Culture club

by .

Well good morning, apologies it’s been low key week. I’ve been in Texas, land of the mask-free. It’s wonderful to be living in actual normality. I sat in a restaurant, had a frozen marg at a bar, sneezed at someone and it was all just very cool.

But onto more serious chat…

This chat with Steve Round that Arseblog News uncovered whet my appetite no end.

“One, what a magnificent club Arsenal are…it’s just a great, great football club. It’s a massive club.

“The other thing [that attracted me], was to work with him [Mikel]. I knew he’d need a bit of experience and some knowledge from the domestic game. I think he’s got a real chance to become one of the best coaches in the world, let alone the UK. I didn’t hesitate to join.

I just like putting things like this in the blog, because that opinion Steve Round has is not rare in the game. I think we have an extremely exciting setup and though Steve Round isn’t the sexiest of names in the game, his expertise is deep and his experience is going to be hugely valuable to the club over the next 3 years.

The most fascinating part, outside how they use data, is how dedicated the new team are to culture.

“We’re continually working on emotional intelligence and leadership styles within the group, whether that’s the head coach, the two assistant head coaches or even the captains’ group within the team. How you formulate that is bringing togetherness, spirit. Humour is always a very good energy developer. You’re forever trying to build a resonant environment and take it away from dissonance. Discipline, self-discipline and making sure that our behaviour, positive behaviours are continually reinforced. Negative behaviours are pulled up, there are certain things we will not accept.

“If a teammate is showing disrespect to another teammate, perhaps the ball hasn’t come to him and he’s thrown his arms up. That’s telling the world this guy has made a mistake. We don’t blame like that. We don’t do that. If the guy has made a mistake our responsibility is to help him overcome that mistake. Our responsibility, me personally, is to try and make sure the next time he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

This is how big businesses, particularly with creative outputs, think about culture. It’s such a mature vision of how things should be. It’s been sorely missed over the last few years.

Arsene Wenger built an incredible environment for the players, but he didn’t build one that focused on winning. Also, contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t a big one-on-one guy. It was a culture of comfort that lacked direction and vision. That was his undoing.

Unai Emery just wasn’t a good people person. If the guy running the show is a bit on the spectrum, it’s going to be next to impossible for him to cultivate a culture built on empathy and strong communications lines.

Arteta is hopefully going to bring back the good bits from Wenger. Pride about the badge, a great environment, and the love the players didn’t get from Emery… but he’ll combine it with early years Wenger ruthlessness. We need a bit of winnertivity back at the club, we need updated standards, and we need the players to know that their job is more than turning up every day. I loved reading Martinelli talk about how Mikel asked him to assess his own movement so they could discuss. It’s a basic, but it’s a level of intimacy a lot of managers struggle with. The key to it all is this manager makes learning interesting. Engaging 21-year-olds who play football in education is no easy task, but it seems to be getting a good reaction.

To make all this fancy new thinking, you still need to have elite players coming through the door. There are major question marks over whether Edu has it in him to make that happen. Seeing us linked to players outside the coterie of agents we lean on would be a nice start. We’ve tried to bandage the squad with top 4-ish players and it didn’t work. We now need to focus on a sharper vision with youth, power, pace and high level thinking at the core.

The good news is we’re in Month 6 of Arteta and the good news is still flowing through. Let’s hope we can make some moves on the table when the game resumes. It’d be great to finish this never-ending season on a high!

Though losing 3-2 to Brentford isn’t exactly promising. Tears Emoji x3

Right, I’m off, see you in the comments x

235 Responses to “Culture club”

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  1. andy1886

    Testicle, re: Ozil, I have no problem with his raising the issue of the Uighur Muslims in China, as far as I know the club hasn’t censured him for it.

  2. Left testicle

    Racism needs to stop everywhere, for all colours. We seem to be very selective of what lives matter. Surely all lives matter?

  3. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Anyone else think that maybe art is playing a threevcard rule to certain players..

