Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?

by .

Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.

Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.

We need a win. There’s no glory in a draw. Arsenal needs to start the season the same way they played the FA Cup final. Everyone needs to show up focused. This season we’re gunning for top 4. Arsenal can’t have another transition year. We have the talent to do it. Arteta picked up a bag of shite in December, he took us from 8th to 8th, but the half-season table showed that we finished 4 points off 3rd (in 5th). If we’re that close to 3rd in March, we have every chance of taking a Champions League spot.

There are 4 very important games coming up before the international break. Anything above 9 points will be classified as very good. Most would say the big game is the Liverpool one, but for me, it’s actually the Fulham, West Ham, and Sheff U games that pose the threat.

Arsenal’s challenge this season will be dealing with deep blocks. We lack creativity through the middle and we haven’t really addressed that this summer so far. There has to be a solution. Arteta needs to evolve how we play this season. It’s no good becoming the London version of Wolves. We need to rack up points against the little teams this season.

There are some potential solutions. The biggest bet we’ve made is that Willian will carry over his elite form from last season. He had a great record for balls into the box last season. We’ll need some of that trickery tomorrow. The big question is whether Arteta opts to play him out on the left, or whether he moves him into a modern #10 role.

We could also see Mesut Ozil back in contention. The German international is out of the cold and he’s making a fuss online that he wants to play. Say what you like about him, he’s a deep-block specialist and if willing, he’s more than capable of being a solve for us there. Question, as always, is how much does he care?

There are also some other potential solves that are little more far fetched. Saka ‘might’ get a shout as a #10 at some point this season. Could be a little early for that. Especially as he’s been so good from wide positions. We also have ESR who can play in those pockets. He had a great time at Huddersfield. Would Arteta take the chance? I’m not sure (not tomorrow as he’s injured). Especially not for the first game.

What we do know is this: Fulham under Scotty Parker are pragmatists.

They will set up with a sturdy team tomorrow and they’ll look to nick a goal on the counter. They clearly aren’t elite pragmatists (they finished 4th in the Championship and there’s been a serious debate about #ParkerOut among entertainment starved fans), but they’ll be an early test for us. They have some decent ball-playing defenders and they have a bully of a target man in Mitrovic. Those two factors combining have been the death of us over the years. Hopefully, there’s a strategy tomorrow to work around the obvious plan that’ll be rolled out.

So here we are, heading into our 13th year together (feeling so emosh). This should be fun. We have a solid setup. We have a brilliant young manager. We have a vibrant squad of young players eager to make it happen. We have a chance to make the top 4 if things fall for us. Let’s enjoy it, it’ll be a fun ride. Lots of ups and downs. But we’re heading in the right direction regardless. I’ve not been able to honestly say that in a very long time.

Enjoy the game and listen to the podcast. Whoever gave me a 1* review, I hope you have some mild internet disruption today. Yeah, I’m that serious about the slander.

Also, I fixed the link issue on the newsletter. It should not be working perfectly!

COME ON YOU GOONERS!

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1,072 Responses to “Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?”

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  1. Batistuta

    Receding

    Lol! I had it on an over2 at full time. Picked up a healthy opening day bet win with Arsenal to win and an over on goals there and now Pool at over2.

    Leeds look like a fun team and sooner they integrate Rodrigo the better because Bamford won’t cut it at this level

  2. Ishola70

    It also helped Fergie that his Manchester United teams played football that was more akin to winning the EPL in comparison to Wengaball.

    Andy touched on that previously.

  3. Useroz

    Good season opening game and result. Could have been 5 – 0, easily …

    Losing Martinez is not good but … If he wanted to go, rather than Arteta being pissed about him asking to be 1st choice, good on him.

    Tbh, starting to get worried about Arteta U-turn ( no clue if he meant it!) to keeping players we wanted to sell, esp. when we need cash. Xhara, AMN, Holding, Laca, Elneny. Guendouzi.. Why? To marinate them with your special sauce?

