Arteta gives insight into Saka, Ozil, and resilience

by & filed under News Review.

The morning after and I’m still feeling pretty immense about yesterday. It was the sort of game that builds the character of a team and shows who is there to cut the mustard and who there spreading low-fat mayonnaise like a melt.

Nearly everyone showed up, the key worry heading into that game for me was that Everton hadn’t played for 14 days. I mistakenly thought it was a week. That’s a lot of time to prepare, revive the legs, and get hyped to blitz a side on a shaky road to recovery.

For us, it was the 3rd game in 7 days. That has a huge impact when you’re fighting a team that’s had their feet up. The players looked toasted by the end, Mikel said they were cramping up, factor in that they only had two second-half subs to freshen things up, and the outcome was all the more impressive.

Everton gave us problems, no doubt, but they only hit the target 5 games in a match that was pretty evenly split for possession. I thought a lot of our problems came down Bellerins flank. We had a two-fold problem there, Hector looks disgracefully off the pace, I think we’re all seeing now why the club invested in a spare right back when the need didn’t look that important. We also saw the difference between what Pepe offers as cover and what Auba does. Chalk and cheese, the Ivorian needs to pull his finger out. He has so much to offer going forward, but the only way he’ll survive this regime is if he does his bit tracking back, especially when his right-back is struggling.

Talking of right-backs, it is sad to see that AMN has fallen foul of the new rules of the road. I suspect he’s complained about playing right-back (like he did to Emery), because surely that’s all it can be, he always works hard, hasn’t put a foot wrong when he’s played and looked a standout 5 weeks ago. Seems like a really silly thing to do, especially when your captain is playing on the left and mucking in defensively. Hopefully, he can redeem himself, I’d prefer to see him there than Cedric, so let’s see if his tune changes soon.

Thursday night will be an interesting test for rotation. Mari and Gabriel were both in the stands today. I struggle to understand the Gabriel omission, was pondering whether it was the body language and blow up at Xhaka on Thursday, the fact he’s played a lot, or a slight knock. Mari is going to be interesting, the Spaniard who just loves smiling needs to land some game time soon and a home match against Olympiacos could be a great way to introduce himself to the fans.

Arteta dropped some sexy hintations about Auba’s state of mind after the game.

“Hopefully not just the wins, but as well what we are trying to do,”

“That he really enjoys on the pitch every time he goes, that he feels very much part of what we’re trying to build here. And I think he’s with that mindset at the moment.

“I think it’s been tough for him. You know a player like him, there’s been a lot of disappointments in the last few months and years because he has big expectations. You know he wants to play for the biggest club in the biggest tournaments, and be up there with the best players in the world. And we have to try to support him and give him everything at the club so he really feels fulfilled here. That’s the challenge I have.”

I still think it’s a moonshot to get him to stay, but the manager has said over and over again that he’s our best player and most important. Hard to disagree. It was also interesting that he wasn’t sure if he could be the complete player, namely, could he defend (even if he wanted to).

“I had two questions. One was ‘ he doesn’t want to do it?’ or ‘he cannot do it physically?’. Once I found out that physically he could do it, it was just about convincing him he needs to do it every three days and he’s showing that.”

He’s certainly shown his hunger in bucketloads. If that leads to him to staying, you’ve gotta be onboard that hype train, if he leaves, we’ll land more money than we would of if Emery had stayed on.

The manager alluded to Saka being out of the line-up because of a fitness issue and also leant into some of the mistakes being geared around a little bit of believing-your-own-hype-itis.

“Well I’m never happy when something happens like that. With Kola, he’s been very unlucky with injuries. Bukayo had some issues as well before the game then he started to play after a few minutes. It was a great contribution defensively but as well there are other moments that he showed today that there is still a lot of margin for him to improve and he needs to keep his feet on the ground and we have to help him to.”

Finally, Mesut Ozil had a very good game again. He’s certainly not falling back into old habits, he has a coach that understands him now, and one that he very much seems to respect. Arteta had an interesting piece on him.

“Yeah, I’m very pleased with him. Obviously I played with him and I know him so I try to pinch him as much as possible to do what he needs to do because I know how much he can give on the offensive side. But as well, Mesut – it’s a good example for this game. When we are dominant, when the whole process is properly done and you find the player in the right position, it’s the type of game that he wants. When that game becomes like this (gestures back and forth) that’s not his game. So he needs his teammates, he needs the right structure and organisation for him to flourish. Sometimes it’s not his fault, it’s about the team that is not supporting what he needs.”

Arteta is incredibly open about everything, I love it, feels like we’re getting an inside look under the car bonnet, hopefully, he doesn’t stop with that. Anyway, I feel like that last part was interesting (and the pinching up bit tbh), because that game doesn’t always go the way of Mesut’s strengths, so what is the plan? Or does that mean that he won’t be the plan at some point. Anyway, great to see the player happy and contributing beyond just being a key pass quarterback.

