by .

That was the beginning of the end of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal career.

I was wrong about him. He let us all down. There’s little chance he recovers from this, and that’s coming from me, his biggest fanboy.

The young ‘manager’ had it all and he blew it. It’s not all his fault, but when you demand full responsibility, go out of your way to bolster your own power, then boy do you have to deliver. He helped create the ingredients of his own failure. Shame on Arsenal for allowing it, but there we are.

The Villareal loss was sickening for many reasons, but mostly because they aren’t very good and nor is their manager. We were totally schooled by Unai fucking Emery. That is humiliating.

Core issues from the game last night will be kept punchy and short.

Galaxy Brain

Arteta doesn’t have a back to basics function. When he’s struggling, his default seems to be to show the world how clever he is. A week after embarrassing himself by opting for a kid as a false #9, he went for Thomas Partey pivoting the entire midfield. He made us play out of the back with Hector and Holding in his defence. He gave the gloves to Leno, who wants out. He fucked the entire structure with his forwards to the point where all our best creators could barely muster a shot on target over TWO legs.


Our players aren’t the best, but that squad could easily finish top 4. We’ve seen them go to war in big games and hold their own against the best. Against Villareal, they were petrified. It was pathetic how meek we were. That comes from one person… Arteta. Whatever he’s up to behind the scenes, it’s demotivating the players and putting doubt in their minds. There was no belief they had what it took. You knew no goal was coming yesterday, you could feel what the game was going to be like after minute 5, that is shameful.


Arsenal is a boring proposition. There’s literally nothing to our football. No style, no identity, no plan for where the game is going. We were utterly bland. We have been for weeks. This project is 18 months in and all the good bits we were seeing have gone. We can’t defend, we can’t attack, we’re a total mess… but the main thing for me, we’re really boring. Villareal in a semi-final should be exciting, it wasn’t, it was a really painful 90 minutes. Arsene Wenger, with that side, would have absolutely crushed them. Sad to say it, but so would Unai Emery.

The project is now over. Arsenal can give him a summer, they can bury their heads in the sand, but the reality is… this manager nicked his jugular last night and he’s bleeding out.

There’s money available for sure. Edu and Arteta are planning a big summer. Josh and Vinai should put a stop to it and remove both of them before they do any more damage to the club.

Edu will not have a good plan. It’ll be a bang average unimaginative offering that’ll waste another year. The two of them have appalling taste in players. Neither knows how to implement ideas. They have not earned the right to have another crack at it. Vinai is embarrassingly weak though, he’ll happily blow through another £100m of average because it’s the easy decision, he’ll let Arteta run the team into the ground again, then hire Roberto Martinez to fix the mess.

… and that does sound negative, I agree. But Arteta brought this on himself. That shit performance last night will stick hard with the players. They’ll know he’s on thin ice now, so if things go against Arsenal next season, the boys will absolutely down him just like they did under Emery.

Arsenal needs to move on Arteta now because he’s not going to save this. Too much is broken. The training ground is not a happy place. Arteta was given Wenger power without the receipts, and he blew it. He was allowed to hire average yes men around him and now he’s paying the price with a lack of know how. His goalkeeper coach is despised, that’s why Leno’s form has tanked and he wants out. Arteta’s contribution? He sacked Sal Bibbo and sanctioned Runarsson. Has he addressed the issue at all? No. He put his hire over one of our best players in the same way he favoured Willian over the kids. Why? His ego. Steve Round was the guy who worked with Moyes when he crashed United, hardly the future of football you want to cushion a rookie coach. What has his input been to tame Arteta’s weaknesses? Are our setpieces better with a specialist coach? Have our subs got better? Do we rotate well to protect players? Do we pick players based on merit? Do our stars look fit or motivated? Is anyone dying out there for the cause like they were last season?

The answer to those questions is no.

Time and investment is a reward for progress. We do not have anything to show on that front. The club now needs to act ruthlessly to protect the limited resources on offer.

Edu is a terrible technical director, just look at his record. He’s not a leader, he has no new ideas, he doesn’t know how to extract value from the market, and he will do bad things this summer with the guilt money he’s been given by our owners. He’s just a footballer who looks nice in a suit, yet a £2b valued organisation is going to trust him to strategise us out of this hole after he gave Willian a 3 year deal on £250k a week? Are you KIDDING ME. No, I’m not. Vinai is so weak, he’d rather promote Arteta to shield a massive error, than grow a pair and address the elephant in the room. There is ZERO leadership at Arsenal. I cannot say it loud enough.

