Arteta enters the Emeryzone

by .

Arsenal moved to DEFCON 5. The Redzone. We’re in the jaws of a big fuck-off crocodile, we’ve been pulled into the waters of mid-table, and the death-roll has begun. Not many escape it.

The season feels over before it started. Lots of small bad decisions have snowballed into an almighty avalanche of shite and it’s hard to escape our reality: We are not very good.

The turning point for me was making Arteta the rookie coach into the all-powerful manager. He saw a power-vacuum at a club that lacks leadership and he went for it… he should have been told to fuck off. Instead, Arsenal elevated him because they don’t rate Edu. An embarrassing decision.

It’s amusing because when I broke into advertising after 18 months of trying, my boss at the time quit and my dad told me to apply for his job after 3 weeks of experience. I did. I was literally laughed out the room. A really embarrassing moment in my career, but ultimately, who the fuck did I think I was asking that after 3 weeks?

I was told to fuck off because I worked for strong leaders. We don’t have that under Edu. Arteta was promoted too early and allowed to make terrible decisions right away.

The two biggest?

  1. Trusting players that always let Arsenal down

2. Giving new deals to old players in the hope they had one last job in them

Granit Xhaka was an abomination yesterday. A non-negotiable should be ‘don’t back a rival player over your teammate’, but here we are a week on after the Alioski incident and the slowest plodder in the league had another disaster class in midfield. We should have moved him on this summer.

On this point. Our letdown players seem to have this thing where they’re so comfortable, they feel they can be affronted by competition. Xhaka was good last season, you can’t deny it. Is it any coincidence that he and Ceballos, both dropped for Elneny and Partey, are dropping 2/10s now they’ve been disrespected?

What did AMN do at the training ground that was so bad he can’t contribute to a midfield with the mobility of my 94-year-old grandma three-point turning her trolley in an Aldi shopping aisle?

David Luiz was an incredible player 5 years ago, but we should never have given him a new deal after the season he had last year. That’s on Arteta, he trusted a player that tanked for us on the pitch. He thought £160kish p/w was deserved based on behaviour behind the scenes. Don’t even get me started on how he was allowed to play on like a wounded soldier after a clash of heads that sounded like a car accident.

Auba. Love him. But it is ALWAYS a risk to sign a player based on emotion. He’s 31 years old, we are not a mega club, should we have given him a 3-year deal? An experienced technical director would have said no. Nagelsmann moaned after the Champions League semi-final that he hadn’t been allowed to sign players of that profile. Rightly so. That’s how big swingers act with upstart coaches. Put them in their place.

Back to Auba.

He was nowhere. he looked disinterested. No fight in him at all. It was a pathetic run out that spoke to the bland season he’s been having. He is not a complete striker, which means you need a special type of setup to get the best from him. Namely, wingers that can go past people and find him in the box. We don’t have that.

Willian, an early sub again, after another nothing game. He was never the player we needed. So many people raised the flag on that signing, yet we invested £250k a week on ANOTHER aging player. It looks like a catastrophic signing for a club that is working from the strategy of signing players that look like Champions League level, but are in fact not. Look at the players Wolves sign, generally cheap, always built for the league, better than ours. Can we not compete for these types? £72m for Pepe versus £23m for Jota? Who would you prefer?

Lacazette looks finished at this level. Pepe doesn’t look like he can compete in the Premier League. The kids aren’t good enough and the environment to blood them is absolutely toxic.

Manchester City doesn’t have great strikers, but they have an incredible pipeline of creativity that feeds them.

Spurs don’t have an incredible pipeline, but they have complete forwards in Kane and Son.

We don’t have complete strikers. We don’t have good wingers. We don’t have good midfielders. Slander Arteta all you want, but this squad is built for no manager in the world. It’s a fucking mess.

When all of our players are playing at their peak, we can bumble our way through games. When NONE of our players are putting in a shift, we are fucked. Arteta did really well to get a turn out of them last season, now it seems he can’t.

It’s not all his fault, but it’s hard not to point the finger at him for continuing the bad decisions.

He is a brilliant coach, but a terrible judge of players. I went at people in the summer who said he was conned. I am rethinking that evaluation because it looks like he has been well and truly hoodwinked by a group of players who are built to fail.

The stats after the game made me queezy. We played 36 crosses into the box and only 2 found players. This is peak David Moyes. Is this Steve Round’s contribution to Arsenal? Is that all we have? Arteta is a progressive coach that can’t recognize our striker has no physical presence in a crowded box? How many hip youngsters in the backroom do we need to suss that strategy is a terrible one?

The club won’t sack Arteta. They can’t afford to. Their pride won’t allow it. But he’s now in that territory with a chunk of fans, which is the moment we live in. There are enough bad decisions you can apportion to him for this to be his responsibility. However, we have to be rational. The squad is not built to his specs. There is no manager you’d want that we can afford. It is going to be a massive undertaking to fix this.

The summer is a tipping point for us. The question is, do you have the team in place to deliver the brutality we need? If Edu isn’t the one, are you going to let him lead it and waste more money we don’t have? It certainly cannot be led by Arteta. He’s made too many bad decisions and the extra responsibility has clearly fucked his main focus, which should be coaching.

Here’s an idea. Sign Rangnick. Milan offered him £4.5m a year. That’s peanuts. Give him total power to reshape the club. Heavily bonus him. Set aggressive targets. Demand a premium version of what he offers the RB franchise. Don’t stick it out with people that don’t have a high ceiling. If you have a junior coach, do NOT have a junior technical director. Build a team around his weaknesses, don’t let him choose who he hires, especially if he hires people he likes to have control of the backroom

Address the job roles. We exited a dictatorship only to put ourselves right back into one with someone not ready for it. That is the weakest of all sauces. It’s seasoning your chicken wings with milk. It’s adding sparkling water to your Bud Light because you have meeting at 0830. It’s having an early night at your best mates wedding. We need to get a proper structure in place to fix the club. We need real hierarchy and clearly defined R&Rs. That should start now because we need to save our season. We have boots on the ground, where is the action?

