by .

Well, well, well… Klopp was the fraud all along. Arsenal win tomorrow, we’ll be 3 points off the Champions in the most nuts season on record.

It is quite incredible how a side can go from looking like the greatest footballing machine ever created, to total bums after one bad signing, a couple of injuries, and a global pandemic.

It’s a bit of a shame we’re playing Manchester City this weekend. They are one of the best teams in the world right now. Pep has managed the transition to a new vision with the same sort of deft innovation he always does.

The best manager in the world was pumping Arteta like he always does.

“All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception. What I see in the last two months every game Arsenal played is better than the opponent.

“Tomorrow we will have an incredible performance. They have an exceptional build-up, they have quality and they have energy. They have [Bukayo] Saka, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and all the players with the quality in the middle.

You might think this is patronising stuff. He’ll probably beat us tomorrow. But he’s not far from the truth if you are watching The Arsenal develop through the correct lens.

There are still mistakes in the system, we’re not perfect, but Pep is not wrong… we’ve been the better in all our games since the Chelsea game.

The key thing for me… we’re unpredictable now. Pep will recognise that looking at our games. We can press, we can sit back, we can go long, we can build from the back, and we can execute a well-crafted plan of shit-housery. Look at how we’re developing, versus the mess Jose is overseeing now his one-trick pony strategem is injured.

I’ve been saying for a while now, something is brewing at Arsenal, and it’s hard to deny it. We might lose tomorrow and we might lose on Thursday, but don’t take your eye off the ball. All the reports I’m hearing are that the coaching is phenomenal behind the scenes and things are building nicely. More importantly, you can see it on the pitch.

I thought a big show of our improving style was the game Auba had the other night. Sure, he missed some big chances, but did you pay attention to his game? Look at those runs he was making. That was a man that could smell the potential of a killer pass. Auba was running the channels. He was taking risks. He wasn’t doing that before Christmas. Arsenal has gone from a side that could barely progress the ball from the back, to a side that has options all over the park. Auba’s game sums us up… you don’t take chances on runs if you know the pass won’t come.

ESR, Odegaard, Partey, and Saka can all pass round corners. They can deliver from deep. They can beat an aggressive press. They dribble past players. When that clicks in this Arteta system, it’s really, really tough to play against.

Compare that to pre-Christmas when we had 2 power plays, that one on the left being the main one, well, it’s night and day. The passing is starting to look cognitive. Players are recognising the patterns, they know where to move, they know the triggers, they might not be the most aggressive pressers, but they are very intelligent at it now. There’s thought in every tactical setup these days.

We totally controlled Benfica. Whine about the result, but don’t snipe at the performance from a team that had just had to deal with Leeds before a plane journey. We controlled possession, we drew them out, made late runs in behind, and we delivered 8 quality chances that unfortunately didn’t have the finish.

We’re doing that regularly now. The xG might not always show it. But the positions we’re taking up in attack are good. The chance quality is way, way better, and the football is getting close to sexy.

The interesting thing is you can see the phases. Last year, we stopped being whipping boys. No more walking through the middle. This season, we started well defensively, we mopped up setpiece defending… then it went to hell for a bit. But part of that was down to not having the right players. Part of that was losing your best midfielder (he’s still out). If Liverpool can lose VVD and crash, why would anyone think Arsenal could lose their best midfielder and not suffer?

Now we’ve found some of the missing links. Big players are coming back into form (Auba/Laca/Gabriel). Troubled players are more settled because part of their usefulness was only going work playing with certain profiles of talent (Xhaka/Pepe/Hector/Cedric). Young players are shining (Saka/ESR). We also found an Odegaard who added more quality and confidence to the starting 11.

You should be excited as a fan. I’ve never felt more confident the path we chose was correct. We’re starting to see the fruits of the time we afforded the manager. We have to navigate this season with progress in mind, then Edu, Vinai and Arteta have to NOT make the same fuck ups as last summer.

We shouldn’t be signing David Luiz to a new deal. We should be ageing down in player profile. We need a top centre midfielder. Saliba should be integrated. We should sign Balogun down as our 3rd choice striker. We should sell the names that aren’t working or loan them for the year to shop window them.

Interestingly, I did hear that Willian is a top guy and an excellent trainer. No joke. What Arteta says about him is true, it’s not PR. He’s very well-liked behind the scenes. It’s not working out for him because he’s just not the player everyone thought he’d be. I get the sense the deal was rushed (can’t imagine why). It’s simple, never take a chance on the roulette of age. This was a mistake, Arteta has to accept that and never do it again.

I also don’t think you should read too much into the Gabriel M stuff. He’s not playing at the moment because the side is buzzing. It’s hard to change something that’s working, especially for a player that is raw power. He’ll get his chance though. There are also a number of kids coming through that everyone is very excited about as well, so expect the youth theme to continue into the Arteta tenure, there’s still a lot to come.

