Mikel Arteta has players rocking in stunning victory

by & filed under News Review.

Mikel Arteta and his players launched 2020 by rocking The Emirates to its foundations with a brilliant evening of intense football. Arsenal kept a clean sheet, locked United out of the game for 90 minutes, and scored two brilliant goals to gift us a vitally important 3 points.

The game was so good, I don’t actually know where to start, but the line-up would be handy. We really weren’t in good shape with our starting 11. Kola had to be drafted back lacking fitness, we started Pepe who has been under a lot of criticism, and we had to roll with a group of players that have slugged it out hard over the past 3 games. One thing was for sure, there wasn’t much conservatism, Arteta went for it.

It didn’t make a difference, most considered the Chelsea game a great performance with a poor result. The football was at the right level of intensity, and so it continued. The main difference in this game was United didn’t have the same quality in midfield, so it was a little easier for Arsenal to control the game. I was interested to see how Kola would operate, we know he often leaves the defence exposed with his runs, last night, Granit Xhaka would regularly drop into the left-back role to cover him defensively, or to drop him to give him freedom offensively / allow him time to pick out passes.

Our first goal came from his run. He had a one-two with Auba, pushed into the box, his low cross squirmed out of a melee of 6 United players falling to Pepe who swept home. The lid blew off the stadium, everyone in the ground is so desperate for Pepe to be a thing, that was a great start to the night for him.

The half was dominated by great Arsenal chances. Pepe found Auba at the back post, his bicycle kick was skewed over. Torreira danced through the United defence to squeeze a shot just wide. Lacazette outmuscled Maguire and uncharacteristically pushed his shot wide from 6 yards. The closest came after we’d forced De Gea into an error, Pepe picked up the loose ball on the edge of the area and rattled the post.

We did make the pressure count. Pepe rattled a corner at the front post, Lacazette wasn’t tracked, he nodded the ball on, Sokratis bullied his way to the ball and roofed it.

The pace in the game did start to dip a fraction on 40 minutes again, but I still felt we were in control. My worry was that United had planned for us to start strong and fade, with the hope of picking us off in the second half. We did drop physically in the second half, but it felt like we had more of a plan to absorb the pressure. We sat a little more deep, forcing United to try and play football, and we attempted to pick them off on the counter.

What I loved to see was the compactness of the defence. We were nice and narrow, there was aways two midfielders protecting the back four, and we were aggressive. The players wanted the result, and they wanted the clean sheet.

We had some chances in the second half, Mesut Ozil played a defence-splitting pass that was stunning over to Auba who couldn’t link up well enough with Lacazette. We closed the game out well, limiting United to long shots and diving for penalties. Saka, Nelson and MG gave us some more energy late on to see the game out.

It ended 2-0. The fans stayed behind the congratulate the players who’d gathered in the centre spot with the manager. A brilliant show of unity. The last 18 months have been forgotten, a new decade, a new coach, and a new benchmark for how we play the beautiful game.

So what did we learn?

Coaching

Arteta has lived up to the coaching hype even after 2 weeks. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he was more than the cone boy at Manchester City now. He’s taken players that most fans had totally written off and turned them into beasts. The squad is a long way from Liverpool’s, no doubt, but too many people let Emery off the hook by stating the players we have at the club couldn’t be moved forward.

David Luiz was an absolute monster, he looked a £50m centre back out there last night. He was everywhere, strong in the challenge, he was coaching the kids, he was actually celebrating good passes between players during the game with fist bumps. He was immense versus Chelsea, even better last night.

Granit Xhaka was right up there with man of the match plaudits. His game was impeccable. He was measured, thoughtful, and disciplined all night. For a man that had one foot out the exit door, he sure didn’t play like it, a total professional.

Mesut Ozil has rightly rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, but here we are, game 3, and he’s still putting in a dirty shift at the office. He worked like a dog, he ran further than any Arsenal player, and he made a huge difference. He made a 10 ball recoveries, which shows he’s paying attention and engaged. That’s all we ask for, it’s great to see him back enjoying a type of football many said he couldn’t play.

Lacazette didn’t land a goal, but he put in a workman like shift upfront. Auba, considering he’s looking to move, looked very much into the game. Nicolas Pepe showed us a glimpse of his talent. He had an incredibly productive day and banged out a shift. It was a pleasure to watch him.

Identity

There was so much debate about how long it’d take a good coach to give a club an identity when Emery was here, but look where we are now, 3 games in and we’re an aggressive possession-based football team that loves to attack. It’s not perfect, but we’re well on our way to unlocking a lethal front line of talented players. The Arsenal way we thought we lost is here, and we didn’t need to spend £400m to get there.

Defence

Defence is always about the collective. For too long we’ve focused on it being about individual greatness because there’s never been a collective system. That’s all changed now. Arteta looks to have focused on creating a solid foundation more than anything. Everyone had clear roles and responsibilities, the positioning is absolutely clear, and the whole team works to get the ball back.

The pressing is unbelievable. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Everyone aggressively hunting the ball down in packs. Lucas Torriera was a machine last night, the guy was literally everywhere. Why? Because he has a system that allows him to be that player.

The Stadium

I’ve not been as much as I used to over the past few years, but I’ve been to big games and felt the misery. That atmosphere last night was something else. The players created a reason for the fans to care. They were brutal, intense and they wanted to win. We reacted to it. We sang all game, stayed until the end, and made The Emirates the sort of place you’d want to sit in on a cold night in January. We finally have something to believe in, and it’s exciting.

Moving forward

I didn’t expect a win, so we’re ahead of schedule in my head. Now we have a bit of breathing space. Unfit players can get some energy back in their legs, injured players can return to stock the bench, and Arteta and his coaching staff can continue to develop their ideas. The next two months are about laying the foundations for an attack on the Europa League, but interestingly, if we can find some form in the Premier League, we might be able to have a crack at the top 4. We’re 9 points off Chelsea who are desperately inconsistent, we’re within 4 points of United, and 3 points of Spurs. I’d rather not be in Europa, but Champions League would give us a tremendous financial opportunity this summer. All very exciting.

The road ahead will be bumpy, there is lots to do, but we can rest assured the club has made a stunning decision to hire Mikel Arteta. Next season is going to be special, but first, let’s see where this one takes us.

 

629 Responses to “Mikel Arteta has players rocking in stunning victory”

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  1. GillespieRoadNoMore

    ManUre were awful but seeing the passion and application on the pitch was a joy, Arteta is making a difference already

  2. GillespieRoadNoMore

    ManU were garbage but that doesn’t detract from seeing the passion and application across the entire team, they look like they are enjoying the Arteta reboot, looking forward to better times ahead under the direction of Mikel A.

  3. Romford Pele

    Great piece Pedro. Fantastic performance and you’ve seen good soundbites in all of Arteta’s game.

    Will take time to get everyone up to scratch to the physical intensity he requires but you can definitely see the direction we’re heading in.

