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. Marc

    Pierre

    You really need to stop the obsession with Ozil. I agree with a good part of your post but

    “Is AMN next in the list for giving his ill advised support to Ozil in a press conference last week …we will see..”

    AMN hasn’t been dropped because of that – he’s been dropped because he’s 2nd rate at best. The correct criticism of Arteta on AMN is he’s another example of Arteta not being able to let players leave.

  2. Champagne charlie

    Ishola

    Eredivisie has been a huge blind spot for us for years it seems, weird oversight when Ajax were such an obvious hub of talent there a couple of years ago.

    Could go through their side and think you’re getting an enviable talent left and right. Sure there’s still a few there that would instantly improve us.

  3. Ishola70

    Marc
    “How many players did we sell this summer TW?”

    Ziyech was available before this summer and for a discount price in comparison to what we paid for Pepe.

    Raul was sacked because of the Pepe transfer episode.

    Say no more.

  4. Pierre

    Marc
    As you know , my comment was nothing to do with Ozil, nice try though

    AMN hasn’t played one minute of football since his comment …

    Personally, I believe the role that ceballos struggled with v leicester would be ideal for AMN

    AMN has more explosive pace, better defensively and is more creative…ceballos struggled in all aspects v leicester as it was not his natural position .

    AMN has all the attributes to succeed in that role.

  5. Marc

    Ishola

    That’s fine but right now have we replaced him with better? What was our transfer business like under Mislintat?

    Pepe isn’t working out but as much of that is on the manager.

  6. Marc

    Pierre

    AMN is a very average player. In a year or two he’ll be playing for a lower PL team and a year or two after that he’ll be in the Championship.

  7. Ishola70

    Marc

    “Pepe isn’t working out but as much of that is on the manager.”

    Well if we look at the two players on their own and forget about managers Ziyech is clearly the more rounded and mature player. It’s not even close. And he went for half the price of Pepe.

  8. CORNISH GOONER

    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?

  9. Rich

    Ishola70

    The Pepe signing was on Raul, Emery wanted Zaha.

    Handing idiotic bureaucrats jobs they’re not qualified to do, rarely ends well.

    The power goes to their heads

    Why Raul thought he was more qualified to identify our targets, and take charge of our transfer business in summer 2019, instead of allowing our head coach to be advised by our scouts, to identify how we could improve?

    I have no idea…..

  10. Marc

    Ishola

    Mislintat has been held up as a hero on here and still doesn’t get any grief.

    How many of his players are still at the club? Those out on loan are just because we couldn’t get a fee for them.

    We had a stack of players we needed to sell – how many went? None.

    Let’s say Pepe is a dud – Tierney and Martinelli look like great signings and if Arteta can get his head out of his arse we should have a player in Saliba.

  11. Calypso

    Rich

    Your approach is old fashioned and won’t wash with fans eager for success.
    Arsenal have been sleeping for far too long to be gambling with
    a coach who.may sometime in the future find his feet.

  12. Graham62

    Pepe needs to be given a free reign by Arteta if he’s going to give anything to AFC.

    He’s being caged in by a structure and system that is stifling him.

    Let him loose against Dundalk. Give him the opportunity to plan things for himself. He needs the shackles removed if he’s going to stand any chance of benefiting the team.

    Come on Mikel stop all this theoretical shite and let the blood flow.

  13. Marc

    Rich

    The idea was a good one and similar to what they do at Liverpool. Unfortunately Mislintat who was supposed to be shit hot was fucking awful, Emery according to most on here needed to be sacked and WE COULD NOT AFFORD ZAHA.

    Can you blame Sanllehi for taking it into his own hands. Tierney, Martinelli look great and Saliba should be a great signing – if he’d gone to the Spud’s who were also after him people would’ve gone mental on here.

  14. Pierre

    Marc
    “AMN is a very average player. In a year or two he’ll be playing for a lower PL team and a year or two after that he’ll be in the Championship.”

    Strangely enough, he is considered in the top 20/30 English players atm.

    All i ever hear on here is how our academy players will be in the championship in a year or 2.

    I’m sure you and the rest of the kn were saying exactly the same thing a year or 2 ago…

    So do you think that despite being chosen for England he is not considered good enough to play in the europa v rapid. ..

  15. Nelson

    Pierre

    Those are three midfielders quickly put together with no chemistry among them. In the 1st half, Leicester gave them lots of room but they didn’t know how to use it. In the 2nd half, Leicester came up and played, they looked even worse. Arteta blamed on players fatigue. I blamed on the players badly trained.

