RUNNING UNPOPULAR EQUATIONS

by .

There is a story doing the rounds via Eurosport that basically states Martin Ødegaard isn’t quite sure about Arsenal next season because though he buys into the project Arteta is selling, there are some other players that don’t.

Now, Eurosport has zero credibility for stories like this but as with most made up rumours, there’s a grain of truth that makes it believable. Arsenal boast a small collection of handsomely paid senior players that do not give a fuck and their bad behaviour tends to only be inconsequential when the hungry young kids put on a show.

This is where the football equations about the future of Arteta start kicking into gear.

Suppose we sack him tomorrow, what type of manager do you want at Arsenal?

Let’s talk about the game-changing rockstars. There are very few in world football that can take you to the top just because of their personal IP. Pep G, Conte, Klopp, Zizou, and maaaaybe Poch. Diego Simeone, the highest paid rockstar at £38m a season, is not on the list now. We cannot match any of those names for salary demands or transfer kitty.

Arsenal has spent the last 6 year pissing transfer money away. There’s no warchest in 2021. If a rockstar doesn’t have money to spend, they tend not to move. Maybe you get lucky with someone like Klopp, but really, he moved to Liverpool because he beleived in the owners vision. We don’t have that pull with KSE. That’s not me being down on Arsenal, we are massive, but right now, we’re at our lowest ebb for mostly everything a rockstar would look for in a move.

The second tier of managers you can look towards are the more experienced hands that aren’t quite elite in 2021. Names like Luis Enrique, Louis Van Gaal, Lopetegui, Eddie Howe, and probably Nuno. Guys that’ll come in and crack heads, play the discipline card, but ultimately, not really move you forward as a football club. People talk about Allegri, but I can tell you, there’s a reason he’s not in a job at the minute. His hardcore disciplinarian approach and his bland football wouldn’t work for the fans or the players, not to mention a name like that has already demanded huge wages and a fat war chest we didn’t have 3 seasons ago.

This batch of managers will run into the same problems that Arteta is having. Do you think the squad of players that downed tools on Wenger and Emery would react strongly to someone coming in with an iron fist? I have my doubts. Players will go along for the ride, suss that we didn’t hire in elite, then we’ll see what happened under Emery. Pretty much the exact thing that is going on at Spurs at the moment, and Jose is like, the king of 2nd tier management these days.

Then you get into the next tier of managers. The innovative new generation of coaches that are breaking in at clubs all around Europe. This is my preferred tier for a club in the state we’re in right now. This is where the opportunity is to jump a couple of levels without spending a lot of money, because these people build highly technical teams that think differently, it’s a truly transformational approach that can really move you forward if you make it work. The football is exciting, the style constantly evolves, and it future proofs your club. Top clubs will start pulling from this batch of managers within the next 3 years.

Nagelsmann is #1 here, but he is not going to Arsenal because he knows he works best in a structure built to support him, he’s also well out of our range right now. But say there’s another Nagelsmann in Germany, that wants to coach innovative style of cognitive football… do you think the reaction from our current batch of players is going to be any different? Do you honestly believe the things Arteta is asking of players would be vastly diferent under another innovative coach? I don’t think so. Worth noting that Nagelsmann doesn’t work with top tier players on mega money and most of his squad is very young by design. We are a whole different ball game when it comes to ego management.

Every coach is going to ask more of Auba. No elite manager is starting William Saliba in the Premier League this season. Every young coach is going to expect every player to give more. Every coach coming to Arsenal will 100% ask our players to do things they’re not used to doing and that will not go down well with a squad that has consistently shown it lacks character. Also… any young innovative coach that is asked to be the MANAGER is going to fumble around whilst they find their footing. Mistakes will happen whoever you bring in at this tier, because this model usually only works when the machine around them is prebuilt and rock solid.

Arteta is in the innovator category. He’s one of the best young coaches in Europe, people might not appreciate it right now, but circumstances are improving even if you choose to ignore them. There are problems he’s made worse, no doubt, that’s part of the cost of hiring a rookie. At a normal club, he’d have been protected by a Luis Campos or Ralph Rangnick. We’re not a normal club. But here’s the thing… the place he’s taking the football is where we need to be heading. There’s no such thing as a middle ground. Short-cutting like Moyes takes you nowhere in the longterm. Arsenal need to hit the Champions League then be ready to compete, that is the job Arteta needs to deliver, and he has the right coaching to do that.

So Arsenal either jump ship mid-ocean, in a project that has been tracking well since Christmas, or they see it out and build back properly.

Given the options above, it’s pretty clear why Arsenal are very likely going to stick it out with Arteta. The coaching is paying dividends, things only tend to fall apart when we have to revert to the pre-Xmas starting 11. Our issues have never been clearer. We have some character flaws to address and we need to exit the error makers. There’s no secret wedge of cash ready to activate this summer, nor would there be for another manager, so it’s probably more cost effective to stick to the same coach that has us mostly tracking like a top 4 team since Christmas.

There are also some pretty simple things the club could do to help Arteta out. Vinai should not be sanctioning a new move for David Luiz. He’s a comfort blanket that makes errors, doesn’t show for games he thinks are beneath him, and he’s just had surgery at 34. He also shares an agent with Edu. Let his new deal sunset this summer and bring William Saliba into the fold.

