HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE SOLUTIONS FOR ARSENAL

by .

Well hello angry people. How are you today? I am still a bit bummed about the result at the weekend. It was really bad. Still, we can’t cave. We have to move forward and imagine ways this could be made better.

I think there are two issues we have going on at the moment that need addressing ASAP.

  1. The system doesn’t produce enough high-quality chances
  2. The system relies on elite finishing to finish the few chances that are created
  3. Our elite finishers are out of form, big time

Now, there’s a lot of debate going on about which is the bigger problem there. Are our big names struggling in a restrictive system? Perhaps. But there’s been a little too much good noise coming out of the club to assume that the players are playing badly because they are sad.

The system wasn’t the problem 6 months ago, it was the solution. But maybe too many things have to go right for that system to work. Living off low xG can only exist if you have someone like Auba absolutely on fire. He’s not on fire at the moment, he’s the opposite, and no one else has stepped up.

We’re not going to get back to form by fine margins-ing our way out. I think we need to try something different. We have learnt that fine margins is not good enough for top four. We have learnt that it’s quite miserable to watch. We clearly don’t have the players to be Atleti at the moment.

We do have good players though. We also have a good manager and lots of smart young coaches and analysts. I don’t think we can live in a world where we let Arteta off the hook because he doesn’t have the perfect squad. He needs to move on a new idea. Arsenal simply has to find the right balance.

Fans have ideas as well. I think most of them revolve around taking an L on Lacazette and Willian for a little bit, but there are more, so keep reading.

TOP THINKING:

PEPE: Could the Ivorian be deployed more centrally. We touched on this the other day. It’s a wild idea, but it ‘might’ be wild enough to make sense.

The player is a bit of an enigma. He’s been dross out on the wing. Awful. But what has added to that? Well, he’s generally smashed off the ball, and if he’s not, he has to work his way through a lot of players out wide. Could playing through the middle be better for him? Would it win us more penalties? Would playing off the last defender be better for his style of game?

Could he work well as a two with Auba? Let’s look at what he’s good at. He is a handful, defenders do not like what he represents, imaginative, tricky, with a rocket shot. He’s fast with the ball at his feet, a lot faster than Lacazette, and he smashes low shots like Anelka in his prime. He’s also good with his head, standing at 6ft tall, it’s much better to lob balls at him than Lacazette. His quick passing in tight spaces might work well with Auba.

It’s a stretch, but weirder things have worked… like, Thierry as a striker when he arrived as a winger.

AUBA: No one complained about Auba on the left when he was scoring goals out there. Well, now he’s not. He’s barely touching the ball. Lacazette touched it about 5 times, which Mike McDonald who blogs here called correctly: that means the manager has said don’t pass to him or the players simply don’t trust him. Both bad for him. Lacazette through the middle needs retiring. Auba is at his best, when he’s sniffing out chances in the 6-yard area. He’s a fox in the box and we’ve put him out wide where he’s next to useless at the moment. Let’s put him where he’s going to be most effective.

REISS: Look, he’s a bit all over the place, but he can be a player on his day, and he knows he’s in the last chance saloon. He’s fast, he’s very direct, and he looked good when Arteta started him way back when. Can it be any worse than Pepe or Willian? That’d be very tough. Not impossible though.

WILLOCK: Joe has been given two chances in the Europa League and delivered both times. He has never really done it in the Premier League, but now would be a good time to try something. With Partey in the side, could his quick passing, smart runs, and love for a shot be what we need? Maybe. Sometimes you have to take a player that’s not quite there to give you more balance. All our best pieces on the pitch don’t work at the moment. Could Joe give us something more interesting?

BIG LESSONS: I wrote back in July that you can’t coach character. I still stand by that. Players that consistently let you down will always let you down. Mikel seems to have gotten a little high off of some of the things he saw last season and he doubled down on people he should have moved on.

Now we are where we are and this is the way.

He chose to spend £250k a week on a 32-year-old looking for a retirement deal.

He chose to tie Auba down to a longterm deal in his thirties instead of cashing in.

He and his backroom team did not add a creative loan to the team and they chose to omit Mesut Ozil.

He won’t hide from those decisions, because he can’t, but that means he has to make them work, which is why I am very confident he’ll get it right. Arteta cannot afford to fail in his first job.

As fans, we can either cry like children every time we lose… or we can trust in one of the best young coaches in the world. He is the right choice of candidate. We are the poorest club in the top 8, our squad is still a mess, and we cannot afford one of those fancy managers everyone assumes would come here with limited funds.

This is a tough job. Really tough. This is his first major test of faith. We’ve been drossy all season, we’ve had little to smile about, now it’s time to get smart and take some risks in a better version of Arsenal. It can and will be done. Just keep the faith

Over to you, Mikel.

588 Responses to “HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE SOLUTIONS FOR ARSENAL”

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  1. Ishola70

    Raptora

    One was born in Germany and the other moved to Germany when she was young.

    They ain’t coming up with no vaccine in Istanbul.

    German model. German company.

    German victory over covid.

    Prussian Turks if we are being kind.

  2. Daniel Altos

    I liked trump, he was a beast of a man. Suprised joe biden won. We are in civil war here in Etbiopia it started seven days ago. I amnot joking. Etbiopia is a country with over 110 million population from 80diffrent ethnic groups. Its chaos in here. If trump was our leader we would have been in serious trouble even our current Nobel prize winner leader abiy ahmed, is struggling to bring peace amony ethnic groups.

