WHAT SORT OF MATTY FLAMINI IS MIKEL ARTETA GOING TO BE? (LONG READ)

by .

There’s literally nothing worse than losing under this current regime.

I’m wondering if it’s unique to Arsenal, the moment, or just football now… but every club has it. United fans talk about #OGSOUT after a draw. Pep was a fraud last season. Klopp amazingly has detractors.

I saw someone bemoaning ‘trust the process’ and ‘back the manager’ yesterday. Like, I get it, when something is clearly dead, you’ve got to move it on fast… we’re not there yet. Worth noting that West Ham fans were very much Moyes out at the end of last season (and the start of this one), look at them now, chasing down top 4 with Jesse fucking Lingaard looking like a world-beater.

Arsenal fans are kind of like West Ham fans these days, beaten down by a very long stretch of mediocrity, now everyone is a nihilist. My favourites of those types are the people that backed Wenger to the hilt when it was clear he’d reached his ceiling. If he’d been moved on in 2013, I’m not sure we’d be where we are right now. Summer 2015 would never have happened. We might not have needed a Don Raul. Ivan might have actioned a Sven like plan early. Could have been very different.

Now we’re in the worst of all situations… the ‘no quick fix’ one.

We tried the quick fix in Wenger’s last season. It didn’t work.

We tried another round of quick fix in Emery’s first summer. It didn’t work.

We then went for strike 3 trying to save Emery and that also didn’t work.

Mikel Arteta is David Cameron with Liam Byrne’s ‘I’m afraid there’s no money’ note after Gordon B lost the election. I remember writing about this a decade ago… the longer you leave a problem in football, the more expensive it is to fix. Well, here we are. 18 months into a 5 year plan and it’s difficult because we’re reengineering everything at the same time. We’re doing that because we’re trying to build sustainable football and a sustainable transfer model… not something that is fleeting.

That doesn’t mean there’s no hope, far from it… it just means if you’re a fan and you think there’s a silver bullet manager, you’re living in a deluded world. High profile managers won’t touch us because we’re a resume spoiler. Hot shit young managers, like Nagelsmann, are not in our league. So you either bum it around with names like Nuno (Emery) or you take a chance on an upstart coach like we’ve done.

There are two challenges we have at the moment.

  1. We don’t have the players needed to play the way Arteta wants to play in enough volume
  2. It is super questionable whether Edu is the Technical Director who can lead us out of this shithole moment

I think if Arteta was just coaching, I’d be more confident about the next 6 months. The fact he is anywhere near the decision-making process for players is deeply concerning.

Outside player recruitment, which we can talk about another day, there are things Arteta needs to get right super quick.

ACT ON THE INSIGHTS

In business, I find there are two types of operators at a certain level. Those that can recognize problems and do the job. Those that can recognize problems, do the job, and fix the problems. The first is Matty Flamini on the football pitch, pointing everywhere, but not doing much about it. What you really want is the Matty Flamini post-career, looking at climate change, and coming armed with a solution that WILL save the world.

Arteta, at the moment, looks like he’s midfielder Flamini.

He points to the problem really well. The issue? He doesn’t do enough about that said problem. In fact, sometimes he points at a problem and goes to great lengths to praise the offenders. He has a saving grace here, the pandemic fucked world football. Money didn’t move, no one was taking chances, we were left with a bloated squad.

This summer, we’ll truly see what sort of a leader is.

If you are pointing your finger at individual errors, you need to fix them. We can’t see a new deal for David Luiz, he’s made more errors than most this past season. We have to minimize Xhaka next season because he’s another one who has mistakes costed in. Dani Ceballos should not be renewed. Big Mo needs to be passed on. You might ask questions about our keeper.

If you are pointing your finger about our lack of edge in the attacking phase of our game, you’ve got to stop giving deals to old players that can’t do the job. Auba is a great striker, but he’s not really what Arteta needs from a 9 and he’s a million miles from what we need on the wing. Willian can’t move, it’s embarrassing that Arteta thought he’d be the move. Lacazette, he’s been good, but against the backdrop of the other two being dreadful. Pepe, not cut out for it.

… it’s a mess… but we can’t keep pointing at it. It needs to be fixed. We need to move forward.

We can’t go into this summer knowing the problems and not fixing them. Worse, we can’t know what the problems are… then make more mistakes to exacerbate them.

DODGE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ARSENAL FAIL

This is a subcategory of the first issue.

It’s easy to work in a winning environment. Everyone is confident. Pressure is lower. Things feel sexy. You don’t learn an awful lot. It’s like driving on the open road.

The losing environment is the most important place to identify the true character of the people that make up your team. Who showed up every day? Who gave 100% in the dressing room? Who turned up early and left late? Who was curious? Who didn’t hide? You find out who can drive on the Champs-Élysée round about.

