Arteta: ‘It’s complicated’

by & filed under News Review.

Sorry for going dark on you, I’m on a pitch, travelled into Chicago and made a hilarious joke to my boss about coronavirus and travelling… news flash in the lounge 5 mins ago…


I am the cooler of travelling. If you want a delayed plane, the furthest possible terminal, or now, a deadly virus, come fly with me.

Arteta’s press conference was fairly standard. He spoke of how happy he was about the attitude of the squad, going one deeper, saying he’s happy about how the club as a whole is responding.

A lot of things that I wanted to implement, not just with the players but around the club in terms of the culture, I’m seeing very good signs in progress.

A lot of things about our way of playing and style, even if the circumstances in some of the games have made it a little more difficult than expected.

In general I can see the direction towards what I wanted a month ago.

Remember, his sell isn’t just to the players, it’s to all the backroom team he’s working with. I’ve heard the buzz about him transcends just the players. That’s great to know.

He had little to say on transfers, outside one being quite complicated. The name that seems to be drawing the most smoke is that of Mykola Matviyenko. I actually had the first UK lead on it because some guy with 8 followers sent me the links from Ukraine. Does that make me an insider? Does that make me bigger than Ornstein? Yes to both, so show some fucking respect.

I did some deep scouting… 4.5 minutes to be precise.

What I have ascertained is:

  • He’s quite short, 5 foot 11, but he does have a tremendous leap
  • He’s built like a left-back, so he’d have to bulk. Being Eastern European naturally makes you 3.8x tougher than the average European, so I’m not too worried there
  • He sprays the ball around like Toni Kroos, his long balls are something else. He also looks like he has quite a lot of pace in his game.
  • Arteta had been trying to persuade City to sign him, the player has a bit of the Laporte’s about him, so makes sense
  • He has 18 months left on his deal, so he’s primed for Arsenal

I always worry when we sign short defenders that don’t look big enough for the league, but Saliba is huge, so little and large might work next season. I am open to this sort of defender if it moves our game forward. Also, Shaktar played future football under Fonseca, so he’ll come preprogrammed with Arteta ball in mind.

Kurzawa, a full back heavily linked to us, looks like he’s going to Juve. Made little sense to move for him with Kola and Saka playing well. Arsenal fans getting furious about a player we might not have been in for is quite something.

Arteta also spoke about another position he’s looking at.

“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 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.”

I think he’s going to look for players that can mover the ball between the lines. Ceballos doesn’t sound like he’s impressing and the only two that move the ball the way Arteta needs are Ozil, Luiz, and Xhaka, hardly ideal. I would love more athleticism in the squad. Power and pace is still severely lacking, I really hope we address that in the summer.

In other news, there’s a breakaway Arsenal club being formed. A really mental story from The Athletic, because breakaway insinuates there’s some tie to Arsenal… but the only tie is it’s being set up by Arsenal fans. This story is like me, iPhone user of 10 years, setting up my own phone company and calling it an ‘Apple breakaway.’ It’s a rich guy setting up his own football club and trying to generate noise by tying it to Arsenal. There’s no story here… AFC Wimbledon setup because they moved the original club to Milton Keynes from London. Arsenal’s disgruntled fans have what, 3 years since we last won a trophy? 2 years out of the Champions League? Seems like the most middle class move ever. Like being mildly upset with Monmouth Coffee not having a matcha line, so setting up your own version to really show them up. Then calling it a Monmouth breakaway. I’m not telling anyone how to be disgruntled… but there are clubs in far worse situations than us with fans that have genuinely been shafted. Ditching your club because of a bad patch really isn’t cool imo.


Right, short post today because I’m in the process of catching a deadly virus. As a deathbed wish, could you please listen to my podcast. Thank you kindly, maybe see you tomorrow. x

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382 Responses to “Arteta: ‘It’s complicated’”

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  1. Champagne Charlie

    Apparently it’s an initial 6-month loan with 8 mil fee arranged for potential summer transfer.

    He’s an alternative to the lad from Ukraine. 6’3, left footed, speaks English.