    A year after the Pm won the Nobel Peace price,ethiopia is sliding into a second civil war and Abey is stoling the flames,so you have to question people who give out these awards because even before he won it,there were plenty of people sceptical about his credentials.

  3. Marc

    Daniel

    You’ve had the same situation with Myanmar – give someone the Nobel Peace Prize and then they over see genocide.

    Too many Snowflakes have to much to say.

  4. Daniel Altos

    MarcNovember 11, 2020 11:06:53
    DanielYou’ve had the same situation with Myanmar – give someone the Nobel Peace Prize and then they over see genocide.Too many Snowflakes have to much to say.

    Yes marc,its embarassing really,the integrity of this whole thing has gone straight to the toilet

  5. Samesong

    Mikel Arteta was in no mood to find excuses for our defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.

    Our manager was asked whether this was just one of those unfortunate results that comes along sometimes in football – but he had a blunt response.

    “Not for big teams,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “Big teams can’t afford that. We cannot afford that. You win a football match, two football matches, three.

    “We expect to win every game and this is the standard that we have to set. So if someone believes that winning one or two games is good enough, they’re completely wrong and I’m not going to accept that.

    “I’m not going to accept that mindset at all and it’s obviously not what this club deserves. It’s my full responsibility and now I have to find a way to do it.

    “I think that since I arrived here, it’s the first time that I’ve felt that we performed really under our standards and what we are trying to set at this football club. It’s unacceptable.

    “I would like to have a game tomorrow morning to get this one out of the system. But as well, in difficult and bad moments, you get a lot of things. I want to see how people react, how players react and if we start to blame each other or if we just look at ourselves in the mirror and then try to become much better than what we’ve shown tonight, which we are.

    “Then, after that, get everybody back together and get the fighting spirit, the belief and the commitment that we’ve shown since I got here, into every game.

  6. Nelson

    Samesong

    We all know now that Arteta is a very good talker. When he bin Ozil (my guess is an order from KSE), he was talking like he knew exactly how he can build an offense with the players he chose. Now we found out that his knowledge of offense is very limited. His offense is one of the worse in the EPL. The idea of asking Auba to cross the ball to Laca and Willian is one of the worse plan of attack. I have my doubt Arteta knows how to build the offense.even after we sign an ACM, He needs an offense coordinator. The first task is to use Auba and Pepe efficiently.

    At least with Gabriel and Luiz our defense should be more organized and solid. Partey should stabilize our midfield. I don’t think Arteta will change his defense system after he has spent a year to build it up. He may come up with a flexible system when we have the ball.

  7. London gunner

    If grealish gets to a top club he could be the next Beckham in turns of marketing profile.

    Very strange he signed on for an extended at villa honestly think he could get a spot in top English teams.

  8. Dissenter

    Pepe’s lamentations to canal Plus which was picked up by the DM.
    ‘ My goal is to play more. Have a little more playing time,’ Pepe told French outlet Canal Plus.

    ‘A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.
    He [Arteta] wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend”

    The daily mail twisted the interview slightly but it’s obvious that the lad is not happy.

  9. S Asoa

    Are’s log on Pepe’s frustration

    “ At the time, I think we thought we knew why we were bringing him in, to add experience and a player who could slot in and immediately produce at Premier League level. I always thought the three year contract was a bad idea, but as is often the way with a new signing, you find yourself looking at it through the most optimistic lens you can. Right now, I’ll fully accept that Willian might improve – he’s certainly capable of much better than this – but on the basis of what we’ve seen thus far, a three month deal would have been generous.

    The other issue is that it has clearly had a negative impact on Pepe. I don’t particularly mean in terms of the challenge provided by another player in his position. That’s something he, and every player, has to deal with in their careers. We want competition for places, but that only works if there’s actual competition. Willian playing the way he does every week and keeping his place isn’t competition, it’s favouritism. Pepe lost his place after working hard on what Arteta wanted, that’s got to knock your confidence. Again, it’s up to him to knuckle down and fight for his place, but it can be demoralising when your reward for improvement is being downgraded to the bench and the Europa League squad.

    The one chink of light I see is this: Whatever Arteta expected he might get from Willian, he’s clearly not getting it, not with his performances and not with his attitude which, to me anyway, looks questionable. Arsenal need to improve from an attacking perspective, and quickly. We need players who can produce goals and assists, who can provide some unpredictability to our attack, some drive, some variety. Pepe is one of those players. “

  10. London gunner

    Its far to soon to write off mikel yet.

    As I said from the very beginning we were never getting top 4 with this awful squad.

    Fith finish is a very good season in this competitive league.

    6th is satisfactory

    7th is poor

    8th is sackable

  11. S Asoa

    Mikel Arteta is useful and could stay.
    KSE however messed up making him a manager. Arteta is hardworking. But he needs a brilliant tactician above. With Arteta a lazy brilliant tactician who people don’t want, Arteta as Head Coach could make that guy a Masterclass

  12. Nelson

    “we were never getting top 4 with this awful squad. ”

    We have one of the worst offense. But on paper, Auba, Laca and Pepe is one of the most expensive front three. It can’t all be the fault of the players.

  13. Just Another Customer

    what’s that about his ambition to reacl CL final by third season?

    suddenly top 4 isn’t the objective anymore this season

    bollocks to that

  14. Pierre

    Daniel Altos

    Nice link . .”A 4-2-3-1, morphing into a 2-3-5 shape in possession, not only sought to fill up the five attacking channels, but also provided a structure for counter-pressing after the ball was lost. Build-up emphasized probing with possession in search of openings, either to Mesut Ozil in the inside-right space, or out to the overlapping left-back, allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to attack the box in the final phase despite nominally playing wide. It did not always come off, but when it did, a world of possibility seemed to open up.”