  16. Graham62

    Being a coach requires flexibility and an understanding of what is really needed for each player . Not all players thrive on regimental methods.

    I for one think that Arteta needs to take his head out of his coaching books on this one.

    There is a player in there somewhere.

    Let him be free.

  17. Marc

    Pierre

    “Strangely enough, he is considered in the top 20/30 English players atm.”

    England have a handful of players who are better than OK. Number’s 20 – 30 are shit and a national embarrassment.

    Until supporters see this the national team will continue to be a joke.

  18. Marc

    sal

    Mislintat pissed more money up the wall than Sanllehi did but has never had a negative comment on here outside of me.

    You should also remember it was Sanllehi who got over £30 million for Iwobi – another 2nd rate player.

  19. Rich

    Marc

    You sign Saliba at 19 for €30 mill

    So you don’t have to sign him at 22/23 for €80mill.

    There’s plenty of time for us to get a return on that investment, and it’s not like Mourinho has any form for developing young players

    I’m still a bit perplexed as why we’ve collected 8 centre half’s though?

    Maybe Arteta’s plan is to play 8 across the back, with Partey sitting just in front?

  20. Marc

    Rich

    So the Saliba signing was a good move by Sanllehi? Tierney and Martinelli (providing Arteta doesn’t fuck him up) both look great signings.

    My point is time and time again people are on a witch hunt against Sanllehi – he gave us a better summer than Mislintat ( a favourite on here) and better than anything Wenger gave us for years.

  21. Marko

    What you actually mean is anyone that doesn’t share your POV is biased and wrong.

    No your biased comes when you specifically go after players that you clearly don’t like instead of talking about the actual problems. All our forwards not playing well and the manager having and you mostly specify Pepe and one or two others for criticism. Ceballos is another one despite being statistically brilliant since the restart it’s Xhaka who should be starting with Partey (despite his form) instead.

    Also the wrong part comes from saying Pepe is worse than Nelson. Things cited like running off the ball, work ethic and direct dribbling is a bit laughable honestly.

  22. Marc

    Midwest

    The good news is we’ve got £28 odd million of wages coming off the wage bill next summer for non squad players.

    Luiz’s contract also expires but between the chance he’ll get another year and the dispute over whether he’s on £200 million a year or £500 million a year plus VAT it’s hard to comment on that one.

  23. Champagne charlie

    “No your biased comes when you specifically go after players that you clearly don’t like instead of talking about the actual problems.“

    Yea you’re right Marko, this doesn’t sound like what you say is right whatsoever…

    Now you go ahead and tell me what the “actual problems” are, because obviously what I’ve stated as MY issues with the current side is incorrect by your assessment.

    Your continued frozen hot takes on the subject of bias are the only laughable thing here.

  24. Calypso

    Rich

    We’ve heard all this before with Wenger, how he should be given time to build a new team which never materialised.
    Let’s stop pissing about with pipe dreams and get someone in who knows what he’s doing.

  25. salparadisenyc

    Marc

    A £72m spend, the club record on what can only be described at this moment as a dud, in a deal that then leads to you’r getting shit canned after owner brings in attorney to oversee that deal is a pretty good description of the bottom for me.

    To shed more light have a look at summer we just had, £27m on a CB thats got enough quality to build the back four around, Partey and Willian on a free. Thats 3 players that cost same in transfer fee as Raul’s Pepe, I know who i’d rather have spending the cash.

  26. Rich

    Calypso

    Emery had success at Lorca, Almeria, Valencia, Sevilla and PSG.

    He took a lot of stick, but he was an experienced manager, who had some communication issues, but a very good CV., and a decent first season,

    Our problems as still much the same, we need to work our way out of it the old fashioned way, through:

    Hard work
    Common sense
    Pragmatism
    Patience

    Far too many in society want instant gratification, success isn’t earned that way, success is built through hard work, combined with making lots of good decisions, and bouncing back from bad decisions quickly.

  27. Graham62

    If Arsenal play against Dundalk tomorrow evening, as they have been doing over the past two months, I’ll go frigging ballistic.

  28. Marko

    Eredivisie has been a huge blind spot for us for years it seems

    You’re consistent I’ll give you that.

    WE you see this shit Upamecano AND Konate starting with Orban on the bench. What the hell

  29. Rich

    Calypso

    And that’s Arteta’s fault?

    You want to sack a manager who’s been here 10 months, because the 2 previous managers failed to win a title in the 15 years before he took the job?

