Arteta struggles look insurmountable. Can he find the way?

by .

Well, here we are, reality.

Life is pretty shit if you’re an Arsenal fan right now. But, things can improve fast if you believe. Positive. Mental. Attitude. Who said that? Kriss Akabusi?

For example, by thinking posi (shortened for impact), I managed to muster the energy to have the letter ‘T’ fixed on my laptop. Do you know how good that feels as a writer? Glorious. Absoluely glorious.

What doesn’t feel glorious is overseeing the current wreckage at Arsenal. However, spare a thought for Aston Villa who were beaten by the might of David Moyes and the strong backhand of Lady Luck last night. Also, pour one out for the main man, Brendan Rodgers, whose Leicester lost to Fulham. We’re still just five points from 4th, even after losing half our games. This year is going to be rough for everyone.

What those losses mean more generally is that you can go from fraud to not-fraud quite quickly. 5 wins on the bounce and you are in the mixer.

The main problem Arsenal has is there don’t seem to be too many escape routes out of this mess.

Thomas Partey is apparently out for a long time.

We banished the one creative we had at the club.

Willock, Eddie, ESR and Reiss are a long way from being ready.

Ainsley must have sat on the boss’s guinea pig because he’s out in the cold again.

Pepe, let’s face it, is not good enough. He can barely look elite against pub teams. No chance he’ll click and be the Zaha Senor Emery wanted him to be.

All the great solutions we have as fans just don’t work with the mix we have at the moment.

Let’s also be honest, we lost our three big games in fine margins matches. Aston Villa was the blip. Then all hell broke loose and we demanded a more attacking brand of football.

What did we get? Emery carnage.

What does that teach us? That maybe we’re not good enough to play a delightful brand of football with players that couldn’t do it last year.

So much for the fans that said ‘I’LL TAKE SHITTY RESULTS IF WE TRY AND PLAY MORE ATTACKING FOOTBALL.’ Monday morning after a loss and people are sacrificing sheep on the Armoury stairs hoping the gods of football termination are listening.

Arsenal are a five at the back squad right now. Without Partey and Mo driving the midfield, we’re fucking shite. WIthout a creative to connect midfield and attack, we’re pedestrian and anti-playing through the middle. It’s a real shit sandwich.

Things will get better because I don’t think they can get worse at the moment.

By January, we’ll have Partey and Mo in the middle. That gives us tempo and speed at the base of midfield. It also gives us players that can press for a full 90. We’ll bring Gabriel M back into the mixer, much needed, again, he gives us something we don’t have. He’s direct, good with his head, and no one attacks the ball like him. He’s the Leeds United energy we lack. Then you have Pablo Mari and Cal Chambers coming back into the mixer. Who the fuck knows what Pablo will be like, but he can pass and he’s built. Cal was playing very well before the break and he can move the ball with purpose.

Then you have the transfer kitty that the execs will go begging for. We’re being linked with a whole collection of players. Buendia of Norwich, Isco of Madrid, Max Aarons… there are rumblings that we’ll try and do something sexy so we can unlock some sort of exciting football in the back half of the season. I don’t know how much I believe that noise… Vinnai is like a gambler racking up bigger and bigger debts at craps table. How  many more ‘please sir, can I have some more’ moments will the Kroenke family accept with the wage bill we have and the empty stadiums that are happening?

The hope is we’re not starting January thinking about next season. I’d like to be in the mixer. That could start with a win this weekend, though I’m hard-pushed to see us dealing with Kane, Son, and Mourinho who are all in excellent in form at the moment.

Still, crazier things have happened. Are we not due something crazy? DO WE NOT DESERVE A THING AT SOME POINT?

I tell yah, fuck being the positive beacon of hope in the Arsenal community. It is way easier to be a miserable c*nt. Just take a negative position on everything, because eventually, in football, you’ll always be right.

Why did I back the vision? I could have just taken it easy, but oh no, I had to treat the Arteta brand like I was selling cookies at work. WHY DID I CHANGE? Now I have nowhere to hide, but you know what, fuck all of you that come to the site to gloat. You may have won the battle, but the war isn’t over… and let’s be honest, the people that are crying ‘SACK ARTETA’ would be the guys at war playing cricket with live grenades.

I think most people are on board with the idea of keeping Arteta on the project. We’ve seen 3 managers downed by this group of players, I’m not sure the club has the stomach to give someone else a go. The pipedreams of Allegri, Poch, or Nagelsmann are just that.

  1. We don’t have the money for their salaries
  2. We don’t’ have the money for the transfers managers on the up need to fulfil their ambitions
  3. We’re a fucking mess. Until we address the issues that are 10 years in the making, it’ll be hard to attract the very best.

We took the young manager route. We’ve made some bad decisions along the way. We will hopefully learn from them and course correct.

Arteta turned things around once, he can do it again. He needs to get back to basics. For starters, we’re not pressing, something that was really effective before. Where did it go? Players should be picked on form, not on reputation. Players should be dropped if they don’t’ hit the standards. Why have we gone from starting Reiss against Liverpool at the start of this project to bumming around with Willian again? If 5 at the back is the way, fuck it, it’s the way. If Auba on the left is better for him because he won’t press like our system needs, put him on the left. If Xhaka needs a special system to look half decent, then maybe he’s not the player for an 11 that needs 11 players that can run.

My hunch is it is not over, we’ll get into a good run, and we’ll laugh and joke about this moment as a turning point.

Dream, not hunch… but I can dream grenade cricketer.