Edu should be doing all he can to move on the problem characters this summer. Tell certain players they won’t land game time if they don’t leave and ease them out the door. Don’t wait until the last day of the window to have tough conversations. There is no one over the age of 25 we should be refusing transfers. I’d put Auba on that list, if someone wants him on a free, let him leave.

Arsenal should staff up with young players, if the fans see a notable shift in that starting 11 next season, it’ll make life easier in the stadium. Arteta should also fix his storytelling, because despite being very good at talking to the media, he’s shite at articulating a clear vision.

Tell the fans we’re going on a journey. Give us goals that go beyond top 4. What does the football look like? How are we going to do it? What do we need to fix? Repeat it over and over again. If it takes 3 years, tell the fans, be honest… because part of the issue we have right now is we’re all working off Willian taking us to Champions League glory in two season. Not happening. So pivot to a story we can get excited about. Inspire the fans the way you inspire the kids like ESR.

Arsenal are where they are now because they spent 10 years pondering whether they were regressing, backed up by a whole group of visionless fans who cautioned it might be a mistake to let someone with dead ideas leave. We tried to fix a decade of complacency with a tier 2 managers and that crushed us further. Emery is your warning against ‘tried and true’ at the level we can play at. We now have a coach at the club that has the right future for us… it’s taking longer than hoped to cut out the rot, but I promise you, we will get there.

There’s no silverbullet out of this mess though, it’s going to be a slog and the pandemic made everything worse. But we’re Arsenal. There’s every chance this summer builds on a brilliant January. We have exceptional kids coming through the ranks everyone is excited about. If we stick to the plan, the fruits will be sweet… if we give up and go tier 2, we’re not going anywhere for a long time.

Let’s see what we have today… Slavia Prague would be a great place for the kids to remind us that the future is bright. x

 

1,009 Responses to “RUNNING UNPOPULAR EQUATIONS”

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  1. Bertfish

    Matt B

    Willian should not be playing at all & nobody has a fucking clue why Arteta keeps picking him ahead of the like of Pepe & Martinelli who create stuff.

    What I am saying is we are stuck with Willian on massive wages, that’s on Edu & above. It should not happen ever!

  2. Sly

    Ishola
    Being cagey is what arteta does best
    This is one of the key criteria that will preclude him becoming ‘generational’
    Becomes timid and respectful at every challenge

  3. Rich

    There’s only 26 months left of Willian + Aubameyang

    And Arteta probably won’t make it into November

    This will all be over before you know it…..

    Then we can look forward to Edu + Vinai choosing our new manager

  4. Words on a Blog

    Matt B,

    Sadly, I don’t think that Arteta has a vision, any more than Emery had.

    In contrast, Pedro does actually have a vision – one in which Arsenal is a Dortmund/ RB Leipzig hybrid in sexy London (where all the best players in the word are desperate to be) managed by a sexy and visionary tactical genius who just loves young players, and sells on the ones who just fail to make it at a vast profit.

    The problem Pedro is confronted by is that the chosen candidate, Arteta, is just an inadequate, timid and safety-first guy who is always gonna fall short of fulfilling Pedro’s erotic football fantasies.

  5. Batistuta

    Ishola

    We had that discussion at the beginning of the season, i remember Pedro saying at the time results were all that mattered.

    Always maintained the way we were being set up wasn’t sustainable in the long run and here we are at the tail end of the season looking as bad as some suggested we would way back in September

  6. Demetrios

    Does anyone know exactly why we still have to “trust the process?”
    Fact is, if fans were in the stadium this season, Arteta would have been long gone

  7. Leftside

    Arsenal shouldn’t need fan discontent in stadiums to know that Arteta needs to be released. Season is done, its been a horrific campaign in every sense of the word.

  8. SUGA3

    Lampard’s Chelsea looked miles better than this shower of shite and he got booted. Whilst being a proper club legend, unlike Arteta.

  9. Ishola70

    Batistuta

    “We had that discussion at the beginning of the season, i remember Pedro saying at the time results were all that mattered.

    Always maintained the way we were being set up wasn’t sustainable in the long run and here we are at the tail end of the season looking as bad as some suggested we would way back in September”

    The tactics Arteta used to win the FA Cup were the easiest for a rookie to apply. Safety first, not too adventurous. But as Arsenal were underdogs in those FA Cup ties then these tactics were deemed acceptable and more than acceptable in that they won the cup. But as we both said no good for the longer term those tactics.

  10. Guns of SF

    Well, I got in from a few days in San Diego and missed the game. Based on the comments, though, I can tell exactly how this game played out.

    I hope we win, but if we go out in the next leg and I think Arteta needs to be fired. All our eggs are gone then. What is there to play for?
    Will we see more Martinelli or even Balogun or Azeez?
    I mean Balogun is now an after thought….

    Arteta has taken us down…. the team is a shit show now… where will the motivation come? Now I think the “real” coaching and managing will come out for all to see!

    Leno needs to be sold- I am already seeing a decline with him.
    Its going to be hard – No Europe next year might help but with our dire finances its going to be hard this summer.

    If Ode wants to leave- I think that is the best sign right there.

  11. Guns of SF

    Ishola- good points. Our first half of the season was safety first and only a left side attack until it dawned on him that we were not creating anything. Arteta out!