    Seems fair,…

    Really hard to argue with that logic, you win.

    #ArtetaOut

  30. GunnerDNA

    Rich,

    “Far too many in society want instant gratification, success isn’t earned that way, success is built through hard work, combined with making lots of good decisions, and bouncing back from bad decisions quickly.”

    You have a point but the good decision for Arsenal is to get a better manager. It’s years since Arsenal mount a title challenge and Mikel is NOT the manager to change that. It’s best to get one of the better manager who’s available than continue experimenting with Tets, when it’s obvious he’s out of his depth. Kloop was available and because of fearing change AW wasn’t replace and fast forward to 2020 Arsenal still needs a manager. Arsenal need to make the change now before United, CFC and PSG hire them. I wouldn’t bet against Mikel been the worse manager in the league. He’s somewhere between Scott Parker, OGS and Fat Frank. There’s nothing special about him.

  31. Pierre

    Graham
    AMN
    “”The squad is behind Mesut, we’re a team and that’s always going to be the case until Mesut decides to make his decision on what he wants to do and say,”

    Despite heading the press conference before the rapid game , he didn’t get on .
    Very rare for a player to be chosen to talk to the media before a game and then ot play.

  32. Buzzy

    Apart from scoring a goal which was clearly offside United have done fuckall…parking a fucking boeing…sunday should be fun to watch..or maybe not

  33. Marc

    sal

    We’ll see on this summers transfer’s but I think Gabriel and Partey will turn out to be very good signings.

    My point is you argument of “Thats 3 players that cost same in transfer fee as Raul’s Pepe” – Sanllehi got over £30 million for Iwobi – we couldn’t sell anyone we wanted or needed to this summer and Tierney, Saliba and Martinelli are also very good signings.

    Why isn’t Mislintat getting any grief? Torreira £23 million, Leno £23 million (still number one but is that keeper or public enemy), Sokratis £15 million, Guendozi £7 million.

    That come to £68 million and only one is still at the club – what are the odds that we’ll end up getting as much for Pepe if we sell him in a year or two as we do for all of those combined?

  34. Rich

    Calypso

    So it’s Arteta’s fault:

    Kolasinac £120k p/w 5yr deal
    Ozil £350k p/w
    Mustafi £35mill
    Xhaka £35mill
    Perez £17mill
    Sokratis £17mill
    Lacazette £50mill
    Pepe £72mill
    Torreira £26mill
    Chambers £16mill
    Mkhitaryan £170k p/w swapped with Alexis, who we’d turned down £60million for just 5 months earlier
    Welbeck £16mill, but let go on a free
    Ramsey let go on a free
    Wilshere let go on a free

    That we’ve got a £230million wage bill, but Leicester arguably have a better squad of players, and certainly have more balance, and players more suited to this league…

    Give me a break……

    We’re 5 PL games into the season, and you’ve already turned into a serial bedwetter.

  35. Marc

    Rich

    “Xhaka £35mill”

    Yeah that one is on Arteta because he stopped him being sold for £23 million – a fee will never get close to again.

  36. Marc

    Pierre

    It wasn’t supposed to be a prophetic comment – Gabriel has looked excellent value so far and Partey fee aside should fit the basic description for a PL midfielder.

  37. MidwestGun

    Marc-

    I think Arteta may have panicked a bit, he had just taken over, got an offer for Xhaka and didn’t know who he was going to replace him with immediately in that window. and he was tasked with stopping the bleeding very quickly. It’s easy to look back and say now it was bad decision after we won an FA CUP and signed Partey. So I tend to give him a pass on that decision . . I do wonder if he would have made the same decision if we already had Partey? If Yes, then that would concern me greatly, also if he keeps playing them both at same time as mentioned earlier, I don’t see the point. .

    Sal-
    RE: leisure suit. Nagelsmann robbed my Dad’s closet circa 1977.

  38. Pierre

    Mid west
    “. . I do wonder if he would have made the same decision if we already had Partey?”

    The same could be said of mari and gabriel… or cedric and making the decision to keep AMN…

  39. Rich

    GunnerDNA

    Number of Trophies for:
    Arteta – 2
    Fat Frank – 0
    OGS – 0
    Poch- 0

    We’re 6 games in, we’ve lost at City, Liverpool and at home to Leicester, and other than at Anfield, where we still could have snatched a point, we’ve not been completely overrun in anyway, and had key decisions gone our way? Then those games could easily have been interpreted differently by our fan base, football’s a game of small margins.