Listen to the podcast with Aash and Pedro. It’s is GOOD.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

573 Responses to “Arteta struggles look insurmountable. Can he find the way?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Kaz

    That arseblog article was nice.

    Summed up very nicely how Arteta is failing tactically, all points mentioned have been bought up by different posters before so it’s nice to see which guys have been right on the money and which ones are talking out their ass trying to push the blame away from the manager.

    It’s depressing reading nevertheless, this is really basic things he isn’t getting done right.

  2. Valentin

    Marc,

    I did not phrase it properly, I meant that the referee should have been involved and force David Luiz off the pitch for medical treatment, we would have no justification to complain. Even if the opposition score while David Luiz is off the pitch to fix his bandage.
    Yes there is a rule that blooded gear must be changed. A few games ago, Leno had to change his shirt after he cut his hand.

  3. WengerEagle

    Kelleher looked quality tonight for the Bin Dippers. Only young Irish player that looks remotely interesting.

    That’s a breakout performance if I’ve ever seen one.

  4. Dissenter

    Kaz
    The arseblog posts were informative and damning.
    ‘ squawks football; Arsenal attempted 31 open-play crosses against Wolves, the joint-third-most by any team in a single Premier League game this season.
    Only three were successful. 😬’

    We are not playing like a properly coached team and it shows. When you see 9 Arsenal players in the vicinity of our 18 yard box defending against Wolves, you have to wonder what work are they doing on the training pitches.

  5. WengerEagle

    Big Rom with a lovely brace tonight to save Conte’s bacon.

    Absolute beast of a CF. Really has improved leaps and bounds since the move to Italy and looks physically at his peak rather than when he looked big and soft at United.

  6. Dissenter

    WE
    Yea, I saw that young Irish goalie. He didn’t even look fazed, maybe it’s that Corkonian attitude.
    It has to be great training with a great goalie day in day out, at some point they have to let him go out on loan to get games. Keepers just have to play to improve.

  7. Kaz

    WE

    Conte was desperate to sign Lukaku but he just missed out on him when he was at Chelsea. He’s been after him for years, has told him previously he knows how to utilise him and play him to his strengths and he wants him in his team. He’s finally got his man and I’m absolutely not surprised they’re doing great together.

  8. Kaz

    Dis,

    We’ve all mentioned something previously about the team that has been put into the article, just nice to see what we’ve been saying is being corroborated by the stats.

    Shocking really, how many basic things aren’t being done and without question the players don’t want to collectively fight for him either.

  9. Valentin

    The article exposes that the “but we are more difficult to beat” was done to detriment of the rest of our play. Moreover it shows that despite defending in greater number, we are not better at defending.
    Defend passively against a team full of runners and people who can thread a pass, expect to be put to the sword. I am dreading the game against Spurs. The best we can hope is an undeserved back to wall steal, I pray that it is not an embarrassing spanking.

  10. China1

    I saw the American CDC is recommending against all non-essential travel to Mexico

    Why??? In case Americans spread Covid to them???? Absolute jokers lol. It’s spreading like wild fire in America, I’m not sure they’re in any position to refer to other countries as being high risk lol

  11. Dissenter

    China1
    You mean the Trump CDC?
    The CDC was gutted by this administration and now they couldn’t even get a simple COVID test right in Feb.
    No listens to them and that Mexican travel divisors is just another Xenophobic measure because there’s an uncontrollable spread within America anyways.
    Mexico needs to build a wall pretty quickly to keep Americans out.

  12. China1

    To those saying our squad needs improving

    I’m less concerned with the quality and more concerned that we don’t have any asthmatics and midgets. Those inhalers and growth hormones are 🔥!!!

  13. Dissenter

    Val
    ‘ I pray that it is not an embarrassing spanking.’
    I join you in that prayer bro.
    Regardless of how we feel about Arteta, the stench of a major beat-down will never go away. For Arsenal’s sake we have to show up.

  14. bennydevito

    Pedro,

    Not sure if you saw my comment this afternoon but to add to that, you yourself did tell us all in a post when Arteta was appointed that we could see periods like this; bumps in the road and some serious get worse to get better scenarios, but within the 2nd season we’d start seeing it piece together, well this is where we’re at right now potentially, if I could be as inclined as some others to dig up your old posts I’m sure I’d find something along those lines. Point is although I do have some worries, I’m still confident Arteta can turn this round. Confidence based on hope, perhaps, but I think there’s been enough to see that we’re potentially not too far off. Things can change incredibly fast in football.

  15. Pedro

    Benny, people have been digging up my old posts all day.

    I stand by all of them.

    We are in a rough patch. You either down tools and give up, or you see it through.

    If Arteta gets us back to shithousing wins and we do some biz in Jan, the good times will roll.

    If he doesn’t, we’ll move onto the next manager.

  16. bennydevito

    Pedro,

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m happy to shithouse our way back into business starting with the Spuds. Some good rumours on Twitter that Arteta’s being given £75m from the Kronkes. Let’s hope so but hope it’s used for 1 or 2 flair midfielders.

  17. China1

    Coming 2nd 5 years ago with a low 70s pints tally would be like if we came 4th this year with a low 60s points tally. The less said about it the better…

  18. azed

    Pierre

    There’s a difference between saying the tactics is doomed to fail and the players we have are not suitable to that tactics.

  19. azed

    Pierre

    If Arteta wants to push his full backs high, then he should keep his midfielders in the middle and not push them to cover the full backs because apart from Partey and El Neny, the rest of our midfielders are not mobile so moving them to cover the full backs weakens the midfield while not protecting the wings.