    Apparently all went wrong directly after lockdown..

  15. Pierre

    people seem to forget that before lockdown, Arsenal got themselves in contention for a champions league spot..

    The talk was positive, we were the only unbeaten team in europe domestically this year and although it wasn’t perfect, there was a definite feel good factor around the club…

    I wonder what’s changed since lockdown

  16. Dissenter

    If Willian was playing well and lighting up every game with brilliance then Pepe/s protestations would be laughable.
    Willian’s signing is proving to be an error with every game he plays, that he’s played ahead of a record signing who to his credit has a better output [albeit still dismal] is a travesty.

    Arteta needs to use the break to have a rethink about his approach to the squad.

  17. Marc

    Dissenter

    Don’t bite – you’ll just get called an obsessive.

    It’s actually getting a worry that someone with such a compulsive mental issue is allowed to walk the streets.

  18. Pierre

    Dissenter
    .the only way Willian will improve is by playing Ozil with him to allow willian to play the game that suits his style.

    One twos, give and goes, triangles , one and 2 touch football, letting the ball do the work…..all parts of the game that willian excels at and all parts of the game that have disappeared from Arsenal’s football in the last 2 years.

  19. Useroz

    “we were never getting top 4 with this awful squad. ”

    Not quite.

    It’s a decent squad that is churning out awful performances and results.

  20. Useroz


    One twos, give and goes, triangles , one and 2 touch football, letting the ball do the work…..all parts of the game that willian excels at and all parts of the game that have disappeared from Arsenal’s football in the last 2 years.“

    Can’t agree more.

    So monotone at the moment, even when we won. Sad affairs.

  21. Pierre

    Yes Marc, what we need is as clear as day , you know it, I know it and everyone else knows it , but I’m the only one who will say it..

    I can guarantee you 100% that Arsenal will be a better football team with Ozil in the side, surely that is what every Arsenal supporter wants ..i know i do.

  22. raptora

    We bought a winger who is our club record signing in Pepe.
    We bought a winger/attacking midfielder who at Chelsea was close of being world class in Willian.
    We extended the contract of our world class striker in Auba.

    Wonder if it was possible to play all 3 of them at the same time. Oh wait… there is…

    Let’s put Willian as the striker with Auba on the left wing!! BOOOM !!! GENIUS! One of the best young coaches in the world, baby. LET’S GO!!!

  23. Marc

    The current PL squad is better than both the results and performances it is providing.

    It’s down to Arteta to do something about that. Pedro’s expectation for the season is “a good season and challenging for the top 4” a good season is too vague to quantify as for a challenge for the top 4 that could be over 2 weeks before Christmas if we don’t seriously up our game.

  24. Nelson

    ” very intelligent!”

    I still agree that Arteta is very intelligent!. He has solved a lot of difficult problems/mess in the team. But he is lacking some knowledge to build an offense. He has tried a lot of things, including playing Willian as false 9. But most of his ideas for the offense sucks. He needs help!

  25. John Munoz

    I like Arteta and do think he deserves more time but it seems to me that he’s dangerously close to getting his man management wrong be retaining faith in poor performers over other options on the bench or even our youth.

    Young players especially tend to be hungry and fearless. Why not give them a run of games?

  26. Nelson

    We can see that Arteta must be a very hard worker. He kept yelling to the players on the sideline. I wonder whether that helps the opponents too. He is telling the opponent what is their problem and how we plan to attack.

  27. Daniel Altos

    CalypsoNovember 11, 2020 13:58:46
    Redtruth got banned for speaking the truth yet bananas like Nelson are given space to spout shit.

    Lol😂Red

  28. Freddie Ljungberg

    https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/11/11/report-arsenal-target-dominik-szoboszlai-expected-to-join-rb-leipzig/

    If He joins them for he reported 17m it’s not enough to fire Edu, he should be taken out back and shot.

    On Saliba last night against Gillingham:

    “He made four clearances, blocked two shots, made one interception, had a pass accuracy of 91% and completed 10 long balls.”

    https://www.givemesport.com/1616284-arsenal-fans-react-to-william-salibas-performance-against-gillingham?autoplay=on

    I’m not buying that he’s not good enough, maybe not ready mentally because of personal issues but no way he wouldn’t walk into our starting XI over Holding.

  29. izzo

    Arteta yelling at the touchline shows he’s a numpty that isn’t taking us anywhere. If he has no confidence this bunch will listen to instructions already agreed on in training then why bother? No experienced manager will be doing that because they have a plan and would let the players execute it on game day. Dude is a control freak and no wonder the team is playing shit. Top professionals don’t need their coach constantly yelling at them all game restricting their freedom to express themselves. I don’t see Arteta changing anything. Pedro is a fantasist who will hang on to this dead horse until he’s sacked. Imagine if fans were allowed back in. The boos will be raining in already.

  30. Marko

    Yeah it was to be expected that Szoboszlai would join Leipzig. But given some people’s reaction to that type of signing and where they basically have to wait and see him perform elsewhere and be more expensive before they’re convinced by him he’s no great loss apparently. I think it’s a shame personally that he’ll end up going for less than 20 million while it’s day 596 and we’re still talking about Jack Graelish and his sexy calves

  31. Gonsterous

    A bit of good news, gunnersauraus is back. Club made a mess, dismissing him in the first place. Can we credit ozil for this??

