Arteta gives insight into Saka, Ozil, and resilience

by .

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

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

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  1. WengerEagle

    It’s hard when comparing players past to present but you come up against two major roadblocks obstructing the way for the present bunch, nostalgia being a significant one and the past players having a full body of work/legacy in their favour.

    A fairer comparison would be comparing them between the seasons in a vacuum as opposed to player for player career. Robben clearly beats Mane over his entire body of work but there isn’t a person on the planet that can convince me that the 2004/05 version of Robben was a better player than the 2019/20 Mane.

    Everyone knew that in 2011/12 that we were witnessing the highest individual peak of a player that the game has ever seen in Lionel Messi and yet people were still hesitant to label him the best ever or even hold him up there with Maradona and Pele because he was 24 and had so much more to accomplish.

  2. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    If you’re going to be so reductive about points tallies then the best teams are easy as pie to order. But if you want to venture outside that bubble then there’s better sides than this Liverpool one, I’m not sure someone staying there’s 3/4 better sides in PL history than them is contentious.

    Ive said they’re brilliant, i dont use that lightly. But when i consider it relatively they’ve benefitted massively from circumstance, one being the diminished quality of the top 6 compared to the last decade, and two being the intro of VAR that’s removed contention – which like it or not has been present in the game until now.

    In the early 2000’s you could snap your opponent in half and get away with murder to establish a level of parity with superior talents. You cant do that anymore, particularly this season. All things considered I rate a few sides as better than this one, end of.

  3. Chris

    Whilst there is a discussion here about comparing great sides, is anyone else watching the best English club sides countdown on Sky Sports?

    Our side of 2001-2004 has been placed 6th

  4. Redtruth

    WengerEagle
    “Everyone knew that in 2011/12 that we were witnessing the highest individual peak of a player that the game has ever seen in Lionel Messi and yet people were still hesitant to label him the best ever or even hold him up there with Maradona and Pele because he was 24 and had so much more to accomplish.”

    Playing for the best club side on the planet helps.
    Messi’s forlorn International performances are key in assessing Messi as a player…

  5. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    Fair enough, it’s a debate to be had and there’s no right or wrong assertions. You can make a compelling case for any of those 4 or 5 sides is my point and Liverpool absolutely belong in the conversation is my only overriding take, silly to omit them based on past nostalgia and omitting objectivity in points total which takes into account results which at the end of the day have to be the marker over a 38 match season.

    The game has come on leaps and bounds technically and athletically from 15-20 years ago. Let’s not play that game because the noughties bunch were soft cunts compared to the 80’s and 90’s bunch and so on and so forth.

    You want proper physicality and brutality, go back and watch Maradona getting his legs literally sawed off at Bilbao in the mid 80’s.

  6. Guns of SF

    Anyone think that Mari coming to Arsenal has shot a rocket up Mustafi’s ass???

    I mean think about it…. its kinda his last chance… his potential replacement is here already.

    lets see if Super Beast can keep this up… I hope so. he was immense yesterday

  7. WengerEagle

    ‘Playing for the best club side on the planet helps.’

    Aha! I’ve caught you out you little Barcelona fangirl.

    What players on this Barcelona side make them the world’s best in spite of Messi? Red actually rates a player…

  8. PieAFC

    I’m with Wenger Eagle here.

    This liverpool team is unreal and deserve every plaudit and credit they’re are getting.

    Been immense. Such a fear factor and certainty they will win and pick up the points.

    If this was us, we’d be shouting from here to Mars how fantastic it is and that we’d never see another possible invincible again.

  9. PieAFC

    Chris

    Probably a fair assertion.

    We were great back then.

    But, we never retained the league back to back or won in Europe like we should have done for the team we had.

    Sometimes we have to be honest.

  10. Paulinho

    I preferred the late nineties United team to the 07/08 /09.

    More identifiable patterns of play, more unique legendary players. Bit like the Aussie cricket team of the 90s. Almost comic-book like legends.

