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. Dissenter

    Karim Benzema is a bi of an idiot.
    How do you tell your team mates not to pass the ball to Vinicius right in full view of the cameras. That’s a dressing room out of control
    It won’t surprise me one bit if Zidane is fired in a couple of days.

  2. Leftfootcurler


    Willian’s ball retention should be higher than Nelson.

    Nelson is technically very good but if he plays in PL,his ball retention will likely drop.

    I don’t think his body is strong enough for PL yet but he has bulked up significantly since the beginning of last season.

    Would be interesting if he got a chance in the league.

  3. raptora

    Could be wrong but I don’t see how we go through this WE-SUCK-IN-ATTACK phase unless we change the system.

    Partey’s presence alone should give us more freedom and security to be able to relocate one of our defensive players into the midfield.

    We read many times how Liverpool is seen as the role model of steady improvement.
    Why not go full Liverpool then and copy their system but with 1 small detail. Pool play 3 midfielders but we can’t really say that any of the three has offensive responsibilities. Pool can afford it because they have the best full backs and wings in the league as well as a top drawer CF in Firmino.

    We don’t have really have the same quality of players at the moment so creating from the flanks is hard although I believe Tierney could be at the level of Robertson.

    What we could do to compensate our lack of effectiveness going forward down the wings as we’ve been trying and it hasn’t been working so far, is to modify Liverpool’s midfield three and have the third of the midfielders be ahead of the other two and give his bit in attack.

    We’ll see how it goes. Versus Leicester we did play with Partey, Xhaka and Ceballos. We’ve also played more than a few games lately with 4 in defence so apparently Arteta is thinking about it.

    He’ll be thinking hard right now how he could help his team. He looks on the right way of picking the system but he doesn’t look close in starting the correct players in the correct positions. He needs to help Auba get back to scoring.

  4. London gunner

    The irony is most real madrid fans think what benzema did was acceptable.

    Honestly madrid fans are some of the biggest cunts out there far worse than fans of any of the top clubs in premier league

  5. into+the+red

    As soon as you get the player you were screaming for – Partey – he gets forgotten about and we’re on the next ‘must have’ signing. There is a pattern here.
    I think it’s still too early to tell, but the test for me is whether Arteta will mix it up, and gradually evolve a style which will change the basic formula he seems to have settled on. In other words, some vision and willingness to take some chances with this squad, which is decent enough. It feels like a shake up is required which would mean Laca retiring to the subs bench. The chess pieces need moved around, some players need to be let off the leash, some new formations tried out. The penalty might be some. bad days out, but if it means we eventually move forward into a more fluid, dynamic, goalscoring unit then it is a price worth paying. Whether Arteta has the cojones, at this early stage in his career, is another question.

    The other factor in this atmosphere of staleness and vague dissatisfaction is a wider one rebounding on the club. Namely, the general lack of real tension and animation that you get at proper old-fashioned football matches – the excitement of a matchday with real people watching you, shouting at you and singing your name. There is just an air of practice matches about the whole affair right now, and I can’t be the only one to be glad to have it back, but don’t really engage with it in any satisfactory way. That dulled edge, the slight indifference and general feeling of unreality of staged for TV matches, just feels like it rubs off on the players too. There is no adrenaline, no hotly disputed incidents, bar a few belters, no sense of do or die. That may be a fault of this team, but it feels like a more general malaise about the whole game. It just doesn’t excite me, though I dutifully watch. Add on VAR and you have have a Playstation spectacle, with as much real world relevance.

  6. Marc

    “The other factor in this atmosphere of staleness and vague dissatisfaction is a wider one rebounding on the club. Namely, the general lack of real tension and animation that you get at proper old-fashioned football matches – the excitement of a matchday with real people watching you, shouting at you and singing your name. ”

    Two issues with that comment.

    1) It’s the same for everyone.

    2) The Emirates isn’t renowned for being the loudest stadium in the world and even if we’re missing the buzz at home shouldn’t that help our away form?

  7. Marko

    Why are we talking about Reiss Nelson’s ball retention? He’s on about 800 minutes since returning from Hoffenheim no wonder his stats are so good he’s got a much smaller sample size to go off of. In saying that he should be getting way more opportunities than he is. He should be a backup LW/RW instead of the 3rd or 4th choice. Like I have absolutely no idea why Mikel would play Nketiah at LW and Aubameyang as RW instead of Reiss. Like that’s dumb. Again returns to my point yeah we need better players in but we’ve got players already in the squad who can make a difference but aren’t being played or who are continually being played out of position and misused.

  8. Kaz

    If Arteta does persist in his current formation and way of play and doesn’t put Auba up top.

    Then he should be dropping Auba right? Without being freely able to move into space or get the ball gifted to him in the box he’s very limited. Fantastic finisher and great off the ball mover (when he is motivated) but with teams content to drop deep and pressure certain error prone individuals he’s suffering pretty poorly from the system as are the team.

    Shouldn’t we try to play Reiss or AMN here instead?

  9. Captain Tierney


    Yes we do play with a very dynamic system where the LWB acts as the third midfielder in possession.

    Yes Evans may be a bit smarter than Soyuncu right now but Soyuncu is not a dumb player by any means. + he’s got the physique that most players can only dream about.
    Imo not one manager/team in the world would take Evans over Soyuncu right now.

