by .

Well, here we are, once again licking open wounds on a Monday morning. It’s grim. But every moment like this presents an opportunity to learn. That Liverpool performance will give credence to certain debates going on behind the scenes. It’ll also shake out any decisions being moved on emotion, versus hard facts. It needs to mean something because we had a game like this last season against Villa after a semi-final win and it seems we learned nothing.

A bum result like the Liverpool one is par the course for this squad of players. We know we can compete against them because we’ve beaten this Klopp side in the past when they were at a higher level. The main difference this weekend? There was nothing to play for, so the players switched off.

The manager takes responsibility for that, no doubt. The players, well, it’s hard to pin the blame on them. That’s simply who a lot of these players are. You can’t coach character. They have the talent, but unless there’s something of interest on the line, they don’t always show up and that performance will always wait in the wings. You can zig and zag, but ultimately, you usually fall back on who you really are.

We can rectify some of those issues this summer.

Dani Ceballos, under no circumstance, should return to Arsenal. That performance was absolutely shocking. When you’re highlighting the importance of Xhaka to that level, you know something is up. He didn’t know where to receive the ball, he didn’t know what to do with the ball. Even the passes he made that found a man weren’t of the level required… Liverpool press in such a way that if the angle isn’t perfect on the pass, they kill the man receiving. Watch Dani back, time and time again, his sloppiness put his receiver under pressure.

We lacked alternatives. Mo Elneney is not the one. That we started this season with those two as back-up midfielders was an abomination. My big fear on the Egyptian was that we were rewarding him a new deal for being good, the suspicion is that Arsenal will be taking up our option on his deal so we can sell him for decent money. Still, both of those players need to be relegated in the squad.

There’s also the David Luiz issue. He’s our most important centre back, but he comes loaded with baggage as well. He doesn’t show up in games that don’t mean anything, and at the age of 33 (birthday in 2 weeks), are we really going to continue to make him the lynchpin of our defence next season? Your comfort blanket cannot be players like that.

Even Alex Lacazette, who has been a bit of a star this season, has to be moved on. What we can’t do is look at big performers in a drossy season. We have to look to the future. Auba was our big bet last season. There’s only one role he can play… that’s as a centre-forward. That means we can’t keep Lacazette unless we want a £180k a week sub.

Tough decisions have to be made.

We’re already making some of them as well. The lack of Hector time, now missing for 5 games, is most likely linked to him telling the club he wants out this summer. That’s great news for Arsenal and great news for the player. Cal Chambers is no right back and the fact he’s taking minutes over Cedric is ominous… but the happiness I take from that is we’re using his position to see who is up to it next season.

The Rob Holding contract also looks a bit perplexing at the moment, because as solid as he is, he can’t play the style of football we need from him. But, he’s young, British, and he is of the standard in the league. If he can’t cut it, then he’ll be loaned next season and we’ll be banking a fee. His deal was Arsenal acting like a business… I hope.

The Premier League season is now dead, but it’s still of use. We should be trying to find out which players have what it takes at this level. Arteta should be gauging who has the right spirit when there are no chips on the table.

The summer has to be laser-focused on our needs. We have 16 players that, if kept fit, could take us to top-4. Reality is that’s not enough.

Some proper business has to take place this summer.

Watch for basically all the loan players being moved on. Hertha Berlin are now calling Matteo a top professional, which hopefully means that they’ll deal with us this summer. Joe Willock scored from the bench against Spurs, he’ll find a move. Mavropanos will be sold, hopefully to Stuttgart. I don’t think there’s going to be a future for Ainsley, but he’ll find a decent club, no doubt. The only name coming back will be William Saliba who should get a run at starting next season.

Eddie, who only has a year left on his deal, will be sold. It’ll be interesting to know whether we have an option to extend his deal so we can up the fee. Regardless, a team like Brighton would be great for his talents. Reiss Nelson is hanging on harder than Nik Bendtner, he needs to leave, someone will give him a chance.

That’s a lot of gaps to fill, maybe too many, but look… there’s plenty of cash that we could raise, and there are lots of good players that could build out the foundations at the club that are extremely brittle.

Arsenal needs real competition for Bernd Leno. He’s been very disappointing this season. We can’t keep carrying him.

We need a world-class right-back like Hakimi. We need to settle on our roster of centre-backs. There has to be a young and hungry left-back to compete with Tierney. Playing him after 3 world cup games was a disaster decision, but the choices were limited.

Our midfield needs desperate attention. We should be sniffing around players entering their final two years. Young, hungry, exceptionally fit, technically gifted and intelligent. Spending big on one Premier League talent would be smart, but we can’t leave it at that. We need to be very cute. Rummage in Austria, Eastern Europe, have a look in Spain, Portugal and Holland. What can we find in South America? Make Brexit work for our squad.

Our forward line is where the toughest decisions must happen. Right now, it doesn’t work. We’re not scoring enough goals, it’s as simple as that. Pepe had a bad game at the weekend, but that was more down to receiving the ball so deep and having no options. He’s got something, but at 25, could we sell him and upgrade? Lacazette? We can’t keep a striker that doesn’t score. Auba? We have to keep him, he earns more than Mesut, he ain’t going nowhere. We have to make it work. But we have to build on what makes him tick. Sign Odegaard. Give more minutes to Martinelli. See if we can find more runners that can unlock the best finisher in the league.

That’s a lot of work for a Technical Director that thought Willian was faster than he was and blew £39m on him because of special qualities we’ve not seen.

One of Arteta’s comments post-game was.

‘We lacked clarity’

I agree.

Arsenal picked Arteta because they were prepared to go on a journey. Emery was a plaster on a gaping wound, his combination with Don Raul caused an infection. Symptoms? Unbalanced squad, cratered culture, bloated wage bill, no identity… skint.

Arteta wasn’t just hired because we fancied going high risk, he was also the best choice they had economically if they wanted to jump a level. Someone suggested to me on the internet that we should hire Julian Nagelsmann… like, honestly, the most unoriginal suggestion. We don’t have the money for wages, we don’t have the financial backing, and the club is too far away from the top for most to take the risk.

Things have to get worse before they get better. The painting is half done. Since Christmas, we’re top 4, still. The improvements didn’t all evaporate because of the Liverpool game… just like Chelsea aren’t now absolutely shit because West Brom put 5 past them.

The big question isn’t whether this coaching could work… I’m convinced it can. It’s whether Arteta the manager and Edu the Technical Director can move this from a petri-dish maybe to something that works over a whole season.

The only way we get there is if the summer is ruthless and laser fucking focused on what needs to happen to move us to the next level.

Next season only works if Arsenal FC is honest about what hasn’t worked. There must be consequences for not hitting the mark. There needs to be solutions to the weaknesses we know couldn’t be addressed in 18 months. This season will be a pass for a lot of managers, next will not be. The best thing that Arteta can do with the remaining 9 games is give the fans a taste of the young players and dish out some accountability to sloppy seniors. The best way to keep the fans onside is to go out and win the Europa League with a brutal destruction of all the teams we’re about to play.

Arsenal needs to work under Arteta. The next 8 months are crucial. Europa League is what the 1990 FA Cup was to Sir Alex Ferguson. There needs to be a silver lining, that would be one, but nailing the summer is the most crucial of trophies.

Let’s see what we have!

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Gonsterous

    Selling saka will be up there with the likes of selling cole. Something we will talk about for many years. I don’t think arteta is that stupid to sell the one mega star of arsenal unless he’s an undercover agent from city to destroy us from within.

  2. Valentin


    That’s call man management.
    Guendouzi may be a annoying attention seeking man child, but good managers find a way to channel that bad energy into something productive.
    My way or the high way does not work without unlimited funds. Even with near unlimited funds, managers have to viewed as firm but fair and approachable by players. Advocating publicly meritocracy but playing favourites behind closed doors and behaving in a petty, vindictive manner just build resentment into players.

  3. Terraloon


    Football management is very short term.

    Post Wenger it’s very hard to believe that Arsenal will allow a manager to go more than a couple of seasons without achieving top 4 or CL qualification as a bare minimum. Arteta probably has this seasons EL and next season, probably without the EL , to achieve that minimal requirement.