    The tactics Arteta used to win the FA Cup were the easiest for a rookie to apply. Safety first, not too adventurous. But as Arsenal were underdogs in those FA Cup ties then these tactics were deemed acceptable and more than acceptable in that they won the cup. But as we both said no good for the longer term those tactics.

  12. Matt

    This club is in a complete state. All of the issues that you associate with a club in trouble, we have them.

    Anyone who thinks we have any chance of getting anywhere near top 4 in the coming years is delusional. I think the only answer is that we as fans realign our expectations – far easier said than done though.

  13. Samesong

    Arteta is out of his depth at Arsenal. We are not winning the EL. Slavia will be Barcelona at home. You saw what they did to the spuds.

    Our players can’t even relax and play their game. We are too rigid and robotic.

  14. TheLegendaryDB10

    Matt

    I think the only answer is that we as fans realign our expectations – far easier said than done though.

    Until Kroenke realises that football is a money sink and sells up.

    Remember, he already gave up a loan (that he heaped on our back the benevolent bastard). He’ll soon realise that he’ll have to sell. The only question is when? Hopefully Dangote will be ready to buy.

  15. David.D

    It’s a European quarter final at home .
    A chance to play champions league football next season but more importantly win a trophy.
    So what the fuck was that first half about.
    It was like a fucking training game pace we were playing at. No tempo. No urgency. Nothing.
    And why wait 15 fucking minutes to make those substitutions with Martinelli coming on 5 minutes earlier. Why not give them 30 minutes at least.
    Piss poor from Arteta.
    Laca goes for the Hollywood goal rather than just finishing it no nonsense.
    Only good thing going into next week game is we have to score so there will be no bullshit complacency like there was tonight. We have to go for it.

  16. Matt

    DB10

    kroenke fucking off would be a start, but I think the problems run right through the club and have done for years if we’re honest. We obviously focus on Arsenal more than any other club because it’s our team, but I genuinely feel like some of the issues we have could only happen at Arsenal. The goals we give up are written in our DNA as is always having an vastly overpaid anchor(s) in the team dragging us down.

  17. TheLegendaryDB10

    Matt

    I 100% agree. I also see Edu and Vinai as weak links as they are also both novices as well. The madness going on at Arsenal!!!

    As for the team, it’s very clear that we need to seriously upgrade the MF If we ever want to control our games.

  18. Johnno

    Arteta might be a good coach. The young players seem to think so. But he appears a poor manager. I think he needs a very young team that is prepared to follow him through everything. We could do that after this summer
    But we would still be stuck with a guy that shows no ability to pick the right balance in a starting 11 not the ability to change a game with subs.
    I think the heart of the issue is the club doesn’t know what it is. Or what it’s ST and true LT goals are. How can you recruit if you have no firm idea of the goals that you are hiring to achieve.
    I think we should admit that we are no better than 7th 8th even in an okay year. So we have to get back in too 6 every year. Then go from there. That’s 3 years right there. So you need players that are young and hungry. Pliable and eager. And that we can afford without European football. At least in the starting 11.
    So Leno Bellerin Luiz one of Xhaka or Partey Auba laca and willian all got to go. They don’t fit the profile of the employees that we need to achieve our true and realistic objective.
    Arteta – ironically – actually might fit as coach. But I think he would blow All his capital before long.

  19. Artetauphillclimb

    Kroenke’s have no idea how to run a football club; they have no formula for success. This they have hired people who have no clue on how to make Arsenal top dog in the Premier League – Vinai, Edu, and Arteta are second rate.

  20. China1

    The tie isn’t over yet. We’ll probably go through

    But colour me absolutely shocked that this game was poorly managed by arteta

  21. into the red

    Well, we know we’ve got some great forwards. What we also know is that Arteta, the ‘great’ coach, has no idea which combination is best, or how to get them playing together, or even their best positions.

    We can still go through, particularly if he learnt something tonight, but you feel it will be more luck than judgement.

  22. JOEL

    The management of today’s game by Arteta was shocking…
    I appreciate that a couple of players were missing but how has Arteta allowed his side…for the forth game in a row..
    to start the match (and almost finish it) in such a tepid disinterested manner.
    Here they were playing in a crucial Europa Lrague Quarter Final against a mediocre side…whose goalkeeper couldn’t kick a ball and at the same time defended far too deep inviting Arsenal to tear them apart if only they decided to up their tempo.
    Yet Arsenal,instead,chose to play their own brand of “tippy-tappy slow sideways football” in a fashion which was both infuriating and gutless.
    It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that Arteta finally chose to do something constructive making 3 substitutions and spurring his team into belated action.Five minutes earlier he actually decided to remove the inept and increasingly “leggy” Willian from proceedings and replace him with Martinelli.
    Time and time again this Season we have witnessed misjudgement on Arteta’s part.I really don’t need to list them but suffice to say he is clearly out of his depth…has largely lost the “changing room” and has absolutely no chance of saving this Season by winning the Europa League.
    The Club is an absolute mess on virtually every level.We do,however ,have a core of good young players.Hopefilly at some point in the nearish future the Board finally manage to find a coach who’s capable of melding the resources that we have into the ” sum of its parts”…Surely this should be the very least that we demand as fans!!