    We’ve got 3 new players settling in, and we won 2 pieces of silverware in August, which is less than 3 months ago.

    The idea that if we just changed the manager, we’d become title contenders inside the next couple of seasons, with a group of players hardly anyone rates, and without huge investment, is completely delusional.

    Far too many fans are having a competition between themselves over who can have the biggest mental breakdown.

    It’s embarrassing.

  40. MidwestGun

    Pierre-
    I suppose.. we will never know for sure what all the behind the scene thought processes were, But those super early ones in January, I tend to give more leniency too .Last, Summer and now. Not so much

  41. Aussie+Gooner

    Graham

    “Come on Mikel stop all this theoretical shite and let the blood flow.”

    Spot on – all the stast, XGs and analysis in the world won’t win a game. Team cohesion and individual brilliance will! Time to release the beast – none of this sideways/backwards waltzing against a team like Dundalk. No disrespect to them but we should be destroying a team at that level.

  42. Dream10

    I mentioned sacking Arteta for Nagelsmann earlier and he has well and truly been destroyed lol. Awful choice of clothing from him and he has rightly been embarrassed. Upamecano has quality but he also has a mistake in him. He’s definitely a strong candidate for two or three cards a season in the PL.

  43. Dissenter

    Pirlo’s plight just highlights how difficult is is for young managers, regardless of how saucy they may be.
    At least Arteta has won a trophy against all odds already. We just have to give him time to sort out his shite…growing pains and all.

  44. salparadisenyc

    Radio

    Early days on Pirlo, 4 points of top in Serie A can see tonight he’s trying to get them into a different style was pretty laboured, going to take time but they did find net three times all disallowed. Minus CR7.

    Exciting league, no idea where it goes for once.

  45. WengerEagle

    Not sure how much of a plight it is, that was his first his 1st loss of the season tonight.

    They won matchday 1 in the CL, were without Ronaldo tonight against Barcelona.

    Hardly disasterous.

  46. Ashburton

    We will need a new manager after this weekend. Those fast utd forwards will fill their boots against our managements academy football style shite football.

  47. Valentin

    Marc,

    You are rewriting history. You are trying to rehabilitate Raul when it is clear that there was undeleting reasons why he got sacked. Raul was power hungry and as soon as he came in try to throw his weight around to get his players in. He had not yet officially started that he was already trying to influence proceedings. If it had been up to him, we would have bought Malcolm instead of Aubameyang, and for more money.

    Mislintat is a specialist in recruiting young hot property, but was systematically overruled by a boss more interested in recruiting “experience”. That’s why he left. Not every Mislintat purchase turn our to be good signing, but at least he was trying to get young hungry players instead of becoming Chelsea retirement home.

    On the other hand, nearly all the players Raul imposed turned out to be expensive dud. That’s one of the reasons why he got sacked.

  48. RockyRoe

    Say what you will but Bamford with his utd forecasts would end up owing a lot of you, if he turn out to be right. Weren’t there bets here?

  49. Pierre

    Interestingly ( to me anyway) looking back over our europa, league cup and fa cup ties last season, our kids did very well.

    Willock , Martinelli , nelson , saka , Guendouzi and smith rowe all featured regularly and results were positive.

    We were knocked out of the league cup in the quarters on pens by liverpool after a thrilling 5-5 draw.
    We went on to win the fa cup with the kids playing an important part in the early rounds.
    We qualified from the group stages with ease in europa and the home defeat to Olympiakos in which we were eliminated didnt really feature the kids.

    Sadly ,tomorrow Guendouzi is not involved, nor is Saliba or Martinelli.
    Smith rowe , Nketiah, Willock and Nelson have already shown last aeason that they can be trusted to put in good performances and get a result.

    I was baffled as to why willock , nelson and smith rowe did not start v rapid and Nketiah was played on the left wing.

    Arteta then used fatigue as an excuse for our defeat to Leicester.
    As far as I’m concerned he should have left rhe experienced players at home resting, maybe he doesn’t trust the kids though I’m not sure why.

  50. RockyRoe

    Saw gabby in training pics today.

    I kid you not, if arteta does not integrate the lad when he gets back due to some personal power play, I’ll fucking lose it.

  51. RockyRoe

    Pierre

    Some of you comments on page 1 were excellent.

    I completely agree that that the team needs to be taking some risks in progressing play and right now we are far to scared to turning over possession that we end up being far too Conservative and consequently toothless.

