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. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich

    Not sure if you ever studied Plato’s simile of the sea captain but you did him proud there.

  2. Rich

    Nice post Pedro

    Fans are always down after a performance like the one on Saturday

    Still plenty to play for this season, our fixtures to the finish line are favourable, Liverpool are still one of the best teams in Europe, it can happen

    The 10 points currently from 4th, aren’t insurmountable for next season, plenty of fine margins games that we should be looking to push in our favour

    We’ve put in some very good performances at times this season

    If Arteta + Edu can make some astute moves, and KSE back us, we can definitely be better next season if we stop shooting our selves in the foot

    I’m not convinced I trust them to get it right though, their decision making and squad planning has been horrendous

    Hopefully they turn things around, and smash this summer out of the park

  3. Mb

    Fab saying Hector is for sale this summer… nothing strange since he is not making the playing XI and Chambers filling it up.

  4. Ernest Reed

    “Ivan might have actioned a Sven like plan early”

    This being the same guy that is letting a number of contracts run down at Milan, same as he did at Arsenal? That Ivan???

  5. Ernest Reed

    “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.”

    That!

  6. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    Summer requires another winter-level exorcism of surplus to give us an idea of what moves are possible. I’m personally extremely hopeful that we see two attackers join on top of Odegaard. At least one in the style of Buendia is a must.

    So there’s 3 before we even touch CM and replacing Bellerin, who is apparently off end of season.

  7. SpanishDave

    Arteta doesn’t do youth so it’s a lost cause.
    Edu and Arteta are taking us down, both rookies and are poor managers.
    A five year plan with these two , no thanks

  8. Kroenkephobe

    Hate to split political hairs, but the note in the Treasury desk was left by Liam Byrne and read in the first instance by George “we’re all in this together” Osborne. Until then, it had been one of those wanky parliamentary traditions that always happened sotto voce between departing Treasury ministers and was considered funny. Yeah right.

    But the opportunist in Osborne used it to have a cheap shot at the Labour administration and grassed Byrne up to all his reactionary chums in Fleet St and the BBC. All this ironically, before Osborne and Cameron introduced swingeing austerity and blamed people in low incomes for the recession.

    If Gordon Brown had read that Pedro without the correction, he’d have gone completely radge and breathed halitosis all over you.

    The football tie in? Osborne had a trial at Arsenal in the 1990s.

    One piece of this story is untrue..

  9. Ernest Reed

    “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.”

    But this in itself is exactly what one should expect from a manager whose only real previous experience in management was pre-chewing Pep’s food for him.

    Arteta is likely really good at X’ and O’s on a board, but to put it into action, thats the trick. To be honest, it would have done Arteta wonders if he whet his teeth at the lower levels where visibility is nowhere near the pressure cooker that is AFC. To be honest, he’s been set up perfectly to fail and its partly his fault for not putting in the time to really learn his craft.

  10. Chris

    Another shortcoming of VAR here, just because the ref had already blown the whistle, a clear and obvious mistake by the ref cannot be reviewed. Ederson screeed up but gets the foul.

    Was saying at work earlier with colleagues about VAR, it was brought in to correct mistakes and to end the ‘it all evens out in the end’ malarkey. Now the talk is ‘all the VAR decisions even out in the end’ well what’s the point in it being there then? Would rather not have it at all if it’s this hit and miss.

    The summer it needs a big review to sharpen it up because it is currently erratic in the extreme, absolutely no consistency.

  11. Ernest Reed

    “The 10 points currently from 4th, aren’t insurmountable for next season, plenty of fine margins games that we should be looking to push in our favour”

    Your optimism is well founded Rich, but Saturday really was the straw that broke this teams collective back. That was Arsenal’s worst performance in, geez, a long time. Even when they put up poor results in the past they at least showed inklings of something. Saturday it was as though Liverpool played against no one.

    Play the kids for the remainder of the season, it cant possibly be any worse than Saturday. Arteta may uncover a true gem – or maybe not – but at least see what you have.

  12. Kroenkephobe

    Correction – Byrne’s note was to Lib Dem minister David Laws. Remember the coalition? Remember the Lib Dem Party?

  13. Pedro

    ‘Your optimism is well founded Rich, but Saturday really was the straw that broke this teams collective back’

    You are speaking for the mentality of the team without being at the training ground or seeing the ramifications of a bad game against the Chamopions?

    Bit of a stretch.

  14. Tom

    Arnold targeted for his defensive weaknesses.
    Too bad Arsenal did think of that.
    Something something about balls and courage

  15. Ernest Reed

    “Bit of a stretch.”

    No, bit of a stretch is saying that Arteta is Elite and Generational. What exactly has he accomplished to be bestowed with such high praise?

    Keep things in perspective please.

  16. Foxy

    RM are a fast strong team playing very direct high pressure footie, no Spanish tippy tappy possession play.

  17. Pedro

    Ernest Reed, won an FA Cup in his first 6 months. If he wins Europa, which is very do-able, then we’ll be tracking nicely.

    Back to your point… you can’t claim losing against Liverpool is a camel back breaker, because you haven’t seen the output. So you are, as usual, projecting what you’d like to be the case.