  10. daniel twist

    Whoever our front three is, needs to start moving there asses, make runs, link with each other , movements to move defenders around and create space, quick one-twos, get in between the opponents lines to receive and relay passes, operate as a unit. If there is no movements then a creator has nothing to work with, and that is one of the reasons why when Sanchez and Giroud left, Ozil’s assists dried up. A creative midfielder needs to have people to create for.

  11. Marko

    Not now no. But to be fair Simeone wasn’t getting the best out of Felix last season. But he was great last night.

    But yeah kinda stuck with Lacazette it seems. Shite as he is now no one wants him.

  12. Champagne charlie

    “Why are we talking about Reiss Nelson’s ball retention?“

    Because he’s an Arsenal player, one that’s not seen much action as yet, and one that operates in the areas that were struggling with.

    Felt he was worthy of a mention.

  13. Marko

    No I get that and I agree with that but why bring up his ball retention off the back of so few minutes these last two seasons?

    What should be spoken about is why Mikel starts Auba and fucking Nketiah at LW/RW instead of giving Pepe and Reiss Nelson chances in their natural positions

  14. Champagne charlie


    Because I saw a post yesterday that highlighted that stat, and further pointed at how shit our offensive players are in that particular category.

    Man City have 7 players in the top 21, we have Reiss Nelson in 99th with low minutes, then Auba 500+. Garbage if accurately the case.

  15. Valentin

    At least with this public video, people will start to realise that Benzema is a narcissistic asshole whose talent cannot compensate for his complete lack of moral and respect for his teammates.
    People have played the Arab victim card with him, and some were true, but the bottom line is that he is loathsome character.

  16. Marko

    Yeah but the man city players mentioned along with Auba are probably regularly playing whereas Nelson has barely played. I get the sentiment behind it but it’s one of those stats that’s less effective given the mins involved.

    My issue with him getting more minutes is not just players played out of position ahead of him (for unknown reasons) but he’s got excellent pace and is a genuine goal threat so why not give him more opportunities than the zero he’s getting right now.

  17. Champagne charlie

    “Nelson is not the messiah. Lets not go down that route.“

    Then don’t run down a path nobody else is walking? I’d prefer him in the XI than Pepe because I think he’s someone that fundamentally is a better footballer and will balance the attack more.

    Talk of him being a messiah is all you.

  18. Tom

    Everything you like about Evans can be coached and usually comes with age, everything some of us like about Soyuncu is a god given talent.
    He’s been clocked at top speeds equal to elite NFL receivers.
    With him in the line up Leicester are flexible to play the high line or packed defense.

  19. Rich

    I’d take Soyuncu in a heartbeat, brilliant young defender.

    Leicester’s succession planning for Maguire was brilliant, they knew he’d be off, signed Soyuncu the year before, giving him a year to settle

    Ensured they didn’t get charged a huge premium for replacing Maguire when selling clubs knew they needed a replacement, and that they were armed with cash.

    That type of business and planning shows what we’ve been missing, we’ve lacked anything resembling succession planning, pretty much everything we do is opportunistic, badly thought out, poorly scouted, or panicked.

    If you don’t know what you want, you usually end up with a lot you don’t want, which explains our current predicament, and our need for stability, and being governed by much more astute people than previousl

    I’d take Soyuncu over Maguire, Leicester essential replaced an £80million centre half, with a superior player for €20million.

    Edu needs to step up, we should have had a plan for Saliba, to be ready to takeover from Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis next summer, instead it looks like we tried to keep Mustafi….

    What a mess….

  20. Marko

    I’d prefer him in the XI than Pepe because I think he’s someone that fundamentally is a better footballer and will balance the attack more.

    Eh. Remember how we were talking about how it doesn’t matter what Leno does going forward people have just already made their minds up on him. Yeah I’m getting deja vu here and I don’t know why. The preference part okay I get that but you think he’s a better footballer? Off the basis of what exactly?

  21. Champagne charlie


    The only deja vu is you coming to Pepe’s defence with every mention of him. He’s been here a year and he doesn’t do the very basics expected of a record signing attacker, let alone deliver consistent match-winning moments.

    Given our attack is toothless I’d like to see Nelson ahead of Pepe because at the very base level I know I’m getting a willing runner off the ball, good work ethic, and direct dribbler – all features absent in Pepe’s game.

  22. Pierre

    Does anyone think we would be suffering from a lack of creativity and goals if Wenger had an offensive 4 of

    Aubameyang up top ( he wouldn’t have him chasing loss causes.)
    Pepe on the right ( he would make sure he receives the ball in the final third)
    Saka on the left…….An assist machine
    Willian in the hole ( i would play Ozil)

    Partey and Ceballos in centre mid .

    A 4-2-3-1 formation ..there is no way we would be struggling to create chances. …No way.

  23. Valentin


    My full comment was
    “People have played the Arab victim card with him, and some were true”
    Nothing wrong with that statement.
    In France, Benzema is a very polarising characters. I am just acknowledging that Some of the criticism that he received were due to the fact that he is of North African descent.

    However a non negligeable minority refuse to even entertain that some of the criticism that he received were not due to him being Arab. As a French black man, I have been on the receiving end of some vicious racist attack. However reducing every personal attacks to racism is just an insult of real victim of prejudice.

    Benzema is a loathsome person who participated in a plot to blackmail via a sextape a teammate from the national team.
    As proven by the latest video, he is a bully.

  24. raptora

    Truth be told, it’s so painfully obvious what Arteta has to try. I’m not saying we are all right and this lineup + system will transform us, but why not just try it. It’s so obvious that it’s wasted time not giving it a chance in a real game.

