Arteta and Gabriel set future tone (and it’s sexy)

by & filed under News Review.

via my whatsapp group

Seeing where Areta wanted to take Arsenal from an artistic point of view has been clear since the first game, we understand the patterns, the organisation, and the vision. What we didn’t know is whether classroom theory could be implemented with the sort of leadership that takes teams to the top… that changed last night against Chelsea, arguably, the most impressive moment of our fresh-faced Spaniard’s 7 game career.

You could critique the selection of Mustafi in a horrendously under-gunned defence, but the simple reality was 1) he’s all we had 2) he played very well at the weekend. Outside that, the team was all-out action, no conservatism, we went to Stamford Bridge to win. My Chelsea pal even text me to say he was scared.

We were largely bossed for the opening 25 minutes, Chelsea took advantage of our captain who was fresh into the squad after a year out, and a left-back that’s actually winger, we really struggled in wide areas. We didn’t deal well with the press, but it kind of felt like the Leeds game… until #MustafiTime. The German World Cup winner fluffed a simple pass to Leno, Abrahams picked up the mess, David Luiz slid in and crunched him to the floor — penalty and red card.

Jorginho finished. This was the first game rehashed. It was despair for me, more wretched luck for Arteta, there was no way this team was recovering.

What a pathetic waste of a man I was to believe in that notion. If I were a handshake, I’d be damp and limp.

Arsenal recalibrated without making a single sub. Granit Xhaka dropped into central defence, calmed the troops and played like peak Baresi. We changed the dynamic of the game, Chelsea’s levels dropped and we took over the tempo. We actually ended the first half with more possession than Chelsea.

The second half saw Arsenal come out with more aggression, you felt something in the air, we weren’t going down without a fight. Our passing in the final third was absolutely atrocious, that might have been because we didn’t really have an outlet, but it could also have been a continuation of our drab attacking form this season.

The final ball didn’t matter, Mustafi released Gabriel on the counter, the Brazilian broke free of everyone from inside his own half, he carried the ball into Chelsea’s area and slotted home like AN ABSOLUTE HERO WHAT A GOAL FUCK YES I LOVE YOU GABRIEL!

We had some great moments after, we looked far more dangerous despite ceding possession stats to the blues… but we let it slip, we fell asleep from a freekick and let Frank Lampard’s team in on 84 when Azpilicueta nipped in front of Mustafi and slotted in at the near post. 

Tragedy, I began to wish I had the guts to slit my wrists with the bic biro I had in my hands…

Arsenal saved me from my attention-seeking ploy, a year after Bellerin picked up an ACL injury he took control of the ball on the edge of Chelsea’s area, he made a yard and placed a perfect left-footed strike into the bottom corner… OMEGYBOJKN CASDK . KNKOVFENLK VE VEIRN TYESESSSSSS I LOIVE YOUR VEGAN LOINS!@

The game closed out 2-2, QUITE POSSIBLY THE GREATEST 1 POINT OF MY DAMN LIFE.

So, to ground things.

What we learnt tonight is the Mikel Arteta is the real deal. He’s more than classroom theory, he’s a leader that players go to war for. That Arsenal team was not built to deal with a red card to David Luiz. It was not supposed to come back from a goal down twice with Granit Xhaka in defence. This was supposed to be a loss. Arteta showed that he is a captain, and he made the case that with better players, he can take us forward to the promised land.

Man of the match for me was Granit Xhaka. I have done a total 180 on him and I’m not even ashamed. I wanted him out, I’d have taken a stale kipper and a pair of your ma’s soiled panties in exchange for him. What the fuck do I know? Arteta has turned him around. He was brilliant. He played well under pressure, he led like a demon, and he showed true balls under extreme pressure. Unreal performance.

Hector Bellerin came back into the mix as captain in a game I suspect came too early for him. He looked off the pace in the first half, but he grew into a captains performance as the game went on. He never gave up, he constantly bombed forward, and he turned up with a superb goal at the end. I am so happy to have him back in the side playing under a proper coach.

