Arteta drops masterclass in leadership

by .

Well, yesterday marked yet another tumultuous day of back and forth over the most boring saga in football. Mesut Özil dropped a statement in the morning and played up that he felt hurt, betrayed, and sad. All fair comments, no professional footballer wants to be cut from the team, especially not a World Cup winner playing in a drossy team that barely makes the Europa League qualification places.

It was starting to look like Arsenal had lost control of the narrative. The bit in Özil‘s statement when he mentioned ‘humanitarian work’ was designed to whip up his base into assuming that the fix was in… Arsenal loved Chinese Yen and Vinai was a union buster that dealt out punishment to non-pay-cut-taking-slags.

We shouldn’t have worried. Mikel Arteta put on a masterclass in leadership, dropping one of the most candid, honest, and clear ripostes to the biggest crisis of his managerial career to date.

Here’s what was smart… he simply reiterated the same message he has from day one. He has set high standards for the squad, if you don’t meet those standards, you will not be part of the plans.

‘I have to see on a daily basis, the input, the performance and what every player brings to the team, and from there I make the decision.’

The message was clear, Mesut Özil is not delivering what is expected or needed. This was a footballing decision and it all focused around one of the greatest players of a generation not applying himself to the Mikel Arteta standards of 2020.

He also did what all great leaders do… he absolutely owned the decision.

Honestly, I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It’s my responsibility and again, it’s nothing related to anything, any behaviour or things like I read, like the pay cuts. It’s not true, it’s my decision. If someone has to blame me, and that will happen when we lose football matches, it’s my responsibility. I have to make the decision to get the best possible squad out there to win football matches and competitions as often as we can. In order to do that, I try to be fair with him and with any other players in the squad to defend, as much as possible, the interests of the football club.

Remember a babbling Unai Emery blaming the exec team for dropping Mesut? Pathetic and something the players noted. No one likes a weak leader. That sort of carry-on is why things went very south for him when he reintroduced the German into the side. Arteta has avoided looking like a beta male, even through crises of creativity.

Truth is, our manager held a lot back. He could have gone into detail. He could have shared granular incident reports and gone toe-to-toe. He could have rolled brand MÖ10 under the bus, but he didn’t, and that was classy. He also didn’t shy away from how he saw the decision.

I feel that at the moment, today, that I’ve failed because I want the best possible Mesut for the team. In some moments I was able to get close to that but in other moments I haven’t been able to because I had to make the decision to leave him out of the squad.

Trying to get Mesut Özil purring again was always a big ask. We’ve been through it so many times before. He starts off well, then he slips into a footballing depression, then things go south. I had high hopes that Arteta could change his ways, like he did for other players that were flops, but at the heart of it, if the desire is not there, it doesn’t matter how good at coaching you are, you’ll never get a turn.

As my good friend Alfred from the podcast said to me… he dealt with this like a founder of a start-up. Direct, straight to the point, with care and compassion.

The overall message though was not about the player, it was to ask the fans to trust that this decision was made with the best interests of the team at heart. Everything he does is about putting Arsenal back on top of the game. That’s all you can ask of a leader.

I’ve seen some of the melt brigade disgracing their ‘support’ online by calling Arsenal classless. Please. This decision wasn’t 6 weeks in the making, it’s been coming for 4 years. This was the humane way to do things. The club has been honest with the player, they offered him a way out, and they’ve tried to negotiate his contract termination like they did with Mikhi. It’s interesting that the cuck collective of our fanbase, those who actively seemed to enjoy the years of decline under Wenger, are now up in arms we have a ruthless manager that is trying to build out a winning vision. Let’s take their outrage as a positive. There was nothing more depressing than hearing us become the home of ‘well, you are spoilt, we don’t have a right to trophies’ rhetoric. Weak sauce is not the condiment of choice for the 2020 era.

It hasn’t just been the weirdoes in our fanbase crafting terrible defences of a player who doesn’t care. We saw Gary Lineker explayer-splain to Piers Morgan that you can’t exit a player under contract, like we don’t have a transfer window dedicated to that exact process. Jack Wilshere weighed in saying Mesut is our best player and that professionals just want to play… again, Mesut could have left and wasn’t short of offers. All these folk have an axe to grind and that is fine. Though the reality is simple, if Mesut Özil was playing the maximum of his ability, he’d be in that squad right now and he’d be starting. 