  23. Sid

    But you put on quite a show
    Really had me goin’
    But now it’s time to go
    Curtain’s finally closin’
    That was quite a show
    Very entertaining
    But it’s over now
    (But it’s over now)
    Go on and take a bow, oh

    By Pedrohanna

  24. Nelson

    The nightmare keeps repeating itself. Last time vs Villa, Cedric passed the ball back to Gabriel that resulted in a goal. When I saw Cedric passed the ball back, I had a bad feeling. The game was almost over. Just booted the ball up somewhere. Instead, he was so stupid and passed the ball towards our goal. Our team has too many stupid people. smh!

  25. Ernest Reed

    Sigh

    More than time that this comes to an end. Arteta needs to be put out of his misery. How anyone in clean conscience can continue to support this lame duck manager is beyond common sense.

  26. Dissenter

    Lee Judges from AFTV; ” how can u press with laca and willian, its like an iron with no steam ” 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

  27. Sly

    Arteta is in the innovator category. He’s one of the best young coaches in Europe, people might not appreciate it right now, but circumstances are improving even if you choose to ignore them

    Lol
    Pedro I give you the comedic value to this post

  28. Sly

    There has been improvement with the arsenal team play with a more distinct identity and layers to their game
    The cons with arteta have unfortunately outweighed the cons
    He doesn’t have the nous to move this club forward beyond mid table
    Can you honestly see him competing with the likes of pep/klopp/tuchel
    I don’t see that he has that degree of vision beyond the ‘old ideas’ he learnt from pep
    He definitely doesn’t have the courage to implement
    This team reflects the identity of their coach
    Tentative, fearful and lacking innovation

  29. MD-Gunner

    It was put best for me by James McNicholas on the Athletic:
    Trust in the process = Ignore the results 🙂
    The pundits are brutal of Arsenal’s performance and rightly so. Just not worth watching the whole game from beginning to end because Arsenal will not disappoint to fuck things up in the last few minutes and break its supporters hearts. Better just watch the highlights it is less painful. 1st half highlights were a full 105 seconds on Virgin UEL Highlights. Abysmal.

  30. MD-Gunner

    QUOTE of the DAY by ESPN’s Julien Laurens:
    Arsenal is the worst team in Europe to defend a lead. AMEN!

  31. Gonsterous

    When arteta says things like we need another 5-6 players, he loses the trust of his players
    When arteta says things like the loss is my fault, he loses respect from his players. He has to be more ruthless. Winning mentality starts from the manager, and I never got that mentality when arteta was a player and I don’t get it now as a manager.

    Ljungberg could see this shit show a mile away and decided to quit. Per wants nothing to do with it. Arteta has surrounded himself with yes men like a weak dictator and it’s best to let him go after the second leg.

  32. Nelson

    I expect much better performance from Partey. He has made so many bad passes. I suspect that this international brake killed the chemistry between Partey and the forwards. Maybe he missed Ødegaard.

  33. Wengaball

    Partey is an average footballer.

    Gabriel even more so. I said in the comments after the first two games he had played that he is very clumsy on the ball.

    Pepe, Partey, Gabriel – 150 million of averageness.

  34. Tony

    Watching the game this morning clueless generational manager once again setting up the team wrongly with Arteta’s tried and trusted handbrake on against a SP team set up to draw and nick an away goal if the chance arrived. Of course an Arteta set up team will always leak goals and did not disappoint Slavia in that respect; they got their away goal making it squeaky bum time in the away leg.

    Anyone expect anything different? I certainly didn’t.

    Arteta is the most transparent secretive manager in the game.

    Luckily I was able to use a mouse to move the action (if you could call it that) forward.

    You could be have been forgiven for thinking we were playing a meaningless last game of the season and not a quarter final of the EL cup that our season depends on against a depleted SP side.

    No doubt Pedro will find positives from the game such is his Arteta obsession. Saka, Auba and Laca all missing sitter will be Pedro’s we-should-have-won-it cry.

    2 shots on goal 4
    9 shots off target 3
    1 blocked shots 3
    54% possession 46%
    1 counter attacks 1
    5 corners 3

    Not the stats we’d expect from a home leg for a must win game to save our season going forward.

    Now we have to beat SP where they are unbeaten with an away goal against us.

    I haven’t read the comments yet, so I won’t bother pointing out the obvious mistakes from Arteta, his team selection and trying to correct his errors with late subs who should have been playing in the first place.

    Arteta doing his usual with a youth player we have been wanting him to play and putting Azeez. on the bench with no intention to play him.

    Slavia will be the team who can take away far more than Arsenal from the game.

    Same Arteta shit different day for me.

    Lose the away leg and I feel the players will really down tools as they did with Wenger and Emery.

    Has Arteta been told to wear his Arsenal jacket? I don’t remember him wearing it to begin with.

    Maybe he was cold and had nothing else to wear.

  35. Sid

    According to Diet pep fanboys, partey is the midfielder we have been waiting for since Viera.

    Once again Pepe saves Diet peps bacon, he is a player who should be receiving the ball in advanced positions.

  36. Sid

    Laca missed his chance because he was waiting for instructions from Diet pep on where to place it ie bottom left or top left.
    Its not allowed to place it on the right.

    You heard it here 1st!

  37. Guns of SF

    This season has been one hell of a shit show

    Its like a rain cloud that does not move from the top over us.

    This Diet Pep needs to go. Need some real Pep if anything.