  20. DaveB666

    We all know there are certain players who just don’t cut it – in any game and shouldn’t be near the first 11. Xhaka is the main one, Luiz (great to have round the club to school youngsters )- Europa at best. Laca – so poor its incredible. Reiss – nowhere near a prem player, Willian is an absolute retirement plan player and as for Pepe we have to put up with shit play and then a headbutt?Everyone else needs to step up – we are Arsenal and deserve better! (I forgot Bellerin – forget fashion mate and learn some football…..)

  21. Venga, Dani

    bummer right now but reasons to be hopeful: Saka, Saliba, Gabi Maghales, Gabi Martinelli, are all great prospects. Nketiah, Willock, AMN, great squad players, and Partey is the CM we’ve needed since Vieira. Recruitment is improving – just slowly

  22. Sid

    ‘I pray that it is not an embarrassing spanking.’
    I join you in that prayer bro.’

    Where is @gentlebris when u need him? Kumbaya ma lawd kumbaya…..

  23. DivineSherlock

    I have to say the opinions on here are wildly fluctuating , but I stand by Arteta atleast to see this season out , whatever happens (not relegation obviously) . Emery got pre season , transfer windows and he screwed up . Arteta has still not got a proper pre season , he has had to deal with fucking pandemic & just one transfer window . All of which would be very hard for someone who has just started the job The gripe with Arteta is merely regarding his team selections , which is quite baffling to understand. The way he wants to play and the player he selects are not matching up .

  24. Goobergooner

    Receding Hairline

    ” “The idea that Emery is some type of chump, who doesn’t know what he’s doing, stands up to no real type of scrutiny”
    You hate Arsenal”

    Just had to say that cracked me up from the other day

  25. China1

    Emery ranked his second season with us and was rightly fired, but he’s a good manager. He just wasn’t the right manager for us and we paid the price for that

    His record speaks for itself tho. He shouldn’t be in a team of mega egos and superstars. Take them away and he can over achieve.

  26. China1

    Yeah tbf our academy is doing great recently. It’s the experienced players who are underperforming

    Some of the kids in our youth setup are looking like great prospects. Would love to see that Swedish lump paired with martinelli in a 4-4-2 in the Europa league. That would be a mad fun strike force. The Swede is huge and has great link up play and an eye for goal and martinelli is just lethal and fast as fuck. Would love to see it but it’s never gonna happen

  27. Kesses+gunner

    China how many remember won the title with 81,all we recall they were champs in 2016,so to try to pontificate arsenal 71 points is just that we finished 2nd whether low points tally or not,I recall in 2017 we had 75 but only good enough for fifth

  28. raptora

    Arteta: ‘There we have to be stronger than ever, keep our idea and keep trying to bring the players we want, keep the players we have and evolve them. For me that’s the main secret.’

    Keep the players we have and evolve them?
    What does he mean? He has to improve them, develop them, wtf does evolve them mean?

    Not saying it’s impossible to change how a player plays the game, Bielsa did it at Leeds, Klopp kind of did it with Pool, Pep not so much but he has a clear image of the players that fit his playstyle, and the money to get them. All three coaches with many years in the job behind them. It’s just such a big task for a newbie manager. Huge. Maybe an impossible one.

  29. Freddie Ljungberg

    Arete said in a recent interview that he wants to move to a 4-3-3 but that we’re 5-6 players away from being able to do that.

    Not sure I buy that, sure we could use upgrades in a couple of positions, some significant ones in 1 or 2 but we should still be able to play 433 and do much better than we are now.

    Hopefully Partey is back soon, the only competent midfielder we have now that Ceballos isn’t in form/being played in weird positions. .

    Read a worrying article that said we were still trying to persuade Mustafi to sign a new contract, sackable offence if true.

    I don’t buy that Pepe is shit either, he’s being used wrongly by Arteta and managed horribly. He’s one of our most productive players, and the only one apart from Saka with an X factor and he’s only had 2 starts in the league, smh. He scores he’s benched, he assissts he’s benched.

    Yes the head butt was stupid as fuck, no denying that but he should have been allowed to play himself into form before that, much more upside to that than doing it with Laca, Eddie or Willian.

    We haven’t made a move for Buendia yet apparently, should have done it in the summer really. Him and DS would improve us no end, for very little outlay. Probably the same as just Aouar, while being far more productive. We also need 2 creative players, one isn’t going to be enough.

  30. China1

    Yeah but exactly that we didn’t win the league in the easiest to win PL season since it’s inception. The second place is a failure not an achievement

  31. Trap

    1 cb (ibrahima Konate)
    2 creative midfielders (Dominik+Aouar)
    1 winger (seems he wants 2)
    1 forward (oduard)

    5-6 players for a change of system is about right .
    On pepe i like the guy but I’m pretty sure Arteta wouldn’t have signed him if he was in charge then .

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    Trap

    1 CB (Saliba is more than good enough, don’t understand what Arteta is doing there, unless it’s because he lost his mother and isn’t ready mentally, they still screwed up the whole situation) nevertheless we can still play 4 at the back with Holding partnering Gabriel. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now.

    2 creative players – agreed that’s what we need but we could have easily picked someone up last summer instead of the pipe dream that Lyon was going to give us a steep discount on Auoars 50m price tag, which I don’t think he’s worth anyway. I was all aboard the DS train back then and way earlier but at least we could have picked Buendia up when the Championship window was still open.

    1 winger – Saka and Pepe are good enough to play in a 433 if used right. It’s the system that kills it. Having Pepe hugging the touchline is doomed to fail, have him cut in for crosses and shots instead and give him the ball closer to goal instead of in our half and he’ll deliver. Have to play him first though.