  18. Valentin

    I would not be surprised if Edu suddenly grew a backbone and ask for Arteta sacking this summer.
    He is not stupid and he must realise that half the team is just interested anymore in whatever Arteta is selling.
    With a lack of funds and Arteta demands for a full rebuild, getting rid of Arteta and give a chance to the youngsters maybe a cheaper and more realistic approach.

  19. Ernest Reed

    Have had an entire season of that crap, Pedro. You call it projecting, i call it a harsh dose of reality. You think its fun watching such a lousy team perform this way, week in and week out?

    Im not projecting, im calling a spade a spade, Arsenal are pure abject crap this season. You may see it otherwise, but after Saturday’s “non-performance”, i dont know what you can call it? Back breaking? Much ado about nothing? You tell me, you are better placed to know than i am.

  20. Chris

    Nelson

    Reminds me a little of the Rivaldo nonsense years ago, ball got kicked at his legs, he went down like a sack of spuds holding his face.

    So many rules that need to be straightened out or plain re written with VAR. it’s a mess right now.

  21. Jaroda

    We couldn’t lay a glove on Liverpool. Now Liverpool can’t lay a glove on Real. If we got back into the Champions league it would only be for the cash as R16 is as far as we could go.

  22. Pedro

    Calling a spade a spade would be saying that you are pesonally upset about Arsenal… not talking about breaking camel backs.

    Valentin, the man that sanctioned Cedric and Willian throwing stones this summer? I would be very surprised.

  23. Ernest Reed

    To be honest Pedro, I have had a year that i would most sincerely rather forget. I hoped above all hope that Arsenal may provide me with some joy, at least to temporarily allow me to focus on that. Its been hard and if I’ve been hard on you it was never my intention. Im struggling with life and often i find myself unable to know what to do next.

    I apologize if I’ve brought you grief, sincerely so. Im just not in a good place at times (not all the time).

  24. SpanishDave

    If he wins Europa, we are fourth since Xmas, we have the fifth best defense, we have a five year plan, etc
    Deluded.
    Reality is so different, we stink, we are weak, we have overpaid overage players, we are sinking down.
    Mid table , worst season for 25 years.
    Let’s give our savior another ten years, he might get us in the top six.

  25. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    What are your thoughts on Auba, and the elevation he was given in the dressing room with the captaincy and contract?

    Looks a real contentious one 6 months later, lots of issues emanating from that alone imo.

  26. Tom

    Chris
    It’s still humans making judgment calls whether running and trying to keep up with play or sitting in the comfort of a studio.

    Luiz concedes a pen after makes minuscule contact with Wolves attacker that needed five different replays to determine, while Maguire is all over Welbeck like a cheap suit for a no call.

  27. Valentin

    Pedro,

    The man who decided to for Partey and drop the negotiation for Aouar. He had enough of Arteta refusal to compromise, knowing that uncompromising attitude would have end up with no deal coming through.
    We both know that Arteta was extremely cross about it. But what has been left out of the reports was that Edu was also very unhappy. He felt that had he not intervene, he would have been held responsible for the fiasco.
    You do not survive the fights within the Brazilian FA without being ruthless and know when to get rid of enemies

  28. Pedro

    Ernest, it’s just football jousting… no one brings grief to this blog, especially not you! I’m sorry if you don’t feel yourself or my tone is offensive today. I just had surgery. Lying on my back in pain shooting out comments.

    Think about the Premier League this season… which teams are expeirencing good things?

    West Ham and City are the only fanbase that could say they were happy right now.

    This year is a write-off. It will not be like this next season. Normality will resume. There will be more joy ahead.

    We might even get some in the Europa. We have ESR, Xhaka, and Saka back for Thursday. That’ll be huge. Clear that the club are rolling it all on that again.

  29. Pedro

    Valentin, you are making up narratives again.

    Arsenal tried for Auoar and kept the powder dry on Partey knowing they could strike a deal last minute if they didn’t find a creator.

    All the rest of that cute story was padded by your imagination.

  30. Tom

    Auba’s contract extension was a mistake even worse than his hair extensions.
    I was for extending him at the time but I was wrong. Then again I’m not getting £5m a year so I didn’t need to be right.
    His reaction after being benched for the NLD says it all.

  31. Rich

    Pedro

    Our squad is far too big, it was unmanageable with 31 for the first part of the season

    Next season I want to see a first team squad of 22 if we qualify for Europe, and a squad of 20 if we don’t, and I want our squad to make some sense

    Leno, genuine competition for Leno to keep him on his toes
    Soares, Invest in a top right back if we can get Bellerin + Chambers out
    Tierney, genuine competition for Tierney
    Holding, Saliba
    Gabriel, Mari
    Xhaka, Elneny
    Partey, Either bring Willock in, or invest in a young midfielder
    Smith-Rowe, Odegaard (Permanent)
    Saka, Pepe
    Neto, Willian
    Aubameyang, Martinelli

    Odegaard, a left back, and a keeper are a must

    The rest will depend on our ability to move players on

    Bellerin
    Niles
    Lacazette
    Nketiah
    Luiz
    Chambers
    Torreira
    Guendouzi
    Kolasinac
    Nelson (New contract + Loan)
    Willock?

