by .

Mikel Arteta dropped his first press conference of the season and I have to say… he didn’t inspire much confidence and came across quite muted. Not a good look when you cross-reference it against Thomas Frank’s glowing account of how his summer has gone.

Key points for me:

  • We haven’t done the business Arteta expected us to do
  • The market has been more difficult than they thought it would be
  • A domino effect will likely happen in the last week of the window

Outside that I couldn’t really name much of note he spoke about.

The target is consistency this season and to take each game one at a time.

Our goal is to get the best version consistently that’s going to bring us closer to winning football matches. That’s what I want from the team. If we do that consistently in every single match, we’re going to be in a good place, but that’s something we haven’t done, consistently give the best version. That’s something we must control and we must do, and I think if we’re able to do that, then the results will be the consequence to that.

He’s never going to pick a league position, but I hoped for something a little more inspiring than consistency. It also felt like there were a few not-so-subtle digs at what he has at Arsenal, but I might just be reading too deeply into it.

The clarity in what they do. They’ve been doing it for a long time together and you can see they have that fluidity and chemistry between them, and they believe that the plan they’ve put in place works for them. I think that’s a big strength for any team.

There needs to be clarity on the pitch this season, with the players he has right now. The squad is still a mess, that’s not all his fault, but he’s going to have to make it work this season. We have a bright young squad of players with some players that are misfits for the system… but we can do things this season and we have to.

The objectives are pretty clear for the next 4 months.

We need to rapidly adapt to playing a higher line with Ben White. Getting ripped through the middle cannot be a new thing for the first three months this season.

There needs to be more clarity when it comes to our football style. We need better transitions, the team needs to feel more fluid and unpredictable, and we need to start taking our chances. Statman Dave called our style Doughnut football. We control possession around the sides of the area but there’s no verticality to our game. That has to change.

We need to reduce errors by 50% this season. We cannot continue to punch ourselves in the face. Moving on David Luiz was a big swing at that. Sending Ceballos back to Madrid will help. There are still a few players with us that lack the right level of concentration, but whatever, it needs to be better this season. 50% less errors last season and we’re a top 4 side, simple as that.

We need to improve our finishing by 20%. It wasn’t good enough last season. That’s the whole team, not just Auba. But, Auba does need to play like a £350k a week striker. We need 10 goals from ESR. We need 10 goals from Saka. We need to see our other players popping up in the box and contributing.

The start to the season is really important, if we’re within spitting distance of top 4 come January, we’ll very much be in mixer in May. Last season, we fucked the start of the seasons so badly we couldn’t recover… but we were still close. We need to be the post-Christmas Arsenal, that is the standard.

We’ll know pretty early on Friday which Arsenal has shown up. We’re playing in a new stadium against a team that doesn’t know where it’s level is at the moment. None of that matters, we need to go in there, boss the game, and start to build confidence. Chelsea is winnable. West Brom there should be no excuses. We need to go into that City game with at least 4 points. Then we’ll see.

It’s going to be interesting to see how everyone else does this season. Manchester City are the side to beat, without a doubt. Chelsea have not looked convincing preseason so far, they were very nearly Emery’d in the Super Cup last night. Spurs have a very drossy manager and a bag of issues no club needs to be dealing with. Liverpool is a team to watch, their players are all getting older, they dropped their level by 30 points last season, and they’ve solved that with one signing this summer. Everton haven’t done much. West Ham haven’t done much. Leicester have made 3 signings. This is going to be an interesting season.

Right, listen to our preseason podcast. Subscribe to our youtube channel. Leave a nice comment.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Avi

    2 obviously first team starting attackers out barely hours before the season opener

    I think the club is cursed….Scenes if Brentford get a jammy win tonight, that will complete the misery

  2. Black Snake

    i wouldnt be surprised if Teta doesnt even play a striker tonight in which case id fuck off if I was Balogun!