    Ok, Arteta fine tuned Xhara’s game and he’s doing better.

    AMN played tactically brilliant in several games.

    Holding didn’t fuck up and you changed your mind and he’s not going anywhere??

    Guendouzi to reset in a new season?

    So you played with Elneny so what?? Couldn’t even fetch 10m for what he does ‘well’…

    Laca has Eddie on his back? Eddie on Ceballos’s back too after today! Laca scores some but we need a new model like Edouard who’s younger, bigger and taller… don’t think Celtic going to let him walk for 22m (per media report) tho.

    Let’s not go back to the ‘internal solution’ phenomenon! We moved on from that.

    Watch the AM v Socicdad game and Partey did well not wow …Monreal not too bad either! Didn’t realize AM still keep several collectors’ items like Dirtigo Costa and Morata.

    Our infamous collection of 7 CBs and 7 MFs are for the future. Let’ go 60 to 75% to immediate strengthen and blood new talent.

    A couple of good results isn’t a testament to keeping dross.

  4. Marc

    Ishola

    That was the point I was making – Wenger moved from a successful formula that was still entertaining to something that always came up just short – then he went senile.

  5. Tom

    “Bielsa is more likely to ve ashamed of his accent, but he played the same “I don’t speak the language” in France and then got caught speaking French to one of his player.
    Also the difference in communication between Bielsa and Emery is that Bielsa is very clear in his football instructions. His football training session are renowned to be repetitive to the point of boring. There is no football misunderstanding what he expect from his players.”

    Valentin
    Bielsa speaks English but poorly and uses both English , Spanish as well his translator to communicate with his players.
    But you’re right , his players know exactly what he wants from them.
    Leed’s Matt Klich, a son of my former friend and teammate in Poland , says Bielsa gets his instructions across clearly and with ease.

    Pedro was right about the communication being important but overstated the importance of any particular language.
    Emery was just a poor communicator.

  6. Northbanker

    The problem with what became Wengerball was not just Chelsea although I agree if that money had not poured in we may have won more. But the change to the midget system was also accompanied by a loss of interest in having an impregnable defence.

    Wenger’s success was built on George Graham’s defence. For a while he managed to sustain it by pulling off a master stroke to persuade Sol Campbell to sign for us, converting Lauren from midfield to RB and doing likewise with Ashley Cole at LB. Bar the odd exception (Bakary Sagna in particular) he later bought legions of totally inadequate options – Scillachi, Cygain, Silvestre, Richard Wright, Ospina, Almunia etc etc. all on the cheap. If there’s a problem buy another winger and that’ll fix it.

    You can’t win titles with players like that no matter how good your midfield and attack are.

  7. Ben+D

    Pedro, I wasn’t trying to argue that language isn’t important. It is critical. I was just trying to test your consistency… Also, if it had turned out that he doesn’t, then it would simply have implied that not speaking the language ALONE doesn’t mean you can’t be a good coach, even though you would probably be much more effective if you did speak the language…

  8. Marc

    Whilst you can never make a call on the first game of the season Liverpool’s defence seems to have carried some kind of “malaise” (not sure the right word to use) over from last season.

  9. Marko

    On the final point on Martinez leaving and a new number two coming in. I deplore some of you idiots to take a look around the premier league at what constitutes a number two and tell me the Brentford number one couldn’t be our number two.

  10. Marc

    Marko

    My only comment on a new backup keeper is can we get one on loan for a season so we can concentrate all monies on strengthening other areas?

  11. andy1886

    1998-2002 = solid defence, hard working tough midfield who could also play, physically intimating and not afraid to push the dark arts to the limits. Add on a quick winger who scored goals, a hard worker on the other flank and efficient strikers. Oh, and possibly the greatest ever second striker who also had a nasty streak when it was needed.

    Tough, cynical, efficient, hard working. Not words associated with the Nasri’s of this world….