Off-topic. Arteta beat Carlo in his first encounter. He also closed the gap on Spurs to 3 points. Mourinho is out here moaning about his lack of strikers like he’s the first manager to ever have an injury crisis and I have Spurs fans complaining the football he’s trying to play is straight out of 2010 and Nagelsmann made him look antiquated. He’ll tank, like he always does, just faster this time because he can’t shield himself with £500m of players. I’m still happy with who we hired.

RIGHT, I did a podcast for your ears, listen and enjoy. We have a VERY good bit at the end where we discuss hair cuts. We also do a deep dive into the Everton game, we touch on the players who are doing it, we slam veganism, we talk discipline, missing names, and what we think might happen this summer.

Dive in right this instant (and check out yesterday’s HUMDINGER of a match report)

Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher

650 Responses to “Arteta gives insight into Saka, Ozil, and resilience”

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  1. Graham62

    What amazes me most on here is the inability of some posters(fans) to accept the obvious.

    Being in a constant state of denial still afflicts many of our fans.

    Now we have a manager, in Mikel Arteta,who is giving his utmost to put things right after a traumatic period in the clubs history and yet there are still those folk amongst us that see only the negatives.

    Pepe, for me, is not a negative. Infact, based on the farcical cock ups over the past decade, I see him as a breath of fresh air and someone who can play a major role in our march onwards and upwards under Arteta.

    I will be the first to admit my main failing on here over the past three years has been to persistently highlight the reasons why we find ourselves in this situation, namely the negative affect Wenger had on our club during the last decade of his tenureship.

    I love my club but will never hide behind this belief that Wenger “created” our club. Yes, he moved us to a different level but let’s never forget he also helped to dismantle many aspects of the club he helped to establish and set us back massively.

    So Pepe, we’re all with you.

    Well, nearly all of us.

  2. Graham62


    What’s your take ( excuses) on the Ozil/ Sanchez debacle and the many other financial discrepancies over the years?

  3. Thomas

    For £72 m Pepe is definitely a flop so far. There are many players who could’ve produced the same numbers for a lot less money.

  4. Un na naai


    Everyone is different. How many top class defenders will he have faced at this stage? Not many
    Nobody is asking him to be that good but if he can contribute match winning performances and double figures for goals and assists every season then I’d be happy

    He’s not there yet but you’re setting the bar to unreachable heights based on what exactly? A throwaway comment with a team mate playing a game? So he’s confident. Isn’t that what we want? Does everyone to pay for arsenal have to be humble mumble

    We’ve had players with far worse attitudes than him in the past

    Aaaaaanyway. Not sure why I’m bothering. Only Pepe can prove you wrong and he’s already starting to do that. My gripe was more with your false comparisons with Ramsey and Mkhitaryan who were shite for us 90% of their time on a pitch for us and contributed very very poor defensive cover for those sitting behind

    Was it any wonder xakha was mercilessly exposed and exploited with Ramsey as a partner?

  5. Biggles

    Just a thought regarding the absurdity of Ozil’s contract.

    £350k per week, over 3 years, is £54.6m. At the end of his contract he will be 32, and only 3 months shy of 33. He essentially has no resale value because of the prohibitive cost of his wages.

    On the other hand, we could have spent £39m as a transfer fee on someone AND paid them £100k a week over three years for the same money. If they were young, we could even shove an option to extend in there to protect resale value. And even if they were worse than expected (like say Xhaka) the significantly lower wages would have allowed us to shift them.

    To put it into perspective, only 11 transfers in the summer 2018 window cost more £39m. One of whom was Mbappe, and another was Ronaldo. I’m pretty sure we could have found a creative midfielder that could have offered more than Ozil over the last two years for £39m.

  6. Pierre

    Add salah, lukaku and debruyne to that list of wasted talent .

    I suppose it made no difference to them as they could make mistake after mistake and just go out and spend another couple of hundred grand, similar to united and city.

    Arsenal never had that Luxury , and people wonder why we found it difficult to compete at the highest level .

  7. Jamie

    When all is said and done, Arsenal FC will have spent over £130m on Ozil by the time his contract expires at the end of next season, almost a third of the cost of building the Emirates.

  8. CG


    “”””CG Everyone is different. How many top class defenders will he have faced at this stage? Not many””””

    So why spend £72 000 000 on him then?

    Complete buffonery at best or corrupt at worse.

  9. Marc


    Christ I’d never thought of Ozil’s contract in relation to the building costs of the stadium.

    Gazidis really was off his head when he signed that off.