  25. Pierre

    “Given our attack is toothless I’d like to see Nelson ahead of Pepe because at the very base level I know I’m getting a willing runner off the ball, good work ethic, and direct dribbler – all features absent in Pepe’s game.”

    I’d be more than happy to see the kids given a run of games , but it looks like Arteta has given up on them

    Nelson, willock , Nketiah, willock , smith rowe have only started 2 league games between the lot of them this season in which we have only scored 5 goals in the last 5 league games.

    Maybe it’s time to give them a run in the team..

  26. Rich


    Could it be that it wasn’t that Simeone wasn’t getting the best out of Felix last season.

    But rather than Felix was 19, Atletico didn’t spend €120million on a €120million footballer, they spent it on a €120million talent.

    You then need to develop that talent on the training ground, and if they get him on the next contract, then at age 24/25, providing they’ve got their scouting right?

    They’ll have an experienced world class forward, who’s just entering his best years.

    You don’t always get an instant return on your investment

  27. Marko

    The only deja vu is you coming to Pepe’s defence with every mention of him

    How’s is what I said offering a defence of Pepe? You just need to make a better argument than this player is better because.

    because at the very base level I know I’m getting a willing runner off the ball, good work ethic, and direct dribbler – all features absent in Pepe’s game.

    This is better but again it falls a little flat considering that Reiss Nelson has by and large done fuck all in his senior career outside of an initial good 10-15 games at Hoffenheim where he then struggled massively. I agree that he should be getting more opportunities than the zero he’s getting under Arteta because we look shit at the moment, he’s playing players out of position over Reiss for some reason and despite what I just said Reiss Nelson is still a highly rated young prospect. But in saying all that if you think he’s better than Pepe because he’s a willing runner/good work ethic/direct dribbler (that last one is a fucking hoot) then I dunno man I think you might be confused with another player. Again if you offer up non-existent points then it just looks like something biased.

  28. Graham62

    I get it, I really do, we needed to get our defensive structure and shape sorted before anything else.

    It was evident to us all at the start of the season and, significantly, after our successes in the FA Cup and Community Shield, that things were looking so much better and that even our progressive/attacking play was taking shape under Arteta.

    However, and that’s a big HOWEVER, two major things have happened over the past couple ofmonths that have thrown a massive spanner in these improved workings.

    1. We sold our #1 GK.
    2.We are neglecting the positive aspects of our team.

    Whatever anyone else says, Leno has contributed to our visible downward spiral in our defensive duties. The players have been affected by this change in dynamics and, as I highlighted last week, they are not happy with the changes. On top of this, it is also clear to us all that Leno is a liability.

    The positive aspects of our team, namely our attacking capabilities, have become practically nonexistent. Yes, we lack flair and guile in the middle of the park but it is the fact that our lethal weapons, namely Aubameyang, Pepe, Saka, Lacazette and yes, even Nketiah, are being overlooked and under-utilised.

    Playing Ceballos out of position is criminal in my eyes, as is persevering with the likes of Xhaka and Elneny( together) in the same team.

    Aubameyang is feared by opponents and opposition managers, and it is far easier to nullify his threat if you keep sticking him out wide. He needs to be in the mix with the likes of Lacazette, Pepe and Nketiah. Saka and Tierney can deal with the left side.

    Arteta is trying to be too clever with his non-possession based tactics but the consequence of this is that we have become too predictable.

    Things need to change and quick.

  29. Captain Tierney


    On what basis are you saying that Nelson is a better footballer or more balanced footballer than Pepe?
    Dont think you could make such a big and idiotic argument based on 1 stat that you stumbled across on twitter.

    Its not like Arteta hasn’t given him any chances. When Arteta arrived Nelson started a couple of games iirc. After that its just been a downward slope for him. Even Willock has been preferred at RW in the final 10/20 minutes of the game over Nelson, Arteta wanted Nelson to go out on loan this season. All of this should give you a hint of Nelson’s current abilities.

    No doubt he has potential.Very good pace and explosiveness. Technically clean and has dominated his age groups. But he doesn’t yet have the mental ability to play top level football. YET.

    But saying you would start him over Pepe is a fool’s game imo.

  30. Valentin

    Arteta is a cautious manager and until he is forced by Edu or external circumstances (injuries, suspensions, …), We all know that he will stick to his trusted players.

    If Emery and Freddie had not played Saka before him, I am willing to bet that Saka would have had similarly extremely limited playing time than Nelson.

    In my opinion, Nelson should be given an opportunity to showcase his talents while we are desperate for a right winger/inverted forward to have an impact on Arsenal play.

  31. Champagne charlie


    We’re witnessing a complete lack of impetus at the top end of the pitch, coupled with dogshit performance levels from Pepe and you both want to staunchly argue against a POV that I’d rather see Reiss Nelson play at present?

    Yea very good.

  32. GunnerDNA


    “It is something we are not too used to because we have not faced teams [like that] too regularly but I think it is a really good sign when Leicester suddenly comes to your house and acts like that, it is because they really respect you now and they are concerned.

    “We have to take that as something very positive and and as an advantage because if teams are going to start to do that, I’m telling you we are going to win a lot of games.”

  33. Rich


    The worry about Nelson is, he started off well at Hoffenheim, then got dumped.

    He started off being a regular for England under 21, and now as a more senior player, he’s been demoted to the bench.

    Arteta started using him, now he can’t even game a game in the League cup or Europa league.

