Can Arteta defy the typical Arsenal narrative?

by .

Well good morning to you all!

Lots going on in the world of Arsenal, my overall take from a fan perspective is that everyone is just a little bit miserable. Look, I understand you, because I look at your Facebook data for a living. You are sad that you stopped reading, there’s no more power-yoga session on that ‘really great app’ you don’t use, your closest relationship is with a bag of Haribo that you can’t stop topping up…. and the football, well, it’s starting to smell like a bag of rotting Emery.

Fear not… this is not how it ends my friends. So stop sad-eating Hagen Dasz, because today, the only dessert breakfast we’re treating ourselves to is a bowl of Cheeri-positivos.

I spoke to some United fans for The Elite Football Show yesterday and they seemed to think that we’re in a similar position to the one United were in before the last January transfer window… namely, lacking creativity.

Now, we all know how they worked their way out of that problem, they signed a world-class creator in Bruno.

I think the biting reality we’re likely facing with Arteta is that until that sort of signing comes our way, we might have problems creating. The issue we have is that at the very highest level, only special talents can truly make a difference if your objective is to hit the heights. We could pump money into a lesser mortal, but that’ll only move us so far. We need to go big on a talent that can grow with us.

Now, I don’t think that quite excuses the depths of our bland creative output, so I’m not giving up. We absolutely have the squad to start creating. There’s a potentially world-class spine developing. Auba, Partey, Gabriel, and Leno could be very special if they all find their game at once. Bellerin and Tierney are top drawer. Saka is an elite young talent. The question really is, who do you build around them?

Pepe, looks like a dud at the moment. He strikes a ball with outrageous venom at full pace, but we rarely see it. He needs confidence and about 5kg in weight. Can he do that this season? Jury is out…

Dani Ceballos hasn’t played a game as bad as the one he did at Leicester in a while. Can he occupy a more advanced position now Partey has joined the midfield?

Gabriel Martinelli might not have been a fave of Mikel’s before the break, but the coach can’t tell us he’s not good because we have seen him with our own eyes. I cannot wait to have him back, he certainly looks like he’s put on the weight Pepe needs.

Willian cost a lot of money. I’m still very unsure if that was Mikel and Edu or the dregs of Raul, but whatever the situation, he’s a quality player that needs to find a role in the team and sharpish. The whole point of him was that he’d not need 3 months to adapt. Well, we’re basically in November and it’s been bland. More to come. We need senior players to step up.

Then there’s the riddle of Joe Willock and ESR. Can they be the surprise packages this season? Will Arteta trust them? Who knows…

But basically, I think we need to pull our heads out of our backsides, realise that this season will be bumpy, and pray to the gods of football that this weekend is our watershed moment.

There’s so much going against us…

We do not win away at Old Trafford. Arsenal hasn’t beaten a top 6 side away since 1912.

We are a gift to struggling managers. That is OGS right now.

We are in terrible form when you look at our style of play and output.

This game is nailed on for a loss… or is it?

CHINS UP, spoons down my friends, this is going to be a great week. I’ll see you in the comments. Come join the party and AGREE with me.

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473 Responses to “Can Arteta defy the typical Arsenal narrative?”

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  1. Dark Hei


    Raul basically bought Pepe for more than what was quoted.

    He was sacked for that.

    Nobody screws with the Kronke’s cash. Made you thing if the Kronke’s were all so good with that management thing if that slipped through.

    Football wise, I can’t be arsed to hate him. I think Pepe was at least exciting as a purchase.

  2. DivineSherlock

    Nice chat about Pepe , why not play him like Dybala as Second Striker . He should be allowed to roam freely in the front three. Devastating. If you only allow him to play on the right side with Bellerin also playing so much forward you are not using him properly .

  3. Guns of SF

    that is my point. Bellerin is a big issue on the right, defensively and going forward. With Pepe, he is only also allowed to hug the touchline…so this creates this very rigid and unfluid attack on that side.

    In FA final he drifted all the way across the field and even on the left for part of the game.

    I agree that allowing him to tuck in more would help but poor Bellerin would be screwed even more.
    that is why I want AMN behind Pepe, at least he can cover better and even overlap too…

  4. Freddie Ljungberg

    The money for Pepe couldn’t have bought Zaha, don’t know why people still don’t understand that?

    The only reason we could afford Pepe was because Lille agreed to let us pay over 5 years, Palace wanted even more money for a player with less end product and who is 3 years older, they also wanted the fee in one lump sum, we didn’t have anywhere near enough cash for that.

    Pepe needs the ball closer to goal where he is more likely to make a difference with a shot or assist, not in our half with 3-4 players ahead of him.
    He also has to be able to make mistakes, not everything will come off for him but when it does work it’s often decisive. The problem is that he only gets the ball in decent positions a couple of times a game at most, just like Auba is now and that’s clearly not his fault, which is why he needs support, and so does the rest of our attack. Doesn’t help when the few chances we create per game falls to Laca or Eddie either.

  5. raptora

    In his ever Arsenal start he was a nightmare for the best team in the league Liverpool.
    It’s true he had space to play on the counter which is probably his desired style of play, and we were also very direct playing with some long balls, some fast forward passing, but it’s clear that the player has it. It was a fantastic performance and VvD looked scared at times which literally never happens.

    Arteta needs to move Pepe more central. Hugging the touch line is so stupid when you have a 20 goal per season player.