    I’d sell Aubameyang in a heartbeat, but we’re likely stuck with him, so may as well put him centrally, surround him with technical quality, and try and extract some value out of him

    Happy for Martinelli to replace Lacazette

    3 players is the minimum requirement, but I wouldn’t be against mass surgery if we can get the players out

    If Xhaka didn’t brain fart twice against Burnley, that’s potentially 4 points

    If Pepe holds his composure, we take 2 more points against Leeds

    There’s been plenty of examples of us gifting teams points, rather than being completely outclassed, Liverpool + City x 2 and Villa were the really bad ones

    If we go into the season with a couple of attacking midfielders, instead of none, we push the margins in our favour in a few other games

    There’s our 10-12 points, which puts us into the mix

    The gap isn’t that big when you break it down, but it can easily become bigger if we keep making poor choices in the transfer market

  32. Chris

    Tom

    “ Luiz concedes a pen after makes minuscule contact with Wolves attacker that needed five different replays to determine, while Maguire is all over Welbeck like a cheap suit for a no call.”

    A great example of what VAR was supposed to be brought in for and another great example of how inconsistent it is. Is football so complex and convoluted that the same type of incident cannot be consistently measured in any different match? It’s a funny old gamers they say, but not really. You would still expect a seldom human error of course and it happens in video replay in other sports, but to the degree we are seeing in football? Not that I have seen.

    Perhaps VAR is a process and project as well 🙂 we shall see it working perfectly in 3 years!

  33. Matt B

    Pedro: I think you are Arteta’s narrative. If he had made all these claims, then great, but he didn’t.

    He told us he would build a team around Auba when he signed on. He didn’t do that.

    The only consistent thing we get from him, is that certain player train hard and that’s the rationale for their selection.

    That’s the narrative — not exactly inspiring stuff.

    And what we’ve seen in the past 2 matches is very worrying. If we don’t see a vast improvement this Thursday, then it’s a clear trend (as was the upturn since Chelsea in December). A mid table team in decline…

  34. london gunner

    Vini JR has been massively underrated for a long time because his decision making at times was poor. Dudes only 20 barring injuries he will explode. He is like a better sterling and I actually rate sterling highly

  35. Valentin

    Pedro,

    Arteta let it know via his friends in the media that he was not happy about Edu overruling him on the Partey decision. Now it’s me inventing a narrative.
    You are the one clinging to the narrative that Arteta is the generational coach and that within Arsenal everybody loves him.
    Check with your sources…

  36. london gunner

    Real madrid might be having a bad season (not recently) but they are still a top class side. Look a level above Liverpool.

  37. Champagne Charlie

    Technical ability beats physicality 9/10, it’s why City have a level Liverpool can’t reach and why they’ve been less disrupted by the pandemic season.

    Technical ability needs to be the highest feature on our summer list, simply not enough of it in the midfield and forward areas to sustain any sort of dominance.

  38. Graham

    True Andy but I think we passed that point a long time ago – another thing that Wenger first had the vision to identify it (his accusation of financial doping) but another thing where unfortunately he misread how things would evolved (convinced FFP would mean Arsenal were the only big club left standing).

  39. London gunner

    Andy1886

    Would be super happy if city and psg never win a champions league.

    I cant stand real madrid and barcelona but even i would route for them in a final over city

  40. Matt B

    Taking a punt on a coach like Arteta is one thing, but then committing to a re-build on his requirements is something else entirely.

    Unless he can demonstrate he has what it takes. Not sure he’s done that just yet.

    Let’s see what happens up until the end of the season. I think it will be fair to make some kind of judgement on him at that point…

  41. Gbat

    CC

    ‘Technical ability needs to be the highest feature on our summer list, simply not enough of it in the midfield and forward areas to sustain any sort of dominance’

    100% agree with this. We need more players comfortable receiving the ball under pressure. It’s there main reason we couldn’t get out against Liverpool. The passing was terrible plus they kept giving up possession under the slightest bit of pressure.

  42. Matt B

    Don’t see why Edu gets as much of a battering as Arteta on here. Did he not sign Martinelli, Gabriel and Partry?

    Or was that all on Arteta?

  43. Rich

    Technical ability was the reason we dominated Spurs for 77 minutes

    Smith-Rowe + Odegaard both pumping pass completition stats of 95%

    Smith-Rowe went off, and even against 10 men we lost control of the game

    It’s why Aubameyang on the left doesn’t work, because he always looks to come inside onto his right foot, and doesn’t offer anything else, he’s got 1 superpower that’s waning

    Saka Odegaard Smith-Rowe

    Gives us control in the final third

    Pepe + Aubameyang don’t

  44. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    You can have both of course, but technical ability is an absolute must for any sort of dominant possession based football and we have nowhere near enough of it.

    I’m talking high level technical ability married with the efficient ball use. Pepe has great technical abilities and is nothing short of hopeless at looking after the ball or picking the right pass consistently.

    David Silva, Bernardo, Mahrez, KDB, Yaya, Gundogan

    There’s a clear emphasis on technical prowess there vs athleticism.

  45. azed

    Pedro

    I think Arteta should hire you for the narrative part because you’ve invested so much in Arteta being a “the one”.

    By the way, what happened to we have a top 4 squad that has added William, Odegaard, Partey and Gabriel?

    Remember when you wrote this?

    Reality is this: He is going to have a very rough 3 months. We’re going to lose games. He’ll fall out with players. There will be Youtubers shrieking about how they’re abandoning the vision just so they can be the first. As fans, we can’t cave, we have to show faith. There is an idea here. We are on the path to better. By the end of the season, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing a sharper identity. If we have a great summer, we will be competing for top 4 next season. From there, who knows where we could go.

