Arteta having a classic Wenger-week-in-Feb

by .


This week is a bit of a lol right? It’s like a typical February post-2007. We’d be in every competition, performances might be creeking, but you’d be confident that THIS was the year. Then three games would creep up on us and we’d be out the league, Champions League and FA Cup in one week.

Arteta looks like he’s picking up a bit of that magic from his old boss. We lost the North London Derby, we’re about to get a light/heavy spanking from Liverpool, then we go to Wembley for an improbable semi-final.

It is what it is.

He seemed pretty upbeat in the press conference. Maybe he’s not reading the NO IMPROVEMENT merchants and he saw this comment from CC in the comments.

Here’s a a quick snippet of goals FOR and AGAINST we’ve seen throughout the season at different points….

Week 13 – Emery’s last game: 18, 19
Week 18 – Freddie’s last game: 24, 27
Week 35 – now: 51, 44

Which breaks down as…

Emery: 18, 19 (-1)
Freddie: 6, 8 (-2)
Arteta: 27, 17 (+7)


Emery: 1.38 goals per game, 1.46 goals against per game
Freddie: 1.2 goals per game, 1.6 goals against per game
Arteta: 1.59 goals per game, 1 goal against per game.

It’s late so sue me for any inaccuracies, but its pretty evident we’re scoring more and conceding less PER GAME with Arteta. Otherwise coined as ‘no improvement’.

Core themes in the presser remained that we played well but allowed mistakes to kill us. I think the fact we didn’t get battered and largely controlled the game is his solace, though tactically, it’s hard not to think that Mourinho giving you ball and waiting for mistakes is him controlling the game.

His other theme was about progressing the club forward. He’s very careful with his words, but he keeps reminding everyone that the reason Liverpool are where they are is they made consistently good decisions on players. They were strategic, smart, and they pushed the club forward.

‘Yeah. What they have done is phenomenal, obviously the first two years it took them some time to rebuild the squad and to create a new culture, a new philosophy and a game model that suited the coach. Then they started to recruit every single player in relation to what they needed and that’s where I think they were really smart. They bought with specificity for every position that was required. Financially they had a big backing and made some big signings which completely changed the club in my opinion.’

I think it’s fair to say that the first transfer window can be written off as a hangover from yesteryear. David Luiz and Cedric Soares weren’t my kind of deals, but you can rationalise why they happened because of the state of the squad and the lack of options. Moving into this summer, we can’t be topping up our squad with more players like that. We have to be strategic about who we sign and what the path forward is.

We don’t just want Champions League qualification, we want a squad that can grow into that competition and win it. I know that sounds mad, but you have to shoot for the stars. That means signing players that ‘might’ drag you over the top 4 line is a losing game (it’s also a game we’ve played for 3 years and it hasn’t worked). If this current squad gets us into the top 4 next season with the addition of Willian and some other players looking for a retirement fund, what happens next? They can’t sustain it. We can’t sell them. Our squad is worse off for it. That’s why the better bet would be to sign up players that have the pedigree to make Champions League, but could grow when we make it there.

The big dollars, if we have any, must go on the core this summer. We need a ball-playing centre-back, we need a #6 like Partey, and we need an #8 that is ready to roll. Then we need to upgrade with players that fit the Arteta mold.

We’re being linked with Marc Roca, I’m not shocked. Technical, creative and quick thinker. Our midfield doesn’t create without players like that. We don’t just need one player like that, we need to start building a conveyor belt of them.

Supporting Emery came at a great cost. We brought in someone without understanding what he wanted to do on the pitch, and because his hire wasn’t on merit, no one paid attention to what he wanted. Now we have a coach with a much clearer articulation of what he wants to do. I suspect he has more sway with the staff. He’s Edu’s hire. Hopefully that means something because another incoherent summer and we’re in big trouble. This is more on Klopp.

I know how many decisions have to be right and how much support you need from the club and the people around, and how much connection you to have to generate from your fans to have the full package, and afterwards it’s football. The context right now is different to what it was as well four years ago and the abilities for a club to rebuild something is more limited, but it’s certainly something we have to look at and how they did it because it’s a great example. But we have to know that we have to do it our way with our resources and have it in mind that the content right now is different, but we are heading to be the best and this is my only objective with this club. We have to find a way to do it.

The ambition is to be the best. Not Europa League winners. Not top 4. To get back to the very top. It’s an ambition right for Arsenal, the question is, can it be supported? We’ll find out.