Arteta cannot be trusted as a manager. He signed off Cedric and Willian. He crashed Thomas Partey. He made Auba a 10 goal a season striker in his prime. He benched Martinelli over and over again… and played Willian. He leaves Balogun at home and goes for two sub keepers. He binned William Saliba. Chose Leno over Martinez. All of these decisions made a difference to our shocking season.

When you have trophies and top 4 you can get away with these moves. When you fail like this, it shines a dark light on your limitations.

This failure could have been avoided. The job of a CEO is to build teams capable of competing. Vinai found a talented young coach then let him rot in a Petree dish of power. He should have hired him a complimentary technical director that could support his weaknesses. He should have controlled who the team around him was and put limitations on what he could do. He should have resisted the weird urge to promote him after 6 months.

… but he didn’t.

Therein lies the problem. We have a CEO who takes the easy option, every single time. He didn’t move fast enough to recognise the things Arteta needed to succeed. That should have been the job of the Technical Director, but Vinai already knew he was bad, hence the demotion last season. There is no one man fix in 2021 for the problems we have as a club. If Arsenal move on Arteta, they have to get serious and realise that the problems went way beyond just him.

… but we can talk about that another day.

I’ll be back with better thoughts later, but while you’re here… listen to The Arsenal Opinion podcast with Johnny and Matt.

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1,228 Responses to “ENDGAME NEARS FOR ARTETA”

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  1. Pierre

    Last night’s game for me showed how difficult it is to play as striker in this present Arsenal side.
    Last night it was Martinelli who was to suffer from a chronic lack of service through the centre of the pitch.

    Arsenal had 66% possession of the football and we got in some seriously good positions out wide,

    When you watch Arsenal, the ball is rarely played through the central areas so it is very difficult for the striker to be involved during the build up play , though Martinelli’s touch was of poor quality last night , so he didn’t help himself.

    For the striker to have an impact he needs to be able to have good anticipation in the build up of play, last night Martinelli failed to anticipate the play as it developed.

    The reason Aubamayang and Nketiah get so many tap ins is because they anticipate the move as it develops.
    What happens is , they know they are not going to be involved in the build up play around the edge of the box so they cheat and move into an offside position .

    When the wide player gets in behind the opposition defence, as Saka did on a number of occasions, that is when the striker comes alive as he is already goalside of the defence.
    This inevitably leads to a tap in .

    Martinelli never got himself goal side of the opposition defence as he didn’t anticipate the move and drift into an offside position ready for the next phase of the attack.

    Last night Martinelli could have picked up a couple of tap ins when Saka got behind the defence , but he was too slow to react as the move developed.

    What it did show last night is how difficult it is for any striker to make an impact with so little service, so when fans are critical of Nketiah next time , maybe they should take this into consideration..

  2. S Asoa

    The players have been playing below par ,except Saka ..Those guys are better than their display. Likely 70% of players have downed tools. Pepe scored instinctively and looked to be questioned by Laca. That this gent is #ArtetaOut was obvious the way been theatrically collapsing when about to shoot into the goal.
    With the culprit in the Drama Mikel Arteta the deciding person about his fate, this shit is going to get messier.
    #Fraudeta out

  3. China1

    Azed by the time mini Azed is old enough to follow football arsenal will hopefully have been restored as a real team against the timing might have been very good 😎

  4. Rich

    Guns of SF

    I like that team, if we got Bissouma + Grealish, two PL ready players to hit the ground running, then added in a real top class right back, we’d be in a much better place

    I’d still like us to go for Odegaard on top, and get some genuine competition for Tierney as well

    Outside of the 2 Liverpool league games, Villa 3-0, and the second 1-0 loss to City which could have been a cricket score, we’ve generally been involved in fine margin games, the only other game we’ve lost by a 2 goal margin in the league was Spurs 2-0, which was the smash and grab, where we lacked cutting edge in the final third

    We’ve rarely been good, but we haven’t been overran either, regardless of who our manager is, with a few real astute adjustments and quality signings, we can potentially make up a lot of points next season

    Moving players out I think will be the issue, but if we can manage to do that, I think KSE will back us, hopefully Edu + Arteta don’t screw it up

    The other thing we desperately need to do is tie down Saka, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Saliba, Willock to 5yr deals, and I’d be tempted to renew Chambers who I think only has 12 months remaining

    If we don’t renew Saka now, he’ll only have 24 months remaining next summer, at that point things will start getting a bit twitchy

  5. Pierre

    Of course a striker should also play on the defender’s shoulder on the blind side…all top striker’s are intelligent in their movement and anticipation

  6. Leedsgunner


    Many congrats! Let’s hope for your little fella, he will only have memories of Arsenal winning titles and trophies.

