Matteo row speaks to demanding high-performance culture.

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Arsenal is BACK with a BANG.

I posted a pretty innocuous tweet about Matteo G being a problem child 1) because I know he is, as I’ve stated on here before 2) Arteta basically called out his attitude issues as the reason he didn’t make the squad.

My word, the uproar. The young Frenchman has a fan club like Mesut Ozil. They won’t even read the facts, which were further corroborated by The Telegraph who noted that he had a huge bust-up with Mikel and the staff over body language and attitude.

… if you can’t beat out Mesut for body language, what the hell is going on? This is what Arteta said after the game.

“The reason is that players who, in my opinion, are training better, behaving better and are more applied to deliver on the pitch what we want, are the players that are selected.”

Broader point here, if you cross the manager there are consequences. I have no idea why people thought Arteta would struggle on that front coming from Manchester City, but here we are. One of the best young talents in the bad books after 7 weeks under the new regime.

I know that Freddie also had issues with him during his short stint. It was a lack of respect thing. The player no doubt has the world at his feet, but at the highest level, you have to play the game and always work in the best interests of the club. Hopefully, he learns from his mistakes, bucks up his ideas and continues his path to the top.

I think one of the worst parts of the Emery regime was the lack of consistency from him. He didn’t hold people to account, which made him a walkover. Mesut Ozil knew he’d be back in the squad regardless of what happened because the manager was a wet lettuce. I don’t think we’ll have those issues with Mikel, regardless of who you are.

There was a lot of positivity around the game yesterday. I know it’s only Newcastle, but we’re at their level at the moment. We’re not sitting midtable because of bad luck, it’s because we’ve been absolute shit.

I liked this stat from Matt Scott.

It’s only a small thing, but the strategy was built around nullifying their strength and it involved pressing… and the players did it. That says the players are behind the ideas, they understand them, and are willing to work hard to execute.

I also thought Matt’s point about Auba-left-wing-rage was pertinent. He’s great out on the left, he scores a lot of goals from that position, and if we’re honest, he’s not ideal through the middle because he doesn’t hold the ball up as well as Lacazette or Eddie. Still can’t believe how much work he does for the team, he made a vital interception in our box early on. Very sharp.

Hopefully, that result was a turning point. First time in over a year we’ve scored 4 in a game. We’re now unbeaten in 6 games in the league, that’s a real positive, it could extend further, our fixture list is fairly kind over the next 2 months.

People seem very keen to tell you that they don’t believe in the players that are now playing better, like there’s some chance that Mikel is going to keep them all this summer. It’s such a weird insecurity, maybe it’s because he played under Arsene and his squad turnover numbers were really low? It’s unfounded, regardless.

The plan, from where I’m watching, is to pump the value of decent players that have been cut adrift by the last 2 managers. You couldn’t move on certain names last year because their form was so bad, now, we’re seeing a turn out of most of them. Finish the year strong and they’ll all be getting better offers this summer. This May is hopefully going to be fast and furious.

The biggest story in European football is that finally, UEFA caught up with the cheating that Manchester City has been overseeing. They’ve just landed a 2 year ban from the Champions League. A beastly punishment and one you sense likely to end that squad. The manager says he’ll stay, even if they’re demoted to League 2, I’m not sure a lot of the players will… though the Fraudiola muppets will get to see their man in a lower division.

I wholeheartedly agree with the ban. The financial doping in football has been crazy over the past decade and we could all see it wasn’t fair. My hope is that the authorities move hard on other clubs, namely PSG, for offences that look very, very similar. We’ll see though. Football is a billionaire plaything, and they have a tendency to get away with what they want.

In the meantime, one would assume the top 4 trophy is now the top 5. Absolute crazy times if that’s the case. Arsenal are 7 points from 4th and 6 from 5th. Very doable if we can muster some form… though I do believe that’d be a massive stretch to expect after the season we’ve had.

My focus would be on the Europa League. I think we can take any team over two legs. The major worry would Inter Milan and United. Still, hardly Atletico, right?

Ok, lots to ponder today, fingers crossed for a United vs Chelsea draw a little later on!

P.S. I found this video from Portugal very hard to watch. Outside the grim racism, the reaction of his teammates looked really poor. I’m sure they were saying ‘don’t let them win’, but when they could see his head was gone, they should have let him go. European football is a disgrace. This racist behaviour is a cancer on our great game. UEFA should act with the same vigour they went at City with. Make a statement that this will not be tolerated.

182 Responses to “Matteo row speaks to demanding high-performance culture.”

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  1. Nelson

    Guen is a 20 years old kid. He still needs to grow up. He hasn’t received proper coaching yet. Just look at how Arteta improves Pepe. Guen still has potential to come good. He’ll need to learn how to behave in a team first.