  38. rollen

    Worst manager in Arsenal history! Emery doesn’t look so bad now lol. Generational Tets can’t even keep us in Europe. Joke of a club. Sack this pretender now.

  39. Tony

    Kroekephobe
    It’s difficult not knowing your budget and thinking for a sound system.

    Do you want a pristine stereo most audiophiles want? Personally I love the multi speaker sound over hifi stereo, especially with DVD/BluRay live music.

    Do you want a system that doesn’t have to compromise its quality sound and yet can play both surround sound and hifi stereo?

    Would you use any acoustic materials to improve the rooms acoustics?

    Back in the 90s I started experimenting with active sub woofers in place of speakers that incorporated bass, mids and highs in a single speaker cabinet.

    I also started messing around with Crown DC valve pure sound amps after talking to their head of R&D back then to drive my meds & highs M&K (Miller & Kreisal) speakers. I didn’t need so much power for the M&K mids and highs (pure 300watts per side was plenty)

    Crown amps are pretty much designed for outdoor/indoor PA concert rigs – not a stereo set up, but when my muso friends came round they were amazed at the attack the Crown offered.

    Also, when watching movies you want an amp/speaker that doesn’t expand, you want a much tighter width, which will allow the speaker to be felt. A bit like at a concert where you feel the bass on your chest.

    I also toyed with 2 x M&K active subs to match in with the system.

    Techniques CD player and Marantz cassette player with a Rega 3 deck and moving cartridge completed the set up with 2 x B&W rear speakers driven by the Crown/Denon.

    Acoustically I owned a 17th century ale house, so I converted the barrel room that was situated below the road and encased in solid granite on 2 sides. For the wallsI used sealed rock wool in strategic places using a frequency meter for placement to deaden the frequency bounce.

    The M&Ks I bought new, but the rest I bought second hand from trusted audiophiles recommended or I knew from my 9 years in the music industry and hifi shop owners.

    Elite kit normally sells second hand for at most 50% of its original cost. In some cases if there is a bit surface damage you can get for as little as 25% of the original price.

    The few scratches or chips in the wood, to me, adds to the mystique of the sound and I would happily buy a £10k amp for £2500+ knowing I’ll get at least 5 years good usage and by then I was looking to upgrade the system anyway.

    I always had an upright piano and guitar amps in my home’s music room and a small mixer to mix friends when they wanted to have a jam session.

    https://www.stereophile.com

    That link is my main go to for kit reviews.

    Whatever you want to put together in the future, I’ll be happy offer some different thinking.

    I have 5 different audio visual systems in my Thai property all connected by a NAS where anything can be played in any room or in the home’s grounds all working through Netgear’s Orbis RB50 try band router and 4 satellites that covers 1 acre perfectly indie and out side the house.

    Hope that gives you something to consider and research while you have time on your hands.

    I’ll look at my cinema system again when I’m 70 in 5 years, and I’ll probably only change the 3 mains at the front. The rest of the room’s tech is the best tech on the market, which I bought new this time. Their main DataSat amp weighs 75kg and is a beast than can drive any mains I change to. Its cost is close to £20k so my wife would be asking too many questions if I wanted to change it.

    Back on the football front I got nothing more to add to my earlier post.

    Arteta and Edu out and Rangnick & Erik Ten Hag in please.

  40. Tony

    KP
    Final thought I hope you have digitally backed up ALL your music collection.

    When downloading music always go the highest res possible, such as DSF & DSD flies. Then WACV or AIFF and then FLAC. I never bother with MP3s as they are only about 10% of the studio 2-inch tape file.

    As an eg, I have Hotel California in DSD @ 600+mb where as the 320hz MP3 is only 60mb. The compression on MP3s clutters the output sound dramatically.

  41. Tony

    Dark Hei
    “Oh Arteta, I really hope you are better than this, but it seems you are Emerish.”

    What a slight on Emery DH, Arteta is worse than Emery and Wenger as the stats prove.

  42. Kegunner

    Edu was hired for soccer philosophy. He should come to the fore now. Mistake by club to put Arteta at his level. Edu needs to start steadying the ship.

  43. Kroenkephobe

    Hi Tony

    Thanks for that rundown. Very thorough. Wire wool eh? I hadn’t got beyond thinking about papier mache egg boxes. I’ll try and take a screen shot of your advice and the link see how I can use it here. We live in a converted stable type structure with thick stone walls which doesn’t strike me as being the best accoustically. Moreover, my hearing has deteriorated after too many gigs and clubs.

    I think at my stage, music has almost become a vehicle for nostalgia. I very seldom listen to anything contemporary. I also tend to stick to early to mid 20th century literature, but tend to stay clear of recent attempts at the novel (which are anything but on the whole).

    After last night, I wish my eyesight had deteriorated. A rotten, inept performance which has disturbing echoes of the final days of UE. There are so many gaps in the team and Arteta seems increasingly clueless. So much damage has occurred that even if we won next week, there’s little hope of further progress. An absolute dog of a season.

  44. Tony

    Kroenkephobe.
    I hear you.

    I thought I’d offer something more out of the box and different as I thought you’d be conversant with today’s current hifi systems.

    I don’t have your literary skills or knowledge; however, I used to read a book a week until I immersed myself into video making primarily with my MC club and filming rides and various events.