  32. Tom

    Freddie, if Szaboszlai’s agent has his client’s best interest at heart he would probably tell him to stay clear of Arsenal right now no matter the immediate financial upside.

    I know I would.

  33. Guns of Hackney

    I liked the Arteta appointment but…

    It’s over I’m afraid. Rules are rules and he’s broken all the classics:

    Failure to manage the star names.
    Failure to sign the right players.
    Failure to tactic.
    Failure to deal with inferior players.
    Failure to lead.

    There are still plenty of managers out there who could do a job. Nothing wrong with us doing a Chelsea or Real or anyone really and hire and fire every season or two.

    Arsenal are dead.

  34. Marko

    I don’t agree Tom I think Szoboszlai would flourish here and Arsenal would be the perfect club for him to develop even further. Of course he runs the risk of Mikel misusing him or not playing him at all but it’s a risk worth taking I think

  35. Dissenter

    It’s actually true that some agents will tell their clients to be wary of Mikel Arteta.
    The way Saliba has been treated begs a lot of difficult questions.
    How is that a talent of that nature can go to waste in out U-23 squad when we are fielding the likes of Mustafi and Holding ahead of him. Arteta was even set to play Xhaka as full back.

  36. Guns of Hackney

    Dissenter

    Yes. But I’m consistent. It doesn’t matter who the manager is or who I backed, if it turns out badly, I will say so. Look, we tried and that’s good! Arsenal getting it wrong doesn’t bother me, Arsenal getting it wrong and not dealing with it does bother me.

    There will be no progression.

  37. Gonsterous

    I thought we had won the transfer window just like we won it last season? Now suddenly we have signed all the wrong players? I don’t buy that. We have a strong squad, just need to get them playing to form and playing well.

  38. Tom

    Marko, It’s kinda hard to make your case when our offensive output is Boltonesque.
    It’s one thing for Arsenal fans to hope Arteta can right the ship, it’s quite another for neutral observers to look around and find no real evidence he could.
    Szaboszlai’s next move is probably the most significant in his career from the development point of view. Coming to the very demanding league under a novice manager under pressure not exactly ideal.

  39. GunnerDNA

    I would love to know what Mikel Arteta fans position is if by December Arsenal have more Ls than Ws? 11 months is a long time in football and if this is the best Mikel Arsenal can come up with at this point, it might be best for the Club to cut its loses and get a better manager. Aston Villa game ended 3-0 but it surely remind me of the horror show at OT in August 2011. Every attack from Villa could have resulted in a goal. It was that bad! The final scores in all the EL games are also misleading because the style of play is just terrible.

  40. Guns of Hackney

    Gons

    Lolz. That’s like the old Morcambe and Wise sketch with Previn:

    You’re playing the wrong notes.
    No. I’m playing the right notes…just in the wrong order.

    Arsenal are not a good side. Too many mistakes in there.

  41. Elmo

    So Mandzukic is a free-agent and close to agreeing to join Celta Vigo. Could he not offer us a Plan B way of playing this season (Auba play off him; Pepe play off him), similar to Giroud coming off the bench? Haven’t seen him play in years so don’t know if he has anything left in the tank.

  42. Marc

    One train of thought that has been pretty universal on here is that we need to sign players like Szoboszlai before they make the move to Dortmund or Leipzig etc.

    Well we seem to have identified one and now because of what I can only guess is issues with the manager and club’s performance he’s not interested.

    So happy we’ve got a generational coach whom everyone wants to play for.

  43. Marko

    Marc this place looks at clubs like Dortmund and Leipzig says we should be more like them and then argues about young potential signings being good enough for us because of their age the level of the league that they come from and their potential short term impact. It’s crazy. I kid you not I’ve gotten into arguments with people on potentially signing Van De Beek only to then hear about how poor the Dutch league is to then recently hearing from the same person why aren’t we looking at more players from Ajax. This club deserves it’s fans sometimes it really does

  44. Sid

    ‘He kept yelling to the players on the sideline. I wonder whether that helps the opponents too’

    This statement explains why you would think diet Pep is very intelligent.

    Im telling you for free!

  45. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    Don’t conflate matters because you’re incredibly revisionist and only ever present the black and white of a particular argument to keep it simple for yourself.

    Nobody has an issue with a Hungarian 19 year old playing football in Austria. Nobody. The comment has been made that it’s asking a fucking shit load for that same 19 year old to come into a football club like Arsenal and be the solitary attacking midfielder at the club. That maybe, just maybe the money we spend right now needs to be on a better player.

  46. Marko

    Marcus Thuram was another one. I remember when we were linked with him at Guingamp and people were turning their nose up to him and the price and the fact that he was coming from a relegated team. And now everyone wants him after flourishing at Gladbach

  47. Marko

    The comment has been made that it’s asking a fucking shit load for that same 19 year old to come into a football club like Arsenal and be the solitary attacking midfielder at the club.

    That’s honestly a new argument. So we should only move for a Szoboszlai type signing when we don’t really need him? Seems about right.

    That maybe, just maybe the money we spend right now needs to be on a better player.

    It’s 20 million. You won’t find many better 20 million attacking midfielder prospects in world football.

    But anyway like I said you just proved my point there

  48. Dissenter

    We don’t have to sign Dominick now
    We can wait until he’s worth 50 million and try swapping four players for him. If that fails, we can always blame Kroenke for not spending money.

  49. Dissenter

    Tony AdamS is reported to be suggesting That Arsenal had Jude Bellingham’s deal wrapped up until Edu came on board and the deal got lost in the transition.
    Surely Mr. Arsenal can’t be lying.