To start, we have to navigate Liverpool at home who are on the charge for the Premier League points record. He was asked if he’d rest players so we had a better chance at the weekend.

I believe that it’s very important to have energy and momentum going into important matches, and in order to do that you have to go game by game. Today and tomorrow we will asses the players and how they are, and obviously they’ve been hit and a lot of them have played some crazy minutes up until now and again we’re going to have games every two and a half days. We will try to put the strongest team out as possible here and as well on Saturday, and to do that we need to know how everyone recovers from the game.

I think he’s desperate to turnover Liverpool. He needs a restart statement win and I’m not sure Wolves quite counts in his mind. I think the idea of Arsenal keeping their concentration for 90 minutes is quite hard to fathom, but we’ve seen crazier things. The weekend game is where it’s at, City have had plenty of bad days this season and their away record isn’t great. Making an FA Cup final would be a different kind of statement.

Let’s see what happens, have a great day.

P.S. Arteta’s opinions on City and FFP were factual but missed the point. City are where they are because they pump a nation’s cash into the project. That result was the final nail in the coffin for Fairplay in football. It also makes a mockery of Ivan G and Wenger telling us for 10 years that when the rules kicked in, we’d be positioned to take advantage.

Now it’s clear. You either have a sugar daddy, or you don’t. I think it’s bad for the game. Bayern don’t have a sugar daddy, but they are financially dominant and just won the league for the 8th year in a row. The Spanish League is fairly locked. Juventus always win in Italy. Paris will always win unless they rehire Emery. The only saving grace our league has is it’s basically 8 mega-rich owners slugging it out. Football isn’t fair and it’s getting more and more unfair. In the end, people will get bored if there isn’t a competition. We’re a way off that but it isn’t beyond the realms that people could lose interest.

1,449 Responses to “Arteta having a classic Wenger-week-in-Feb”

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  1. Useroz

    Lucky. AMN lost Mane for a split second.

    Hopefully Kolac and Tierney aren’t switching position. Kolac must stay away from the centre

  2. TheBayingMob

    Is anyone else watching on Peacock? Are they having problems with the stream freezing? Wondering if it’s the app or my network … I keep having to swap channels to get a live feed back. Picture freezes by audio continues … ?

  3. Champagne Charlie

    Mane is devastating because he’s not one dimensional. Can’t burn you with pace or stand you up and produce quality.

    I hate TAA, the lad is arrogant as fuck and his face bothers me.

  4. MidwestGun

    Mob –

    No issues on my mobile app.. but might be different on the laptop it was freezing earlier.

  5. Daniel Altos

    Nice little victory….determined performance by the team hope to see more of it on the weekend.
    @Un as you and I have been preaching here holding is a much better defender than the rest of our clowns

  6. Wasi

    Lacazette Motm. Not even close. This confident Laca doesn’t need a lot .
    Tierney was massive in the second half .

  7. Receding Hairline

    Well that sets us up for Saturday well. Holding has to start really.

    Aston Villa and Watford winnable games too, can still sneak into the Europa places if the teams ahead stumble and that’s possible

  8. gnarleygeorge9

    Like I said, debt free & front & centre For the next 20+ transfer windows!!!! Thanx Uncle Stan.

  9. Guns of SF

    laca and nelson need more time together… they work well

    nelson a natural right winger
    Laca the pressure man

    left, Saka or Auba

    Just play nelson no more Pepe

  10. Just Another Customer




    just enjoy the win for a bit lads record broken after 5 years

    sad but true

    at least not another drubbing

  11. luke

    We’re going to have a bit of an issue when Leno is fit again. I don’t think either Leno or Emi will settle for No. 2.

  12. Dissenter

    ‘Told y’all we were going to win 2-1″

    Yea you did. Now you just have to give me a tip on the lottery

  13. Radio Raheem

    Better to be lucky than good. Arteta lucky so far – Southampton and Liverpool. Long may it continue.

  14. Receding Hairline

    Not much of a performance, those two arrogant play by the two costliest Liverpool players did for them tonight.

    Lacazette should start weekend, Auba doesn’t show up for the big games like he does. Still open to selling him though

  15. GunnerDNA


    “Arteta doesn’t deserve any credit. Shit performance saved ny two mistakes from Liverpool”

    Slightly harsh. The football is terrible, but you have to give him some credit. The midfield and Luiz is shocking. No fan can tell me anything about these midfielders and CB. If Arsenal sell holding and keep Luiz and Mari, they’re a disgrace

  16. Guns of Brixton

    Good lord I was anticipating a 4 1 drubbing or something.