  12. Pedro

    Ben, if you take over a club as big as Arsenal, you should at a minimum, be able to speak the language to a good level. There are next to no examples of managers who didn’t bother to master the language. Painful thing with Emery is all his coaches spoke great English. It was just him. Too busy with the ladies when he should have been on Rosetta Stone.

  13. Marc

    Pedro

    I think we might have a case of pot and kettle. Do you refer to football as “soccer” when speaking to your American colleagues?

    Because no real English football fan would use that word!

  14. Ishola70

    Marko

    You are missing the point.

    This Brentford boy has no top flight experience.

    As said before his biggest game so far was that play off final where he completely botched it. Fucked up completely.

    Other top EPL clubs have more experienced keepers as their No.2.

    And we want a squad that can challenge near the top right.

  15. Marko

    Marc my point is on loan or not a back up keeper ain’t that important it should be easy enough but here you have people complaining about the Brentford number one.

  16. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Is arts knowledge of plAying with mo elmenny influencing his decision to play him.

    Or has he improved with age or the loan spell in turkey

  17. Ishola70

    Getting in an older keeper with some top flight experience on the cheap shouldn’t be a problem.

    It’s preferable to me rather than this Brentford boy.

  18. Useroz

    Get a decent backup goalie isn’t a bad idea when we aren’t awash with cash.

    Arteta can (re)like Holding but need to find ways to sell Sok, Chambers and Mustafi. Best to also move Soares on too, you know, like day trading.. But we are paying backup defenders like Mari and Soares too much and wouldn’t be takers.

    Arteta can find his love for Elneny but he’s on 50k pw ffs. We don’t need his sort. Still need to sell Torreira and Guendouz. If decent offers came in, Willock (20m) and Nelson (20m) will become available,

    After all, we’d have trouble registering the overflown squad.

  19. Northbanker

    Pedro – and Thanksgiving is an English custom hijacked by the Yanks. But it doesn’t mean we should use soccer now.

  20. Marc

    “After all, we’d have trouble registering the overflown squad.”

    Comment of the day and needs to be shown to Edu and Arteta – for fuck sake we can’t keep them all.

    It’s like a 7 year old girl with a litter of puppies.

  21. Leftside

    Marc

    All they need is a manager on the sidelines with pink cheeks furiously chewing away on mint/gum and ridiculous amounts of extra injury time and they’re set.

  22. andy1886

    Red, as you’ll recall in the 2001 cup final Henchoz cleared the ball off the line with his arm and should have been sent off. You’ll also recall that Wenger played Grimandi in midfield and benched DB10. So blame the ref and/or Wenger not our defence.

    Everyone knows that in ’99 if Bergkamp burries the penalty Arsenal would have gone on to do the double and United would have won fuck all.

  23. Pedro

    Also, the Canadians had Thanksgiving before the American’s… they shifted theirs to October because it was too cold in November.

  24. andy1886

    ‘Soccer’ is a term coined by the upper/middle classes so that the working mans game wouldn’t be confused with their beloved Rugby Football. Real football fans never use ‘soccer’.

  25. Tom

    “Tom, I didn’t overstate the importance of the language. If you manage Arsenal, learn English. No excuses.“

    Pedro, the football nomenclature is so basic you could teach it to a monkey in any language enough to function within a team (Bale at RM anyone lol)

  26. Pedro

    Tom, not in 2020. The game is more complex and the detail that goes into the preparation has never been deeper. You absolutely need to understand the native language. Also, a huge part of the job is talking to the public, being a meme isn’t a good look.

  27. andy1886

    Here you go:

    “Linguistically creative students at the University of Oxford in the 1880s distinguished between the sports of “rugger” (rugby football) and “assoccer” (association football). The latter term was further shortened to “soccer” (sometimes spelled “socker”), and the name quickly spread beyond the campus. However, “soccer” never became much more than a nickname in Great Britain.”

    So fucking posh twats thinking that they could rename the game to suit themselves. Wankers. Don’t be a wanker, it’s football not soccer.

