The new brief: Survive December.

by .

Ok, 1 point. It’s a start.

The Southampton game followed the same pattern as the Burnley one. Average first half, strong start to the second, a self-inflicted wound… but at least we earned something out of this.

The new reality is this: Getting out of the hole we’re in isn’t going to be a flukey goal and 10 wins on the bounce. It’s going to be something slower and more painful.

Why? Well, the whole squad is shot to pieces confidence-wise and the overall character of the players, in most cases, is a long way from elite.

At this stage, you have to accept the positives when they land. That game unravelled because our players are a bit dim. Gabriel, who has been shit for quite a while, dropped a horrendous mistake after getting booked. It deserves its own paragraph.

Theo Walcott leant into Gabriel on the halfway line, grabbing him. Gabriel fell for the bait and pulled him down… like one of the worst forwards I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching was capable of turning him on the halfway line and scoring.

Honestly. Doughnut 101 behaviour. How do you coach that?

You can be angry about the performance and that’s fair. You can decry a point when we needed three, and that’d be fair. But for me, we’re in crisis and you have to take the joy where you can. A point right now is like the cracker in the desert. Enjoy it and hope something better is coming.

There were positives. The team didn’t crash after we went down to 10 men. Why does that matter? It shows we’re not at Emery levels of performances. There’s some hope there.

Auba scored a goal. He was shit for most of the game, but he didn’t give up, and the finish was painfully telegraphed, but perfect for a man on the edge.

Saka didn’t stop fighting despite having a poor game by his standards. His battling run to set up the goal was superb, he was thrashed all over the place, he stayed on his feet and gave Eddie the chance to play in our beleaguered striker to equalise.

Ainsley needs to start all our games going forward. Put him in midfield. Joe Willock might not be the finished product, but he can run and cause problems. Let’s see some more of ESR. He ‘could’ be better than Lacazette who doesn’t know how to be a #10. The line up might not have produced gold, but it was a new 11, let’s see how they play if the faith is repaid when people come back from suspensions and being dropped.

The takeaway for me was that if we’d kept 11 players on the pitch, we might have done something. We were more daring, the team was starting to show signs of life, and we were creating chances.

The brief has changed. It’s survival now. We need to power through December and try and put some points on the board. Top 4 is a distant memory. We just need to get to 40 points. A shocking shift of expectations, but that’s where we are. But the reality is this: Who is getting more out of these players? Might as well see it out and see if we can start to climb.

January is huge. He needs to shift on the bums. He needs to find some creative players. He needs to start the slow and painful shift towards the new era. The real work starts now and I fear the season is going to be quite grim. We won’t be relegated, but the best we can now hope for seems to be mid-table.

Some of that is on Arteta for not scrubbing the decks of the wasters, but part of this is simply because there has been no coherent strategy for 10 years and we’re paying the price.

This is grim. I am sad. You are also sad. But we have to hit rock bottom to find the next step in the process.

Here are my reccos:

  • Survive December
  • Clear out the wasters
  • Find a couple of creative players on loan that have something to prove
  • Blood the youngsters

Wipe your tears, let’s see what the weekend holds. Onwards!


815 Responses to “The new brief: Survive December.”

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  1. Danny+S

    Wenger in his early years was a revolutionary in the premier league.
    He brought a whole new ethos to the game focusing around fitness and diet and total football.

    Unfortunately he had Ferguson as an opponent, someone who knew something good when he saw it and someone who knew how to adapt. Ultimately, that was Wengers downfall, as he couldn’t adapt. He was a one trick pony and 10 years on the whole league was moving on and Weneger was still stood still, and 20 years on he was in the same place. Same staff, same techniques.
    I think I remember reading fergie would shake up his staff every 4 or 5 years.

  2. Nelson

    I guess the recent red cards from our players has something to do with the team under a lot of pressure. because of losing. The players are stressed and nervous. Of course, Arteta wants to play the tough guy role with his non-negotiable shit does help.

  3. Graham62


    Obviously not as dumb as you.

    1996-97 season.

    Southampton 6 Man Utd 3.
    Newcastle 5 Man Utd 0.

    Guess who won the title that season.

    It’s called reacting positively to adversity.

    Not tolerating or accepting failure.

    That’s what winners do.

  4. Pierre

    Quantum leap
    “I’m amazed the point went flying over snowchild’s head.”

    I wouldn’t be amazed when your dealing with joe(snowkid)

    Put it this way , some people ACT deliberately thick and some people ARE deliberately thick ….joe is just being true to form…he’s as thick as shit..