  50. Marc

    Marko

    Problem right now is Arteta’s record with young signings.

    Martinelli – dropped him before his injury even though performing well.

    Guendozi – under Emery most valuable teen in Europe, now out of loan and we’ll be lucky to get more than £15 million for him.

    Saliba – even if he’s not ready we royally fucked up loaning him out.

    Balogun – won’t sign a new contract and will leave for a nominal fee in the summer.

    I’m sure Pedro can come up with a list of excuses but it’s getting to the point where you have to wonder where we are heading?

  51. Marko

    Saw that dissenter and certainly momentum and things were lost in Edu coming in and Raul leaving but I never saw anything about us trying to sign Bellingham I only ever saw United and Dortmund. Besides that I don’t think Tony Adams has any real inside line at Arsenal I really don’t

  52. GunnerDNA

    “Besides that I don’t think Tony Adams has any real inside line at Arsenal I really don’t”

    What about Steve Bould? Its not hard to have connect to this version of Arsenal. All the major players at the Club are novice.

  53. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    A new argument? What are you talking about? You had a barney with myself and Weagle on the Hungarian because you’re hell bent on our only strategy being to hoover up talented teenagers when we both touted the signing of a senior player that would invariably deliver right now.

    You know, similar argument that was made pre-Saliba who you again were feverishly wanking over despite reasonable concerns that we were pissing 20-25 mil on a player that wasn’t going to kick a ball for us for at least 12 months. 20-25 mil that could’ve went on a player that would have arrived last year and made a difference then…..and now.

    Dortmund dont buy young talents in positions they have NO options in. They buy supplemental talents and prospective talents that then phase out their skeleton squad of players. They bought Sancho at 17 for 8 mil when they had Reus, Gotze, Kagawa, Pulisic, and Schurrle on the books.

  54. Marko

    Marc you’ll be delighted to hear that apparently Xhaka might be thinking of leaving if his game time doesn’t change in the near future. I know what you’re thinking great right but I bet you 50 quid Mikel will likely reinstate him and it’ll coincide with a new deal for him in the coming weeks before the transfer window

  55. Marc

    Marko

    It’s an observation but it looks very much like Arteta wants players who he can trust to follow instructions and whilst that is to a degree normal Arteta looks like he’s taking it to a ridiculous degree.

    The recent match where he had Xhaka and Ceballos move out to the full back positions vacating midfield – I mean what the fuck?

  56. Marko

    A new argument? What are you talking about?

    The point where you talked about if we signed Szoboszlai he’d be coming into a set up where he’d be the solitary CAM at the club. That was a new argument I never heard you say that before

  57. GS88

    Never really rated Grealish up till about 6 months ago.

    Yeah if we could afford him, I’d say let’s go and get him. But I think that he will go to City or maybe even Liverpool.

    He’s 25 now, imagine what he will like in say 2-3 years time, when he hits his peak.

    We don’t have any players at our club with his attributes. We are crying out for a player like him.

  58. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    We literally dont have an attacking midfielder at the club, its been written about numerous times in the last 6 weeks. Whoever we sign in that void will, for a time, be the only viable AM at the club. Kind of the whole point to the scepticism over a teenager being the answer.

    No doubt he’ll answer the same questions Saliba has in his 15 months officially as an Arsenal player. I know I’m more than convinced we couldn’t have benefitted from another player for that Saliba money…

  59. Marko

    You know, similar argument that was made pre-Saliba who you again were feverishly wanking over despite reasonable concerns that we were pissing 20-25 mil on a player that wasn’t going to kick a ball for us for at least 12 months

    Oh you mean the arguments where people were pissing and moaning about us signing up a highly sought after young player cause they thought it was eating into our meagre transfer budget that summer only for it to end up costing us something like 5 million making those concerns look silly. Is that the argument you’re talking about? Also don’t talk to me about then and there cause he’s here and now and we still don’t have a clue how to use him.

    Dortmund dont buy young talents in positions they have NO options in. They buy supplemental talents and prospective talents that then phase out their skeleton squad of players. They bought Sancho at 17 for 8 mil when they had Reus, Gotze, Kagawa, Pulisic, and Schurrle on the books.

    Yeah considering that Sancho is a right winger and you mentioned a bunch of CAM’s and LW’s to make your point you could just as easily make a point for Szoboszlai and make a reference to Willian, Pepe, Saka, Nelson and Martinelli. Besides all that Willian can’t play 10 now? I thought that’s what he was brought in to do? So to say that Szoboszlai would come in as the solitary option at attacking midfield is just plain wrong.

  60. Marko

    I know I’m more than convinced we couldn’t have benefitted from another player for that Saliba money…

    Charles I think you’re confusing the quality of the player with how the current manager at Arsenal is woefully misusing the player. Saliba is and should be a viable option for Arsenal right now must like there’s a few players currently at Arsenal who are viable options to make a difference right now at Arsenal only they’re not because of the manager. I don’t blame you for thinking Saliba is shit that Auba should have been sold that Pepe is average and should never have been signed that Ceballos shouldn’t be kept on cause right now the manager is making them and others all look that way

  61. Marko

    Just in case you didn’t get it up top we actually have players at the club who can fill in at CAM (we seen it against Sheffield United for example) only Mikel doesn’t want to play with one. At all. He prefers…whatever it is that we’re seeing regularly for some reason

  62. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    You’re still trying to defend the Saliba signing as per its immediate application? He hasn’t kicked a ball for us and been on the books 15 months, you really are blind as a bat when you fancy a player. Gabriel cost us 22 mil, don’t embarrass yourself further to claim we couldn’t have gotten a player of that ability to come in instead of Saliba – who is living on a future reputation and not one of the moment where its most fucking relevant.