So that’s it, the Özil chapter is closed. We can all move on now because it is finished business. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go on a free in January. He will 100% not be playing for the club again. It is done.

A sad end to a story that could have been so promising… but it’s the best for Arsenal FC. As fans, we now we have to back where the club is going. There is a short, medium, and long term vision. It will be tough at times, the success won’t come overnight, but I tell you… there’s not a better young coach in the game that could be taking us on this journey.

Let’s look toward the positives. We’re no longer a banter club. This was a strong decision that put sporting excellence at the front of the queue. We have Bukayo Saka tied to Arsenal, an immense young talent hungry to impress. We have Gabriel Martinelli coming back into the fold, an explosive player tied to a long term deal. We have Thomas Partey earmarked for a debut tonight, the Patrick Vieira type midfielder we’ve missed since we sold the Frenchman. We have Auba, we have Gabriel, we have Kieran Tierney… we have a lot to be excited about.

So ignore the negative vibes. Let’s kick on and have a great season! But first, let’s crush Rapid Vienna. x

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858 Responses to “Arteta drops masterclass in leadership”

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  1. Moe

    Laca, Pepe and Nketiah are B team players at this point. Martinez needs hurry back.

    Still have faith in Arteta, but I dont like what am seeing. Ozil couldn’t have played worse than Pepe today, as much as I dislike the fucker.

  2. Pierre

    Foe the style of play( pressing game) that Arteta wants, we are not playing the correct players .

    Pepe , Aubamayang, Lacazette and Willian are just not very gòd at pressing, add xhaka to the equation and one can see why it doesn’t work.

    The decision that Artea meess to make is , to press or not to press..

    If he decides that it is the pressing game he prefers then he needs to play offensive players who have a hunger to play that game.

    Eddie, Nelson , Martinelli, willock and Saka will run and press all day long and they will play the football that Arteta wants..

    I’m not saying it is what i would want , but if Arteta wants to play a pressing game then it’s no use playing offensive players who are not suitable. is doomed to fail .

  3. Marc


    The argument that we could or should have gone for player X rather than Pepe is a valid one, the argument that Zaha is that player just doesn’t work.

    It’s both the best and worst thing about the Premier League.

  4. Marc

    ” add xhaka to the equation and one can see why it doesn’t work.”

    Certainly not looking for a row with Pierre but I’d love to know the equation that has Xhaka as the answer?

    Maybe Tottenham buy Arsenal player and then get relegated?

  5. Pierre

    “but I’ve never misrepresented myself the way that Pierre has. Shameless and cowardly.”

    Chill out Ernie , i can see the steam coming out your ears.

  6. Pierre

    “Certainly not looking for a row with Pierre but I’d love to know the equation that has Xhaka as the answer?”

    Exactly…I was saying that if Arteta wants to play a pressing game, you don’t play certain players , and Xhaka is one of them.

    Partey and Ceballos play on the front foot and look to close down the opposition, so to me, they are more suitable.

  7. Daniel Altos

    Everytime I go to flashcore and check roma I always see mikhi has either scored or had an assist….seems he is doing quite well there.

  8. Buzzy

    Eddie is a selfish prick. Only bothers to press the keeper in the hope to get a goal. Never presses the outfield players. The only time he did he ended up getting a red card againsy Liecester. Just never understood what Arteta sees in him. At least Nelson has pace. Willock no matter how shit can make the odd driving run. But Nkiteah doesnt tick any box at all. And against Liecester in the EFL cup he had the cheek to throw his arms up in the air in frustration when Pepe scored that deflected goal just becuase he wasn’t provided a tap in. Apart from Ronaldo I really have never seen a striker moaning after a team mate has scored. But Ronaldo can afford to do that not this championship level side boy.

  9. Pierre

    “One thing I have to admit. Our attack looks more dangerous once we have both Auba and Laca on the pitch.”

    What i will say is our mentality changed as soon as we went behind., which coincided with Aubameyang coming on.

    The speed and pace of our passing went up a notch, as did our intensity, our movement was better and we were making more runs behind to stretch the opposition, leading to the winning goal.

    Maybe Arteta should send the team out to play with more intensity and a more positive mentality (am i allowed to say that Ernie without being accused of trolling)

  10. Uwot?

    F** ng hell.who’d want to be a manager of our club.A section of plastic fans who’re NEVER satisfied.Miserabe bastards the lot of em.Cant/ don’t seem to be able to get it into their thick skulls.That this a process.Dont want to accept that Arteta inherited a shambles?Hasnt been at the club a full season yet to implement his ideas.Has had only one full window to get players on & shipout unsellable players ( bar 1 or two’) But no it’s not good enough that he has almost fixed a disastrous defence.He also should be playing sparkling,attacking football straightaway.sweeping all before him.Ive an idea f** k off to Chelsea & their deserve each other.