  10. Marc

    CG has been shown for what he’s always been with the sacking of Emery. Slagging off Emery was OK on here and actively supported by Pedro. Now Arteta has come in and is making positive moves forward and has the vast majority of players and fans behind him and CG is still moaning.

    CG is and always will be a Wenger boy.

  11. Nelson

    I read that you need to buy a membership before you can buy a ticket. What does this membership offer me? Can I get a discount at an Arsenal store? Do I receive news letter from Arsenal?

  12. CG


    “””CG is and always will be a Wenger boy.”””

    And you will always be a Raul boy.

    I back the greatest ever Arsenal manager with integrity and class.

    You back the fatty Spaniard.
    Who would nt even know the meaning of the 2 words.

    Wenger never had us in 9th.
    Raul has.

  13. Un na naai


    You aren’t getting my point
    It doesn’t matter that he’s not played champions league or that he’s not faced the worlds best by 24

    What matters is his potential and how he steps up when given the chance.

  14. Marc


    It’s been a while since I bought a Red Membership but if my memory serves me correct you get access to the website and a membership pack it also allows you access to buy tickets. It’s changed since I had a Red membership because the demand for tickets isn’t what it used to be. So there will be matches that go to general sale where anybody can buy a ticket but that’s hit and miss. What a Red membership does offer is the chance to use ticket exchange where ST holders who can’t make a match can resell there ticket.

  15. Graham62


    I know, it’s frightening.

    Not his fault though.

    That’s the equivalent of two Pepe’s.

    Add the Sanchez farce onto it and that’s half the Stadium build.

    Never mind.

  16. China1

    I remember when wenger held himself together with great class and dignity by stringing the club along and pretending he wasn’t sure if he was going to sign a new contract until the damage had already been done by the uncertainty.

    I remember the class when he lied bare face to the fans over and over again about having money and wanting to spend on top quality whilst doing the opposite

    I remember the class when he insulted the fans intelligence for daring to question his poor substitutions

    I remember the class when always pretending to never see it, if our own players were caught diving

    I remember the class when the news broke that he was heading to Paris on the regular to bang some girl half his wife’s age

    Admire arsenal all you like. Be grateful for the good memories forever. Think of fondly of him as you choose to. But it’s a bit vomit enducing when people completely whitewash all the crap that he knowingly put us through for the last ten years.

    You know the world exists in shades of grey and the we’re plenty of black memories along with the white if you’re simply willing to be unbiased in your eulegies

  17. Un na naai

    Speaking to the official site, Nketiah is full of praise for the way the two senior strikers at the club have helped him:

    Laca is a mature lad and a great player. He did well in the last game he played and he always tries to encourage me. He has been a young player in my position as well so he knows what it is like, there are no hostilities he’s just always looking to help and improve and it shows the maturity he has.

    He has had a great career so all I can do is take the advice he gives me and try and implement it in my game and do what I do best.

    This speaks volumes of why Lacazette is so highly regarded among those in the know at arsenal.
    Always liked him

  18. Bamford10

    Reasons to be realistic rather than overly or blindly optimistic: one, not only were Arsenal outshot 17 to 9 at home against 10th place Everton, Everton had the higher xG (1.79 to 1.35). Yes, Arsenal won 3-2, but over the longer-term, those numbers could prove problematic.

    Two, West Ham nearly beat Liverpool last night, and this at Anfield. There are no easy matches in the PL this season. To the extent that anyone was thinking that a West Ham, or a Brighton, or a Southampton will be an “easy” win, this is definitely not the case.

  19. Spanishdave

    Wenger didn’t love the club he loved himself .
    A class act would have bowed out at the top, and not dragged us down to where we are now.
    We knew what was happening he didn’t .

  20. Bamford10

    French outlet Le 10 Sport is apparently reporting that Arsenal have had positive talks with Aubameyang regarding a contract extension.

  21. CG

    Baying Mob

    “”””I have an insight into Wenger: the senile old twat who sold Gnabry to Werder Bremen for £5m”””””

    When Bertie Mee sold Ray Kennedy to Liverpool- I am sure fans at the time didn’t speak about Mr. Mee like you have with our Wenger.
    Managers have decisions to make.

    You seem like one of lifes ungrateful little urchins that seem ubiquitous on this site.

    You and your ilk deserve the current excrement we watch on a weekly basis.

  22. Pierre

    “I remember when wenger held himself together with great class and dignity by stringing the club along and pretending he wasn’t sure if he was going to sign a new contract until the damage had already been done by the uncertainty.I remember the class when he lied bare face to the fans over and over again about having money and wanting to spend on top quality whilst doing the oppositeI remember the class when he insulted the fans intelligence for daring to question his poor substitutionsI remember the class when always pretending to never see it, if our own players were caught diving”

    If this is the best you can do to prove a point then I’m not sure why you bothered

    “Substitutions” ? “diving” ?