    In other news, if we’re looking to make smart buys WBA’s Matheus Pereira, wouldn’t be a bad shout. I’m sure with them now relegated they would be willing to do a deal to get his wages off their books?

  7. Pierre

    “Pepe scored instinctively and looked to be questioned by Laca. That this gent is #ArtetaOut was obvious the way been theatrically collapsing when about to shoot into the goal.
    With the culprit in the Drama Mikel Arteta the deciding person about his fate, this shit is going to get messier.”

    Totally agree

  8. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal have got two wide players in Tierney and Saka on the left side of pitch who can deliver accurately crosses on a plate.

    The real problem at the club is that we don’t have Centre Forwards apart from Aubameyang when he is playing well good enough to capitalise on these crosses.

    Lacazette is too often out of position to take advantage of these crosses and frankly Nketiah
    is not remotely the quality to be playing at top level of EPL. No doubt as a flat track bully he
    will score a bucketful of goals at Championship Level.

    I must confess that Martinelli proved a disappointment in the CF role.

    Hopefully Aubameyang will recover from what seems to be a difficult season after family
    issues and malaria and will perform better next season.

  9. Sid

    ‘crossing from an open play is hugely inefficient, only 1 open cross in 4.87 is an accurate cross and only 1 open cross out of 91.47 leads to a goal on average’

  10. Rich

    Martinelli is 19, he’s a talented young player, but there’s a reason we’re using his sparingly, I like him a lot, but teenagers are generally inconsistent, and he’s still raw in many aspects of his game

    Saka is the exception, not the general rule, but even Saka isn’t quite at the level we need him to be, and he’s not supposed to be, this is his first full season, and he’s a teenager

    We should never be this reliant on a teenager, hopefully we don’t burn him out physically and mentally

    Whenever a team is doing badly, it’s always fans default position to pin their hopes on a young player, or an injured player returning suddenly reversing their teams fortunes

    We’ve shown remarkable consistency for 25 years, or almost 50 years really

    We’re a team in transition, and transitions are often painful, and take a bit of time to come out the other end

    Some of the meltdowns and the lack of perspective around Arsenal at the moment is bonkers

    Reality tv and 24/7 news has driven everyone around the bend, some of the venom thrown at our manager is completely OTT, particularly when you breakdown what needs to be done in order to flip a few fine margins in our favour

  11. Samesong

    I’d rather see players more relaxed and expressing themselves then regimented boring football.

  12. China1

    There’s no way graelish is joining us

    This one is not even worth considering!

    He’s one of the hottest properties around at the moment and arsenal is Brexit. There’s nothing we have to offer him except possibly high wages

  13. Habesha Gooner

    Grealish isn’t coming to Arsenal. If United aren’t getting Sancho then there is a chance he might go there. But he isn’t coming to Arsenal. Villa are about to finish higher than us and they look a better team. So why would he come here?

    Anyway read from a consistent Twitter ITK that we are in for Bissouma and Aouar. He also said we like Camavinga very much but he isn’t joining us due to the level of interests in him. We are going to shop around the 30 mil range now we don’t have European football. This might even be impossible if we fail to offload the players we have to bring in cash. It doesn’t matter who we get as long as Arteta is the manager though.

  14. shaun

    It Doesn’t matter who we get now but the board are taking a massive risk in keeping Arteta for the beginning of next season and hopefully it is reflected in season ticket sales as the fans have to make a stand and they will , the guy is not liked by any Arsenal fan much the same as Emery but with Emery it was more that guy’s just Dumb and can’t communicate but with Arteta it is a bit more this guy seems like a bit of a c… . So it comes down to he is only currently still in a job as know fans are around to abuse him, when that happens he will snap back as that is his character and it is almost guaranteed he will be abusive and dismissive of the fans and he will be moved on quickly after that .This guy has reacted when there are know fans around it is an entirely different matter when you have sixty thousand fans telling you too get out of there club . we had Wenger in such a spin he was telling the fans he built Arsenal ( A REAL NO NO from an intelligent and experienced manager )the longer that went the more he disrespected the fans untill large sections of the fan base are like this fucker is taking the piss and he needs to fuck off and that’s Wenger lol…………….lol for me Arteta is already at that point he has just been saved by COVID