  46. SWG

    I’ve seen his name in the comments on a fair few posts and I’ve said it myself.. Yves Bissouma! It’s a must.. him, Odegaard, Hakimi! Then look for a cheap/free option at LB as Tierney needs cover.. if Pedro Neto becomes available and we somehow manage to move Pepe and Willian on, make that one happen as well Uncle Stan!

  47. Paulie

    Theres no bright side here. We are fucked and everyone can see it. The players are poor and Arteta is awful. Until the Kronkes fuck off then it’s always going to be excuses, no money and mediocrity.

  48. Peckobill

    Madrid showing the reality of where Liverpool are this season , they wasn’t great again us we were utter shit and arteta lost the game before we left the dressing room

  49. Matt B

    These technical players are never going to come to Arsenal — why would they

    We are so lucky to have ESR and Saka — once in a lifetime that our academy produces these two at the same time

    I would be very pleasantly surprised if we landed Odegaard, but it’s unlikely to happen, especially if we don’t manage European football next season

    I think we’ll find it difficult to off-load some of the surplus material we have and I doubt we’ll get as much as people hope we will for them

    I’ll support Arsenal whatever happens of course, but it feels like we’re a long way off and I think it will take Arteta too long to get where he wants us

    And the fans and the owners won’t wait that long, especially when it looks likely that there are other managers who would do more with what we have

  50. Pedro

    CC, we need really good scouting to get there… we’re not going to find those elements at 27 years old, so hopefully there’s a shift in the right direction on who we bring in.

    Odegaard the right sort of profile.

    Maybe Edu raids South America?

  51. Pedro

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

  52. Dissenter

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

    If, if, if, if,………

    If we had a manager who trusted youth
    If we had a manger that didn’t pick a tosser like Mustafi over a youngster like Saliba

    Hope you bounce back from that surgery quickly.

  53. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    I’m not sure about not finding them at 27, there’s loads of quality technicians in that bracket who we could sign. I just don’t think it’s particularly wise to target players like that when spending the little money we have, most of our investment needs to have resale value attached to sustain us.

    That said, players like Fekir, Draxler are top class with miles left on the clock. I’d argue with a core of youngsters we can really be exited about (ESR, Saka, Gabi….Odegaard) that we could do with one or two more senior/consistent operators.

    Buendia is a baller and at a better age (24), but he’d cost a lot from a newly promoted side. I’m convinced our biggest issues are the senior quartet of Auba, Laca, Willian, and Pepe. If I could purge the lot and replace with Buendia, Edouard, and Fekir I think we’d be miles better equipped.

    The hope is that the January window was a sign of things to come. I’ve heard some promising chatter lately on that front which makes me quite positive on the transfer front. Very reliably informed that we’re going to see numerous departures.

  54. RockyRoe

    Azed

    That plan has now been replaced with the 5 year plan. So we will get top 4 in 5 years under artetas generational coaching then, who knows what heights we will reach.

    Pedro, changing time lines like a rollie contractor building his first house.

  55. SAGG

    “It is better to avoid Europe so we can focus only in the league nexte season…”

    Wait, better get relegated so we can move all the dross that we have in the squad… no no no…. wait, it would be better if we get relegated twice so we can come back to the premier league as League 1 and championship on the trot champions.

    Marvelous way of thinking, we can delete the club and start a new if you want.

  56. Pedro

    Rocky, I was writing about 5 year plans before Arteta joined. I’m sure if you asked Azed nicely he’d find the stories. No short cuts has been a theme for a long time,

    Also, most of my hopes for Arsenal were, you know, before the a global pandemic. Appreciate all you rockstars on here didn’t feel the impact at your places of work, so it doesn’t count as a circumstance to you but there we are.

  57. Pedro

    CC, offloading those 4 is going to be tough.

    We’ll get nothing for Laca. Pepe is worth about 30m. Auba earns more than Mesut. Willian ain’t going nowhere.

    Those are 4 very, very pricey misfits.

    Though Auba isn’t a misfit if you build buzzy players around him. Which we might have to do.

  58. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    Think doing the latter is the only face saver tbh. Should’ve been the hard push following the extension, but we went into the season with Ozil as the senior creator and enough said about that.

    I’d bin Pepe in a heartbeat for that cash, Laca has to be swap material back to France.

  59. Pedro

    Lacazette might also be good swap fodder for Italy.

    Pepe might be a player we can rotate for someone at Lille.

    Edu has to be sharp this window

  60. China1

    Good post Pedro except the pandemic blaming!

    If fans had been in the stadium he might not have even lasted in the job until Christmas. Arsenal fans are not hugely tolerant of relegation form!

  61. Pedro

    China, more the lack of preseason, the mental strain on players, the truncated fixture list… the issue that has the Arsenal in their worst ever season and only 10 points off top 4. Not just Arsenal suffering.

  62. Tony

    “Ernest Reed, won an FA Cup in his first 6 months. If he wins Europa, which is very do-able, then we’ll be tracking nicely.”

    Pedro clearly thinking it’s joke Friday.

    Hilarious!

  63. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I recognise that Arteta could be at risk of losing his job this season, but I am not going to blame him for the majority of poor recruitment decisions, which have been made over the past 15 years at the club or the current culture that seems to exist.