    Nice to see a win on that board. Phewwww. What a night I’m gonna have

  17. Guns of SF

    Sell Leno,

    Martinez is class. Leno is good but he has to be number 2 or sold.

    For a man the size of Martinez he is quite nimble and quick

  18. Matt

    Great result and overall we defended well. It is concerning how toothless we look going forward and as for Pepe, we have a problem on our hands with our £72m winger.

  19. CaliGooner

    Finally we played a better team then us that actually made worse mistakes then we did.


    Good for Arteta maybe we can get some positive feelings going again.

  20. Guns of SF

    To the Nelson haters
    Prior to the game I was saying play Nelson he is better than Pepe…

    Looks like I was right.

    our attack flows easier with a natural right winger… not the stop gap, square peg Pepe on the right. He is also stronger than Pepe.

    Pepe did nothing again today bar getting fouled in their half

  21. Danny S

    What worries me is most people know Holding is a better choice than Mustafi, and EVERYONE knows Holding is better than Kola, left foot or not.
    However it takes them to both drop calamitous performances for holding to get a game.
    That’s my only worry about Arteta. Has hints of the Wenger favouritism about him.

  22. Radio Raheem

    Martinez is impressing but he has made two mistakes in two successive matches. Luckily for him it hasn’t cost us.

    It’s fantastic to have two very good goalies, we might be unique in the league for that.

  23. Ishola70

    That’s what is called a cheeky win lol

    The few good aspects of the night were that Arsenal took their chances very well when they came along and there was some decent to good defending as well to go along with that.

    Other than that the match was like a training excercise game for Liverpool which they lost. They totally dominated the match. I don’t think I have seen such domination from one side over another for a very long time in terms of possession and overall controlling the match. It was like watching a non-league side pull off a result over some giant side.

    This can’t be Artetaball and won’t be Artetaball. Giving the opponents 99% possession is not sustainable and it’s not sustainable even when playing like that 5 to 10 times over a season. You will lose nine times out of ten playing like that.

    As said before Liverpool showed us in that first half what we need to be to bridge the gap from scratching around or failing to be top four to challenging right at the top.

    Pressing is paramount to be a top team in 2020. And high pressing. Once we see Arsenal players win the ball of their opponents multiple times in their own half like we saw Liverpool do to Arsenal tonight in that first half maybe just maybe we will be on the road to being a top side again.

    At this moment miles away from that.

  24. Ishola70

    “What was that Liverpool versus Arsenal Ladies..”

    lol the ladies pulled off the win.

    Three cheers for the gals.

  25. MidwestGun

    I think Arteta has to get some credit… he came up with a formation with no midfield basically due to our lack of options and , he made earlier substitutions and it worked good enough. We have to fix a lot this summer though, no doubt, we can’t do that every match.

  26. luke

    I love how Emi has come into the team, but I think it might be premature to rely on him as our #1. How many games has it been? Something I haven’t seen anyone mention: all of Emi’s games have been with no fans in the stadium. I don’t know if that could make a difference but if he makes one mistake that costs us and confidence drops, we may regret not having Leno.

  27. Leftside

    Leno has been one of our few bright spots in a poor campaign overall. What’s with Gunners and knee-jerk reactions.

  28. luke

    I know Bayern were sniffing around Leno at one point this season when he was in good form for us. Might be worth it to raise funds to buy for other positions

  29. Wasi


    Granit was definitely very good. But he lost the ball in dangerous areas 1 or 2 times. He does it every match. The thing is lately he isnt getting punished for it. Anyways he is the only midfielder who shows for the ball when playing out the back and isnt afraid like so many others while defending set pieces.
    His slow reaction coupled with his slower pace allowed Mane to ghost behind him and nick the goal.

  30. Guernsey Gun

    Take that however the match stats don’t lie. Liverpool 24 attempts and 70% possession. The result is a once a season freak. Only 8 on target from pool, poor by their standards, but fuck it we are due some luck.

  31. Pedro

    Fucking hell lads, what a result.

    Rode out luck, but when don’t you? Held onto lead against the Champions with key players rested.

    Can’t knock it… need to win our last three now.

  32. mb

    We have drawn with Everton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Sheff Utd, Burnley and lost to Brighton.