  4. Romford Pele

    Everyone keeps saying United are poor. 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.

  5. DM

    Well Pedro, you’ve been calling for Arteta for long enough and so far so good! Delighted at our performances so far, and they’ve improved game on game. The only one I didn’t think did well last night was Nelson when he came on – and that’s if I’m really being critical.

    And Arteta is pure class off the pitch, too. His interviews… Wow. He literally oozes class.

  6. Leftfootcurler

    The players are not very good actually.
    What Mikel Arteta is doing,how he is getting us to play, no manager in the world can do what he has done in such a short time.
    Not Pep,Klopp,Poch,Conte,Simeone…none.
    Arsenal are pretty much perfect tactically.
    I think if we had better personnel and if Arteta rotated more,we could still get in top 4.
    Arteta is going to be a GOAT.

  7. Danny

    Pedro
    January 2, 2020 11:40:08
    Danny, yellow card.
    Brilliant goals.
    —————
    Yes sir, three bags full sir!!

  8. Kay

    United weren’t poor me thinks.

    We totally outplayed them and even in the 2nd half I thought we knew what we were doing w.r.t shut it and counter.

    Immense win and we need to carry on this form into the next 3 pl games which are massive for our top4 prospects this season.

    Screw fa cup.
    Just concentrate on the pl and europa. Get CL somehow someway and we are all laughing.

    Buzzing after 10 yrs finally.

  9. Jamie

    Tremendous result!

    Torreira played like the baller I hoped he would be last night.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if we can maintain this level of intensity, this season is far from a write-off.

    It’ll be great to get some injured players fit again for the business end of the Europa League. Imagine Arteta bags a European trophy in his first [half] season in charge!

    Stop it, Jamie. One game at a time, you idiot.

  10. Graham

    Such a turnaround from last March when we were beaten 2 0 at home by Utd.

    A point at Bournemouth compared to our defeat last year and a narrow home defeat to Chelsea when compared to the 5 0 home defeat last year.

    The turnaround from Emery is astonishing.

  11. BacaryisGod

    I already said I was on the Arteta train, Pedro. But you’re really laying it on a bit thick with your setting extremely low expectations yesterday then over-hyping a home win against an awful United side in this post.

    Simply put, we won a game yesterday that we should have won. Arteta is far more inspirational than Emery ever could be but let’s take a reality check. He’s 3 games into his managerial career at Arsenal. We need to look at what he does this season to get a sense of where the club may he headed. Even if we slump this season, he should still be given plenty of time to mound this team in the way he needs. Let’s not forget that the team has some fantastic performances under Emery too but he never fully won the players over.

    Arteta might have that magic touch but for everyone’s sake, let’s not overreact to one good result against an average team.

  12. Kay

    Props to you Pedro for bringing all us into the Arteta bandwagon.
    Was very much sceptical but I like what I see.

    However want to be a bit cautious and show consistency which chelsea, spuds and Utd lack.
    For once, would want to see us capitalize on the mistakes of our rivals.

  13. Edu me a favour

    “” Everyone keeps saying United are poor. 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.””

    Exactly

    Our game plan stifled theirs it’s as simple as that

    We made them look poor

  14. Danny

    A worry is how in both games against Chelsea and Man U, is how we start the 2nd half so weakly, as if we’re inviting the opposition to have a go. Hopefully Arteta will sort this out.

  15. DivineSherlock

    Make no mistake this is how you play with whatever cards you have and win . This is management . Arteta after knowing everything about our squad , dished out the best plan to win , the players executed it well. All our weaknesses were not so apparent yesterday. Teamwork . Great great game.

  16. Romford Pele

    Danny – it’s not that we’re starting the second half weakly. As the CBs and Arteta both said in the post-match press conference, at the moment we don’t have the energy levels to play that high intensity press for 90 mins. It will take a while to come.

    You also need to remember we’ve just played 3 games in 6 days over a heavy congested xmas period with no break. Fatigue is only natural.

  17. CG

    Stunning PerfoRmance
    Stunning Summation by PedRo.

    I will off course report back- when my flight lands in Port Elizabeth.

  18. Champagne charlie

    United lacked a bit of quality in the final third but any stuff about them being poor is a real underplaying of our doggedness and tenacity off the ball. We didn’t let them breathe.

    As Romford rightly points out, this 3 game stretch from Arteta in 6 days has given cause for so much hope in the long term. Issues are being addressed, and a system/approach being developed where good players look much better because (to steal words from Mikel himself) of the ‘comfort’ it affords them.

    I love Arteta’s philosophy, his detail oriented nature, and the symbiotic portion he so readily understands as being important to great team play. I’m left with very little vague hopes that this or that is being covered by the man in charge because he’s incredibly honest and transparent in what his beliefs are for the club, the players, the team. He’s brilliant to listen to, totally understand why he was close to the gig last time.

    There’s hurdles to overcome and new tasks he’ll be leading for the first time like recruitment – which will be a big one in the summer. But my word if you’re not looking at Arsenal with new life I’m not sure why you bother frankly. There’s electricity about the place, and here’s hoping we do all the right things to harness it.

  19. Romford Pele

    Good post CC.

    It’s a shame that the options that were on the bench last night weren’t available against Chelsea. Would’ve been much easier to manage the game out.

  20. China1

    @ Receding

    October match against Spurs his heatmap was hugging the fucking touchline dude and peppered with loads of spots all around the opposition boxPlease stop reaching because you’re coming across as a proper Bamford about this

    China1January 2, 2020 11:59:08
    1st of October 2019 draw with utdCheers

    China1January 2, 2020 12:03:58
    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 gotWhich 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

  21. HighburyLegend

    A stunning victory, probably.
    But let’s not forget that before Pepe’s goal, our lack of confidence was pretty obvious, we were lost on the pitch.
    If Yoonited had scored the first goal, not sure that we would have been able to react.

  22. China1

    I think the next match is a big test for arteta because getting the starting 11 firing is only part of the task. He needs to manage their fitness levels properly with this higher intensity and that’s likely going to need careful rotation that can still get results.

    Based on his cautiousness about making subs in the first two games I’m wary that he may pick his strongest team each weak. It’s a test of his ability for sure, especially with injuries

  23. Champagne charlie

    “It’s a shame that the options that were on the bench last night weren’t available against Chelsea. Would’ve been much easier to manage the game out.“

    True, though I said post-Chelsea that what we we was good and hopefully we understand that, learn from it, and apply it in the next one.

    Well….. didn’t we just, and how satisfying is that to witness? There was a flaw in the previous game, we executed the good parts against a top 6 side again, but visibly changed tact when we knew we were entering a low power mode.

    It’s class coaching, but as much a testament to the players being so readily available to absorb the info and apply it. That echoes Luiz’s statement about believing in what you’re doing and being happy. It feels like a puzzle (getting us to our best) everyone is keen to figure out, and that’s a fantastic thing to witness.