I don’t really have a lot to say about today. My hope is it’s a great afternoon of football. Key for us is to not concede early and see if we can grow into the game. It is going to be absolutely essential to take our chances. CIty’s defence has been immense this season, Auba won’t get 5 good chances tomorrow, he’ll be lucky to have two… so let’s see what we can do. Should be fun.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Winthorpe

    Bellerin again

    Look. It’s like this. We need auba and bellerin out of this team sharpish
    They are two awful excuses for footballers, they are athletes and that’s all. Two limp dicked, lightweight, fair weather athletes
    Everything wrong with the club in the last 10 years

  2. vegas gooner

    in the first Half I counted 9 back passes to Leno. 3 in less than two minutes.

    he’s gotten more passes than Aubameyang.

    as outmatched we are, we might escape with a draw. if Willian comes on before we score, I predict a 3-0 win for city.

  3. Guns of SF

    this is what pisses me off about Mike,
    its more of the same. We are doing jack shit.
    HE just sits and watches… like what the fuck is going to happen now Mike?

    In game management grade is an F

  4. Winthorpe

    andy1886February 21, 2021 17:50:23
    Winthorpe reacting to Auba like a scorned lover. Get a room or get over it.

    So you’re happy with his performance today? Or are you making excuses for a personal favourite

  5. vegas gooner

    I’ve always wondered why we wait until the game is two thirds over before taking players off when it was obvious at half time they weren’t delivering.

    we need to start games with two strikers instead of one.

    and did city choose their spurs kit to get into the arsenal players heads?

  6. MidwestGun

    I think it’s been established Pepe is pretty much useless on the right.. I think Arteta wanted Saka on the left to help defend Mahrez.. but It’s killing our attack.

  7. Buzzy

    Odegaard is too one footed just like xhaka…that means when the ball comes from the left side they need two or three touches to get the ball in stride…thats always gona result in slow play and loss of possession

  8. andy1886

    Winthorpe, you’ve been on his back from the start with a running commentary as to how awful he is. Yes I do rate him, if we get a chance who else would you want on the end of it? If he’s poor for 89 minutes and scores in the 90th to get a point that’s fine, he’s done his job.

  9. raptora

    Loss by 1 goal and Arteta will be loud and proud about it. Say how we turned a corner again. How city are the best team in the world and he’s so happy with our performance. Brighton and Fulham will go for the points rather than sit back and enjoy a minimal loss. How pathetic.

  10. Winthorpe

    Yes I do rate him, if we get a chance who else would you want on the end of it?

    Erm. Not him. Not any more. Not after his last two games. I’d rather see Mustafi at the back post than auba
    You’re getting irritated because you know I’m right and he’s been utter utter shite
    We’ve been playing with 9 men with him and bellerin

  11. Dissenter

    Arlo White; “Game is being played at almost a testimonial pace apparently’

    City never go after Arteta’s Arsenal with the same vigor they use to attack other teams

  12. JOEL

    Leaves Aubamayang on the pitch…and brings on Lacazette…Arteta really is clueless…and unfortunately Martinelli is wasting his time at Arsenal…whilst Arteta remains in charge.

  13. underrated Coq

    City not turning the screw. Arsenal not trying to get back in the game.

    I kinda agree with Anonymous Commentator

  14. andy1886

    Exactly, if we give it a go and lose fair enough, but we’re not even puting the effort in. Very pedestrian and predictable. Must have left the sauce on the shelf for this one.

  15. vickingz

    Injuries handed arteta the right selection of players to win games for us, injuries humbled the idiot but as soon as injuries eased, the idiot has reverted to his old ways, so proud, so stupid for a young coach

  16. Majesticgooner

    Do we know that goals win you games? It’s like we don’t attempt to try to score. No buzz when we get round the Man City half , no attempted shots , auba is tired and seems uninterested, he should be substituted , not have come out in the second half.

  17. vegas gooner

    @Winthorpe if that had been Xhaka kicking a city player in the head, there’d be a stop in play and a red card. even if it was an accident.

  18. karim

    Injuries handed arteta the right selection of players to win games for us, injuries humbled the idiot but as soon as injuries eased, the idiot has reverted to his old ways, so proud, so stupid for a young coach

    So damn true !

  19. Winthorpe

    So in short, the most telling contribution auba made was to block his team mates goal bound shot in an offside position, preventing us from equalising.

    Slow clap for auba

  20. Benjamin

    I am so impressed by this Generational coach. We should give him a 20 year contract.I see progress every game. Expecting a very good result at Leicester! There is even a chance that we might score a goal. We are so spoiled by Arteta!