rest…zzzzzzz

  31. Habesha Gooner

    The thing that annoys me on le grove is people don’t admit they made mistakes. I thought Emery was a good coach, after the Watford game I had my eyes wide open and I knew I had made a mistake. With arteta too I thought he was too inexperienced. And the world didn’t End. Bamford is now defending United because once he made a mistake of saying Ole was a great coach. Now he has to defend this to his grave. I don’t get it.

  32. Ishola70

    lol Pierre is telling us now that Ozil is Arsenal press man in the middle.

    Fucking lols.

    Pierre don’t get all giddy just because Ozil lasted beyond 60 minutes in this match. Told you before the game Ozil can last out matches at times Arsenal are winning. When the chips are down forget it.

    Torreira hunts the ball Pierre. He will hunt it high, he will hunt it central as well as getting back and defending his own pealty area. I don’t know how many times I have got to fucking say it tbh.

    And shame on you for even bringing Ozil into the debate about effective pressing. lol. Talking about pressing and mentioning Ozil and Torreira in the same sentence.

    You are absolutely shameless. Shameless.

  33. Nelson


    Nelson played better against Chelsea. Today he sucked. Maybe that’s normal for a youngster. He is better than what he showed today.

  34. Batistuta

    Also what are United doing with the whole Pogba situation, thought he played at Watford the other week… They’d be better off selling him and reinvest rather than the sideshow the whole thing is causing them

  35. Ishola70


    “We can’t punish their high press and get them backing off, so they keep going at us, and we keep giving off distress signals when they do.”

    Why can’t we Paulinho?

    Tell us.

  36. Bob N16

    Red, judging from your posts it appears that you’re trying to get a reaction, being ‘controversial’, trying to get a rise. Not sure why you bother. Even if you do get a reaction, it’s from somebody who you you are never going to meet in real life, so it’s some sort of pseudo interaction.

    I genuinely don’t want you to feel bad but wtf!

  37. Gentlebris

    The way Torrey turned and fired a missile from inside four United players, totally taking their goalie out of the equation was for me the cream on the biscuit tonight. Had that ball gone inside the fuckers net…….

  38. LeMassiveCoq


    “Decides to front someone up while stationary as opposed to running them”

    This ^

    He tends to slow the play down. I hope Arteta coaches him into doing everything more quickly. He is basically like Sterling was at Liverpool 6-7 years ago. There is a player in there though..

  39. Paulinho

    Ishola – I’ll let you do the honours.


    Steve Round looked happy after the second goal. I’ve heard he is a bit of a set-piece specialist and he might have had some input on that one.

  40. PhD2020

    You can see the talent in Pepe..Just needs the right coach to fulfill his potential.When to beat the man,when to front the man.Work on his right foot…

    But he has the skills no doubt.I envisaged giving him one season,to get up to speed with the EPL.What with the chopping and changing of coaches,has probably inhibited his development and confidence.

    Let’s not forget,he is young,in a new country,new league,learning a new language.He’s acclimatising as far as I am concerned.And if Arteta is the real deal,I’m expecting Pepe to explode next season..

    One of our better buys this summer window gone by.
    Good performance from him today…
    I’d give him 7.5-8/10..Certainly room for improvement.

  41. Nana Darfour

    “What’s the difference between beating Man Utd 2-0 last season to this season…lol

    “One was a false dawn, the other a genuine start to a prosperous new era…”

    Prophesy man of God!!

  42. Lego Hair


    ‘ And I was using the phrase “posses them to death” throughout the course of the match, so I’m going to stick with it. Thanks for your stylistic advice, though.’

    Just because you used it multiple times during the game doesn’t make it right. Take it from an Englishman you sound like an imposter using a common football phase but getting it wrong.

    You pass a team to death.

    You don’t possession a team to death you mug.

  43. Paul Mc Daid

    Spirit , Workrate,Commitment , Passion were all perfect, Arteta has the place buzzing with the small touches like going to the fans as a team, Crowd are buying into this new approach, Long May it all last.