I’m too furious to write about the path forward right now, I’ll bring that tomorrow. But know this, I fully recognize we hit a terrible tipping point yesterday. The slide is on. Arteta looks like a rookie caught in headlights. Maybe worse, he might have been hit by a truck, now he’s limping in the forest and the bears of doom are tracking him. He doesn’t have the infrastructure around him to solve it right now. He needs to call his pals in high places for advice. He needs to get a turn out of his players. He needs to pull off a miracle and get some pride back into the football, if he doesn’t, this is Emery in season two.

He can turn this around though, Ralph Hassenhutl did at Southampton. He lost 10 of his opening 17 last season after 6 months in charge. He conceded 36 goals in the process crowned by a 9-0 defeat to Leicester. This was a coach known for defensive rigour. He turned it around. He summoned the magic, now he looks like a contender to replace OGS. Mikel needs a run like his. Will he find it? Who knows. He needs to shock the system with something electric. Let’s see what he has.

Right, that’s me done. Off to find the bears of doom to see if I can get myself eaten. See you mugs in the comments.

P.S. Double the traffic when we lose? Seems that Arsenal fans like to blog here when we lose whether I’m pro or anti a particular manager. What a bunch of masochists you are.

898 Responses to “Arteta enters the Emeryzone”

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  1. WengerEagle

    Where does he likely end up? City as a De Bruyne replacement maybe?

    Chelsea and United are both set for creative midfielders.

    Can’t see him at Liverpool either for some reason, bringing in Thiago as well as Jota means that they are well stocked. for midfielder/wide forward slots.

    Spurs the only other likely PL option, now there’s a scary thought. Would fit them like a glove and bring all of the qualities that they lack in midfield.

  2. Stephen Ikuomola

    Well, you’ve said it all as always. The Arsenal have now become a mid table club and that’s the reality. When Arteta was promoted from head coach to manager the first thing that came to my head was wrong move. It was a move made out of desperation by a club who felt they had struck gold with him. My fear is that things don’t get to badly to the point that we start fighting relegation. I’m not having faith in Edu because he isn’t showing signs of someone who is strong technical director. We need someone who can sit Arteta down and question some of the moves he is making. I really hope things get better

  3. azed


    We haven’t scored in open play in the league for close to two months. Even a chump like Emery didn’t that bad.

    You should be more worried about Arteta than Emery because right now, Emery is looking like a god next to Arteta.

  4. Nelson

    Just watched the replay.

    Auba’s heading skill is below average. His timing of the jump, his run up to the ball and his use of the body all need improvement.

    Willock is a runner and not a play maker. He couldn’t find a teammate behind opposing defenders.

    Reiss Nelson needs to improve the accuracy of his crosses. But he was very lively.

    Saka can team up with Tierney. Tierney’s crosses are all for the header. Saka should try to play like Traore and send some low hard cut back to the middle. Both Auba and Laca prefer the ball low.

    Bellerin is getting all the bad habits from Xhaka, including getting a yellow card by stopping Neto with the hand.

    Less talk about Xhaka the better. He was defining like a training cone.

  5. Up 4 grabs now

    Pedro, think you have an Emery issue.
    He had to go once he lost the players, but we’re starting to see the same with Arteta.
    You make out like emery had us staying up on the last day of the season on goal difference rather than missing out on third by a missed penalty against the spuds.
    Yes the team had a poor run the last five or six games but it wasn’t down to emery that xhaka was diving in giving penalties away or auba was missing penalties.
    The final was rotten we just never really turned up.AMN diving in players going missing that’s not on emery
    Like I said he had to go, but he did have us playing some good football on occasion and certainly better than what we’re

    He also didn’t have the control that arteta has or choice in players.
    You also can’t complain about squad poverty for arteta when emery had a worse squad.
    Emery made mistakes just like arteta has, neither seemed to have learnt from them.

  6. Globalgunner

    Emery is doing just fine. His only problem is Pedro constantly stalking and sniping at home on these boards. Arteta on the other hand is sinking like a money swimmer thrown in at the deep end. Just like some of us predicted he would.

  7. WengerEagle


    Where do you put Sterling in that scenario?

    Sterling-Jesus-Foden looks to be the front 3 for the future, can’t see Grealish leaving Villa for massive money and being happy sharing game and bench time.

    They also have Ferran Torres, Beranrdo Silva and Mahrez waiting in the wings and all needing minutes.

    Spurs would have to be appealing to him given Kane and Son as you say perfectly complementing him. Two elite runners in behind/finishers to utilise his creativity in full. Ominous thought indeed.

  8. Globalgunner

    Martinez no longer looking like Supernab in the villa goal these days he?. So much wailing and gnashing of teeth on here when he left

  9. EdTheRed

    I know it’s hard to comprehend that we’ve all been conned by a cone man, but that’s what’s happening I’m afraid.

  10. Radio Raheem

    I’m sure Arteta doesn’t want fans back in. It’s made for a more competitive league. You can lose 5 out of 9 and still be only five points off 4th spot.

  11. Ishola70

    We’ll do well to finish above the stammering Stammers this season with Moyes guiding them.

    Who would have thought that at the start of the season.

    tbf though the warning signs were there when they outplayed us at home earlier in the season.

  12. Peckobill

    Damn right arteta doesn’t want fans back soon , those 3 consecutive home losses would’ve had a toxic vibe during those games . The quicker more and more fans are allowed in the stadium the quicker he’ll lose his job as the atmosphere will make him untenable

  13. Globalgunner

    Roberts Martinez is currently the Belgian manager. No 1 ranked team in the world I believe. Nah. Allegri is the man we should go for

  14. Radio Raheem

    When did Grealish get this good? 😂😂

    Finally, one hyped up English (even Irish) youngster that lives up to the hype.