  28. MidwestGun

    We didn’t hi-jack Thanksgiving… Newsflash… US of A was an English Colony first. If y’all would have invented football faster we would be calling it football.

  29. andy1886

    Sorry Pedro, going to have to lump you in with the ‘Rugger’ mob from now on. FYI the rich have always stolen from the poor, not the other way around. It’s why they’re rich…

  30. MidwestGun

    Mmmmmmm Leeds gave it a go..at least. Anyhow..y’all had the chance to call the FA Cup the Super Bowl, first. We are just good at marketing.

  31. Valentin

    Tom,

    Bielsa does not speak Oxford English, but a few players have mentioned that he is able to speak English with them. All that is required from a football manager is to be able to communicate with players in a clear, concise and precise manner.
    A lot of people confuse having a terrible accent and be ashamed of it with not being able to speak English. Bielsa is a proud man and he does not want to have the piss taken by the media and on internet. Pochetino played the same card for convenience, until he was told to stop the charade.

  32. Marc

    “FYI the rich have always stolen from the poor, not the other way around. It’s why they’re rich…”

    Stupid comment – How can you steal from the poor? They’ve got fuck all it’s not worth the effort.

  33. Ishola70

    Valentin

    Bielsa’s interviews with the media through his interpreter were comical.

    Far more comical than anything we saw from Arteta at Arsenal.

  34. andy1886

    Sorry Marc, you’re wrong. It’s simple maths. Better to take say £10 from twenty million people than a million from a hundred wealthy people. And much easier to do too.

    Rich is a relative term, if you have the super rich you need millions of poor people to create them. Where exactly do you think the money comes from?

  35. Tom

    Andy,
    Marc apparently believes that the super rich land owners throughout millennia all got their land because there was nobody living on it.

  36. Valentin

    Ishola

    Ranieri initial Chelsea interview were comical with the interpreter understanding less Italian than Ranieri English.

    Bielsa never lost the respect of journalists. I would say that Bielsa press conference after Spygate was so illuminating, most of the journalists found a new respect for the man. It was brilliant and so detailed that many suddenly understood why other managers considered him as a mentor.

  37. Receding Hairline

    Are we still talking about Emery?

    Or is it just me who isn’t allowed to bring him up?

    For a poor communicator and worse manager in our history one would argue he did a pretty respectable job first season, that’s the season I use as a benchmark for Arteta not last season.

  38. Marc

    Pedro

    Mate that wasn’t politics that was me talking the piss out of Andy. My top 3 politicians were going to be Alan B’Stard, with Alan B’Stard coming in as an outsider with the surprise winner of Alan B’Stard.

    Tom just needs to chill – Andy knows what I’m like.

  39. Marc

    Receding

    Maybe we need to come up with a code name for him? What about the Greatest Manager Arsenal ever had who couldn’t speak English and left after 18 months?

  40. GunnerDNA

    What I love with Mikel is him dumping Ozil, for that alone he has my full support. This kid has been trash since his second season at Arsenal and majority of the fan base are unable to see it. It took Mikel months to figure him out. Can’t see how he gets back in the team with the midfielders that are linked to the Club. He’s even behind Elneny. All my wish came through he’s finally in the 🚮

  41. Henry+Root

    Northbanker
    Wenger’s success was built on George Graham’s defence.
    It was also built on signing two brilliant midfielders, a world-class winger, a brilliant young striker and rejuvenating Ray Parlour and bringing the best out of Dennis Bergkamp . Wenger revisionists ignore the fact that the club was a basket case in 1994/5 even with George Graham’s defence

  42. Receding Hairline

    Marc don’t care what you call him mate

    Just find the whole “the players couldn’t understand him bit” overstated.

    I mean we had the third best home record in the division first time out and reached the EL final. Had some great games too where players played to strict tactical instructions. Unlike many I’m not in the habit of pretending certain things didn’t happen just to feel among.