  11. Tom

    “Find it hard to believe that Palace would not be open to negotiate”

    Don’t forget Zaha has a 25% sell on clause from United that might be payable immediately, in which case United would’ve taken 20m right of the top of the 80m Zaha to Arsenal transfer.

    This is most likely the main reason Zaha still is at CP.

  12. Peckobill

    I think arteta should get bergkamp in and let him coach the team in the attacking phases as I really don’t think he himself can implement a dynamic fluid attack and just concentrate on the defence and passing phases to beat a press from there which he is good at, but when the play reaches midfield then it’s for bergkamp to coach .
    Arteta seems so fixated on players staying in position in case of a turnover the attack is awfully rigid with no license to interchange position to drag defenders out . They not allowed to do a trick to take out a defender ( reported early in his tenure that he gave players a bollocking for doing it in training ) but attackers need these things to beat their man , they have to have a bit of freedom . I mean talking about bergkamp he wouldn’t have even tried that sumptuous goal v Newcastle in case it didn’t come off if arteta was in charge .

  13. Victorious

    How bad must the Runarsson lad be though if he can’t even be trusted against absolute Europa plodders in the group stages.

    We’re considerably weaken in the goal keeping position now with Leno the flapper as no1 and a obviously shocking number 2

    Seems a long time ago we looked so assured there with Martinez bossing the sticks and we thought that’s the gk position nailed on for years..oh dear

  14. salparadisenyc

    Uwot has a point.

    Serious positives for me overall.

    We have potentially a generational CB in Gabriel and for a very good price, Thomas Partey is the type of MF we’ve lacked for better part of decade + add in our full backs thats a promising base to build from. Arteta has proven he can defensively roll with the top, now its time to get the attack clicking as it should.

    For me Auba needs to go centrally like Klopp utilized him at Dortmand flanked by Saka on the left, and either Pepe or Nelson on the right. Once Martinelli fit he’s clearly an option as well. Let see what Willian can do pulling the strings behind Auba and dip into January market for more creative if possible. ESR still injured?

    As for Leno, no good way of painting it we fucked up selling Martinez.

  15. Jay

    The German’s final tweet read: “Nice to start with 3 points! Who was your Man Of The Match? My 4 options: Thomas Partey, Aubameyang, Mohamed,luiz

    ozil creating more trouble for himself, should of picked some off the home grown trash and said something good about them.

  16. Tom

    “Everytime I go to flashcore and check roma I always see mikhi has either scored or had an assist….seems he is doing quite well there.“

    Yet no one seems to care ,right?

    Which is kinda funny considering he scored or assisted every 109 minutes of league play last season.

    Ramsey gets the obligatory mention once in a while whenever he scores even if he only does it every 260 minutes of league play.

    Auba’s did it every 126 minutes.

  17. DUIFG

    I’m. Very much arteta in but like many here the signs are worrying, we are very happy to sit in a shape and pass the way through, very barca esque but it’s not going anywhere. We have structure and basically know we are solid but it’s very marginal football, one mistake and you’re dead as we don’t score goals.

    Concerning that he’s making self inflicted decisions which don’t work. Laca is dreadful, full stop, nketiah is plainly not a winger, auba is not a winger, saliba left out of europa squads. All this is fairly easy stuff, it’s ce
    Clear to the eye, don’t complicate

    Pepe is a separate issue, he’s hugely frustrating but from what I’ve seen he needs to be close to goal 40 yards out to drive in the half space, where he can go either way, out wide he’s shit. Separate convo whether a 72m player should be so limited.

  18. DUIFG

    Old mo gets pigeonholed as a shape guy, was in atheltico away in el last season under wenger he dropped a pearler of an assist a. He can drive,

  19. DUIFG

    Got a gripe around arteta pumping careers which have no value to us,

    Whether saliba, martinelli, nketiah, williock esr Nelson will be elite is a separate question but we know for a fact kola laca holding and Chambers are not, yet they will all start ahead of this lot in most cases. Why?