Arteta looked like he based his summer on the cup win. He should have based it on our league form. True character, in this side, isn’t BIG games, it’s the little games that don’t matter. 10 months later, we’re dealing with the same issues. The Liverpool game was about character, not ability… but how can you be surprised? When the games don’t matter, these players NEVER show up. The lessons of the Liverpool game need to be carried into the summer. You cannot coach character.

DOUBLE DOWN ON THE THINGS MAKE YOU BETTER

Arteta has two masters, the fans, and the results. You have to be doing a good job with both to stay in the job.

What makes the fans happy? Young players.

What makes the team better? Young players.

Who has consistently let us down this season? Senior players.

You could say that is overly simplistic, but I’m not sure I’d agree. Young players give you fight, hunger, and sellable assets. There’s no argument that, in our situation, signing 32-year-old wingers from Chelsea is the better move.

The frustration I have with Arteta is that he keeps on forgetting what kept him in a job. It was not Auba. It was not Willian. It was not Lacazette. It was players like Saka, Martinelli, ESR, and Tierney. Hungry players.

I don’t want to see Arsenal trying to sign Griezmann in the summer. I don’t want to see us in for 27 year olds. Our finances don’t give us the baller money needed to get the best of players at those ages. We need to go young. Martin Odegaard, that’s the profile we want. Martinelli, starting every week, that’ll make us smile. William Saliba needs to come back and be coached to the greatness we know is there.

No more bumming around trying to justify horrendous summer decisions on senior players. Move them on if we can and replace with names that are hungry to impress.

Fans will forgive young players, they will not forgive underperforming coasters on big money.

BETTER NARRATIVES

What’s the fucking story at Arsenal?

You always knew what it was with Wenger.

We’re going to go invincible.

We’re going to have the best kids in the world grow together.

We’re going to build out a new project with Brits.

The plans didn’t always work, but you took a ride with Wenger.

Jose Mourinho always had a great narrative you could follow along with.

Jurgen Klopp keeps you bubbling along.

What is the vision with Arteta? I know he wants to play nice football, but because he doesn’t have a narrative, it makes it hard to know what’s going on.

If the Liverpool game was in the bin, give us a hint of what’s going on, and staff accordingly.

The management-speak makes it hard to follow what we’re doing. I can see things unfolding on the pitch I like, but I’d like to know how this gets better. Where is the momentum coming from? What are we planning to fix this summer? What is a summer going to do to arrest 12 defeats 30 games into a season?

We lack a good narrative. You know, even if the narrative is painful, I’d take it. My worry now is that there’s a lack of clarity in the system and it’s further clouded because the person writing it is the person who is trying to learn the ropes of coaching on his first job.

Hopefully, all of the above is being taken care of. Whether you like it or not, the City and Liverpool games have not been par the course since December. That performance at the weekend was a kink in the system, but one the fans widely understand is there. Arteta and Edu need to action it. Move us forward. Get the fans back on track with this rebuild. We can’t keep on pointing at it. If we are this time next season, it’ll be time for a new manager, because the project will have failed.

Have a great day, see you in the comments. x

221 Responses to “WHAT SORT OF MATTY FLAMINI IS MIKEL ARTETA GOING TO BE? (LONG READ)”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    You don’t really understand what is going on in England at the moment.

    We are living in lockdown with most people isolated from their family and friends and family life impacted by death, serious illness and mental health issues. Do you seriously think that footballers are immune from what is going on?

    Last week Torreira lost his mother to Covid. Earlier in season Aubameyang was granted compassionate leave to see his ailing mother and Thierry Henry and Arteta amongst many
    others have been subject to internet abuse.

    So you expect footballers and management to perform like automatons and perform well
    100% every week. Clearly some people are struggling at the moment and just because they
    earn a lot of dosh does not mean that they are coping with life any better than most of
    society.

    Arsenal have not played well this season, but that applies to most other teams in the EPL as
    well. Form has been up and down.

    It is very easy to criticise the players and manager whenever they have a bad game.

    I am not going to make excuses for what has happened this season, but we need to be realistic and not constantly assume that everyone on the planet is able to cope well with what is going on.

  2. China1

    ET many teams in the EPL are having quite respectable seasons

    We can excuse individual cases (like the loss of loved ones) etc but the overall plight of the team has been driven primarily by self induced mistakes that most fans were able to call at the time with relative consistency.

    So I sympathize greatly with individual cases of players struggling in special circumstances but I don’t sympathize with arsenal FC having a shit season. The pandemic is an excuse because it is not applying equally to all teams.

    If our players were struggling with long covid or lots of family deaths etc that would be one thing but the examples you’ve given are torreira (not even in England), Henry (not an arsenal player) and Auba (fair enough tho his attitude and form have been awful all season coincidentally after he signed his big contract).

    The pandemic is an excuse and it’s not a very good one

  3. China1

    Somebody forgot to tell west ham, Aston Villa, Leeds, Leicester, utd and city that there’s a pandemic. Spurs are also give or take where I’d expect and Chelsea’s pandemic issues magically disappeared when Tuchel arrived

    Arsenal are not special we’re just doing badly and it’s our own fault. By blaming ourselves and taking responsibility the club can seek to improve and do better next season. If one of the main lessons learnt at the end of this season is ‘but pandemic!!’ Then I can say with great confidence next season will end up with disappointment as well.