    Now I have the cinema/music room my wife is reminding me of all the unread books I have.

    I think we tend to live around music, some more involved than others. It can stay in the background for many years and then become prominent in one’s life again. I’d say more people invest in home theater systems that they can trade off to reasonable hifi.

    That would probably suit your young-un better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf-L3tGgg2g

    I talked to Crown again several years ago and added this for my meds on my gym system.This would run meds and highs nicely.

    https://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/cts-600

    2 active subs and and the JBL Project Array for L & R mains and centre if affordable then the 1400s & 880 center.

    You’d have a great source for both surround sound and stereo/multi channel music where the trade off is minimal fo either.

    The speakers you’d probably find second hand in the UK or USA.

    For setting up I use this app:

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/audiotools-db-sound-audio/id325307477

    Pretty decent for people with perfect hearing.

    My hearing should be gone by now with the amount of decibel-age (word?) they had to endure from being on front dest at festivals and stadiums to small clubs and at home.

    Plenty to think on.

  45. Foxy

    We are actually watching a new series of the Office. David Brent has now moved into football management having convinced the Kronkies he is a visionary.

  46. Ash79

    Kroneke – disinterested. Just an appreciating assets which they can leverage to raise capital for US projects. He wasn’t ready for the ire of British fans, it doesn’t really happen in the states, not at this collective level.

    Vinai – building his corporate CV

    Edu – a romantic appointment to placate some fans and give the impression the club knows the level it should be at. A ‘link to the past’. Not a director of football etc, has ended up lining his mate Kia’s pockets.

    Arteta – I won’t get personal about an ex Captain of our club. I want it to work for him but it seems increasingly apparent these players won’t play for him and he doesn’t instill any confidence in his players. Sorry Mikel, we are not here to help you start off your management career, try Wolves etc. We are the Arsenal… whatever that means nowadays.

    Player analysis – pointless

  47. Pierre

    I think it’s fair to say that when Smith Rowe broke into the team, he and Saka played superbly together.
    It looked so natural the way they linked up, i would even go as far to say that it was telepathic how they knew each others game .

    Saka was playing the best football of his short career and the team looked like they had turned a corner, we were playing with a smile on our face again…

    This being the case , then why has our manager refused to play them on the same side of rhe pitch for rhe last 2 months..

    Last night, with Odegaard injured , was the perfect opportunity to play Smith Rowe next to Saka..
    Arteta decided to put Smith Rowe in the left channel next to Willian ….why?

    In the first half , Saka had the ball in good positions in the final third but needed Smith Rowe inside him to play a give and go with.
    Instead Saka was isolated and didn’t really make enough of the space he had…

    I have no doubt that we will see Mari come in for Gabriel for the rest of the season.
    I said after the game that Gabriel becomes nervous when defending a lead , Mari is as cool as they come and is a better partner for Holding , as previous performances have shown .

    It is no coincidence that since Christmas, we have no clean sheets with Gabriel starting., he needs to be taken out of the firing line for now..

    Bellerin had a good game , partey was poor, xhaka was ok though largely invisible., willian was willian, Lacazette just shrugged his shoulders when he messed up and as i said , smith rowe should have been playing inside Saka as they were our most potent attackers.

    Martinelli gave the team energy , though i have a feeling that the missed tackle by him which allowed the opposition to hit the post just before they scored , will be the action that sticks most in Arteta’s mind…

  48. Rich

    We know a lot of the players aren’t at the required level, but an actual left back playing as left back, would likely have given us a bit more balance last night

  49. Leftside

    At this point, I cannot wait for this wretched season to end. Even if we manage to scrape through can anybody see us winning the tournament with the way we are playing?

  50. Pierre

    The Bard
    I agree , we should still have enough to get through.

    My worry is that defensively we have lost confidence and we will probably have to score as many as 3 goals to go through, which we are more than capable of .

  51. Samir

    Reading through the replies on Pedros post on twitter…

    It seems the majority of fans are idiots and deserve all they get. How can we blame the players week in, week out? This is 90% on Arteta. He has no idea what he’s doing. You can’t make the same mistakes every week. We are seeing no improvement in his managerial ability, he isn’t learning anything.

  52. Northbanker

    Well that isn’t the complete case Samir – it is stil up to the players who are on the pitch

    They are highly paid and privileged individuals and should be callable of playing to their max twice a week rather than looking like a Sunday park kick around

  53. Davey

    SP play a high line are slow at the back and injuries to 2 centre halfs, we had to play pace up top as soon as Pepe and Auba come on they didn’t like it. How the fuck has Willian got 72mins in our most important game of the season? Hard one to take last night especially the blind panic in injury time.

  54. Leftside

    Yesterday was definitely a game for Pepe, he’s been adequate this season in the EL with 4 goals and 3 assists in the competition. If we’re not playing Auba out wide on the left, then we should try with Martinelli rather than have Mikel slot Willian into the side stubbornly with the hope that he comes good.

    You know it’s bad when Arteta’s marquee signing has played over 30 games this year and not a single goal. I guess those 7 assists altogether make up the potential Arteta said Willian has..

  55. Samir

    Northbanker
    I agree, should be. But Arteta is the one who’s meant to motivate, train and pick the right squad every week based on their performances in training. His in game management also seems to be getting worse game by game.