  15. Champagne charlie


    Also have a feeling Bernardo Silva is on the pile to sell this summer. Unreal baller but hasn’t kicked on to cement himself and players like that, no matter the talent, eventually get pushed out to retain some value.

    Grealish for 70 suddenly becomes Grealish for 35 with Bernardo off to……Arsenal?

  16. Goddie

    Guendozi is a player we really miss. He would on certain occasions boss the opposition midfield and push attacks forcefully

  17. Terraloon


    If the ball hits the upper part of the arm down to what they call the tee shirt line no longer is it handball so yes that part of the arm can be used to score so that means it counts as office

  18. alex cutter

    “Seinfeld would never be made now cause it would be deemed too offensive

    Friends would never be made because its cast is all white,

    Countless movies that have gone on to be box office hits would fail the current sensitivity standards,

    Heck, even Tom and Jerry would not be made I guess because that evil Tom uses all manner of weapons and we don’t want our baby boo to watch the violence”

    Has anyone used the term “political correctness” unironically who wasn’t a complete reactionary twat?

    No Seinfeld? CYE is the same show, and far more “offensive”

    No Friends? Happy Endings was the same fucking show, twice as clever and edgy, and had black and gay characters.

    Countless movies? So many that you can’t bother to mention a single example.

    Tom and Jerry? How old are you? Have you ever seen Rick & Morty?

    Fuck off with your whiny old white guy bullshit.

  19. WengerEagle


    I think that Pep marginalising Bernardo Silva has been another big mistake that he’s made along with selling Sane, persisting with Rodri at the heart of CM and up until this summer not rectifying the CB issue of a partner for Laporte.

    Fernandinho was a much better player in the middle of the park than Rodri. Nowhere near as slow and one-dimensional.

  20. WengerEagle

    I thought that the whole point of VAR was overturning ‘clear and obvious’ errors?

    If it takes 3-5 mins of analysing and deliberating over from a host of different angles, it can hardly be clear and obvious. Needs to be a tweak in the rules imo, far too draconian to rule out a goal because the player’s shirt sleeve/armpit is offside unless the linesman picks it up immediately.

  21. WengerEagle

    Same goes for the handball rule which is ridiculous. Going to cultivate a whole generation of youngsters to smash the ball/scoop the ball up against a defenders hands which they will literally need to tie behind their back at this rate.

    And the re-take penalty rule if a keeper comes off their line at all. The odds are already stacked against a GK for PK’s as it is without allowing them to make any kind of vertical motion all the while allowing the taker those stupid stutter run-ups/delays.

  22. Champagne charlie


    I agree, and I think it’s why you’ll maybe see him out the door to get fresh blood after that extension. At 26 he’d be a terrific purchase for us if they’d entertain it at the right price.

    Anything north of 30-35 mil and we should be walking away though, should only be paying that kind of fee for players like Aouar at 22.

    Said it before, but I’ve a suspicion the City player most likely to join in the summer is John Stones at RCB after the purge occurs. With 3 CB’s walking away for free, you’re talking a sale of Chambers or Holding and probably someone like Stones in for 15-20 mil.

  23. WengerEagle


    Oh Christ, I hope not. CB should be literally our last priority. Not keen on Stones either.

    Bernardo is out of our league status-wise, would be a massive step-down that he won’t want to entertain in the prime of his career.

    If anyone at Barcelona post Bartomeu had their finger on the pulse and Bernardo was on the market, he’d be their number one target.

  24. Champagne charlie


    I’m less keen on Holding, and Chambers after a year out. Not saying it’ll be a priority, but we’ll def have have an eye out for that kind of deal I think.

    Hopefully Jan throws us someone like Buendia, or Thauvin would be my pick for player that can play as a 10 and down the right. I really love his ability and think he’d stick in England second time of asking.

  25. Elmo

    If Pedro wants to lift himself out of the fire and enjoy the comfort of being able to smugly sit on the fence and lecture all sides, he should pivot this blog towards being a personality cult around Tim Lewis, claiming he’s the second coming of David Dein and has all the answers to our problems, but is constantly being thwarted from fixing the club by various bad actors at the club.

    Would be a much easier life, while having all manner of internal club conspiracies to explore over a good 4-5 years before having to pivot again.

  26. G8

    Dippers had hit & miss with managers..
    Souness, Evans, Houlier, Benitez, Hudgson, Daglish, Brenda and finally klopp
    Some won trophies too, but they got the chop regardless
    Same with the Chavs
    I don’t see why we can’t fire and hire until we get it right again!
    “Change is good” that was this blog motto not so long time ago!

  27. WengerEagle


    Out of the 8 CB’s that we have:

    Definitely will be sold/let go- Sokratis, Chambers, Mustafi.

    Definitely will still be here next season- Gabriel, Saliba, Mari.

    Leaves Luiz and Holding both of whom have question marks surrounding their futures. I’d be happy for us to keep one and let one go.

    Would prefer we held onto Luiz as imo he’s a better player as well as what he brings to the table over Holding in terms of leadership, experience, winning pedigree as well as being an important dressing room figure for our Brazilian contingent as well as the younger players.

    Gabriel, Luiz, Mari, Saliba is a nice blend of youth, experience, athleticism, ball playing ability and height. The hope would be that Gabriel and Saliba go on to form a partnership at the heart of the defence.

    Need to start giving William some game time though.

  28. Zacharse

    start an onion-style arsenal blog where you just make chris morris-level absurd takes and speculation about arsenal. Clear the decks here without losing traffic. Somebodys gotta do it, arsenal fan tv halfway there

  29. Elmo


    That already exists: the ITK transfer news cycle, where hundreds of thousands of adults avidly buy into the pronouncements of teenagers making stuff up on Twitter about football transfers while on the bus home from school!