    We also signed Willian for 3 years, who plays in the same position,

    I think he’ll go on and have a really good career somewhere, he’s still only 20, but unless we’re going to play him? Then he’s at an age where he needs regular football

    No idea why we didn’t at least loan him out, let him pick up 40 games in the championship.

    We either improve his value, or he comes back with more experience, but a season not playing seems like an utter waste for us and him.

    Just more poor planning from the club.

  34. Than you and goodnight

    In his first season he just missed out on promotion but had them playing really attractive football and in his second season they were crowned champions and promoted and on current form I wouldn’t bet against them finishing higher up in the league than us. Arteta is shit sauce and will never be anything else

  35. Tom

    As a former ardent Pepe supporter I’m beginning to gravitate towards the point of view you’ve held for awhile.
    His own fathers words how he needed to work harder, and that football is a job and not just something you do for fun, don’t inspire much confidence even if they were meant to be inspirational.
    This is usually a speech parents make when footballer is younger than 24.

  36. Valentin


    That’s exactly what I have been complaining about Arsenal structure. Everything is reactive. It does not seems to be medium term planning.

    In France because of budgetary constraints, most clubs have a 2~3 years plans. They buy a player in view of him stepping up in 1 year and then sell him two years later. So the buying, slowly integrating him into the first team and selling of players is planned from a medium term point.

    Leicester with their plan of buying Söyüncü, one year before they knew they would have to sell Maguire is an example of joined-up approach. Wesley Fofana is already marked as the future replacement of Jonny Evans. So next season it will be Söyüncü and Fofana.

    Here at Arsenal we are reduced to offer a contract to Mustafi instead of integrating or already scouting his replacement.

  37. Zacharse

    Thats a good quote. Curious to see how he backs up this assertion. Not to say i don’t believe him. He did seem a bit shellshocked the other day, the spirit of ‘15 returned And either he didnt have the plan or the players to deal…
    Next few games we won’t be dealing w this except for perhaps molde whixh i confess i dont follow. Either way i’m surprised at the shit show last few days. So what, we lost to leicester. 6th game of the season 1stw partey, 1st team thats played like that against us and hasnt tried to take the ball off our defenders.

  38. Zacharse

    Regarding pepe,
    He gets another year. In america hed still be on his parents medical insurance plan. Once hes 26 buh baiii

  39. Graham62


    Rather amusing to see we have a few posters on here who have zero comprehension of the positive dynamics of a team sport and the negative consequences of interfering with them.

    Nothing to do with Martinez, this is all down to Arteta.

    Quite funny really.

  40. Guns of SF

    I think Pepe is very limited. It does not make matters better than he and Bellerin have no chemistry at all and our right side is non existent mostly.

    Reiss is no world beater but is a stronger more physical player who has decent skills. Why not try him?

    Arteta makes no sense and his loyalty to his senior players will hurt him long term I think.

    So much for his progressive football.

    the Manure game will be really telling. Will we line up the same? Will we see any more creativity?

  41. Rich


    That’s why I want stability and patience.

    A revolving door of coaching or operational personnel doesn’t really help us.

    I’m giving Arteta + Edu a clean slate, the only transfer I’m judging them on is Partey, but that transfer didn’t need much imagination, it just needed €50million cash.

    The Soares, Mari and 3years for Willian were really strange, while people will speculate, we don’t know who made those calls, all we know is that the guy running the show was fired.

    First we need a huge clear out, we could essentially lose 10 players without bringing anymore in.

    We’ve a first team squad of 31, 2 we can’t even register, and 3 out on loan, a first team squad of 24 backed up by youth players is plenty.

    Poor scouting and recruitment is one thing, but you could make a strong case for the people making the decisions not even being able to count.

    Basic economics, supply and demand, if you have an oversupply of players, and an under supply of squad places, then you put yourself in an extremely weak negotiating position.

  42. Marko

    you both want to staunchly argue against a POV that I’d rather see Reiss Nelson play at present?

    That’s not what was happening at all. I personally was arguing against a clear biased opinion and a nonsense comment that Reiss Nelson was a better footballer than Pepe. The reasons offered up being a willing runner (on the basis of what exactly?) good work ethic (attitude problems at Hoffenheim meant he barely played after an initial good start) and him being a direct dribbler (ask most Arsenal fans and they’ll say that’s the one thing missing and that he was known for as a youth) they just fall a little flat.

    Like Pepe needs to do better a lot better and Nelson should be getting more minutes a lot more minutes Mikel is failing both players in that regard but he’s not better than Pepe on the basis of everything we’ve seen from each player in their careers.

  43. Dissenter

    Keep making good music.
    I too don’t think changing managers helps us at all.
    I’m prepared to give Arteta some time to make his mistakes and figure them out. We didn’t get an established manager so we have to be patient with the chap.

    How much time to give him?
    For me till this time next season, come what may.

  44. Champagne charlie


    I’m critical of Pepe because of his inherent ability, this is what makes me laugh about views I get targeting my own POV of the player. And when we signed him I was feverishly excited by the potential for his ability and output to be applied directly to this team.

    I’m always one of the less demanding personalities of new players, or young players, when they land here because the issues of adaptation are vast imo. That said, a major red flag for me is a player that fails to deliver the basics in a reliable fashion, especially in their mid twenties when they should be a more established footballer.

    So I see Pepe as supremely talented in an “on paper” comparison, but I’d be more willing to start Reiss Nelson ahead of him in the league because I’m more confident in his ability to work hard, be tactically aware, be a threat in behind, and keep his attacking involvement simple and quick (aka touch, beat a defender, then cut back/cross into the danger area). On that basis he’s just a much better footballer than a maverick, so he’d be more likely to bring us balance in attack.