  44. PhD2020

    MarkoJanuary 1, 2020 23:15:02
    No, I’ve watched most of their matches.

    Like I said not an Arsenal fan more like a United fan who got lost on an Arsenal blog

    Well Perez Hilton did say in his own words-” He took twenty years to find a club??


  45. Valentin


    You are making Pierre look like the sane with your incessant obsession with Özil. Were you ever abused by somebody who look like Özil, because Everybody not blinded by hate could see that he had a great game. Also he kept running all game. Closing down players until the last minute.

    Same with Torreira who kept tackling players on the edge of our penalty box. Hardly very high. Emery misused Torreira because he setup the team incorrectly. Arteta is just making the correct adjustment.

  46. Edu me a favour

    When players buy into a manger and his philosophy – the result is Ozil looking outstanding- Torreira becoming a beast and David luiz taking control of the team and acting like a fucking warrior – laca displaying some world class intensity and hold up play – I’m over the moon with the rest of the team also

    We were that good that we stifled United – I don’t buy into them being poor one bit – we were just that good – the best teams nullify and stop other teams acting out their game plan it’s very very simple

    Posters seriously dressing up United as being poor just to prove some kind of weird point LOL

  47. Dream10

    Pépé won’t start every match because if he isn’t confident,.his intensity and power isn’t there. Nelson/Aubameyang/even Willock will start on the right. We could with a creator down the side like Buendia/Ikoné or a CM that can play wide like Parlour/AMN/Milner.

  48. Henry Root

    For the avoidance of doubt if Emery had stayed until the end of the season we would have been relegated. He was as big a disaster as Ospina was in goal and Corbyn is as leader of the Labour Party.
    Arteta is several classes better as a coach. This club has hope again!

  49. Ishola70


    Torreira does three times the running of Ozil even on an Ozil good night.

    To talk about these players in terms of effective press in the same sentence is ridiculous.

  50. Alexanderhenry

    Well done arsenal.

    Much, much better. More shape, purpose, energy and Pepe showing some raw talent.

    First arsenal game I’ve genuinely enjoyed for a very long time.

  51. PhD2020

    Lego HairJanuary 1, 2020 23:26:28
    Blindfold‘ And I was using the phrase “posses them to death” throughout the course of the match, so I’m going to stick with it. Thanks for your stylistic advice, though.

    ’Just because you used it multiple times during the game doesn’t make it right. Take it from an Englishman you sound like an imposter using a common football phase but getting it wrong.You pass a team to death.You don’t possession a team to death you mug.


    Why are you arguing with -“The student of the game of 30 years!!”

    He knows best….

    The oracle..


  52. Edu me a favour

    I posted a comment on YouTube the other day on a vid previewing the game – united fans commented on it so much I had to delete it to stop getting notifications- they were all telling me how much that United team OGS fielded we’re going to rip us to shreds – that’s how confident they were – Telling me how bad our midfield was and laughing at luiz one guy said “ohhhh we’re so scared of arteta the tactical genius “

    I wish I didn’t delete it now but hey ho

  53. Ishola70


    You are yet another who wants to get a cheap shot in against Emery.

    Torreira presses high up as well as central and defends his own penalty area.

    The poor little fucker was sucking on an energy supplement that was given to him in the last quarter of the match tonight.

    He hunts the fucking ball. For the trillionth time.

  54. azed

    Mesut Ozil covered the most distance of any Arsenal player against Man United.

    ✅ Most he’s run in a match in 2 years

    ✅ Ozil won possession back 10 times, more than any other Arsenal player.

  55. Emiratesstroller

    The game against Chelsea started well, but we ran out of puff after 45 minutes and started making silly mistakes, which cost us the game.

    Tonight we played very well in first half of game and could easily have been three or four goals up by half time.

    Once again the performance declined in the second half, but on this occasion we managed to hold onto the lead. Let us hope that this is the start of better things to come.