  4. Hitman49

    Pedro…you say there is no quick fix and site two main challenges..

    One Arteta doesn’t have the players he needs…?

    Second is edu up to the job..?

    personally I think it’s the other way around edu acquires the players the manager wants..?

    Like …Willian..Mari..soares…Gabriel..ceballos,.party..the dodgy keeper….

    I’m sure edu didn’t sign these on his own judgment..? ?

    Is arteta not accountable for any of this mess..?

    Is arteta the coach ..?..responsible for playing style..? Players focus..? Fitness..? Mental attitude..?…the players game day preparations..?…

    All of which he has completely and in some instances spectacularly failed in he is a complete novice and so far out of his depth now it’s embarrassing.
    For me personally his time is up if he win the europa then it’s Wenger part two papering over the huge cracks and on we will stumble…

    His time is at an end thank you and good night…

  5. Hitman49

    Pedro…you say there are two main challenges..

    One Arteta doesn’t have the players he needs…?

    Second is edu up to the job..?

    personally I think it’s the other way around edu acquires the players the manager wants..?

    Like …Willian..Mari..soares…Gabriel..ceballos,.party..the dodgy keeper….

    I’m sure edu didn’t sign these on his own judgment..? ?

    Is arteta not accountable for any of this mess..?

    Is arteta the coach ..?..responsible for playing style..? Players focus..? Fitness..? Mental attitude..?…the players game day preparations..?…

    All of which he has completely and in some instances spectacularly failed in he is a complete novice and so far out of his depth now it’s embarrassing.
    For me personally his time is up if he win the europa then it’s Wenger part two papering over the huge cracks and on we will stumble…

    His time is at an end thank you and good night…

  6. Freddie Ljungberg

    Not sure what people expect from our attack when Arteta insists on playing Auba and Laca together, it barely worked in the 7-0-3 formation and then only because Auba scored nearly every chance he got. He’s not a winger and never will be, especially not if we have any plans on keeping possession.

    Play one of them at a time, it really is that simple.

    Despite all the abuse Pepe gets here he’s probably been our second best attacker after Saka, but is yanked for 3 games every time he scores or assists.

    Willian is leading the assist charts but it has mostly been easy sideways passes with it all to be done and he’s been extremely lucky that they have led to goals, hardly been putting them on a plate. He’s been stealing Pepes and Martinellis minutes with very little to show for it, especially up until the last few matches.

    Our midfield is poor, not much to do about that until the window opens, should have been addressed before but hey, maybe this time they’ve learnt their lesson. Would have probably benefitted by keeping one or 2 of the loanees.

    Our CB pairing keeps getting changed, even when not needed because of injury or rest, not good. He also doesn’t seem to know what his best pairing is still which is a worry. If in doubt go for the younger players with the highest ceiling. (yes that would have included Saliba as well)

    RB has been a problem all season and I don’t know why Cedric isn’t playing more. Bellerin is done and Chambers isn’t the answer in most games.

    At least he abandoned the 7-0-3, albeit late, because that was just terrible and hobbled some of our best players for no reason. Saka at left back and Tierney as CB should only be emergency options, not the default.

    There’s many reasons why we are where we are right now but most of them are self inflicted, poor player selections and tactics are the stand outs for me.

    The squad is far from perfect, but it’s better than it’s been at any point in the last 3 years and we should be doing better than we are now, that’s on Arteta. I hope he either start learning quickly after 18 months or gets fired asap, cause it’s not looking to improve.

    So much more he could have tried to improve us.

    would have liked to see a front 6 of

    Partey

    Esr -Ode

    Saka -Auba/Laca/Martinelli- Pepe

    Can’t be much worse than the tripe he’s been serving up on the regular and might actually make us tick like a proper team again.

  7. Kroenkephobe

    Blog of peace and love right

    Tony/Northbanker

    Err and a blog of hi and fi by the sound of it. Turned all the way up to 11!

    Tony – what do the neighbours and the local fuzz think (or are they all in your pay) ? I know fuck all about stuff like that but it sounds like you’re getting ready for an all out propaganda onslaught and you’re using the site for practice. I’ve got this indellible image of you in my mind’s eye as the Walter C Kurtz/Marlon Brando character in Apocalypse Now.

    If I were you, I’d use the sound system to broadcast your theory about Arteta’s manifold shortcomings – it’s gonna be more accurate than anything in any UK so-called newspaper (the vast majority can be more accurately described as comics for grumpy old gits).

    Kin ell, it sounds like you’ve got the life o’ Riley out there. I’m envious – my world is totally prosaic by comparison. I need to get travelling again once this pandemic ends.