  5. Tom

    “At this stage one would argue Martinez fine form and Auba playing for his next deal won the FA cup. It’s not like we were playing any better back then.“

    I think going over the cup run and seeing it as any indication of where we are as a club is getting silly by now, and trust me I know silly.

    You put together two or three decent showings and get a rub of the green ( which we usually do in cup games) and any PL club can make a deep run or even win it.

    As shit as we’ve been this season, take the two games against Soton and the United away, and put them together as the semis and final FA cup games and BOOM!
    And then we’d be talking again how Arsenal beat two top six clubs to win the FA cup and things not looking too bad.

    Of course we would have to beat the Saints on penalties but who would bet against us doing that?

  6. Valentin


    There is no conflicting stories about WHO botched Saliba’s loan to ASSE, it was Arsenal. The only conflicting story is the why. What is it an administrative error or was it due to Arteta changing his mind too late?

    Regarding his young age, how can a player get experience if not by playing?

  7. Tom

    I think maybe the Saliba situation should be put to rest already.

    Unless the French are clueless we apparently got the better of the two , but somehow the lesser one fit seamlessly into the Leicester’s back four, while ours isn’t ready to play against Europa’s part time farmers and construction workers.

    And I’m not buying the whole not ready to play for personal reasons nonsense.
    Unless Saliba is a total ungrateful dick, his social media messaging hardly says thank you Arsenal for understanding and lookin out for me.

  8. Marc

    The whole reason people will believe Arteta is behind the Saliba fuck up is because he makes so many similar decisions.

    Stops Xhaka leaving (should have fired him then!)
    Brings in a back up RB and then turns down bids for AMN and doesn’t push Bellerin out the door
    Offer’s Mustafi a new contract

    His whole squad management has been poor.

  9. Marc


    He’s young and lost his Mum – that’s doesn’t mean he can’t play months later.

    Clearly Arteta has an issue with him – remember he dropped Martinelli before his injury.

  10. Snowkid

    Dumb and dumber

    The point is , since you two senile morons dont get it,
    Is that while fergie was losing some matches because it does happen, he was winning titles at the end of that season

    Wenger? Ooops.

    Klopp lost to villa, and now he has his team top.

    Big fucking difference

  11. Guns of SF

    Sometimes playing through a personal tragedy can help takes ones mind off the suffering…. it might even be good for him to get back into a normal pattern.

    But then again, its Mike…

  12. Gbat

    Who really believes that Guendouzi was loaned out just because of the Brighton incident? He’s been involved in a number of incidents whilst at Lorient and even before Arteta arrived at Arsenal.
    I think he could be a brilliant player but he’s clearly got a bit of an attitude problem.

  13. Graham62

    Oh yes, the acceptance of 4th best.

    That’s right, the belief that consumed the club after 2006 became engrained in every aspect of the club. Our culture changed.

    The players knew it.
    The fans knew it.
    The board knew it.
    The owners knew it.
    Even Doris and Ethel in F&B knew it.

    Once you accept fourth best, there’s only one way you’re going to go.

    Never mind.

  14. Snowkid


    Wenger leaves when we come to the emirates and we get a manager whos priority is to win and not balance the books;(not the managers job) we win 2-3 titles and a cl

    We were one or two players away for years after 2006 and wenger fucked it. Kallstrom anyone?

    He was more worried about balancing the books than winning the league.

    ” when i sold them RVP, i knew theyd win the league”

    What a loser. What manager who is ambitious makes rhat transfer and then tells the world.

    Would pep, fergie?? Klopp?

    No they sell us sylvestre and wellbeck and laugh

  15. Marc


    Most company’s would give a youngster some leeway if they lost their Mum but if the kid was still missing work 6 months later they’d be fired.

    This is all about Arteta – hopefully he’s gone before the Saliba situation becomes irretrievable because other wise we’re going to be looking back in a couple of years wondering what the fuck we were doing letting him walk away.

  16. Graham62


    I’m 59.

    “Dumb and dumber” see me as being senile.

    They don’t get the difference between a true leader and winner and what Wenger and Arsenal became.

    They’ll never understand.


  17. Rich


    We kept Xhaka, who was then part of the FA cup winning team, that gave us European football, £30-£50million in additional revenue, and an opportunity this season at another piece of silverware

    We could have sold Xhaka for £22million?

    What if KSE weren’t willing to top that up, to get our top target?