    United of 07-10 were quite similar to this Liverpool side in terms of individual class of forwards making the difference. Never blown away by their general level of play though.

  11. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    I haven’t excluded them from the mix, I’ve said a handful are better as I see it. Think it’s pretty obvious they’re in the conversation, I just weight certain aspects more than others and they’re less impressive in a field of the best ever – key contextual element. Being the worst in a group of the best ever is still recognition of their brilliance.

    And Ive not suggested for a second the game hasn’t evolved in terms of speed and technicality, in fact I’ve long said the very same. However the late 90’s to early 2000’s struck a balance where to me there were options to take down the better sides when inferior but there was a brilliant technical level coupled with that. Today I think there’s a huge reliance on the very best having an off day and Lady Luck intervening, and VAR now does its best to eradicate any anomalous instances of bad luck which could otherwise derail a top side. You wont see a small side get a jammy goal that shouldn’t have counted anymore and see the pressure ramped up on the big side to dig deep mentally.

    It’s all quite protective, and the game will further evolve with that being the case. Fully expect better defensive setups to be more and more prevalent from small sides with changes to the offside law being introduced and technology to make it verifiable and not subject to human error. The game ebbs and flows, but I maintain it peaked the best blend of all the arts in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Technical battles are cool to witness, but guys like Vieira and Keane would have to reinvent themselves today which is sad.

  12. Chris

    PieAFC

    Agreed. I can live with not retaining the league, as gutting as 03 was, but the one crushing aspect was not winning the Champions League. I can’t help but think that was our window to do it.

    In the end it reflected in our placing that list Sky just did. We were the highest placed team who didn’t win a European trophy. The Liverpool teams of the 70s got top spot ahead of the Man Utd team of 06-09

  13. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    It was me that’s heard good things about Mari behind the scenes, more so about his personality and how vocal/animated he’s been since arriving. He’s taken many by surprise with just how much of a voice he’s entered the ring with, he’s not timid or shy at all allegedly.

    Little anecdote about his first training session where he apparently barked critically at Sokratis and it drew some wide eyes from others who were taken aback by how forward he was. Not in a negative way, more along the lines of ‘oh shit he ain’t playing’, and was warmly received in fact. Seems like one of these nice smiley guys that change on the pitch.

  14. Redtruth

    I’m not gutted not winning Champions league because we never remotely came close or ever looked like winning it even in 2006 Final hopes were dashed with a stupid sending off…

  15. Chris

    2006 felt more like it was written in the stars, the sending off dented hopes but to get that close (12 mins away) was devastating.

    Obviously the 01-04 team was better than the team that actually got closest. We just had to get past that Chelsea game at Highbury, I am sure we would have done it that year. Not even a Mourinho bossed Porto would have concerned me, I think we would have got the better of them.

  16. Pedro

    CC, if he comes good, that’ll be quite the signing. He’s built for the league frame wise, hopefully he has a chip on his shoulder after being sent to Brazil in the first place.

  17. Pedro

    Red, that’s very big of you to admit that losing major cup finals doesn’t bother you.

    We’re honestly not surprised.

  18. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    He sounds like he’s all business which to me would suggest a bit of what you’re saying there in that he probably recognises this is his big window. I think Arteta commented recently about how he’s entered the group and he’s hopeful of getting him on the pitch soon.

    I agree, if we’ve found a gem there it’ll have come at a great time for the club. On paper he’s a quality option, tall, dominant, left sided, and good on the ball. Speed an issue, but arguably no more than any of our other current choices. I fancy he’s our potentially savvy heir to Luiz. Saliba to join too, and maybe Upamecano which would transform our options at the back.

  19. Redtruth

    Chris
    “2006 felt more like it was written in the stars, the sending off dented hopes but to get that close (12 mins away) was devastating.”