  20. DUIFG

    Nick he obs has talent, he scores goals which our guys can’t cutting in and placing the ball, but he isn’t secure enough out wide, he’s a drive and shoot guy in a fairly short action, not over 40 yards

  21. Nick

    Again i rate holding with the right progression he could be international and when chambers first arrived he looked a real talent. They just both need a chance when holding plays he defends well cam struggle with time on the ball but looked sharper under Arteta

  22. Leftside

    Pepe is probably the one player I am desperate to see do well here. He does have ability, he’s not playing that great but most haven’t been. Hopefully we see (well you guys cos I’m not paying £15 for pay per view) a brighter performance v Leicester.

  23. Nick

    £15 is a liberty you know once it eventually goes back to normal Sky will be keeping that premium slot and the top games will slip into it!

  24. Leftside

    Of course Nick, its serving as a trial at present in my view with a view to running it as a permanent option. If additional games were an additional pound or two I may have been interested but not at £15 on top of an already expensive Sky package.

  25. Marko

    Yeah god damn that Pepe why can’t he be more like Saka… who’s playing poorly…why can’t he play more like Willian… who’s playing poorly…how about Aubameyang… who’s playing poorly…what about Nketiah… poorly… Lacazette… dogshit… hmmmm yeah but what about that Pepe am I right?

    At some point we’re going to have a conversation about the formation and tactics of the manager and how they’re not benefiting the team and also how certain things can be addressed now without the conversation being about players and Mikel being forced to play with what he’s got. But until then let’s you know make it about Pepe.

  26. RockyRoe

    If possession is the sole hallmark of dominating a game then wenger dominated 99% of his games. Can’t believe limp 68% possession stats are being bandied about, I’ve seem more than enough of useless sideways and backwards possession under wenger, thankyou.

  27. Valentin

    Pepe performance tonight was meek, but most of it can be attributed to Arteta.
    Arteta has specifically tasked his wide men (Pepe, Nkethia) to be very wide near the touch line so that the fullback/wingback can underlap instead of the regular overlap.

    As Pepe is left footed but play on the right side, it is a lot more difficult for him to beat his opponent on the outside. Defenders can easily tackle him.
    Cedric has only one weapon in his locker and that is to send deep hard crosses to the box. However he can’t do that if he is inside.
    So on the right, Arteta put Pepe who can’t overlap in the overlapping position. Cedric as the underlapper, when he is better as an overlapper.
    Even taking account the higher quality of Bellerin, as soon as he came in the play got better. Bellerin is adept at making those underlap runs. Unless Arteta change tactics and teach Bellerin to make overlap run in conjunction with Pepe, Pepe will always be a misfit in that team and formation.

    Aubameyang just ignored Arteta’s instruction and decided to switch role with Saka. Nkethia does not have clout to do that, so got stuck in a ridiculously wide position.

  28. Nelson

    – I like Partey’s toe_pick. With his long leg, it is a very effective weapon. He can tick the ball away before the opponent can react to it.
    – One time, he sent an accurate long diagonal ball to Pepe. This play could be our weapon in the future.

  29. Emiratesstroller

    The two positives from tonight’s game are that both Gabriel and Partey are excellent acquisitions who are unquestionably going to strengthen our spine.

    The negatives from what we have seen this season are fourfold.:

    1. Arsenal’s goalkeeper is an accident waiting to happen. He was at fault for goal against Man City and once again tonight with his usual poor distribution and lack of spacial awareness. Why we allowed Martinez to leave club beggars belief.

    2. We need still to find a “reliable” right centre back to complement Gabriel. Luiz like Leno
    is an accident waiting to happen and Holding is not good enough. Maybe in short term Mustafi will be the solution.

    3. We have very limited quality and creativity in midfield and our distribution is too pedestrian. We need more agile and better players to play alongside Partey in this department.

    4. I do not understand the formation or lack of one in our forward line. On weekend we played without a CF and tonight we played with both Lacazette and Nketiah both of whom
    were equally ineffective. When Martinelli achieves full fitness I would prefer to start with
    him in preference to both these players.

    In summation Arsenal need to play out of defence far more quickly than we are doing currently. The performance was frankly fairly turgid.

  30. bacaryisgod

    Right now we have 4 players that are both popular with fans and look to be in good form.

    Tierney, Gabriel, Partey and Aubameyang

    Only two others are popular with fans and are in average form

    Ceballos and Saka

    This accounts to 6 players out of a playing staff of 26. It’s just not enough. I would classify only one other player that’s in good form but he’s a generally unpopular player (although gaining more support this season) and that’s Elneny. Of the players we’ve seen this season, I would argue there are two other generally unpopular players in Cedric and Kolasinac. Cedric has been in average form and Kolasinac has been poor.