Saka recovered well, making the most tackles with 5. The kid is going to be such an incredible player. Left back, left wing… it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t drop, he never stops, and he is a handful going forward. I love him. I am so happy he’s going to get the education he deserves. What a night for him, he never stopped fighting.

Lucas Torreira had a good game. Lacazette, though not the outlet we needed made a lot of recoveries from the front… and say it quietly, but Mustafi hit some numbers making the most clearances (9), blocks (3), and headed clearances (6).

GABRIEL I LOVE YOU. That kid is a superstar. The only bit of doom that came out of that game is the biting reality that this kid is our £150m player of the future every major club in the world is going to want. He’s always excited me like Anelka did when he first joined, he’s electric, a little bit of Robin’s flair, a bit of Anelka’s pace, and the work rate of Adebayor. He’s a gladiator on the pitch. That finish was absolutely outrageous, HE IS A TEENAGER, the composure was disgusting. He’s the first sub-20 player to reach 10 goals for Arsenal since… Anelka. BEAST.

I could go on with the individual performances, but for me, this was all about the TEAM. We have lacked a collective being for over 15 years. We now have a team. The players want to fight, they want to show the fans they are here to play, and they look ELECTRIC. We were more than the sum of our parts last night, quite literally, 10 versus 11.

I wrote this before the game from Phil Knight.

‘No matter the sport— no matter the human endeavour, really— total effort will win people’s hearts’

Did the away fans stop singing at any point during the game? No. They were our 12th man. Why? Because the players left it all on the pitch. Fans react to that, it’s as simple as that. So fuck all the ‘expectations’ merchants, all we wanted was something to believe in, and that’s what Arteta is bringing to the table.

Do we need to start winning some games? Yes. I think it’ll still be a rough end to the season, but I hope that the manager now gets a little bit of slack from the vampires. He’ll need a big summer, he’ll need to be allowed to assess who is right and who is wrong for the future, but at least we know that when the Arteta squad is built, he’ll be able to drive it forward.

Last night felt good, I feel invested in my team again, I felt sick at the sending off, I was up and down all game, I needed a nap by the end of it. That’s what football is all about. I’d forgotten what it feels like to be invested.

I am excited again… and that’s all you want as a fan.

Right, listen to the pod I recorded with Alex and give it a 5* rating (there’s a bit missing that I’ll add tomorrow).

Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify

986 Responses to “Arteta and Gabriel set future tone (and it’s sexy)”

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  1. Champagne Charlie

    Jim

    4 of the top 6 are poor this season, all really beginning new cycles at the respective clubs. Could even argue Man City are due a Fergie refresh’s after being utterly dominant for a few years now. Liverpool are very much the beneficiaries of that as they’re peaking under Klopp.

    But as you suggest, the rest are poor. Summed up for me in the fact from 5th place to 19th place is 11 points……and the clubs from 4th to 12th place all have just 1 win in their last 4 (except Saints).

    Outside the top 2/3 there’s literally no side putting together a run of games. Southampton and Watford have benefitted here because they’ve went through a good spell and gone bottom 3 to mid table which is unheard of.

    The league is a congested mess of average.

  2. Champagne Charlie

    *watford obviously not up to mid table, that’s Saints. But they’ve given themselves a real chance of staying in the league after being the unequivocal first team down.

  3. Jim Lahey

    @CC –

    Yeah its a bit all over the place at the moment! Argee that City may be in need of a refresh, I can actually see Pep jumping ship this summer.

    It reminds me of the year Leicester won the league, we really missed out on a huge oppertunity that year!

  4. Unai

    “It’s very early to assess what I can or cannot do with him. I heard about all those things but I have nothing to comment. He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place like any other player. After that we will make a selection that is fair with what I see on the pitch.”

    We may be skint and shit but I do like Arteta.

    Cant fault his stance of Ceballos, basically, head down kid or sharuupp mate! Perfect.

    If only he had have been manager during the ‘1 year on a contract is ideal’ debacle.