    As many have said before; do we really think West Ham,Villa, Spurs have better squads than us?
    Even Leicester, they should not be outperforming us season after season. Although, they seem to have a better squad than us at the moment; with a far superior manager.

  56. Samir

    Just seen a decent tweet from YankeeGunner on Twitter:

    “You can’t say the players aren’t good enough when we don’t pick the ones who might be.”

    I agree with this 1000%.

  57. Leftside

    Samir

    I agree with lots of that although I do think Spurs are capable of more than what they’ve shown this season. Leicester have a good, well balanced first 11 and about 4-5 players who can come in and maintain the standard, their main asset for me is consistency. Most of the time you know what you will get with them, and they are well coached.

    I think we are capable of far more, but it’s hard to see what the plan is on the field and we cannot perform consistently. We have been plagued by defensive issues for years but you knew we could produce goals. That now has gone, we have the least amount of goals in the top 11 in the Prem and we are approaching mid April. Recipe for disaster to defend poorly and not be able to find the net.

  58. Terraloon

    Ash

    Player analysis – pointless

    Some months ago I got pelters from a couple of posters for listing the current squad and one by one the conclusion I came to that the players were mostly overrated by posters on here .

    And yet I am going to do it again but this time restricting it to the yesterday’s 16

    Leno. There was a ready made replacement in place but the easy open taken. A top PL club wouldn’t have let either go they would have offered Martinez a contract extension and let form decide. Yet no it was made clear that Leno was first choice. Was it the transfer fee was desperately needed ?
    Cedric. There was a reason why Southampton let him leave on a free. Flatters to deceive. Shouldn’t be a starter
    Holding . Looks silky smooth at times but when he has to go wide his lack of pace is cruelly exposed. Ok in a 4 at the back but in a 3 he is a weak link.
    Gabriel. Looks great for 90-95% of a game but is prone to get too close to opposition players. Has raw talent and a top defensive coach needed for him develop.
    Bellerin. On his way to a top European club !!! Do me a favour he is no more than average. Injuries have done him . He isn’t improving and needs to be improved on but just can’t see anyone in this depressed market shelling out a big fee.
    Saka. He is a worry. Has all the tools but performances are going backwards. Needed to be taken out of the firing for an extended non injury break button me he clearly is at a crossroads because looking at his expressions or he is now looking both confused and despondent
    ESR . Far too much expectation. Needs to try and stop doing everything. Is in danger of going the same route as Saka. Needs to be nurtured not ground into the dust.
    Partey / Willian. Both looked shocking last night. Ok I now the view about Willian but these two players even as recent as last season were dependable yet now both of them look unable to make a pass
    Xhaka. Could he slow the play down anymore?Give him time or when not being pressed he can look ok but he shouldn’t be anywhere near a developing team, or should Oi say a team that needs to develop.
    Lacazette. Past it. Lacking confidence and whilst he charges around his finishing has gone even further backwards. I doubt that there will be any takers and or he may not want to sign a new contract but his carrier is going backwards.
    PEA/ Pepe/ Elmeny/ Martinelli. Came on fresh and picked the pace up.
    Cebellos. On for so little time.

    It’s pretty obvious I know but Arsenal have to now score away whereas at 1-0 things were manageable. I have no idea as to the quality of the SP head coach but I doubt he saw anything yesterday that worried him a

  59. Leftside

    Red,

    You can only score against the team in front of you, the point is, he’s been useful in the EL so I’d rather have gone with him yesterday and Auba from the start.

  60. DUIFG

    Arteta needs to beat Slavia to avoid the sack.

    Tbh even then given how rotten and inconsistent performances have been the ship may have sailed for many fans

  61. DUIFG

    Fans also need to take the stick as well, men claiming laca was our best cf and can link up like berg lamp, the guy can’t run, he’s an undersized target man. It’s bonkers

  62. Northbanker

    I think defending a 1-0 lead there might have really affected the tactics that Arteta would deploy next week. At least with 1-1 it should lead to a better mentality there provided they can get the conceding last minute thing out of their heads.

  63. Sid

    The biggest worry is that Diet Peps tactics will destroy the youth players, and even under a new manager (Mert) it might take time to get it out of their system

  64. SWG

    Keeping it simple this morning..

    Always been pro-Arteta, #ArtetaIn and I do think he has a bright career ahead of him as a manager. When we hit our purple patch and the players were on-board there was an identity and briefly there was something to get excited about.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think what Arteta wants to do is possible at Arsenal with the squad and hierarchy (by this I mean squad depth, skill level, fitness levels, even concentration spans, finances, recruitment)

    Squad depth has killed us this season – Cedric at LB has cost us on more than one occasion (Villa, SP). I dont really rate Cedric but he’s evidently not comfortable playing the ball off his left foot which is sadly a huge part of playing at LB. The board or Arteta or whoever is responsible should never have gone through 2 transfer windows with only having KT registered in the squad as a LB. Imagine he had one of his long term injuries earlier in the season, things would have been a lot worse.
    Squad depth in the middle of midfield has also ruined us when Ceballos had to be called on. Elneny should also never have survived this long as an Arsenal player (his levels are Turkish league/championship)

    Fitness levels – l constantly feel like we look fatigued, only after a decent break we seem to be able to work for 90 mins. How do our rivals mange it? It’s been a long old season at united and Leicester and they don’t have city depth. How is it working for them to get results and grind a game out but not us?