  8. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    I gave examples of situations which have happened to our Manager, players and ex players.
    This is a very small sample of what is going on at moment.

    Most of society is struggling at the moment whether you accept it or not and morale is impacted by events.

    Last Saturday we discovered that a large number of our starting X1 was injured for the game
    against Liverpool. When we saw the team sheet I was not surprised by outcome. I suspect
    that the players went into that game in similar frame of mind.

    No-one discussed that Chelsea lost 5-3 to WBA or that Spurs drew with Newcastle. We talk
    solely about how badly Arsenal played.

    The reality is that all teams apart from Man City have had up and down seasons. I am 100%
    sure that morale is impacted by what is going on in England at moment.

  9. Valentin

    Pepe, Aubameyang are both born and raised in France. They are French citizen, but chose to represent the country of their parents.
    When they speak French, they both have French accent rather than their respective African selection accent.

  10. Gonsterous

    Tony

    Don’t know how you do it, but once I know the score of a game, I can’t get myself to watch the whole thing. Rather watch the highlights. Can’t be arsed to re watch the game the next day.

  11. Sid

    Its hunky dory living in a democracy, its another standing by what you say, not flip floping, where im from your word is your bond

  12. Tony

    Kroenkephobe
    I can assure you KP at 65 I have near killed myself running myself into the ground.

    I had the cinema built adjacent to our gym so linking it to the house. The gym has a 5000 watt PA system that I have to keep down to a mutually agreed decibel level.

    The cinema omits less than -20dB which equates to a quiet room: https://www.mobileappdaily.com/app-review/db-meter

    Being an ex sound engineer from the late 70s and 80s I had the cinema built with a control room, so the cinema can be used as a record room with perfect studio level acoustics.

    I enjoy your musings and I’ve had to pay with my health to have what we have today. A quintuple bypass at 35 was the start of it and 2 of my coronary arteries are held open by minute wire baskets enveloped into the walls of said arteries. Better known as stents and I’ve had 5 and counting with only one left that can be done when the next heart attack is close. When you add colon disease to the artery issues, I have enough to keep me on my toes.

    The last step is a redo bypass because the stents will eventually block.

    My final step will be to have a chat with Rocky or the devil, but living in a tropical climate should see me ready for the latter where perhaps the likes of Ronny Van Zant will be hanging out.

    I come from extreme humble beginnings of orphanages and foster homes and still bare the scars of those 6 years before being adopted to a workin g class family.

    I know what it’s like to fight for my food at an early age and only eat if I won the fights.

    The the mid 50s and early 60s were not good times to be given up by your 16 year old mother.

    For someone who finds it hard to keep still or stay on one place I can relate to you wanting to travel again.

    Where is on your list?

  13. Terraloon

    As I get from middle aged grumpy git to OAP grumpy git I find that I am shaking my head in disbelief.

    See some say it’s obvious that things are improving just look at league results since Christmas. Phew some say yep all’s good.

    Ok so let’s look at 2021. In the league played 13won 6 drawn 3 and lost 4.

    Oh! Not so happy about that let’s look at January. Great won 3 , drew 2 and yep proof didn’t lose any.

    February. Yep things are improving. Ah maybe not. Won 2 lost 3
    The weathers getting better, COVID numbers dropping.So what about March that surely will prove the improvements Yep didn’t loose a game .Oh only won 1 and drew 2.

    Never mind April will be better!

    See how I fell into that trap. Using a selective time period really isn’t helpful

    There is no doubt that the 7 game unbeaten run starting on 26/12 /20against Chelsea and ending after the Southampton game on the 26/1/2021 made a massive difference but if you then look at the 9 league post that Southampton win those games has not delivered the same points tally as was achieved in the first 9 games of the season.

  14. Tony

    Gons
    I get up at 6am and either watch the match recording or use the apps Freddie L gave me: OurMatch.

    It’s a trade off from watching at 2 or 3am and I’m an early riser usually up between 5 and 6am.

  15. Sean M

    This project is not going to work under Arteta. Simply because he is a micro-manager. Who wants to work under a micro-manager?

    Look at how he’s always screaming all over the touchline telling the players where to move, where to pass. Imagine your coach doing that all game??? It must be so annoying for the players because I’d be losing my mind. If that’s him on matchday in front of the world and all the cameras, imagine what he’s like behind the scenes?? As we know he’s a not a pleasant guy behind the scenes.

    The best coaches don’t micro-manage on matchday. You don’t see Klopp, Mourinho, Wenger, Sir Alex, Pep G, Rodgers, Zidane, Carlo. Screaming all game on the touchline. I’m certain it pisses off the players.

    Food for thought. Would you want to work under a micro-manager Pedro?? I’m sure I know the answer.

  16. Bob N16

    Loved your post Freddie, agreed with every word. It’s not looking that great for Arteta.

    Much will depend on the TW this summer which will be guided by whether we qualify for Europe. If we don’t, we’re even more in a ‘project situation’- I would love to see a continued clear out of players who are clearly not going to be part of our return to the top 4.. My worry is how quickly Edu and Arteta are learning how to achieve success.