    Saka, ESR, Martinelli and Tierney, Gabriel are decent players of that there is no doubt but we need to get real in that all seem prone to injury and to be honest I very very much doubt that without significant quality, ready made reinforcements that next season will be a lot different.

    Some on here keep taking up the value of some of the “deadwood “ the majority of the players that probably need shifting will add in total £30-40 million and even then there have to be buyers with cash and that from the mid table teams that possibly would want the likes of Willock probably can be counted on the fingers of one hand and then you just wonder if they two will be looking for ready made players with decent experience.

  4. Pierre

    There is no way the Emirates crowd would have accepted that performance v liverpool.

    Arteta is a fortunate man to be playing to empty stadiums as he would be feeling the weight of the fans on his back..

    Arteta is also fortunate that we have had a very favourable draw in the Europa cup as this gives him and the players a great opportunity to get the fans back on side.
    Failure v Sparta prague could be the straw that broke the camels back ..

    It will be interesting to see if Arteta makes wholesale changes in the league now that we are firmly stuck in mid table .
    It is the perfect opportunity to give players like Balogun , Azeez, Eddie, Nelson and Martinelli a good run in the side and play them alongside Saka and smith rowe.

    To persist with the old guard in the league wouldn’t make sense as there is little to gain…

    Arteta is treading a very fine line, his decision making and man management since the first lockdown leaves a lot to be desired.

    All is not lost ….yet , but if he starts next season poorly the writing will be on the wall and he will go the same way as Emery I’m afraid.

  5. China1

    The bonkers thing about selling Saka is if the whole point is to buy a ready made player, why bother when saka is already of the required level?

    Considering arteta is quite happy to go in the market for expensive players like Aouar and Partey, you wouldn’t be surprised if we sold Saka for 60m only to blow pretty much all of it on a single player who might not even adapt to the league and be as good as Saka already is

    Just look at Pepe. If Pepe was playing like Saka this season I don’t think fans would mind his price tag because we’d be saying he was expensive but a really quality player and a difference maker on the regular.

    If you’re going to sell to buy, prioriritise selling and upgrading the dross before you touch your good players unless ofc the offer is so high you could buy 2 amazing players for the same fee you received for the one you sold – as Liverpool did very well most times they sold big players in recent years.

    For example if someone offers you 120m for Saka or something crazy you take it and buy 2 50m level players and use the change for some bargains. But in this market I don’t think anyone is going to offer us silly money for Saka and his value to us will remain absolutely based off him playing for us

  6. Eddu

    Saturdays performance was truly shocking. The drop in quality in the absence of Saka, ESR, Luiz and Xhaka only served to reinforce the fact that we have a very poor squad overall. To get back to top four we need at the minimum upgrades at right centre back, right back, back up to Tierney, minimum two central midfielders in place of Elneny and Ceballos while keeping MO. A solution to the CF position that suits how we want to play is a key.

  7. China1

    You can literally imagine us selling Saka for 60m then buying Aouar for 50m

    I really really hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And Aouar is very talented ofc, but we don’t yet know if he will do it in the PL but we do know saka will. It would be a really pointless arrangement imo

    I just hope I’m wrong. Keep saka at all costs unless the offer is silly

  8. Pierre

    Martinez, Ozil, Guendouzi, AMN, Torreira, Saliba, willock , nelson , Eddie and Sokratis have all fallen foul of Arteta in the past 12 months since the first lockdown..

    In Arteta’s first 4 months it was all running very smoothly .
    He had taken over a team with no confidence , results and performances were encouraging , the quality of the football was decent enough.

    Since coming back from the first lockdown, we have lost as many games as we have won in the league.

    The team received a boost at Christmas with the arrival of ESR as CAM, so what does Arteta do , put him out wide ….poor decision.

    Putting Smith Rowe out wide just doesn’t make sense .
    Of course he can play there as he is a good player , but it is a position that requires a lot of leg work in a 4-2-3-1 system and due to Smith Rowe’s dubious injuury history, playing him out wide would only make him more susceptible to injury .

    Playing CAM is all about short bursts of energy and not making 30/ 40 yard runs up and down the line…

    Of course Odegaard looks an accomplished player but to take out the one player from his favourable role, who changed our season and had a superb on field relationship with Saka just doesn’t make sense.

    Saka’s form has dropped since the removal of Smith Rowe from CAM ..

  9. Valentin


    That make sense, but you assume two things:

    1) Arteta make choices based on meritocracy and output on match days rather than how people behave toward him. If it was the case a few players would not be constantly shoehorn into the first team.

    2) Arteta is willing to adapt his tactics to the players he currently has rather than force an unsuitable tactics to those players. I understand the desire to play from the back, but at one point you have to accept the players limitations. If they can’t handle it, then it is his job to either make them better at it or switch system.

  10. Gonsterous


    Do you think a partey esr partnership can work in the middle of the pitch? Ode playing a bit higher. Given the work rate of both ESR and Ode, maybe they can interchange.

    But you are right about ESR at LW. That one is on mikeal. Diet pep really drowning in the deep end.

  11. Sid

    Diet peps main tactic is to have the player he perceives as the biggest threat on the left wing( one of Auba/ESR/Saka/ pepe) and hope for the best while the midfield and RB do not push forward.

  12. Davey

    Season hanging by a thread, I fancy a super fit and efficient Slavia team to beat us on Thursday the big pitch will suit them and then dump us out in the tie. Then what? How does that season not be a disaster?

  13. DivineSherlock

    Patson Daka , buy that bloke. Sell Lacazette + Nketiah.
    Also the remaining PL games I’d like to see Martinelli- Auba – Pepe. With ESR in #10 , Partey and Xhaka. Also we need a solid Midfield player alongside Partey.

  14. Pierre

    A 4-1-4-1 would allow Odegaard and smith rowe to play centrally with partey as the holding midfielder.

    Personally, i think smith rowe is more dynamic with his off the ball runs into the box and link up play and Odegaard is a more Ozil like CAM who brings others into play and likes the ball to feet .

    So yes , it could work well as they would compliment eachother.
    Would also play Martinelli, Eddie or Balogun as the loan striker to give the attack better movement and energy.

  15. Valentin


    Regarding Ödegaard, I am one of the few not overtly impressed by his output. He looked good in patches but IMHO that’s because the players around him were stretching the opposition for him. I think that he lacks dynamism and short burst of acceleration. his lack of dynamism is more visible when both Saka and ESR did not play.
    He can play some nice forward passes, but he can’t eliminate a player by himself. Against compact low bloc that’s not be necessarily an issue, but against pressing team that becomes one. The opposition know that he won’t be able to go forward.

    To me he looks more suited to the Italian and Spanish league than the EPL. Which make even more annoying to see ESR shunted to the left for him instead of using a proper left winger.

  16. Sid

    4141 to accomodate partey, ode, ESR given their injury record is a gamble,
    Ode should rotate with ESR until they prove their fitness and build a system that wont leave us exposed incase they are injured.
    451 with Bissouma and Buendia coming in would be safe. We can also play the 4141 with those two coming in.

  17. David.D

    Not sure where this Saka to be sold rumour has even come from because it is just downright ridiculous.
    I know we have made stupid decisions recently but there is no way Edu or Saka will countenance the sake if Saka with the quality he has. The boy is a jewel and if we want to get back to the top Saka will be key.
    Also yes we do need to invest in better midfielders but how about giving our own a bloody chance.
    Very very frustrating that Arteta wont even give Azeez more game time. He looks like he definitely has something so why not give him some game time to assess him. We have quality in our youth ranks but a La Balogun they are just not getting a chance.
    To just also just put the death knell on Reiss Nelson is also baffling. He hasn’t been given a proper chance yet somehow a decision is arrived at that he isnt good enough.
    Soul destroying as a fan when you dont see our own given proper chances to prove themselves.

  18. Ishola70

    How depressing to keep reading that David Luiz and Granit Xhaka were key absences in the side and were massively missed against Liverpool.

    Sums it all up really doesn’t it.

    Although some have noted that the youngsters missing Saka and ESR may have been more of a factor.

    Let’s hope it was the latter. A bit more digestible.