    In a 90 minute game of football you want 11 guys that are carrying out the duties of each role as much as possible. Pepe is too fleeting to me and works better as a 20/30 minute substitute where you can look to benefit from his ‘moments’ and self-indulgence. He’s a bit Ozil in that respect.

  45. Champagne charlie


    You claim bias at every opportunity going, grow up. You can’t even defend Pepe with his performance level or stats as a counter – explanation enough that bias is a non-factor.

    He’s been totally ineffective, it isn’t bias to claim another player would provide better.

  46. Rich


    The main thing will be how the team progresses, building cohesion, stability and patterns of play takes time, in spite of the bedwetting, I can see progress and the beginning of a structure beginning to take shape.

    It’s not just Arsenal who’ve been involved in tight games, and we’re very much at the beginning of a new cycle.

    The rest depends on the market, and how far KSE are willing to back us, because when we’re haemorrhaging money like we are, they’re going to have too, also some of the players we’d love to move on, we couldn’t give away in the current market, so we might be stuck with them.

    I want to see steady progress on the pitch, see us accumulate more points than 56, finish at least 6th, and have a stab at one of the cups, we’re long overdue lifting the League Cup.

  47. Nelson

    Thinking about Vardy’s goal, I couldn’t help but thinking that if Martinez were in goal, he would yell at Gabriel to cover Vardy and he could take care of Under. He is a leader in defense. Leon is too quiet.

  48. salparadisenyc

    Why not bench Pepe? Look we all want him to fly but its just not happening.

    If we strip it all away he’s simply not performing, if Reiss Nelson was putting in those performances the entire space would of called for his head. He’s been incredibly weak, starting with mentality, doesn’t put in the run’s we’d hope for, moment he’s touched he crumbles, not dribbling around anyone except moving backwards, virtually one footed to a detriment. As for the corner game…?

    Don’t see Arteta signing him, as Arseblog said not so long ago it’s a marriage of convenience and there may be something in that.

    Regardless pretty sure Nelson gets the start vs the fighting Irish, so we’ll see where he’s at as for United its likely dependant on Willians fitness.

  49. Ishola70


    Really strange is tipping Spurs to be EPL title contenders last season.

    I see your crystal ball analysis has dried up after that fateful day of tipping Spurs for glory.

  50. Marko

    You claim bias at every opportunity going, grow up

    So if everyone of our forwards are playing poorly and the main issue is the manager misusing players and using dogshit tactics and YOU after games offer up Pepe is playing garbage without addressing the main issue as to why EVERYONE is playing shit then it’s biased. If you’re also of the opinion that his performances are so poor that this season is make or break while others are 4+ seasons into a generally poor Arsenal career then I dunno it’s a bit biased.

    He’s been totally ineffective, it isn’t bias to claim another player would provide better.

    It is when the player offered up has been totally ineffective his senior career and when the points offered up bear no resemblance to reality.

  51. Calypso


    Winning domestic trophies is not a measure of progress.
    Finishing 6th is no better than Wenger’s last season.
    Lots of fans were against this hire for obvious reasons.

  52. Dissenter

    -Liverpool are running out of central field.
    -City don’t have strikers that are fit.
    -Chelsea have too many pieces to put together
    -United are utter crap with a piss poor manager
    -Arsenal are ….

    Only a court jester like you will rule out the team with Son-Kane combo with the added benefit of Bale in reserve
    I mean we are talking about a season where giants are falling and every team is beatable.
    Yes …Spurs will be in the running this season.

  53. SUGA3

    Arteta is clueless, can’t even select the best team, let alone give them any idea how to play.

    Are we in top 4 in the league, squad quality wise? Are we fuck. Do we have a manager who can make the team better than the sum of its parts? Do we fuck.

  54. Ishola70


    So you are tipping Spurs as EPL title contenders this season as well as you tipping them to be challenging for the EPL crown last season?

    Way to go boy.

    Double bubble.

  55. Marko

    Rangnick talking about the cognitive approach to coaching that Arteta is trying to develop at Arsenal.

    From Pedro on twitter. Not one mention of Mikel by Ralf in the article.

  56. Graham62


    Hate to admit it but I also feel this Covid season will benefit Jose and Spuds.

    Shite! What am I saying?

  57. Ishola70

    Dissenter has already failed spectacularly in his tipping of Spurs to be EPL contenders last season.

    Dissenter has just given Spurs his own personal kiss of death.

  58. Dissenter

    This season is wide open, don’t you get it.
    No one is going to run away with 95-105 points this season. Liverpool and city are vulnerable, Lampard’s Chelsea have too many pieces to put together and United’s engines only runs on underserved penalties.

    With all those in mind, you can’t rule out a team that has the firepower up front that Spuds have and a manager who’s won it all before.
    They will be in the running , will they choke?…maybe.

  59. Champagne charlie


    Explain the bias to me again? Doesn’t look for all the world that you have a clue what it actually means.

    I’ve advocated for Auba as a lone striker with Saka, Willian, and Nelson operating behind him. The fact you get your arsehole tight as drum from that regarding Pepe is your own fucking bias entering the chat.

    My ideal presently is to drop Laca, Pepe, and Ceballos to play what I consider a more balanced attacking quartet. The only person seeing Pepe as “THE” issue here is you.

