by .

The theme of the moment at Arsenal is the lack of leadership and how every time there’s a tough decision, we seem to shirk it. The greatest example of this was the Arteta land grab after he won the FA Cup, the project went downhill when he was given too much responsibility that he hadn’t earned. He was given control to buy players like Willian, when he should have been slapped down. He made personnel decisions that led to him surrounding himself with a lot of average people that don’t challenge him. He fell out with players, and we held faith that any arguments were in the name of fixing the busted culture we had.

Well, a year on from that decision and things are looking pretty bad, but you know what, you can kind of see why the club might have thought promoting Arteta was a good idea. Watching Edu’s behaviour on social media this summer has been a real eye-opener. If you want to get on top of how tightly a club is run, watch for the details. Which other football exec around Europe is posting his holiday snaps on a public IG feed? Which other exec, after being accurately accused of signing duff players from his super-agent pal, would post pictures of said agent on a boat with him? What sort of person would also share a boat with someone that exited Arsenal under a dark cloud of scandal? Even this weekend, after the mess of a squad he’s put together lost in humiliating fashion, he’s back on his social feeds posting pictures of himself at a BBQ.

That is a lack of control at a leadership level. Once, you can forgive, but we’re at the point where this is a pattern. Edu must know how these things are perceived because his son mentioned it in an interview, but he’s still doing it. I have little expectation that Vinai would say anything, but where is Tim Lewis on this, the ‘adult’ in the room looking after things?

Football is about the details and these things that feel insignificant actually speak to a bigger problem… because at a club run effectively, that behaviour would be snuffed out immediately, especially for a staffer that is underperforming like he is.

To make matters worse, the club has apparently put the finishing touches on a new 5 year deal for Granit Xhaka. Now, I have little problem with the player, he’s decent, he’s a professional, and the performances he’s given us have been good. However, I can’t for the life of me understand what value we are protecting here. He’s at the backend of 28, he’s just had a massive performance at the Euros, and no one came in for his signature. So we’ve tied him down until he’s 34? He already struggles with the pace of the league, did we not have a little more leverage to add a year to his deal? Will we ever stop tying down older players to long-term deals?

CORRECTION: Deal runs to 2024 with the option of 1 more year. Point still remains, are we really protecting value of a player we can’t sell at 28 years old after a banger of a Euros?

Then we get to this goalkeeping issue. We have a child as our backup keeper right now. Our main interest this summer is a £30m keeper that has all the hallmarks of Richard Wright. Namely, he looks decent getting 50 shots powered at him every day, but what does that tell you about suitability in a system where you’ll be dealing with 3 decent shots a game? We don’t have much money as it is, we’ve not added a single creative player to the system, we’re down a striker, a right-back, and a CAM… are we really going to blow that much money on a keeper no one can suss? I can trust the signings of Sambi Lokonga and Ben White because most people smarter than me ran the numbers and said they were good. What the f*ck are our analysts looking at with Aaron Ramsdale to indicate that he is £30m worth of talent in a deflated market that has Onana going for £10m?

Again, this comes back to a leadership issue. How do transfers get done at Arsenal? Who knows. I can see a straight line with Lokonga, White, and Gabriel. But that same system, or process, gave us Cedric, Willian, and Pablo Mari. My guess is there is no system, because let’s be honest, if there’s no operational structure that makes sense, why would there be a transfer process that does? Edu and Arteta are clearly on bad terms, so they’re fighting it out out in the media. It’s embarrassing, but who couldn’t have predicted that at the time when Edu was made to sit on a deck chair and tell the world he liked being cauterised in public?

The more I write about this, the clearer it is to me that the only way we get out of this mess is a restart. This is the 3rd/4th reboot we’ve had at Arsenal. Each one starts with a good idea that we can’t execute properly. We tried the Sven Mislintat approach, but let Raul encroach on the deals. We tried the Raul approach, a man of no football expertise, and he f*cked it. Then we let Edu loose, and he splurged on his mates ‘very nice deals.’ Now what are we trying? What data points led to a Xhaka 5 year deal? Who presented that idea? How did so many people agree to that after he received zero significant bids at the peak of his powers, we should make it more impossible to move him on?