  19. Wiglaf

    SidApril 6, 2021 09:30:55
    Diet peps main tactic is to have the player he perceives as the biggest threat on the left wing( one of Auba/ESR/Saka/ pepe) and hope for the best while the midfield and RB do not push forward

    Come now! Chambers cedri and bellerin all participate to varying degrees of success as attacking right backs this season. Bellerin has squandered numerous Greta opportunities to create goal scoring chances

  20. Pierre

    I agree , Odegaard needs good movement around him to be at his most effective.
    I would say that taking into consideration that he has had only a couple of months playing in the premier league, he has performed better than expected.

    The liverpool game was just a very poor team performance and it highlighted our lack of technique on the ball.
    Due to our lack òf confidence on the ball, we reverted to hoofing the ball to the touchline Pullis/Allardyce style which allowed Liverpool to totally dominate the game.

    Odegaard had no influence on the game as he received very little of the ball.
    He does lack pace but with the right players around him he will produce.
    Similar to Ozil really one would say, though personally I believe Ozil is a more creative player, though Odegaard works harder off the ball, which in Arteta’s world seems to be more important that what a player can do on the ball.

    I do like Odegaard though.

  21. Kroenkephobe

    I’m pretty certain that all this shite about Saka is mythology. But were he to be sold and replaced by, say, 3 established but lesser value players, they’d stop paying saka 30 bags of sand a week and instead pay 3 players 100 plus bags each, meaning an extra 270,000 shelled out every week in wages.

    There are two potentially promising replacements, both with double-barrelled names (Norton-Cuffy and Taylor-Hart I think – so many posh people around these days with fancy surnames! ). In any case I gather these two are quick and technically strong wingers with an eye for goal.

    There’d be a riot (well an Arsenal version of one) if Saka, ESR or Martinelli were sold in the short term.

  22. Foxy

    A key decision has to be the best partner for Partey which will depend on what exactly is Partey’s
    best role. Is he a defensive minded holding midfielder or more of a roving destroyer and creator like PV6. I personally think the latter and a highly mobile positionally disciplined player like Bissouma or a younger Kante behind him could be the best option.

  23. shaun

    anyone who sells Saka and buy Aouar needs shooting it is as simple as that .A lot of die hard fans are on the edge now but if Arsenal sell Saka and buy some sulking frenchie with half the ability who may or may not shine in the prem most Fans will rightly be like listen I am not gonna bother any more because that is just pure stupidness , we already have to deal with this Kronke bollocks the managers a rookie and genuinely does not no how his players are going to react to his methods of coaching as he has more or less said he did not see that Liverpool performance coming and I bet that has been the case for a number of games this season and unfortunately for all the Arteta lovers that is the most dangerous part of his inexperience , the qualitive part , the intangible part of management he just doesn’t have a clue in this area as he says himself he is shocked by the performance .If Pedro or any other Arteta is a great coach guys can tells us how he fixes this without another two years of learning his trade I am all ears but at the moment this looks like a massive issue

  24. SpanishDave

    Pedro is a dreamer, top four since Xmas!
    and Arsenal needs Arteta!
    We need an experienced manager not a rookie. Without progress the clubs finances go down.
    Look at the players he has brought in it tells all about him. Clueless.
    Why should we suffer another 8: months of this?
    What’s the point? He’s had 50 games to show his capabilities and we are tenth.
    Our real problem is getting the right manager lined up and sorting out the management structure to stop the purchase of has beens on stupid wages.
    Edu needs to go as well.

  25. Sid

    Diet pep just moved from using a midfielder(xhakalson) as the 3rd CB to using the RB (chambers) as the 3rd CB. He is obssesed with an inverted left back.
    He is likely to sign a RB than a CM if he is here in the summer.

  26. Terraloon

    David D

    Without significant investment from KSE there is no money in the pot.

    All the cash reserves have gone. Without CL football , without match day income for the best part of one and a quarter seasons , without selling players for any real profits for a season or so there simply isn’t any way that the club are able in the short term to be recruiting players without cash.

    Now some suggest that deadwood is going to be sold at the top of the market valuations. They aren’t. Some suggest that some players are just going to walk or maybe even transfer out to ( apologies ) to smaller clubs and take significant hit in wage terms. That is possible but not without financial inducements to do so and that takes us back to cash.

    So that suggests that if you want to buy players then big money has to come from somewhere and unfortunately that dose lead to the possibility of selling players you don’t want to and yes that possibly be Saka or Tierney.

    But and a big but for me is that Tierney does seem to have a major issue with injuries and in terms of Saka he has been overplayed and at 19 I wonder what clubs would be willing to risk on him.

    My opinion is nowhere near enough to justify selling him but it’s all about the need for cash

  27. Foxy

    Moyes has been back at West ham about the same time as Arteta at Arsenal and they are 4th having inherited probably a worse squad that was close to relegation!!!

  28. Ernest Reed

    Selling Saka would be a clear indictment of the continued mismanagement of the club. If finances are at issue, maybe its because management have squandered away precious funds on ridiculous contracts for players who were and are not worth it.

    Until you change the ridiculous mindset that currently permeates those making transfer decisions, you can go and find a comfortable chair because nothing is going to change and will be guaranteed to get worse. Arsenal are a clusterfuck of a shitshow!

  29. Kenyangunner

    Back to Emery. He may not have been a good coach but we reached Europa Final and should have finished 4th with Mustafi ,Sokratis and others who have since been binned by Diet Pep.
    Question remains, which player has improved under Arterta?

    Willian,Partey and Aubemayang were shining now they all pale shadows of their past

  30. Ernest Reed

    Someone asked if West Ham were being managed by Arteta would they be in 4th place? Absolutely not, they would be fighting for their lives in a relegation scrap.

    The reason West Ham are competing is because they believe in themselves and have bought in 100% to what their manager is having them do. The only thing that Arteta would bring is his ridiculous non-negotiables and we know how well that has worked out – he’s got Arsenal firmly believing they are a mid-table team.

    But hey, what do i know? The blog owner believes Arteta is Elite and Generational, Things you could never make up…

  31. shaun

    I don’t really understand what your trying to say Terraloon but under no circumstances should your base of good players and there only really is the two that you mention be sold…sell the manger ,Edu the rest of the team but keep those two ………………… fact change the lot , the board , owners ,team manager , techinal what ever you want to call it and half the supporters as well

  32. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    The season is already a disaster when you look at our PL position and the talk of hopefully getting through a EL game…sad times.

  33. Foxy

    On the subject of 100% buying in, worryingly Gary Neville alluded to quite a few of Saturdays team appearing to be downing tools on Arteta.

  34. Thank you and goodnight

    Arteta’s 50th Premier League game, a crushing 3-0 loss to Liverpool, was the Spaniard’s 17th defeat at the helm of Arsenal. Wenger only lost 16 in his final 50 games, while Emery managed just 13 losses in his 51.

  35. Wiglaf


    To be honest a lot of arteta’s losses have come in games with atrocious refereeing decisions Wolves and chelsea spring to mind off the top of my head

  36. Wiglaf

    But it’s not good enough
    The squad is far better than we are showing in game we should be doing better in
    Arteta can motivate them to beat the big teams so it’s no excuse getting edged out by the smaller teams the way he does. He’s got to do better. No excuse.
    I still maintain this team is more than capable of top four status as it stands and the fact we are so low is down to the manager
    He has next year and if it’s not improved then it’s game over
    He’s strangling the team through fear
    We are more scared now than under wenger
    The big thing he was meant it change was the lax, slack, fearful attitude. It’s better in many’s ways but it’s not been translated into points because of the hand break and it’s really starting to wear thin now this slow backwards passing

  37. Nelson

    To Arteta’s defense, he did have a game plan against the Pool. Tierney was playing like a third CB while Auba played like a Wing back. That is like a back 3 formation which was deployed successfully for the FA Cup winning run against big team.

    Unfortunately, the time has changed. Tierney was tired due to overly used. Auba was downtooling. The team still hang in until Tierney was replaced by Cedric. Why didn’t the coaching stuff tell Cedric the game plan. We saw Cedric got outplayed by AA high up on the sideline leaving a big gap for Salah to walk in and scored. Cedric thought that we were still playing 4 at the back and he positioned himself high up on the touch line.

  38. into the red

    One of the decisive things that made them show Emery the door was the fact that a group of players had lost any faith in him and his tactics. The question is whether the same thing is happening with Arteta, and if there is such a group, if it will spread across the squad as a whole. Very few managers can survive that. The performance on Saturday would suggest it might. We shall see.

