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Gooooooood morning! Arteta dropped some intel about some of the reasons we struggled early in the season.

DEADWOOD DEEPSTATE. Think I stole that from someone on the Arsenal Vision Podcast. Now it is mine.

The allusion was that certain players that aren’t here now were the problem.

I cannot imagine which part-time social media manager on £350k a week that could have been?

I cannot imagine which binned players might have been causing those issues?

I cannot imagine which players exiting might also have had a role?

The mess of the squad at the start of the last season led to dramatic decisions. Those decisions against big names were obviously going to hit the morale of the squad. You’ve all worked with a dickhead who hands their notice in and determines to burn the house down.


Actual quote from Sandra from accounts at my place.

The biggest issue, Mesut Ozil, was a problem because he was the king. Everyone knows that when the King is dethroned, you have to kill him, because their prior power will always be a threat to stability. The German was too big for Arsenal at that point, he was hurt by the rejection, so it was clear he’d be a problem internally and externally.

Form has picked up since we rid the squad of bad eggs. Things have been better since we discovered the power of creativity in our midfield. We controlled games far better with Thomas Partey in the side.

Everyone is whining on about how 23 games of form doesn’t count for anything. Well, let’s see how that pans out next season, but also dig a little deeper into some other elements.

Leicester beat us with their only run into our box. We smashed them at their place.

Fulham beat us without having a shot on target.

Wolves didn’t deserve to beat us chance. Self inflicted Wolves.

Spurs beat us off 5 attempts at our goal and 30% possession. It was palmed off as ‘genius’ at the time, but let’s be real, it was luck as shown by Jose exiting the building a few months later.

Burnley beat us off 2 shots on target.

Everton beat us twice.

Villa beat us twice.

Basically, a lot of very lucky stuff happened against some very average teams this season.

Turn 3 of the above games into more positive results and the last game of the season sees Arsenal in Champions League spots in our worst ever season.

Hardly a stretch, right?

Think how much better life will be if we have a settled squad come the summer. Creative players from the start. An Auba not dealing with family issues and malaria. Young players a season on.

Arsenal will sell a whole collection of players. I’m not sure reading the praise of the manager is indicative of who we are keeping, it’s a negotiation tactic. Do we really think Madrid believe their future hinges on Odegaard? Doubtful… but it’ll pump his price. Same for the players Mikel is saying are under contract. We are less desperate this summer, which will lead to bigger fees (or actual fees).

Arsenal will no doubt try and make Martin a centre piece of our rebuild this summer and I’d agree with that. I’d certainly prioritize him over the Norwich fella at £450m or whatever they are looking to charge for him.

Then we’ll go for a right back, which has basically been a dead position all season. A nightmare for many reasons, but mainly because we’re lopsided when we attack. If we can bring Tierney levels to the right, it opens a whole world of possibilities.

Ryan Bertrand is perfectly acceptable cover on the left (Leicester after him, so should be safe).

Then we need to address that midfield. I have no idea who we’ll look for in that role, but hopefully we have another press resistant player that can move in the role.

Shake out the deadwood this summer.

Have a 6 week preseason and bond the leaner group.

Make sure everyone is excited and knows their own personal plan.

There will be no excuses next season, but I don’t believe there will be a need for them.

The players are backing the manager. Look at the vibes in the training ground video for David Luiz’s send off.

The club is going to bat for the first team again this summer.

I think we’re on the up.

Final word for the Edu story doing the rounds. The gist is he was taking orders from someone banned from Brazilian football for corruption when he was over there. I don’t understand enough detail to give a running commentary, but the basics are pretty clear, he took orders, he knew who from.

Arsenal relevance:

  • It shows real lack of leadership to keep quiet when things like that are going on. The guy giving orders was behaving like Pablo Escobar from jail. Shocking stuff.
  • Subservience to shady characters is clearly part of his operating system.

Speaking up about tough things that don’t feel right is part of any big job. I’d say ‘imagine if that was Arsenal’ but let’s be honest, we’ve seen people fail to speak truth to power in our football braintrust to great cost. Shocking deals, cosy agent relationships, huge wastage that a layman could have predicted.

This story is a bad reflection on Edu, but an even worse one on our leadership. Did anyone check in with people that had worked with him to see if he was a determined leader, or a soft touch people pleaser?

I doubt anything will come of it, but at the very least, I hope Vinai V, Richard G, and Josh K are keeping an extra close eye on who we are talking to this summer. The number 1 interest should always be Arsenal FC, that clearly hasn’t been the case with a lot of the decisions we’ve made over the past 4 years. The weaknesses on show in this story aren’t hard to trace back to some if the things we’ve seen at Arsenal (subservience). It is also a worry that he can be so comfortable working with a man of corruption. It’s a canary in the coal mine. Let’s hope we’re not on the receiving end of one of these stings in the future.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. shaun

    “Arsenal sign Partey for £50 000 000, ATM go on to win La Liga.Arsenal sign Pepe and Gabriel for £100 000 000 combined , Lille go on to win the French LeagueArsenal loan Joe W, he becomes Newcastle ‘s Roy of the Rovers.Scoring in 7 successive games.Arteta leaves Man City , they regain the league chmapionship and head to the European Cup final next week for the first time.Bloody bizarre.”

    more like cursed , we will sign Yves Bissouma and Brighton WILL WIN THE FA CUP NEXT SEASON

  2. Emiratesstroller

    Midfield has been a weak link in the Arsenal team in recent seasons albeit we are beginning
    to see some improvement in recent games with both Smith-Rowe and Odegaard looking like
    decent options in the attacking department.