  43. Marc

    Receding

    Pedro had an agenda, never gave him any time, gave posters who were of a similar mind a free run at any one who disagreed and we lost some good posters.

    But the fact is he’s gone and there’s no sense arguing about it. Giving Pedro some grief over it is always good fun though.

  44. Henry+Root

    Tallest Tiz
    Anybody know why Saliba and Torreira were missing from the squad today

    Arteta commented before the match that Saliba is some way from making his debut .
    He suggested he still lacks match fitness and needs to adjust to the way Arsenal want him to play

  45. andy1886

    Yup, think we’ve been there before Marc…

    Back to football (never soccer), while I don’t like West Ham or Moyes much it’s hard to cheer for a team that features Shelvey either.

  46. GunnerDNA

    RH,

    It doesn’t matter what you said brother, Emery will never get any love from some of the fan base. The real ones knew why his tenure wasn’t a success. If you noticed what’s happening with Mikel now in terms of player recruitment one have to ask if the powers that be at Arsenal really wanted Emery to succeed. He was given players to work with that didn’t suit anything he was trying to do. He dumped Ozil and the fans turned on him and he put him back in the team and everything went south. If you noticed everything that they didn’t like about Emery Mikel is repeating them now but they’re more acceptable because the fans love Mikel. It’s a lost cause to even debate anything Emery now!

  47. BacaryisGod

    We buy Leno for £19.3 million. Leno gets injured and Martinez comes in and impresses over several Premier League cup performances after the lockdown. Suddenly Martinez is in demand when before there was little interest in him. Leno recovers from injury and we sell Martinez for between £16-£20 million.

    That means we essentially get Leno for a net zero transfer fee. Should we be thanking Brighton’s Maupay?

    As for the Gabriel going to ground debate there’s a simple explanation. Most Arsenal fans have just seen him mostly on highlight videos. These videos are going to show the more spectacular sliding tackles than what we mainly saw over 90 mins today where Gabriel showed his strength and skill to win the ball. I’m not expecting him to be the messiah and he’ll have mistakes in him as a young CB but it was a hugely promising debut.

  48. Receding Hairline

    Yes Marc and GunnerDna

    Really no point and I will try not to keep taking the bait

    Just that I’m the type of guy who doesn’t shy away from saying what I think.

    Some fans though understand the man tried his best with the tools at his disposal, fell Short as expected from the start.

    Second season it all went to crap and the club made the right call.

    That really should have been the end of that but some just like to stick the boot in with wildly exaggerated claims

  49. Ernest Reed

    “Also, the Canadians had Thanksgiving before the American’s… they shifted theirs to October because it was too cold in November.l

    In a roundabout way this is true, Pedro. More to fact it falls in line with the earlier harvest season in Canada, being typically October where one is thankful for their bounty.

  50. GunnerDNA

    RH,

    I understand but whatever you say will not change anything about Pedro. 96% of Arsenal fans on the internet now are typical example of Pedro. They play both siides. You have been coming here long enough to know when to ignore some of Pedro outlandish arguments. I can name 10 managers Pedro wanted to take over from AW and probably it’s only 4 of them still in the game. If I’m not mistaken he even wanted Owen Coyle. Hopefully he gets everything Mikel right because it’s long overdue!

  51. Northbanker

    Henry – I wasn’t arguing against that. Wenger did indeed transform Arsenal with some brilliant signings and creativity. I was explaining why it worked in the first 10 years and and not in the next 10. The key difference was defence

  52. Ernest Reed

    Observations from today’s match – Arsenal got a deserved result and Fulham, yeah they really are a poor squad.

    Much work to do but thus far there are some encouraging signs, particularly Gabriel who started tentatively but really came on strong as the game went on.

    Willian had zip and pace, meaning Pepe is really going to have to work hard to get minutes.

    Midfield remains a serious concern, but there is time to address needs, hope they do.

    Good start.