  39. Nelson

    I read that Arsenal are submitting an offer to Hakan Calhanoglu at AC Milan, who is becoming a free agent at the end of the season.He’s just turned 27 – and his time at AC Milan looks like it’s coming to an end. Calhanoglu is after €5m-per-year without bonuses, while the Rossoneri won’t go higher than €4m . It’s reported that Juventus has submitted an offer which is more financially alluring than Arsenal’s offer.

  40. Dissenter

    It seems Auba was tasked with being the wing back and also cutting off supply to Trent Alexander Arnold. Of course that plan failed because Auba is not that type of work horse player.
    Arteta’s tactics were devoid of reality. He’s asking players to do what they are least good at.

    If he wanted a workhorse who would run tirelessly for the team and put in lots of graft on the left side, he should have started with an eager Martinelli.

  41. Valentin

    Gary Neville already alluded a few weeks ago that it looked like some players had not don tools but did not buy into Arteta rigid tactics. I think he may be right.
    The solution is either change the manager or change players. The problem is that the troublesome players are the experienced players whom Arteta specifically requested: Aubameyang, Ceballos, Xhaka, Luiz and Willian.

    That’s not a good picture for the upper management if the players Arteta went to bat for are now the one who let him down. The big picture is made even worse when you add the fact that those are the one Arsenal can least financially afford to get rid off.

    Aubameyang is already nicknamed Özil MkII by the press, but Willian and Xhaka are both on long term contract being paid way above their current market value.

  42. Rich


    Nice to see you taking my line of thinking regarding Saka

    You criticise my economic theory about rejecting £150 million

    And now you’re using my theories and passing them off as your own

    Nice to see I’m getting through to you 😘

  43. Dissenter

    Older players have been around for a lot longer and can tell when a manager is operating on fumes.
    Arteta gave Auba an almost impossible tasks that does not match his skill set; he was supposed to be blocking off the passing lanes for Trent Alexander Arnold.
    Is there anyone who thinks Auba is suited to that type of role?

  44. Nelson


    Auba’s attitude wasn’t right. There is rumor that Xhaka wants to return to the Bundesliga and there are three teams eyeing Laca. If the Captain doesn’t trust the process, it will poison the whole team. About time to take the armband away from Auba.

  45. DUIFG

    Grim Tuesday, do we have a manger too stuck in his ways and scared to unleash talent,

    We needed energy Saturday was ripe for Martinelli even if he was loose, I worry Mikel needs to get slapped to learn

  46. Terraloon


    KSE have deep pockets of that there is no doubt but Arsenal in financial terms are broke.

    I am not advocating that Tierney or Saka be sold far from it but cash hasn’t been rolling in and the cash has kept haemorrhaging out .

    It’s quite simple that if somehow want to spend then money has got to be generated or donated and whilst KSE injected capital to facilitate Partey release clause will the do that again ? If not it’s going to come about by way of player sales.

    Some are suggesting that players on loan will be sold at top of the market prices. I doubt that. If say you sold Torriera to Boca what would you get my guess would maybe £5-6 million at most. You might just as well keep them and get a loan fee.

    Some are suggesting that players like Lacazette will be sold and yes that’s possible but for how much ? Last year of contract, aged over 30 . Maybe £15 million but for me depending on any the likes of Martinelli who yes before his injury seemed a real prospect would for me be a risk so you almost certainly would be looking for an upgrade and that would cost far more than whatever sum you get for Laca

    It’s all about the money

    Some are saying sell Willian or Auba the truth is with the wages they ar3 on I doubt you could give them away.

  47. DUIFG

    Looking back making him manager was a big error, I was relaxed at the time but we gave a guy with a big head feel like he was a don for winning a minor cup and finishing 8th, we lost control on the relationship at that point, he needs to impress us, not the other way around

  48. Valentin


    I agree. If any reasonable fans know beforehand that asking Aubameyang to track the opposition fullback is setting him up to fail, how can a generational coach not the obvious flaw in the plan?
    As soon as Tierney went out, the plan should have changed from trying to contain him, to trying to force him back by having runners in that vacated channel.

  49. DUIFG

    Selling saka would be us pulling up the white flag, end of ambition, he’s the piece we build around not sell

  50. Graham62

    Eddie Howe was earning £3m at Bournemouth.

    He would have been a better option economically and he has a far better cv.

    Just an opinion.

  51. Pierre

    “To Arteta’s defense, he did have a game plan against the Pool. Tierney was playing like a third CB while Auba played like a Wing back. That is like a back 3 formation which was deployed successfully for the FA Cup winning run against big team.”

    That is no defence, the opposite in fact.

    If that is the case ( though I’m not sure it was), I would suggest that Arteta
    1) learnt nothing from our poor performances using the wing back sustem prior to changing to a 4-2-3-1 at christmas , and
    2) He has no understanding of how to use Aubameyang, if as you say he was deployed as a wing back.

  52. DUIFG

    Hats off to moyes the guy has built a really strong team, clever buys, good to see after United washed him

  53. London gunner


    I wouldn’t write the manager off yet. If he wins the europa or we finish 8th that’s enough to justify one more season.

    When you hire someone for the job you have to give them a fair crack of the whip before firing them.

  54. SpanishDave

    Tierney crocked again he’s very brittle.
    Luiz out until maybe the last game.
    Half the team can’t be arsed a great mess.
    New owners needed really but Stan won’t go, so purgatory for us

  55. Valentin

    If we reach the EL final (big IF), anyone think that Luiz would walk straight through to the starting 11?
    I think that Arteta is enamoured enough to drop whoever help us get there in favour of the Brazilian restauranteurs.

  56. Champagne Charlie

    Arteta gave Auba an “ almost impossible” task of tracking TAA…

    I’ve heard it all now. What makes Auba unable to put in a defensive shift when he’s played wide left against a better team? Is he only captain when he fancies?

  57. Pierre

    Arteta expecting Aubameyang to do a defensive job on Trent Arnold is akin to Emery playing Ozil as a man marker on Jorghino in a European final.

    Both were set up to fail by managers who should lnow better.

    Will just add that no one was at fault for the first goal v liverpool.
    The cross from Trent Arnold was world class and on the button…nigh on impossible to defend…

  58. Foxy

    When we twice beat Pool we had Tierney as third CB, AMN as Wing back to control ATA with Auba ahead of AMN to exploit the space behind ATA, fundamentally different to effectively playing Auba wing back with no one ahead of him.

    Also Pool quickly closed down our wide players in packs of 2 or 3 reducing any threat at source. All we had was Auba wander over somewhere near ATA.

  59. Pierre

    Tierney risks becoming another Wilshere or Gascoigne if he continues to attempt tackles that he has little chance of winning , as on saturday..

    It’s all very well Tierney trying to live up to his scottish hard man image , but all he will achieve is having a history of injuries unless he starts to use his intelligence when tackling.

  60. into the red

    He is Scottish, but he doesn’t have your cliched ‘hard man image’ at all. The guy is good humoured, modest and very enthusiastic. If enthusiasm and willingness to put himself on the line is a fault, then blame him for that.

    It is up to the manage to manage players who might be a risk thanks to their commitment and energy.

  61. Pierre

    “I’ve heard it all now. What makes Auba unable to put in a defensive shift when he’s played wide left against a better team? Is he only captain when he fancies?”

    Out of interest, would you have used Aubameyang in that role..
    For me, if it was a wingback system ( debatable) then sirely it would have been better to bring in Mari as the 3rd centre back and deploy Tierney as the wing back..

  62. Bergkamp63

    Most of the problems at Arsenal have been made by the owner, a hands off approach didn’t work, he let Wenger stay on too long and didn’t invest in the playing squad. As a result, the quality gradually declined and then you end up in a situation where the only perceived talent (Ozil) had you over a barrel because their contract had been allowed to run down, this continued and eventually the problem gets worse, the only player left at the time who single handedly got us into the EL with his FA Cup goals (Auba) also has you over a barrel because there is no money to replace his goals, then in desperation Arteta tries to remedy the situation by going the short route back to CL by handing the likes of Willian and Luiz contracts in the hope that experience pays off, it didn’t but I think it’s a bit rich to try and put all the blame on a rookie coach for what has happened when this has been in the making for nearly a decade.