    I don’t care what has been said about Ozil. He was excellent tonight and what is
    clear is that he is at least now making an effort and is motivated. Whatever else he brings football intelligence to the team.

    Similarly I thought that Torreira was excellent tonight. It is clear that Emery was clueless in how to bring out the best performance in this player. Even Xhaka looked better tonight.

    Listening to the end game interviews of Messrs Sokratis, Luiz and Arteta it is
    abundantly clear that Arsenal’s team have been short of match fitness and motivation for most of this season.

    Personally I think that Arteta is the right choice as Head Coach. He knows what he is doing. That has been missing for a very long time.

  56. Cesc Appeal


    We need him to add that because he looks like the best dribbler in the team. There were several times we won the ball and broke and you just wanted to push the ball forward and really sprint. He sort of does that thing where he micro touches the ball about 100 times and then faces his marker up as opposed to a little step over or what have you and trying to skip by him.

  57. Leedsgunner

    Happy new year Arsenal FC and to the crazy Grovers on here.

    What an excellent New Years gift.

    Just one step, but a step in the right direction.

  58. Valentin


    “If the players are not fit, it down to them mailing it in.”

    So the bad result is never the coach’s fault?

    If all the players were all mailing it, then ask yourself why? The fact that the entire team would be mailing it should be proof enough that Emery had to go.

    What is more likely that the entire team just mailed it or that the previous training regime is not adapted to the current coach style?

    Like I keep repeating different managers have different demands. Did it not occur to you that Maybe Emery wanted his team to be fit to run 11 km per game and strong men (a la Nonzi) while Arteta wants them to run 13km and be mobile but with strong upper body strength a la Gündogan. The difference in requirements would result in different training regime and the previous regime would be unsuited to Arteta’s requirements. The team would therefore not be fit enough for his requirements.

  59. PhD2020

    AlexanderhenryJanuary 1, 2020 23:30:55
    Well done arsenal.Much, much better. More shape, purpose, energy and Pepe showing some raw talent.First arsenal game I’ve genuinely enjoyed for a very long time.
    For once,we seemed more purposeful,more energtic,driving forward,with shape and organisation as you said.

    One thing,we have always been,is profligate in front of goal.
    That needs to change.Also, need to be consummate masters in closing out games,especially when we are performing at optimum levels.More disciplined in defense.

    And lastly,more goals coming from set pieces..

    Liking the one-two touches driving forward..

  60. Ishola70

    I think people are getting a little confused.

    Everbody was happy with Ozil tonight.

    What gets ridiculous though is hearing he is now an Arsenal effective pressing midfielder along with Lucas Torreira.

  61. Valentin


    There is no point in having a discussion with you. Like Bamford, You are another one of those who once he has have his mind refuse to acknowledge any facts that point in a different direction.

    Özil was lazy, did not defend from the front and had a bad game.
    Stats that Özil ran more than any Arsenal players and that he recovered the ball than anybody else are just discarded.

  62. TheLegendaryDB10

    I am buzzing… beating Manure makes up for losing to Chelski….

    Now this is the game to build our confidence on.

    We are slowly heading in the right direction. Come on Arteta!!!! Come on The Arsenal!!!

  63. PhD2020

    WengerEagleJanuary 1, 2020 23:48:45
    What’s happened to all of the MOTD commentators.Literally all women now, fuck me turning into The View.
    Perez Hilton would feel right at home then…

    I guess,when it comes to the time of the month,they will all synchronise together..

  64. Ishola70

    “What’s happened to all of the MOTD commentators.Literally all women now, fuck me turning into The View.”

    BBC “woke” in full effect.

  65. azed

    So the bad result is never the coach’s fault?


    I’m pretty sure at the start of the season, I said Emery would be responsible for the results this season.

    Ozil ran almost 12km tonight for the first time in two years ( Emery wasn’t manager for two years)

    You are the one who said Emery under trained the players and I called you out on that bullshit.