    Suits Flamengo because they bought him for 1.7 mil 6 months ago, won a domestic double with him, now stand to earn a huge profit relatively speaking.

  2. Chris

    Brentford playing some nice stuff even though they are one down. Wouldn’t mind seeing them in the Premier League next season.

    New stadium looks good too.

  3. Nelson

    I read somewhere that the Ukraine side didn’t accept a loan agreement. Two days later, the name Mari appear. Probably, Mari is the plan B.

  4. Champagne Charlie


    So is that shite or average? Looking at him he seems like a moderate runner, not sharp off the mark.

    Very few CB’s are in truth, positioning and anticipation so vital to a defender. Seems to be pretty flexible, that left leg appears above head height more than once in what I’ve watched of him – Zlatan eat your heart out.

  5. Wasi



    I didnt get your reply. Is it about the Grealish comment. If so then Yes.
    Grealish has a well defined position free 8 , 10, 8.
    Lemar is good but different people will say different positions as his best one. For me its LW or Left mid and i wouldn’t want to stunt Gabi’s and Saka’s growth in that area + we also have Auba there rn.
    Grealish is Prem proven and handles the physicality well, has hazard like ability to win fouls and doesn’t shy away from a good 50/50. Also his end product is very good and adds quite a lot of goals and assists. Currently carrying the Aston Villa team.
    Lemar also good in the final 3rd but can he handle the physical side of the game. His exploits at ATM point otherwise.
    But its impossible to get Grealish in this window and Lemar may be available so a Loan with Option sounds like a good deal. + He’s Wenger approven.
    So definitely a Player in there.

    When you compare Mustafi and Sok other top 6 defenders you’ll find them to be pretty slow imo.
    Laporte, Stones, Gomez, VVD, Rudiger, Christensen, Alderweireld are all faster than Mustafi and Sok imo. Also Maguire and Soyuncu I think have good pace.

  6. Northbanker

    RSPC -hope thats the case as this deal gives us cover and keeps our powder dry for a higher quality deal in the Summer. There is also the case we may have a great buy on our hands. Understand he was impressive v Liverpool in World Club finals

  7. Chris


    I agree. If he was accused of being slow, for the sake of the computer game, you would expect to see a rating way below 10.

    Absolutely positional sense and intelligence over pace for a central defender, although it’s nice to have all that.

  8. Northbanker

    Auba to leave Arsenal as last deal of transfer window with Barca and PSG in auction to get him. We get a hefty cash sum in excess of £60m.

    Sid – I’m telling you that for a negotiated sum.

  9. Dissenter

    How fast was John Terry, even at his peak?
    Le-grove has always been obsessed with pace. It’s almost as if people mate looking for the next Ussain Bolt.
    I remember people talking up Danny Welbeck when he was shitting up the place because he had ‘pace’ and destroying Giroud because he lacked it.

  10. Wasi

    £60m.Sid – I’m telling you that for a negotiated sum.

    Dont know why Psg would want Auba . They already have Icardi, Mbappe to play in that position even if Cavani leaves. Agent talk imo

  11. Chris

    Last word on the computer game stats!

    Composure 15
    Decisions 13
    Positioning 14
    Tackling 15

    These two are for you CG

    Determination 20
    Bravery 15

  12. Marc


    You actually think that’s a good idea? Not only our top scorer but the only player we have at the moment who’s scoring on any sort of regular basis.

  13. Northbanker

    Looks like Barca have beaten us to the signing of the Brazilian RB wonder kid Yan Couto. Thats a real shame and looks like Edu failed to sell the dream.

  14. Champagne Charlie

    Terry was slow as fuck, he played the game upstairs (which is so, so ironic given he’s a fucking mong) which negated it. Adams was awful off the mark too, didn’t matter at all.

    Really liking the fact Mari is left-footed, called for that after watching Xhaka back there last time out. Balances the defence so well imo, here’s hoping he makes the necessary transition.