    The reality is that the club has recruited a pile of problems, which may well take two or three
    years to clear out of the club whoever manages the team.

    Let me start off with TORREIRA. We spent £25 million on this player. He and his family want
    him to return to South America and play for Boca Junior. We know that if Arsenal accede to
    such a request we will receive peanuts rather than a decent transfer fee. It would mean writing off a marketable asset for nothing.

    Then we have got PEPE who cost £72 million and we are still paying this fee by annual instalments. On current form we would be lucky to get back a third of the transfer fee if we
    sold him. On current form he is just a squad player.

    Then we have got the problems with both GUENDOUZI and SALIBA. Frankly Arteta is 100%
    correct in wanting to get rid of the former who is by all accounts toxic. Saliba may turn out
    to be a good player, but it is debatable whether that will be at Arsenal.

    Finally we have to make some decisions about the Franco/Brazillian clan of experienced players on our books namely LUIZ, WILLIAN, LACAZETTE and AUBAMEYANG. Collectively
    they are costing the club in excess of £700K pw in wages. Apart from Lacazette they have
    zero transfer value.None of these players is performing to the level of expectation.

    You and others can blame Arteta for what is going on at the club including the contract
    renewal of Luiz and Aubameyang or the recruitment of Willian, but the facts are that most
    of these deals were negotiated or agreed by others and perhaps more relevantly Arsenal did
    not have the budget to replace them.

    My guess is that Arsenal may succeed in selling some unwanted players this summer and
    we might generate £70-100 million. However, that is unlikely to resolve some of the major
    issues whether Arteta or for that matter another manager is at the club.

    Kroenke needs to make a number of decisions if he is going to stem the club’s decline.

    1. Is Arteta and the current senior management team fit for purpose?
    2. Does he have the ambition and finances to take financial losses when Arsenal are not
    competing in Europe?
    3. Will he be prepared to invest serious money [at least £200 million] in new players, which
    is needed to overhaul the current squad and make it fit for purpose?
    4. Is Kroenke willing to sell his diminishing investment to a third party more willing to spend money on the club and restore its reputation?

  64. Tony

    ‘Getting riled up by a red top click”

    No smoke without fire and Arteta likes to burn the kids either by overplaying them or just leaving them to rot no matter how good they are in training.

    At there moment Pedro the press media is far better than your obsessive Arteta love in regardless of what colour the tops (Red) are or how broad the sheets Telegraph etc.

    Your first love/crush – Gazidis broke your heart and now Arteta your 2nd love is going to do the same or worse.

    So what happens after Arteta doesn’t win the doable EL cup?

    Will you seek the therapy you need? You should have plenty shrinks to choose from in NYC.

    ﹟bringbacktheoldPedro

  65. Tony

    ES
    A top elite manager overcomes all such issues and earns such respect from his squad that they will give all on the pitch as per the manager’s instructions.

    Now it seems the players have had enough of Arteta’s BS because none of it makes sense to them.

    So we should sell our best players because Arteta can’t make a decent team out of a far better squad than Emery had and produce Emery results of just missing out for 3rd/4th place by a missed penalty by Auba and other moments.

    Not wanting to insult you but, I’m glad you’re not on the board ES.

    Got any other bright ideas?

  66. Pedro

    Tony, don’t get angry with me because you’ve been duped by an article in the mirror.

    ‘No smoke without fire’

    The Mirror, ffs… honestly.

  67. Pedro

    Giving out about ES on the board after citing The Mirror and William Sailba as a point of contention.

    His thoughts read far brighter than yours.

  68. Pedro

    Emirates, agree. Bag of mess to deal with.

    There’s 100m to be had this summer.

    Hale Enders will bring in cash. Matteo and Hector will have buyers. There needs to be some Jan energy into the exits.

    Hoping the recruitment looks like Odegaard and Gabriel. That’s where it needs to go.

    Get the summer right and we are cooking next season.

  69. Tony

    Gons
    Off topic for a moment.

    There are very few places I still want to travel to. Nepal is one and the south islands of NZ is another I’d like to do when it’s safe to travel again. Already decided we’ll to go back to Japan to do a train tour round the country.

    At 65 elevation is an issue for me with my coronary artery disease and only having 2 unblocked arteries feeding my heart (there are 3). So, I won’t be running up mountains, but looking for some cool treks with my wife on lower ground.

    Do you have any recommendations? Just started to research and Thimphu looked interesting but would welcome your thoughts.

  70. Gonsterous

    Reading the post, why do i have a feeling this is the start of the arteta out movement by pedro. Until this point, there was an air of arteta can do no wrong and he is progressing the club which has now changed to pointing out mikeals mistakes and flaws.

    EL or bust for arteta now.

  71. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    Let’s get real for once and stop the perpetual blame game of the Manager.

    On Saturday we played without Luiz, Xhaka, Saka and Smith-Rowe who were out injured or
    ill. Tierney got injured in first half.

    So the million dollar question is who would you select to play against Liverpool with the
    resources available? The only player who was available and maybe should have played was
    Bellerin.

    Are you seriously blaming Arteta for the performances of Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette
    and Pepe? These are experienced professional footballers.