    By the time this season started, we had 31 players, £234m wage bill and about 5 or 6 players good enough to be considered top 4 talent. We managed to get a few out the door but have about another 17/18 to go.

    Needless to say, it won’t be happening all this summer and possibly not even by summer 22.

    Strap in and pray for EL success or it’s going to be a long slog to rebuild with no money in the bank.

    Kroenke has a lot to answer for, not least for his hiring of Raul which only exacerbated the situation.

  63. Pierre

    Into the red
    Wilshere was trying to live up to his English never shirk a challenge image , and look where it got him .

    Tierney is no different …he needs to gain some intelligence in his tackling.

  64. Champagne Charlie


    I understand why Pepe and Auba were included because they’re the best counter punchers we have in terms of goal getting. I just don’t rate their games enough to give them time at this point.

    Would’ve preferred Willian left and Nelson right with Auba through the middle. Play a proper counter style and have two players more reliable in working hard.

    As far as giving Auba a pass for his shit-show because he’s not a defender? Absolute nonsense. It was a disgusting effort from the club captain, and it’s not the first one.

  65. Daniel Altos

    I am still so annoyed at that defeat and I am now firmly arteta out….even if he wins the cup he has to go.People who say xhaka this and that should be ashamed of themselves… many games have we lost this season with xhaka playing a starring role for 90mins?People also calling laca,auba and Pepe frauds(3 of our highest goal contributers) need their heads checked.As far as am concerned,give ancelotti those 3 and you tell me he won’t find a way of creating the best out of them?Arteta is the problem and it’s so clear.


    Big chances in the premier league this season and goals scored
    DCL – 27 – goals 14
    Vardy – 27 – goals 12
    Bamford – 25 – goals 14
    Kane 23 – goals 19
    Aubameyang -11 – Goals 9

    What that tells you is that Kane and aubameyang are two of the most dangerously marksmen in the division and stats back that for the last 3 seasons.In fact,auba has been bagging 20+ goals a season for over 7 years until a certain tactian showed up….Auba even at his most shittiest is our top scorer…what does that tell you?Playing 30yo auba at left back what exactly was expected to happen?

  66. Daniel Altos

    Also shame on anyone trying to put a positive spin on missing out on europe….what the actual fuck has legrove turned to?We have lost 12 games in a season and someone can confidently say ‘arteta has made us harderto beat?’…What a joke.

  67. Pierre

    “As far as giving Auba a pass for his shit-show because he’s not a defender? Absolute nonsense. It was a disgusting effort from the club captain, and it’s not the first one.”

    I’m not so sure it was a lack of effort as he looked shattered after half an hour…
    The fact is , he can’t defend ( neither could Ozil) and to expect him to be effective in a defensive role is ridiculous.

    I have said from day one with both Emery and Arteta that without the players to implement their football philosophy, it is doomed to fail ..

    They want workers above technicians and the team was full of technicians in Ozil, Aubameyang, wilshere, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey, so how could it work .

    For Arteta to award Aubameyang a new contract made no sense, for Arteta to sign Willian made no sense..
    To sign Pepe made no sense …it goes against their football philosophy of work , pressing and energy .

    None of thise players are fit for a pressing game..

    Personally, I would play Martinelli, Nketiah, Nelson Smith Rowe and Saka , and they will give the team the energy we need to press from the front.

    Expecting pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Odegaard to play a high intensity pressing game is naive .

  68. S Asoa

    “ One of Arteta’s comments post-game was.

    ‘We lacked clarity’ “
    – Arteta is the Manager. It is up to him to make things and tactics clear. Or likely come up with intelligent game plan , instead of blaming his tools who are way better than what Emery was wielding.
    We talk of buying 6-7 players ,all top class and top money. No youth because looks like Arteta does not like their impertinence or does not have it in him to train them into superstars. Even I can put cones on the field ,which will tell about his competence

  69. Bergkamp63

    Liverpool have lost 9 this season and have probably been the best team in the world for the previous 2 seasons.

    I suppose they are now also a joke, almost !

  70. bennydevito

    Earlier you put Ceballos and fucking Sokratis down as players we need to sell in the summer. In the kindest way possible, you haven’t a clue, so maybe skip the playground antics and look for a pulse before commenting.


    I said sell OR GET OFF THE WAGE BILL.

    I thought Sokratis was on loan, but other than that my point stands.

  71. Valentin

    Spanish Dave,

    I read that it was a minor operations and that Luiz was out only for a few weeks and that he may be a available for both the last league game and the Europa League game.
    I think that it would be madness to risk him after being away, but I would not put past Arteta to do it anyway.

  72. Uwot?

    @London.A fair crack of the whip.Indeed.No chance with half the punters on this blog.Effectively you’ve got one season.That’s it.That’s your lot.Doesn’t matter what the situation is.Instant success required.I guess it works if say you’re a Chelsea or a citeh or even yahnited.But it sounds a bit Spursy to me & look where that’s got them.& please spare me the the white elephant sitting in Tottenham high street as an example of there hire & fire approach.

  73. Bergkamp63

    We might be forced to go with Chambers & Holding as CB pairing, unless we risk Gabriel again, he wasn’t too good again at the weekend.

  74. Champagne Charlie

    Stop trying to rehash Ozil arguments or tired tales in his defence. They’re professional footballers playing an 11v11 sport, effort is required on both sides of the ball. It would be one thing entirely to suggest Auba was trying to protect Tierney but visibly gassed, the fact is he wasn’t even switched on. Club captain ladies and gents.

    Now you’re being a little liar, there was no “or” anything. It was sell and get off the wage bill.

  75. Valentin

    Gabriel is great defender in a team setup to aggressively press and play on an counter-attacking way. When the midfield just let the opposition have the ball, he tends to then follow into the midfield his opponents creating space behind.

    If the midfield is aggressive and alert, then as soon as a striker drops into midfield then somebody is on him to block passes. So there is less need for Gabriel to follow him.

    When somebody else plays instead of Gabriel, we still concede but in a different manner. However it still often stems from our pedestrian midfielders not tracking runners and be alert to the threat.

    Once shot, that cross was undefendable, but it could have avoided by having a midfielder tracking and blocking Robertson. Captain asleep again… But people will rather blame the defenders.

  76. bennydevito

    The fact people are pining for Xhaka and Luiz really show how far we’ve fallen.

    What a mess we are. All the over 30s should be benched for the rest of the season then sold.

    Let’s build a team around Martinelli, Saka, ESR, Nelson, Willock, Balogun and Nketiah, Partey, Pepe, Odegaard, AMN, Gabriel, Tierney and Saliba. That actually is top 4 quality right there if you ask me, add a wc right back, a wc cb and someone to challenge and usurp Leno and we’re flying.

    Unfortunately though I don’t think Arteta likes using youngsters, I think he’s afraid. Emery was better with the youngsters and if Wenger was here with this squad I think he’d have us in top 4.

  77. Bergkamp63

    I like Gabriel but he is prone to mistakes at the moment, he will only get better and will almost certainly be one of our top defenders, that will only come with experience.

    I hate to say it but we actually missed Xhaka, we had no DM at the weekend and it showed and the less said about Ceballos the better or his replacement Elneny.

    Our midfield was a joke, at times it looked like all the players were playing the circumference of an egg with a f*cking great hole in the middle !

  78. Champagne Charlie


    You obviously don’t watch much Arsenal if you’re angling for a RB, CB, and GK then claiming that’ll have us flying.

    You want a team built around Nketiah, Willock, Balogun, and AMN, but have enough in the tank to slander guys like Luiz. The comedy.

  79. Bergkamp63

    “Let’s build a team around Martinelli, Saka, ESR, Nelson, Willock, Balogun and Nketiah, Partey, Pepe, Odegaard, AMN, Gabriel, Tierney and Saliba. That actually is top 4 quality right there if you ask me, add a wc right back, a wc cb and someone to challenge and usurp Leno and we’re flying.”

    I agree, with the exception of Nelson, Willock, Balogan (unproven as yet), Nketiah, Pepe (jury still out) & AMN.

    Apart from that, yeah.

  80. Ernest Reed

    “The fact people are pining for Xhaka and Luiz really show how far we’ve fallen.”