  5. Champagne Charlie

    Jim

    Yea, not so much for a title shout because City and Liverpool are miles ahead of the tests still. But top 4 this season was well on if we didn’t limp into this season as bad as we did.

    Chelsea are 4th and the very best points tor’s they can get us 82 points if they win their remaining 14 league games. They have 2 wins in their last 5…..

    4th place really looking like another high 60’s total.

  6. Graham62

    Has VAR influenced the dynamics of the game to such an extent, that it has impacted on the standards on show?

    I wonder.

  7. Sid

    If Diego “sauce king” simeone cannot bring out the best in Lemar then Mikel “sauce prince” Arteta has no chance.
    Im telling you this for free!

  8. KAY Boss

    Watching the Wolves-Pool game, I wondered why some here turned down the notion of NES being our manager lead by Pedro himself.

    In as much as Arteta has done OK , we need to start winning matches. If this ‘draw’ form continues, it’ll begin to be frustrating.
    In my view, Emery was unfairly criticised and shockingly, what some here(player poverty etc.) didn’t stand for Emery, tend to use it as an excuse for Arteta.
    Do u guys think Liverpool can go the season unbeaten? And do they match the invincibles performance wise?

  9. HighburyLegend

    @Kay : you’re losing your time, mate, they only praise and adore Lego Hair in Pedro’s church.

    Concerning our unbeaten record, Un Dos Tres and Champagne Charles would probably telling you that we will beat Liverpool without any problem.

  10. Samesong

    Dial Square? In a similar vein to FcUnited of Manchester.

    Bloody mention that name and Redtruth turns up

    Redtruth Manager of Dialsquare FC

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Matviyenko and Lemar would certainly be a heck of a lot better than the types of moves being rumoured weeks ago.

    Interesting that Arteta seems behind this drive for a RM/LM player. Suddenly started getting linked to lots of them as soon as he arrived, those in that sort of Bernardo Silva style of can play wide but can play CAM and can get through work.

  12. azed

    ““I think there was a reluctance of some of the people involved to use hard training as protection, and so instead they’d do more rest and recovery.” Why? “Because that was the easy option. It’s easier to sell to players, in particular.”

    Burgess admits that he was the one to initiate those hard conversations under Unai Emery. He is sure hard training makes the players more physically ready for the thick-and-fast winter schedule – hence the drop-off we are seeing now, with Burgess no longer in place.”

    This is different from the theory pushed by a certain poster that it was Emery’s guy(whom the certain poster has failed to name) that came in and refused to listen to experts and ran his own thing.

  13. PieAFC

    I love Arteta comments regarding Ceballos

    “I’ve spoke with him, but he needs to get fit and fight for his place”

    Finally some ruthlessness.

  14. Champagne Charlie

    “Concerning our unbeaten record, Un Dos Tres and Champagne Charles would probably telling you that we will beat Liverpool without any problem.“

    Do you have a crush mate? Cannot divert your attention away from Un, and now bringing me into the mix again.

    We’ve been here a while back, get over yourself you childish prick.

  15. Unai

    KAYBoss, Emery was definitely treated unfairly, lets face it, he didn’t fit with the club, fans or players and while I was happy to give him time, the sacking was the right decision.

    Player poverty is definitely a thing, I’ve heard Mustafi has been outside the Emirates recently with a stray dog doing some blind footballer routine.

    I’d have been happy with Nuno but equally happy with Arteta.

    For the first time in 10 years I feel the right guy is steering the ship, big question is, will he be given the required tools to do the job or be another carpenter fitting a floor with a butter knife and nail file?

    Time will tell!

  16. Cesc Appeal

    Unai

    Agreed.

    Think you’re spot on really.

    Emery didn’t fit, ultimately he wasn’t brave enough, made to many mistakes and deserved to be sacked. That said, the criticism of him was way overboard and particularly the refusal to acknowledge a poor squad which suddenly now is a mainstream accepted fact…even if dressed up as something else or hidden behind shouts of ‘context’ which is super weak.