  24. Un na naai

    Ah the feel good factor is in full swing. Unless you’re Bamford or Hairline.

    What a night of football
    The crowd were excellent. Had the tv up and you could hear the stadium across the fields surrounding my place.
    I don’t think the road will be that bumpy though. I think we are about to embark on something truly special.

  25. HighburyLegend

    The really good news is that, this time, we were able to keep the result, even when we were put under pressure by manure during the second half.

    Our defence is the main progress for me.

  26. Romford Pele

    CC, i’m fully on board this Arteta journey. May take us a while to get there but i’ve fully bought into his ideas and everything he’s trying to do. Raul and Edu need to back him accordingly.

  27. Edu me a favour

    “” But let’s not forget that before Pepe’s goal, our lack of confidence was pretty obvious, we were lost on the pitch.
    If Yoonited had scored the first goal, not sure that we would have been able to react.””

    So for 8 minutes we looked nervous and then for the following 82 we were on fire – but you’re gonna talk about what could have happened in the first 8 mins ?

    Who’s to say we wouldn’t have equalised if they scored early ? I think we would have been more than capable to do so.

  28. Champagne charlie

    HL

    I’ve not felt in 3 games that we were under threat of a defeat. That is seismic.

    *Chelsea was a kick to the balls and self-inflicted by an uncharacteristically shocking error And subsequent panic. 7 minute spell in 3 games that coast us points.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    As you say Arteta is going to have to have a plan ready for teams who basically wait it out until the second half.

    When Sheffield visit soon you can bet that is what they do. Look to stifle in the first half and then kick it up a gear in the second.

    Whatever the issue is Arteta has to sort it. If it’s fatigue then he needs a plan for that.

    Many more positives than negatives but that was the worry for me, the second halves were too similar (although Arsenal kicked it up more against United in the last 10 minutes) but United’s lack of quality in the middle told.

    I did think Arteta reacted far better and far quicker to the issues in the second half which was my massive criticism of him against Chelsea.

    A lot of the first teamers should get a long rest now, expecting Holding, Ceballos, Martinelli, Nelson, Willock etc to play against Leeds.

    Then Palace away and Sheffield at home…two tricky fixtures.

  30. Leftside

    Winning breeds confidence and fatigue isn’t as much of a of factor when wins are being racked up. Hopefully we start to get more points on the board and put in a good showing in the FA Cup.

  31. MuddyGooner

    Gotta hand it to you Pedro ……. you were right all along !!
    Early days I know but you feel there’s definitely something about Mikel.

    You called for him after Wenger. Most of us thought of him as a risk. I was pleased we got Emery but damn …… how wrong was I about him ?!! It took me as far as the Watford game this season to realise he wasn’t the right one.

    Then Pedro, you write that inspiring piece shortly after Emery got sacked and I was sold. You had me convinced on Arteta. So obviously, I was over the moon when the board took a punt on him.
    So far, so good in terms of improvement on the pitch. Results will come in time.

    Exciting times ahead. Please, let’s all just get behind Arteta and the team.

  32. andy1886

    Graham @11.55, not sure if you’re being serious but where did you get those last season scores from?

    Excellent game and a real contrast to what we’d seen so far this season. Yeah United were poor, they really were, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. Enjoying just as much that we have some structure and purpose at last. Most footballers aren’t the brightest, they need that framework to give them confidence and produce their best.

    Under the last two managers (certainly in the last decade) we were often a team of individuals , the sum of which was less than the parts. So far under the new regime we look like a team again.

    The only down side is that Josh and the boys might now decide that we don’t need any new players.

  33. azed

    It was a good match and I believe tucking AMN in the midfield helps hide his weakness but also limits his attacking runs.

    It would be interesting to see what Arteta does when we play Liverpool.

  34. Romford Pele

    Luiz and Sokratis were pretty honest about them not having the intensity levels yet for an Arteta team. That’s the sort of thing you work on in pre-season ideally but i even remember Klopp’s start at Liverpool where his teams gassed out around the 60/70min mark. Will take time to get them to do it repeatedly. The rest will have to be solved in the transfer market.

  35. Cesc Appeal

    Really interested to see our transfer strategy with Arteta. If he does manage to win the Europa League or get top 4 (very unlikely) I would think he will be given far more say on transfers…although rumoured that was something he asked for before accepting, a bigger say than Emery was given.

    We badly need UCL money and appeal in a transfer window. If we land it the club has to be brave. Sitting on money, playing safety first, crossing fingers on existing squads with minimal changes over the last decade is part of the reason we ended up here.

  36. Bob N16

    Highbury, ‘our (lack of) confidence was pretty obvious’. Surely the performance and result should be applauded(probably?) knowing that our confidence was so low. Doesn’t that in itself highlight the influence Arteta is already having?

    It’s your right to be an Eeyore but being at the game 1.1.2020 felt understandably like a new, ‘full of hope for the future’ moment.

    We’ve suffered this season, the joy and reaction is and was completely understandable.

  37. Romford Pele

    “It was a good match and I believe tucking AMN in the midfield helps hide his weakness but also limits his attacking runs.”

    Pep does the same thing with Walker. Helps to protect against counters but as AMN is essentially a midfielder, it’s also another body in the build-up which helps against teams who want to press you.

    ArtetaBall is essentially a structure where there should always be a spare man to receive. That will help to create numerical advantages all over the pitch and aid fluidity. Will take a while to perfect but he’s already shown me many good signs.

  38. Danny

    Screw fa cup.
    ————-
    Don’t agree. Winning it will be our ticket to the Europa League unless of course we win it (finally) this year or finish 5th.

  39. Romford Pele

    CA, unfortunately being our of the CL for three years has harmed us. We can’t keep spending at this rate and raising our wage bill with no European football. it’s not sustainable. We’re going to have to rebuild and hopefully Francis Cagigao can feed more names like Martinelli in.

    As Liverpool have shown, you don’t need to buy massive stars to be big. Sometimes you have to sell a key player or two as well. Liverpool got over £200m for Suarez and Coutinho. While you ideally wouldn’t want to sell them, you don’t say no to that money and it has essentially financed their best team ever.

  40. Romford Pele

    Worth saying though, PL prices have boomed since Liverpool got guys like Mane and Salah. Buying from PL clubs is so hard now because they charge you an arm and a leg. Even signing someone like Doucoure now will set us back £50m.

  41. Champagne charlie

    Romford

    What type of player do you think will elevate Artetaball? Be it in Jan, or the summer.

    Curious to see what sort we look to bring in. Can see Volland being a typical outline of a forward thinking player, tenacious, team oriented, technical, selfless.

  42. China1

    Fa cup win gets you EL?