None of it makes sense.

You have to reboot Arsenal with a sale. Because what we have now, unfortunately, is what we are always going to have. Rich owners, that aren’t focused, empowering people of convenience to drive their second biggest asset forward. It’s embarrassing.

Ivan G leaves? Put two CEOs in charge. A wet decision but a convenient one.

Technical Director called Diamond Eyes complains about one of the CEOs not being right? Exit him from the business and trust the non-footballing guy to guide us with his ‘contacts’ approach.

Watch that fail, let said failure hire a Technical Director that has a super-agent repping him because that is not an odd move.

Bring in a family lawyer to check out the CEO Sven warned about.

More dominant CEO gets fired. How can we fix this lack of leadership? Promote the CEO that stood by and let all the nonsense happen. Why? Convenient.

Also… keep the Technical Director that was at the table for all those deals because he’s definitely got what it takes and there’s nothing odd about his signings.


Read those points and weep. KSE doesn’t know how to fix Arsenal. They are throwing money into a pit over and over again and things just get worse.

We are at the point now where the best thing for Arsenal would be a sale. Give the club to Daniel Ek, let him burn the place to the ground, hire up specialists in every position, and rebuild the club the proper way.

It’s a pipedream though, this is our lot in life, and it seems the only way we’re going to get a solve is if we land on one by accident.

I promise, I’ll get back on the hype train tomorrow, but the reality is… even 5 wins in a row won’t mask the errors at our club. We are badly run, the structure is a mess, we are not built to succeed.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Tee

    “SidAugust 18, 2021 17:47:46
    You do realize we finished higher in EPL with Iwobi on the right than with Odegaard in the team?
    The club that signed Iwobi also finished in a better position than Arsenal”

    Lol. Sid on the hemp again

  2. WengerEagle


    De Paul was brilliant in the tourney, was number one before the summer on my CAM wishlist. Atletico have snagged an absolute bargain there paying just 30m for him.

    Completely disagree on the ST situation, 4 directly competing is a terrible use of resources as 3 of them would constantly be benched or not even make the squad. Out of the three of them only Martinelli is capable of playing wide and even at that, he is much better through the middle.

    We only need 3 max this season with no European football. I would sell Eddie and one of Auba or Laca.

  3. salparadisenyc


    In the end time will tell, for this moment Arsenal need to effect the starting XI as much as possible.
    Selling Willock right move based on that.

    Shame is when you look at list of incomers with the £140m spend its pretty underwhelming overall and thats on Edu and Arteta. With whats available in this market and financial state of some, there was a huge opportunity for upgrade based on that I think they’ve bottled it overall.

  4. Avi


    Nothing in it really between the Spuds and Us in terms of squad quality but don’t underestimate the difference a half quality manager can make to any team

    I’m happy they got Nuno who has a limited ceiling ad they could have really left us in their wake if they hired Conte

    Highly doubt it but if we land Zidane or Conte even you will see we’ve got some squad with elite potential waiting to blow.. I’ll even take Potter from Brighton..This club just need someone with an idea of how to set up a team to attack really.

  5. WengerEagle

    I don’t for one minute Avi, I think that we could easily be more than the sum of our parts with an actual competent gaffer.

    I was also relieved that they got Nuno instead of Conte or Lopetegui. He’s a solid gaffer that will come in and stabilise them post-Mourinho implosion but as you say he’s limited in how far he can take them. He’s also not big enough to sway Kane into staying, that one is completely out of his hands now.

  6. TR7

    Bissouma, Bruno, Auoar, Maddison, Buendia, Anguissa – 6 midfielders who would have jumped at an opportunity to join Arsenal. For the money we spent this summer we could have picked at least 2 or possibly even 3 of them.

  7. CG


    ”””””Shame is when you look at list of incomers with the £140m spend its pretty underwhelming””””’

    £140 000 000 spent and can anyone say- there are more goals in the side?

    Ramsdale, White, Odegaard, Lokonga?, Tavares.