  66. Dream10

    Wenger eagle

    We.might have ffp issues, so we’ll probably need to make space. Mavropanos, Sniff Rowe, Nelson, Willock, Nketiah. Some of the team will be on the move. Would like two dribblers who can play the hleb, Nasri, Rosicky roles in the half-space. Or some sort of progressive players.

    We’ll buy one CB, loan two at the maximum

  67. azed

    There is no point in having a discussion with you. Like Bamford, You are another one of those who once he has have his mind refuse to acknowledge any facts that point in a different direction.


    You mean made up “facts” by you?

  68. Ishola70

    Cesc Appeal
    “How great when the BBC ‘wakes’ up to the removal of the licence fee obligations.”

    Coming to a town near you soon.

    People will lokk back at this time in the future and laugh about the BBC licence fee like they do now about the past window tax. “Daylight robbery”

    Got to love Russian websites really. Live HD games and HD replay of matches for the 90 minutes. All the big leagues. All the matches.

  69. PhD2020

    Ishola70January 2, 2020 00:00:39
    Cesc Appeal
    Got to love Russian websites really. Live HD games and HD replay of matches for the 90 minutes. All the big leagues. All the matches.
    Do you have some of those links for the 90 minute replay matches?

    I had a few,but they seem to have gone amiss…

  70. azed

    Last season Arsenal players ran the most in EPL, folks like Valentin complained that Emery was over training the players

    Now Arteta wants them to run more, the story is Emery under trained them not Arteta over training them.

    Talk about double standards.

  71. Valentin


    Another one.
    Don’t like the facts. Scream Fuck the facts or that the facts are lying or accuse people who point the facts that they must have made up those facts…

    I said that this team was not fit to play 90 minutes at Arteta high intensity style. You did not like that comment.
    Start by Arguing against it. Once coach and players make the same statement, change story.
    Now argue that was the fault of the players.
    Argue that Özil was lazy.
    Facts show that he ran more than anybody else.
    Try to divert from that by smearing people.

    Was that made up?

  72. Nelson

    We have discovered one thing tonight. Pepe should be taking all free kicks and corner kicks. Pepe can deliver a strike while most players kick a curve ball. With a strike, any deflection of the ball could be deadly (like the second goal). With a curve ball, it benefits those tall defenders.

    Shit. I am talking baseball now.

  73. azed


    See your post

    Last season Emery overtrained and overused the same players resulting in injuries during the winter month.
    This year, he changed the conditioning to a lower regime and the result is that the players are 70 minutes players. Past the 80 minutes mark, they all suffers from cramps and can’t run. That was already the case when Emery was still here. Today we could see that Saka could not run. The fact that a 18 years old boy can be over ridden of cramp when his much older direct opposite winger is still running is entirely due to poor conditioning.
    Team like Burnley run more on average than Arsenal yet none of their players collapse after 70 minutes.
    Arteta will need 4~6 weeks to have his change fully integrated by the squad but he will also have to change the training regime.
    Emery has really left us a complete mess.

  74. Valentin


    “Last season Arsenal players ran the most in EPL”.

    Another made up facts.
    Go do the premiership website or to any football stats, you will find that Arsenal did not run the most last season. They run the most the first half of the season before collapsing.

    Still don’t get the concept of conditioning.
    You start by conditioning players before the season. Hence the term pre-season. You then reduce their work load in order to keep them at the same level of fitness.
    Any coach making the same number of sessions in November than at the beginning will see a drop in performance and an increase in injuries later the year. Especially because the EPL does not have a winter break. This is exactly what Arsenal experienced.

    Said so that last year before it became an issue. Got lambasted for it, until Emery confirmed that they had to adjust the training regime.

  75. Valentin


    Glass house…

    The only fact that anybody has agreed about you is that you are a nasty idiot with the reasoning capacity of a child.

  76. Marko

    Val you’re a lying little shit who when he gets challenged on his lies has the audacity to play victim and call them facts. Own them learn humility and people wouldn’t give two shits about arguing with you all the time.