    Tony, keep well and the volume turned up. Without wishing to come across as patronising, I admire how you have overcome a tough start. We all have our stories but mine is much more mundane. I was given up for adoption as a baby and my parents were well off Cambridge graduates. I’ve lacked your ambition due to much more comfortable early surroundings!

    We share our love of Arsenal though!

  17. Kroenkephobe

    Tony
    Respect. You’ve certainly had some ups and downs. I travelled persistently in my job for 30 years and it lost its glamour by the time I left in 2013. But once the little uns leave our family bosom in a few year’s time, Ms Kphobe and I are going to visit our old haunts in the Americas (US, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil). We’re also applying for Spanish (and therefore EU) residency and seeking an eventual haven in Catalunya or Italy. Covid is making us more inpatient for change as it is everyone else.

    I’ll be in touch nearer the time for some PA/Amplifier advice. Wherever I end up, I’ll be using a cranked up megaphone or microphone every morning to tell my neighbours to support the Arsenal!

  18. Tom

    Ah, the hardships of modern day footballers…
    don’t know how they even manage…..
    Unlike those fortunate frontline workers restocking grocery shelves at 15 bucks an hour.
    Not a worry in the world.

  19. Aussie+Gooner

    Pedro

    “Matt, answerred your own question there… if we can offer young players a platform, they’ll come. Finding them more the problem.”

    But there in lies the problem. Arteta is adverse to giving young players a go! We don’t have to look far for young talent – they are already at the club but you wouldn’t know that!

  20. Emiratesstroller

    Hitman 49

    Willian,Gabriel and Soares were recruited by Raul before his departure. He had close links with agent.

    Runarsson was recommended by Arsenal’s Goalkeeping Coach. I doubt that Arteta knew who he was.

    Partey was by all accounts Edu’s preference. Arteta had asked for Aouar.

    I think that Arteta can take direct responsibility for decisions to recruit Ceballos and Mari.
    Ceballos was a mistake but a loan option. Mari on the other hand had played well in South
    America and was probably known to Arteta at Man City.

  21. Tony

    BobN16
    Thanks I appreciate all you said.

    Good to hear your story and we’re pretty close in our club thinking.

    Our daughter is my wife’s niece who we adopted when we married. She’d lived with my wife from 6 months.

    KPhobe
    Kindred spirits come to mind.

    I chose SE Asia but wasn’t sure where I’d end up. In the end Thailand was an emerging hospital tourist country so it made sense to pitch my tent there.

    More than happy to offer my thoughts on tech. I’m a serious tech nerd so always researching something.

    Not quite at the level to write blues or country songs, but certainly have seen more than I would have wanted to.

    The last 17 years have been magical here so I can’t complain.

  22. Valentin

    I thought that Raul was already gone when Willian was signed on. It was deal initiated by Edu and Arteta went beyond the necessary to convince him to join: Winning the European Champions League within 3 years anyone?

    Converting Cedric loan into a purchase was done at Arteta behest, so he is fully responsible for bringing him on a permanent basis.

    The Only goalkeeper coach who was against bringing Runnarsson left a few weeks ago. He was told that his contract was not going to be renewed this summer and is now manager of Bromley FC in the conference. Instead the Spanish goalkeeper coach who recommended Runnarsson has been promoted. So I would surmise that despite his rather poor judgement of players, Arteta likes the man.

    In short Arteta has had more influence on the squad than just Ceballos and Mari.

  23. Hitman49

    Emiratesstroller…

    Thank you for the explanation of how the players arrived.

    But the manager definitely had a say in them being acquired and in the instances of a couple of them he actively wanted them, I’m sorry to have to stand by my own opinion but he has to take the blame full and square on I’m afraid.
    His judgment is very poor you only have to look at his man management skills and the way he has treated a few of the younger players to see that it’s a flaw in his personality.
    Not good enough for the club I have support for 50yrs.

  24. Emiratesstroller

    VALENTIN

    Willian and Soares were both clients of Joorabachian and were signed before Raul left the club.
    The agent and Raul were close friends.

    No-one disputes that Arteta would have been consulted about all the summer signings, but
    all deals were handled by Raul, Edu, MD [who handled finances] and the lawyer.

  25. China1

    ET why are all those other teams having up and down seasons mostly in the positions you’d expect them to be in? Why is our morale worse impacted than most other teams? Why does bad morale from covid force the manager to make poor mistake after poor mistake in terms of man management, selection, formations, rotation and so on?

    If you cut out even half of the outright poor mistakes the manager has made this season we’d probably be 8 points better off right now.

    The pandemic is awful but stop moving the goal posts for arsenal

    My boss is a west ham fan and he absolutely ripped me yesterday about how shit we are. This is arsenals fault

    If we had had an ok season (nothing special) I’d tolerate a bit of failure in unusual circumstances. But I don’t make excuses for plain dumb mistakes on the regular and blame it on something else entirely

    How can you be ok with Everton villa Leicester west ham and a frankly poor spurs team being above us this late in the season. Not withstanding Chelsea utd liverpool and city.