    The defensive department remains still problematic. Partey needed clearly a season to adapt
    to the EPL. Xhaka is the best of an average bunch to play alongside him, but will be 29 next season. Ceballos and Elneny are not of the required quality.

    So in reality we need to recruit at least two new midfielder in this transfer window even if
    Xhaka stays at the club. We need a minimum of five central midfield players on the books
    to fulfil our seasonal requirements allowing for loss of form, injuries and rotation.

    Regarding Odegaard I think that Arsenal need to make an early decision whether they want
    to buy him and not delay. My one concern about him is whether he has the potential to improve his goalscoring. We need more goals from this department.

    I do think that the recruitment of Bissouma would be an excellent acquisition. He is clearly
    a very good player and an ideal partner for Partey. Arsenal do need at least three players on
    the books in this department if we are to compete at the top level in EPL.

    This brings me onto the dilemma of Willock. Had we qualified for Europe I would have been
    inclined to bring him back next season, because I don’t think that operating with just five
    midfield players in two games a week would be sufficient.

    However we are not playing in Europe this season and so for this reason I would be inclined
    to sell or loan him. Willock is a decent player and has had a decent run at Newcastle, but he
    is not of the same quality as Odegaard or Smith-Rowe if you discount his goal potential.

  3. Dissenter

    ‘However we are not playing in Europe this season and so for this reason I would be inclined
    to sell or loan him. Willock is a decent player and has had a decent run at Newcastle, but he
    is not of the same quality as Odegaard or Smith-Rowe if you discount his goal potential’

    Yes and if my uncle didn’t have balls , she will be my aunt.
    Willock is giving decision makes trouble precisely because of his goal scoring potential. He’s ally’s had that knack of popping up in goal scoring situations, that’s not something that you can teach. Then he’s shown he can finish them.
    The goal scoring is indeed part of his game, it’s up to the manager to play him to his strengths.

    When Odegaard scored from outside the box, partly because the shite Olympiakos keeper had a blunder, this site was agog with praise. It’s amazing how anyone will want to subtract the priciest strength of Willock.
    Truth is that Willock is having a his breakout moment, no one knows where he will settle. This may only be a beginning. Same way his finishing improved, the other parts of his game can improve exponentially too with the right coaching and tactics.

    This is a test of Edu, let’s see if he meets the moment. This decision shouldn’t be left to a manager who’s struggling.

    He does need to be kept to integrate him into the team’s plans or be sold
    No more loans because his stock will never be higher.

  4. Valentin

    Even with only the domestic competitions to play for, Bissouma and Partey are still likely to miss chunk of of the season. Between being absent because of AFCON (so will Elneny) they will also pick up injuries and suspension. Partey hamstring do

    We need to keep hold of Willock and sell Xhaka. He is going to fetch £20 millions and we know that there is zero possibility that his values will exponentially increase the following seasons.

  5. DigitalBob

    Valentin – Yes that makes the most sense logically(sell Xhaka) but he is clearly an Arteta favourite, I suspect he’s closer to signing a new deal than leaving permanently based on Arteta’s previous comments and history with the player.

    Bissouma is worth the risk when it comes to being absent from the AFCON, we need to have enough depth to negate this impact. Having said that, he will probably go to Liverpool or City, such is the interest and quality of the player.

  6. Sid

    We lack a dynamic midfielder in CM, thats why 1st priority should be Buendia then Bissouma.
    Diet Pep will probably prefer Bissouma & partey, which means rigid football.
    Then both are off to AFCON/Partey gets injuries, we will be in crisis.
    A 3 man midfield partey/AMN/Torr, Willock/Buendia, ESR would be a safer bet.

  7. Jamie

    “My definition of a deep lying play maker is a player who is prepared to take the ball in tight spaces on the half turn , a player who brings his team mates into the game , a player who is the link between defence and attack”

    Define the role of a deep lying playmaker however you want, but Partey is not, nor can he be a playmaker by everyone else’s definition.

    Your boyfriend Ozil was a playmaker, albeit an advanced one.

  8. andy1886

    F365 Do their top 10 goalkeepers of the season. Guess who is top? Leno didn’t make the top ten btw…

    1) Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
    Arsenal had a straight choice last summer between Martinez and Bernd Leno. They got it wrong.

    In fairness, at the time, it was the easiest decision to justify. Leno is a Germany international with a stellar track record. Martinez was impressive as a stand-in towards the back end of last season but it would have been a brave call to bomb Leno in favour of a goalkeeper who has spent the vast majority of his career in the wings.

    But how Martinez has grabbed his chance to shine at Villa! The Argentina ace has been pivotal in a hugely positive season for the Villans, with Martinez equalling the club’s clean sheet record. Only Ederson and Mendy have recorded more shut-outs, which is astonishing given just how poor Villa were defensively last season.

    Martinez also has the second-best save percentage record – just 0.2 behind Pope – and xG suggests Villa would have conceded 7.4 goals more had the £20million signing not been so impressive.