  2. Highbury Upper East Block A

    “ Offside is a rule about advantages, you decided what constitutes an advantage for an attacker and that’s it sorted. Right now it’s chalking off goals because of shoulders being off by an inch, toes, heels, arse cheeks. There should be daylight between attacker and defender, then you’d see who could actually defend.”

    Champagne you are absolutely correct. This should be the starting point for offside VAR from next year. Any other interpretation will lead to fans leaving EPL football in their droves. Surely the EPL won’t won’t want this to happen……

  3. Emiratesstroller

    The only thing that Guendouzi offers is a “good engine” for about 50 minutes.
    Thereafter if he is still playing he is easily pushed off the ball and dispossessed
    as he tires.

    For me he is a “prima donna” when it comes to his behaviour on the pitch and
    it would seem from what transpired during the Dubai Break he is not much better off it as well.

    I have made the case on many occasions that I don’t consider that he has a special talent and that he is no better than either Willock or Smith-Rowe.

    The fact is that his record of creativity, assists and goal scoring is absolutely

    He cost us a small transfer fee and frankly I will not be concerned if we
    offload him in the Summer and make a thumping profit. There are plenty of
    better and less problematic players on the horizon.

  4. Pedro

    Highbury, I think they should give managers calls on incidents, like they do with tennis.

    Tough on offside… the absolutist nature of the rule is hard to get around.

  5. Highbury Upper East Block A

    That makes sense Pedro, similar to American football and cricket re the challenges. Each team gets 2 and the ref refs the game as per normal. Lino’s should let play continue unless “clear and obvious” offsides.

  6. Guns of SF

    Guen is way overrated and benefited from a good pre season. Emery did not fancy torreira and with xhaka being xhaka. guen got more time than deserved….
    Emery figured that he had the stamina to play alongside xhaka… but aside from his rookie bump…. he has been shit. He does not contribute anything to the team. There are better options we need this summer…
    Much better….
    Sell …. we will need the cash

    Too many on here are sentimental… he is no cesc Saka or gabi…..

    We are not really known for developing or scouting young talent bar those I mentioned

    Even wengers English core experiment flopped.

    Our entire midfield needs an overhaul

  7. TheLegendaryDB10


    Guen is a 20 years old kid. He still needs to grow up. He hasn’t received proper coaching yet. Just look at how Arteta improves Pepe. Guen still has potential to come good. He’ll need to learn how to behave in a team first.

    You may be right, but compared to Pepe (or Martinelli) he hasn’t shown any flashs of brilliance so far. Not once have I went “oooh, this is what he can do” and thouht that he was one for the future. Pepe has shown this, Martinelli has shown this and even Ceballos (at 23) has finaly shown what he is capable of doing. As for Guen… nothing. Says it all for a player who was in a team that was in Ligue1 that then dropped to Ligue 2.

  8. Guns of SF

    Many players are better than Guen. He was a bargain at the time, an unknown who did ok his first season… he benefited from fate and the fact that Emery for some reason favored him over Lucas.

    Loan him out, or sell for a profit… he did not cost much… I would say he is about 10-14M …

    Docoure in the middle with Ceballos or someone else. CM
    Add Grealish as our attacking mid…

    major upgrade already with those 2

  9. Big Dave

    Thank God for the Newcastle game. I don’t have to hear anymore drivel based on a farcical interpretation of statistics.
    How anyone can try to build a case against Arteta based on fewer than ten games when those games have come thick and fast, is beyond nonsensical.

    I’ve already argued about avoiding conclusions based on limited datasets. It really shouldn’t be a subject for debate and needs to be confined to initial thoughts on possible emerging trends.

    Funny though, that the same posters relying o such limited data, and turning their faces from context, are now discarding the Newcastle game due to their poor quality. Yes odd, one particular poster was irritatingly repetitive about his view that Arsenal would finish “tenth at best” but now says nothing can be gained from judging a single performance against a lower midtable side. Not even a grudging view that Arsenal played to their respective strengths.

    You couldn’t make it up with these football morons.

  10. GunnerDNA

    “I thought they were ten points clear at the top with those celebrations. Ridiculous.” 😂

    Roy Keane was not impressed with Arsenal’s reaction to beating Newcastle on Super Sunday


  11. Pierre

    Have to agree with Roy Keane to a point, though I think the celebrations were more in relief that they can actually put the ball in the back of the net.

    It takes the weight off the players shoulders and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a completely different group of players now.

    I said enough times that the team has enough creativity and goals in the side, be patient and the goals will flow.

    All I’ve been hearing the last few weeks is how we need a creative player but to me , unless we can find a world class talent we must go with what we have and also promote from within ..

    Address our weaknesses which Arteta has done to a certain extent with the loan signings , though I’m not that keen on loans as there is so little time for loan players to acclimatise to the new surroundings.