    “Yeah considering that Sancho is a right winger and you mentioned a bunch of CAM’s and LW’s to make your point you could just as easily make a point for Szoboszlai and make a reference to Willian, Pepe, Saka, Nelson and Martinelli. Besides all that Willian can’t play 10 now?”

    So Sancho has never played central? (He has….4 times already this season). And all those mentioned have never played on the right hand side for Dortmund? They have, too many times to go review. Meanwhile how many of those Arsenal players are going to be a number 10 type for us? Nelson? Martinelli? Pepe? The only one is Willian, who its been suggested can play there despite him being a wide forward for his whole European career.

    So again, you’re utterly blinded by the fascination for some hyped youth player in Europe and ignorant of the needs of the squad. Saliba was the truth for 25 mil, we need a teenager to cure our creativity issues, and then in 6 months you’ll be calling Arteta a shit-cunt because he cant get us firing. No idea why.

  63. Champagne charlie

    “I don’t blame you for thinking Saliba is shit that Auba should have been sold that Pepe is average and should never have been signed that Ceballos shouldn’t be kept on cause right now the manager is making them and others all look that way“

    I wish you’d get what i thinking right for once, I dont keep it a secret on here but alas you still struggle to accurately represent it.

    – I dont think Saliba is shit, i think he was the wrong player to go after given our needs. It’s been proven as much to date.
    – Auba should’ve been sold/signed, but the latter needed Laca sold and here we are.
    – Pepe isnt a good fit for Arsenal, and is never a 70 mil player.
    – Ceballos absolutely shouldn’t be kept on, he’s a classier Elneny and I’d rather have the basic Elneny and use the circa 30 mil on a genuinely creative talent, not another recycler.

    Bit different to your version.

  64. Marko

    You’re still trying to defend the Saliba signing as per its immediate application?

    Okay. I know this is really tough for you to acknowledge because I dunno you just love to argue and are pretty bamford-esq when it comes to being open-minded or wrong about things but not everything in football is immediate. You look at Martinelli for example you think we brought him in for an immediate impact? You don’t think there was a long term plan there and potential future saleable asset in mind? You don’t think Real had that in mind when they bought Varane from Lens or Liverpool bought Joe Gomes from Charlton or Chelsea bought Zouma or you know the countless examples of teams signing up young talented players with potential and future in mind.

    He hasn’t kicked a ball for us and been on the books 15 months, you really are blind as a bat when you fancy a player

    Again that’s not his fault it’s a failure on the current manager. Brendan Rodgers is playing Fofana and getting plaudits for it. If Mikel played Saliba as much as Gabriel you wouldn’t be saying a thing about his signing at all. But he’s not and instead it’s garbage about a transition season and you don’t start a 22 year old AND a 19 year old in the premier league apparently. I remember you trotted out some excuse when Mikel dropped Gabriel at Anfield as well something about him not being ready. Well he is ready and he’s shown that he is ready and if Mikel wasn’t so good at getting his starting 11 wrong we’d probably see that in Saliba as well

  65. Daniel Altos

    “Mustafi agent confirming he’s leaving Arsenal on a free. Yet he’s in our EL squad and PL squad but not the young defender we paid £27m for. Also, in Jan last year we were told no players would be able to run their deal down at Arsenal. Absolute comedy club.”

    From twitter.Am sorry but anyone who thinks leaving out saliba was the right decision should be slapped.You can’t tell me that the dude isn’t capable of playing against irish pub teams and norwegian farmers.

  66. Daniel Altos

    Marko stop wasting your time,Pedro already decided that Saliba isn’t ready and guendouzi is a petulant child so naturally his followers think the same too.

  67. Marko

    So Sancho has never played central? (He has….4 times already this season). And all those mentioned have never played on the right hand side for Dortmund? They have, too many times to go review. Meanwhile how many of those Arsenal players are going to be a number 10 type for us? Nelson? Martinelli? Pepe? The only one is Willian, who its been suggested can play there despite him being a wide forward for his whole European career.

    Again you’ve literally brought up players that aren’t similar to Sancho and now have doubled down with saying that he can play centrally but you kinda missing the point Szoboszlai can also play on the left and right and Willian and Saka can play CAM so again you’re initially point falls flat. We can’t sign up Szoboszlai because he’d be coming in as the sole option at CAM despite that not being the case and despite the manager deciding not to play with a CAM anyway is a pretty poor argument honestly.

  68. Valentin

    Marc,

    I think that there is two fundamental problems with Arteta:

    1) Arteta does not trust players with unpredictability. So he would rather have a player who will not bring any danger upfront but will follows the instructions. Hence the benching of Saliba who was known in France to run with the ball into the midfield. Hence the treatment of Willock not even on the bench for EPL game. Willock will move ahead of the ball to get to the end of attack and that will leave an opening. The problem is that in order to win, you need to score and to score you need to destabilise the opposition by doing something unpredictable. That’s not a coincidence that two of the 3 EPL goals we scored involved Elneny. He did something (a run or a pass) that the opposition did not anticipate, especially from him. When Saka scored from Bellerin following a Elneny run, you could hear Arteta screaming on the touchline for Elneny to get back into position.

    2) the instructions are non-sensical. I could tolerate a very robotic approach if it was effective and resulted in goals. But Arteta’s instructions have the exact opposite effect. Giving control of the center of the pitch means that we can be easily run through. So any team with 3 athletic CMs have time and space to attack us. If they have half decent strikers, it is free shooting. We then rely on Leno to be the last cowboy at the Alamo.