    Let’s win both eh

    If we finish top 7 with clear onfield progress and won a couple of cups it would certainly make amends for a season where people were talking about relegation lol

  43. Kc

    What I am shocked is the level of fitness that emery had given the team. Even though it would be difficult to sustain the intensity over 90m, but to see players absolutely knackered in the second half….
    Arteta said he will try to improve that aspect. And hopefully Raul and Edu quickly moved into the transfer market to bolster the thin squad.

  44. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Completely agree.

    We need more Martinelli type signings.

    Shrewd scouts. Players who are completely hidden gems, are going under the radar or have a contractual situation which means we can get a deal.

    That’s why I liked the links (although seems like there’s nothing to it) with Buendia as that sort of flying under radar type player that other clubs look at in 6 months time and think ‘how did we miss him?’

    I think for us really the obvious players will be off the table in the summer if we haven’t made the UCL.

  45. Romford Pele

    CC,

    To be honest mate I don’t have a clue. As fans, we all have our preferences and what we’d like to see but that’s us projecting. Most (myself included) wanted Xhaka gone but Arteta hasn’t stopped praising him since he’s come in. And in terms of build up and what Granit gives us in build up, I understand. He’s key to what Arteta wants to do. That doesn’t negate his flaws like lack of mobility, only playing off one foot, sgility etc but what Arteta is doing is giving a structure which negates weaknesses and accentuates strength. Xhaka is basically playing as a LCB with the LB pushed really high up. It’s a zone basically where he can’t be pressed which is then opening up space to break lines. And having a natural leftie on that side helps.

    In terms of where we go next, we can defo get a better CB so i’m still envisaging Upamecano and Saliba for next season. If we’re gonna replace Xhaka then it’ll have to be someone with good qualities. Hopefully Pepe improves his intensity because we can see he’s talented.

    A lot also depends on if we get CL (unliekly) so we’ll probably have to replace the strikers. I’m not too keen on Volland really but the options in the market aren’t great there right now.

  46. Savage

    The key to a high-press game is you have to score your goals early. At Chelsea we half-did that. Against United we scored 2, and that allows you to sit back more and soak up pressure.

    I remember with Wenger’s top teams how we’d get annoyed because they’d score 2 or 3 and then sit back, when we wanted them to go for the kill. However, that conservation of energy allowed us to go through the season undefeated.

  47. Cesc Appeal

    Everything I’ve seen of Saliba and all the fan comments on him suggest he’s going to be a fantastic CB with the ball.

    Upamecano as well is very good with the ball.

    Looking at how much Luiz has become involved since Arteta took over having two modern CBs like that who have ball carrying, passing, distributing skills will elevate our game massively.

  48. Romford Pele

    CA, yes totally agree. Loads of good players in the PL. I really like Buendia and Cantwell at Norwich, Grealish at Villa etc. Challenge like I said is that these clubs don’t need to sell anymore as they’re all rich so if they’re tied to a long contract you’re going to have to pay through the nose for them.

    As you say, another season out of Europe will harm us in terms of the calibre we can attract but the great thing about football id that there’s always new players, just have to be good with the scouting which is what i’m hoping they’re doing. Supposedly Arteta still wants to bring this scout and data analyst from City.

  49. Romford Pele

    “Looking at how much Luiz has become involved since Arteta took over having two modern CBs like that who have ball carrying, passing, distributing skills will elevate our game massively.”

    Agreed – he’s been much better since Arteta has come in but he’s 32 and has his limits, especially physically but you can see what Arteta is trying to do.

    Upamecano-Saliba is the type of modern partnership you awnt. At 21 and 19 they are both very young and will still likely make mistakes as they learn on the job but it’ll be ironed out over time.

  50. HighburyLegend

    “Gotta hand it to you Pedro ……. you were right all along !!”

    Once again, I prefer to wait a bit before giving Pedro a blow job.
    Old habits die hard. lol

  51. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    That’s what we need to do. Be smart.

    Perhaps we can still get Buendia at the end of the season if Norwich are relegated. It’s little steps like that, having Buendia as a starting option or option on the bench instead of Nelson. That is the slow build to a squad that Liverpool committed to with a sprinkle of your big signing type players.

    Hadn’t paid that much attention to him but his stats for a wide attacking midfield player are pretty good especially when looking at tackles per game which highlights his work rate.

    I do think in the summer with or without UCL football the club needs to make some difficult decisions with this squad in terms of selling to buy and creating space on the wage bill. Aubameyang and Lacazette need contract renewals or selling. Do we really want to commit £400 000 – 500 000 a week on two players who play in the same position when there is such great need elsewhere?

  52. Romford Pele

    Torreira arguably MOTM in all three games under Arteta. Completely transformed. Ball winning and quick releases through the lines. Can honestly never forgive Emery for his utilisation of him.

  53. Danny

    Arteta hasn’t stopped praising him
    ———————-
    Xhaka replaced Arteta back in 2016 so maybe Arteta feels he can get him to play the way he played in that position. Other than that I’ve no idea why he would want him to stay.

  54. Romford Pele

    CA, agreed mate. Don’t think we can give Aubameyang a contract like that at 31 years of age. He could fall off a cliff physically at any moment. And if you can get £60m for him at that age you sell and reinvest. Same with Laca who will be 29

  55. Champagne charlie

    Romford

    Yea tend to agree, and as you’ve mentioned we need a smart purchasing strategy. Reason I coin Volland is because he’s quietly an integral part of a good German side and he’s got 18 months left on his deal. That’s the sort of preying we should be doing on one or two players imo, with the odd stellar signing off the back of some sales.

    Think if we get a new CB in place of Mustafi, another option for #8 to replace Ceballos (who I don’t think we should buy, I think it should be Grealish) we’d see a big improvement.

    Behind that, or more likely prior to that, we’ll have to balance the questionable elements however they inevitably end up come the summer….I’m talking Xhaka (is he staying/going), Torreira the same, Auba/Laca situation, Kolasinac, Ozil.

    Grealish and Upamecano would be the standout two for the summer in my wish list. Other tweaks then as a results of sales.

  56. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Upamecano-Saliba is the type of modern partnership you awnt. At 21 and 19 they are both very young and will still likely make mistakes as they learn on the job but it’ll be ironed out over time.’

    Agreed.

    Fans should expect the odd mistake here and there. What is Guardiola says to his CBs? That he expects them to make errors leading to goals in carrying out his style but that is worth it. We will have to think the same thing. The stepping up, possession play, youth etc of the pairing will mean mistakes will happen. But that really is a reality that will have to be accepted. I remember City fans having a go at Laporte when he arrived and now suddenly they are blaming their defensive fragility on him being out. Shows the development you need to wait for.

    I hope Tierney can get over his injuries because his tenacity and work rate will fit this style so well. Not fully convinced by Bellerin and would like to see us go with a tall (relatively) power player at RB as City did with Walker. Was having a look at that James Justin the other day and he looks interesting…if a bit defensively iffy.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Agreed.