    Most of the players we’re seen this season fall into the mixed popularity/average form. That would include Xhaka, Luiz, Bellerin, Pepe, Holding, Nketiah and AMN

    Most troubling is the mixed popularity/poor form group. Despite scoring in our first three Premier League games, Lacazette looks off the pace. Leno has also been shaky and Willian looks half the player he was at Chelsea.

    Finally and quite shockingly, we have 13 players (Runarrson, Mari, Chambers, Sokratis, Ozil, Nelson, Martinelli, Willock, Macey, Iliev, Saliba, Mustafi, Smith-Rowe) who we just haven’t seen enough of either through injury or management decisions. Of this group, there’s only one player who most fans are excited about contributing to the team this season and that’s Martinelli.

    Hopefully, once we’ve seen a larger sample of matches, we’ll be able to see some additions to the six players we have right now that are both popular and in good or average form.

  31. Emiratesstroller

    We need to build a settled team and that includes a forward line which picks itself and is
    effective. There are at moment too many changes and that is impacting on players’ form.

    The only forward who is guaranteed gametime is Aubameyang.

  32. Valentin


    Pepe is a limited player but who can be good in a very specific system. His strength is to run at people diagonally from right to left inside using the CF as a anchor for a 1-2, or to run late in the penalty box to be at the end of a cut back from the opposing wide man. Asking him a very left footed player to overlap on the right is just setting him up to fail.

    Every players have their flaws, but ARteta decision to persist with a system that just highlight their attacking flaws is just plain daft.

    The same way, I have said that Leno’s distribution is poor and will result in mistakes and goals. Why does Arteta demand that we play from the back when Leno can’t make a quick and accurate 35 yards pass. Why not change our restart to either throw the ball to the winback/fullback or a long quick toward a striker but place 2 midfields players in front to receive the second ball.

  33. Champagne charlie

    In what world would any manager specify to a wide player that his only form of attack is to go outside the fullback?

    Pepe is a professional footballer, the idea he’s inhibited to the point he’s unable to come inside and play off the CF ‘because the manager says so’ is fucking moronic.

    Have to marvel at the dedication from Val here, when his heart is set on something he bends reality as much as possible to get it to fit.

  34. Nelson

    I am trying to compare Saka with Pepe. When Saka receives the ball on the left side, he could move the ball forward with his left foot in one motion while use the body to protect the ball. Only if there is no space going forward, he stops the ball and passes it back.
    Pepe always stops the ball and then tries to dance with it. Most of the time, it results in nothing.

    Arteta should try two things with Pepe.
    – Pass the ball in front of Pepe and ask him to chase.
    – Do as what Saka did. Don’t stand still and stop the ball but carries the ball forwards nonstop.

  35. Tom

    In any system that’s not functioning very well, and Arteta’s at the moment just isn’t, players with above average physical and technical attributes tend to do better than the rest.
    Thomas and Gabriel fall into this category , with Saka just looking in. But the Willians, Pepes Lacas and Aubas don’t have enough of an all around game to have good showings without at least a few others around them also clicking on a day.

    It’s up to Arteta to find the solution.

  36. Bojangles

    Uwot?October 22, 2020 22:08:01

    Agree with everything there mate.

    Playing Auba up front is great until it isn’t, then there’ll be a new wagon brought in for everyone to jump on. In a 433 or 343, with the options we have, Auba will score an extra 5-6 goals a season which will guarantee him the golden boot each year but who gives us the 15 goals Lacazette provides. Not Pepe, Willian or Saka, maybe between them but not individually. Seems to me we gain a little to lose more.

  37. Leftfootcurler


    That is the only reason I felt it was fine,what emery and Arteta did- having Auba LW and laca cf.
    Despite the lack of balance. But if you balance it, you lack goals.

    But I have changed my mind because of two reasons.
    1) Saka-he has learned to make top class runs in behind. Gets into good goal scoring positions.
    He is a great ball striker too,so he should be given the environment to maximize his goal tally.

    2) Willian-. Arsenal’s attackers are very direct , they can’t make the ball stick in the final third.
    The ball keeps going back and we have to build again or we lose the ball in the final third and we have to defend.