    Either numerically we’d be left short, or forced to sign another substandard journeyman, we don’t know the full details

    We don’t know who was responsible for our transfer business.

    The only business we can 100% attribute to Arteta, is Partey + Runarsson

    Then Selling Martinez, which I wasn’t happy about, but he wanted to go, maybe we couldn’t get bids for Leno, and we needed that money to sign Partey?

    Unless anyone has any inside info?

    It’s all just speculation.

    We’ve been unlucky with Partey, we’ve waited years for a quality player in that position, his injuries have certainly hurt us.

    We don’t know if Bellerin or Lacazette wanted to go, if like Ozil they’re happy where they are?
    What can we do?

  18. Tom

    I’m no clinical psychologist but unless Saliba experienced depression level grief, playing the game you love should’ve been his best escape.

    Hard to judge these things from afar obviously, but you can’t look at this entire saga and not walk away shaking your head.

  19. Snowkid



    No money but paying the likes of denilson and betdner 50k plus a week

    The exact same thing is happening with the MKBs. Blind ignorance loyalty

    Wenger staying on over a decade too long cost this club a golden era when we moved stadiums.

    You know what balances the books? Winning

  20. Snowkid

    He milked the club of 100s of millions

    We could have had pep or klopp but no wenger wanted to stay and the idiots like pierre and quantum singing One arsene wenger allowed it to happer

    Now pedro is singing one mikel arteta

    Whats the definition of insanity??

  21. Graham62

    We have three posters on here who were blinded by the successes of 96-06.

    Pierre, QuantumLeap and CG.

    Deep down they know that Wenger fcuked up.

    That’s why they love to have a go at us all.

    We’re not good enough for them.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  22. Tom

    Trump blamed the Obama judges , what if Arteta still holds the grudge for getting passed over in a first place and takes it out on all Emery signings. Lol.

  23. Marc


    You could replace Xhaka for £5.74 and a (very small) bag of peanuts. Xhaka doesn’t get us EL football he stops us getting CL football. He signed and we’ve never been back in the competition.

    But don’t worry he’ll be back in the team for Brighton.

  24. South African Gooner


    *****Wenger absolutely transformed our club. Anyone who isn’t grateful for that must be deluded****

    Well said.The Founder of Modern day Arsenal.Made them a global entity.

    Wenger’s biggest problem- he made managing Arsenal look too easy.

    As a consequence, the supporters never understood the difficulties and intricacies involved in top level management.( as we have now seen)

    GG was great too. Just a Shame he joined Spurs , tipped off Fergie about Peter Scmichael and got caught taking bungs.

    Crikey if George Graham & Raul worked in tandem- we really would have been in the cart.
    I suspect , they would have been bosom buddies..

  25. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Trump blamed the Obama judges , what if Arteta still holds the grudge for getting passed over in a first place and takes it out on all Emery signings. Lol.”

    Not so fast with the lols, there has already been reports that this is what’s happening. Guen, Torreira, Pepe, Saliba, all been treated way worse than the other players.

    Not saying it’s necessarily true, and I really hope it’s not but it’s pretty obvious which players are in the cross line, for whatever reason. That’s 2 u21 stars for France (Guen their captain) and our most expensive signing ever, who does have undoubted ability, why can’t he work with them, wasn’t he supposed to be a great coach?

  26. Snowkid


    Enough about wenger. Anyone with half a footballing brain knows the damage he did to arsenal from 2006 onwards because of his greed for power and money

    Arteta is a completely different story. Never was good enough to be hired in the first place and should be sacked ASAP

    No matter what pedro says. He needs to go.

    Why the blind loyalty to a failing manager over the loyalty of whats good for the club ill never understand

    ” oh but we dont want to be a revolving door of managers”

    Well we have to do what it takes until we get the right one. One that gets the best out of his players. As rodgers is doing right now. Hasenunttl is. That carlo is. That jose is.

  27. Tom

    “Who would want to manage Arsenal when the club is such a mess” gets asked a lot…….apparently 57 applicants asked to be considered when Wenger left.

    If 57 people thought they could do as good a job or better than Arsenal’s best manager ever ,this time around that number might go into hundreds or even thousands.

    I’m starting on my resume immediately.
    Languages( 3 or more)check
    good at organizing and building shiii..stuff- check

    That’s all I’ve got so far

  28. Freddie Ljungberg


    True, forgot about Martinellis bizarre benchings.

    He’s been speaking glowingly about him now though so maybe he’s seen the light under all the pressure he’s under.

    Any idea when the u23s play tonight? Want to see if I can catch a stream.