  30. WengerEagle


    And they say that only the foreign boys are at that. Complete myth for the longest time.

    Ashley Young was one of the worst divers that I’ve ever seen. Kane and Dele Alli both love taking a tumble too.

    Can add Grealish to that club now.

  31. Valentin

    If Arteta is still Arsenal manager next September, I would not be so sure that Saliba would be here. Reports in France seems to clearly suggest that bridge between Saliba and Arteta have been seriously burnt down. Desperate, angry, furious are some of the less colourful words used to describe Saliba state of mind.

    With Fofana now talked as a possible surprise call for France at Euro 21, there will be a lot of resentment from Saliba toward Arteta.

  32. salparadisenyc


    Yes indeed, beyond piss take that one. Kane is a specialist, real cunting skill in box. One of the only reasons I like VAR is to potentially nullify these antics. Somehow its fallen short thus far.

    But the peak has to be the Italians or the entire Barca side in last decade plus. Iniesta really sold it, trophy stuff. Neymar should watch tape on him..

  33. WengerEagle


    You watch Rangers a bit, what’s the story with this Tavernier bloke?

    On paper he’s a RB but he’s scoring and assisting goals at an outrageous rate. 14 goals and 10 assists already this season and he put up a 17 and a 15 goal season in past years although only 3 last season curiously.

    Does he take pens? And if not what’s the tale of the tape on him. 29 years old so no spring chicken.

  34. Champagne charlie


    That’s what I mean, this summer there’s a nuke going to our CB’s.

    Imagine we’ll have Gabriel, Mari, Saliba and Holding/Chambers it’s take your pick. Not thrilled with the last two and Saliba is green. Def an area to look at if possible.

  35. raptora

    Rooney and Vardy hello! lool
    It’s mostly the English nowadays.
    When a foreigner does it, he gets flogged and marked for life.
    When one of their own does it, it quickly gets swept under the carpet and everything resumes like nothing had ever happened.

    Remember Oumar Niasse becoming the first retrospectively red-carded player for deceiving the referee. There were multiple cases before him, but were all sweethearts like Kane and Vardy. Remember Kane had to give an interview that he isn’t a diver. And obviously didn’t get punished.

  36. WengerEagle


    Oh how we loved him but Pires was a terrible diver.

    Off the top of my head in the all-time flop rankings you have Robben, Drogba [hilarious given what a specimen he was], Nani, Young, Busquets, Suarez, Iniesta, Dele Alli, Kane.

    Italians and South Americans have the most infamous reputation for it but there you have it, some nice diversity in that list.

  37. Champagne charlie


    Tavernier is a bit Baines of old, takes corners, free kicks, and pens. Has a good cross on him so his stats are padded, certainly not at the level his numbers suggest.

    Tell you what though, Glen Kamara would be such a savvy buy for someone. Tall, athletic, good passer, has verticality to his game. He’ll go for circa 12 mil and will look a steal in the Prem. just turned 25 I think, ex Arsenal academy.

  38. WengerEagle



    My favourite ever Drogba post-match interview went along the lines of:

    ‘Sometimes I dive’…

    Two questions later- ‘I don’t dive’.

    All said with a straight face. Hilarious.

  39. salparadisenyc

    Great list btw, a nice cull of serial offenders, Luca Toni really springs to mind as well. As does Ribery, Marcelo, Di Maria and we’d have to add Gerrard who got dizzy with the slightest hint of contact.

  40. Champagne charlie


    I do rate Luiz above them, just think he maybe want to get two or three years under his belt back at Benfica or something.

    If it were up to me I’d purge the lot except Gabriel, Mari, Luiz, and Saliba. But still I think you need 5 CB’s so when a player like Stones is about for less than 20 mil at 26 I think he becomes attractive. Basically a shitter peak Luiz, great baller who has his moments.

  41. WengerEagle


    Ah cheers, yeah figured they were padded stats because even in the SPL they would be unbelievable if it weren’t primarily from set-pieces. Still impressed by them, man has nerves of steel and doesn’t miss them much.

    Must be some decent players knocking around the Rangers side considering the damage they’re doing in the league and are holding their own in Europe. Morelos is an interesting player as is Kent out wide.

    SPL carries a bit of a stigma and rightly so to an extent as it’s piss poor compared to the a couple of decades ago but it’s not immune to talent.

  42. Champagne charlie


    They’re a good team, better players are who you mention, plus Kamara and Borna Barisic who again would be a very good PL left back.

    If we were into anyone it’d be Kamara and Morelos, but think we need creative midfielders

  43. WengerEagle


    Nearly as bad as when he swore on his daughter’s life that it was his goal and not Eriksen’s haha. Fucking hell geezer.

    Agree with your point, Young is the only English player that I can remember being demonized in the media for his diving and that was a particularly egregious dive itself IIRC. He was a bit part-England player as well, not a flag-saluting, badge thumping favourite like Kane or Rooney too.

    I’m still bitter about Rooney’s dive against us to win that penalty at Old Trafford 16 years later which ruined us hitting 50 PL games unbeaten. Happy seeing the twat struggle with moobs in the Championship in his twilight years.

  44. WengerEagle


    Luca Toni and Pippo Inzaghi both loved taking a tumble. Cassano too.

    Hard not to love Italian players though. No country has ever produced better defenders or late bloomer CF’s.

    Luca Toni, Di Natale, Quagliarella, Graziano Pelle, Miccoli.

    And the Brits brag about Vardy.

  45. Anonymous Commentator

    I really need an answer from Pedro, how are we supposed to win games with the current setup?
    We can’t do smash and grabs anymore cause our defensive patterns have been studied and are now being exploited.
    We aren’t going to outscore anyone cause our lads don’t know how to attack anymore.
    What exactly is arteta going to do to rectify this that I’m just not seeing?