    What would you suggest Benny, this team really is bereft of pretty much everything. The team has to satisfy itself now with the prospects of obtaining talent that otherwise would never have been a consideration.

    The fact that we feature two Real Madrid “players” is laughable when you consider had they actually been half decent they would be playing in the starting 11 there but have never really even gotten a sniff – oh but Arsenal just thinks the world of them both, enough to consider paying ridiculous transfer fees for them both.

    Yeah, you pretty much nailed it bang on, Benny.

  81. bennydevito


    I said sold AND permanently off the wage bill. Now seeing as selling would imply permanently off the wage bill in itself, adding the “and permanently off the wage bill” is obviously meaning the loanees.

    Maybe it wasn’t clear, sorry dude.

  82. Ernest Reed

    “Let’s build a team around…”

    Yeah, lets build a team around players that actually want to at Arsenal, that would be novel and unique these days.

    There is an obvious faction of malcontents that permeate this squad and are doing their best to undermine the Manager. We all know that Ozil, Mustafi and Kola were definitely out to blow things up. The fact that Mustafi and Kola are now both frozen out of a putrid Schalke team due to their continued behaviours comes as no surprise. Its also obvious that there are a few on the current squad who are pure poison and manager killers.

    So what do you do? Do you dump yet another manager and seriously risk having the malcontents running the asylum, or do you slowly but surely rid yourself of the poison? Slowly but surely the latter is prevailing but equally unfortunate is that the team is being run by novices which really does not help matters. All in all I would say the team is in full on disintegration mode, the slow burning variety.

    Oh but to be an Arsenal supporter.

  83. bennydevito

    Ernest Reed,

    I hear you. I think Xhaka and Luiz have their uses but because of their lack of pace and error-prone moments, they’re players who should be squad players used at home to come off the bench to slow games down or tighten the midfield/defence, or used away in a defensive midfield role against teams with less pace but who are physical.

    If we have designs on top 4 we need better than them and if it were up to me all the over 30s would be gone and we go with our youngsters.

    I’m not the manager though, just my opinion.

  84. Ernest Reed

    “If we have designs on top 4 we need better than them and if it were up to me all the over 30s would be gone and we go with our youngsters.”

    Absolutely Benny, if you have Top 4 aspirations you don’t load your team up with the likes of Xhaka, Ceballos and Luiz and ask them to perform as such. The limitations of each of them have been laid bare all season and you are right, they are role players and not starters.

    I said it on Saturday and will say it again, the season is done and dusted, you may as well play the youth at every opportunity so you can seriously gauge what you have. Dont know why Arteta continues to persist with playing dead horses, its not like his job is actually on the line?

    Instead we will be met with more inane and borderline insane selections from a manager who truly has never really caught lightning in any bottle or sphere, things just happen with him because he doesn’t actually make anything happen.

  85. The Bard

    Ernest Reed. Its an interesting argument you make. Most of us are old school diehard Arsenal fans. These days the players aren’t. They are multi millionaires who think and believe they can do what they want.
    Some like Ozil aren’t that bothered about their football. Motivating and managing them is complex. They have ego’s like spoilt children. Ferries wouldn’t have been as effective these days. Things aren’t right in the dressing room. I’m not sure why but the fact that Auba has gone missing since he signed for millions can’t be having a positive effect.

  86. Marko

    I don’t know why so many people are getting into discussions about this player and that player and tracking back and yada yada yada when it’s so painfully obvious where the blame falls on the Liverpool performance cause it’s not a one off we’ve seen it a number of times before against certain opposition Arteta literally sets us up to not get battered by a team and he thinks that’s a good game plan. I guarantee you that if Liverpool missed a number of chances and we lost 1 or 2 nil but were still utterly dominated that idiot would have been out talking about mental strength and desire.

    And talks of signings for the summer are honestly pointless if we’re to stick with this dud manager.

  87. Ernest Reed

    Its definitely a cautionary tale that should be exercised with Luiz and Laca, Bard. If you have learned nothing from the Ozil and now Auba Experience, then you truly doom yourself to repeat the misery.

    In the grand scheme i mean absolutely squat to Arsenal, but the fact that I and many others here and elsewhere are doing our damndest to save them from themselves, should never be lost on those that actually are the most important, the supporters.

    In the end we will watch them fall from grace yet again and plod on as we always do.

  88. Bergkamp63

    Arteta’s contract runs until summer 23, anyone thinking he is likely to be replaced before then is likely to be disappointed !

  89. Steveyg87

    Had some time to reflect on Saturdays game, and usually by now, the dust has settled. As an Arsenal supporter, you just have to get used to the fact that the team has its ups and downs. But this feels different, I can’t remember when last we were schooled like that. Is it the manager? Is it the players? Something is broken and I don’t think its down to tactics. Good lord this team had no fight in it. Where do you even begin to start patching up? My opinion is that we should rip the whole book up and start over. Arteta’s excuses are becoming stale and this teams attitude has gotten the best of many of us that post on here. I couldn’t be arsed about Thursday because this team 100% don’t deserve to be in Europe. Dark days ahead my friends

  90. Gonsterous

    I’m all for giving a manager a fair crack at the helm but even that transitional period has to be taken realistically.

    There’s a reason we sacked emery even though he was 5 points off top 4 with a chunk of the season left. We saw realistically that he wasn’t up for the job. Why does arteta get given special treatment or treated as an exception? J

  91. Bergkamp63


    You don’t think it could be that the penny has dropped with owners & many of the supporters of what has been going on for a decade ?

    Maybe those people finally realise the extent of the damage that has previously been done and know it will take 3 years minimum to put right.

    It took Liverpool two decades and Man Utd nearly a decade !

  92. Nelson


    You have a good point. Ancelotti plays his favorite 4 4 2 system with two strikers. Our two high price strikers would fit into his system perfectly.

  93. Rich


    Had fans been in the stadium, Arteta might not have survived until Xmas

    I want Arteta to be given time, but once the fans turn inside the stadium

    This group of players will go into self preservation mode, they’ll down tools completely, then attempted to place all the blame at Arteta’s feet, in order to absolve themselves from any blame

    There seems to be a small minority of players Arteta can trust, our dressing room is flakey

    KSE won’t want to sack Arteta, but they didn’t want to sack Emery either, and look how that turned out

    Our problems go deeper than coaching or tactics, our decision making has been largely horrendous going back years, and until we fix that, I don’t see much changing

  94. Steveyg87


    Hate to be that guy…

    Anyways, is there a more useless winger than auba? Fuck me he’s terrible out wide. Did he complete any dribbles? He was so shite has managed to get Alexander arnold thinking he’s a baller again

  95. Champagne Charlie


    Coherence and a blueprint would be reasons why Arteta is going to get deserved slack at the club where Emery didn’t.

    We had no plan, or framework, for how to play under Emery, it was all one reactive mess. If that’s the case your recruitment becomes muddied because you have very little idea of specific needs in the side. It’s difficult to know the value of what you do have, and harder still to draw a plan for success in future – this isn’t speculative, we’ve just witnessed it.

    We’ve ended up loaning/selling 3 of the 4 players we paid money for in Emery’s first season. We’re also still having to continually excuse our record signing, and 4th biggest signing in PL history, to save face on how shit a move that was. We spent 25 mil on a teenage defender who wasn’t ready to play, and we brought in Tierney and Gabriel…..the only genuine success stories of two summer windows.

    Arteta-ball will improve with the introduction of certain skill sets across the pitch. It was clear prior to Christmas that we needed a 10, Odegaard came in and our output improved for all to see. We still need creative wide players, CM depth, and a RB closer to Tierney’s level to move up a gear. But the fact you can identify that and plot a plan for improvement is testament to the framework in place that exposes who is or isn’t of value in the squad, and what is needed where.

    There’s clarity under Arteta where there was chaos under Emery. That’s the long and short of it from where I sit.

  96. Bergkamp63


    My prediction of 6th or 7th at the start of the season doesn’t look like being too far off the mark, top 4 never in a million years on the table, not sure what some fans on here have been watching, most likely looking into their mobile phone screens and occasionally looking up, if you couldn’t see this unfolding, you haven’t been paying much attention.

    Thankfully the transition has already begun and should be at least st half competed this summer, 18 months from now will look a lot different.