  60. karim

    In other news, Steven N’zonzi can’t play for Rennes in Sevilla tonight because he kicked a water bottle out of frustration at the end of their first game on his way to the drug test.

    Pathetic. Just ask Arsene.

  61. Victorious


    You’re embarassing yourself, Spuds are not competing for shite,) even their fans don’t think so, Top 4 is their target

    You have effectively replaced Dariano on here as Legroves knee jerk master..Congrats!

  62. Calypso

    Spurs only finished 3 points ahead of terrible Arsenal last season.
    The only way they will be competing for the title is on performance enhancing drugs.

  63. Tom

    Rich, it amazes how level headed and measured your football views can be in comparison to those looney bin politics of yours.
    Good thing there’s no Qanon football blog for you to latch onto.

  64. Ishola70

    If Lacazette’s header would have stood against Leicester which many believe shouldn’t have been disallowed then he would have scored a goal in every EPL game he has started so far this season.

    And yet the narrative on him is that he is absolutely turgid.

    Could he be improved upon? Yes. But he isn’t as useless as so many paint him. Not really.

    Having two forwards in Aubameyang and Lacazette is not the worst aspect of this team. Not having a functioning central midfield thus far has been the worst aspect of this side.

    The over the top frustrations regarding Lacazette are two fold. One is that he occupies the central CF position that so many want to see Auba occupy and two Arsenal don’t create as many goal scoring chances as some other sides so any misses from the strikers become even more magnified. Strikers miss chances. Some are fortunate enough to have more chances created for them.

  65. Nelson

    Developing players should be the job of his assistance. He has to set up the match day squad and study the technique of the opponents. He also has to answer questions from reporters and those noise fans.

  66. Dissenter

    “Rich, it amazes how level headed and measured your football views can be in comparison to those looney bin politics of yours.
    Good thing there’s no Qanon football blog for you to latch onto.”

    I swear…Rich is like a sage here with his measured comments.

  67. Marc

    “dwayne bngham”

    Bang on the money. Arteta seems to have his favourites and so far seems happy to discard young players, the only one who’s an exception is Saka who had already proved himself prior to Arteta’s appointment.

  68. MidwestGun

    To drop Pepe wouldn’t we first have to start Pepe more then a few games here and there. Would be hard to drop somebody that isn’t a starter. We have treated him like a youth player ever since he got here, getting spot starts and bench appearances.

    Just my opinion, but when you spend 75 mill on a player you have to try and make it work first before you drop him. Give him a run of 10 – 12 straight games and see what we actually have. Because being honest we still have no idea. Then if he turns out to be like Gervinho.. All show and no go, then .. we move on next summer. I find it extremely odd we spend 75 mill on a player and yet it’s still a bit a of mystery what he can actually do.. because we have given him zero stability.
    Emery didn’t want him reportedly.. (wanted Zaha) And Arteta last Feb. has said he needs a run of 12- 15 games but also said he has to earn his starting spot. How does that work? Can’t be good for his confidence either . It’s almost like we are trying to waste 75 mill. Between him and Saliba .. so far it’s like pouring 100 mill down the drain before we even try. I realize Arteta probably didn’t want either one of them as they weren’t his transfers but at some point you can’t waste money like we are Man. United.

  69. Marc


    Agree – it also doesn’t help he came into a dysfunctional team and has worked under 3 managers, that we mostly attack down the leftside and when the ball does go right he’s usually isolated and with his confidence obviously at rock bottom is getting no support or encouragement from his manager.

  70. Ishola70


    “We have treated him like a youth player”

    tbf many of his appearances have been like a youth player.

    It has been commented on here before that you wouldn’t know who the youth player was between him and Saka in relation to their overall performances.

    There has certainly been something missing regarding Pepe.

    What Pepe needs to do is to grab his first team spot. Make it a no decision for Arteta. But he hasn’t done this. He has had a few good performances and a few good cameos but hasn’t backed it up with any sort of consistency and he has had opportunities to do this since he joined even if people are giving out he hasn’t been given enough chances.

    If his demeanor in training reflects what we see on the pitch from him too many times then he is indeed making it difficult for himself.

  71. Champagne charlie


    The point I made was clear. I said I’d prefer to see Nelson start, because he’s a better footballer. I further clarified what I mean by that and how I’m applying it.

    Skip the semantics because you’d prefer to defend Pepe from any criticism. Reiss Nelson is a better footballer for me, which is an indictment of Pepe more than adulation of Reiss.

  72. Marko

    Explain the bias to me again?

    Again after every abject performance it’s about Pepe being hot garbage. Not one mention of Arteta’s dogshit tactics his misuse of players or about how every player is currently underperforming instead it’s Pepe’s shit and we need to cut our losses.

    My ideal presently is to drop Laca, Pepe, and Ceballos to play what I consider a more balanced attacking quartet.

    Another biased in there too. You want to drop our best midfielder since the restart for some reason (we know the reason).


  73. MidwestGun

    Marc- Pepe could well turn out to be shit.. but with that kind of investment we need to damn well make sure he is shit.. Meanwhile……, Xhaka is penciled in every match when we 1 million percent know what he gives us. . That’s the disparity I don’t understand.

    Makes it hard for me to get excited about the team. even though I really want to.

  74. Marc

    The problem with playing Nelson is what do we do when he isn’t doing much either?

    Right now our biggest problem is the manager not being able to select a team in a formation that can perform.

  75. Rich


    Unfortunately you don’t go from where we were when Arteta took over, to where we want to be in 18 months.