  3. Rich

    As much as I want us to sign Odegaard, we shouldn’t do a buy back clause, that should be a 100% deal breaker

    The last thing we need is to develop Odegaard and give him a platform to thrive, only for the threat of Madrid pouncing at every transfer window lingering over us

    We can’t plan properly for the future with clauses like that, it’s also easy to unsettle players

    We shouldn’t be reluctant to include such a clause, we should be adamant that no such clause is included, otherwise we’ll look elsewhere

  4. Davey

    Auba and Lacca out bullshit, something going down but on the day we kick the season off this is going some even for AFC

  5. Avi

    Chance for Martinelli to save the club massive amount of money for the mediocre Chavs reject Abraham.

    If Arteta doesn’t give him the chance I want him gone from the club ASAP

  6. Tom

    “As much as I want us to sign Odegaard, we shouldn’t do a buy back clause, that should be a 100% deal breaker The last thing we need is to develop Odegaard and give him a platform to thrive, only for the threat of Madrid pouncing at every transfer window lingering over us“

    Buy back clauses aren’t indefinite.
    What’s Arteta’s record of developing players like?

  7. China1

    I find it kinda funny in a way that we’re missing 530k’s worth of CF for today but it doesn’t really bother me because neither are consistently good enough these days

    I’d play balogun

    He might not perform but the same is true of the other two, so that risk just doesn’t feel scary like it should

  8. Davey

    Maddison is an 8 (his words), I do rate Ode but where does this leave ESR? Both play 10 and not as if we have loads of games on our plate.

  9. China1

    To the resident whisky heads, if you’ve not already get yourself a Dalmore 12, it’s frickin lovely. The taste is quite similar to arran 10 but dare I say even nicer

    Had an awesome night the other day on holiday in shanghai. Ordered an Ardbeg 10 and a laphroaig 10 side by side to compare properly which was a very fun hour and a half. Then found a jazz bar round the corner with an awesome African/Bulgarian jazz band and tried dalmore 12 for the first time. Elite night

  10. Nelson

    Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

    Martin Ødegaard would love to re-join Arsenal. He was really happy during his loan spell last season and he’s waiting for Arsenal bid to be accepted by Real Madrid, once the green light arrives. ⚪️🇳🇴 #AFC Ødegaard has a great relationship with Arteta and board members too.
    With Ode, I would like to see this attack:


    Pepe and Martinelli as backup.

  11. KAY Boss

    Most of you were badmouthing Auba and Laca but when they’re out you still have a reason to complain.

    Anyway as humans as we are, not all can be pleased. Their absence could give clarity on whether they’re tripe and shit as others make us to believe or our system isn’t just good enough. Hope the kids that are hyped here will step up to the occasion when given the opportunity.

  12. Mb

    A blessing in disguise! Put in Martinelli up front and he would do the combined work of Auba and Laca (half a million pounds per week).

  13. MidwestGun

    Auba and Laca have a case of the Ozilititis.

    Nasty stuff that..hard to get rid of. Treatment apparently is 48hours of hard gaming followed by a call to your agent to see if he has heard anything.

  14. Rosapirescastlesaka

    I imagine i will be downing some whiskey tonight Chinal but be first bottle I can lay my hands on .
    Never tried the Dalmore 12 must get it in .

    It will be tough without Laca and Auba but maybe a blessing in disguise , I think too much is thought of them and too much talked about them , they haven’t pulled up an trees lately and their Aldi Wrighty and Sanchez/Titi offerings only goes as far as the moody arms in the air and sulky faces .

    Get Marti in there to tries his balls off maybe Pepe will thrive on the responsibility and ESR also .
    Least we will have pace direct running, closing down and heart and genuine effort

  15. T

    haha I wouldnt bat an eyelid if news broke down during weekend that inter milan is in negotiations with arsenal to bring in aubameyang… 😀 or something crazy like that… 😀

  16. Rosapirescastlesaka

    Real need a backup striker to Benzi, why not shift on Auba in deal for Martin Odd, till have money to spend on Tammy Abs if hes the man to get ?

  17. Almuniasaynomore

    “Anyone create a Legrove Fantasy League ? Be happy to join in one”

    There’s one on le grove every year, it starts at Christmas.