    You know amn screaming want to play midfield…
    He will get three chances ,… this season or be sold.
    Luiz .. again sloppy mistakes

    These both in last chance saloon.

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    What about
    Fred n rose
    Dr Howard shipman
    Michael Ryan.
    Graham young.

    Did their lives matter.

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    It racism tha5 needs to stop period.

    All races n cultures should all respect others…
    Because their is good n bad in all of us.

  6. Left testicle

    Policeman attacked yesterday. Struggling on the floor with an assailant. What do the bystanders do? Take out their phones and video themselves with the struggle taking place in the background. Police Lives Matter.

  7. Pierre

    “To suggest that Arsenals current three are any where near as talented to Liverpools front three is folly.
    Let’s look at the 2019/20 season. The only season where all six are competing in the same league.
    Liverpool 38
    Arsenal. 28”

    Fair enough , let’s look at it per minute played .

    Minutes played league.

    Pepe 1591
    Aubameyang 2315
    Lacazette 1318

    Total minutes played 5224
    Goals 28
    Equates to a goal every 186

    Salah 2,250
    Mane 2,084
    Firmino 2,422

    6756 minutes played..
    Equates to a goal every 177 minutes.

    Doesn’t look like folly to me ,there is very little between them for minutes played .

    Taking into account that the liverpool front 3 are playing in a settled team under a quality manager with full backs that are prolific at creating chances , whilst Arsenal front 3 have played under that clown Emery and Pepe hasn’t found his feet yet, I would say that quality and output wise , there is very little to choose between them.

    Next season ,I predict our front 3 will be more prolific than liverpool’s as they will have had time to settle and get used to a new manager’s style.

  8. Marc


    Agree on your earlier comment re Ozil and China’s persecution of Muslims and the PL allowing (encouraging?) players to take the knee.

    Ozil was certainly told not to comment in future purely because Chinese TV pulled coverage of Arsenal’s match after Ozil’s comments.

    It appears that opposing racism is important to the PL unless it might affect TV money or it’s Spud fans doing it during a match when it’s then more convenient to sweep it under the carpet.

  9. Marc


    If you had said that you believed that a front 3 of Pepe, Laca and Auba has the potential to score as many goals as Liverpool’s front 3 next season I’d agree with you.

    When you use statistics of EL vs CL and different domestic leagues it just looks like you’re distorting the numbers to fit your opinion rather than letting the number decide it.

  10. andy1886

    Jamie, probably right, let’s focus on something that we all agree on.

    Xhaka – what is he good for?…..

    Answers on a postcard.

  11. Jamie

    And Pierre has spent the last hour looking for any statistic that will back up his silly claim that our front 3 are as talented as, even outperformed, Liverpool’s champions of Europe.

    You can tell how much it pains him to be made to look foolish on the internet.

    Anyone got ‘forward passes per passes attempted in final third per minutes played at home between November and February’ stats? Asking for a friend.

  12. andy1886

    Hate to throw any fuel on the fire but here’s a headline from The Athletic today:

    “Has lockdown given Maitland-Niles hope of saving Arsenal career?”

  13. Marc

    ““Has lockdown given Maitland-Niles hope of saving Arsenal career?””

    I’m guessing that was written before yesterdays result.

  14. Sid

    Protect, provide, penetrate
    They are insecure coz the darker the berry the sweeter its juice, once they go black theres no going back.

  15. Gentlebris

    ‘As I pointed out 2 weeks ago we have some difficult games until end of season
    with games against Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester and Wolves.’

    You know how you feel when you realize that you have series of visits to the dentist starting from the 17th day of June. You don’t feel excited do you?

  16. Marc

    “You know how you feel when you realize that you have series of visits to the dentist starting from the 17th day of June. You don’t feel excited do you?”

    You do when you have perfect teeth and the dentist is stunning.

  17. Gentlebris

    ‘You do when you have perfect teeth and the dentist is stunning.’