    I’d seriously think about selling both at the right time to fund a total rebuild.

    There isn’t really anyone in this squad who should be on a fat contract.

  58. HighburyLegend

    “He is smiling after such a match. Now is not the time to smile”
    “I would like to see him a little bit more pissed off, a little bit meaner at times. I look at Ole and he seems to be a really nice guy… When you are a player, you also need to fear your coach a little. ”

    This was RVP, about OGS, last night.
    But many here will still have great respect for the cunt, who behave like he had played all his life for Manure
    (lol ?)

  59. Dissenter

    Cesc
    You don’t think Holding and Saliba can be that partnership for the future?
    If Holding responds well to Arteta coaching, there may nit be a need for another central defender just now.

  60. Romford Pele

    CA, yeah agreed. We should flatline the wage structure right now. Nobody should be earning over £200k with the new rebuild.

  61. Marc

    Cesc

    If we were to get Upamecano with him and Saliba being the long term plan we’re currently looking at a completely different scenario than we were even a couple of weeks ago. Firstly our midfield is protecting the back 4 meaning their not being exposed to such a crazy number of shots on goal. Secondly if Arteta can keep the like of Sok and even more impressively Luiz playing at the level of yesterday there’s some experience to guide them. It will also be interesting to see what Arteta can do with Holding and Chambers .

  62. DigitalBob

    Great post Pedro. I’m glad your Arteta support has more or less been vindicated in these opening 3 games.

    As Romford has said we need to prioritise the CB position as we’ll need some athleticism there for the type of game we want to play. Saliba this Jan if possible and Upamecano would be ideal.

  63. Marc

    Dissenter

    I think there’s a player in Holding the major question is what affect will the ACL injury have – I think it’s going to take him time to recover and will there be long term niggling injuries that plague him?

  64. Sanmi

    What I noticed about Arteta game plan.
    1. Kolasinac moves up almost level with Auba.
    2. Auba cuts in between Bisaka and Lindelof
    3. Lacazette comes short taking Fred with him.
    4. Ozil drifts taking Matic with him
    5. Luiz pings the ball to Kolasinac who’s free because bisaka is occupied by Auba movement.
    6. Kolasinac drives in looking for who is free. Simple but effective.

    Defensively
    1. Xhaka covers for Kolasinac
    2. Attack starts with Leno or Luiz
    3. Maitland is rarely allowed in final 3rd, he tucks in to give Torreira a leggy partner
    4. No pressing till Ozil is in position.
    5. No player is allowed to hold on to the ball for more than 2 touches except it is in the opposition final third.

  65. Romford Pele

    Playing a high press and high line, you will accept that at some point your defensive line will be bypassed which is why it’s important to have athletic CBs. Liverpool is the perfect example. Because they attack through their FBs they routinely leave the likes of VVD/Matip/Gomez to defend huige swathes of space and it’s not an issue because they’re quick, strong and aggressive in 1 v 1 duels

  66. Marc

    Romford

    “Torreira arguably MOTM in all three games under Arteta. Completely transformed. Ball winning and quick releases through the lines. Can honestly never forgive Emery for his utilisation of him.”

    What makes it worse is that Emery was getting similar performances in the first half of last season and then for unknown reasons decided to drop him / play him in any position other than DM.

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  67. Dissenter

    I just worry about moving too hastily with transfers.
    It’s important for Arteta to identify the players the can make the step-up before we start spending. He does have tho give them opportunities and how can Holding be sidelined so easily when we’ve seen snippets of what he can do.
    Say we get Upemecano now, what happens when Chambers returns?

  68. Un na naai

    Marc

    I wouldn’t write off chambers or Holding just yet

    Saliba is 20 and Upamencano (if he comes) is 21
    They will he adapting to the premier league (see pepe) they aren’t going to hit the ground running and city/united/Chelsea have blown loads on promising young centre halves in the past few years only for them to fail to adapt to our league

    It would be foolish to expect them to immediately command two boys to immediately command a starting place at a club chasing the top four in the premier league.

  69. Marc

    “they routinely leave the likes of VVD/Matip/Gomez to defend huige swathes of space and it’s not an issue because they’re quick, strong and aggressive in 1 v 1 duels”

    You mean just like Mustafi!

  70. goona

    That was our best home performance for some time, the Emirates sounded like the Highbury of old! Fitness levels showed again in the second half, but thats something easily fixed.

    The whole team played with more purpose and drive, long may the improvements continue! COYG! For the first time in ages the future looks a lot more positive!.

  71. Romford Pele

    “What makes it worse is that Emery was getting similar performances in the first half of last season and then for unknown reasons decided to drop him / play him in any position other than DM.”

    Marc, his reasoning for moving Torreira from that position is even worse. You want that aggressive nature shuttling just infront of your back 4.

  72. Cesc Appeal

    Dissenter

    He will likely get a chance to impress, he hasn’t really this season, but we will see under Arteta.

    I’m just not for the old Arsenal thing of going into a season when we could buy but decide not to so we can give ‘Rob’ or ‘Jack’ or ‘Theo’ etc a go.

    How does that end up? If we don’t get Upamecano in January I’d let Holding etc know that they have a chance to impress up to May and they should read between the lines.

    Marc

    As RP is saying as well Upamecano and Saliba are very athletic CBs which is exactly what we need. Lots of mobility, aggressive, physical. Any ST will know they’ve been in a game and they will also help us in possession shifting the game around.

  73. Dissenter

    Marc
    Holding played very well in a FA cup final and was a beast under Emery until he got injured.
    Knee ligaments are pretty much routine sporting injuries now., they shouldn’t impact central defenders that much.

  74. Marc

    Un na

    I’m not, I like Holding but it could be a difficult road to recovery – I hope he comes through but we’ve all seen the long term effects of bad injuries.

  75. Nelson

    azed
    “It would be interesting to see what Arteta does when we play Liverpool.”

    I have already circulated May 2nd, the day we’ll stop the Pool’s invincible run. The home crowd is going to be rocking!

  76. Romford Pele

    It’s not a case of writing off Holding and Chambers. As squad players they are good to keep and meet the HG quota. Problem is there’s just not a top level in them as they lack the athleticism and aggression needed in top level CBs. Look at the way Liverpool defend with their CBs. Would you feel comfortable leaving Holding or Chambers in that situation?

  77. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Playing a high press and high line, you will accept that at some point your defensive line will be bypassed which is why it’s important to have athletic CBs. Liverpool is the perfect example. Because they attack through their FBs they routinely leave the likes of VVD/Matip/Gomez to defend huige swathes of space and it’s not an issue because they’re quick, strong and aggressive in 1 v 1 duels’

    This is it.

    The high press, squeezing the opposition, wanting to get on the ball as quickly as possible comes with risks.

    Those risks will come to fruition and all you can do is ameliorate for them by having pace in your CB pairing. Both Saliba and Upamecano have pace.