  77. PhD2020

    Nice start to the New Year with a better performance from Arsenal today,albeit against a poor Manure as compared with the previous(Manure) teams of yesteryear.

    Hope some of the Manc City IP tactics,strategy,training,etc,etc rubs off on our players going forward.

    Then come the end of the season,we can form our short term analysis, of where the issues are and /or who defecated on our doorstep with the ensuing problems over the last two seasons.

  78. azed

    Let me your post little by little

    Last season Emery overtrained and overused the same players resulting in injuries during the winter month.
    This year, he changed the conditioning to a lower regime and the result is that the players are 70 minutes players. Past the 80 minutes mark, they all suffers from cramps and can’t run.

    This winter, we’ve lost Kolasinac, Tierney and Chambers to injury.

    If the injuries were caused by over training last season, what has caused the injuries this season?

  79. azed

    Why do footballers get cramp?

    For overweight Sunday League players, a lack of fitness would be seem to be the obvious cause, but why do super fit professional footballers also suffer with the same problem?

    It’s a question we decided to put to Southampton’s director of performance, Mo Gimpel, to find out the answer once and for all so you don’t have to experience it again.

    The evidence still isn’t clear; people get cramp for a variety of reasons. The first place I’d look at is salt – how much salt are you sweating out during games? We had players in the past – Adam Lallana was one of them – who sweated a lot of salt. It took us a while to get on top of it but we added a little salt to his pre-match drink and it sorted it out. Taste your sweat – if it tastes salty you’re probably a salty sweater.”

    Good tip, but what if we’re not salty sweaters?

    “Sometimes, simple things like tie-ups around boots, socks and shin-pads, can cause cramp. You need to check and see how much constriction there is. You may need to just make a simple change before a game like stretching your socks before you play or loosening up your tie-ups. The other factor is that you might be unfit or unconditioned for the game. Players cramp up in extra-time because their bodies just aren’t used to playing for 120 minutes.

    Is it something that just affects older players?

    “Not necessarily. You find some young players go through a phase when they just cramp up for no particular reason. Players between the ages of 17 and 21 can often go through this and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason for it. They can suffer with it for a few years and then they just grow out of it.”

  80. azed


    See what a professional says about young players getting cramps?

    Was Chambers injury caused by over training?

    Can you point out the injuries last season that were caused by over training?

    You say lots of bullshit without facts when called to prove it, you try to dribble your way around it.

  81. RodneyKing


    “ 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.”

    December 28, 2019 15:06:20

    “If it’s all down to the players, I’m afraid Chelsea may have a rather comfortable game against us. Our midfield is not exactly a match for theirs.

    However, it may turn out to be a battle of wits between both managers and Arteta may come out on top – just like Lampard did vs Mourinho.

    On the other hand, I very much fancy our chances against Man Utd. But of course, I’d be happy if we won both games. “

    That’s what I posted before the Chelsea game. Not saying that I’m always spot on, but Chelsea are arguably better than both Man Utd and us. And Man Utd have been as poor all season as they were today so I was rather confident we’d win, considering our recent performances against them.

  82. azed


    I know but you can bet your mortgage that if Emery was in charge, Valentin would have found a way to blame Emery for it.

    He’s already blaming Emery for Saka’s cramp when there are numerous players

  83. PhD2020

    Oh by the way Happy New Year to you Pedro..

    Much appreciated for your efforts in duly bringing content to us masses through fair or foul means… 🙂

    Much credit,long may your blog continue.And let’s hope your home banker and unconditional support for Arteta comes through..

    All the best going forward..

    Despite our run-ins over the past decade,I’m sure somewhere along the lines, there was some mutual understanding and appreciation for what either party was trying to convey.
    Either way,all the best in your future endeavours..

  84. azed

    He’s already blaming Emery for Saka’s cramp when there are numerous players in the EPL the suffer from cramps once in a while.