    I’m too proud an arsenal fan to see that and just brush it away as but covid. But covid for all those teams as well, don’t you think?

  26. China1

    If arteta came out and said he’s been suffering from long covid and has constant brain fog this excuse will make sense. Until then it’s just an excuse

  27. China1

    Like isn’t this the whole point of good management, that you manage the difficult situations? It is the difficult times when you see what someone is really about. Same for the players

    I’m not interested in players or a manager who does well when things are comfortable. It’s times like now more than ever you show what you’re made of. Or not

  28. TeeCee

    It’s not just the TW this summer that will seal Arteta’s fate, it’s also the return of the fans. If you thought it was toxic for Wenger, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!! Wenger had 10 great years to support him, Arteta has about 10 great minutes……

  29. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    I am not making excuses for Arsenal’s poor form this season and in particular what has happened in last two games against West Ham and Liverpool where we have conceded
    6 goals through some abject defending

    However, you need to ask some serious questions about what is going on with a number of
    players at club most notably Aubameyang.

    I don’t believe that the problems are down to Arteta alone. There is no evidence that there is
    a fallout between players and manager.

    The body language of some of the players suggests to me that some are struggling with life
    under Covid, which would not be surprising. Let’s be clear Arsenal’s squad is not and has not
    been for a very long time a closely knit group of players.

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    Bob N16

    Thanks, it’s hard to stay positive when the same mistakes get repeated weekly.

    At least the season is over soon and we have a chance to improve. The old argument under Emery that all we needed was some elite coaching didn’t age very well did it?

    Not buying into this rewriting of history that we’re 18 months into a rebuild after Emery destroyed the squad or whatever, it started 3 years ago, with almost every single player in the squad then needing purging and by this summer we are almost there I would think. Should the rebuild have been handled better? Yes. Should we have focused more on younger players with high ceilings and resale value if it doesn’t work out? Yes.

    Doesn’t change the fact that the rebuild started when Wenger left. The squad was in a terrible mess, unbalanced, injury prone and overpaid. Was always going to be painful getting that in order.

    I was hoping for a 3 year turnaround but that was probably a bit optimistic with the people we have in charge, but we absolutely should get top 4 next season and have a squad ready to challenge at the top the year after or heads needs to roll.

    Would help if our manager had even a glance towards the future and tried to develop and give minutes to our most promising youngsters, but it is what it is I guess.

  31. Rich

    Emiratestroller

    Aubameyang is a mood player, when he’s smiling, he’s great

    When he’s got the hump, we don’t want him anywhere near the team or squad

    Martinelli might be raw, but throwing him in after Aubameyang’s recent performances, and his body language, is the right move

    We should have stripped Aubameyang of the captaincy, and if he becomes a problem, then send him to train on his own, and away from the group

    It’s not like we’d miss him, he’s been awful since the ink dried on his new contract

    Saka Odegaard Smith-Rowe
    ………..Martinelli

    At least what we lack in experience with these 4, they’ll make up for with their commitment and energy levels

  32. Dissenter

    Haaland is a massively sized player.
    He’s built for the premier league and will bully defenders with his physicality.
    His dad needs to share some of the nutritional secrets they used to nurture him with.

  33. Northbanker

    Rich – yes the front 4 named are the ones for probably most of us. Even with off games i think we would accept more readily. They would show energy at least and not have to deal with 1 or 2 senior sulky pros who can be really problematic to play with. Look at the development of players like Cesc immediately when Henry left in 2007 (he was moody although was still performing unlike the current crop)

  34. Pierre

    Rich
    “Saka Odegaard Smith-Rowe
    ………..Martinelli”

    I’d be interested to see, in the league, an offensive 4 of saka on the right , Smith Rowe CAM, Martinelli left , with Eddie or Balogun up top.

    The reason being is , if Odegaard isn’t staying then we need to look to next season and use him for the Europa.

    There will never be a better chance to give Martinelli, Nelson, Balogun , Smith Rowe, Eddie and Saka the chance to prove that they are the future.

    9 league games left …..no point in starting willian , Aubameyang , pepe , Odegaard or Lacazette.

    Put them on the bench and use them if need be.

  35. Ustyno

    There’s pandemic in the world, other teams except Liverpool are either around where they ended the league last season or better but Arsenal have not been 8th for as long as I can remember and then I’m made to believe pandemic is affecting us

    How some believed Pedro’s generational coach mantra beats me, everything have seen about Arteta doesn’t support that mantra,the interesting part is that if and that’s a very big if Arteta finally becomes a generational coach it will be to the detriment of the club because Arsenal have made themselves a learning board for a rookie coach

    I have a big doubt that if Arteta finally stumbled on the magic wand and becomes a generational coach that he will like to stick around with us,so sad even thinking about it,we are too big a club to have towed this line,he should have gone to a smaller club and learn before we got him

    I wish him well cos he is with us now

  36. China1

    Yeah dissenter Haaland is so overpowered it’s not even funny

    Most of the time he just looks like an 18 year old playing amongst 16 year olds. There are plenty of big or very big players in world football but there aren’t many who just look miles beyond most of their opponents like he usually does.