    The position Arteta has the full backs take up will also help here, and the fact he has one central midfield player dropping to cover when pressing high. Adds bodies to the effort to slow the counter or push it wide.

  78. Dissenter

    Gomez returned back from a knee injury too and has improved Liverpool this season. He actually makes VVD look even better now.
    Upemecano has missed 140 days from knee injuries in the last year. He too isn’t free of niggles like Holding.

  79. Marc

    How good is it to see people on here arguing points but in a positive manor and talking about the club moving forward.

    Been far too long since we’ve seen that on here on a regular basis.

  80. Cesc Appeal

    Gomez is a far more athletic player than Holding and plays as CB like that. Lots of pace, lots of physicality.

    He was a RB and was more attacking when younger also which means on he ball he’s far more comfortable as well.

    No one is saying Holding won’t get chances, but Arsenal have to stop this whole ‘hold on guys, let’s put this year on hold so we can give this person a chance’ instead of capitalizing and pushing for success.

    Inevitably we put one thing on hold, it doesn’t work and then suddenly another problem or two have cropped up and the solution that was present the year before no longer is.

  81. Un na naai

    RP

    There are no guarantees Saliba and upamencano will prove adept against Liverpool either but yes I believe they can reach a sufficient level to shut out the best teams in the world with a world class centre back and the correct logistical framework in place

    As I’ve said numerous times
    Known Dixon and winter burn were not considered world class yet delivered world class defensive performances
    There is no reason holding and chambers can’t offer something similar

    I just see more in them
    They’ve both proved to be highly capable before their injuries

  82. Romford Pele

    “The position Arteta has the full backs take up will also help here, and the fact he has one central midfield player dropping to cover when pressing high. Adds bodies to the effort to slow the counter or push it wide.”

    Spot on

    For years it’s been too easy to counter us through the middle. At least if you can push it wide you’ll slow the momentum which is why the utilisation of AMN so far has been very smart, both from an offensive and defensive standpoint

  83. Moray

    I haven’t seen the game yet, but from the match report and the comments, it does seem that the players are responding to the new strategic vision and the coaching behind the scenes.

    The results will come and go in the early stages, which is why Pedro is reticent to call the match. What we need to focus on is the performance and the effort of the players and the strategic decisions of the manager. In each respect, things are moving in the right direction. Contrast this with Emery’s first season where we got the results but with a chain of hideous performances.

    As someone who has been complaining about our manager for over a decade now, I’m really excited with what we have and what it offer us, both as a team and as a squad. As Arteta wins games, so he will gain influence in the club, and hopefully we can start to adopt some of the professionalism of Man City (yuck!) when it comes to building a modern club.

  84. Romford Pele

    Un na naii, nothing is guaranteed in football but with the way the modern game is going now athleticism and intensity are paramount. Say for example the game is 1-1 with 10 minutes to go and we’re piling bodies forward in search for a winner and then we leave two bodies back in case of a counter, would you not be more comfortable with Upamecan0-Saliba rather than Holding-Chambers? As I said, i’m not trying to write the latter two off but they’re both virtually mid 20s and we haven’t seen top level in them. We know we need to do better there.

    The way we played with Winterbrun/Dixon etc was different. Football has moved on a lot since then. The virtues of remaining compact will be the same but athleticism overules all in the modern game.

  85. Dissenter

    Romford
    You can argue that Holdimg in particular may nit have had the type of coaching or system that Arteta will hopefully provide.
    I’m curious to see what Arteta wants to do. I suspect he’ll want to use the rest of the season to squeeze out this current squad.
    We have one central defender parked away already. I think Arsenal should recall Saliba early so that he integrates with the squad as he recovers from his broken foot.
    Just my take. We have so many areas to reinforce and not too much money.

  86. Useroz

    The buzz isn’t waning anytime soon.

    First win of the decade and ditched the Manure in the manner we did … memorable!

    Though fans and supporters shouldn’t need to worry about the finance but we just do… knowing new money won’t be there.

    This single win would have added 10% to valuation of the players overall. Showcase to potential suitors what they can do when we no doubt need to raise fund in this TW.

    There’s an abundance of accolades around for the last 20 +hours. But the following aspects remain vivid :

    Hungry and ruthless

    Hunt in packs

    Left nothing on the pitch ( don’t recall @,last seeing our players having energy gel to get thru the last 10 min due to exhaustion)

    Whatever it takes ( as in defence and those sliding blocks of manure shots…)

    Number of shots way up

    A clean sheet

    Well, what needs to ramp up :

    Fitness. (and no worries with how Arteta explained in post match interview )

    Quick passing still needs work but very much on track

    Reliance on Ozil for the final balls – need to add attacking MFs to go next level ( or when! Ozil falls ill or injured )

    The way it’s going we are 60%+ there and the next 3 games would tell us how we consolidate, improve and polish in all areas where Arteta prioritises.

    Bravo!

  87. Un na naai

    CA

    We won’t have to put anything on hold
    I’m not saying don’t sign a centre half either
    I just don’t realistically expect both or either of the young Frenchman to come in and command a starting place. I expect one of chambers, holding and Luiz to start next season providing they are fit and Luiz keeps up his current outstanding form.

    Again, throwing money at the problem isn’t always the best solution.
    On recent evidence I’d say we don’t really need Upamencano if we have holding, saliba, Luiz, chambers and Sokratis fit and firing come august.

    I’m sure Arteta knows exactly what he wants and where his budget is going to go anyway

  88. Romford Pele

    “What we need to focus on is the performance and the effort of the players and the strategic decisions of the manager. In each respect, things are moving in the right direction. Contrast this with Emery’s first season where we got the results but with a chain of hideous performances.”

    This is it for me. Our results might be up and down between now and the end of the season but the process is positive and we can see what the coach is trying to do. It won’t come to fruition straight away but wee’re on the right track. It’s a project that will take a couple of years before we reach max level. The fans just need to buy into it. Emery”s early results (22 games uinbeaten) were never sustainable because the performance more often than not was garbage.

  89. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    I’ve been impressed with AMN since Arteta took over.

    Perhaps having this role that allows him to feel he’s at least partially playing in the position he favours is improving his performances?

  90. Romford Pele

    Dissenter – yes you’re right still early days and there’s loads more to see and decipher from what Arteta wants but we’ve already had clues. I think we’ve tried to get Saliba back early but the conditions of us signing him were that he’d spend the season back there. Under Emery it was the right decision too but under Arteta it’d be good to have him now!

  91. azed

    ArtetaBall is essentially a structure where there should always be a spare man to receive. That will help to create numerical advantages all over the pitch and aid fluidity. Will take a while to perfect but he’s already shown me many good signs

    Romford

    It’s why I am looking forward to the Liverpool game.
    Liverpool push both full backs forward so will Arteta adjust and keep AMN wide or will Arteta play Pepe to keep Robertson honest and stop him from attacking…

  92. Moray

    “No one is saying Holding won’t get chances, but Arsenal have to stop this whole ‘hold on guys, let’s put this year on hold so we can give this person a chance’ instead of capitalizing and pushing for success.”