    I’m sure you don’t think a midfield of Ozil, Xhaka and Guen can be described as ‘perfect teeth’?

  18. Pierre

    “When you use statistics of EL vs CL and different domestic leagues it just looks like you’re distorting the numbers to fit your opinion rather than letting the number dec”

    If you put Aaron Ramsey ( midfielder) in there instead of Pepe , it would still have proved my point as goal contributions for the 2019/20 season would have been .more or less the same as liverpool’s front 3

    As you know ( unless your thick , possibility) i was just making a comparison between our front 3 and liverpool’s front 3 as the common consensus is that our front 3 are nowhere near the level of liverpool’s.

    Obviously I have proved my point in more ways than one.

    Aubamayang, Lacazette Pepe’s figures stand up against liverpool’s front 3 even in this season when we have been very average.

    This season
    Salah, firmino, mane …a goal every 177 mins
    Lacazette, Aubameyang, Pepe a goal every 186 mins .

    My advice to you is not to pal up with jamie as one snide is enough on Le grove.

  19. Gentlebris

    Come to think of it…how can we(as one of the richest football clubs in the world)not have a single midfielder we can be proud of?

    Would have been Torrey, but he has the stamina of a beauty queen.

  20. Pierre

    You should know by now that it’s a crime to talk positive about any Arsenal player….unless it’s Martinelli of course .

  21. Gentlebris

    ‘No that midfield just reminds me of the dentist scene in the film Marathon Man.’

    I will look for the movie to get the context.

  22. Gentlebris

    Then with all the ‘top football people’ drawing fat salaries off Arsenal, how did we not recognize that Gnabry was a top talent and treat him as such yet Bayern recognized this enough to plan and pull a trick on us?

  23. Gentlebris

    ‘Trust me if you don’t like the dentists don’t watch the scene – you really won’t like it!’


    I don’t like them dentists!

  24. Dissenter

    I suggest you find a better dentist that doesn’t make you shit your pants in anticipation.
    Better still take a valium before you show up

  25. Dissenter

    Championship clubs are supposed to be a bit behind premier league clubs in terms of physical conditioning since they started training 1.5 weeks after.

    That said, I expect that the first 1-2 games for all clubs will be high tempo for 60 minutes and then flat-line because players run out of gas.

  26. Dissenter

    Dele Ali was banned for only one game for that sill social media post he put up.
    Marc was indeed right that the league goes soft on Spuds way too much.

  27. Sid

    Left testicleJune 11, 2020 13:09:11
    I find dark chocolate a little bitter.

    The ladies in your life would disagree

  28. Freddie Ljungberg

    Szobozlai banged in 3 yesterday, we need to get in there now while we can still afford him. After he moves he’ll most likely be out of our price range.

    Could be had for under 20m now, no brainer really. Him and Soumare in for around 50m and I’ll start to feel a lot more comfortable with this squad. Can easily be financed by selling Laca and Xhaka and some of the extra CBs and loan players, might even have some cash left over.

    We’ll still be missing a puzzle piece or 2 but a hell of a lot closer than we are now.

  29. andy1886

    Too late already Freddie. He’s already been linked with Liverpool (and a handful of Italian teams too).

  30. Dissenter

    Would you take a chancre and sell Auba to buy both Szobozlai and Soumare?
    If we get both, then what happens to ESR and Willocks, talk-less of Guendouzi?

    It seems the club has to make some tough calls about truncating the path of some players because so long as we have these youth players around, we aren’t going to buy other 19-21 year olds.
    We have to call time on some of our young players.

  31. Gentlebris

    ‘Seriously don’t watch the scene then – it’ll scare you for life.’


    That bad?
    Is it on Netflix?

  32. Gentlebris

    ‘I suggest you find a better dentist that doesn’t make you shit your pants in anticipation.
    Better still take a valium before you show up’


    Never visited one and never plan to do. My teeth are so strong they scare me!