  46. WengerEagle


    That’s 20m that could be better spent elsewhere. Potentially get a good midfield player for that if you look in the right players.

    In the last year we’ve spent 75m on assembling those 4 CB options, we should at the very least give them a crack of the whip together before going out and bringing in a 5th CB. Use one of the guys from the youth teams if you’re smashed by an injury crisis and need a body.

  47. Champagne charlie


    Yes and no. I’m just not convinced by Luiz in a back 4 starter is all, but I think whether we go for a RCB will largely depend on what Saliba offers as the year progresses.

    Maybe Mari can surprise us all and deliver well enough for him and Gabriel to be a decent pairing while we focus on a rebuild up top?

  48. WengerEagle


    I think that Luiz is still serviceable in a back 4 so long as we have more quality going forward and on the ball which we hopefully actively are looking to rectify with transfer targets.

    I also would like another CM that fits the same physical profile as Partey does, said earlier that you could do far worse than bring in Anguissa for that. Gifted athlete and line breaker, lovely assist for Lookman today and he’s solid defensively like Partey. Really can play, him and Santi were brilliant for Villarreal in CM last season so imagine a CM with him and Partey behind a creative type like Santi?

    Then have a wide playmaker out left or right to bring some more creativity and balance and have your wide goalscoring forward on the other side with Auba through the middle.

    People are fast-tracking Saka far too much for one of these crucial XI roles, as much as I like the lad and have really high hopes for him he’s got so much still to learn and develop. He’s a baby at 19 and shouldn’t be counted on to the ridiculous degree as he is right now, give him 2-3 years to develop into the finished article.

    An ideal haul for me would look something like Anguissa [30-35m], De Paul [35m], Thauvin/Depay [25m because of contract situations] along with an Isco/Draxler type deal [25-30m].

    Probably would cost you up to 150m but that group would transform us into being competitive at the top end.

    United paid 200m for Fernandes, Maguire and Bissaka alone.
    Chelsea paid 150m for Ziyech, Werner and Havertz.
    Liverpool paid 150m for Van Dijk and Alisson.

    We won’t even go there with Citeh.

  49. China1

    Weagle ofc the odds are already against the goal keeper in a penalty… it’s called a penalty mate lol. It’s a Serious punishment for foul play in the most important part of the pitch. Keepers have a more than sufficient chance of saving a pen without stepping off their line. And the striker can miss it as well. I don’t understand the problem

  50. WengerEagle

    Leno, Bellerin, Gabriel, Saliba, Tierney, Partey, Anguissa, De Paul, Thauvin/Memphis, Isco/Draxler, Aubameyang.

    And to rotate/bring off the bench: Martinelli, Saka.

    That’s a very strong team with plenty of athleticism, ball comfortable players as well as goalscorers and creators.

  51. WengerEagle


    Look at penalty shoot-outs of times past and you’ll see that the keepers came off their line nearly every time. Never was a problem until VAR came in.

    Not saying that they should be allowed to come yards forward or anything but I don’t see the issue with a little forward momentum as they dive. CF should still always score.

  52. Pierre

    My analysis of the game v that when
    Wolves had the ball in the first half , we defended on the back foot never on the front foot , consequently we fell deeper and deeper towards our own penalty area.

    First half , very little pressing or intensity in our play..

    When we had the ball in the first half our full backs were much too high, they were more often than not higher up the pitch than Ceballos and Willock who played way too wide leaving the centre of the pitch exposed.

    This also left us open to the counter attack which in turn meant we were scared to take risks with the ball leading to negative football.

    There was an improvement in the 2nd half , we pushed higher up the pitch, Willock and Ceballos were more involved due to our play being higher up the pitch and consequently we put pressure on wolves leading to 4 or 5 near misses.

    Wolves did have a few breakaways, mainly through sloppy passing by Ceballos and Willian and .loss of possession by Xhaka.

    Aubameyang was poor throughout aand should have come off.
    Luiz should have come off in the first 10 mins.
    Gabriel was our best player.
    Holding improved our defence in the 2nd half.

    Tierney and especially Bellerin were caught out of position high up the pitch too often, making it easy for wolves to attack us down the wings..

    Ceballos and willock were average but were asked to play a very unconventional role in midfield that didn’t really work
    Saka struggled a little but never gave up looking for openings..

    To sum up..i think Arteta is over thinking things and needs to get back to basics…
    He shouldn’t focus on our lack of goals as this is creating indecision throughout the side..
    He just needs the team to start playing football and the goals will come as the confidence grows

    Revert back to the successful 4-2-3-1 , keep the full backs tucked in nice and tight , play 2 holding centre mids who don’t get ahead of the ball and then allow the 4 offensive players the freedom to express themselves in the knowledge that they have protection behind.

    This is an uncomplicated system, it’s what the players know and it gets results .

    The weekend is a difficult game and it may be a game where we do need to defend deeper.
    The one thing we don’t want is our full backs too high and getting caught out of position as Son will relish the opportunity to run the channels as soon as kane receives the ball .

    Chelsea marked Kane out of the game on saturday, kane is the fulcrum of their team and needs to be kept quiet or we may regret it.

    I can’t say I’m overly confident that Arteta will turn things around anytime soon.

  53. China1

    Also ET you are wrong to suggest Arteta had no say in transfers when he came in. Just because he was coach and not manager doesn’t mean he wasn’t instrumental in the decision making process.

    Xhaka has one foot out the door. He was unhappy and the fans had turned on him. Arteta comes in and he’s back in the first team and we turned down the offer. You really think that was Edu or Raul’s idea? The rejection was obviously because arteta wanted him to stay.

    Likewise Mari was recommended by Arteta because he’d worked with him before.

    Arteta did not have the final say on transfers when he joined last December but he did have a very obvious say in the decision making process and ultimately got 2 things he wanted with those two players

  54. WengerEagle

    But look, that’s pie in the sky I know.