  53. Ernest Reed

    Why on Gods green earth are there any discussions about Arsene Wenger? The man is gone and good riddance to him, he literally brought the club to its crippled knees in the end with his insane ways and management.

    Be done already and move on.

  54. Northbanker

    Because Ernest sometimes it is good to discuss history and learn from it. As Henry pointed out, the club was also on its knees when Wenger arrived but I assume this was before you were born. We had 10 great years and 10 not do good. However those not so good years were still way better than the shit I Mostly saw in the 70s and 80s

  55. Dissenter

    Valentin/Karim
    What’s going on at Lyon?
    I ask because you guys know the ligue un landscape better than most.
    Lyon is selling off so many players. There’s talk that villa are going to sign Bertrand Traore

  56. TT

    “Because Ernest sometimes it is good to discuss history and learn from it. As Henry pointed out, the club was also on its knees when Wenger arrived”

    Not true at all.

  57. Bamford10

    Receding

    “some just like to stick the boot in with wildly exaggerated claims”

    Yep. Best to let it go (to some extent) at this point. There will be a time and place to return to some of these things, though.

  58. TheLegendaryDB10

    I am not someone who especially pays attention to adverts, but here it was inescapable: a guy in an Arsenal shirt (centre screen) “pretends” to go to the ground and and then chats online with his mates/other people in other teams shirts.

    That ad is by Coca Cola. No small company. Do tjry believe in us? (They only associate themselves with winning teams and prestigious global events.) Can Arteta and the team do it?

    We can, with hard work, new key players purchased such as Willan (done) and Partey (please!!!).

    If we have a Ceballos / Partey combo, it could be devastating in itself. Couple Willan and Auba! Tierney and Gabriel! We should be in contention for top 4 minimum.

  59. Pierre

    Football , as in all sport, can be physcological.

    Arsenal , during our lean years recently before we won the first FA cup, had a mental block when it came to getting over the line.

    The first win v Hull was massive for the club and the players physcologically,.
    Clubs like liverpool ( league) and tottenham( any trophy) struggled for years to reach their goals, Tottenham still haven’t.

    What we have now at Arsenal is a physcological swing in Arsenal’s favour.
    Winning the cup v Chelsea was important but that isn’t why we have become mentally stronger.
    Beating liverpool, City , chelsea and United this year have given the club a physcological edge over their rivals….the fear has gone, there is more positivity from the fans going into these games and it becomes a snowball effect through the club.

    It has always been my belief that the top teams can almost beat a team before a ball is kicked due to the fear factor that they possess.

    we haven’t really had the fear factor for a good few years now, we’ve had some very good sides but the fear factor wasn’t there.

    What we need now is more results like today, where we control the game and look in total control.

    West ham next week is a massive game before a tough run of fixtures, another big win will make the team mentally stronger and hopefully put some fear into the opposition in the next few weeks..

  60. Tom

    “It doesn’t matter what you said brother, Emery will never get any love from some of the fan base. “

    GDNA
    Maybe because he didn’t achieve anything of note while failing to meet his own goals, if only just.
    His Europa league run was very impressive but the final in Baku tarnished all that permanently.
    The manner in which he missed out on top four that year was nothing short of embarrassing too so I don’t know where that love should’ve come from.

    I don’t think twisting the knife is necessary either but to get love you have to do something special. He didn’t.

  61. TT

    Its simple Northbanker. The club was not in any kind of trouble, financial, legal or position wise in the PL.

    It had just bought two excellent players and was far from being on its knees.

    You just repeated a bollocks statement without verifying.

    Can you elaborate on how the club was on its knees when wenger arrived?