  18. Kris

    Your team is good, Rosapirescastlesaka.
    Shocking to see Chambers as our starter, though. We really need to sell Bellerin and find someone who’s at least mid-table quality.

  19. T

    we did pretty well after henry & co departed.. and have new stars in the making this time too… why wouldnt we be at least ok? 🙂

  20. China1

    Haha rosa arsenal in 2021 are only worthy of that tescos own brand ‘special blended reserve’ for £11 a liter 😂😂

  21. raptora

    Absolutely no way that Arteta will start with Gabi Martinelli as our CF. Zero chance.

    If he actually decides to do that, the bases of me converting to an Arteta believer will be set.

  22. Samesong

    Most of you were badmouthing Auba and Laca but when they’re out you still have a reason to complain.

    Could be a blessing that they are out.

  23. Rosapirescastlesaka

    Raptora , I think he will start Pepe-Gabi-Saka with maybe Pepe in the middle either way remember he will be going fullscale Peplite with a False 9 system .

    Chinal, if tonight’s result doesn’t go right then Tescos/Dalry/ Jameson will make no differences because it will be quantity not quality I will be concentrating on

  24. MidwestGun

    I’m definitely not complaining, gives the youth a chance to step up. …..unless Auba/Laca are already starting the Ozil like mind games.. with ..” I’m sick boss vibes.” every game day. it does seem highly coincidental they would both have a mysterious illness at the same time 2 hours before the game.

    Not good for team chemistry as we have witnessed with the Fortnite warrior.

  25. Rosapirescastlesaka

    MidwestGunAugust 13, 2021 15:39:44
    Has that Amazon.. Docudrama started filming yet? Sounds like good episode 1 … “content”.

    Good point, now hopefully Will I AM will get same dose of shits they have

  26. Avi

    Auba and Laca both walk in together in the training video, but they aren’t in any of the pics on the website.

    Think they’re been sold off! Both of them missing at the same time just doesn’t add up for me

  27. G

    Very possible there’s an offer on them and hence not playing.. have liked both but wouldn’t b too upset too see them leave..
    Abrahams seems to have split opinion but I would take him.. can hold the ball up and score goals

  28. T

    wenger would have used a chance like this to roll with the postman doubt that arteta has the balls to start balogun even if it were a great chance 🙂

  29. CG

    Willock would have been a useful option had he not been sold.( with the center forwards out)

    Never understood, why Willock was not sold after this game.( if he had to be sold)

  30. Champagne Charlie

    Don’t think anyone would bemoan either leaving, which kind of tells you where we are for CF’s.

    One issue that still irks me is the fact Auba is captain of this football club, he’s wholly undeserving of it and the message it sends it really poor.

    None of the youngsters praise him for his role behind the scenes, that’s Laca, and none of his teammates hold him up as an example, that’s Xhaka/Tierney. His captaincy is such tokenism.

  31. Gbat


    I think we were in a bit of a Catch 22 situation with Aubameyang. I don’t think Arteta particularly liked him as a player but he was already Captain and scored the majority of our goals. I won’t miss him if he goes.

  32. China1

    I just joined that le grove fantasy league

    I’ve never done this fantasy league stuff before. Not 100% sure what I’m doing but if it’s fun I might keep an eye on it

    Tho I dunno why but it didn’t seem to let me remove Werner when I added him by accident and tried to replace him with Firmino, but w/e

    Who else is on there? I see lots of teams but don’t recognize the le grove names!

  33. Elmo

    All the more surprising, CC, bearing in mind Tets himself was an Arsenal club captain, who saw it as a very important leadership role at the club, even when he was no longer in the first team.

    Of course he inherited Auba as captain, and it’s difficult to displace what was your best player without damaging your relationship, but it has been strange that he’s allowed it to roll on.