    Arsenal have lost 4 fixtures in EPL since Christmas. Two defeats were against Man City and
    Liverpool to be expected. The other two were against Aston Villa and Wolves, which were down to stupid player errors. We beat Chelsea, Leicester and Spurs and drew with Man Utd
    and West Ham.

  72. Tony

    Pedro
    Are any of the papers honest?

    They all sell stories to sell papers regardless of how factual the stories are as long as there is some relevance in the print – you know that.

    In the 90s my work involved the press having met and knowing many journos. 20+ years ago, but from what I hear from friends in the media now and retired, nothing much has changed. Save that of ‘woke’ having to be taken into account.

    Let’s see what happens for the remaining games.

    As I mentioned before I have trepidatious hope, but reality keeps me from obsessing over a rookie who has, other than a FA cup that even Wigan A, Portsmouth and even Blackpool can win, completely messed everything else up with his non negotiable and zero man management skills.

    His losing the players in the same way as Emery did and in a similar time frame.

    If you can’t see that, I can’t help you from my 30+ more years of worldly experience offers.

    ES, like you, toes the Arsenal line in his posts as if he’s part of the club hierarchy.

    The above said, I rarely miss a day reading many of the comments and the few genuine posts you manage ala 2 posts ago that are honest about Arteta’s failings and miss out a rare day when you don’t knock Emery.

    I never wanted Emery. I never wanted Arteta but acquiesced to your thinking to give Arteta a try being fully behind Him at the beginning.

    I’ve been banging Ralf R’s drum for months wanting Rangnick brought in to sort out Edu and Arteta where IF Ralph got Arteta to learn from Him and that’s a big IF, I’d be happy to support Arteta.

    I just feel Arteta would be Rangnick’s first casualty with Edu closely following Arteta’s exit.

    Wouldn’t you want Rangnick hired now or at the end of the season.

    We do not have a poverty squad of players, just a poverty manager who needs moving on the same way as Emery did.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    As I have posted many times the best solution last season was for Arsenal not to have qualified for Europe.

    This will be probably the outcome this season, because I doubt that we will win the Europa League.

    This will allow us to focus on our EPL performance and focus on planning properly for the
    future with a leaner squad, which is more energetic and fit for purpose.

  74. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    Do me a favour. I am just as much a critic as most sensible people who support the club.

    The difference is that I am a realist and try to be constructive.

    You sit in your ivory tower in Thailand drinking your pink coladas and have not got really a
    clue what is happening in England or for that matter at Arsenal.

  75. Tony

    ES
    I’ll bite!

    “Let’s get real for once and stop the perpetual blame game of the Manager.”

    Let’s not. Lets fire a manager who has systematically broken our “Worst” records for 50+ years and showing signs of breaking more rather than improving.

    “On Saturday we played without Luiz, Xhaka, Saka and Smith-Rowe who were out injured or
    ill. Tierney got injured in first half.”

    Saka and ESR only got played because of injuries and have saved Arteta from being fired. Xhaka and Luiz? Xhaka if reports are true wants to leave in the summer thankfully and Luiz with his red cards and nonsense penalties? Yes, we really missed him.

    Either one would’ve probably been sent off because of the speed of the bin dippers attacks.

    “So the million dollar question is who would you select to play against Liverpool with the
    resources available? The only player who was available and maybe should have played was
    Bellerin.”

    Bellerin would have been woefully found out at RB as Chambers was. Cedric was the right player for the Pool game at RB.

    “Are you seriously blaming Arteta for the performances of Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette
    and Pepe? These are experienced professional footballers”

    Absolutely! Yes, I do blame Arteta because those players downed tools because they didn’t believe in Arteta’s tactics for them. Arteta is slowly losing the dressing room. Arteta’s game plan was appallingly thought out and the fact that we didn’t have ONE counter attack only goes to prove the handbrake football Arteta wanted to play.

    “Arsenal have lost 4 fixtures in EPL since Christmas. Two defeats were against Man City and
    Liverpool to be expected. The other two were against Aston Villa and Wolves, which were down to stupid player errors. We beat Chelsea, Leicester and Spurs and drew with Man Utd
    and West Ham.

    “Arsenal have lost 4 fixtures in EPL since Christmas. Two defeats were against Man City and
    Liverpool to be expected. The other two were against Aston Villa and Wolves, which were down to stupid player errors. We beat Chelsea, Leicester and Spurs and drew with Man Utd
    and West Ham.”

    And yet we are still 10th even with Villa, Everton, Spuds, Leicester and West Ham above us. Judge the season ES not Pedro’s since Xmas malarky.

    So you and I will once more have to agree to disagree and we’ll let the fans do their bit when they/you can attend games again. We’ll soon see what they say and think. Assuming Arteta is still here by then.

    Time will tell who is right ES.

  76. Dark Hei

    Tony

    I think the question of Arteta is moot.

    It is Covid-19, changing a manager won’t guarantee results so Stan K isn’t going to budge.

    Also we don’t have the $$ for any new manager to buy their own toys.

    Like it or not, unless Xhaka throws arm bands at fans once more while Aretata suddenly pulls something from Jose M book of man-management, it isn’t going to happen.

    And even if it does, likely it will be Per M on the hot seat until the end of the season.

  77. Tony

    ES
    Now now I was being respectful.

    “Do me a favour. I am just as much a critic as most sensible people who support the club.The difference is that I am a realist and try to be constructive.”