  15. Batistuta


    Maybe it’s because at some point the team was filled with non-athletes which is vital especially in our league as Pool have shown, we still have some of that mind you

  16. Batistuta


    Auba doesn’t even give off the vibe he’s leaving soon, looks like it’s his agent trying to get him renewed on better terms and i wouldn’t mind giving he’s our best player

  17. Northbanker

    Marc – yes and no. On the footballing side i can’t disagree but I think its going to happen either way. He hasn’t signed an extension and if we get that sort of money on the table I think we have to take it. If we want the club to build its position then we do have to be prepared to sell at the top and not hang on watching the values decline. It’s a fact of life for us.

  18. Marc


    I understand the argument that we either need him to re-sign or sell him in the summer but to sell him in Jan with no replacement is – to borrow a bit of CC’s phrase “a level of mongness beyond comprehension”.

    We can’t win matches at the moment as it stands let alone getting rid of last seasons Golden Boot winner.

  19. Northbanker

    I also don’t think losing Auba will be that disastrous in the medium or even short term. It will pave the way for a new younger version to emerge or be bought – new signing and Martinelli will thrive. Would also sell Laca in Summer if money is right

  20. Champagne Charlie


    Behave lad, it’s 2pm. Won’t see him for another couple of hours. Fully expect a scouting report at 5pm complete with nihilistic drivel and behind the scenes access to Colney.

  21. Nelson

    This TW really exposed our suffering under the ownership of Stan Kroenke. We have to settle on a plan B because of a lack of fund. Any complaint should be directed to the owner.

  22. Northbanker

    Marc – its a pointless question. We need to sell at the top to buy new younger faces. We won’t compete if our plan is to hang on to waning stars (as he will be) until their sell-by dates have gone. Martinelli and I believe Pepe will thrive in a post Auba world and thats before a replacement striker at half the cost is added to the mix.

    It would be great if we were in a position to ignore money but we’re not so we have to get real. We have to trade our way to the top.

  23. Northbanker

    Nelson – maybe but the reality is that very few people are rich enough to pour half a billion into a football club to piss up the wall on transfers. There’s no return on it either – clubs don’t play dividends so its a shite investment. Whoever owns AFC the likelihood is we need to maintain a business model that is self-sustaining. That means having Plan B purchases which is much better than Gazidis who had no plan at all

  24. Marc


    Auba’s form and ability is not going to change between now and the summer. Selling in Jan is a terrible idea that sends a negative signal to perspective new players as well as us losing our biggest goal threat.

  25. Northbanker

    And Plan Bs can often work out much better than Plan As. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality. I like the Mari deal. It gives us options and keeps our powder dry

  26. Un na naai

    Un Behave lad, it’s 2pm. Won’t see him for another couple of hours. Fully expect a scouting report at 5pm complete with nihilistic drivel and behind the scenes access to Colney.

    😂 😂
    Good point

  27. Northbanker

    I read that Auba’s contract has a number of significant loyalty etc payments that are back-loaded. If we let him run down his contract we will be in for some really hefty payouts., all of which are reducing our kitty for new signings. I think the Board will take the money now when its gets high enough.

  28. Northbanker

    Un na – those were the days!

    Marc – if a deal is there then we’re not going to ignore it. We will survive. It will be last minute so won’t affect any jan deals and by the Summer we’ll have moved on – even you!

  29. Marc


    I have no issue with the idea of selling him in the summer but in Jan it’s just plain moronic unless we have a quality replacement lined up.

  30. Nelson


    I read that Auba’s biggest payouts will be triggered if he can help us get into the Champions League.

  31. CG

    Arsenal Next Season
    38 Games

    Arsenal Center Backs

    Sokratis,Luiz,Chambers,Holding,Mutsafi,Mari and Saliba.

    Super team Liverpool dont need 7 center backs.
    They are patient. They dont do Trolly dashing.
    They strive for Quality
    They are patient (egVVD)

    Edu and Rauls jobs will be untenable when next season financials come to light.

    Mari is an indulgent, gratuitous and totally needless mid season signing, if truth be told.

    They follow the Suarez, Cebollas pattern.
    Spanish, mediocre and Guff.