  34. Rich

    If we somehow manage to dump both Aubameyang + Lacazette, we’ve had a right result, our forward line hasn’t functioned properly for a while

    Lacazette is a decent enough player, but was a downgrade on the underrated Giroud, he’s also the oldest looking 30yr old I’ve ever seen

    Aubameyang is an impact player, I was against renewing his contract, giving a 31yr old who’s all about athleticism a 3yr mega contract, was bonkers, particularly as we gave a 32yr old a 3yr deal at the same time

    We need to get much better at reading the career trajectories of our players

    Aubameyang can get away with being invisible for 89 minutes, if he’s scoring the goals that win us football games, but when he’s not, his inclusion becomes a big issue

    He’s a pure impact player, take away the impact, and he offers literally nothing to the team

    I’d be happy for us to give him a free, appointing him captain was a ridiculous decision, and we should have taken the opportunity to strip him of the captaincy after the NLD debacle

    Hopefully KT takes the captaincy tonight, and then never gives it back

    KT is committed, never hides, and leads by example, hopefully Arteta doesn’t bottle the decision

    Does Arteta look seriously stressed to anyone else? He looks and sounds like he’s a breaking point to me

  35. TR7

    We have 3 young strikers in Gabi, Eddie and Balogun. If all of them get opportunities you would think at least one if not more of them will shine and become an integral part of our team. Not that Auba and Laca have set the bar too high.

  36. Northbanker

    Wenger had the right idea – only offer 1 year contracts to players 30 or over. Might be painful at first but if everyone knows the score it would get easier. As soon as they hit an Auba season like last year you wave goodbye.

    I’m just hoping we can somehow magic up a swap with RM so we get some form of value for him in p.exechange. for Ode.

  37. China1

    Honestly I’d rather we sold laca and auba and replaced with no one than we kept both

    We pay all that money and I’m not convinced either will score close to 20 league goals

    Our kids won’t either but at least they’ll be building as part of their development. Laca and auba are depreciating assets and very expensive ones at that

  38. Champagne Charlie


    Agree, it’s a bit of a minefield but even still we appear to take the ‘just leave it’ approach far too often in the hope it’ll fix itself. Prefer to see a bolder decision made.

    I mean at this point it’s not exactly going to dampen his confidence and interrupt the flow of goals, is it? Feel the armband weighs heavy on him and Arteta, can’t leave out your captain even though he’s no starting XI form to his name.

    Sooner we underlined the Arsenal rebirth with a young captain (Tierney) and remain on brand with ESR getting #10. Tells the likes of Auba and Laca that their value is diminishing, and could expedite any sentiment to leave.

  39. Northbanker

    Maybe we should do what the banks did in 2006-8 and package up all of our dross (Auba, Laca, Kola, Wobbly Will, and Bellerin a separate bundle- collectively called Spurs, and offer them as a collective whole for 1p in the £

  40. Zacharse


    I think auba could become a great substitute game changer. My feeling is that he feels too much responsibility and its fucked w him. If u give him 10-20 min/game and let balogun and martinelli fight a bit, could wind up being a good strategy

  41. Distanced hairline

    Its the first day after a long time without fooball… am i the only one noticing how arsenal fans are acting non interested. The fire is gone, wenger on his own can attract players cos of his personality, no one would come cos of arteta, i dwear if wenger were still incharge we woulda never been this way. Thank you wenger for all the memories. I remember all of you who were akbs back then, why yall complaining…. enjoy your plate of hot gravel

  42. Kegunner

    Auba has been Mr. Arsenal gave it his all. His crew not him saw what was to come and wanted him out.

    Lots of young players in training. Best young team of late has been an exceptional Ajax. Expect volatility in results.

  43. raptora

    Not sure why but Willock’s news doesn’t even appear on the front page so I had to click on NEWS and then it was somewhere down there.

    It’s a giant news for Arsenal, a bit more important than the training pictures pre-Brentford.

    Happy for Joe. I hope he has a cracking career. He will not be as good as Ramsey but he can easily become someone like Barkley and Lingard and that’s not bad at all.