    That would have been a confirmed top4.

    We are doing better against better teams but choking against others.

    Next season we gonna thrash them all, eh!

  33. Dissenter

    It just makes those rumors of Holding being on the list of players to be sold very difficult to believe.

  34. Wasi


    Still some way to go to overthrow Leno imo.
    Leno is world class.
    Martinez to his credit is better in the air than Leno. Also a better communicator .
    Going to be a good battle between these 2 for the starting spot next season. How long has it been since we had 2 high quality keepers?

  35. Leftside

    A few of us have said repeatedly that Holding needs more games too, and Torreira imo.

    Pepe needs to show a lot more, very unpolished and you can see he’s already the new whipping boy too

  36. Champagne Charlie


    Law of averages mate, guy makes the most passes in the side time after time so the turnovers seem more frequent.

    Wouldn’t get at anyone in this game for it mind, Liverpool are elite and force turnovers onto everyone.

    We need a restructure centrally though, that’s without doubt.

  37. Dissenter

    There’s talk that Steve Bould is besotted with Arteta.
    Lee Dixon said Bould has been helping out with the first team since the U-23s are out and is thoroughly impressed with Arteta.

    Just giving Pedro material for his next laudatory post of course.

  38. Matt

    Left side, he’s not doing himself any favours in the whipping boy stakes. Fans will forgive you for not scoring or assisting, but you have to at least show some effort or desire. He showed absolutely nothing today.

  39. Guns of SF

    Torreira did well today.
    Luiz did well today, especially in the last 15 mins when they crossed into our box over and over.

  40. Valentin

    It took some shocking performance by the usual suspects for Arteta to give a deserved chance to Holding. Holding may not have the sophistication ball at his feet that Luiz or Mustafi, but he has less mistakes in him than both of them. A coach may prefer those over Holding, but a manager would select Holding over all of them. At ManCity Pep prefers Ottomendi over Stone.

    Again Pepe was anonymous on both side, yet Nelson is the one who was substituted. Really some senior players are not there on performance.

  41. andy1886

    Last three? Two in the league to go, if we win the semi then it’s four games and you’d hope we win the cup final too.

  42. Wasi


    Sure but watch rhe replay , Mane was Xhaka’s man. Xhaka even shoulder checked him twice but was a bit slow to react. Couple that with Mane’s pace and before Xhaka had time to shoulder check again , the ball was already in the back of the net.
    Cant fault Xhaka’s effort.

    Anyways , our players need to put more pressure on the referee.
    Mane kicked Holding after he lost a 50/50. Son got a red for a similar type of incident. Var didn’t even take a look.

    Taa stuck his sole on Saka’s shin. The Var didn’t even check.

    Whats worse is no Arsenal player thought it would be good to appeal to the referee for a stricter/ fairer decision.

    Also Xhaka got booked for winning the ball cleanly. Again no appeals.

  43. Champagne Charlie

    “Best performers?“

    Mane by a distance lol

    We were resolute, Tierney, Xhaka, both good, Lacazette very sharp in the final third.

    Wouldn’t be writing much home about us though other than graft and grit.

  44. Marc

    “Xakha, laca, Martinez; Tierney and holding All solid”

    Well take Xhaka out of that and it’s true, I’d actually say Holding, Tierney and Martinez all had very good games. Imagine what we’d do with Ceballos and Torreira together in CM over Xhaka.

  45. MidwestGun

    Best performers.. Laca, Holding, Tierney, Nelson, Martinez.

    Worst. Pepe, Luiz, Soares.

    Thought LT, Xhaka and Saka were ok for what they were asked to do.

    AMN was a good sub.

  46. Freddie Ljungberg

    I’ll take that any day, was expecting a clownfest but from our defence not theirs.

    Pepe the usual whipping boy on here, he’s been in and out of the team lately and is now being played out of position, still has 8 goals 8 assists in his first season. He needs some consistency in his playing time to find form, not this on off bullshit.

    I’ve defended Nelson on here before, especially early in the season when a lot of people already deemed him not good enough after a handful of games but he’s nowhere near Pepe’s quality.

    Agree though that Pepe has to show more hunger. He also needs more support and we desperately need a Cam that can link our play because we’re not going to get goals gift wrapped like today on a regular.

  47. Wasi

    Clearly Lacazette was the best performer
    Then Tierney , Emi , Holding , Xhaka , Torreira , Nelson ,Saka , Luiz ,Auba . In that order.