  12. Guns of SF


    unless we can find a world class talent we must go with what we have and also promote from within ..

    World class talent is outside of this club for mids. Promoting from within? Arteta is playing the best we already have…
    unless there is some mystery player on the bench waiting his chance..?

    We need to buy this summer. I would keep LT and that is it… maybe Dani if he shows us consistency

  13. Champagne Charlie

    Roy Keane is a relic, quality footballer but absolutely fuck all EQ and I reckon would arguably struggle in the modern game because his version of being hard ie shouting and scowling, isn’t as mainstream as it was in generations past.

    Would more likely get bouncer club to club because he’s a fucking knob who has beef with half his team no matter where he plays.

    Why he’s a nothing manager, completely incapable of reading or dealing with humans on any varied level. Probably still considers a professional warmup running around twice around the football pitch.

  14. Dark Hei

    I think it is the English FA that is broken using VAR. I think they actually use it as a cheating mechanism.

    When the world body states clearly that VAR is there to correct obvious errors, week after week, the EPL use them for weird marginal offside decisions and existential questions on relativity.

    “Did Batshuayi’s tummy foul Maguie’s boot or did Maguie kick Bats in the gut?”

    Answer is the former according to our space time cameras and atomic clocks.

  15. Receding Hairline

    You are telling the whole world the 20 year old you bought for 7m has a bad attitude and you want to cash out for 60m…60m for what exactly?

    I am no fan of Matteo but I repeat his attitude on the pitch has always been spot on, he keeps trying till the end. That’s better than I can say for some. I hope this whole thing is just to get him to sit up and be better rather than punishment for not joining the “we have the best coach in the world” choir.

  16. Receding Hairline

    Look at the table this morning and you can understand why many were irritated we haven’t gotten more wins under our belt. We would have been right in the mix making Chelsea more nervous than they already are.

    Fourth place was always there for the taking and still is.

    Roy Keane is a punk but he has a point, it was still Newcastle at home anyway you paint it and it wasn’t a 4-0 performance

  17. Snaparse

    RH with the agenda driven bs…. funny you didn’t say fourth was achievable when emery was stinking the whole place out…

  18. Bob N16

    Personally I like seeing unbounded joy from the players when we score. Lacazette hadn’t scored for nine games and his teammates who appear to get on with him really well, showed their happiness for him.

    Keane is a miserable bastard and anyone who shares his views on this, is in danger of falling into the same category. Joyless!

  19. Chris

    I admired Keane deeply as a player, begrudgingly obviously, and I have found myself agreeing with some of his punditry but he just comes across as a miserable old git with those comments.

    Our players won’t give a hoot either. It was clear why they were so happy. A bit like getting your leg over again after a long dry spell!

  20. Chris

    Dortmund vs PSG is a mouth watering prospect this evening. Haaland/Sancho vs Mbappe/Neymar among others. Tie of the round.

  21. Graham62

    Roy Keane is an absolute psycho, we all know that.

    Worth having my sky subscription just to watch the reaction of the presenters and fellow pundits.

    He’s set in a time warp and the longer he’s stuck there, the safer it is for all of us.

    Always looks like he’s going to kill someone.

    Some things never change.

  22. Graham62

    I wonder how Keane would have coped with modern day football and the social media and hype that goes with it?

    His non- PC attitude to things wouldn’t have gone down too well.

  23. shaun

    Can’t see this super talent in guen either maybe I am missing something I think you would get more out of smith-rowe to be honest , I really really can’t stand a sulky frenchie either it’s almost like they have this extra petulance .I would have no problem selling and putting the money towards what is really needed

  24. shaun

    “Roy Keane is a punk but he has a point, it was still Newcastle at home anyway you paint it and it wasn’t a 4-0 performance”

    what kind of dumb shit is this ….they performed , they won the game 4-0

  25. Grouvillegooner

    Agree with Pedro’s comments about VAR. Each manager or captain has two calls per game. The players involved in any incident know what has happened and will soon learn not to waste the calls on dubious dives etc.
    Also agree with the Guen comments. It is difficult to see what his strengths are. Strange to say , but I think that the wild hair tends to get him noticed in midfield and gives the illusion that he is doing more than he is. At best his future is as a DM.

  26. Mysticleaves

    Great comment about Guen and his discipline. He’s been in the news lately for different reasons. It’s also good to see Pedro that you now try to be objective in your writings (surprise!!) You know, Emery dropping Ozil had to be agendarized right? Even when he explained same kind of thing Arteta explained.

    Shame about Marega. The only way to stop these things is for the players from both teams to discuss with the affected players. Bro what do you want to do? You want to continue playing? He says yes, ok we play. You want to leave the pitch? Yes ok we all go. Racism should not be left alone to only football authorities. The players are the most important. United we win