  32. Marko

    Gimnàstic de Tarragona 96
    Deportivo de La Coruña 38
    NAC Breda 32
    Clube de Regatas do Flamengo 30
    Girona FC 9
    RCD Mallorca B 6
    RCD Mallorca 1

    That’s his career appearences made. Top flight football for 6 months with Flamengo a stint in Holland with Breda and 4 mins with Mallorca the rest is second division football. He was bought for 1.5 million in June. I hope it works out I really do but it’s more of a hopeful shot in the dark type of signing. I’ll be shocked if he displaces Luiz but what do I know.

  33. Batistuta


    Don’t see the logic in selling your top scorer in January with a lot of football to play and us still being in 2 competitions, would be stupid… We’re not going into administration if we don’t get the Auba money this January… I’d sooner see the back of Laca than Auba by the way

  34. Sheila

    That’s his career appearences made. Top flight football for 6 months with Flamengo a stint in Holland with Breda and 4 mins with Mallorca the rest is second division football. He was bought for 1.5 million in June. I hope it works out I really do but it’s more of a hopeful shot in the dark type of signing. I’ll be shocked if he displaces Luiz but what do I know.

    You’re right, you don’t know. The best defender in the world right now couldn’t break into Groningen’s first team at first, was offered to every Eredivisie team with no takers, finally went to Celtic for 2.5 mil and then to Southampton before. Liverpool bought him for 70mil . So, yeah. You don’t know

  35. Valentin

    Hopefully that signing will be more like Martinelli than David Luiz.

    What that “tactical” signing is emphasizing is how the previous TW did not improve the spine of the team. We should have prioritised a left CB, a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper instead of a luxury inverted winger.

    Arsenal is overloaded with attacking options but there is a real dearth of defensive players. In midfield Torreira is the only defensive midfielder. Xhaka, Guendouzi and Willock are more “relayeur” or 8 than 6.
    At Fullback, behind the injured starters (Bellerin, Tierney) we have converted (AMN), pressed (Saka) midfielders and a regularly injured player more suited to wingback (Kolasinac).
    The less said about our current option at CB the better. David Luiz was a replacement for Koscielny, but even if Koscielny had stayed with us, there was still a need for a left footed tall no non-sense CB.

  36. Marko

    Receding I dunno about bullying but it’s a kind of sad boredom the lad’s got. Bamford’s gone you were gone and there was a day there where I wasn’t nibbling and he spent literal hours arguing with Paulinho denying something that he said despite being quoted. Don’s just latching on to someone smarter than him it’s cute. He usually fully quotes him adds a smiley emoji and thinks he made a good point. They’re both from the same club so what do you expect

  37. HighburyLegend

    Mari is arrived in London.
    Awesome signing… (?)
    Anyway, that’s a defensive midfield added to our squad, and it’s better than nothing.

    The other good news of the day is that the Spuds are losing Eriksen.

    Un Dos Tres who’s passing his whole is life on the blog is the only bad news of the day, but I guess you can’t have everything….

  38. Receding Hairline

    “Arsenal is overloaded with attacking options ”

    The low chances on goal stats do not support this assertion

    Nor does the goals contribution outside of Aubameyang and Martinelli (who you argued was purchased for the youth team and should not be promoted so quickly earlier in the season)

    We are a team who somehow throw out the statement “we are great offensively” yet nothing that actually happens in games supports this

  39. Marko

    Just an example of player who went from nothing to top shelf in no time

    He didn’t start at 26 you dumb fuck. Do you understand the argument you’re making

  40. Un na naai

    Your basic English is shocking sometimes. I’m writing him off? Am I? I’d say more skeptical and negative given his career so far and our needs.

    Ok football manager guru
    Spell it out
    What’s our budget and how best to utilise it right now? Jan 2020

    You already have the inside track on our training methods and effort.

    You hate Mustafi but this is a bad move because….?