    Skill levels – let’s be honest, Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Chambers, Mo, Ceballos, Xhaka, Luiz, Willian, Laca, Auba, Pepe aren’t good enough for unique reasons for each player whether it’s inconsistency, lack of appliance, just simply cannot be fucking bothered, for some simply not good enough. All of these players slot into one of these categories. Oh and don’t forget the brain fart merchants/lack of discipline players!!

    Finances and recruitment- it’s been sham-fucking-bolic- we don’t need to go into detail about letting players contracts run down to the wire to understand how bad in terms of the business side this is. I see our NET spend being mentioned as to why Arteta is failing. The NET spend has fuck all to do with the value of the squad when you let your best players go for free/cheap cause of 1 year remaining contracts!
    Signing Willian and paying a 32 year old £39m over 3 years is horrendous business.. we could have signed a promising 21 year old for £25m and paid him £100k a week which I don’t think would have been that hard to do and end up with a player better with Willian and have a resale value.

    I feel Arsenal have (for the last 10 years) had a complete mix of average players mixed with either an individual carrying the team or a core which has carried us – RVP, Alexis&Mesut, even Ramsey.. These key players were never replaced, as obvious as it sounds. But I just cannot understand what the board expect! Everyone outside of Arsenal could see it. I know the term amateur is thrown around lightly but the way this club is run is beyond amateur.

  65. DUIFG

    Can we ship Willian this summer? Apart from the numbers which are horrific he is now basically a lightening rod for fan criticism

    He needs to go with laca, unforgivable after cleaning out ozil you immediately put another old man on a huge deal. And then try and freeze out auba who is also on a huge deal

    It’s egregious waste

  66. Samir

    Leftside
    I agree with what you said. With those issues highlighted…The club should never have employed someone who has never managed? Farcical really.

    Can we all just remember back to when Arteta offered Mustafi a new contract and refused to play Saliba? Now he’s wanting to offer Elneny a new contract?
    What are the chances Arteta offers Lacazette a new contract?

  67. Samesong

    One thing a manager has to be able to do is motivate the players.
    Regardless of their level.

    Pierre hit the nail on the head. Partnerships are important on the field.

    Why was ESR and Saka partnerships broken up?

    Holding and Mari?

    Too much tinkering going on from Arteta.

    And alot of you guys trust him with 5-6 new players.

  68. Sid

    Partey is Not much better than Alex Song, he is overrated.

    The Diet pep fanboys need to calm down with the narrative that the squad is not good enough.
    When Mert takes over we will be back in top 4. If he makes 2 quality signing (bissuoma, buendia) and brings back Guend, we will be in the title race.

    Im telling you for free!

  69. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    Another below par performance last night to add to the many this season.
    We learnt nothing new last night that we didn’t know already.
    Partey looks average alongside xhaka trying to cover ground that he can’t manage, passing was appaling last night from partey as well, xhaka was average, one of his better games then. (watch the goal again xhaka stood in a big gap on his own marking no one, as the ball goes past him)

    The defence isn’t coached and no set back four all season, yes we’ve had injuries but there’s no consistency. And when players have ben fit not selected.

    Willian is past it, and the fact arteta picked him over the power and pace of martinelli he should be sacked for that decision alone.
    Slavia playing a high line and slow defenders, how many times have we done that and been torn to shreds, but arteta didn’t think to go with a pacey front line!!!!!

    He got lucky with the Chelsea win on boxing day and had a few easy games to get a run of results together the kids saved him.

    We wasn’t top four material before during or after Christmas no matter what table Pedro puts up.

    If we win the europa and its a big if, arteta gets a stay of execution, if not he has to go, still think emery will come back to haunt us.

  70. Valentin

    Usually players release clauses set by Spanish clubs are used as deterrent rather than starting point of negotiation. For that reason I never thought that Partey was worth his release clause. However before he is thrown in the “Not good enough” stack, I would like to see him play in a front foot system with a competent partner.

    That slow, ponderous, keep ball, back to the goalkeeper style of play does him no favour. In fact it does no favour to our attacking players either. Lacazette, Saka, ESR, Martinelli are all front foot aggressive attackers. Pepe is more a counter-attacking player, but when Aubameyang is in the mood, so is he.

    By now, it should be clear to Arteta that the players would be a lot more effective in a more aggressive, pressing forward approach. Only when we switched to that style, did Arsenal looks like scoring.

  71. Dissenter

    Why do people keep suggesting that Partey’s quality is clear when he’s giving shitty performances over and over again?

    Partey has been worse that Xhaka on too many occasions this season.
    No more excuses for any player.

  72. Dissenter

    Arteta cuts and changes way too much.
    It seems he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for and when he does stumble on good combinations like Mari and Gabriel or Saka and ESR…HE CHANGES IT AGAIN.

    He is indeed clueless.

  73. Dissenter

    On a positive note, it seems Balogun is about to sign a contract extension.
    Edu succeeded in convincing him that he will get minutes under Arteta.
    Let’s wait and see how that guns out.

    I expect that Edu will pull the plug on Arteta soon. He may not be as dim as many think.

  74. Northbanker

    Sid – wtf would we appoint Mertesacker? You’re on ad nauseam about Diet Pep and then proposing we appoint someone with even less experience and more unproven?