    Unrealistic expectation will only lead to high blood pressure for fans who have little in life outside of Arsenal.

  97. Champagne Charlie

    Excuse me, not Gabriel……Leno is the only other success of the two summers under Emery.

    Leno and Tierney. The rest have been loaned out, aren’t ready, or are hugely underwhelming for their price tag and expectation.

    1st summer: Leno, Sokratis, Torreira, Guen (70 mil)
    2nd summer: Tierney, Saliba, Pepe (125 mil)

  98. Bergkamp63


    I agree but he did score virtually all of his goals from that position (including the ones that got us entry into this years EL), maybe time has caught up with him and at his age, he can’t hack it anymore or doesn’t feel the need he has to ?

    That game has changed a lot in recent years and all players have to put in a shift with or without the ball.

  99. NORG

    Emery was a coach and managed the players provided by the club.

    Arteta is involved with purchases. When he arrived Edu was already involved in searching for emerging talent – our Brazilian CD is one of these signings.

  100. Marko

    We spent 25 mil on a teenage defender who wasn’t ready to play

    Who said he wasn’t ready to play? Oh just Arteta. Given his track record with players and given Saliba has been doing brilliantly at Nice coupled with the impact of Fofana at Leicester I’d be genuinely embarrassed bringing up Arteta deeming Saliba not ready.

    Also you talk about clarity under Arteta I would question your sanity mate I really would. He elevates some then goes back to chop and change he plays players out of position dismisses the form of others and is generally the definition of inconsistent in both results and performances and you talk about clarity. Insane stuff. The one saving grace with him used to be that he was changing the culture at Arsenal but it was all bullshit his treatment of Martinelli and Saliba while he sticks by players like Holding and Xhaka after mistakes or Auba and Willian after disciplinary reasons suggests that he hasn’t changed a thing.

    Actually just as I said all that I actually do agree with you about clarity as in it’s pretty clear he’s doing an atrocious job

  101. Gonsterous


    no idea what the blueprint with arteta is. HArder to beat, we have lost 12. Better attacking play, we have failed to score less than emery’s team with better players.
    In game management – 0
    managing players in the red zone – 0
    coaching younger players – 0

    really difficult to see what exactly arteta is progressing at the club. Unless you want to add something?

  102. Gonsterous

    Leno was considered world class before his injury. When he got injured, everyone said we had lost our best player. Now he’s Almunia 2.0. Confidence shattered. Wonder what arteta does in the training grounds.

  103. Champagne Charlie


    Citing another teenage defender doing well is about as Marko as it gets with you, it’s such a billy basic response I can’t even be bothered going further on the matter. Saliba doing great for Nice is another beauty, just like Pepe was ripping it up at Lille.

    You’ve been this way since day one despite having the uncanny ability to be on the wrong side of the argument historically. I really don’t care that your feelings are hurt over Arteta being manager of the club. I’d almost go so far to say that if we do the opposite of what you think we should then we’re probably along the right path.

  104. Rich


    We’ve made a lot of howlers, Aubameyang’s new deal at 31, Willian 3yr deal at 32

    Signing Soares, then turning down bids for Niles + Bellerin

    Not getting Saliba out on loan before deadline day

    A first team squad of 31 players, including 8 centre half’s, but no fit of registered attacking midfielder

    Sending Kolasinac out on loan, and leaving ourselves with only 1 natural left back, and then inevitably breaking our only left back by over playing him

    Signing Runarsson, and then going into the season 1 injury away from him becoming our No1

    Looks like Elneny might get a new deal, Holding who’s bang average has already secured one

    We’re 9 points behind 4th, we’ve lost a lot of fine margins games by shooting ourselves in the foot, that gap isn’t insurmountable

    I just don’t trust Edu + Arteta to assemble a balanced squad, or identity the right level of talent and right sort of characters, they’ve got off to a shocker, and their judgment has proven to be extremely poor so far

    Take a 3/4 players out of our first 11, and there’s a reason Arteta doesn’t trust them

  105. Dream10

    Champagne Charlie

    I think Leno is a weak link. Suspect on crosses and does not command his space with authority. He’s got two years left on his deal. He’ll be looking for a new contract. I don’t think the club should renew. Whether it’s Arteta or the GK coach who chose to keep Leno over Martinez,. it is the wrong decision. Sold the more commanding GK, who crucially is homegrown

  106. Rich

    Leno is in the comfort zone, last season he had Martinez breathing down his neck

    This season he’s had Runarsson, and now Ryan, which is hardly going to keep him on his toes

    Lack of internal competition for his place in the team, really isn’t healthy, he can continue playing poorly, and it’s unlikely either keeper is going to remove him from between the sticks , and he knows it

    And that’s a really unhealthy place for him and us to be

  107. Champagne Charlie


    Really not got much to tell you if you can’t watch the two teams under the respective managers and fail to see the basic differences in organisation, pattern development, identity.

    I’d love to know the “better players” argument in full detail, think that’s being thrown about something chronic and it’s baseless. Our attack is worse than in 2018 as far as options go.

    Nobody could mention what we needed (in terms of players) under Emery to see an evolution, in Arteta’s its crystal clear where we’re short.

  108. Champagne Charlie


    If you want to play that game with Leno then put the onus back to source. We bought Leno for 20 mil when Martinez was on the books and 26 years old.

    I don’t agree for a second on that one, but if you do then it only further highlights the poor recruitment and technical marriage under Unai.

  109. Bergkamp63

    The Leno / Martinez situation is daft, you can’t expect to keep both keepers who see themselves as a number 1 and both capable of being PL first choice, you have to make a decision based on the style of play you want from your players (including GK’s) and sell the one which doesn’t fit the profile and cash in on them.

    Ryan might be good enough cover or you might need a journeyman if one is available at the right price (bare in mind we are skint).

  110. Rich+robbins

    Column today is unfortunately right. The foundation for change and the platform to execute, must be draconian for the benefit of next season. Liverpool disaster proved and priced the young guns….it may even be best to cut laca and auba……as allowing that energy to remain seems counter productive in making wholesale change.

  111. Rich

    CL football is worth potentially £40-£100 million, before you take into account the commercial aspect

    Europa League is worth potentially £30-£50 million

    Signing Runarsson was ridiculous, going into the season 1 injury away from him becoming our undisputed No1, was beyond negligent

    I preferred Martinez, but no player should be guaranteed to start, they have to earn that right through their performance and professionalism

    Kroenke is worth £8 billion, surely he could allow us to sign some competent competition for Leno from somewhere?

    Rather than signing a no hoper, and playing Russian roulette with our season?

    Our run in isn’t bad, we’ll have better days than Saturday, while I wouldn’t get on it, we can still get something from this season

  112. Kroenkephobe

    If I was even reading your stuff, let alone plagiarising it, I’d section myself….

    But seriously, you put out some good, forensic stuff about the parlous state of the squad post Liverpool, which made good sense and went some way to atoning for the atrocious cant that you wrote earlier about economics, capitalism, being a victim of racism in your own mind and the innate urges of men to chase things!

    And not a snowflake or woke virtue signaller in sight for a change. Made me wonder if your subscriptions to the Telegraph and Times have lapsed. Keep it up big man! 😉

  113. Almuniasaynomore


    I see what you’re saying about Arteta v Emery, the former introducing discernible pattern/ style of play which the latter lacked,hence your criticism of Emery and support of/ patience with Arteta. But what of those of us who agree with you on that point but don’t admire the style of play that Arteta is introducing? Do you think it will become more expansive once he gets his signings right?

  114. Dissenter

    The word ‘clarity” should never be mentioned in connection with Arteta-ball.

    Arteta is everything but clear in his approach.
    He can’t even settle on a central defensive pair to build upon. He’s always chopping and changing every game.

    Then you keep talking about us loaning out three players bought in the Emery era when in fact that’s an indictment of Arteta’s l;ack of clarity.
    Arteta chose to register Mustafi and leave out Saliba, the same Mustafi that can even make the cut at a dismal Shalke.
    He pushed the club to resign Auba and give Willian a 3 year deal. He’s a pile of muddled mess who’s made the squad a lot worse than he met it.

  115. Dissenter

    Whomsoever signed Runnarson should have been fired.
    That the goal keeping coach is still drawing a salary from Arsenal speaks volumes about the decrepit management we have.
    The signed him and paid him more than Martinez earned for 4 years at Arsenal.