    We ain’t bringing in 4 new first team midfielders/forwards for significant fees in a single window.

    Just showing what is possible without breaking the bank. We’ve spent 280m in transfers since the time that Emery was appointed as is and so much of it was wasted.

  55. China1

    Weagle watch the liverpool vs ac Milan shootout and it was a joke. Dida and whoever was in for Liverpool both abusing that no one stopped them moving forwards. The result was half the penalties were saved

    The real question is how do you determine what constitutes an but of forward momentum’ compared with ‘moving too far forwards’? It’s impossible grey to officiate. Secondly for what reason do the keepers need help? Like why is it a problem if a penalty heavily favours the attacker? It’s called a penalty man. It’s by definition a punishment!

    As for penalty shoot outs that’s not a punishment but why should the rules be any kinder for that? It’s fair for both teams. As well if you think having keepers on their lines means penalties will all get scored you’re absolutely wrong. It’s probably a 80-85% conversion rate you will see for most penalties right now. Ofc an elite taker might be higher and a poor one might be lower. But why is this a problem if it’s fair for both teams?

    It’s not like penalty shootouts are going to take 3 hours because nobody misses

  56. China1

    The only reason anyone even notices or cares about this keepers coming off the line rule is that keepers keep breaking it and getting punished with a retake

    If keepers would just follow the rules, all these retakes would disappear and no one would even notice the difference

  57. raptora

    Lovely team WE, although I’m not sold on neither of Isco and Draxler after the recent fiasco with Ozil, and Willian. I’d prefer going for younger, hungrier player or in case someone like Bernardo Silva is looking for a team.

    I’m just so depressed of the quality of our play at the moment. Shite is so bad that during yesterday’s 36 crosses we made, I thought about Lord Bendtner and how he’d have slotted in at least a couple of the chances. Lord B… Imagine…

  58. Champagne charlie

    “An ideal haul for me would look something like Anguissa [30-35m], De Paul [35m], Thauvin/Depay [25m because of contract situations] along with an Isco/Draxler type deal [25-30m].“

    So as a basic assessment you fancy a CM, CAM, AM x 2.

    I’d agree on the needs, just not sure about the wedge we have for those levels, particularly CM.

    My ideal would be Thauvin in jan for less than 10 mil there and then if they’ll have it, or tied up for the summer on a free. Hungry Dom. Then Aouar as the main catch next summer, with a player of less profile in CM like Samson at Marseille or Merino at Sociedad (though he’s gaining quickly).

  59. WengerEagle

    Haha China fair enough re the punishment. Just think that it’s never been easier to win a penalty as it is now with the daft handball rule and with the line crossing being officiated so strictly by VAR on top of it, it’s given us a penalty goal pandemic.

    It doesn’t have to favour certain teams for it to be a problem that needs looking at. Nearly everyone agrees that the handball rule needs to be changed and that doesn’t favour anyone in particular, does it?

    Don’t chalk off perfectly valid goals because a CF’s stud was offside, don’t award a penalty for a forward smashing the ball into a defenders’ arm and don’t retake penalties for a keeper straying inches off of his line.

    Yes it brings us into grayer territory but that’s where common sense comes into play. ‘Clear and obvious’ errors was the mantra for VAR. To eradicate blatant handballs like Henry’s for France or Maradona’s hand of God being possible, or blatant dives to win pens or ridiculously offside goals, etc.

    If it’s a call that has to be deliberated over by VAR for 5 mins, we’re doing it wrong. If it’s that tight it should just go with the original call by the refs/linesmen.

  60. WengerEagle


    It wouldn’t be too outrageous a haul considering we spent 100m on Pepe and Toreirra. Even 3 of those 4 would improve us tenfold.

    Depay/Thauvin would be more goalscorers than creators, could swap in a player like Musa Barrow for them too.

    If we can’t bully clubs like Bologna [Barrow], Udinese [De Paul], Fulham [Anguissa] and Marseille [Thauvin] than we’re doing something very wrong indeed.

    Getting Merino would be a whole lot more difficult than the others imo, he’s really made a name for himself at Sociedad and they’ll likely be a CL club next season.

  61. China1

    Weagle yeah we agree the new handball rules are trash. I don’t support those at all and all these new penalties are just some bs way to try and market the PL as more exciting

    Couldn’t agree more

  62. WengerEagle


    I always remember that really amusing stat about United under Moyes putting up something absurd like 40 crosses in a game, they were rightly memed for it with lump it into Fellaini being his ethos when they had ball players like Mata and Rooney as well as RVP.

    Scary that we’re not far off off of that type of game.

    Fair enough re Isco/Draxler although I don’t see why they both couldn’t have a James-esque rejuvenation somewhere where they are appreciated and properly involved. Neither has suffered serious injuries, both are 28 and 27 respectively.

  63. China1

    And yeah var is absolutely horrendously misused as well because the officials who are judging it couldn’t officiate a fucking children’s 5 a side game. The entire lot of PL officials could be fired tomorrow and you could replace them with any dick Tom or Harry from the crowd and it wouldn’t get any worse

    Awful the lot of them

  64. Champagne charlie


    Nah, Thauvin is a creator at heart, added a real mean streak in front of goal for a season there but reason he gets the juices flowing is his ability to create, to burst through and find a man with a deft ball. Superb technician, but super smart in terms of football. Basically what I hoped Pepe was.

  65. China1

    I always say it but there’s zero reason for any VAR decision to take longer than 30 seconds absolute max. In 30 seconds you can watch the replay from about 3 different angles about 5 times. If you can’t conclusively are what’s happened with that it’s inconclusive and the original decision must stand. These 5 min car reviews are a disgrace. It’s not murder she wrote. It’s really not that complicated. They don’t need to dust for finger prints on the shirt of the guy who went down ffs. Either it’s definitely clear or it’s not. If it’s not stop wasting time and ruining the game and get on with it.


