Well, before we dive into the mess. Le Grove passed 2.5m comments yesterday. Quite the number when I consider how many comments I delete on a weekly basis. The shame? That the massive jump happened because Arsenal reverted to pre-December form and dropped an abomination of a performance.
There’s only one way to look at the game.
We were absolutely petrified of Liverpool. No one in that starting 11 thought they were coming out of that game with more than a point and that mindset is down to Arteta.
Can you blame injuries?
No. You can’t.
Ceballos in midfield next to Partey. That’s Arteta. He agreed to renew the loan, that was his expert decision, it’s been a fucking disaster. The Spaniard put the same performance in against West Ham at the start of the season, too many touches on the ball, doing an impression of a player that looks good. He hasn’t moved forward.
Auba out wide. That’s Arteta. Our captain has been shocking for a long time. He’s not good enough to play as a 9, so Arteta has hidden him on the wing where he has to do things he’s just not good at. His lack of control, his sloppiness on the ball, the zero confidence he has running at players. He should be benched. An unacceptable decision.
Rob Holding in defence. I like him, but it’s clear he can’t do what Arteta needs from a centre back. But guess who decided to give him a new deal? Arteta.
Bernd Leno. That was an Arteta decision. Two huge errors again from the German, again. This is not a blip, this is an extended run of shiteness that needs to be addressed. Mat Ryan should be used, could he be any worse?
Lots of bad decisions are starting to pile-up, like they did before Christmas. That performance was a copyright infringement on Emeryball. No guts. A bad plan. A spanking by a team we gifted the points.
Now, what you can’t avoid are these two pockets of reality.
Firstly, the reason Arteta opts for Luiz and Xhaka is because against good teams, we have no one better. We missed both today. Xhaka more so, but Luiz for his leadership and presence.
Secondly, it’s clear that the two most important player in our attack are Saka and ESR.
Here’s some truth… and this came from Johnny on the podcast who is not the biggest of Arteta fans.
If the Premier League bothers you, it’s your pride talking. At this point, it’s better we don’t make Europa via the league. Next season would be better served with no Europe, so we could do a West Ham.
Arteta has now refocused his tenure on success in the Europa League.
That is his objective. The blanket he’d love to call his comfort. It’s basically the only thing that saves him this year.
Win Europa, he’s Mr 2 Trophies, in the Champions League, fighting off Barca overtures.
Lose that trophy… well, things are going to heat up for him. That new deal he’s hoping for might not come that easily. Fan sentiment in the stadium will turn.
For me, I’m not really tapping on that beat. ‘Performance’ is what I want from Arteta right now. Bumming his way to Europa won’t do it for me.
I want to see progress every week. I need to see new mistakes, not those that we’ve been over before. Consistency is what takes us to the promised land.
If the system we’ve opted to play needs £500m to work. If it can’t tolerate 4 players missing. Then it won’t work for Arsenal.
The problems we’re dealing with right now are not all Arteta’s… but a growing number of them are. Mo Elneney’s agent telling the press he’s getting a renewal? Arteta playing a centre back as a right back when he has two fit right backs? Willian not getting a sniff? Auba getting a sniff? Gabriel Martinelli being treated he was caught doing something disgusting with the dirty linen? All Arteta.
The picture that hasn’t been painted yet is what is the future of the club? How will we deal with players that have deals running out? How will we replace? Will success in the Europa mean continuity of failed ideas?
Arteta is at ANOTHER pivotal moment of his short career. Dips are par the course… but if this Liverpool game sparks a terrible 2 weeks, the wounds might not heal. We can’t have another fatal month like we did pre-Christmas, it’s too soon for that. Fans will lose interest, and worse, so will the players. Belief is fragile… every day is a judgement… today was shocking. The only way it’ll be forgiven is if there’s a big response on Thursday.
… that’s now looking tougher. We were utterly dross. Project Arteta has just dropped down to amber. The manager has no one to blame but himself.
Thursday needs something big. Can we do it? I have my doubts.
Whilst you’re there, take a listen of our latest podcast. I’m joined by Johnny, you can listen to his How’s Your Father pod here. BUT, for pure Arsenal, click below. He does a great job explaining the reality of our season… let me know what you think in the comments.