    Leno has deteriorated because he has no real competition to keep him honest.

  116. Up 4 grabs now


    The league games are all dead rubbers now, Arteta should be looking at experimenting in these games.
    442 with auba and laca/martinelli up top.

    two wingers who will track back sometimes, but it wont be the bee all and end all if they dont since the fullbacks wont have to push on upfield so much, as the wingers provide the width.

    odegarrd & partey in the centre, one protecting the back four, one pulling the strings and creating in midfield.
    they wont be overwhelmed as they will have fullbacks just behind them to press, and wingers to drop back and help out when needed.

    Auba then gets the free role (ala Henry coming from that left side but not actually playing as a winger, but he’s in and around the box)

    Martinelli or Laca is the focal point.
    everyone says 442 is old fashioned, yes it is, but it doesnt mean it wont work.
    we work with a system that fits the players we have.

    auba gets a free role with scoring or the odd assist his only real contribution that he’s good for.
    We get a focal point in laca/martinelli who will actually be in the box.
    The wings are properly protected by fullbacks and wingers and the midfield wont be overrun.

    Its not perfect, but if we had played that against the bindippers on Saturday we wouldn’t have been sitting here now saying how did we only have one attempt at goal.

    There is no way Liverpool have the freedom of the emirates down the wings to create those goals.
    playing 442.

    They wasn’t even that great on Saturday, we were so appallingly bad and timid, that we made them look a lot better.
    Two rookie centre halves and we barely troubled them, and one attempt on target was pitiful.

    As a team we look no better than we did the day Arteta walked into the building, no consistency, no plan, no fight. and it looks to me like some of the players have lost faith in Arteta

    yes we have some great young players in Saka, martinelli, ESR, odegaard (while we have him)
    But a lot of dead wood remains.

    For me Arteta has to win the Europa league to stay on, or we end up with another season next year like this one, languishing mid table.hoping for a cup run like we’re Wolves, West ham. or the spuds.

  117. Gonsterous


    I ask what’s been improved and you give me the if you can’t see it, then no point in telling you. Great logic and explanation.

    Better players, saka was raw under emery , auba was top scorer when arteta got here, pepe has acclimatised to the league, guen had PL experience unlike under emery, esr and martinelli had already gotten their debut and were not green when arteta got here.

    Arteta bought in gabriel and mari which is an upgrade on sok and mustafi.
    Got partey who is an upgrade on torreira.

    Only difference mikeal doesn’t have mhiki and ramsey.
    Mhiki was average and ramsey had the odd good game in him. Other than that, arteta is using the same players that emery had with upgrades.

  118. Almuniasaynomore


    I think you’re being generous to Leno there. I know the importance of competition, particularly at professional level but I don’t think he was ever top class. It might sound a contradiction but if a goalkeepers main strength is shot stopping then I’d be worried because that’s the easiest, most instinctive part of the job. Anyone who is good enough to be a pro keeper will have that in their locker. Even Almunia managed to stop shots,remember the cl semi at ot? The hard part,the character defining side of keeping is your handling, decision making,when to catch/ punch, when to come for the ball/ stay on your line,communication with your defenders. These have been weaknesses of Leno’s since he arrived, albeit they are becoming more obvious of late. His confidence was always fragile, now it is deeply eroded. We badly need an upgrade on Leno,not just a replacement for Runnarson.

  119. S23

    Still furious about Saturdays performance.
    I feel if we dont come out of the season with anything,Arteta will be allowed probably 2 months of the new season and shown the door.
    I feel he should be told to coach the team and leave all of the other business to the technical director,that way both can be evaluated and dispatched if neccessary.
    I still am unable to understand how professional footballers were unable to pass the ball over 10 yards on Saturday.
    I would have been happy to give Mr Arteta up until December next season,but after that lameful performance and comparing his and Emery’s records against each other with a better team,I am starting to think it is too big a job for him.
    If he starts to play the youngsters,as the top 6 is gone now,with a view to who is going to make it next season fair enough,but I just know Willian and the usual suspects will be waiting in the wings.
    Talk of selling any of our youngsters is sacriligous and not why we left Highbury.
    The Emiirates would be a very lonely place,right now if the fans were allowed in.
    Dreary times,Brothers and Sisters.

  120. Habesha Gooner

    There is a lot of debate but the decision should be clear in the summer. Either Arteta Wins in Europe or gets us Europa league football through the league or get fired. We wouldn’t give any other manager the same leeway if he performed to these levels. It doesn’t matter there is flashes of good football, we can’t build a future on hope.

    Either he buys himself time or he gets out. Anything other than that will be based on sentiment. Because he wouldn’t be deserving time based on the season’s performance. I wouldn’t scratch my head if he continued one more season because I have seen some things that suggests there might be a good manager in there but that is purely from a sentimental view. Objectively he should be fired if he doesn’t get Europe.

  121. Gonsterous

    Emery had fuking leichrsteiner as back up RB
    Arteta has cedric soares. That in itself tells you arteta is working with better players than emery

  122. Champagne Charlie

    In short, yes. I’ve been the most critical of our attacking play because imo it’s the single biggest issue facing us right now. I’ve seen enough in the past 12 months to be more than confident Arteta has it about him to organise the side better than we’ve seen for a decade, but our attacking options are really, really underwhelming for me. I don’t like the profile of players, and their chemistry is nonexistent.

    Obviously there’s a lot to unpack there, and Arteta has plenty blame to shoulder, but I have patience because there’s a blueprint that I can see improving with the right talent. I never saw that under Emery and would always critically ask ‘well what’s needed for Emeryball’?

    Sorry if it’s flippant, I don’t have much patience for obtuse commentary and apologies if yours was sincere amongst the noise.

    I don’t agree for a second about us having a better squad in terms of balance. Our attack is woeful and I’ve outlined the buys under Emery that simply haven’t left a mark. Gabriel and Partey are good signings, they’ve added a lot to us our defence is a mile better than it was under Emery. My issue is offensively we’ve completely removed the creative options since Emery and it’s left us unable to consistently land punches against anyone half decent. That, and golden boy Auba is not the same player he was 9 months ago, let alone in 2018.

  123. David.D

    Heard a startling stat on the radio yesterday.
    In the 4 seasons before this one we have failed to score at home in the league just once.
    This season alone we have failed to score at home 7 times.
    If true that’s shocking.

  124. Habesha Gooner

    However you try to spin it these group of attacking players are capable of a lot more goals than this. Whether you like it or not they have hugely underperformed under Arteta. Mainly because he had no plan at the start of the season for our attacking midfield and a way to get the ball up the pitch. Remember the countless crosses? Blaming players for hugely underperforming while they performed under a supposedly worse manager doesn’t hold any water. Arteta hasn’t found a way to get the best out of his forwards this season. And that is a fact.

  125. Mr Serge

    Arteta getting ruined on takksport right now
    They are doing s phone in to see if he should be there
    They are saying he should be sacked

    Very interesting listening for a change

  126. Tom

    Is there a clarity of vision under Arteta though?
    The prevailing sentiment, at least on here , seemed to be lately that we need to overhaul the entire squad which, apart from a handful of players, isn’t good enough.

    Then it gets super muddy trying to determine who should stay and who should be let go.
    Keep Auba and build the team around him like City did around Aguero.
    Bin Auba and keep Laca because he offers a better link up play.
    Luiz is our best CB.
    Luiz is a mistake prone player who can be bothered against smaller teams.
    I could go on and on.
    Doesn’t seem like much of a clarity to me.

    Anyone who brings up Arsenal transfers under Emery as a stick to beat him with is disingenuous.
    He didn’t get a single player he wanted.
    Pedro will say it was because he was a poor coach and he wasn’t trusted enough with player recruitment.
    But then in a separate post he’d say something like it was a mistake to give Arteta this much transfer power because his decision making can’t be trusted.

  127. Almuniasaynomore


    I don’t like his forward options either, but that’s why I’m baffled with his approach to Martinelli. If he’s protecting the kid,then fair play, but I find that difficult to believe. Maybe we’re all so desperate for signs of hope we immediately overrate our decent players( martinelli, partey,esr) whereas Arteta sees them differently. Think I’m clutching at straws though Charlie!