    “Midfielders Rodri and David Silva were also substituted but the City boss said that was just “cramps and tiredness”.”


    Was Emery also responsible for the cramps suffered by City players or were they under trained?

  85. PhD2020

    Bamford10December 27, 2019 06:38:00
    Arsenal will lose to both Chelsea and United and will be in 12th place — and 6 points off of Wolves and 8th place on January 2nd. I wish it were otherwise, but Chelsea and United are both much better than we are and other teams are going to pick up points in the meantime.
    Another bang on a prediction from ‘The Student of the Game of 30 years!!”


    Perez Hilton stick to Geopolitics.Much prefer your commentary on that..
    No comment Perez Hilton?

  86. Champagne charlie

    Fuck me sideways this was a cathartic win, seeing the outpour on social media from fans is heartwarming.

    Seems everyone is drinking in what Arteta is saying and it’s clean slates for all, togetherness, and appreciating we’ve made improvements at the start of a long road.

    Quality stuff, what being a fan is all about. Finally got some optimism to get drunk on again. The road to EL glory this season has begun.

  87. Dissenter

    To whom it may concern/ the dude surprised about the transformative power of a victory.
    That’s why we were pining for an outright win
    This team, club and manager needed a win to exorcize the demons. We can go into the brief lull with a different vibe around the club.

  88. Cesc Appeal

    Great hearing Arteta recognise just how good Torreira has been.

    Do wonder what he means by saying Torreira now ‘understands the whole picture better’. It can’t really be his tactics as Torreira has been the best performer over the 3 games so maybe an EPL comment? About his place and how to work in his role in this league?

  89. PhD2020

    Champagne charlieJanuary 2, 2020 01:08:12

    Fuck me sideways this was a cathartic win, seeing the outpour on social media from fans is heartwarming.

    Yeah,that’s because when you’ve been fed pigeon droppings for nigh on a decade.Suddenly now, you’re being served -with what appears to be venison on NYD,albeit the intestines of venison -which happens to warm the hearts and minds a bit of a starved Arsenal populace.

    Let’s temper the euphoria a bit.And see how the season pans out somewhat.

    Then,from there,we can see how far we have come(if that),where our deficiencies are and how we go forward in pushing ahead too where we need to be as a top flight club.

  90. Champagne charlie


    Who is surprised about the transformative nature of a win like that?

    A win isn’t just a win, the manner of victory at this early stage is incredibly important for galvanising the belief in what Arteta is bringing to the table.

    All things that have been noted by many whilst some bellends have gone on about relegation, know what I mean?

  91. Sid

    Good game to the Arsenal
    I have to add Man u really struggle against mid and lower table teams but have done well against top 6 teams lol!

  92. bennydevito

    Well I’m pretty chuffed. I had a feeling we’d beat them today and thought we played great.

    In the 3 games under Arteta so far we’re showing immediate signs of improvement, especially in our overall defensive shape and that is exactly what I wanted post Wenger.

    I had no particular preference but favoured Ancelotti out of the rumoured names at the time and didn’t fancy Arteta at all at the time.

    I think anyone taking over from Wenger would have been under immense pressure and Arteta was just too green at the time. I think in a weird way Emery has done us a favour because it allowed Arteta to really hone his skills under Guardiola, he blooded a lot of our youngsters and our squad is now clear on its strengths and weaknesses.

    New year, new decade, new manager, new Arsenal. Let’s draw a line under Wenger and Emery, stop trying to one up each other on who was right and who was right first and get behind Arteta and OUR Arsenal.

    Let’s banish talk of Wenger and Emery to the past now and focus on moving forward. We’re only 9pts off Chelsea in 4th, and whilst I think expecting Arteta to get 4th this season is unrealistic, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. We also have the FA Cup and EL to play for so there’s plenty to be positive about and with Arteta in charge I’m excited about our future again.

  93. PhD2020

    I certainly think Torreira has been told what his best position is.
    Reverted back to what he does best.A testament to that, was his performances against Chelsea and especially today against Manure.