    Another thing – I believe Emery played Auba and Pepe as partners in attack. It was a good display and it definitely showed some signs of a potential great partnership. As things stand Pepe and Auba are so far on the pitch from one another that they literally never combine. It would definitely be worth trying placing them close again with Auba through the middle and Pepe on the wing but also moving central.

    It’s been 14 months since then and I believe it’s a shared fault – both the player’s and the manager’s, that things haven’t worked out great. Arteta needs to help him somehow, give him his trust and see where it goes. It just feels like such a waste having a talent like him not perform up to his standards.

  6. Guns of SF

    Bell___Luiz__ Gabriel___KT
    ____ __AMN___TP_______

    Bell___Luiz__ Gabriel___KT
    ____ __TP_______

  7. Leftfootcurler

    Tbh whenever Arteta gave Pepe a consistent overlap,he has sucked.

    Ozil consistently made overlaps from RCM and Pepe came inside and played remarkably bad in the Olympiakos debacle.

    Bellerin consistently made overlaps in the spurs defeat but Pepe did nothing.

    These two games stick out in my memory as I was very pissed at Pepe in those games.

    Having Pepe hogging the touchline and floating in crosses to Auba seems to be the best use of him now.

    Best case scenario is to play Saka RW.

    His performance vs Leicester at home last season
    And against Liverpool in the community shield is the best performance by any arsenal player at RW in a long time.

  8. Tony

    Depending on Pepe’s body composition, such as ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph and how fast Pepe’s muscle twitch is will depend on how much lean muscle bulk he can add.

    If he’s an ectomorph, which I expect him to be, then expect at least 6 months to add 3 to 4kg.

  9. Sid

    Pepe is facing what Alexis faced at man united. At arsenal Alexis had Giroud and ozil to combine with around the box. Thats why having Edouard instead of Laca was priority.
    Another tactic that worked was Alexis and Walcot so playing Auba who is a fast as walcot nearer to Pepe would be ideal.

  10. Tony

    No I wouldn’t recommend any of that, but would suggest you make up a talking post file of you orating your best 100 posts for Pepe to listen to to help with his sleeping.

  11. peanuts&monkeys

    LeGrove’s condoning and patronizing attitude towards Arteta will be shortlived- very soon Arteta will be manager EMERY. And, let’s hope that day is not far away. Let this borefest be over before Dec-end.

    Pochettino it is next. Amen.

  12. peanuts&monkeys

    Pepe was a wrong buy. Sooner he is offloaded, the better. I wonder whether any PL will be interested in him. Even if a Dutch or Turkish league team isnf8ne with him, Arsenal should get rid of him ASAP.


  13. Graham62

    This bulking up malarkey is driving me nuts.

    Yes, he is lithe and sinewy and his legs look a bit thin but, come on, we all know what the real problem is here.

    This is all psychological with Pepe.

    Is it his fault he has a £72m price tag around his neck? No it isn’t.

    He is naive, we all see that, some would say immature but, from what I’ve seen, he is capable of causing massive problems for the opposition.

    Arteta, imo, and as highlighted yesterday, is suffocating him. Why not give him a free reign against Dundalk? Rather than stick him out on the right, let him interchange with Nketiah or whoever else is playing up top.

    He is capable of doing special things as he showed when he came on against SU the other week, I just hope he doesn’t drop him for Nelson.

    Come on Mikel, give him some freedom.

  14. Kris


    “Need bulkier players? I thought footie was a non-contact sport these days. To me plus 5kgs will mean a slower, less explosive Martinelli. But maybe I have wandered on to a rugby union site?”

    Finally someone who knows a bit about athletics on this site. There’s a reason why most slim players who rely on speed like Vardy, Auba, AMN etc don’t ‘bulk up’. Sure, you can then still be very fast in a short sprint, but modern football needs players to be a combination of sprinters and long-distance runners, so the best comparison in athletics would 800 m runners.

    Anyone here really thinks Auba or Vardy are physically unable to bulk up?

  15. Kaz

    Regardless what everyone thinks of Pepe, he should stop taking corners. Not being able to consistently get it past the first man is embarrassing.

  16. Valentin


    Everybody who had watched Ligue 1 and Lille in particular knew that Pepe was not a €80 millions player. He is a highlight reels, YouTube great but a very limited player. When I expressed that opinion, I was lambasted about it.

    People got sucked in by the hype, the price, but it was Raul’s responsibility to know better. Instead of buying unknown gems with high resale value, he bought badly experienced player with no resale value and even less potential.

  17. James wood.

    Left foot curler.
    Heads the ball like a kid with a balloon.
    To easy to read ?
    Runs into trouble .
    His biggest problem total pitch
    unawareness —-a nomad.?
    Sorry take the money.

  18. Valentin


    When TH14 joined us, the first thing Wenger did was to stopping Henry from overdoing the gym as he had been taugh to in Italy. Wenger wanted more explosivity rather than body mass. The only gym work Henry was allowed to do was his upper body muscle.

    Footballers run up to 15km in 90 minutes, but it is not a regular run. It is a mix of static, jog, sprint. Like you said the best morphology for that type of physical exertion is semi long distance runner 800m/1500m/1 mile/5000m. None of which are heavy and bulky.

  19. Chris

    Apologies if this has been pointed out already but read something yesterday that during the Invincibles season, there was only 2 games where the starting line up was:

    Lehmann, Cole, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Gilberto, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry.

    Doesn’t seem right but apparently true! I recall Vieira being out for a chunk of games in the late autumn, especially when Parlour skippered us in the San Siro.

    Edu started more games than Bergkamp.