  8. WengerEagle


    Put it on here yesterday but something like this would have transformed us:

    -Lokonga: 17m
    – Tavares: 8m
    – Aouar: 30m
    – Anguissa: 30m
    -Mazraoui: 20m
    – Cunha: 35m
    – Onana: 10m

  9. Avi


    Honestly I’ll be gobsmacked if Kane doesn’t make the City move at this stage, Levi is just posturing, did same shit with Bale all summer only to sell him on deadline day

    I’m not sure about whatever Arsenal’s target is this season but I’m very sure we won’t get top 6 if Arteta isn’t sacked before winter.

    We don’t just score enough to really bother the top clubs or make a push fot Europe places which is ironic because Arsenal as it were under Wenger was known for its attacking prowess and scored goals for fun.

  10. TR7


    I don’t know much about Mazraoui but a solid list there. Cunha apparently is drawing interest from Atletico Madrid.

    I don’t think we could have asked for a better transfer window to transform our team. So many quality players available at decent valuation. What is more frustrating is we surprisingly decided to spend some good money but all that we have ended up with is replacing Luiz with White and Ceballos with Lokonga. Everything else just the same as last season.

  11. Pierre

    “Willock played in 40 premier league matches for Arsenal scoring 1 goal.”

    How about willock started 12 league games for Arsenal in 3 years.

    How about willock has started a total of 23 league games fornArsenalnand Newcastle and scored 9 goals……

  12. G

    Happy with ode.. he’s gona be so much better then when he was with us last season.. think his loan spell looking back will be invaluable to us in his second spell
    Happy with other 3 signings we’ve made as well.. problem is need another three and that ain’t happening in this window

  13. salparadisenyc


    So many options out there to elevate this side, mental for me we started the window with a £50m center back singing.

    If your sitting here with 2x weeks left having addressed the more pressing areas which for me would be MF, full backs and keeper then pull trigger on White or keep it dry to have option on looking into attack and maybe utilising it there then fair fucking play.

    But to open that gate with that, was like tying a lead ball around the summer and kicking it over the bow.


    How about you take this one on the chin, selling Willock was smart play. On Edu and Arteta to utilise that to maximum. I’d say same about Eddie but you may start cutting chicken heads off and throwing bad vooodoo my way so i’ll safe it. Besides he’s injured himself out of this market.

  14. Jonnygunner

    Happy with ode.. he’s gona be so much better then when he was with us last season.. think his loan spell looking back will be invaluable to us in his second spell
    Happy with other 3 signings we’ve made as well.. problem is need another three and that ain’t happening in this window
    You just never know…

  15. Mr Serge

    DannyAugust 18, 2021 17:37:45
    Spurs are weaker without Kane
    Didn’t appear that way the other day against the champions

    They played well one. Game big deal
    Fuck em

  16. MD-Gunner

    First Manager to be sacked – Betfair odds Mikel Arteta Evens. At season’s start he was 16:1

    Players agree to move to clubs for different reasons but not necessarily in this order.
    1. Club is competing for trophies
    2. Club plays European football
    3. Club offers High wages
    4. Club has a top class manager that increases the skill of a player.
    5. Club has a global audience.

    Could Locatelli have come to Arsenal most likely if there was a top class manager and the wages were right. Wenger could attract players without offering European football or compete for trophies. Arsenal has perhaps point 3 and 5 of the list but also has a manager that pushes players away. The only way out to attract players that help Arsenal to climb in the table is getting rid of Dumb & Dumber.

  17. Mee

    What did Ode do that was so special during his loan spell? Ancelotti as much as admitted that he was probably signed by RM because of the Norwegian fan base. Ruthlessness means that if someone comes to your club on loan and has a meh time, your done with them. Ancelotti and Zidane know their stuff and I will take their judgement all day over some egomaniac who rates the likes of Mustafi and Runarson and a party animal. There are too many similarities between Ode and Xhaka if you look closely just hope he is not as clingy!

  18. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    It’s just typical arsenal…
    Announce ode… But also xhara same week…

    Xhara will make the season stink.