  48. andy1886

    Lol, commentators still referring to ‘Pool as nearly invincibles, no mention that the nearest to that were the AFC ’90/91 side, one loss in 42 games.

  49. Champagne Charlie

    Marc and Ishola have obviously had a game of tiddlywinks to see who gets to shower derision on Xhaka tonight.

    Marc clear winner.

  50. MidwestGun

    Yep David Luiz.. I just don’t get. It’s a sideshow Bob performance pretty much every time out.

  51. Guns of SF


    Dani and Torreira as CM

    we have some shit opposition coming up, lets try it out!
    You hearing me Arteta??

  52. Sanmi

    Like I’ve always said, xhaka is not our top 2 problems, we need a left winger and an AM. With Saliba hopefully Luiz remains a back up.

  53. Marc


    100% spot on. We beat Brighton (something we should do), Leicester (something we should have done) and the Spud’s (should’ve done as well) and we’re on 61 points with Chelsea having to go to Liverpool.

  54. Wasi

    ‘Saved us a lot ‘

    Un . This is a massive massive understatement.
    Also if you remove Luiz , buy a strong Dm and have CB who are good in the air like Holding and Mustafi then Leno’s aerial ability wont be questioned much as the CB, Dm will clear out the danger.

    On a side note – Martinez himself is a very good shot stopper. Has the highest save percentage in the league this season.

    Personally for me , not enough to overthrow Leno. Not yet.
    Lets not forget Martinez is playing behind a defense that has been drilled into a good shape by Arteta.
    Leno was behind a horror show under Emery and Freddie where we were conceding 25 + shots a game.

  55. CG

    Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1.

    There will only be one team that goes though the season without loosing.

    And It wont be cheating Pep’s City.
    Or Klopp’s Liverpool.

    It will always be Our Wengers Arsenal.
    Pure and simple – like his soccer.

    Also great to see the Wenger boys scoring and starring.

    (Lacazette and Nelson.)

    And Xhaka and Holding the stand out performers.

    As for Pepe…… what a totally ill thought out and indulgent signing from The Spiv.

    Let’s hope Lewis the lawyer tracks these commission payments.

    Because if he is worth £72 million- I am a bloody Spaniard.

  56. Pierre

    First, well done for somehow coming away with a victory

    I want to give Arteta some credit for his tactical genius but I’m finding it difficult to get too excited over a tactic that was out of the Sam Allardyce book of shit tactics.

    I didn’t like Allardyce’s tactics and I didn’t like tonight’s tactics.

    Kicking the ball high and long to nobody in particular doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement.

    City at the weekend , are we going to be so poor in possession of the football and scared to put our foot on the ball and try and pass to a team mate, I hope not as I fear the worst.

    City won’t be so complacent, they will go for the kill if we keep presenting them with the ball.

    The players have to be brave in possession of the ball and not treat it like a hot potato.

    Well done to Martinez and Holding, 2 players who were/are regarded as squad members..
    Holding is a proper defender and that’s what we need.

  57. Marc


    My only agenda is Arsenal winning.

    Xhaka has consistently proved over almost 4 seasons to not be good enough for us.

    On another subject – how much better did Holding look at CB than Kolas?

  58. Sanmi

    With an AM that can create and hold onto the ball and a left winger that can beat man for fun, the pressure of defense will be lower, Xhaka will have more space then we can play 4 at the back

  59. Graham62

    For me, Martinez should be our #1.

    Anyway, at least we have two decent keepers for next season.

    Tonights game was the equivalent of a pre-fight sparring session. Didn’t feel real.

    At 1-0, we all thought it could be embarrassing and then Liverpool had a mental breakdown.

    Statistically we were thrashed.

    History though will say Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1.

    No real positives apart from Martinez looking good again.

    Tierney is a breath of fresh air.

    If only we had a few more like him.

  60. gnarleygeorge9

    We are told constantly about how Gr8 Liverpool are, etc, etc, etc, but one thing they aren’t is INVINCIBLE !!!

  61. Marc


    “Well done to Martinez and Holding, 2 players who were/are regarded as squad members..
    Holding is a proper defender and that’s what we need.”

    Another 100% spot on comment. I will admit I’m having to get used to a keeper who catches the ball all the time! Not complaining though.

  62. The Godfather

    Eight points Stupidly thrown away to

    And we’d be all alone in fourth ahead of Leicester with Villa and WATFORD left in our schedule …