    I read a really funny description that when he’s sprinting he looks like a bear chasing honey 😂😂

    Check it out next time it’s really funny.

  37. Pierre

    Odegaard as a a striker , would be about as useful as Dennis Bergkamp was in the 2005 fa cup final v united…

    Could Odegaard be another RVP in and around the box, I can’t see it , though Odegaard does have some of his traits in his game..

    We have 3 young strikers (Martinelli, Eddie, Balogun)who can score goals for fun, so why not play them.

  38. Valentin

    Pierre,

    I mention yesterday that I would love Arsenal try to play in a 4-1-3-1-1 with slightly different approach.
    ……….Partey
    Willock Guendouzi Saka
    …………ESR
    ……..Nkethia

    Last season against Burnley, Willock and Guendouzi excelled in midfield behind Ceballos. I think that with the added security of Partey behind them, they should be able to handle most lower tier teams.

    This season is a write off but could have been a jump start to give experience to youngsters and rebuild the squad.
    If Arteta had kept Torreira, I think a lozange of Torreira deepest with Willock and Partey ahead with Saka at the top could have been very useful.

  39. Nelson

    “The body language of some of the players suggests to me that some are struggling with life
    under Covid”

    Those senior players in our team are making on the average over £100k per week . They have the responsibility to do their job. Especially under Covid, a lot of average Joe will look forwards to see their beloved Arsenal team for comfort. Some even get up at 3 am to watch the game. What the team did just brought more misery to us.

  40. SAGG

    It is official we lost Tierney for the rest of the season, maybe if weanage to reach EL final then maybe he can play that game.

    4 to 6 weeks knee ligament damage.

  41. Valentin

    China1,

    Under Emery, we played a few games in 4-3-3 with Willock, Guendouzi and Ceballos in midfield and we won those games playing well and attractive football. I cannot see why with a “better coach” and players with more experience we could not replicate those performances.
    I am not advocating playing that team against ManCity or Liverpool but against lower teams that should be enough and can be used as experience.

    Read what the Athletic is writing about Willock on loan at Newcastle. Geordies and journalists seem impressed.
    I still think that we need another midfield player with more strength and agility, but this was a possibility that Arteta discarded which is doubt would have fared worse than the current team.

  42. SpanishDave

    There are no excuses, we just do not have the right manager to rebuild the squad.
    He’s already proved that with Willian, say no more.
    He has no experience to fall on he’s just trying things out at our expense.
    A club with our standing should never have employed him, it was a stupid gamble and it hasn’t worked.
    An ambitious club would cut their losses and regroup, but Arsenal do it the hard way.

  43. Nelson

    Just imagine if Shkodran Mustafi has accepted the offer from this administration to extend his contract. We have to sign an experienced DOF for this club to move forward. Currently, we are swimming in the mud and are arguing who has done the most harm to the club..

  44. Rich

    Sometimes senior players can become a disruptive force, and one rotten apple, can spoil the whole bunch

    Give me a young hungry squad lacking experience, over experienced players, with big-egos, flash sports cars, and stupid haircuts, everyday of the week

  45. Rich

    Tierney out for 4-6 weeks

    Odegaard struggling with an ankle problem

    Luiz “Available for selection in the upcoming weeks”

    Saka + Smith-Rowe back in full training

  46. S Asoa

    “Arteta does not have a narrative to make Arsenal look great”
    But has an alter ego who can in so many words. Already slowly pushing in a narrative of 18 months on a carrot to lead this Narcissist into his 5 year term. God forbid. Out now and Mertesaker and Bergkemp to show what the Academy kids can do. How fortuitous we blend into the same vision. It must be correct .

  47. Aussie+Gooner

    Nelson

    Well said. Yes, I sometimes have to get up at 3.00am to watch the games. The players need to realise that we are all affected by COVID but still have to get on with our daily lives. I would like to see how they would respond if they had to work in a powder keg of a prison like I do. COVID would kill at least 30% of the population – both staff and prisoners if it ever got in! So yes, I would like to have received a bit of a lift from my team during this period! The players have been cosseted during COVID and should be giving their all for the fans.

  48. Chris

    That’s a huge blow regarding Tierney. If it is 4-6 weeks, he should hopefully be ok for the EL final, should we get there.

    In the mean time I would go with Cedric at LB, who did well there previously, and continue with Chambers at RB or bring Bellerin back in to rotate. Not ideal but at least it wouldn’t take Saka away from his best position.