  69. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    Nobody needs long term strategy spelled out to them, you’ve not stumbled across an original thought here only to explain it to a corner of the internet unburdened by the truth of it. But the irony of you talking open-mindedness and understating of strategy when you’re utterly incapable of digesting the points made about the necessity for the here and now.

    We bought a 25 mil teenage defender and loaned him back to France when we missed out on top 4 and needed to buy a defender of note. Still he isnt ready. You still cant put your fingers in front of your face and get ‘four’ with that? Really?

    We’re scraping the barrel for creativity and inventiveness with no senior attacking midfielder at the club, but you’re militantly arguing against anyone that isnt sold on another teenager being the answer?

    But, but, I’m the argumentative one:

    “But given some people’s reaction to that type of signing and where they basically have to wait and see him perform elsewhere and be more expensive before they’re convinced by him he’s no great loss apparently”

    “Marc this place looks at clubs like Dortmund and Leipzig says we should be more like them and then argues about young potential signings being good enough for us because of their age the level of the league that they come from and their potential short term impact. It’s crazy”

    That’s you, unprovoked just swinging your dick on the subject. But here I am the argumentative one for pushing back against your outbursts. LoGiK

  70. Marko

    So again, you’re utterly blinded by the fascination for some hyped youth player in Europe and ignorant of the needs of the squad.

    So this whole argument is about us potentially signing up a young CAM but apparently it’s ignorant of the needs of the squad. It’s also worth pointing out that your stance on here and now had you making arguments in the summer as you backed the Willian signing and honestly as of right now that’s making you look foolish .

    then in 6 months you’ll be calling Arteta a shit-cunt because he cant get us firing. No idea why.

    It’s most likely to do with the manager and not the player. I’ll probably be calling him a shit cunt if he goes to Leipzig and does well for Nagelsmann though.

  71. Marko

    Still he isnt ready. You still cant put your fingers in front of your face and get ‘four’ with that? Really?

    Who says he isn’t ready? The fuck wit who’s getting the formation and personnel wrong on a consistent basis? Who hasn’t given him a chance whatsoever? Who convinced Holding to stay and has him first choice and who brought back in Mustafi to the team and offered him a new contract is that who we’re trusting in this scenario? Fair enough. I don’t wave Mikel pom poms so I can safely say I can see what’s going on.

    Who are all the CAM options at Arsenal?

    You’re asking the wrong question you should be asking why the manager doesn’t play with a CAM when he’s got options to do so.

  72. Pierre

    Daniel altos
    “.Am sorry but anyone who thinks leaving out saliba was the right decision should be slapped.You can’t tell me that the dude isn’t capable of playing against irish pub teams and norwegian farmers.”

    Charlie and jamie do…give em a slap from me..cheers.

  73. Marko

    All I know is that we know live in an arsenal world where Mikel gets deserved credit for coming in and (initially) doing well to get a response and improvement from some players. But everyone else who didn’t improve it’s because of the player. Mustafi… Mikel you did great on improving him… Saliba… doesn’t get a single minute of game time well that’s not Mikel’s fault there it’s obvious that it’s the player. Might have to rethink how we judge players going forward if Mikel is involved

  74. Ishola70

    Before bemoaning a lack of CAM Arteta has to show that he wants to go with a CAM.

    If Willian isn’t capable to play CAM why oversee his signing.

    If AMN isn’t capable to play CAM why block his transfer away from the club.

    If Ceballos isn’t capable to play CAM why did Arteta oversee another loan period for him at Arsenal.

    If Willock isn’t good enough to play CAM at this time what is he doing at Arsenal and why isn’t he on loan if he is deemed not good enough yet.

    Why get in Cedric if you want AMN as cover for right back if CAM is not for him.

    Why get in Mari yet another CB.

    Why block the sale of Xhaka.

    All these situations add up in that Arteta is not breaking his neck for a CAM.

    He has overseen situations where it looks like CAM is down his list of priorities.

  75. Marko

    According to @David_Ornstein, #Arsenal rejected a substantial bid from Roma for Alexandre Lacazette towards the end of the transfer window.

    Sounds about right. I hear Mikel still pines for his first kiss to this day

  76. Marko

    He has overseen situations where it looks like CAM is down his list of priorities.

    No no he’s forced into that situation I hear.

    Didn’t it come out last summer that prior to Koeman joining Barcelona and actually valuing Coutinho that we decided to target Willian instead of Coutinho. So it kinda adds to Mikel not really being keen on a CAM. It backs up what we’re seeing honestly

  77. Pierre

    AMN has breached the non negotiables with this comment a few weeks back , so don’t expect too many appearances from him anytime soon

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

  78. Graham62

    If life was back to normal and the fans were in the grounds and Arsenal were in the same position as they are now, Mikel Arteta would be in deep deep shit.

    This week has been a reality check for those of us ( Pedro) who saw Arteta as the next coming. Suddenly, things don’t ‘feel’ right.

    We can all see they don’t look right, but when you start to sense problems within the.club, you have to start thinking that Arteta is on dodgy( can I say borrowed?) ground.

    Things are not right and, imo, it’s got nothing to do with the players. It’s all down to MA and his inabilities to maximise the use of what he’s got.

    The international break gives him the chance to reevaluate. However, if he continues with these same methods on our return to PL action, the knives will be out.

    Sorry Mikel but you can’t expect otherwise.