  19. Guns of SF

    Id take Willock if I had to pick.
    Every game he gets at least one good chance right in front of goal. that is not luck.. that was good timing, reading the game.
    His shots would miss most of the time but that is another issue.

    Ode is a recylcer… and now he and pepe are going to do a million little passes to each other… on the right side.

    We do need a CAM who can look at Mike barking on the sidelines… stare him in the eye and totally improvise and ignore the barking dog….

    Someone who can take individual skill ( hello Aouar) and break the lines… score, assist.

    Ideally a Bruno Fernandes clone would be who I want… someone who is so brilliant, you just let them lose and they make things happen

  20. Almuniasaynomore

    You are more than welcome. I hope your family are well again. What type of writing do you do if you don’t mind me asking?
    There’s a divil in you as we say over here. There’s people disappearing here like Stalin’s Russia. No word from Bob or Andy for a long time,hope you lads are fine. Here’s one for you, top bond film, you can only name 1. We’ve done the actors so may aswell do the films. Tough ask naming only 1,ok changed my mind, name 2, 1 pre 1990, one post.

  21. Guns of SF

    “Ancelotti and Zidane know their stuff and I will take their judgement all day over some egomaniac who rates the likes of Mustafi and Runarson and a party animal.”

    well said!

  22. Mr Serge

    I thought ode had a good loan spell he keeps the ball well we need that with the dross we have in midfield he is an upgrade either way you look at it

  23. Guns of SF

    RM are masters of knowing who will make it or not.
    Been doing this for generations.
    They have this down to a science almost.

    Be aware when RM lets a player go, most of the time… they are correct.

    How many have gone onto higher and better things since leaving RM?

  24. Bigper

    Odegaard is the epitome of an Arsenal player over the last 10 years, decent player, tidy on the ball with the occasional special performance, but ultimately just a bit of a nothing player that adds very little over the course of a season to make real, consistent improvements to the level of the team.

  25. raptora

    Ornstein: 🚨 Arsenal on verge of agreement with Sheff Utd to sign Aaron Ramsdale. £24m + £6m in add-ons (only likely to apply if/when 23yo is established 1st choice). #SHU initially wanted £40m. Proposed deal 4yrs + 1 option. Not in squad vs #WBA @TheAthleticUK #AFC

  26. Mr Serge

    RAMSDALE will be announced later he is the ,6tb most expensive keeper of all time ffs

    Is that a joke or what

  27. Frost

    Can someone tell me why exactly we signing ramsdale?

    Have to say, I’m struggling to understand this one, considering our style of play, he is one of the oddest & most confusing signings I’ve ever seen. He’s not known to be good enough with his feet, a problem Leno has & rookie had him as his top goalkeeping target this summer? For £25-30m too? With a clear first choice Onana who is better than him btw in all departments available for less than half of that?

    Clearly what happens when you give the keys to a rookie, no plan.

  28. Mr Serge

    AlmuniasaynomoreAugust 18, 2021 19:03:11
    For the record mine are Goldfinger 64? and Casino Royale 06

    Mine are live and let die and casino royale

  29. Mee

    Most of us would be over the moon if Zidane became our new manager. So why the hell would you minimize those chances by getting Odegaard who Zidane does not rate. You can’t attract top level managers if you keep loading your team with shit players whose skillset is shrouded in mystery and football jargon.

    Let’s keep it simple and stop thinking we know better than the likes of Roma, RM, Aston villa and Dijon or wherever Runarson came from. If they say he is shit, he is. Arsenal is not where players suddenly discover hidden talent in fact, they seem to lose their skills so we have to give them away.

  30. Graham62

    Top coaches look at all facets of the team at his disposal and act to improve and develop things.
    Based on this very simple coaching principle, why is it that Arteta has not acted appropriately when it comes to our GK situation?
    Why are we witnessing the same basic mistakes week in week out with Leno and yet nothing is ever done to eradicate these glaring deficiencies in his game.. We all see his weaknesses and dysfunctional methods when it comes to controlling his area, so why doesn’t Arteta.