  62. Freddie Ljungberg

    Willian finished with the following stats for his Arsenal debut:

    Minutes played 76
    Goals 0
    Assists 2 (or 3)
    Total shots 2
    Passes 26
    Accurate passes 25
    Pass success rate 96%
    Crosses 4
    Long balls 5
    Accurate long balls 4
    Key passes 3
    Touches 37
    Chances created 1
    Shots on target 50%
    Woodwork 1
    Duels 2
    Duels won 1
    Fouls 1
    Fouled 2
    Recoveries 5

    pretty decent…

  63. Marc

    TT

    When Wenger took over we’d had a couple of years of pretty poor shit. Graham had gone for taking backhanders, Rioch had come in lasted one season and had a huge row with David Dein and Ian Wright, whilst we’d won the Cup Winner’s Cup in 94 we’d lost in the final in 95. Our league position was 12th then 5th.

    It really wasn’t a great time.

  64. GunnerDNA

    Tom,

    “The manner in which he missed out on top four that year was nothing short of embarrassing too so I don’t know where that love should’ve come from”

    The Arsenal team Emery had was trash! Two of the Chelsea players that he lost to in Baku is now starters for Arsenal. Arsenal loose the EL final to a better team. PEA missing the penalty against Spurs, Mustafi and Xhaka was reason Arsenal didn’t make top 4. Emery first season was decent. As I stated earlier, it’s pointless to still be talking about him. He spend less than 2yrs at Arsenal and made over 10ms and now working at a different Club. I’m one of the fan who’s more interested in the team winning games, I care zero who’s doing what. It’s for entertainment!

  65. Marc

    My personal issue with the take on here against Emery is less about any particular love for Emery it’s the re writing of history that happened between Emery and Arteta.

    Emery takes over: it’s a great squad and top is a given.

    Arteta takes over the same squad minus Ramsey: squad’s poor, really unbalanced and it’s going to take time to rebuild.

    Emery didn’t work out, he fucked up the end of the season, got humiliated in the EL final and carried it all into the following league season but that doesn’t mean Arteta should be measured to a different standard.

  66. Bamford10

    Tom

    We fell short in Baku on account of Chelsea having a much better team and much better players, and we fell short of 4th in 2018-19 because we had the sixth best squad in the PL (at best) and we over-achieved in finishing 5th. We faltered at the end of that season because of the weaknesses in the squad, not because of Unai Emery. You and Pedro and others pin all of the above on Emery, but a number of us have never accepted that line on the matter, and we never will. Cheers.

  67. TT

    I know that Marc. But on its knees is just bollocks we had just bought Bergkamp and Platt.

    Things weren’t great but we were improving..
    but the notion we were in some sort of major trouble is just plain wrong.

  68. Dissenter

    Marc
    You’ve been around long enough to know Pedro’s blind spots and trigger points.
    He’s written too many posts to hide them.

    I really wish Emery had won the EL final, at least he would have been part of Arsenal’s folklore because right now all he gets is a footnote in microscopic font..
    Looking back I think Emery misunderstood the culture because he was far too docile with the board, maybe he could have pushed harder when the club weren’t trying to get his targets. he didn’t rock the boat and he paid the price for it.

  69. Dissenter

    Dies any one know if Una na is binned
    I just wanted to ask him about poor Jackie boy’s demise since he’s always arguing we should have kept him.

  70. Sid

    Arteta knows Elneny will hold Xhakalsons hand in midfield since he also held Artetas hand when they played together
    Arteta and Xhakalson have so much in common

  71. HighburyLegend

    First game, away.
    3 points.
    Gabriel scored (already) his first goal.
    Good day.

    (Lol at Pool needing a penalty miracle.)

  72. Pedro

    Chelsea’s much better team that finished a whole 2 points ahead of us in Emery’s first season (2 better goal difference).

    Arteta has won 18 in 30. Same as Chelsea. 1 less than the mighty Ole G. All this with a squad they called poverty.

    Think we need to move on from Emery. He was garbage. The sauce is now moving things forward.