    Striker – Ideally we replace Laca with an Edouard/Thuram/Daka but Auba scores you goals if he has the service, no reason we can’t play 433 with him up top.

    I mean I agree that we need upgrades in several positions, that’s always been the case, I’ve been saying since Wenger left that only 3-4 players from that squad was worth keeping and not even all of them starters. That doesn’t mean we can’t play a 433 until every piece is perfect though.

  33. Receding Hairline

    5-6 players to transition to 4-3-3, that’s all well and good.

    What do we do in the interim? They say a good coach makes his team greater than the sum of it’s parts, so he isn’t a good coach let alone a great one.

    Just a Jose/Pep wannabe intent on spending money.

    Any coach in the world could do with better players if offered the chance, nothing unique or generational about that. His league results since he came here has been average to poor so if that’s the best he can achieve with the present squad why does he deserve millions to build a new squad? FA cup?

    Xhaka is still here because he persuaded him to stay, he can’t play his preferred system with Xhaka so what was the plan? Same with AMN, Lacazette.

    Nothing the young man has done points to a clear vision of what he wants to do. He is throwing stuff at the wall hoping something sticks.

    Do we really have money to spend in January? Has he earned a January transfer kitty? Do the best players move in January? Has he improved any of our players to the point their value has appreciated and we can cash in on them?

    How will the players react to knowing he needs 5-6 new players and they are not considered good enough for his generational system?

    Its going to be an interesting time until the January window I think

  34. Guns of SF

    Freddie, I am glad you agree, ive been beating the drum we need 2/3 creators in the team
    One is not enough…

    Buendia and Isco?
    I am hearing that DS might be going to Leipzig

  35. Guns of SF

    I think the players are also looking forward to Jan.
    I am sure they want to know who can help their sinking ship….
    Also would give an idea of who would need to make plans to leave in summer…..

    We need Xhaka to sit down…. a back up ok.

    We need 2 starters in mid…. creative types…

    If Areta still fails with these, then time to sack him

  36. MidwestGun

    No listens to them and that Mexican travel divisors is just another Xenophobic measure because there’s an uncontrollable spread within America anyways.
    Mexico needs to build a wall pretty quickly to keep Americans out.

    Why??? In case Americans spread Covid to them???? Absolute jokers lol. It’s spreading like wild fire in America, I’m not sure they’re in any position to refer to other countries as being high risk lol
    ________

    Ok so as a person who lives near the Rio Grande Valley.. I can absolutely say the CDC is 100% accurate Americans shouldn’t travel to Mexico.. The Covid is much much worse there and it’s really bad here. But Mexico doesn’t even test because they don’t have the resources.. However all their hospitals are full and overloaded.. People are dying so fast there the cemeteries have mass graves.. Many of my neighbors who are contractual nurses and doctors have been working there but no longer because they say it’s like a war zone. El Paso which is just on our side of the border in Texas is the hottest spot in Texas and they have moved in refrigerator trucks to hold the bodies.

    So I know you were trying to make jokes.. but no you should not travel to Mexico. They don’t have medical care, they don’t have tests and they don’t even have simple things like masks.
    so no it is not xenophobic it’s the reality on the ground there right now. That’s why… not because of anything to do with Trump or walls.

  37. China1

    Guns if we can get more than 15m for xhaka the cash would be worth more to us

    Fire sale on the dross would be good tho I doubt arteta will be ruthless enough to sanction many (any) sales.

    Mustafi keeps getting linked to Barca which is hilarious. If they will give us anything we should take it. Get his wages off the books, any transfer fee they’re willing to pay and get his ass out the club.

  38. Sid

    Diet Pep says he needs 6 new players
    Loooool amatuerish
    He has in short told players supposed to fight for him that they are surplus to requirements

  39. Tom

    MidwestGun
    The situation in Mexico is as you said and the CDC travel advisory normally would’ve been taken at face value had they not lost a lot of credibility with the public for allowing political interference from the White House.
    It’s bad enough some of their early Covid-19 prognosis were incorrect and/or contradictory due to the fact this was a new virus, but their subservient behavior in face of Trump’s political pressure has damaged them badly.

    They clearly saw what happens to scientists on government meal tickets who stand their ground and contradict the supreme leader when NOAA’s chief scientist lost his job in the aftermath of the “Sharpie Gate”.

  40. Tom

    “Diet Pep says he needs 6 new players
    Loooool amatuerish
    He has in short told players supposed to fight for him that they are surplus to requirements“

    Sid
    If that’s what he said then losing the players will happen sooner than I thought.
    Arteta quite simply doesn’t have enough built up equity as a former player and now a coach to tell half the squad they aren’t good enough, even though we all know it’s true.

  41. Receding Hairline

    Tom he is not just saying they aren’t good enough, he is admitting to setting them up to play football he doesn’t believe in. If the coach hates the football he is playing how would the players buy into it?

    He is essentially saying you guys are too rubbish to play good football so have some rubbish football while we wait to get rid of you

    Elite leadership

  42. Sid

    “We want to move to a 4-3-3 but for that, you need a lot of specificity in every position but now in five or six positions, we don’t have it.”

    Already shifting blame

    “I think that what we miss is in the opponent’s area and the last part of the pitch. We have to find the key in the attack, that last decision, that last pass, that last cross to create a goal situation, a goal, a shot, a corner, etc.”