    Don’t really care about it being dressed up as long as it’s addressed in the summer.

    Like you I would have been happy with Nuno, was disrespected completely on here by many with no rationale behind the critique at all except for his friends with someone I don’t like, but equally happy to back Arteta and see what he can do.

    Must improve this squad though. Otherwise Nuno, Arteta, Klopp, Guardiola etc it doesn’t matter.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Surely players must want to avoid United with Ole there?

    If Pochettino arrives in the summer, fine, but surely players can’t be stupid enough to go there unless totally motivated by money.

  18. Marko

    Nuno, was disrespected completely on here by many with no rationale behind the critique at all except for his friends with someone I don’t like

    Yeah that mate of his that people don’t like is seemingly helping us with getting Lemar and going by some of the comments yesterday and not one mention of the dastardly Jorge Mendes it seems they’re okay with him all of a sudden.

  19. Unai

    “Must improve this squad though. Otherwise Nuno, Arteta, Klopp, Guardiola etc it doesn’t matter.”

    Bang on Cesc.

    My worry is that we’re so light on saleable assets, our finances are in such a poor state and our performances have taken such a decline that investment will need to be from the owners which we all know, won’t be coming.

    I just don’t see us getting out of this mire anytime soon unless either Arteta finds some magic beans, the stars align next year and we somehow make top 4.

    The CL money is so important now, if I was Arteta I’d be putting everything on the EL this year.

  20. HighburyLegend

    “Mikel Arteta says Dani Ceballos has to get fit and fight for his place”

    While Ozil, Xhaka or Mustardi don’t have to.

  21. Cesc Appeal

    Unai

    Completely agree.

    The players who need to be sold aren’t worth a whole lot and my worry is some of them will end up loans literally so their contracts can run out.

    Kroenke should put his hand in his pocket and help us, of course he won’t, but he should. How he can’t see the correlation between increasing the quality in the squad and then a massive surge in revenue is beyond me, particularly now we’ve got the next elite manager…apparently.

    If I was Arteta I would just go for the Europa League now. If we can bring in some players that will help us. But put everything on that. I can’t really see anywhere we might go on a run in the EPL so just go for that and sneak into the UCL that way.

    If that does happen, unlikely as it is, then the club would need to be extremely aggressive in their sales and buys this summer. UCL qualification is not an achievement its an opportunity.

    The reactive, static, terrified, noncompetitive style that characterized the Wenger, Gazidis, Kroenke approach is part of the reason we’ve wound up where we are.

  22. Unai

    Anyone else read Untold just to feel normal?

    No, Just me then….

    Best get back to wanking into this cake I’m making while singing ‘summer of 69’….

    Fucks sake I’m bored, who ever convinced me marriage and kids were a good idea is an absolute cunt!

  23. Chris Barton

    Cesc, thats what annoys me, particularly amongst Arsenal fans.

    We celebrate commercial success although we’re not particularly successful in that department and focus on balance sheets rather than sporting achievement.

    I spend my life worrying about P&Ls, margins and scheduling, football is my relief from that, Stan sucked the joy out of it when he (Aided by the economic mastermind) turned Arsenal into an investment.

    Football is about winning or trying to win, pashun’ and getting pissed with your mates, if Stan wants a football club, he should feel that to or whats the point?

  24. Unai

    Cesc, thats what annoys me, particularly amongst Arsenal fans.

    We celebrate commercial success although we’re not particularly successful in that department and focus on balance sheets rather than sporting achievement.

    I spend my life worrying about P&Ls, margins and scheduling, football is my relief from that, Stan sucked the joy out of it when he (Aided by the economic mastermind) turned Arsenal into an investment.

    Football is about winning or trying to win, pashun’ and getting pissed with your mates, if Stan wants a football club, he should feel that to or whats the point?

  25. Unai

    HL

    Then that really is a road to nowhere.

    Groups of people make money of Football, agents and players. When do owners actually make cash money?

    Kronkie treats Arsenal like Jay Leno treats his cars when he should be out doing burn outs in the neighbour’s front lawn, blowing £10k head gaskets in his classic Ferrari. Prick.