  79. Ishola70

    Marko

    “Didn’t it come out last summer that prior to Koeman joining Barcelona and actually valuing Coutinho that we decided to target Willian instead of Coutinho. So it kinda adds to Mikel not really being keen on a CAM. It backs up what we’re seeing honestly”

    The Ceballos loan extension is the real indicator overseen by Arteta.

    You can’t tell me that there is not one up and coming CAM in world football that we could have loaned in and he comes in the door and Ceballos leaves out the same door.

    But no Arteta extended the Ceballos loan. A ball recycler described as.

  80. Daniel Altos

    we have people saying things like ‘he isn’t ready’ or ‘we don’t know how far he is in his development’ then you wonder how they know this and even if he is ready as I said before anyone who believes that Saliba isn’t capable of facing dundalk and molde is a troll. Deschamps was giving glowing tributes to Fofana,a player who just came in and started playing in epl matches.

  81. Champagne charlie

    “It’s also worth pointing out that your stance on here and now had you making arguments in the summer as you backed the Willian signing and honestly as of right now that’s making you look foolish”

    I backed it ON TOP of prospective business in Aouar/Coutinho and Partey, because he’s been an excellent player in the league for the last 7 years and it made sense because Pepe was woefully underwhelming last season. He’s been shit to date and needs to step up, but why he was brought is obvious to all. Especially given he was a bosman. An irrelevance in a debate about a 24 mil teenager from Austria, but I’m dealing with Marko on the subject of transfers so to hell with any sense.

    “You’re asking the wrong question you should be asking why the manager doesn’t play with a CAM when he’s got options to do so.“

    No, I’m asking a very pertinent question so I know exactly what backflips and pivots you’re attentions to take on the subject on incoming attacking midfielders.

    I’m asking you who is available to play as a 10 for Arsenal right now?

    Also, try and stay on topic. The amount of waving your arms and derogatory remarks you include, just because, is really something. Banford this, Arteta pom poms that. The basis of my argument is plain as day, you just disagree and the only way you manage that situation is to attempt to belittle the person speaking. Eventually you’ll hit the topic, but not before you’ve drafted in some other irrelevant stick to have a swing with. Save it, it’s boring, just keep to the football points.

    Namely… 25 mil Saliba being the best use of that money in the past 18 months given our situation, and how we’ve apparently numerous 10’s at the club so another 20 mil teenager is the best way forward this season.

  82. Marc

    “According to @David_Ornstein, #Arsenal rejected a substantial bid from Roma for Alexandre Lacazette towards the end of the transfer window.”

    I’ve repeatedly taken the view that Ornstein is just another full of shit journalist – usually to be told he knows / has a good track record etc.

    If we turned down anything around £20 odd million for Laca then we’ve got a serious problem with Arteta – we’ve seen to many occasions where he’s stopped a player leaving now for it not to be a coincidence.

  83. Tom

    Well, what do you know, the global pedo ring is a real thing, except its epicenter isn’t Washington based pizza parlors but rather New South Wales , where 16 men were arrested on 828 charges of sexually abusing children.

    Has anyone heard from Rich lately?

  84. Ishola70

    All this narrative that things have been impossible for Arteta.

    It’s been impossible for him to get in a CAM after he has been at the club for just under a year.

    It’s been impossible for him to play anything resembling progressive football.

    It’s bullshit and is only done to excuse him.

  85. Tom

    Marc,
    Whether you agree with Arteta’s personnel decisions or not he’s made enough of them to warrant the opinion this is his squad now.

  86. Marc

    Tom

    Definitely – everyone would be happy to say it’s still going to take some time to get it 100% as he wants it but you just keep hearing about turning bids down for players who are either not good enough or back up.

    Xhaka – £25 million
    AMN – £20 million
    Laca – £? million

    He can’t seem to make his mind up.

  87. Guns of SF

    Valentin,
    I agree with what you said. Arteta does not like players improvising and showing initiative and creativity. I am convinced of this as it stands right now.

    There is no other explanation. These pros have been playing the game since they were able to walk pretty much. Do not tell me that they do not know how to play attacking creative soccer and have the ability to take on players….

    Wenger would take this team and you would see a very different attack. The triangles will come back and more middle attack as well.

    We are so one dimensional it is laughable.

    A good manager can fix 2 things at once.

    Willock does find himself every game in a very good scoring position, but he scuffs them mostly.

    Its been written in the last few days in many articles about arteta needing to trust his team more. To allow them freedom

  88. TheLegendaryDB10

    I was thinking about this earlier today and I am more and more convinced that Arteta has set up the team to minimise and mask the players weaknesses instead of setting up the team to maximise their strength.

    If Arteta wants to succeed he needs to move on from this and learn that you have to play players in their best position, at least to start off.

    My worry is and the problem that we have is that Arteta is dead stubborn. I really hope that he learns to be flexible. But he needs to learn this now.

    If he doesn’t learn this ASAP, I fear that Arteta will not stay beyond the next season.

  89. izzo

    You nutter keep saying he needs to do this and do that. Arteta ain’t doing shit. Keep dreaming. You know its gonna be the same team sheet next game and the next and the next until he is sacked. I’m taking a break from watching any live games until this circus ends. I’m good with highlights and no interest in watching 90 mins of parking the bus and a loser screaming and flailing at the touchline.

  90. MD-Gunner

    @izzo
    “I’m taking a break from watching any live games until this circus ends.”

    Same here and me being in the US and having a years subscription to peacock I watch those highlights as well as MOTD & MOTD2 from P2P sources. Life is too short to spend 90+ minutes on watching as you said this circus.