    Then why sign Willian? Buendia was available, clueless

  43. Sid

    “Without attendance we are lucky the players hear us more but if you ask any player I’m sure they would like to hear us a lot less. It’s also really helpful so others don’t understand us. Sometimes it’s part of the strategy, so the opposition doesn’t have any idea of what we say”

    Clown

  44. Tom

    HR
    “We need six new players “ are five words that should never be spoken out in public and outside of the boardroom.
    It’s the ultimate team spirit killer.

  45. Tom

    “Sometimes it’s part of the strategy, so the opposition doesn’t have any idea of what we say”

    Looks like to me the opposition is understanding Arsenal schemes quite well without deciphering the Arteta’s Enigma.
    Can’t say the same about our players though.

  46. Batistuta

    When people say they’re giving him the rest of the season, are they saying provided we don’t fall into the relegation places but keeping losing and drawing to all and sundry and playing horrible football then the manager can keep his job?

    Are folks writing off a season that’s still got a whole long way to go in the hopes that the rookie manager learns on the job?

    Not advocating sacking him now by the way but if in 4/5 games results don’t improve then what’s the point keeping him really

  47. MidwestGun

    Tom-
    Yep.. I understand the CDC’s credibility is questionable..at best, given how they change their mind every week but it’s not just them,.. The WHO and basically any health organization like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders that has a relationship with Mexico knows how bad it is there at the moment . . It’s not just Americans.. I don’t think anyone should travel there for some time. The crime cartels there are out of control as well with the government overwhelmed with Covid. Many of my friends and neighbors here are very very worried about their relatives living there. And many have stopped going there.. despite the holidays.

    Bottom line though.. I don’t recommend going to Mexico either for at least a year . the CDC got that one right anyhow. You are much more likely to get Covid there then here. And if you do … good luck getting help if you have bad symptoms. I do hope they get help there .and money for vaccines and logistical support. Beautiful country under normal circumstances.

    Alright.. apologies for getting serious and going off topic..but had to correct the earlier statements.

    Carry on with the Arteta dissections. 😀

  48. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    Cant see Norwich being to keen to sell buendia in January,
    Especially as there top of the table and want to bounce back at the first time of asking.
    They also know they can probably sell at a higher price in june/july if there promoted.
    Unless they have serious financial problems doesn’t make sense to sell now unless it’s a stupidly high offer.

  49. Mr Serge

    You have to give Arteta a chance to get his players in and get a rythm going he has only been in charge for 30 games
    This is a weird season we lost half our games but are 4 points off 4th
    Patience is needed at this point

  50. Valentin

    “Sometimes it’s part of the strategy, so the opposition doesn’t have any idea of what we say”

    Because clearly nobody else on the opposition bench speak Spanish nor French. That explain the bad performance against Wolves, Leeds their managers understood the instructions Arteta was given to the player…
    🤔🤭🤬

  51. Up 4 grabs now

    The fact we never had a plan B if we couldn’t get aouar is incompetents of the highest order.
    Arteta knew he wasnt playing ozil so needed a replacement, there was plenty of time to get someone in, but it’s all last minute again.
    We’ve been chasing partey since march/april but leave it with 30 minutes to go before activating his buy out clause. Something that could have been done in August so he was ready for preseason.
    Wenger used to do the same, put all his eggs in one basket then when we couldn’t get the player he wanted, would say there was no quality available,
    We are starting from a very low base, we have a bloated squad of journeymen and retirees, and players who are not good enough.

    That’s not good enough to get back in the top four, let alone compete or actually win the league!!!!

  52. Aussie+Gooner

    You can talk about the players we have not replaced but basically we never replaced David Dein. I doubt Wenger would have enjoyed the success he had initially if it wasn’t for the football acumen of Dein and his connections within the FA and UEFA. He held major positions within those organisations and had a network of contacts second to none. He was also a very personable chap and related well to most people. Yes he made some mistakes towards the end of his tenure but we have not had such an experienced footballing mind behind the scenes since his departure.

    Emery did not stand a chance in the toxic environment he came into and was the wrong appointment under the circumstances. His communication difficulties combined with no authoritative figure to watch his back at the club was a recipe for disaster. Ironically only someone like Mourinho would have been able save the mess. Not that I want him anywhere near Arsenal! He would be able to overwhelm the club infrastructure (just like he has done to Lewis and Levy at the Spuds) and do his own thing until imploding, getting a few trophies along the way.

    Unfortunately Arteta is on the same downward trajectory as Emery with no authoritative support from within the club and he has lost most of the playing group bar his favourites. No amount of sauce is going to save him without radical changes. He is bereft of ideas, his decision making has been abysmal at times as is his use of players, team selections and in game management. Not to mention transfers in/out and his ‘non–negotiables’. He is a rookie trying to do a substantive job. No other top club would risk this type of experimentation. Even Ole had previous management experience, albeit limited.

  53. Up 4 grabs now

    Arteta was bought in last season to try and refloat the ship after it started to go under with Emery in charge.

    The brief was get us back into the top four or secure champions league football through the Europa.

    He was in 8th and still in the Europa league when he came.

    We got kicked out of the Europa by olympiakos at home after winning away with a clean sheet.
    And finished 8th where we were when he found us.

    Yes the cup final was great, we had some luck but I’ll take that.
    But he didnt get us back in the champions league.
    This season the remit is the same, qualification for champions league football either way.

    Ten games in and we look miles off getting a top four finish, even if we are six points off at the moment.

    Were not chasing a dodgy lasagna eating spuds side down. theres six or seven other sides as well us us now for four spots.
    We might fluke the Europa league depending on the draw, it doesn’t get serious till the quarters or semis but would you bet on us?