    And since I think top4 might be slightly out of our reach this season, I’d love the joy of another cup win, ideally Europa, but I certainly wouldn’t look down my nose at either domestic cup.


    I’ll try being less of a snowflake in future…..


  76. Champagne charlie


    I’ve literally just commented on how I’d change the dynamic of our forward line, personnel included, and you’re criticising me about not commenting on Arteta’s tactics? Are you a moron?

    So my opinion is biased because….it’s my opinion? Fucking brilliant that is. What you actually mean is anyone that doesn’t share your POV is biased and wrong.

  77. Marc


    Pepe vs Xhaka – let’s forget that Xhaka is the worst player I can remember at Arsenal who was guaranteed a starting spot.

    One is an unpredictable flair player who isn’t performing.
    One is a plodder who is completely predictable (mostly in bad ways but that’s another conversation) who has managed half a dozen decent performances and this is his 5th season with us.

    That tells me that Arteta isn’t just risk averse because he doesn’t have a City type squad but he’s just plain risk averse.

    Our squad is too good and too expensively assembled to not take an aggressive posture when playing the vast majority of teams at home.

    The club has another major problem on the horizon – my guess is with COVID we won’t see fans back in the stadium till the tail end of the season now that means for many fans like myself those matches will be free (I’m owed 6 match credits from last season) so I’ll go.

    If this dire level of performance and basic expectation that we’ll beat bottom half of the table teams but struggle or lose to everyone else am I really going to pay out the best part of £1500 for a season ticket next summer?

  78. Marc


    “I’ll try being less of a snowflake in future…..”

    I should fucking hope so. There’s only room for one snowflake on here and that’s Pedro.

  79. WengerEagle

    Dissenter we’re going to hold you to that when the Spuds inevitably crash and burn and Mourinho spontaneously combusts after one too many a VAR gone wrong.

    They arent competing for the title, behave. Do you really believe that Son will score 35 PL goals this season and Kane 30?

    On an almighty purple patch right now, the goals will dry up in time.

  80. Marc


    It seems every other club on the planet gets a new manager bounce when one comes in – we got 1 win, 1 loss and 5 draws in Arteta’s first 7 matches.

  81. Marc


    Mourinho has already started the press war with Levy – Klopp spent to improve the team.

    On top of that Kane is now injury prone one excellently timed tackle on his ankles and he’s out for a couple of months.

  82. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    Like you, I hope they have their customary crash and burn
    It’s just that this is s very peculiar season – City have no strikers and Liverpool don’t have central defender’s
    A shitty club like spuds can keep winning games they have no business winning with Son-Kane combo. It’s scary prospect because either of them can create and finish in equal measure. They can feed off each other while the rest of the team is average. .
    Note that I’m not tipping them to win the title …it’s the fact that there won’t be any daylight between the points tally of the eventual winners and 4thplace.

  83. MidwestGun

    I understand the sentiment .. about we need more time and money. But be realistic we don’t have much time with a difficult schedule upcoming. I think your seriously deluding yourself if you think things will be ok if we go on a losing streak now. Every manager needs time but they rarely get it if result don’t follow. That’s why the Leicester loss wasn’t just any old loss. Also, why people are very concerned it’s not because they are freaking out to just freak out. . We have been down this road last season.
    Manchester game is huge, now. and the scheduling Gods are having a bit of a laugh at us right now. OGS banter match, Martinez reunion, Leeds attack festival followed by Wolves physical brawl. and then the NLD.

  84. Buzzy

    It’s quite clear thag Arteta is desperate to stamp his authority at the cost of the teams performance. Thisnis quite evident in the fact that the players he favours arent necessarily chosen on merit but his personal bias:

    >Martinelli was being benched even when he was fit because he’s not Artetas signing

    >Ozil was axed because he was bigger than Arteta and that
    came across as a perfect opportunity to make his mark.
    Ozil has 25mn followers on Twitter and Mikel has 1.5 mn.

    > Xhaka may not have been his signing but his peculiar situation at a time when the logical decision was to cut him off from anything related to Arsenal presented a perfect opportunity to Mikel to do the opposite again to grab attention

    > Auba is obviously someone he can’t drop but asking him to rotate positions just shows Arteta is exhibiting his authority again to grab attention when the correct thing to end his horrid spell would be to play him up top

    > Guendouzi was punished for a reason which went against what Arsenal fans had been crying for a decade or more- players with passion and grit.

    > Axed Martinez because again it seemed the most logical thing to do. But that would have meant accepting that he had made a mistake in considering Leno as number one before he got injured. So that was not going to happen.

    > Trying weird tactics and changing things in almost every match

    > sticking to playing out of the back even though its costing us goals and matches

    Stubborn af. Passive aggressive. Arrogant. Clueless. But most importantly- Naive.

    Arteta out!

  85. Marc


    Yeah started in a press conference the other day. My guess is he was told this is next years money – which of course he agreed to and will now spend months moaning and bitching thinking he’ll wear Levy down.

  86. Marc


    The Spud’s “were chasing down Leicester” during the 15/16 season with Kane tweeting loads of “we’re coming for you” bullshit.

    They eventually managed to throw away 2nd in the league on the last day against a piss poor Newcastle team who were down to 10 men.

    The Spud’s will always bottle it.

  87. WengerEagle


    What are you on about, Liverpool are missing ONE centre back in VVD, as good as he is they still have Matip, Gomez and Fabinho they can play there. Not exactly scrubs are they?