  52. Marko

    Dariano popping up to remind us how lucky we are to have Bamford hopefully perma banned for being a fucking lunatic idiot.

    WEi have absolutely no idea why you’re taking a victory lap considering our argument back in the day was over Konate and Orban being THE partnership for Leipzig and how Upamecano was 3rd choice and last I checked Konate played tonight.

  53. Pierre

    RockyRoe
    Agree , Martinelli could be the missing ingredient with his directness and could transform our offensive play.

    As you pointed out , Arteta does have some doubts about Martinelli as he was reluctant to include him before he was injured .

    It’s not only on the pitch we need to take a few more risks , it’s off the pitch with selections and formations that Arteta needs to make some changes.

    I think , for the time being he will remain cautious in the league games so i wouldn’t expect too much open expansive football anytime soon.

    Tomorrow night hopefully will be different though.

  54. Nelson

    I thought that the squad list can be revised in January. Why Arteta registers Calum and Holding and not PapaSok. I can’t believe Calum and Holding will be ready to play in Nov. and in Dec. Now he has to play Mustafi who is not yet match fit. We are down to 2 CB’s and we have two games in four nights.

  55. Marko

    Arteta: “I feel really bad for William Saliba. Because we had so many central defenders we decided to leave him out of the [Europa League] squad, which was really hurtful for me to do. I was hoping that Pablo [Mari] would be back in two weeks, but he had a setback,”

    Worrying comments.

  56. Marko

    Arteta on Aubameuang: ‘Of course, there’s a very strong possibility to play him as a [number] nine.’

    Oh that’s nice. That’s actual progress by the manager…

  57. Pierre

    Arteta
    “”I feel really bad for William Saliba,” Arteta said. “Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.”

    Maybe he should rephrase that and say it was a really stupid thing for me to do ..
    4 goalkeepers in the Europa squad but no saliba or sokratis..

  58. WengerEagle

    Marko

    You were trying to be clever bringing up Orban/Upa argument we had on here way back, disappeared sharpish enough after your 60m touted boy gave a performance that Titus Bramble would have winced at.

    He was laughably bad.

  59. Marko

    Again WE the argument was he was 3rd choice behind Konate and Orban because Konate was the superior player and last I checked he played tonight too. But you take that lap lad I’ll eagerly await the next hot take

  60. Dissenter

    I didn’t realize that Arteta included Mari in the EL squad until now
    He included a lad that played less than 100 minutes for Arsenal and never proved his quality … even though he was injured long term.
    He left out a young talent that’s highly rated and we paid 289 million for.

    It’s not a stretch to think he’s made a very bad error, hope it wont be a recurring pattern.

  61. WengerEagle

    You were the one bringing it up earlier waving Marko Jr about, yeah Konate played too but Upa was the worst player on the pitch by a country mile, was single handedly at fault for 3 of the goals. Dont remember you creaming yourself over any player as much as you have about Upanecano on here.

    Orban probably should have played eh?

  62. Dissenter

    Pierre
    I agree with you about that EL squad
    It’s a very tragic error, he picked an 18 year old goalie as 4th keeper who is not a senior player by any stretch.

  63. Dream10

    At this moment, don’t think we can trust Arteta with whatever he says regarding personnel. Sounds like a guy who is running interference for the executives.

  64. Leftfootcurler

    Dream

    No point listening to Arteta talking about players.

    Better to look at his actions.

    I stopped listening to Arteta since he said laca is his type of 9 and dropping him for Nketiah the very next game.

    What he speaks is irrelevant.

    Actions matter.

  65. Bojangles

    “Personally I find Rich a bit left wing.”

    Lol but I see where you’re coming from Mark, I find Steve Bannon a bit left wing compared to yourself.

  66. Freddie Ljungberg

    Mustafi has denied that he’s been offered a new contract but he wants to stay, the way Arteta talks about him is worrying too, hope we don’t double down on that mistake.

    Martinelli back in training with the group and could be available in a couple of weeks, great news (if he gets games)

    With only 2 CBs available in Europe and Mustafi just getting back from a long term injury it would be nice to see Saliba getting some game time against Man U.
    Not the ideal first game to play but that’s on Artetas bad planning.

    Nelson rejected going out on loan this summer so that explains why he’s still here, doesn’t explain why we’re playing our strikers out of position though.

    It’s not really rocket science how we can up the creativity, atm we only have 1 creative player at the pitch at the same time, either on the right in Pepe, who seldom gets the ball, or on the left in Saka.
    No one in midfield.