    CA, spot on. We romanticise the injured and mythologise the abilities of others who leave. I remember many arguments about Willshire and Diaby, how they are Arsenal people and we should stick with them. Even more, that we should be offering Diaby a new contract when his expired since he was an Arsenal player when he broke his leg.

    We need to act more ruthlessly. The players do.

  93. Un na naai

    Dissenter
    My thoughts exactly
    This defence with saliba can be coached into a formidable unit and as you rightly point out there are going to be other ideas in Tet’s mind on how we are going to offer his version of football

  94. azed

    “That’s the sort of thing you work on in pre-season ideally but i even remember Klopp’s start at Liverpool where his teams gassed out around the 60/70min mark.”

    Romford

    Are you sure it wasn’t Rodgers that was under training the players?

  95. Dissenter

    Cesc
    I get your point about athleticism but there are slower central defenders who excel by positional know like Diego Godin and Maldini.
    Holding looked promising last season, hopefully Arteta can relaunch him again
    The Upemecano rumors have been boiling for a year now so there’s probably substance to that transfer.

  96. Romford Pele

    CA, yeah me too. Along with Torreira, he’s been the main beneficiary of Arteta coming in. Athletically he’s just as good as Bellerin (probably better now after Bellerin’s ACL injury) but technically he’s far ahead and because he acts like a midfielder in build up, he’s probably happy being more involved and having more touches of the ball.

    My criticism of him was always related to his mentality and lack of focus. He always looked like he didn’t care enough but hopefully Arteta can get into him. If he’s serious he’ll take this RB position seriously because he won’t get played in any other position in the squad.

  97. Nelson

    Yesterday’s game is a good advertisement for the Arteta Arsenal. There will be some good prospects interested in joining this Arteta revolution.

  98. Bamford10

    Great effort from the players last night, and a smart game-plan from Arteta, but I do think some people are getting a little carried away in terms of what it means. We still have the same less-than-optimal midfield and defensive players we have had all season, and this is still the same team that drew with a weak Bournemouth team 1-1 a week ago.

    It is one thing to get up for and play well in a single match against a single opponent who offers a single set of challenges, it is quite another thing to get up for and play well in 17 matches against 17 different opponents, each of whom offers a different set of challenges.

    I get that people are happy about what we saw last night, but I think some tempering of emotions and expectations might be in order. We won one match — at home and against a United team that never really looked up for it. To talk about competing for top four this season, as Pedro has done above, is to lose sight of all of the very real weaknesses that have held this Arsenal team back for some time now. These weaknesses have not somehow magically disappeared. Arteta is finding ways to cover them over, and he was massively successful in this last night, but that is no guarantee that he will be as successful against the next opponent, or the one after that, or the one after that.

    Again, I get that people are elated with the win, but let’s not pretend that this Arsenal team does not have many very real weaknesses, let’s be reasonable, and let’s wait and see how we do against Palace in nine days’ time and Sheffield in two weeks’ time before we announce that all corners have been turned.

    We won a match. Excellent. Let’s see if we can do it again.

    We should also be thinking about the January window, obviously, as this team could use some strengthening and some additions, especially in midfield and defense.

  99. Habesha Gooner

    Pedro’s arteta hype and initial excitement is now justified. I feel he like we made this appointment at the right time now. If we had Hired him two years ago he would have been too green. Heck I even thought he was green when we hired him two weeks ago. Anyway I think he is going to workout good for us. And In unrelated topic I don’t think we should spend any money on a forward if nobody is leaving. I think It would be a waste of resources considering we have Auba, Laca, Pepe, Martinelli, Saka and Nelson as options.

  100. Un na naai

    RP

    Holding is nearly ready
    Sokratis and Luiz look great together all of a sudden. Like warriors and leaders

    Bring Saliba me chambers back into the fold in the summer and we could be set there with money to spend on midfielders who offer exactly what Arteta is looking for
    Aubameyang may beed replacing too. Lacazette will be 29

    There is a lot to take into account

  101. Romford Pele

    Azed, I always remember Liverpool being quite intense under Rodgers? I may be wrong though. Essentially high-intensity pressing is very taxing on the body and takes a while to adjust. Players probably suffer more muscular injuries initially due to the demands placed on the body but adapt over time.

    RE Liverpool – when do we play them? Will be interesting to see how Arteta matches up against Klopp but i’m sure we’ll know even more by then.

  102. Luisjo

    Great post mate! I’m over the moon! I wanted Arteta 2 years ago so I’m happy now. I bought his shirt, the 2nd time I’ve ever done that after José Reyes!! You didn’t mention Ainsley , he was immense defensively and also in assisting attack. I’d sell Bellerin and I prefer Saka to Kolasinac but Kolasinac put in an immense shift! I didn’t know he had pace

  103. RodneyKing

    Romford Pele
    January 2, 2020 11:37:14

    “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.”

    Then you haven’t been watching them. Man Utd have only one strategy which is to counter. When that fails, they have no plan B.

    And having lost to the likes of Bournemouth and Watford and beaten Spurs, City and Chelsea, and struggled against Villa and Sheffield Utd, one could argue that clearly Man Utd’s game plan works a treat against the top sides but it fails completely when they face the lesser sides because they lack the creativity and guile to break them down.

    For whatever it’s worth, I was optimistic about us beating Man Utd and I’m glad we did.

  104. Romford Pele

    Un na naii, we have a lot of CBs but not a lot of quality. Arteta’s system is helping to hide their weaknesses but as we get better, the margin for error will be smaller. That’s when you realise who’s top and who’s not. And that’s why there is the clamour for Upamecano and Saliba because of the potential to do everything, which our current CBs do not.

    Of course it’ll be tough to address all our needs. We’ve spent a lot of money poorly in the last three/four years and have limited revenue due to our lack of CL footie so will need to be smart in how we address our needs and what we prioritise.

  105. China1

    Yeah Sanmi I noticed against Bournemouth and Chelsea we go through large periods where the players are clearly trying to limit themselves to two touches whenever reasonably possible

    The result is even if they make the same pass they’d have made under emery, twill he played 1-2 seconds earlier, meaning the opposition can’t permanently drift into position to close out every gap

    It’s schoolboy stuff but we haven’t seen it for ages so it’s a pleasure to see

  106. Romford Pele

    RodneyKing,

    Nobody is denying that United are a flawed side, all the sides are bar the top two and even City aren’t perfect. But United, with the way they like to attack, were set up to beat us in this game.

    Why didn’t they? Because they didn’t match our energy levels and weren’t able to circulate the balll through midfield to create chances like we did. Once we got the two goal cushion it became much easier to sit on as United struggle to fashion chances when the onus is on them to create the chances.