  73. Tom

    Bamford
    Slow your roll there buddy. I predicted Arsenal would miss out on top four when Emery took over the reins and agreed we had a weaker squad than other top four clubs.
    It was a manner in which his first season ended and the following one started , plus the underlying performance aspects that convinced me he was done. Not to mention the fact he lost the players too.
    I never had an agenda against anyone but seems to me that you do , judging by the comment you made about Emery getting the better result at Fulham away 5-1.

    Arsenal conceded 20 shots that day and if not for piss poor Fulham finishing that score could been a lot different.
    Today’s performance wasn’t for the ages, but it was controlled and efficient and Fulham were allowed 5 shots on goal.
    Huge difference.

  74. Dissenter

    Pedro
    “Think we need to move on from Emery. He was garbage. The sauce is now moving things forward”

    You’re very good with these little provocative comments
    This one is worth at least 75-100 replies. you must know that it will rile up some posters. It’s hard got move on when you keep saying he was “garbage”

  75. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Arteta had this group for 20 PL matches last season and he finished …. 8th. Right where we were when Emery was dismissed. Maybe we were something like the eighth best squad in the league? That’s what I think. That’s what I thought all along. I realize you think that what Arteta has done thus far demonstrates that the problem was Emery, not the squad, but I’m afraid I don’t buy that line one bit. Arteta is going to need to contend for 4th with this bunch to prove you right, and I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell he does that. If we add two or more first XI players before 10/5, I think he can contend for 4th, but that will only prove that he’s a solid manager; it won’t prove that the problem last season or the previous was Emery (as opposed to the squad).

  76. Marc

    Dissenter

    Yeah Pedro does like to drive a bit of traffic on occasions. The way round it is to include a provocative (but joking) political comment when making a response..

    It’ll needle the shit out of him!

  77. Danny+S

    Dissenter

    When you looked at Emery on the face of it, and we had just moved on from Wenger he probably seemed pretty good.
    However, in hindsight he was actually pretty shit.

    He picked up a train wreck and made it look ok. That’s easy to do in any industry. Taking it to the next level is the next level is the hard bit and he tanked massively.

    He rode his luck on the new manager bounce, then began to single handily confuse the fuck out of the team. I was all for him in the first season but you could see a few games into the 2nd that he was 100% the wrong fit.

  78. Bamford10

    Tom

    “judging by the comment you made about Emery getting the better result at Fulham away 5-1”

    Yeah, except I didn’t say that that was “a better result”. I simply said that no one should get carried away by a convincing win over a relegation-fodder Fulham, and I added that Arsenal did the same under Emery, after all. So, umm, no.

  79. Champagne charlie

    Emery still getting his ring kissed from the disciples, religion is really something. Church of Chorizo was the critical mass needed to sober up the place, we’re now much better placed in all corners to enter a post-Wenger chapter of success befitting of the club.

    Please leave the romanticism of Emery to the prayer mat, the only reason some of you are giving it the ‘I shouldn’t even bother‘ is because there’s no leg to stand on anymore. But rest assured, when Villarreal have a purple patch you’ll be back dancing in the Paella palace.

  80. Danny+S

    Bamford

    Arteta is altering the very DNA of the squad. Any moron can see that.
    He’s altering the mentality from top to bottom, he’s creating an ethos. That doesn’t happen in one season.

  81. Dissenter

    Marc
    “How you getting on knocking in those Trump 2020 lawn signs?”

    Trumo will be buried by now if not for the stupid leftists giving him material to age his culture wars.
    They hijacked BLM with senseless violence and chanted “defend the police” when what they really meant was redefine what police are need for.
    Trump is his own worst enemy, even a pygmy goat will wallop him this year but for brain dead leftists.

  82. Tom

    Bamford, ok , so maybe the wording of your post was different, fair enough, but the gist of it was Emery got the same or better result at Fulham so nothing to see here right?

  83. Bamford10

    Charlie’s always good for a straw-man. One doesn’t need to rate Emery highly to believe our struggles were mostly down to the squad, not Emery.

    But this is all in the past. Let’s see what Arteta can do with this bunch.