    Potentially we could face athletico, or real madrid. Inter milan,
    Ajax, Atlanta or the mighty olympiakos again!

    Believe it or not I’m still backing arteta (for now) but the next 5 league games will be the tipping point for me.
    Thats unless we get battered by the spuds by 3,4,5 goals this weekend in which case its goodnight Vienna.

  54. China1

    If arteta thinks we need 5 or 6 first team players to play a 4-3-3, why did he reject 60 million for AMN, Laca and Xhaka when he doesn’t even want them in the starting 11?

  55. China1

    That 60m would’ve bought him Aouar and the first installment for Szoboszlai.

    A midfield 3 of Partey Aouar and Szoboszlai could’ve been starting for us this season. A more than adequate combination for his preferred formation…

    Where was that ruthlessness he mentioned when he joined?

  56. Up 4 grabs now

    Aussie,

    Your bang on the money about dein.
    Wenger identified the player he wanted and dein did the rest.
    Of course money and wenger was an attraction for any player back then, but Dein promoted the club, living in london, etc, and if the club needed to pay a million or two more to secure a player, it didnt matter
    As soon as wenger got control of the buying and selling it was like he was using his own money.

  57. Up 4 grabs now

    China,

    I’m not even sold on aouar, he wants to go to madrid, he looks good but there are other cheaper options out there.
    Your right though, sell the 3 players that we could have got reasonably good money for, and that would have bought two quality chance creating midfielders.

    Were starting from such a low base that it almost couldn’t have failed to improve us in midfield.

  58. Danny+S

    Upfirgrabs

    Arteta will revert back to type against spuds this weekend. We will see a rock solid, brain Numbing 3 at the back and we will shithouse ourselves to a 0-0 draw. Likely Spurs will have 20 odd shots at goal, but we will grind a draw out.

  59. Up 4 grabs now

    Danny,

    I’m not sure how this weekend goes.
    Mourinhos bus against artetas bus!

    Could be the most boring game in NLD history!
    The only good thing is that form goes out the window, which is good for us since ours is appalling!

    To be honest I think maureen has artetas number and we get done by son and kane again.
    I would love to be wrong, I hate the spuds and maureen. But dont even think some of the players will be up for it.

    Which is a disgrace in itself.

  60. China1

    U4gn

    I agree, Aouar is not my first choice but arteta wanted him and could’ve had him. What’s his excuse? He can’t plead player poverty and financial poverty whilst turning down money for players who he doesn’t want to use who could’ve allowed him to get the players he wants. It doesn’t add up at all.

    Also Laca only has 18 months left on his deal so if we can’t sell him in Jan or the summer he’s another transfer fee pissed away for what reason? So he can be lower in the pecking order than Eddie nketiah. A kid who hasn’t even demonstrated he’s good enough yet (not that I’m bagging on him but he’s still raw)

  61. China1

    With martinelli coming back, Laca should be either our third or fourth choice CF depending on your take on Eddie

    Why are we turning down 25m for him + he has big wages…

  62. Pierre

    China
    “Coming 2nd 5 years ago with a low 70s pints tally would be like if we came 4th this year with a low 60s points tally. The less said about it the better”

    So, Going by your warped thinking, winning the league in 1998 with 78 points is like coming 3rd in any other year..

    The fact is, the table doesn’t lie , coming 2nd 5 years ago meant we were the 2nd best team in the country .

    The Wenger obsessives hurled abuse and protested towards the manager for ONLY finishing 2nd , until they finally got their way ( that worked out well didn’t it) , despite ONLY winning 3 FA cups in 4 seasons ..

    One would have thought the obsessives like china would be hiding their head in shame after the way things have turned out since Wenger left, but no , they are still here spouting their bullshit…

    All i can say is look at the league table now and look at the football we are playing now, you’re getting the football you deserve .

  63. China1

    My take on Eddie is I actually think he might become a lethal striker in the PL but I think he will take another 4 years to really be at that level in the PL. he is physically quite lightweight and struggles a bit against the physicality of the PL. you can see against his own age group he’s quality tho.

    The real question is will arsenal be patient enough (or will he be willing to remain a second or third choice CF at arsenal) as he develops? He’s a good third choice option imo but if arteta wants to play him in the first team with auba on the left it’s going to end in tears as he’s too raw for the PL

  64. Pierre

    Grabs
    “I’m not sure how this weekend goes.
    Mourinhos bus against artetas bus!”

    Jose will go for the jugular this weekend , there will be no parking the bus from them .

    Our hope is that we can sneak an early goal and defend for our lives..
    Arteta has managed to get results in these types of games before so you never know…

  65. Ishola70

    We are not getting top four or anywhere near by playing back five with the majority of players behind the ball with a non-existent midfield and just hitting direct to the forwards. It may have worked out in one off matches in the FA Cup but it’s not going to work week in, week out in the EPL.

    We are not going to get top four either or anywhere near by trying to be more progressive with a 4-3-3 and actually trying to play some proper football because the team still has weaknesses in it at this present time.

    But here’s the thing. If we are going to fail anyway with both scenarios why not try the proper football option and at least we start to make small steps to ultimately progress as a team in the long run.

    We should have seen the imprint of Arteta by now. He has had enough matches. And his over-riding blueprint is basically shit housing football. It’s lots of players behind the ball and countering hiding your midfielders away. The best that people have said about Arteta is that the defensive structure is better.