    Aguero will be back for Citeh in a few weeks with another interlull to break that up, Jesus wont be far behind and they still have Sterling, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez and Ferran Torres in the mean time.

    For all your Spurs praise they sit only 2 points ahead of us and have only won 3 of their 6 matches so far. Thats with Kane and Son literally playing at their absolute peak level thats clearly unsustainable over a season.

  88. Pierre

    A week or 2 ago , Charlie and Pedro ( and Marko) was 100% behind Arteta , defended every single decision he made and the style of football we are playing.

    Marko cannot deny what his eyes are telling him, reality is starting to sink in that Arteta really needs to change something to put a spark into the side, charlie and Pedro are starting to waver in their belief .

    Defending every decision Arteta was making is a naive road tò take, the list is getting longer and it’s a worry for any supporter of Arsenal fotball clùb that Arteta is repeating the same mistakes as Emery.
    Is AMN next in the list for giving his ill advised support to Ozil in a press conference last week …we will see..

    The thing is , charlie and pedro losing faith (albeit only slightly) is a little premature.
    There was enough from our performance in the first half v leicester to give encouragement.

    Yes , the result went the wrong way but a little luck and better decision making from VAR and we could have been sitting in 2nd place.

    Arteta is a winner , he won’t like the fact that we lost at home to Leicester, but he won’t panic.
    I would expect Arsenal to get a result v united , it may not be pretty and we may be in for some drab fotball in the league for the next 6 weeks or so but i can’t believe that Arteta is happy with the quality of our attacking play and will be trying his hardest to rectify it…

  89. Dissenter

    The hope of any gooner is that they will keep bottling it.

    However tell me that you weren’t perturbed in the least after we got smashed in Bake and Spuds were heading into a 90 minute CL final with Liverpool?

    It’s football, the craziest and most unlikeliest things happen like Denmark winning the Euros and Leicester wining the league with an average of 46% possession.
    I hope they crash and burn but Liverpool can’t even deputize Fabhino as fullback for one month. Aguero is back in the sick bay for another month; that’s the craziness of this season.
    Maybe I just like to worry. I’m just trying to look at it without the biased lenses.

  90. MidwestGun

    Sal _
    Papa Sok plays right back.. and I’m gonna need therapy. Would like to see mostly youth.. Don’t want to see Saka or Partey or Auba or any rescue party though. Save it for the League.

    Imagine Eddie will get a go up top.

  91. salparadisenyc


    Think were safe regarding Sok as he’s not in the European squad.

    Lets solve a few mysteries for some, find some confidence for others, I put Laca in just to torture him he’s been that irritating.

    R Nelson________________________Pepe

  92. Marc

    “and Spuds were heading into a 90 minute CL final with Liverpool?”

    No my faith in the football God’s is complete.

    The reason Arsenal are struggling is because you lot are not worthy of the love of the football God’s – unlike me.

  93. MidwestGun

    Sal- that lineup works for me.. But I still think Eddie will get a go. Also, not sure about Tierney would like to see him get a game off.

    I think we should be able to beat the Fighting Leprechauns with it.. If not all hell will break loose such as you have never seen. .

  94. Marc

    ManU have Leipzig later we’re playing a pub team from Ireland and will have a day less to recover etc.

    I don’t want to see any of our genuine first choice even on the bench tomorrow.

  95. Dissenter

    Yea, there is a god after all
    Can you imagine if the ref had not give than penalty against Sissoko early in the CL and Poch’s tactics had worked to drag it into extra time and nick it one goal.

    What would have happened to us?
    Glory halleluiah, we lived to moan another day.

  96. Ishola70

    Why did we get Pepe when Ziyech was available at that price.

    We paid double the amount for Pepe. That is just absolutely absurd.

    I’m sorry but there is a difference in a player tearing it up in the French League in comparison to a player who was impressing in the later stages of the Champions League.

  97. Rich


    The metrics have moved, I made the case for Emery needing time as well, until he lost the dressing room and his position became untenable.

    Most were labelling our recruitment the best ever summer 2019, I did warn that we’d actually taken ourselves backwards and not forwards.

    Our level right now is
    3rd/4th overachievement
    5th/6th hitting par
    7th/8th slightly under par

    The margins will be small, there’s not much between that cluster of teams.

    I’m more interested in how the team develops over the course of the season, and the structures put in place to build from.

    This was always a 3.5 year project requiring stability and much better decision making.

    Having a knee jerk reaction then starting again from scratch, puts us backwards, not forwards.

    I think we’ll gradually improve as the season progresses, all the best teams have stability, cohesion and a level of continuity running through them.

    Klopp didn’t sign a single player the summer after winning the CL, but he had signed Fabinho, VVD and Alisson in the 3 previous windows, which took them from defensively suspect, and turned them into the best side in Europ

    Arsene only signed Lehmann the summer before we became invincible

    Think of the our famous back 5, the class of 93 at United

    Pep inherited the most expensively assembled squad in history, spent £200mill, and finished 3rd and pot-less, then spent another £180mill, then another €65mill on a centre half in the Jan, to win the league cup + league, then won the domestic treble, now he’s lost experienced heads like Silva and Kompany, he needs to build again

    We need to accept our current level, we’ve been in the Europa for 4 seasons now, that’s not an accident, that’s the reality of the current level of our squad, and how poorly we’ve been managed right the way through the club.

    We need to tidy up our squad, move some deadwood, add some more dynamism, and build some cohesion and stability, thats going to take time, certainly longer than 10 months.