  66. Dissenter

    There’s a that old aphorism in law that ‘ “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

    Anytime Pedro writes about Emery, he’s just pounding the table.

    Remember when Pedro used to throw around xGA stats to belittle results under Emery, even an unbeaten run was swatted away? Now that Arteta has neither results nor performance, what next?
    For Arteta, it’s down to plain old hopes-dopey blind gait; “if we win” …

  67. WengerEagle

    Great post China that last one, couldn’t agree more.

    At the very least there ought to be more transparency, they should be mic’d up so we can hear the conversations as they happen in real time.

    I’ve lost count of the VAR reviews that literally have taken 5 mins. How many times could you have possibly watched a 3 second highlight?

    If it’s that tough a call to make it ain’t even close to being a ‘clear and obvious’ error.

    Off the top of my head, Chelsea getting cheated out of a penalty at the death vs Pep’s Barcelona, Henry’s handball vs Ireland, Lampard’s ‘goal’ vs Germany at the World Cup are the type of situations that happened in football that we all agreed needed to get banished and VAR has been successful in that regard.

    But it’s brought a host of it’s own problems with it with these borderline decisions.

  68. Champagne charlie


    Mate I’m all in. Really need to see us land an influencer this Jan, hard rumours about Buendia so maybe he steps up and provides Hleb-like impact.

    Idk how much he’s touted for mind.

  69. WengerEagle


    Buendia wouldn’t be topping my list but wouldn’t say no to him, had a good season for Norwich last year. Definitely would help out with creativity.

    I’m nearly more concerned about finding homes for our bunch than the players that we ought to bring in to be honest.

    Shipping Lacazette, Pepe, Toreirra, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Chambers and Holding will be hard as they all still have a couple of years left on their deals.

    Won’t be hard to find a home necessarily but to get any sort of return on them?

  70. Champagne charlie


    He’s topping the championship for creative inputs in fairness, lots of positivity in the ‘pre’ department with him on paper. He’s not my fave, but he’s bare minimum that we should be gunning for at least.

    Get him and Hungry Dom and there’s enough sexy there to kick us up the arse in attack I think. Have to put a bit of lipstick on by then to avoid being seen as desperate though.

  71. Sid

    ‘There’s a that old aphorism in law that ‘ “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”Anytime Pedro writes about Emery, he’s just pounding the table.’

    Seems more like supreme leader & diet Pep pounding each other on the table. l😂l

  72. Pedro

    If anyone dropped in here from work and saw that some of the community call me Supreme Leader I’m not sure what the reaction would be.

  73. S Asoa

    To all those whomsoever it may concern
    ( i.e. those advocating full scale clearout )

    At 14 place and since 2 nd year of Emery Teams no longer have respect for Arsenal. Arteta too has now a reputation of being nasty and whimsical. So lot of good players will be reluctant to join. It is only the etheraeal wages here that attract.
    Therefore in large scale clearout, we might not be able to replenish in time

  74. Dream10

    Fabrizio Romano saying expect something “special” from Arsenal in the next window. That probably means an out of favour big name. Isco and Eriksen both fit the bill. Big wage and a low future fee just like Willian and Mkhitaryan.

  75. Guns of SF

    Buendia and Isco might be ok for the now and future…
    Im done with Aouar… ditch him and go for DS

    However, a cheaper option would be loan for Isco and buy Buendia…
    Buendia is younger and prem tested… also a more robust player…
    plus he is Argentine, we need one in the team

  76. Sid

    If Arteta does not make it to seasons end, we should go with Per, who should play the new blood, ESR, AMN, Balogun, Saliba, bring back Guen without favouritsm.

    Fresh start.
    mix it up with hungry/grafter signings like Buendia, Edouard

  77. Guns of SF

    Arteta likes players above age 26 its seems.
    What he does with Martinelli will say a lot to me.
    The one weapon we have – who is almost match fit… lets see what he does…

    Isco, Buendia and Martinelli all on the pitch together would be great to see.
    Skill and aggression…. attack mode

  78. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    I accept the point you made about original loan of Mari in January ie that Arteta wanted to
    recruit a “left footed” centre back.

    However, I disagree with your suggestion that he was involved in other transfer decisions at that time.

    Transfer business was conducted by Raul and Edu with Venkatesham the MD overseeing
    the financials and Huss Fahmy the contracts.

    One of the material changes that has occurred this summer is that Arsenal have appointed
    Tim Lewis as a member of the Board who is a partner at Clifford Chance and I am fairly sure
    that he is now likely to be involved in how business is conducted at the club.

    Since his arrival there have been material changes resulting in both Raul and Huss Fahmy
    leaving the club.Venkatesham has now been appointed CEO and Arteta was promoted to
    First Team Manager.

    Arteta does have therefore a say in transfer and contract renewals in recent window.

    Arsenal’s transfer budget was limited and apart from recruitment of Gabriel we spent no
    significant money in transfer window until the final day when Kroenke underwrote the
    transfer of Partey.

    We can discuss ad infinitum the reasons for Arsenal’s current status, but the writing was on
    the wall long before Arteta arrived at the club. My view is and has been that the club has
    been and is now in transition.

    We have a lot of young, mediocre and poorly recruited players on our books and that will
    take time to clear out of club particularly in current economic climate.

    Arsenal made a decision to recruit Arteta despite the risk of employing a young and inexperienced coach. I believe that the club will give him mileage in the job. Hopefully he
    will learn from his mistakes.

  79. Habesha Gooner

    Domink Szoboszlai is one of our top targets it seems. Very good young player. But I dont know if he will fix our creativity situation right now. Aouar is still a target but he wont come in january. Buendia is my choice though. familiar with the league, creative, feisty, can make his own space and has insane defensive stats for an attacker. Rodrigo de paul is also available but he will cost a lot.