    If Arteta reverts to type and starts to look to shithouse results again a team like Leeds are ultimately going to finish above us in the league. Leeds will get soundly beaten in matches but they will also have enough good days as well where they pick up the three points. They are trying to play what can be termed proper football. Our fallback is shithousing again and as well as losses we will see too many draws as well.

    If Bielsa and Potter can get their teams playing more progressive football than Arsenal then that is a bad take for Arteta. He has to be brave and try to start getting this team to play.

  66. Danny+S

    Pierre

    We came second to Leicester in a year when most of the ‘big 6’ were in transition, had new managers and were playing poorly.
    The league was there for the taking and had Spurs not tanked we’d have been 3rd.

  67. Calypso

    Coming 2nd to Leicester was probably our worst season under Wenger
    Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea all lost 10 games or more and Chelsea who finished 10th did the Double over us. .

  68. Up 4 grabs now

    Pierre,

    The problem is we go one down I just dont see us getting back into the game unless it’s a penalty, we look so devoid of ideas its frightening.
    If we do concede first we then have to push on, and the way our defence is that’s gap central.

    If holding starts with gabriel then I think they have the height to maybe keep kane quiet, but its sons pace and tricks that could undo us.
    That’s before we even get to bale.

  69. Danny+S

    Pierre

    Also, Wenger started the slide. We should be mopping up the last of his mess now once the season ends and Ozil goes. We should have sold Xhaka, Laca, Kol and Mustafi and should be looking g at a new dawn but unfortunately we’ve loaded ourselves with 2 more Ozils (hopefully Auba proves me wrong) and it doesn’t look like we will improve soon.

  70. Up 4 grabs now

    China,

    I like eddie as well, but I think he needs games. He needed to go out on loan this season as leeds messed him about last year.
    But that would have left us with an out of form laca and injured martinelli

    Laca should have been moved on this summer like you say he’s going to sit out his contract if doesn’t go next month.
    You do wonder who actually negotiates deals at arsenal.

  71. China1

    It doesn’t matter if you’re the second best team in the country if there are no good teams in the country. How can this not be clear?

    That season the big 6 were all trash. Arsenal didn’t make them trash, they all had their own individual reasons for failing. If you beat Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint but he fell over, half the other competition got disqualified for repeated false starts, the next best pulled up with a hamstring injury and you finish second with a 100m sprint time of 10.5 seconds, you don’t celebrate it like it’s an achievement lol. It’s really not that complicated. We were not especially good that season, we just treaded water around our standard top 4 level and everyone else was crap so by default that left us in second. And now coming second is like a trophy? Be serious lol

    As for our points tally in 98, that’s 22 years ago…. but nice try at turning an average top 4 season into a ‘like a trophy’ one.

  72. China1

    Coming second in a zero horse race is not like a trophy. Bragging about this ‘achievement’ is honestly embarrassing

  73. Up 4 grabs now

    I really dont get the contract situation at arsenal, we’re not talking about losing star, top quality players.
    Its almost always the same, let the player get down to two years then negotiate a new one or sell them.

    Instead its string out contract negotiations over 6-9 months then he player is on the driving seat the last year of the contract.

    It’s not like it hasn’t happened before how do they not learn from it.

    RVP, Nasri, Adebayor, Sanchez, Ramsay, ozil, Aubameyang,
    You would think they would learn after the first time!

  74. Ishola70

    Arteta is just playing for time when he states he hasn’t got the players at present to play more progressive football.

    This team is not just a season away from transforming.

    So what is Arteta going to do? Keep playing five at the back and looking to hit on counters for one to two seasons?

    It’s like a child that doesn’t want to take his stabilisers off the bike. Too frightened.

    He’s got to be a big boy sooner or later and take those stabilisers off.

  75. Danny+S

    Pierre

    And also, just to show how you cherry picking of facts and stats is total bull shit, when you compare seasons before and after 98, all the champions finished on 82 to 89 points so 78 isn’t a great difference.

  76. China1

    If I entered a ‘England’s sexiest man’ competition and the only other people who showed up besides one looked like pie face, making me second place by default, I would not be fucking bragging about this lol

  77. Up 4 grabs now

    If that mustafi contract extension (another one allowed to go under 2 years) is true.
    And it’s what arteta wants, then he should be sacked just for that.
    I’m waiting for the I’m pleased to announce granite has signed a new 5 year deal and will finish his career with us story at arsenal. Com.
    Shit really hits the fan that day!

  78. Swkmoon

    Can’t really understand the logic of us coming 2nd being the Great Man’s worst season…surely the circumstances that applied to all the other teams dropping points applied to us to?..
    First – 3
    Second – 6
    Third – 5
    Fourth – 6
    Fifth – 1
    Sixth – 1
    Yep..I would say out of that remarkable record that last one was the worst.

  79. Danny+S

    Xhaka signs a 5 year deal, Luiz gets another year and Arteta has a heart to heart with Mustafi and persuades him to stay.

    Summer from hell.

  80. Daniel Altos

    bennydevito
    ‘But as Arteta is young and a novice I’m confident these errors in player judgement and thinking he can turn around unreliable old players is more to do with naivety and inexperience than bad judgement longterm. Hopefully he learns fast and ships out the unreliables and the overpaid oldies and integrates the youngsters as soon as possible.

    @benny theres nothing to prove that he woll learn anythibg and this is not a managerial college …its a bloody football club.Plus lets assune you are right and he turns out good,whats to say he wont fuck off to ManCity at the first time of calling?Would it be worth all the years of waiting for him to come good?

  81. Mee

    Before the wolves game, some were dreaming that we might get six points in the next two games to steady the ship and I thought…”Do you mean six shots on target?” Now, I don’t think we will even get the six shots on target. Arteta will be sacked after the NLD or at least Edu.