    Not really devastating as we’ve seen it all before in the 2001 FA Cup Final…

  20. Zacharse

    partey seems like typical gossip. probably gonna fund an atleti rebuild this summer along w lemar. wouldnt mind him though

  21. Guns of SF

    We need to scout South America more… look at Portugal for mids or wingers too… seem to produce quality ones…

  22. Zacharse

    I hope we’re looking at some epl players. There are some deals to be had from relegation teams. Dunno what happened to the gueye and kocku rumors but both those players looked great, but prob squad guys

  23. Marko

    Mari is most likely not going to be signed despite the rave reviews in training. Saliba, Luiz and whoever the CB is that we’re targeting this summer along with one of Chambers or Holding will likely be the prominent CB’s for us next season.

  24. Guns of SF

    Holding not so sure. Never really impressed me and slow
    Chambers is more dynamic. Can fill in at rb
    I’d keep him let holding for

    If Mustafi keeps up at this level do we keep or sell? Sure his value might go up but he is experienced in the prem and would have known Arteta a vision and system

    Smh

  25. Guns of SF

    Lets see how Saliba does ….
    Luiz or Mustafi might get benched
    Who knows

    Maybe it’s mari and saliba?

    Got to see Mari get game time to assess

  26. Leedsgunner

    We have a short term left back problem… until Tierney is fully fit anyway. What about using AMN as an emergency left back for the Europa League and Portsmouth game? It gives Saka a breather… and keeps him from getting injured through overplaying him.

    Considering how he’s sat out the past couple of games, hopefully AMN has learnt he can’t pick and choose where he wants to play at a pick club like Arsenal.

  27. Dark Hei

    “Messi’s forlorn International performances are key in assessing Messi as a player…”

    Messi’s incredible skill on the ball is a better objective analysis.

    There have been World Cup winners and Barcelona/Real Madrid greats. But nobody can do that thing Messi does.

  28. China1

    I’d be very wary about jumping on the ‘ozil has improved under arteta’ train just yet

    He played quite well in the first few games. Vanished for a month and played great against yesterday. That’s the same kind of in and out form he always provides in years gone by.

    If ozil can play well for the entire remainder of the season (barring the odd bad game) I’ll give him due credit. Until then it’s just par the course that sometimes he’s great and sometimes he’s average.

  29. Valentin

    Mustafi has improved his overall game but what really impressed me is his new semi-long vertical passes. Before he never attempted those, meaning that none of our players ever received quick balls when in pocket of space between the lines.

    Clearly this is something Arteta had been working on. When Mustafi replaced Chambers against Chelsea, we suddenly lost that ability to bypass the midfield and cause trouble higher up the pitch. On Sunday, both CB created opportunities by such ball. Aubameyang scored from one such ball by Luiz. Luiz always had been a good passer, but for Mustafi this is a new development.

  30. Graham62

    Nice to see Deontay Wilder being so gracious in defeat.

    Blaming the costume he wore prior to fight.

    I thought he was supposed to be a primed athlete and a warrior.

  31. Tom

    Tom. No mate. Our squad is not worse Ramsey plays less than half a season, just look at the bullet dodged with him at juve
    Mkhitaryan was low output. Saka is already exceeding his output on £3k per week and 10 assists
    Martinelli has scored 11 goals and 3/4 assists……..

    ——————-

    Un,
    Never said our squad is worse or that we should’ve kept Ramsey or Mkhi.
    But the simple fact is we haven’t replaced their 20 PL goals/assists from the midfield from last season.

    Saka , Martinelli and Pepe ( I rate all three) aren’t midfielders and the only goals scored in the EL that really count are the winning goals in the final that get you the trophy and CL birth.
    If Arsenal scored 50 goals in EL this season but failed to win or even make the final would anyone consider it important? Of course not.

    The PL goals/ assists per minutes is the real indicator of player quality since most , and certainly the best PL players don’t usually play EL.

    Ramsey/Mkhi – 20 goals/assists in 3000 min( goal/assist per 150 min) last season.