    The rest are probably Eriksen and Isco. Both past their best. We would receive players needing to start over and low on confidence. Both around 28 too. If it is on a loan could be decent though.

  80. Pierre

    It wouldn’t surprise me if it is the same fans that use to complain about Aŕsenal playing “tippy tappy” football and ” trying to walk the ball in the net “back in the day, are now complaining about the number of crosses into the box..

    Give me one twos, good movement and intricate play in and around the box any day of the week…

    Fans use to think that “tippy tappy football” was just for show , it’s not.
    One and 2 touch football is the best way to beat a packed defence , that style of play is now a distant memory I’m afraid.

    Continually crossing the ball into a crowded penalty area with no one in the box who will attack the ball will result in one thing , a loss of possession leading to a counter attack and that’s why Wenger was always in favour of the tippy tappy game and keeping possession.

    That’s why it is important to be patient and to keep probing and maintain possession and try and feed the ball into the strikers with good running off the ball…
    Crossing into a packed penalty area is futile and reeks of desperation and a lack of composure.

    I did like our short corners , we created overloads of 3 against 2 and if played correctly will produce chances..
    The short corner also draws the opposition out of a crowded penalty area…

    We have become a predictable team, i read an interview with Willian with him saying that Arteta is obsessed by tactics, that is an accusation that could never be levelled at Wenger..

    The players look like they are pre programmed as to where to stand when we have the ball, you actually see them in a game check their position and think oh shit i was told to stand over there when we had the ball , so instead of making a run into a dangerous area they return to their pre programmed area of the pitch …quite sad really.

    We have gone from a side that was criticised for playing with freedom and expression, to a side who are scared to try anything different on the pitch…

  81. Daniel Altos

    – Wasn’t getting the best out of the youngsters or helping develop anyone. Is this not overwhelmingly true under Arteta too? Exiles Saliba from the team, benches Martinelli when he came in fresh at the start despite him being one of our best performers, benches Nelson and Willock for the most part, the only youngster that he seems to have any time for funny enough is Nketiah who I would argue is our worst.

    @WE you must be joking….saka was promoted under emery and got plenty of playing time,guendouzi,martinelli even willock…answer this,given arteta’s treatment of martinelli and guendo would he have given saka that much playing time last season if he was still in the academy?The dude only falls back on experienced players…look at reiss and esr cant even get a pl start yet willian is given game after game.

    Emery also got the best out of aubameyang and lacazette…wasnt lacazette arsenal player of the season a while back?Which other manager has managed to maoe auba look this useless?Auba isnt even smiling anymore ffs

  82. Elmo

    “If Arteta does not make it to seasons end, we should go with Per, who should play the new blood”

    We can’t keep throwing our talented ex-players who show potential for the future to the lions just to bridge management gaps due to sackings. Let Per do his work at the Academy, and see how he progresses. No point forcing him to temporarily take the managers job, after which like Freddie you likely lose an important member of the club’s staff as they feel they have to move on.

  83. Pierre

    At least the majority of posters now agree with me that the non negotiables and Arteta’s words are just Bullshit. .
    What i have noticed is that he has toned down the bullshit element in the last week or so and is not looking so confident and the smile has disappeared from his face..

    I think he’s feeling the pressure and regretting some of his poor decisions of the past few months .

    This will only be a good thing for him as he needs to take a retrospective look at the last few months and hopefully he will come out of this a better manager, there is still time to turn it around .

  84. Calypso


    Wenger’s brand of jumpers for goalposts football saw Arsenal knocked out of the Champions league round of 16 knockout stages 7 times in a row.

  85. shaun

    Looks like Arteta should have tried the champion ship first for a couple of years as his team looks ok in the europa but absolutely clueless in the prem

  86. shaun

    lets hope he can turn things round but what is most concerning and my main worry is that this situation does look like when Emery lost the players and if that’s the case and the people above don’t act then take the piss keano’s comments need to be taken seriously

  87. Valentin


    Confidence has ebbed away from him, because he is starting to realise that things are not working and he can’t charm his way out of hard questions with the media anymore.

    Journalists are now openly asking him questions about his sacking. Wait a few weeks, when players will know he is a dead man walking and will challenge his authority.

  88. Sid

    ‘We can’t keep throwing our talented ex-players who show potential for the future to the lions just to bridge management gaps due to sackings. ‘

    We should stick with guys like freddie/Per/Bergk, intelligent grounded and have worked with academy players just like Barca and RM have with Pep and Zidane.

    Or go with Ragnicks students.

    Keep off the Allegris, Pochs, and egoists(i can smell them from a mile away) like Arteta, Henry

  89. Graham62


    There is no denying that when Arteta walked into the club, he was taking on a poisoned chalice.

    A large core of substandard players as well as certain individuals who saw themselves as being more important than the club.

    My main gripe is that what momentum and positivity Arteta created, based on our Cup success, has been dismantled and, in many aspects, destroyed.

    There were definite signs that the players were responding and even enjoying what was being done but, inexplicably, Arteta started to change things.

    The Martinez saga.
    Taking AMN out of the equation.
    Persevering with GX and lately,Willian.
    Mishandling Pepe.
    Nullifying Aubameyang’s threat.
    Overemphasising our defensive duties at the expense of our offensive needs. etc etc

    The favouritism he shows to certain players is nauseating and his man-management skills are very questionable. The Luiz incident on Sunday was rank bad decision making, in so many respects.

    We are regressing, or should I say plummeting and unless Arteta changes his ways quickly, I see only one outcome.

  90. Thorough

    I have a hypothesis. Removing Bellerin from this team and adding AMN will make us better.
    And Tierney should be a left back fffs,not this central defender whos a left back when we’re on the forefront.
    Arteta is actually coaching and positioning these players into confusion. Now Ceballos, plays something resembling a right wing back/right winger when we all know he influences the game more from the center.

    Can we just do the basics and see where it leads us.