  26. HighburyLegend

    The day Kroenke will sell the club, then – and only then – we will really be able to reborn as a prestigious club.

  27. Marko

    Lyon have agreed to sell 22-year-old midfielder Lucas Tousart to Hertha Berlin for €24m, but he will move at the end of the season – L’Équipe

  28. WengerEagle

    United pursuing a Vecino loan and targets like Ighalo and Slimani is peak banter.

    We’re shite as can be but at least United are too. Morphed into a mid table club in well under a decade, impressive.

  29. Zacharse

    Hey guess what!!??

    Kroenke is a shit owner part of the american socialist elite sport ownership cult. A parasite. Breaking news

  30. Un na naai

    HL

    Hahah
    Charlie gave you the bending over your we’re looking for off me.
    Beggars can’t be choosers. Take it what ever way you get it

    But to answer your very poignant and succinct question/point

    No I don’t think we will heat liverpool
    Not at all. It would be nice but I’m banking on city

  31. Un na naai

    “There are other positions as well, depending on what happens in the market that we might need to assess.

    “At the moment I am 50/50 [on signings] because this transfer [window] is very complicated and I only want to bring somebody in if I’m convinced he can really improve the level that we have

  32. Un na naai

    “I had a conversation with Dani,” added Arteta. “I heard about those things, but I have nothing to comment. He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place.”

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Unai

    Agreed.

    It’s the wars fans fought over our ridiculous transfer policy under Wenger. Everyone tried to weaponise the accounts.

    The fact that Arsenal fans are so versed in our accounts tells you in terms of football we’ve been really shabbily run over the last decade.

  34. WengerEagle

    Ceballos is a good player, really good technique and vision to spot a pass but I can’t see him working out in the PL, he’s tailor made for Spain or Italy really.

    Just can’t excel with those physical limitations in today’s PL, especially considering his end product doesnt come close to somebody like prime Cesc:s for example.

  35. Unai

    At Cebs age hes probably old enough to adapt physically its the mentality that might be a problem.

    If what we read in the papers is true, there is a level of entitlement about him, something you just cant have in the prem.

    I think Pepe is just waking up to the reality that the prem takes no prisoners, for example.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Just can’t excel with those physical limitations in today’s PL’

    Apparently you can get a £350 000 a week contract with those limitations.

    He should be started on Monday though. Given our issues in midfield it would be daft not to give him some time before a decision is made. He hasn’t played that much and has been out for a while now and he’s still one of our most productive midfield players in the EPL. Not a high standard, but still.

  37. Spanishdave

    It looks like Pedro has repetitive strain injury in his wrist from Wednesday night so he cannot use the keyboard!!!
    Lol

  38. Marko

    WE lemme ask you sensible guy to sensible guy how do you feel about Arsenal giving Ozil a clean slate for the umpteenth time and turning down 27 million for Xhaka while Bruno Guimaraes and Dani Olmo are going for 25 million this month and Palacios goes for 15 million. For me it’s frustrating as hell because you can just see it from a mile off in the summer we’ll go out and buy a new CM for 30-40 million. Might even go back in for Olmo when he’s going for 50 million.

  39. Marko

    PSG are currently negotiating an exchange between its French international, Layvin Kurzawa, who has been linked with Arsenal and the versatile defender of Juventus De Sciglio.

  40. Sid

    The outcome of my predictions isnt important. Its the process of my prediction that matters.
    Im telling you this for free!

  41. azed

    “WE lemme ask you sensible guy to sensible guy how do you feel about Arsenal giving Ozil a clean slate for the umpteenth time and turning down 27 million for Xhaka while Bruno Guimaraes and Dani Olmo are going for 25 million this month and Palacios goes for 15 million. For me it’s frustrating as hell because you can just see it from a mile off in the summer we’ll go out and buy a new CM for 30-40 million. Might even go back in for Olmo when he’s going for 50 million.”