    Willock – 0 goals/assists in 574 min PL play
    Ceballos – 2 assists in 821 min PL play
    Saka – 3 assists in 1084 min PL play
    Pepe – 4 goals 4 assists in 1432 min of PL play

    So even if you include Saka and Pepe that’s still only 13 goals / assists in 4000min of PL play ( goal/ assist per 300 min).

    Last season Arsenal scored 73 goals ( 1.92 goals per game average)
    This season Arsenal have scored 39 goals ( 1.44 gpg average)

    Don’t let your anti Ramsey / Mkhi bias cloud your judgment.

  32. Pierre

    Graham
    “Nice to see Deontay Wilder being so gracious in defeat.Blaming the costume he wore prior to fight.”

    I actually agreed with wilder , was a strange decision to wear that costume.
    Hence my comment immediately after the fight

    “PierreFebruary 23, 2020 06:16:59
    I don’t think it helped Wilder coming into the ring wearing that ridiculous mask and costume.It looked heavy and claustrophobic and it took a few minutes for the corner men to get it off so consequently he had no time to limber up before the fight started…Big mistake.”

  33. Pierre

    Tom
    I would imagine any stats on Arsenal players put out this season up until Christmas would be negative.

    That part of the season needs to be erased from our memory .

    The first 4/5 months were a disaster Any comparisons should start from January 1st.

  34. Pierre

    Tom
    In saying that, I believe Ramsey and Mhkitaryan are as good or better than what we have In midfield.

    Emery has a lot to answer for in his misuse of players and his man management.

    Arteta arrived just too late for Ramsey and Mkhitaryan as I’m sure they would starters for us .

  35. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ramsey is injury prone, takes a couple of games to get back in form and then gets injured again shortly after, misses at least a third of every season and wanted stupid money to stay, completely the right decision to let him go.

    Mikhi is 31 years old, on 180k a week and is not good enough in the PL. Pepe will be much better for us once he’s adapted properly.

    We didn’t have enough in the budget to address everything we wanted to last summer but that was always going to be the case, hopefully the last pieces will fall into place this coming window and we’ll get a proper midfield again for the first time in a very long time.

  36. Tom

    I would imagine any stats on Arsenal players put out this season up until Christmas would be negative.
    —————
    Pierre
    Guen and LT goal/ assist per game this season are on par or better than the last.

  37. raptora

    “Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville rank the greatest English club sides”

    They ranked The Invincibles at a joint 6th place with mouninho’s Chelsea. Tossers.

  38. CG

    Fred

    Ramsey might be injury prone.
    But he scored this weekend
    As did Micki did.

    Pepe didn’t score this weekend.
    And I doubt he will ever be too injury prone.

    Because he too bloody bone idol.
    He dont want it enough.

    Disgraceful his palpable lack of effort in not assisting a struggling Hector on Sunday.

    No wonder he ain’t ever played a CL game.
    Unlike Rambo and Mickki who have played in plenty of CL fixtures.

    Mind you he might come good in 3 seasons time.

  39. Chris

    Raptora

    That list had no variable for squad net cost.

    For example our only signings in 03/04 were Lehman and then Reyes in January, less than £20 million.

    No denying the Chelsea team of 04/05 were excellent and a scary proposition but it must have cost more than £100 million even then.

  40. Graham62

    Pierre

    Wilder was found out in the first fight.

    He’s a one-trick pony.

    The costume may have been a mistake, but Fury is the superior fighter by a mile and a furlong.

  41. Freddie Ljungberg

    CG

    Who cares what they do in a slow Serie A?

    Pepe didn’t score but he got an assist, a goal and 2 assists the game before that, in the PL where it counts. I also doubt that he’s going to miss a third of all our games during his time with us and he’s not 31, declining and on way too much money for what he’s producing.

    I also doubt it’s going to take him 3 seasons to “get going” he’s already producing decent numbers and that’s being in and out of a shaky team in his first season. Next season he’s going to be massive for us no doubt.