    I wonder what it is like living in your perfect little world .

    I could give you a hundred examples of why he is class ,but I can’t be arsed.

  23. Graham62

    Another amazing thing on here is that the majority of posters, who I hasten to add are 100% correct in this matter, see Wenger for what he is.

    The minority, on the other hand, always provide the excuses.

    That’s right, just like Mr Wenger.

  24. Bamford10

    Incredible that people are still arguing about Wenger. I mean, I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about that man, sadly, but it’s time to move on, no?

  25. China1

    Wenger knew the fan base was tearing itself apart because of him and that was also going to hurt the club on the pitch with negative atmospheres but instead of doing something right for the club he professed to love, he didn’t only hang in there for his own egotistical and financial gain, he even had the audacity to string the fans along by pretending he wasn’t sure if he wanted to sign that contract. He wanted to punish the fans and he hurt the club to make a point that he is in control. He used to regularly come out with pearls about how it wasn’t having any negative impact on the team

    Then as soon as he signed the contract he was like yeah I think it was having a negative impact on the team.

    Classy as fook mate. Classy as fook.

  26. China1

    You know in all these years I’m still yet to see one AKB acknowledge that him cheating on his wife was a cuntish thing to do

    Every time it gets raised it gets glossed over and ignored.

    Either AKBs think that’s a perfectly classy and acceptable thing to do, they have cheated on their own wife and don’t want to judge, or they’re putting their fingers in the ears whenever a legitimate case of him being a count gets raised. Take your pick

  27. Pierre

    Regarding last weekend’s game , I feel Arteta got it wrong with his substitutions.

    Sometimes bringing on 2 defensive minded midfielders ( Guendouzi, Torreira)for 2 attacking and technically better midfielders (ozi,Ceballos) will hand the initiative over to the opposition, and this is what happened.

    Our weak spots were down the flanks and that should have been addressed.

    Pepe was giving no protection to the struggling Bellerin and Saka was weak in the 2nd half .

    I’m not sure why AMN has gone out of favour as he is ideal to have on the bench.

    At any given time he can play a number of roles , both full back positions, central midfield and wide right or wide left to give protection to the full backs if they need it as at the weekend.

    There is no point in having both Torreira and Guendouzi on the bench as they are both limited and can only play one position.

    Saka was a good option as he can play attack or defence as is Martinelli who can play up top or out wide.

    Our substitutes at the weekend were Sokratis, saka, Lacazette, Torreira, Guendouzi and Nelson.

    Besides Saka , all these subs are not flexible in what they can do and I believe it makes it more difficult for the manager if he needs to make changes.

    If AMN was on the bench v Everton he could have been brought on to play in front of Bellerin or even to replace Bellerin.

  28. Graham62

    It’s great to have a Wenger rant every now and then.

    It puts everything into perspective.


    Actually looking forward to the CL games tonight and tomorrow.

    Chelski and Bayern will be an interesting encounter, as will the Napoli v Barca game.

  29. TheBayingMob

    Wenger was a terribly greedy man who got addicted to having his nose in the trough, tarnished his legacy and left like a confused lame dog. Thinking of him makes me physical retch …

  30. Stan_The_Asset_Stripper

    Ozil’s apparent weekly wages seems to irk loads of people on here; however there is information on the internet showing that without us playing UCL he is actually earning close to £230k a week; And also the figures included his image rights which I think was also a huge factor.

    If one considers De Gea earns more than Ozil and also Martial is on £250k it puts things in perspective; saying that none of these players are worth that amount of money when you consider the average professional footballer outside of the 4 major leagues in Europe earns less than £100k per annum.

  31. Stan_The_Asset_Stripper

    Pierre I think you bring up a great point re’ Pepe.
    Plus apart from his assist I think he has been a very limited player.

  32. Valentin


    I have never cheated on my wife and I don’t intend to. But lots of people have done so, that does not make them cunt or asshole. You don’t know exactly what happen between a couple behind closed door.

    Look at Johnny Depp, two months ago he was viewed as a wife beater and a horrible person who should be banned from Hollywood. Now it has been revealed that Amber Heard was the abuser all along and that she is a serial manipulative liar.

    Maybe it is the French side of me, but I have always separated the private man from the public/work man.

    Everybody has known colleagues who are great at their job but terrible human being and vice versa. Nice, salt of the earth blokes completely out of their depth.

    What people do in their private time is not of my concern nor should it be yours. Private life should remain private. Brendan Rodgers left his wife for a younger model, do you believe that Leicester fan really care about it? Nor should they.

  33. Goobergooner


    The impression that your knickers are in a twist is the way you harp on and on about Emery being shit and thinking that your point of view was worth it. I wish Arteta the same luck and success as I did Emery, because he is the manager of the club I love.