    Marko

    Its not easy to bin Xhaka off in January for a player that might not adapt to the EPL. See Pepe for example, talented but still just settling in. Getting rid of Xhaka now for someone like Bruno Guimaraes is like playing Russian roulette with all the chambers loaded except one.

    As for Dani Olmo, I’m not sure we need him. We already have Saka, Martinelli and Nelson fighting for one spot on the wing and even though he can play as a attacking midfielder, I’m not sure he’s something we need.

  42. Marko

    Kroenke is a republican so I don’t see him being a socialist too

    I would’ve thought that would make you happy?

    What with Kurzawa? More relief than happiness.

  43. Marko

    As for Dani Olmo, I’m not sure we need him.

    Can’t understand why someone would say such a thing given Özil, Nelson, and Saka play for us and he’s better than them. Our CAM options are horrendous. But anyway maybe there isn’t better available in the transfer market. Or affordable.

  44. RodneyKing

    Understandably, Ceballos is on loan and his long-term future at Arsenal is uncertain.

    However, Arteta doesn’t seem to fancy him. If he did, he’d be more positive regarding his recovery and eager to integrate him into the team as quickly as possible. He should be able to play in the FA Cup and EL.

  45. Guns of SF

    Def something going on with Dani and Arteta it seems.
    His bomb the Nou Camp when the Basque and Catalans were playing against each other might not have gone down very well with Art

  46. Mgooner

    So Auba and Cebllos want out now…

    And of course, we will be told we have no money to buy because we spent everytthing during that past 10 years.

  47. Valentin

    Azed,

    Go read the full original article instead of posting some selected extract. It confirms exactly what I said at the time:

    1) The team was not as fit as it should have been under Wenger. Wenger was a precursor in introducing vitamins supplement, diet and the use of creatine. However I am not exactly sure why, he stopped the use of creatine which allowed to have intense game like training session. Toward the end of his tenure instead of having players fitter than most, Arsenal players were in the lower ranking per sprints and average distance covered.

    2) Unai went overboard with the physical/intensity and length of the training session and paid the price later in the season.

    3) This season , the pendulum swang the other way around but again too much. That was exacerbated by the change of coach requesting higher physical output than Emery. As repeatedly stated by coach ( Arteta), players (Lacazette, Sokratis, Luiz, Özil), former players (…), the team was not fit enough to be able to play 90 minutes at the intensity that Arteta wanted.

    I don’t understand how you can have the gall to pretend to be right when you spent your time arguing that the players were fit. That it was not possible not be fit mid season. That running 12km at a constant pace Vs running 12km alternating sprint and slow jog was the same.

    Every single one of your “expert” opinions has been debunked.

  48. RodneyKing

    How come clubs like Chelsea and Leicester can find players good enough to keep via loan deals and we can’t?

    Tielemans and Kovacic are great examples. Lo Celso is also looking good at Spurs. They may keep him, especially if Eriksen leaves.

  49. Valentin

    Marc,

    The strange thing about the US is their apparent socialist quasi communist approach to professional sport. Teams are part of a league and have shared revenue in a more egalitarian way than in Europe. See how Real Madrid and Barcelona were sucking all the TV revenue from la Liga until they were forced to accept a more collective deal.
    Teams that fail to reach the play-off are given precedence pick at the next draft.
    Personally I don’t see them as socialist, more like a cartel that accept some internal rules because it allows to keep the real competition at bay.

  50. Dream10

    Not the biggest fan of Dani Ceballos. Excellent technically, short passing and dribbling. However, think he’s limited in off the ball stuff and lacks an engine to sustain play. Like Eagle said above, he’s decent for Europa league La Liga and Serie A sides.

  51. RodneyKing

    @Dream10

    Re: Ceballos

    All from the very little you’ve seen of him. I can’t say he’s what we need going forward, but he’s on loan. We should utilise him as much as posible especially in the cup games if he’s fit.

    Good off-the-ball play is dependent on teamwork and understanding. You can’t single out one player unless the rest of the team is good at it and he’s not.