    But Willian is great at ball retention. So he is one player who can keep the ball in the final third. He is not good at making runs so I wouldn’t play him central.

    So as of right now, I think we should play Willian-auba-Saka as the front 3.

    Auba keeps making good runs in behind all game.
    If we can keep the ball in the final third,we will have more chances to pick out his runs.

    What arsenal lack are btl creators.

    Arteta will look at this game and think we would have won more easily if we had bought Aouar.
    Although Aouar isn’t creative yet but he can receive and retain possession in tight spaces like Willian does.

    For now Willian-auba-Saka is the way I would go.

    I would back Saka to score more than laca’s 10-13 goals in the league.

    This trio will increase Auba’s goals too.

  38. Leftfootcurler

    “Arteta should try two things with Pepe.
    – Pass the ball in front of Pepe and ask him to chase.
    – Do as what Saka did. Don’t stand still and stop the ball but carries the ball forwards nonstop.”

    Arteta is doing this.
    It’s hard to predict without seeing players in training everyday but I expect Pepe to finally be ready next season.

    Should be able to bulk up and improve his positioning and runs by the start of next season.

  39. Sid

    One goal from a setpiece another from Auba, shows how easy a it would be to be nullified by a decent team.
    Winter is coming!
    Im telling you for free!

  40. Bojangles


    I agree that Saka has the potential to score goals, I just don’t see it this year. He’ll certainly provide assists and chances.

  41. Dark Hei

    With regards to Ozil, I think he is out of the squad for 90% footballing reasons.

    There is that 10% which I imagine is valid. Chinese censors are not folks to trifle with. Every big business in America, bar the business of US presidency, tip toes around censors.

    Big as his pay package might be, zero broadcasts in China will probably costs Arsenal far bigger.

  42. Kegunner

    All teams have off days. Mentally the players seem not ready for the recent game. Maybe they have played too many fixtures in a short period. Arteta may need to rely and trust less used players in this fixtures.

  43. Aasim

    With a much weaker squad, with tatti players like Walcott, Djouru, and God knows what other trash over the years, Wenger produced scintillating football and achieved top 4 year after year.

    Arteta has started well, has a good vibe, but selling Martinez, being stubborn by not playing Ozil and playing this drab football will make him lose his goodwill very quickly. Beat Leicester and Manure and you’re in the game buddy. Lose to either one will mean we will be 6th or below with shitty football. That after spending 3000m post Wenger

  44. Buzzy

    Love to see the praise Partey is getting on social media and from the pundits. I said back in June if we sign him he would be the biggest signing for us in the last 15 years or so. We just haven’t had his level of technicality in our midfield. The guy literally has everything in his locker. His and Thiagos game is very very similar. Both are always looking for forward passes from deep positions, positionally very aware and great on the turn.

  45. Freddie Ljungberg

    “As per Sofascore, Kolasinac lost possession 16 times over the course of the game, whilst he made just one interception and no tackles whatsoever.”

    Really isn’t good enough to play for us is he, not even as a backup. Hope he takes his buddy Ozil with him when he leaves in January.

    Gabriel immense again last night, Partey as well. Not many other positives really. Elneny was decent again though,always liked him more than Xhaka so hope he takes that 3rd place in midfield ahead of him.

    Partey and Ceballos on Sunday please, with Auba up top and Pepe right, Saka left. We have to try it ffs.

  46. Steveyg87

    Beginning to sound like a broken record here but I just don’t understand why Arteta persists with Elneny. The player literally has fuck all in his locker. Denilson could also pass the ball. Squad player or not, he belongs no where near this team.

  47. Steveyg87

    “Gabriel immense again last night, Partey as well. Not many other positives really. Elneny was decent again though,always liked him more than Xhaka so hope he takes that 3rd place in midfield ahead of him.”

    Mate, I dont know what game you were watching. Elneny ahead of Xhaka? This must be a wind up

  48. Freddie Ljungberg


    Much more mobile, better defensively, less mistakes in him? We don’t have to rework the whole structure of the team to protect him and he can actually play in the middle of the park instead of just as a 4th CB.

    So we miss a couple of lofted balls to the wings per game, I can live with that. Xhaka is garbage.

    I’m not saying he should be a starter here, that should be Party and Ceballos, but I’d have him as first reserve.