  49. Dream10

    Time for Saka at LB/LWB. We could be seeing a back three, especially if Xhaka isn’t ready to return and Partey’s durability

  50. Doublethink

    Arteta (first 50 PL matches)Won: 21Drawn: 12Lost: 17Win percentage: 42 per centGoals scored: 72Goals conceded: 56Clean sheets: 15
    Emery (51 PL matches)Won: 25Drawn: 13Lost: 13Win percentage: 49 per centGoals scored: 91Goals conceded: 70Clean sheets: 10
    Which ones the generational talent?

  51. Pedro

    Doublethink, which one won a trophy and didn’t have to deal with a global pandemic?

    Emery fan club… sure sign of incel

  52. Rich

    We sign Soares on a 4yr deal, and then turn down offers for Bellerin + Niles

    We then loan out Niles 3 months later, because we’ve got no use for him

    Bellerin is now behind Soares at right back, but both of them have fallen behind Chambers, who’s actually a centre back

    We loan out our only natural competition from Tierney in January, and then inevitably break Tierney from overplaying him, because he’s our only left back

    We’re now going into the run in, with Soares who was signed as a right back, as our only left back

    The people running Arsenal are bonkers

    Why couldn’t we plan to go into the season with 2 right backs, and 2 left back?

    2 attacking midfielders, and 4 centre backs, instead of 8 centre backs, and no attacking midfielders?

    They haven’t got the slightest clue what they’re doing……

    It’s not just that our scouting + recruitment is diabolical, we’ve got the most unbalanced and poorly thought out squad in Europe

  53. La croqueta

    You know what’s really funny about Artetas trajectory. He’ll never get a top European job after this. When he inevitably gets fired (or walks take your pick). He’ll be a little like moyes after utd. There will be sympathy for him. A good coach/manager but the job was too big for him. Not completely his fault. He’ll have enough credit in the bank to be given a crack at some mid table Spanish club. If he’s lucky He’ll weasel his way back to the prem somehow. A C.palace westbrom Sheffield utd type. They’ll give him a chance like clubs gave chamack a chance. He’ll think if he proves himself, shows the world he’s learned from the Arsenal experience, that the biggest teams in Europe will give him a chance.
    CITY, UTD, CHAVS, even SPURS (Would he dare?), POOL, EVERTON (A legend for them?) BARCA, REAL, ATLETICO, PSG, AC MILAN, INTER, JUVE, BAYERN, DORTMUND ect.

    Europes biggest names. I can’t see any of them giving him a job or the funds to do the job.

    You’re only gonna get one shot at this mike. Don’t f**k it up!

  54. La croqueta

    Another thing i find hilarious. Arteta ins have this perceived notion that next season is a clean slate. A fresh start. A chance to start again. Ha! What happened to Emery? His failures the season b4 carried over into the following season. So if like Emery Arteta doesn’t hit the ground running. All his failures from this season and all the anger and frustration from fans will roll on into next season. Doubling the lack of belief and PATIENCE fans currently have. Artetas not at fault. The job is just to too difficult for an inexperienced coach to tackle. It’s the owners fault for hiring him in the first place.

  55. La croqueta

    PedroApril 7, 2021 00:58:07
    CC, offloading those 4 is going to be tough.We’ll get nothing for Laca. Pepe is worth about 30m.

    Credit where credits due. You are the first Arsenal commentator that has said. We’ll get nothing for Laca. I always gave a little chuckle when i read or hear ppl say. “We can get 20, 30 for laca” lol. Like what!?!? Shout out to you Pedro for keeping it all the way real on this topic at least.

    Lads. Laca turns 30. MAY 28TH 2021. Next month lads.. his contract runs to JUNE 30 2022. He won’t leave. He’ll run down his contract like they all try to. At which time he’ll be worth nothing. I can’t help but think he’s playing like a fighter warrior now just to secure a new contract.

  56. Pierre

    Pity that Arteta decided to use Nketiah so sparingly since the first lockdown, especially as he had done so well after returning from his loan spell at leeds..

    3 starts in the league this season is an appalling waste of a goalscorer.

    Prior to the first lockdown Nketiah started 5 out of the 6 games and in the 5 games he started we won them all.

    Eddie scored 3 goals in the 5 games he started , the team managed 12 goals in that period…

    Sadly Eddie hasn’t been given the opportunities despite our strikers struggling during the past 12 months .

    Eddie has started 21 games in all competitions since his return from leeds, winning 15 , losing 4.

    We have had fools on here criticising Eddie constantly this season , despite him being given limited opportunities.

    I put Martinelli in the same boat as Eddie, both wasted talents who should now be given the chance to prove themselves in the league until the end of the season..

    If players like Nelson, Martinelli, Eddie , Balogun and Azeez are not given a chance in the next few months, then questions should be asked.

  57. Samir

    Pierre
    Fully agree. But I’m pretty sure Arteta will keep picking the underperforming senior players…He won’t want to cause any dressing room issues when we’ve still got the EL to play for…