  33. Freddie Ljungberg


    Maybe, but with us he would be an automatic starter due to us not having anyone with a pulse in attacking midfield. Also Serie A isn’t really much of a draw imo.


    If we sell Auba we need to replace him. We’ve been linked to a loan for Jovic, I would even take that for a year so we can give time for Martinelli and the rest to develop.

    Would maybe allow us to bring in a top CB too and shorten our rebuild time. Not very likely though with that many changes at once again.

    Don’t think we should keep Laca regardless, he has 2 years left on his contract and he doesn’t warrant a new one. He’s also not good enough to be our main striker without Auba to score the goals.

  34. Graham62

    Every top team would love a James Milner in their set up.

    Versatile, reliable, hardworking and has a great team ethic.

    You don’t have to be world class to be a “great player”.

    I wish we had a JM at Arsenal.

  35. Freddie Ljungberg


    Guen, ESR and Willock would still have a place in the squad, would just reduce their playing time a little which is probably best for us at this time. Our midfield is to poor to have several inexperienced players playing constantly surrounded by crap older ones..

    Would look at Torreira the season after too and if he’s worth keeping then.

    Maybe loan ESR another season so he’s 100% ready when Ozil finally fucks off into the sunset after robbing us blind for years.

  36. Ernest Reed

    “Maybe loan ESR another season so he’s 100% ready when Ozil finally fucks off into the sunset after robbing us blind for years.”

    You just have to know that Ozil will likely wind up playing in MLS in North America, where the quality of football would permit lazy stiffs like Ozil to still shine with his otherwise passively indifferent creativity. My sincere hope is that management truly are not so blatantly ignorant as to even consider any extension. The Ozil Experiment has been an unmitigated failure from which it will take years to recover from.

  37. Terraloon


    Salah scores every 140minutes on average
    Mane. 148
    Firmino. 302

    PEA. 136
    Lacazette. 188
    Pepe. 397

    So if you take the top two from each team there is very little difference but yep PEA may be slightly more clinical. Oh the irony that so many want him gone

    Lacazette isn’t even close to Mane

    Firmino isn’t lethal but Pepe by comparison is impotent.

    So back to the point as a front three Liverpool’s clearly produce more.

  38. Guns of SF

    MLS might be too much for Nozil.

    Its not what it was 10 years ago.

    I think this fool retires. I cannot see him doing anything football related because he just sucks.

  39. Freddie Ljungberg

    Now you’ve done it Guns, that’s the third criticism of Ozil in a row, you know what that means.

    Yep, a knob in shining armour loaded with distorted and meaningless stats will arrive on the scene shortly to bore us to death. Thanks

  40. Guns of SF

    Or he might spare the MLS and go to Turkey but i doubt he does anything remotely good over there.
    His race has been run a while ago.

    Soumare looks like a good option in CM>.. and I do hope we get a proper CAM this summer too…

  41. Gentlebris

    ‘Depends on how you feel about power tools and teeth?’


    Didn’t realize they took things to power tools level.

    That indeed is a brain messing violence.

  42. Gentlebris

    ‘Yep, a knob in shining armour loaded with distorted and meaningless stats will arrive on the scene shortly to bore us to death. Thanks’

    I’m sure you were by no means referring to Pierre.

  43. Dissenter

    Ernest Reed
    The MLS won’t have Ozil. Theyhave changed tack and now go for very good young talent from south and central America.
    They would rather spend 15 million on a 19 year old Argentine than commit that to an ageing European has-been.

  44. Dissenter

    I would sell the tire midfield, Xhaka, Ozil, Willocks, ESR…
    All of them
    Uproot and tear down

  45. Guns of SF

    thats what Ive been saying too. start over in midfield.
    Keeping any of them gives us nothing.
    Maybe willock but there are so many other players out there that are miles better.