  49. Steveyg87

    I get that Xhaka limits our play somewhat, but Elneny brings nothing to the table. Better defensively? Disagree, Elneny is light weight. Less mistakes in him? Agree, Elneny doesn’t take any risks whatsoever, he’s basically a passenger that can pass the ball sideways or backwards to good effect. If that’s your what you’re in to then okay, I could live with that. But I would rather have a player take risks when need be and actually contribute to the game. What’s obvious though is that Partey is not all hype. He is the beast we have been craving

  50. Ishola70

    “One goal from a setpiece another from Auba, shows how easy a it would be to be nullified by a decent team.”

    Well it’s difficult to define Rapid Vienna as a decent team.

    They play in an overall weak league and they finished 14 points behind the other Austrian team that played Spurs last night LASK in last seasons regular season.

    They only way they were going to score a goal last night is if they were gifted one and that’s exactly what Arsenal did, And very nearly gifted another second goal to them.

    It was a very laboured win against opposition Arsenal should be beating quite comfortably.

  51. Sid

    Arsene was tolerated from around 2008 to 2012 for playing decent football, from 2012 the football got bad and he lost more support, winning FA bought him time.

    Diet Pep will have a hard time with his anti football especially with fans in the stadium.

  52. Valentin

    When fans are allowed back into the stadium, there will be a honeymoon period, but soon people will be up in arms with the turgid football. Unless we are very competitive in the league, the atmosphere could soon turn toxic very rapidly.

    By very competitive, I mean pretty nailed on top 4. Stay around the 6th-8th place and loud boos will ring around the Emirates.

  53. Peckobill

    The Emirates crowd has very little patience as well and I agree with you if we are floating around 6th to 8th and playing stagnant attacking football a packed emirates will lose faith quickly

  54. Freddie Ljungberg


    Not making out like Elneny is a creative genius or anything but neither is Xhaka, he gives us very little going forwards and his limitations far outweighs his positives. At least Elneny has created 2 winning goals now in limited game time despite not taking any risks.

    The main benefit of him over Xhaka though is that we don’t have to sit so deep to cover for his lack of pace and mobility so there’s less disconnect between midfield and attack. Doesn’t help much in games like yesterday with a disjointed attack but it will if Lego Hair gets the personnel right for once.

  55. Wenker-wanger

    You can easily see the effect arteta is having on changing the style of a very ingrained arsenal through Wenger modified slightly by Emery
    Gabriel is a George Graham type adamsesque defender and party looks the mean business we have craved.
    It’s going to take time.
    Arteta is experimenting up front at the same time still retaining a hard to beat ethic
    We look toothless upfront lacking urgency and guile. But arteta knows this and will analyse combinations and positions.
    Work in progress under some existing limitations of personnel.
    2-1 win playing mainly undynamic is a good result.

  56. SpanishDave

    After a few months trying to play from the back Leno is still struggling with it.
    He clearly is nervous and often the backs do not position themselves to give him choices.
    This problem affects the defence who get nervous too.
    If you drop him then a unknown goalie takes over so Arteta has no choice but to persist with him.
    Not a good management decision.

  57. Kris

    Man City had 72 % possession against Leicester a couple of weeks ago, but I’d still say they suffered a bit. I mean with the 2-5 scoreline and all.

    One thing I do miss about Wenger is genuinely dominating weak teams most of the time. And by dominating I mean chances created not possession.

  58. Steveyg87

    “The main benefit of him over Xhaka though is that we don’t have to sit so deep to cover for his lack of pace and mobility so there’s less disconnect between midfield and attack.”

    Partey will help with the transition between defence and attack. Xhaka actually has someone to aim for now. TBH, I’m happy with either Cebellos or Xhaka. I’m sorry, I just cant get a grip on Elneny, it’s like I’m seeing something that others are not

  59. Ishola70

    Throwing out possession stats for this game last night is scrapping the barrel.

    If Arsenal had not been clear winners in the possession stats against a team like Rapid Vienna then there is indeed something seriously wrong.

    Besides there are different types of possession. You can have progressive, dynamic possession or you can have staid unprogressive possession. Arsenal’s possession last night was not of the former positive description. It was a laboured performance.

  60. Steveyg87

    “After a few months trying to play from the back Leno is still struggling with it.
    He clearly is nervous and often the backs do not position themselves to give him choices.”