  44. Northbanker

    Zacharse – I fear that your strategy would do the opposite. it would destroy him mentally and paying £350k a week for an impact sub is way ott. If he stays then it has to surely be as a first team choice until the moment we hoist the white flag.

    I think it would be better for alll parties if he went. Like Xhaka, he could benefit from being in a slower and less competitive league. If it brought does the net cost of Ode we’d be able to still fund Abraham, who seems to be desperate to join us.. That would bring down the age profile and just leave Wobbly Will to get rid of. I’d happily keep Laca then for his last year and offer a 1 year extension if he performs

    Can’t see a RB being signed also

  45. Northbanker

    Joe Willock cold have been a very good back up in CAM role but at £25m it has to be a sell only decision. We need to be able to do this successfully than we have in the past – keep our very best and sell the rest.

    I hope Eddie also goes for a similar amount although his injury has probably blown that – maybe the Jan window.

    In meantime I hope JW has a great career

  46. TheRoyalArsehole

    So Lac & Abu are not in the opener for illness. I am so tired of these twats today! What happened to the real men who played this game. Peter Story where have you gone!

  47. Kris

    Eddie will go for about 15 M.
    Glad that we took 22M for Willock. Raptora said it best: “He will not be as good as Ramsey but he can easily become someone like Barkley and Lingard and that’s not bad at all.” (BTW Ramsey is on 187K/week, just in case better to say it again)
    Chambers has to go if Bellerin and Cedric both stay. 3rd choice RB and 3rd choice RCB in a year without Europe? Or is Cedric now a 3rd choice RB? In which case why are we not selling him (even if it’s for peanuts?)
    And what about AMN?

  48. DigitalBob

    All the best to Joe Willock, its a departure that’s a bit sour for me, I would have rather loaned him for another year. I don’t buy the whole his transfer fee would have reduced after this summer argument but anyway what’s done is done.

    Laca’s agent has come out and said no moves in the pipeline, so its likely Eddie and Flo Balogun will leave with the latter being a loan. That’s actually the preferable trio for me, having Auba, Laca and Tammy will keep all three on their toes.

  49. Tom

    Now that Willock is officially a Newcastle player the only question remains will he “celebrate “ the non celebratory style way when he inevitability scores against us, or will he run the length of the pitch after studs raking one of our player’s face?

  50. KAY Boss

    Some comments are really funny. The last time Arsenal won the golden boot was 2012 with RVP before Auba 2 seasons ago. Lost his form last season and suddenly he isn’t good enough to even be in the first XI.
    Wenger was always bastardised for playing with kids. Maybe Wenger needs an apology from some of us.

  51. KAY Boss

    Cedric, White, * Holding, Tierney
    Lokonga, Xhaka
    Pepe, ESR, Willian, Saka/ Martinelli

    *on Holding because I think he’ll be out when Gabriel is fully fit.
    William in because I fear Balogun if thrown in might make or break him. Saka I fear for early burn out. He’s been involve in too many games. Him and Martinelli don’t seem ready.

  52. Terraloon

    Now here’s one ES

    Have just read that Chelsea haven’t given Lukaku a squad number.

    Abraham is given the number 9 shirt .

    Does that mean that Chelsea are selling Lukaku?

    Of course not but they do go on to say that he will be given a number in due course which my brother , who told me about this, says that Lukaku will get the number 9 which means one of two things in his mind .
    1) Abraham will get another number ( would have already happened)
    2) Abraham is being used as cover this weekend so will either play or be on the bench byt will leave next week or if he is coming to Arsenal after next Friday

  53. Bertfish

    The recruitment has been horrendous!

    Also when does the first Amazon show air as that could be worth a watch!

  54. Spudnik

    What Ian Wright said : But for real though. It’s the opening game of the season and you can’t match the intensity?!!! You know for months what we gonna be up against! Pre-match I said we’d be happy with a draw! A draw!! That’s where we are! But to not even match them? Just passing sideways.. Pedro, you said this would be good. Are you happy?

  55. Moray

    Bertfish, it’s not till next year. They will follow the season to our relegation last game and then drop the whole thing at one time.