  42. CG

    Graham

    “””Pepe will progress, I am convinced of that.””””

    You dont shell out your record transfer fee for someone who might turn out to be any good.

    You pay £72 000 000 so the player hits the ground running instantly.

    You know, I know ,everybody now knows this deal stinks to the high heavens.

    He was not even scouted.

    (Raul and Mendez concocted this up- for their benefit not the clubs.)

    No chief scout would sanction this signing for this amount for a player who has this many flaws in his game to iron out.

    Saka is already a better player ( and he was already in the youth team)

    Answer yourself this grumpy.

    What other sensible club would pay this amount for this player?

    Just the one will do.

  43. Graham62

    So “The invicibles” ranked 6th according to Neville and Carragher.

    Interesting.

    I’d agree about Liverpool(75-78) being the number 1 team.

    Phenominal unit.

  44. CG

    UN

    “”Ramsay was famous for his disappearing act from the middle to the opposition box””””

    Oh, I must have missed something

    I thought he was famous for scoring at Wembley.

    2 FA cup winners
    1 beauty V Spurs in his last season

    Even Superman cant be everywhere.

  45. Graham62

    CG

    I know you hate it when your own argument becomes flawed.

    I would say our biggest ever financial mistake will always be the hiring of Mesut Ozil.

    £42.4m in 2013 and all the millions thereafter…………..and for what in return?

    A few flashes in the pan here and there.

    What about the £60m we could have got for Sanchez if he’d gone to MC. Another colossal mistake.

    If your logic is based on finances, then make sure you get your facts straight first.

    Of course, we had all those other financial restrictions that stagnated our progress after 2006.

    Yeh, right!!

  46. Pierre

    I would say that in Pepe’s limited game time , 6 goals and 8 assists in all competitions is a good return.

    He and Saka are our chief creators at this present time and both play out wide.

    This is similar to liverpool who’s chief creators are their wide players.

    Many of Debruyne’s assists are from wide positions as are sterling ,Mahrez and B.Silva.

    This seems to be a recent trend for some teams and is moving away from previous years when the CAM or No.10 were normally leading the assist charts .

    The link players are being used slightly different now in that they feed the wide players between the lines for them to whip a ball across the face of goal , similar to 2 of our goals at the weekend and a couple of liverpool’s goals last night.

    Of course, some on here will say I’m looking for an excuse as to why Ozil isn’t still topping the assist charts but its just the way it is.

    Obviously Arteta is more than happy with Ozil’s performances and rightly so , he is playing a pivotal role in the team and now that Ceballos is in the team , Ozil is receiving the ball earlier and in better positions than before to the benefit of the team.

    Personally, I would like to see Ozil take more risks with his passing but as I said recently, it is easier to take risks from wide positions as a failed pass will not put the team in trouble but a failed pass from the centre of the pitch well often lead to a counter attack.

    Maybe that is why managers these days prefer the creative/assists to come from wide positions .

  47. CG

    UN

    “””CG What is your issue exactly? “””

    Do you actually watch this stuff we dish out every week.?
    Sure it has improved markedly- but it wont last.

    The stats tell us that.

    This club has been systematically ruined in 2 years.( courtesy of Raul) and it will take us 30 – 40 years to win the League title if we are lucky ( like it has Liverpool).

    That’s my issue.
    And deep down you know I am correct.

  48. Graham62

    Ramsey, for all his attributes, was always a bit of headless chicken(under Wenger).

    I don’t blame Ramsey entirely for this and it was mainly down to our managers tactical ineptitude.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s transfer and wage policy was disastrous in the latter years under Gazidis and Wenger.

    The decision to allow both Ozil and Sanchez to run down their contracts to last 6 months was a complete disaster for the club.

    We should have taken the £60 million for Sanchez and allowed Ozil to run down his contract without agreeing a farcical wage hike.

    The decision to allow Ramsey and Welbeck to run down his contract was equally daft.