    All this just to squeeze in an extra underperforming striker, an extra underperforming CB, and to protect Xhaka.

    If we play Auba middle, Saka left and Pepe right with Willian behind we have 3 players that can create for Auba, all 3 can also score, even if they’re not prolific.

    Hope we’ll see a lot of youngsters tonight, and Xhaka.

  67. Dark Hei

    Just realised that Pep, Prilo and Arteta have one thing in common. They played in the same position during their playing days with similar style (Arteta joining belatedly to the party via Arsenal).

  68. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pepe needs some continuity above all, he’s been in and out of the team regardless of how he performs.
    He scores one or 2 goals in one game and then he’s benched the next game, he gets and assist or 2 in one game and then he’s benched again. No rhyme or reason behind it.

    We paid a fuckton of money for him and the talent is obviously there so give him the opportunity to show it. Preferably with some support on the pitch. If he then fails it’s on him.

  69. Guns of SF

    i dont see Pepe as talented more so than any average winger in the EPL…
    most are quick, can beat their man, score and put in crosses.
    What makes Pepe so special? He is a one dimensional player with one dominant foot. All this talk of supporting him does not make sense when he himself never changes his game. I did see he tried a right footed cross once last season…. yipee!

    I would go with a natural right footer ( Reiss) who is stronger, and a decent dribbler and scorer too.
    Pepe loses the ball so much that when he actually dribbles a few times it seems like he is the second coming of messi. but he actually just did some normal dribbling.

    Uncle Raul was looking out for number one, when he gave the fans a new shiny toy that summer named Pepe. Only thing is that it broke fast and there was no warranty

  70. raptora

    Makes sense to gang on Raul when we were all ecstatic when Pepe transfer happened. Most of us thought it’s a pipe dream we could pull an insane talent like him. Raul was adored by fans at the time. Everyone was over the moon. I legit thought we are buying a Hazard type of talent.

    Why are we trashing Raul for a transfer 99% of Arsenal fans would have done in the blink of an eye? That it hasn’t worked since then is why everything is easier to see in hindsight.

    Just reading some articles and opinions at the time, I also remember watching a twitter video of fans so happy shaking his hands thanking him, calling him Don Raul, our savior. Other fans wanted him knighted, name a stand after him, a statue. Everyone thought we are making a coup, a game changing transfer that could skyrocket us to the elites.

    It’s not fair to put all the blame on him when we all would have done it.

  71. Guns of SF

    I think your right Raptora, it was hard to see what would happen to Pepe. Perhaps a lot more more scouting and with Emery having more of a voice would have helped. That $ could have landed Zaha. Emery is on record stating he even spoke with Zaha about coming.

    But because of Wenger’s pitfalls, Emery was only a coach… with very little say in transfers.
    So Raul, and I do think he was also working to keep himself in good graces got the big fish for us. However, as we know now, the Kroenkes are pissed and even hired the new attorney fella to oversee things.

    OTOH, if Pepe was as good or better, all of us would be calling him the Don….

    I just think we need to be careful with these one hit wonders from Ligue 1. They are great there but EPL is a different beast.

  72. Leftfootcurler

    What makes Nicolas Pepe special?

    Outstanding footwork (dribbling)
    Ability to take shots off with the curl he gets,with minimal back lift.
    That makes it hard to stop him from taking shots and doesn’t give the GK enough time to set himself.

    Why isn’t he effective?

    1)His dribbling is nullified because he loses control of the ball under physical challenges.
    Lacks upper body strength.
    He needs to bulk up.

    2)Doesn’t get into good positions to receive the ball.
    And doesn’t get into good shooting positions.

    This nullifies his shooting ability.

    If he improves on these two aspects,he would be a world class player.

    He is clearly a world class talent

  73. Guns of SF

    Left foot

    All those things are valid points, but he has been here a little while now, why have they not been addressed?

    I think Arteta is of the mind, to give Pepe the ball and then he expects him to score worldies or something

    OTOH I think players themselves know what they need to work on, and I dont see any visible improvements If there were, I would acknowledge it.

    I do hope Pepe can give us something this season… I think personally having AMN behind him would help… He would not have to cover and drop back as much as he does now….

  74. Leftfootcurler

    Guns

    Bulking up takes time.
    You can’t do that in just one day.

    As for improvement in positioning and movement is concerned,Arteta has been working on it.

    Saka had neither when he first broke in the team.

    He has them now, which is clearly as a result of coaching.

    Players’ improve at different rates.

    Saka has improved quickly.
    Pepe hasn’t.