    But let’s also not pretend like they’re not devastating on the counter as they showed against both Liverpool and City already this season where they took 4 points.

    To add, Arsenal prior to last night had won 1 game in 14. Confidence is not high and it’d been easy to let the heads dropped after what happened against Chelsea but they showed great resilience in both halves.

  107. China1

    I’m not sure what to make of our CBs right now because chambers and Luiz and Sokratis (especially Luiz) have looked vastly better

    Not sure if that’s just good form or if there’s some career resurgence going on

    Same for ozil

    We’ll find out over the next couple of months if it’s more than just good form

  108. Moray

    We have to get out of the habit now of giving judgement on the manager after every match (beyond the decisions he made and how he affected the game at least).

    We are in a rebuilding phase and it doesn’t make sense to be holding up green and red flags every Monday. The guy is on a 3+ year contract for a reason. We are in a shitty place and it will take a good manager, good coaching and good player purchasing (and selling) to get us back to where we thing we should be.

    Also, we can be excited about the future without stapling ourselves to the mast. The Wenger schism is still eating away at us.

  109. Romford Pele

    “Reports say that Leipzig have told Arsenal that Upamecano would cost £80m. So that may be off.”

    His contract expires in 2021 and he’s not signing a new one. They’re posturing. Max he goes for is £60m imo and even then it might not be that.

  110. Romford Pele

    China – the good form and improved performance is linked to the system which focuses on accentuating their strengths and hiding weaknesses. Eventually they’ll hit a ceiling as some of these guys aren’t good enough. Some may well swim. That’s part of the process of the project. In 6 months we’ll be more informed of everyone which should then influence our summer activity.

  111. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers,

    Good post Pedro,

    Early days but it’s a joy to be an Arsenal fan again. The last 6 months were as depressing as the last few years of Wenger, but under Arteta the vision and direction of the team is fresh and clear.

    I think this January we should focus on keeping the group together and only sign Upamecano.

    In the summer we may have to decide on the futures of Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and whether we make permanent the Ceballos deal.

    I think Ozil being on the wrong side of 30 and his wages mean we should look to move him on and build for the future. Likewise Aubameyang and Lacazette.

    I’ve not been overly convinced by Ceballos so far but he’s had niggling injuries and playing in a dysfunctional system, hopefully Arteta can get the best out of him but if not then send him back and look elsewhere.

    For me I’d let Aubameyang go, maybe Lacazette too and go back in for Zaha. A front 3 of Zaha, Martinelli and Pepe would be electric and we could have Saka, Nketiah and Nelson as understudies/rotation.

    Replace Ozil with Grealish and Ceballos with Cantwell. A midfield 3 of Torreira, Cantwell and Grealish would be a dream.

    A defence of Bellerin, Upamecano, Saliba and Tierney would be incredibly strong. What a team we could have.

    I’m super excited and so optimistic.

  112. Champagne charlie

    “We won one match — at home and against a United team that never really looked up for it.“

    Was under the impression United hadn’t lost all season to a side in the top 6, was also under the impression OGS and their squad was excellent.

    So sounds a lot like belittling our own performance, what a turn of events…

  113. China1

    Yeah for sure simply having a solid system can make a bad player look ok, an ok look good and a good look great

    Speaking of which, seems like xhaka have arteta he will stay and arteta spoke extremely highly of him

    As others have mentioned I suspect he sees a bit of himself of xhaka in terms of build, position, passing and being a bit of a teacher’s pet

    If arteta can coach an extra 15% out of him then I won’t complain. Would still prefer a beast Cm tho

  114. Bamford10

    Champagne

    I never said United’s squad was excellent; I simply said that it’s better than ours. And I continue to think Solskjaer is excellent. You are free to think otherwise.

  115. Marc

    ManU have been an incredibly inconsistent team under OGS – one week looking fantastic the next a shambles. In the performances I’ve seen a lot of the time when they get a bad result it’s because they were bad rather than the opposition being good.

    Last night we beat because we were good and they struggled to get chances.

    That’s a good sign for us and we shouldn’t write off the performance as if we’d just beaten the Watford of a couple of months ago.

  116. Un na naai

    Was under the impression United hadn’t lost all season to a side in the top 6, was also under the impression OGS and their squad was excellent.

    Cc
    Whatever have you that idea? 😂
    Funny how this shit squad keeps beating rivals isn’t it? Who knew?

  117. Un na naai

    Bamford10January 2, 2020 13:45:20
    ChampagneI never said United’s squad was excellent; I simply said that it’s better than ours. And

    Bamford
    It’s really not though. As evidenced every time we beat them. Even emery managed to get the better of this united side

  118. Marko

    Arsène Wenger: “In time, the danger, for me, is that football develops into a sport where players run like crazy people to win the ball back as quickly as possible, but who don’t know what to do when they actually have it in their possession.”

    Arsene Wenger not a fan of winning the ball back. Explains so much about him really.

    “Boss what do we do when we don’t have the ball?

    Arsene Wenger: “you wait”

    “Eh? Shouldn’t we try to win it back?”

    Arsene Wenger: “no”

  119. Bamford10

    Champagne

    Please stop with that “United fan” bullshit. I’ve been posting on Le Grove a lot longer than you have, and I’ve been accused of being a City fan, among other things, in the past. A person can rate an opposing team’s manager, or players, or style of play, without being a fan of that team and without betraying or abandoning his team. So please stop with that stupid bullshit.

  120. Graham

    Andy1886 at 1220 no of course I wasn’t being serious.

    The useless Emery with his appalling coaching and clueless tactics beat Bournemouth away, beat Chelsea at home and pulled off a 2-0 home defeat of a hugely motivated and in-form ManUtd team that were undefeated under OGS (who at the time the more impressionable Utd bloggers were hailing as the second coming of Fergie).

    Emery clearly had to go and I am very hopeful for Arteta based on what we have all seen, but some perspective is needed at this early stage.

    I hope we put out a strong team for Leeds. A Cup run would be a big boost.

  121. Habesha Gooner

    Oh my God Bamford. Just admit that You said OGS and his man United team were excellent Impulsively when they were having their purple patch before he was hired. Sticking to your impulsive opinions loses you credibility more than admitting you were wrong. And another thing don’t ever big up another team even if they are amazing while we are winning let alone a poor United team. It makes you look like you aren’t really a fan of arsenal.

  122. Bamford10

    Un Na

    Let’s just agree to disagree, and let’s see where things stand at season end. The table doesn’t lie after all.

    (If our squad is just as good as theirs, though, I look forward to us beating City, beating Tottenham and scaring the shit out of Liverpool.)

  123. Romford Pele

    Wait, Bamford said what? Ole is garbage man. Hence why most United fans want him gone.

    They don’t attack well unless it’s on the counter. Too reliant on individual moments rather than being an actual team.