    Arteta has indicated that he will persist with playing out the back, in that case, the clock is ticking for Leno as he in an absolutely hopeless footballer. Arteta should stick to long balls out the box till the end of the season and buy Emi back next summer

  61. Freddie Ljungberg


    I’d prefer if Xhaka was aiming at outer space tbh, with the cannon that he’s in,clown style, would be a fitting end to his Arsenal career.
    Could just be me though. ( Sorry Ishola and Marc, didn’t forget about you)

  62. Valentin

    When he play for Egypt, Elneny is a lot more forward passing player. In his last two Arsenal games he made a key pass that helped release Bellerin into space behind the defense. So he has that in his locker, but most club managers seem to ask him to play a lot more conservatively.
    I don’t expect him to be the reincarnation of Iniesta, but maybe we need to take off the shackles on him instead of restricting him.

  63. SuperRob


    ‘They play in an overall weak league and they finished 14 points behind the other Austrian team that played Spurs last night LASK in last seasons regular season.’

    Dont know where you’re getting your information from but RV finished 2nd to a very good RB Salzburg team last season.

    At least get your info correct when you’re trying to shit on the team again.

  64. SuperRob

    Elneny is a decent squad option now. Before his loan he was a dead weight.

    COme back full of confidence is can contribute something to our season.

    Stevey g open your eyes kid you’re definitely watching something no one else is.

  65. Sid

    Elneny was a decent foward passing CM for Basel and also for Egypt, having him next to Arteta and Xhakalson in the Arsenal midfield has been unfair to him.

  66. SuperRob

    Your info is wank when oyu’re trying to shit on the team.

    Your trying to massage the stats to make another shite point. Did LASK get anything for being top after 22 games? No they didnt. The Austrian budesliga season is 32 games long and the final rankings are decided after that not after 22 games you wrongly tried to claim.

    They play 2nd fiddle to a vert good side. They arent a European giant and they should be despatched (which we did by the way) but they’re not a s bad as some are making out.

  67. Ishola70


    Rapid Vienna have been on a certain level for a very long time and it is not on any good level at all.

    They have zero CL pedigree of any kind for a very long time.

    Take for example that Belarus side that Arsenal actually lost to away BATE Borisov in Europa League. They actually had some CL pedigree of some kind and actually took some big name scalps at home in the CL previously. Rapid Vienna had nothing of the kind.

    And don’t tell me I’m giving out false info when I’m not. I clearly stated Austrian regular season.

    They are not decent by any stretch.

  68. Mee

    How many times has Xhaka lost the ball in front of the defence? We say Arteta has improved the team while we struggle against Sheffield, West Ham, Liverpool, .Pick a random team like Southampton…who is confident we’ll bag 3 at St. Mary’s?

  69. SuperRob

    You dont even know what the Austrian Bundesliga regular season is and what it means you muppet.

    Its like saying the you get a prize in the premier league game for been top after 28 games. You dont.

    RV came second to a very good RB Salzburg they’re a decent team nothing more nothing less.

    Unless im mistaken we did beat them last night? Bad signal in the shack?

  70. Valentin

    If as reported the injury to VVD is more severe than initially thought anybody think that PGMOL will start reviewing its decision?

    BTW, Pickford is exactly that kind of player not nasty, trying to deliberately injure players, but reckless and out of control who cause more trouble by trying to play the hard man and compensate for his poor judgement and lapse in concentration.

  71. Ishola70


    Rapid Vienna are not a “decent” team on the european stage. They are a side that should have been taken care of comfortably last night but were not.

    It was another unconvincing Arsenal display under Arteta.

    Why are you trying to polish turd? We can smell the turd.

    Take it as another overall below par performance from Arsenal and move on and hope for better against Leicester in a more important match coming up.

  72. Valentin


    Honest question, not trolling or trying to embarrass you.
    I can see that the Austria League has only 12 teams which would mean a regular season of 22 games. How is the champion decided if there is more than 22 games as you kind of imply?

  73. Ishola70


    I am not saying the season is finished in Austria after 22 games. Just that Rapid Vienna were trailing the top of the table by 14 points by the end of their regular season.

    How good a team are they when they trail by 14 points by the end of their regular season? They improved in the Championship round of games. Good for them.

    But we all know the answer to whether they are a good side or even decent on the european stage? They aren’t.

  74. Valentin


    oK, I got it now. The teams play each other 4 times each season. The second set of ties are called the Championship round. I did not know that.

    Yes Rapid Worn were a poor team that was made to look like decent because of our inability to attack. When a player on loan from Barnsley is one of your better players, you know the quality is not there. There was a few times where of their strikers had a better first touch he would have been through on goal. Present the same opportunities to better players, and they will score.