    I was really impressed with his performance today. Loved his turn inside the box, where his shot was just wide of the post.
    His inceptions, running, and awareness overall.8-9/10 for me.

    Certain players within the team, playing as a collective and playing their roles-the majority of them anyway.

    I’d liked to see this on a more consistent level for the rest of the season..

    But playing smart, in order to conserve energy has to also be a key factor going forward,along with Arteta’s in game management if we are going to try and salvage the season and end up with something meaningful..

    Plus investing in some kind of street fighting approach, tactical rotational fouling would be another facet to our game.Every little bit helps,to make us a tough team to battle with and win points against.
    The devil is in the details…

    A tall ask..But we’ve got five months(till May),to see how this pans outs under Arteta..

    Fingers crossed…

  94. Sid

    Nicolas Pépé’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:

    100% pass accuracy
    100% passes in opp.half
    50 touches
    16 total duels
    6 recoveries
    4 take-ons completed
    4 chances created
    2 aerials won
    2 shots
    1 goal

  95. PhD2020

    SidJanuary 2, 2020 01:44:46
    Nicolas Pépé’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:100% pass accuracy
    100% passes in opp.half
    50 touches
    16 total duels
    6 recoveries
    4 take-ons completed
    4 chances created
    2 aerials won
    2 shots
    1 goal

    This dude can become a legend for us.Under the right tutelage..
    Just be patient with him..

    I’ve always said this..

  96. Dissenter

    A win can change the tone from the ‘R’ word to things that we can only dare to believe. Happy players translate to all sorts of good things.
    I wasn’t championing relegation, just worried that having that looming in the background makes it more difficult for a new manger trying to do big things.

  97. PhD2020

    I think Jose is going to bomb at Spurs.Not going to end well.
    He’s lost his sheen it seems.Just a matter of time before he alienates the players,the hierarchy et al.

  98. bennydevito

    Just watched again on motd and we could have been 6 nil up at half time. Aubameyang, Lacazette, Torreira missed chances and Pepe hit the post. We were excellent in the first half, absolutely excellent.

  99. Champagne charlie

    “The sneerer and smearer (Mark II) suddenly back tracks..
    Wait for, it was only ‘banter’ remark..“


  100. Dissenter

    I’m looking forward to your post tomorrow.
    It does feel like operation Arteta is taking off

  101. Pedro

    Dissenter, I know people think the Arteta thing was an ego trip, but it was purely about a better Arsenal. I think he’s the guy. Can’t wait to have an exciting narrative

  102. Champagne charlie


    Such a shift in outlook. Bumps ahead for sure, but with this sort of excitable undercurrent amongst the fan base/club it’s not going to plunge the place into darkness. The plan is there, the vision is clear.

    Interested to hear/see what comes of this meeting Arteta has scheduled with Edu/Raul end of the week over loans/transfers.

  103. PhD2020

    Champagne charlieJanuary 2, 2020 02:55:09
    The plan is there, the vision is clear.

    It seems that way..
    Let’s hope,it translates into something long term with tangible results and with the backing of that questionable hierarchy.

    Want to see us being proactive for once,both on the field and off the field.

    Tired off playing catch up and just doing enough to consolidating whatever position we find ourselves in, to qualify for a European slot.

    Want to see the total eradication of the baby creche culture.
    Everyone fights for their place on merit.Not based on loyalty to the cause.

    Want to see a cut-throat environment-you slack,you are out or benched.

    No more kisses and cuddles after a defeat,or a draw, especially against lowly opposition.And no more celebrating at the end of a season,when finishing top 4,like we have just won the EPL..

    And no more, entering the CL, just to be happy to get knocked out of the last 16, to rinse and repeat the next year..

    Sick of that culture..

    A tall order for Arteta to turn around over the coming years.
    But this season and the next,will give some likely indication of what is to come.And the direction we are heading in.

  104. 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.

  105. 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”

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. 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

  110. 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!

  111. 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.