    I think you have a way to go to be able to join the ‘sensible’ fans thinking.

    Realist and constructive? Never flip flopping as you have done so many times before with Wenger, Ozil, Xhaka and others?

    Where, I on the other hand, nail my colours to the mast and stick to them until proven wrong by the players or managers actions. As I have dome with Gazidis, Raul, Vinai, Wenger and various players over the 50+ years I’ve supported the club.

    ” You sit in your ivory tower in Thailand drinking your pink coladas and have not got really a
    clue what is happening in England or for that matter at Arsenal.”

    That really made me laugh with you at your Super fan best where I have no clue because I’ve lived in Thailand/S E Asia for the last 21 years.

    I gave up drinking 3 years ago not that I drank much to begin with.

    Ivory tower?

    You mean my 900 sq meter main property replete with 970 mbps download and 700+mbps upload speed Internet throughout the property and its one-acre grounds in a major city?

    You get to watch your games live and I would love to do that, but I watch the games on a 153 inch cinema screen in a purpose built 60 sq meter, 8 seater cinema I had designed and built primarily for the football with 17 speakers and amps and processors from the top tech in the world. Trinnov, DataSat, MADVR pro Envy, Roon Nucleus, and Meyer Sound surrounds, and JBL Array 1400 & 880 main speakers offering over 10,000+ watts of pure sound.

    When I’m not watching the games all live bar the early 2am 3am etc morning games I watch in the morning or rewatch the game from the previous day.

    I read daily arsenal news from here from knowledgeable posters and other sources, so I’ll disregard the bit where you call me clueless on Arsenal matters.

    See no disrespect from me old chap.

    We are both committed fans who think differently and will find out who is right soon.

    If I’m wrong Pedro will get a bottle of something decent to drink with an apology and I’ll also acknowledge to you that I had it wrong.

    But first I have to be wrong.

    We’ll see.

  78. Tony

    Dark Hei
    Sadly you are right, but I’d be happy with Per in charge in the interim post Arteta.

    I don’t feel a manager has to buy his pets right away. He has a squad he can get firing again with the right game plans and man management.

    The current squad less Xhaka and Luiz should get EL cup qualification at worst and CL football at a big push best. As a poster said yesterday we should be in the mix for top 4 with 4/5 other teams. with the players we have.

    We can afford Nagelsmann, as I believe Marko started Arteta earns more than Nagelsmann, and I’m sure Ralph R could be persuaded to come with a host of bonuses if we can’t afford his salary,

    Who would your choice of new manager be Dary Hei?

  79. Dark Hei

    Tony

    I think we are under performing as well.

    But will wait out the end of the season before pulling the trigger.

    I am not sure Nagelsmann is realistic given that he works for Red Bull. They probably provide him with plenty of lines of revenue.

  80. China1

    Irrespective of any criticism this season I don’t see arteta getting sacked

    Even if we fail to win the EL and come mid table as is very possible, I think he’ll hang on. Arsenal as a club doesn’t have any great appetite for change. We’ve seen this time and again over the years. They didn’t even want to sack emery until his position was deemed completely untenable. This season is even worse so far and there’s not much noise

    But I think next season will be the real test for arteta because with fans in the stadium the atmosphere will be completely different. Because of the pandemic he’s been largely shielded from criticism. But *if* we go on any other really shit runs next season, especially early in the season, the fans will not have patience for it and their voices will be heard. And that’s a vicious cycle that often puts managers into a death spiral and encourages players to down tools as it’s toxic.

    Really arteta owes the pandemic a great deal. He might not even be arsenal manager to win the post Xmas league if fans had been there booing and the like in November or what have you

  81. China1

    If arteta stops fannying around in the league and experiments with our best youth a bit more I’ll have a lot more tolerance for mixed results and performances.

    Martinelli, Balogun, azeez are all players I’d like to see get regular game time. Might not be 90 mins every match but they should be getting proper chances with at least semi frequency

    Do that and perhaps we’ll learn a bit more about what these kids can or can’t do for us next season.

    I’ve absolutely no interest in watching all the usual suspects like auba laca Bellerin xhaka, Willian or Luiz. If the clubs thinks they can be up for the EL and still prioritizes then for that it’s one thing but in the dead rubber league games please just let the shackles off the squad.

    We should be doing in the league now what we should’ve and failed to do in the EL previously, which is use it as a testing bed for squaddies and future talent and unknown quantities.

    There was a stat I shared yesterday, I forget what it was exactly but when saka and esr both start we have something like a 70% win record and score far more goals. When only one or neither starts our record goes off an absolute cliff.

  82. Habesha Gooner

    I don’t get this Nanglesmann won’t come theory. His best players are being sold by the bucket loads. Werner, Upamecano and now may be Konate. He would come if we offered him the job. As far as I know we haven’t been forced to sell our best players over the past few years. And top young managers want a team together to build something. This Arteta is the only savior cult mentality is very poor. He either gets us European football or he gets sacked. Anything else is based on either cult mentality or a lot of sentiment. A very slight chance of him becoming a good manager is not what a top club would pin its hopes on.

  83. China1

    Yeah Leipzig are a tiny fraction of the size of arsenal

    They’re doing well which is great but if arsenal can’t compete with them for players or managers then something very odd is going on

    Can you imagine living in Leipzig and turning down London unless you are one of those country folk who hates the big city?