    Potentially we have lost at least £120 Million in transfer fees from departures
    of Sanchez, Ramsey and Welbeck and overpaid Ozil at least £150K pw.

    It remains to be seen how Arsenal will handle the Aubameyang situation under new negotiating regime. The situation is somewhat different than was
    the case with Sanchez because:
    1. Sanchez would have been 29 at end of his contract and Aubameyang would
    be 32.
    2.Sanchez form during his time at Arsenal was fairly erratic particularly when
    it came to goalscoring. We got probably two good years out of him. On the
    other hand Aubameyang is a “consistent” goalscorer around 25-30 goals per season.

  50. CG

    UN

    “””Tell me though, we’re Ramsey and Mkhitaryan serving up better? “:

    Yes
    Undoubtedly

    Maybe that’s why they are playing for CL clubs and Pepe doesnt.
    A little reminder to my fellow Le Grove patients.

    Pepe has never played a CL game in his career.
    24 years of age.
    Not 1.
    And he will never probably will.

    T.H.

  51. Words on a Blog

    CG,

    Just wondering what percentage accuracy you ascribe to your prediction that Pepe will never play Champions League football.

    Is it with the 87% accuracy of your prediction last week that we’d lose to Everton, Man U would lose to Watford and Wolves would lose to Norwich?

  52. Ishola70

    Wow Mhiki scores for Roma in a 4-0 win against lowly Lecce at home.

    Has Mhiki ever scored a winning goal for his team to win the match 1-0?

    He chips in at times when the team he is playing for is on top.

    Wishy washy player who only turns up in fair weather at times.

    Ring any bells with a player that is currently at Arsenal?

    Why anyone would pine over Mhiki when we already have another fair weather player in Ozil.

    Let’s flood the team with these types.

    Seems a great idea.

  53. CG

    Words

    “””Is it with the 87% accuracy of your prediction last week that we’d lose to Everton, Man U would lose to Watford and Wolves would lose to Norwich?”””

    I am glad you have touched upon my weekend predictions.

    The Le Groves mathematicians on here would have actually noted how accurate they were.

    Because CG predicted .

    3 goals at Old Trafford
    5 goals at Arsenal
    3 goals at Molineux

    And that’s off course what happened.

    Now- even I cant get them all in the right order.( especially with VAR causing havoc )

    Back to Pepe.

    He had a chance to play CL soccer this season with Lille.
    But He took the dollar of Arsenal instead.
    As I said.
    He is lazy.

  54. Pierre

    Graham
    “I don’t blame Ramsey entirely for this and it was mainly down to our managers tactical ineptitude.”

    Yes 50/50 I would say though it was Wenger’s job as manager to install the neccessary discipline into Ramsey’s game.

    Arteta would have been the ideal manager for Ramsey , he would have ironed out his discipline problems whilst keeping the positives in his game.

  55. CG

    Un

    Not a fan of Pepe whatsoever.

    Asked last week- hardest defender he ever faced?

    His Answer- none of them.

    Theres nothing wrong with that answer if you are a Ronaldo or Messi.

    Strikes me – coming from him ( who has done absolutely nowt) in his career and cant even pass with his right foot as particularly arrogant.

    Maybe , that’s why 3 managers have dropped him since he has been at Arsenal?

    (One could never imagine the classy and World Cup winning Ozil saying the same.)

  56. 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.

  57. Graham62

    CG

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

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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 .

  61. 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.

  62. CG

    UN

    “”””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.

  63. Marc

    Jamie

    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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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?

  66. CG

    Walt

    “””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.

  67. Marc

    Nelson

    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.

  68. Graham62

    Jamie

    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.

  69. 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

  70. 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.

  71. 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 .

  72. Bamford10

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

  73. 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.

  74. Pierre

    China
    “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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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?

  77. 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.

  78. 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

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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 …

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. Valentin

    China1,

    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.

  85. Goobergooner

    Un

    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.