  41. Receding Hairline

    “To Southampton where nobody gave two fucks
    To world player of the year candidate”

    Yea for 75m pounds…identical to this fellow from Flamengo eh

    No one knows how this fellow will fare but there must be a reason he left Europe for just 1.5m pounds at 26, if you can’t see that then you should stop bragging about your IQ

  42. Un na naai

    “To Southampton where nobody gave two fucks
    To world player of the year candidate”Yea for 75m pounds…identical to this fellow from Flamengo eh No one knows how this fellow will fare but there must be a reason he left Europe for just 1.5m pounds at 26, if you can’t see that then you should stop bragging about your IQ

    Yes so rather than doing the rounds at low clubs he arrives at a top european club from a-c rather than lingering?? Is the concept of a highly talented player going straight to a top club too much to comprehend?

    Not saying that’s what he is as I’ve no idea but as the pair of conjoined pricks that you are you’ve written him off before he kicks a ball while maintaining we can’t use Mustafi

    Yeah, continuity

  43. Champagne Charlie


    You going to pull your trousers up and chirp at Marko for his bullying of Un soon?

    Or you reserving that for when one of your gal pals gets teased for the omelette on his face?

  44. Marko

    Anyway Arteta’s fingerprints all over the signing. Given the amount of chat the links to Nzonzi and Banega got under Emery (you know former player links equals bad signing and the likes) it’s surprising to me that certain people seem to be very excited by this signing. Anyway at least a super agent isn’t involved.

  45. CazOnARola

    We need to maximize whatever we can get for Aubameyang. If Barcelona really are interested, it can only be because of suarez ‘s injury. There is no way Aubameyang would be successful in their setup with his passing and close control under pressure.

    If an over of 60mn does come along, that’s huge for a player in the last 18 months of his contract.

    But because it is such a big PR disaster, there is no way the club will sell unless someone is paying stupid money like 100mn which obviously won’t happen.

    This is most likely agent talks trying to get the best package for his client.

    Probably the same contract that ozil is on, and while 350k is not the value ozil offers anymore, there is no way we should create the same situation again and offer the same to Aubameyang. We need both gone in the summer and to find better value in those positions while upgrading others.

  46. Receding Hairline

    “Is the concept of a highly talented player going straight to a top club too much to comprehend?”

    Highly talented player? What is this assessment based on? A Spanish footballer who has to go to Brazil for 1.5m does not scream highly talented. Have you even read up on him?

    Best we can hope for is late bloomer

  47. Receding Hairline

    He is a low risk signing on loan with an option to buy so i don’t really have an issues with the signing as we need bodies back there, just don’t make it seem like we struck gold or something until he actually plays and performs

  48. TR7

    I have no idea about Pablo but I am drawing comfort from the fact Arteta worked with him at City and thus, must be knowing about him a great deal. His CV is not quite impressive but may be he is a late bloomer. If nothing else he turns out to be better than Mustafi at the very least, that’s our job done. Even more so if we can offload Mustafi for more money than what we are paying for Pablo. We have Saliba, Holding, Chambers and Luiz in our squad, so it’s not like Pablo will need to be the main cog in our defense. He needs to be a good supporting cast in our defense. Our financial situation is very dicey, so we will have to take punts in transfer market. If I were Arteta, I would be interested in saving our little money for quality central mids in summer.

  49. Dissenter

    I wish people would stop linking every signing to our manager. I detested the same practice when people tried to smear Emery with the Suarez purchase.
    We moved away from the manager-does-all approach since Wenger left. My naive soul wants to bask in the full knowledge that we have professional scouts scouring data and keeping tabs on players that most of don’t have on our tiny radars. They have access to contract info because agents constant communicate with scouts.
    We have a technical director and a chief scout who have particular interests in the South American market so this Pablo deal isn’t because of Arteta. His numbers would have had to be jumping out of a scouting list someway.
    I’m not even sure Arteta really knows him that well. He may have asked his sources at city who would have detailed the lads strengths and weaknesses.

  50. Pierre

    We need to recruit players to suit the style of football Arteta wants to play, so one would presume that Arteta is the main person in the process.

    If not , then we may end up with another Pepe who, though a good player, was never suited to Emery’s style and is probably not suited to Arteta’s style.

    Will it be a case of Arteta having to change his football philosophy to suit the players that have been brought in .

    For me , it must be Arteta who makes the final decision.