    Add: will sell Xhaka within the first hour of getting the job and you’d have my vote.

  29. Marc


    No idea on the under 23’s kick off time.

    We’ll know we’ve got the right guy to replace Arteta because one of his conditions on talking the job is that Xhaka is gone before he officially starts.

  30. Marc

    “He’s been speaking glowingly about him now though so maybe he’s seen the light under all the pressure he’s under.”

    Well he’s looking for another CB!

  31. HerbsArmy


    I agree with your sentiments regarding Arsenal, and I’m 60.
    I loved the 70-71 ‘Double’ winners, none of them recognised ‘stars’, but a spirit and mentality that has been missing for decades.

  32. Freddie Ljungberg


    The game started 30 minutes ago, 1-0 Arsenal, Chambers scored, can’t find any streams though.

    No Martinelli in the squad at all so maybe he’ll be in the team against Everton, risky if so, only had 45 minutes of u23 football under his belt but he’s been training for ages now.

  33. Tom

    “Add: will sell Xhaka within the first hour of getting the job and you’d have my vote.“

    Can’t promise that…….I hear Xhaka is great in training and a leader of men.
    There goes my one and only vote then………oh well , back to pounding nails I guess.

    Btw, has Xhaka apologized yet?
    Arteta said he surely would. How’s that going?

  34. Kesses+gunner

    If really willian wants arteta out then it beggars belief I thought arteta sold him a vision of ucl.apart from saka I think arteta has a problem with youngsters even our wonder kid martinelli was benched when fit I can t see him getting sacked unless of course we get thumped 4nil by toffes,I totally share Gallas sentiment maybe an experienced head like a alegri might work at this rate we are in shambles we need to fix before it gets out of hand.

  35. Freddie Ljungberg


    Well, you would need someone to hold your keys I suppose, still my vote is rescinded.

    Xhaka doesn’t need to apologize, he’s above the law.

    Lucky that Gabriel and Pepe did it so quickly though or they would have been sold on January 1st.

    This is my biggest fear if we stick with Arteta, losing all the good, young players we have, the future of the club, and be left with the old mediocre ones just because they’re favourites.

    Guen is already on the way out, Hertha is looking at buying him, Saliba is pissed off at his treatment, Balogun only has 6 months left and has to watch Eddie stink up that position on a weekly basis, Martinelli benched for no reason before injury, ESR not getting many minutes even in the cups etc.

    Meanwhile some of the senior players can be absolutely terrible every single game and still play no matter what. Very worrying.

  36. Kesses+gunner

    We should go in for bissouma I see Liverpool are in the mix I think partey,bissouma are good for central mid then we offload the fuck off master or bin him for good

  37. Nelson

    Of the three red cards, Xhaka’s one vs Burnley hurt us the most. The team was just picking up steam against a weak team. Now Xhaka doesn’t even bother to apologize to the fans. He has no respect for the fans. Arteta’s non-negotiable is becoming a joke!

  38. Marc

    It really amazes me that people still managed to be surprised by Xhaka’s behaviour. He’s been doing the exact same stuff since he got off the plane.

  39. Graham62


    Agreed, “Wenger transformed our club”.

    The flip side to this was that he was culpable for stagnating our club.

    So, total respect for chapter 1.

    Sorry, but zero respect for chapter 2.

    That’s me.

  40. rollen

    Tets is a fraud. Xhaka Guen Saliba Luiz . All sackble mistakes. Done nothing and act like big shot.
    One thing he did is restored Emery’s and Wengers reputations . Out asap.
    Also wtf give him 4 M / year long deal.

  41. Billp

    New years resolution….no more baloon payments to has been footballers
    Go back to one year extensions with two years left or cash in…..

  42. South African Gooner


    ****Arteta will be gone sooner than you think.****

    I am on for fortunes , ( 40-1 ) he does not last the season.

    I doubt his fellow Catalan Pep, will finish the season too.

    I am sure they will divide the compo between them and head off to Qatar.

    these Spaniards……

  43. Graham62


    GX should not be wearing an Arsenal shirt.

    No ifs or buts.

    The fact that Arteta doesn’t understand this, just beggars belief.

    Even worse, he actually adores the guy.

    Arteta is not fit for purpose.

  44. Snowkid

    Sack race odds: Mikel Arteta cut to favourite to be next manager to leave

    The Arsenal boss has shortened from 40/1 in just over two weeks as his side’s dismal campaign continues.

    Think he is at 2/1 odds at some betting outfits