  84. China1

    Why do I have a feeling that this pink colladas and ivory tower comment is going to become a running joke for you tony lol

  85. Ishola70

    Very good post from Pedro this one.

    Very honest.

    As well as singling out players he knows need moving on or need to be demoted in playing time he is also honest in admitting that although this five year plan is always talked about if we don’t see significant improvement from Arsenal under Arteta next season any plan under the Spaniard is finished. Kaput.

    Arteta needs to move on significantly next season in a five year plan. He can’t bum around in midtable next season and a five year plan is still talked about. It will be over for him.

    My fear is that Arteta still won’t get to grips with the Arsenal midfield and completely revamp it.

  86. Tony

    China
    “Martinelli, Balogun, azeez are all players I’d like to see get regular game time. Might not be 90 mins every match but they should be getting proper chances with at least semi frequency”

    Totally agree.

    Whatever the EL cup situation Arteta can use the rest of the PL season to blood those players and find an identity that is a good fit for the players we have.

    Leno should be benched now he’s infected with Artetaitis mutated strain from Wengerizing that has many affected from the elder ranks.

    I’ve never had such attachments to managers others have.

    For me it’s all about results progression. Be it small increments or bigger advancements. Stand still for the odd season? All I’m ok with.

    I really don’t care who the manager is as long as we are professionally run from the top to the pitch level and always challenging to be better.

    This we are not so it makes it even more difficult for the club to hire inexperienced people particularly when the club has dire financials as we do.

    The club took a punt on Emery which ironically almost paid off in the first season.

    They should not have gone for another punt on a rookie manager with zero managerial experience.

    We are now in the situation so many of us said we would be at the mention of Arteta’s hiring.

    Then the club compounds their stupidity by hiring a rookie TD with zero PL experience.

    Stunning!

    Someone should satirise the last decade being sure to include the Gazidis speech about scouring the world for a manager but couldn’t find better while keeping a straight face on camera.

    That was some serious acting chops right there.

    Or when Wenger said he was going to reinvent himself in a board meeting?

  87. Tony

    China
    I give as good as I get so I have no problem with banter and piss taking.

    To be honest this blog has brought me a lot of funny laugh out load enjoyment, so as long as it stays that way I’m happy being here.

    Most here are very cool people regardless of age or time served as a fan.

    Even Pierre is an institutional character here and very much part of the blog fabric Mr Marmite CC being another. Some truly great characters have frequented the blog.

    So pinacolada Tony? Who really gives a toss? Not me.

  88. Northbanker

    Tony ‘s boring us again with his insistence on sharing what super woofers he has in his house or palace or whatever it is

    China – I totally agree. Pedro’s post is similar – if we saw the project emerging we’d all have more patience. Our only future as a club that can compete is developing and buying smart the best young talent that we can. Ditch the old men – rip their contracts up as they are in breach and shift them off. Laca looks great for a couple of matches and then fades away. Auba has been appalling this season.

    Something still doesn’t seem right with the mentality of Arteta and I have worried about his judgement ever since he decided Leno was his no 1 despite seeing the stunning performances week by week from Martinez. Then he signed Willian. O knew that was a terrible decision then simply because no one in their right mind offers a 32 year old a huge 3 year contract. Certainly not when you’re supposed to be rebuilding.

    We crawl on to the end of the season and what we need now is some form o affirmation from the management as to what our youth and rebuilding policy really is. I want that far more than even a Europa Cup win and that’s saying something.

  89. Habesha Gooner

    China
    Arteta will die on the senior player hill before he gives chances to youngsters. He has been forced once to use his young players because he was about to be sacked. Don’t expect any of Azeez, Martinelli or Balogun to have game time. Willian, Elneny and Lacazette are the future of this club according to Arteta. He never learns Man.

  90. Nelson

    “Franco/Brazillian clan of experienced players on our books namely LUIZ, WILLIAN, LACAZETTE and AUBAMEYANG.”

    You forgot to include Pepe to this clan. I was wondering why Laca and Pepe didn’t give a shit last game. They had a better attitude before. I suspect Auba is the clan leader. He is poisoning the other players. By the way, someone called them MAFIA.

    I am sad to see this development inside the dressing room. It is not easy to manage a “BIG” club.

  91. The Bard

    Excellent Post Pedro. I understand the frustration but there are signs that he is getting a team together. We can’t keep going back to square 1 and hoping for a miracle. It would help if the off field decision making improved. Who thought signing Willian and giving Auba a bumper deal were good ideas ?
    Lets see how we go next season and then decide whether Arteta stays.

  92. Nelson

    Sid

    Have you lived in the States before. There are people from all over the world making a living in the States. Particular those coming from small countries. They all called themselves American.

  93. Northbanker

    Sid- if that was aimed at me then fortunately we live in a democracy where we all have the right to post as we choose
    But yes after a defeat the last thing I want to do is read all the negative stuff on here and certainly not your own bizarre posts.

  94. China1

    Unless you’re born raised or naturalized in France, you’re not French!

    Actually it’s kinda interesting because a lot of Americans who have never even left the country and couldn’t find the place on a map always talk about how they’re Irish or Italian etc haha

    Always found it a little odd that they don’t just say American rather than ‘Italian American’ or whatever