  46. Marc

    “I would sell the tire midfield, Xhaka, Ozil”

    That would take a salesman with almost super human skills if only Sanllehi were still at the club?

  47. Gentlebris

    Is it not worrisome that the final reason our midfield now resembles Burnley’s is because of Ramsey departure, and now he can’t nail down a regular spot at Juve.

    Such difference in level that Arsenal’s keyman is Juve’s spare tyre.

  48. Dissenter

    lol, you knew it was supposed to be “entire” right, but your royal pettiness had to have some fun.

  49. Gentlebris

    The fact is that if you offer Ozil to any team in Europe for free while Ozil agrees to a pay cut that brings his wages down to £50,000 p/w, they would still say ‘no thanks’.

    People in Europe don’t buy retired footballers just because they are famous.

    To find a buyer for Ozil, you have to go to China, Qatar or The States. And I’m not sure they would love Ozil’s attitude on the pitch.

  50. Marc


    Wasn’t having a pop at a typo – I do them all the thyme.

    I was having a pop at you not liking Sanllehi and how difficult it’s be to sell Ozil and Xhaka!

  51. Gentlebris

    ‘That’s some really expensive spare tyre!’


    Juve don’t think nothing of £400,000 p/w for spare tyres. The dude on whose table the buck stops must be sabotaging that club.

    I can’t find any other reason for such financial recklessness.

  52. Graham62

    Watched an old clip of Ozil playing for RM the other day.

    Tracking back, running into spaces, even tackling. Looked so motivated and committed.

    I’ve never seen him look like that playing for Arsenal.


  53. Freddie Ljungberg


    “I’m sure you were by no means referring to Pierre.”

    What in the world brings you to that conclusion? I would never sully Pierre’s good name and reputation like that.

    He does that best himself

    Dissenter / Guns

    Maybe not a great idea to buy 6 midfielders at once. The kids ( Guen, Willock, ESR) are good enough as backup atm, could develop into something more and are on low wages, it’s the senior players that are the problem. No need to go crazy.

  54. Guns of SF

    IF we remain with the same midfield next season, kiss it goodbye.
    There MUST be a clear out this summer. At least 2/3 new mids needed.
    At least 2 new starters.
    If not 3.

    Remarkably our mids do hold some value… in my estimation
    Xhaka- 20m
    Torr-15-20 m

    Sell for what we can get…. anything… need a rebuild

  55. Dissenter

    The only kid I’m tempted to keep is ESR…and that’s because I haven’t seen that much of him.
    Our midfield is not better than some teams that are facing relegation.

    Not trying to stir up shite but our midfield is no better than Norwich’s or Villa’s.

  56. Freddie Ljungberg


    I’m well aware how crap our midfield is, it’s bottom half at best. The issue isn’t the 19-20 year olds in there though. It’s mainly Xhaka and Ozil that’s the problem. Upgrade those 2 with proper players and midfield isn’t a problem area anymore.

    No point buying in 3 new starters and 3 new back ups in one are of the pitch before we even see how our kids, that are perfectly fine as cheap back ups, develop.
    I still think especially Guen can become a really good player and I have hope for the other 2. No need to make rash decisions when we don’t have to.
    Plenty of other players we can sell off before it comes to that.

  57. Dissenter

    This is where we disagree though.
    You lot focused on Xhaka to the point of obsessiveness.
    -Torriera isn’t suited to the league and would have been eased out of any other top premier league after one season. He was the worst player on the field in Baku, totally anonymous and he routinely makes as much mistakes as Xhaka.
    -Ozil… enough has been said and I won’t waste my time on him.
    -Guendouzi isn’t progressing – he isn;t getting any better . He is still young but you’ll think that with all the game time he’s had would have improved his decision making and vision for the entire field.
    Willock – he is average potential and can only mature to be a bang average midfielder. He’s good for the squad, no more than that.

  58. Spanishdave

    Dissenter spot on that’s the problem our midfield sucks.
    First thing we need to address whenever the close season happens