    Getting in a top keeper is of paramount importance if we are going to move forward. Is Aaron Ramsdale the answer? I’m not so sure. What I do know though is that Arteta has had more than enough chances to sort out our GK problems but he’s ###### it up each time- Martinez, Leno, Runarsson, Ryan.

    How can we trust in someone who doesn’t act on the obvious?

  31. Frost

    Having said that I like that 9x out of 10 if the ball is close to the lad, he’s saving it.

    His all round play & how he fits into arsenal is a head scratcher.

  32. MD-Gunner

    Take comfort the bookies have Arteta on even odds to be the first manager to be fired no one else is close. Could happen in September after a run of miserable results.

  33. Mee

    See now we are about to sign a goalkeeper who has been in two relegated sides recently. Then we are going to look surprised when we are fighting relegation ourselves. This is probably the worst Transfer window any club has had since the EPL began. Spending money to significantly weaken the team. It’s a death race for the bottom. Even the marquee CB signing can’t play CB. So what happens if a new coach who doesn’t favor the three at the back comes in?

  34. TR7

    Unless Arteta is a secret agent of Daniel Ek hell bent on pushing Kroenke out of Arsenal, nothing explains absolutely bizzare decisions made by him in this transfer window.

  35. Mr Serge

    MeeAugust 18, 2021 19:19:45
    See now we are about to sign a goalkeeper who has been in two relegated sides recently. Then we are going to look surprised when we are fighting relegation ourselves. This is probably the worst Transfer window any club has had since the EPL began. Spending money to significantly weaken the team. It’s a death race for the bottom. Even the marquee CB signing can’t play CB. So what happens if a new coach who doesn’t favor the three at the back comes in?

    Slight overreaction there how can it be worse than the one where we only bought cech ?

    Or spurs one when they bought nobody ?
    Lol 🤣

  36. MD-Gunner

    With the money sp*ds have and their new DOF doing some smart signings plus Nuno > Arteta here is an early prediction, there will be no Saint Totteringham’s day for the 2021/2022 season.

  37. raptora

    Serge, I’ve no idea what’s going on.

    No club in the world pays £30m for a reserve GK. Chelsea have Kepa but he was bought to be their starting GK.

    Everything points to selling Leno who mind you has a contract up till the Summer of 2023:

    – Leno isn’t happy at Arsenal – sell Leno
    – Arsenal think they could do better than Leno – sell Leno
    – Investing a sizeable chunk of our budget on a keeper when our team looks weak in a couple of other positions would only make sense if we – sell Leno

    Couple of things that make me think we’ll have 2 number 1s:

    – clauses in Ramsdale’s contract kick in only when becomes a starter
    – Ramsdale is probably seen as someone that needs another year under his belt but might not be as attainable next year and they consider the timing to be right this year
    – no preseason to learn the ropes of the highly exquisite Artetaball

  38. Mee

    Cech didn’t relegate two teams. And buying nobody is better than buying a CB who can’t play CB, a mid who people with better judgement dismiss and a GK who has been relegated twice especially if you still get spanked by minnows.

  39. Graham62

    Ramsdale for £24m, Ryan on a free!………
    Ramsdale for £24m, Ryan on a free!!

    I know, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

    Ryan is better than Ramsdale and better than Leno.

    Crazy situation.

  40. Mark

    Might as well call it £30m for Ramsdale cos he’s obviously going to replace Leno. That’s still a lot of money and I feel we’ve overpaid again.

    ‘Just don’t do anything that’s smart’, is their motto.

  41. TR7

    Lucas Torreira wanted to play for Arsenal this season but was informed that he’s not in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

    🇮🇹 As previously reported, Italy remains his most likely destination with Roma & Lazio both expressing interest

    Yet another wrong decision

  42. Wengaball

    Is Odegaard as good as any of Cesc, Santi, Li’l Mozart, Nasri, Arshavin, Ramsey or even Wishere?

    I will not commit the blasphemy of adding DB10 to that list.

    If he is not comparable to those, what is there to get excited about?