  82. Ishola70

    Arteta has to find a system the players really buy into.

    A system that won him the FA Cup was basically underdog football. Ultimately the players are not going to buy into that even if it gave them short term kudos in winning the FA Cup.

    It’s clear that as well as some of these players not being up to scratch the team as a whole are not buying into Arteta either at this present time.

  83. Daniel Altos

    It’s going to be a fairly quick post from me today, I’m mainly writing this now because I did a podcast with a friend who was over from London, check it out at the bottom of this blog!Today was all about the battles Emery hasn’t really won. Namely, he had to drop Granit Xhaka from the squad after his captain refused to tow the party line and apologise for his nonsense on Monday. He also brought Mesut Ozil back into the fold after banishing him a week ago very publicly.The starting 11 kind of looked interesting on paper, we opted for a 4-4-2, which looked 4-2-1-3 in transition. I think it was quite hard for anyone to really tell what the message of the day was tactically. The most glaring, ‘what the fuck is Emery doing’, was happening with Ozil. The manager in his ultimate wisdom had decided that he’d put LT in the #10 role, asking Mesut Ozil to drop deep and do the dirty work with the Matteo.Name me a coach anywhere in the world that would opt for that as an approach without consuming at least 19 beers beforehand.It was painful to watch Mesut drop deep and have to work the ball up the pitch, a task made even more difficult by a Matteo G having a seriously out of sorts day. The Frenchman had the type of bad game young players have, he couldn’t string a pass together and nothing went right for him.In spite of the baffling tactical approach, we did score a goal and move ahead of Wolves. A Luiz and Chambers combo on the right found Lacazette who unselfishly teed up Auba for a simple slotted finish.We weren’t really in control of the game though, in the second half, Wolves ramped up the pressure and found a breakthrough. The only part of this bitter taste was the subs. Emery tried to defend the lead this time by taking off Torreira and Lacazette for Gabriel and Saka. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but in this situation, I think we simply learned that Emery doesn’t have a clue how to defend a lead regardless of the personnel. That’s three leads in a week he’s spunked up the wall, two from 2 goal leads. He’s tried bringing on defenders and failed and he’s tried keeping things attack-minded and also failed.The goal was typical Arsenal. A quick Wolves throw, Ceballos was flat-footed, Moutinho hooked an unchallenged cross into the box and no one was quicker to the ball than Raul. A total switch off that felt oh so familiar.Emery reverted to type late on and tried to chase the game with the introduction of Kola despite having Pepe on the bench. A maddening move, but very typical of a manager who really is lost at sea without a boat, a paddle, or the depth of water to put himself out of his misery.The game finished 1-1. If Leicester win their game in hand we’ll be 6 points off top 4, with them moving ahead with Chelsea. By next week, if we lose to Leicester like we expect to, we’ll be 9 points adrift… and to think, this was supposed to be the easy run of games.Things are so bad, the stadium is half empty for a rare Saturday 3pm kick off. The fans, the players, and the media are all united behind the #EmeryOut banner. If you’re not, know that he thought the tactical approach today was spot on.“It’s a bad result, but tactically it worked how we wanted.”Imagine playing counter-attacking football against Wolves at home, conceding 25 shots and having your shots on target total doubled by them… then telling fans that have seen peak Wenger football the plan was correct?He needs to be sacked.This won’t get any better.The biggest worry we should have as fans is what happens next, because I am speaking to far too many people that have been so brutalised by Emery… Mourinho tastes like an entree from Eleven Madison.We can talk about that at another time, I think it’s a cancerous idea, but I absolutely knew this would be the byproduct of an Emery appointment… hiring him was like being bitten by a rattlesnake in the wild, semi surviving it, and taking refuge in a bear pit (hungry bears). Jose is part two, but I have to say, even though I know he’ll be bad… I’d take being savaged by bears if it comes in 2 years time.I’ll have more thoughts on this tomorrow, but right now, I need you to listen to the pod I just did with Lee. He’s a season ticket holder and an away day fan. He talks a lot of sense. Enjoy!

    Imagine all this venom after a 1-1 draw.Nowadays after a loss its a mild criticism of arteta and then after a day or two back to saying ‘he will turn things around’ and ‘he is a good coach.’

    Nice to see that alot of people see through all this bullshit apart from maybe two or three here

  84. Up 4 grabs now

    Mee,

    I’ve been saying for a month now I think he’s gone by boxing day night unless we turned things around, and that was after the villa debacle.

    It’s not got much better with a draw and another loss.
    Short of turning over the spuds (don’t laugh) or a draw against them, then 3 wins on the bounce against burnley Everton Southampton and then its Chelsea.

    I think they might say get rid of him, then whoever comes in has money to spend in January?

  85. Up 4 grabs now

    Danny as much as villa has conceded one more than us.
    It was a real dick move to sell Martinez.

    He bought stability to the back line controlled his box.
    Set up counter attacking moves (just watch the third goal villa scored against us) looked like he would win every cross into his box by catching it.

    He should have started the season and leno told you have to win your place back or leave.

  86. Bojangles

    I’m sticking to what I said last week. The Wolves game changed nothing.

    Auba’s goals had papered over the cracks for the past three years. We would not have finished 5th a couple years back nor 7th last year without them.

    We have 5 players worthy of first team selection (no, Özil not included) and maybe another 8 that are squadies (no Özil there either. In other words we have a pretty shit squad of players that not even Klopp could make top 4 with.