‘MINI-ARSENE’ (LONG READ)

by .

The title of this headline is exactly what is wrong at Arsenal FC. Nothing sums up the imbalance of power or the lack of leadership and vision quite like the flow of people telling you that this ‘Mini Arsene’ term is bandied around in the unkindest of ways.

Arsene Wenger was a monster of a leader for the first 14 years of his tenure. He controlled the club with an iron fist because he had deep battle scars and a tremendous body of victories under his belt. When David Dein left the club, he took control because he could, and the club wanted him to.

That was a dangerous model to embrace regardless of his talents. The power of ‘one man’ control is only good for as long as the talent is fresh. If the person has a decline in ideas or starts to lose the curiosity that drove them to success, your system fails, and usually… dictators surround themselves with sycophants, so you end up being the emperor with no clothes on, with no one to tell you your saggy backside in the kitchen is unacceptable.

Usually, good businesses learn and put systems in place to avoid history repeating. Lots of businesses don’t have succession plans, then a CEO dies, and all hell breaks loose. That mistake happens once. I suspect Steve Jobs death inspired a whole industry of consultants to help mega-corps with that issue. Countries elect flamboyant charismatic leaders who promise the world, then fail to deliver, so the next few times they opt for something far more boring and bureaucratic. Wall Street had a moment after Adam Neuman convinced the world his office rental firm was not a technology company worth £49b. Big tech stocks tanked, it was harder to raise capital, and the books were scrutinized for real numbers. There are always lessons to be learned… unless you are Arsenal FC.

No club makes more consistent mistakes in leadership than Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta is a persuasive man and transactional in the extreme. He is the Donald Trump of football management. That doesn’t mean he isn’t talented on the coaching field, despite what we’ve seen this season, most will tell you his ideas are compelling. The club knew Arteta was a pain when he was at Arsenal the first time around, he was aggressive and fought hard for his teammates and himself. I was very pointedly told at the time he was ‘a bit of a shit’ when he was a player, and there was a worry his nasty side would carry through.

Now, the player and the coach can be different. People can change and often do. Arsene Wenger in his book admits his authoritarian stage at Monaco softened in Japan as he learned to deal with different cultures. However, what you do with young leaders in big jobs is you surround them with an infrastructure that softens their sharp weaknesses.

There are some really simple things you can do in football and any business to make that transition easier and ensure the club always has control.

  1. Limit power to the specifics of the job. Arteta was hired as a coach, he should have remained a coach. ‘Manager’ should never have been put on the table. My last boss was obsessed with balancing the power of departments in our agency because if the power dynamic is off, bad decisions are made, morale is shaken, and the work suffers. It’s a simple notion, ‘do what you are good at/paid to do’ but we have all worked in businesses where others encroach on territory that is not theirs because it’s nice to have power. Just look at Don Raul thinking he knew better than Sven Mislintat. The better talent left, we are left with the wreckage of that departmental power imbalance.
  2. Create a simple hierarchy that empowers experienced leaders to manage, coach, and overrule if necessary. If you go for a young tyrant, you absolutely have to have an experienced Technical Director ruling over them. I tell this story every time: after Nagelsmann lost the Champions League semi with Leipzig, he jokingly complained he wanted an older profile of player, but ‘Ralph says no.’ The best young manager in the world was about 30 years old, to succeed, he needed a wiser head to tell him no and to work within the structure he had been given. Now that manager is at Bayern. Do you think he’d be at Bayern if he’d taken the job at Arsenal? No chance.
  3. Limit the hires and control the important ones to avoid echo chambers and fiefdom building. Someone tweeted a picture of about 62 (exaggeration) coaches coming out of the tunnel yesterday. A striking image. 62 people watched Arteta put Kolasinac into central defence and no one suggested an intervention. No one questioned a rejected players mental state, no one questioned his commitment, no one spoke about the implications for the fans, they just let it happen. The equivalent of seeing a plane engine on fire and assuming someone else will flag it. Young managers don’t know what’s best. Arsenal should have controlled who Arteta was allowed to hire and they should have brought in someone who had a reputation that wasn’t dependent on Arteta himself. What have we got now? A mix of journeymen and kids who are dependent. That’s how you get to sycophancy and a one voice top down culture. That’s not good in football or any business.
  4. Do as Netflix does. Build-in feedback loops. The basic premise of always-on feedback is that you create a culture of honesty. The quicker the feedback comes into you, the quicker you can rectify erroneous behavior. Has anyone sat down with Arteta and told him how his behaviour impacts players, staff, and fans? No one is born a good leader. You learn through experience. Hearing harsh truths is painful, but it allows you to grow. Does it look like Arteta is growing into the role, or regressing into something different?

If people are leaking against you and calling you a Mini-Arsene, it means you have too much power, with too little credit to back that power.

What does all of this tell you?

There’s no leadership at Arsenal. There are no consequences for failure, incoherrance, or wastage.

It is 100% clear that Vinai has no feel for the football side of things, no understanding when it comes to staff morale at Arsenal, and no guts for making tough decisions.

Let’s look at some of the decisions that have been made over the last two years.

Vinai fired 50 staff at Arsenal, pleading poverty. Then signed Willian for £250k a week. Then held back a few weeks until the story died down, then he sacked the club mascot. The story was so bad, Mesut Ozil ran with it to bury the club even harder.

Let’s talk about Willian. Vinai was at the club when we dished out a £350k a week contract for Mesut Ozil. He saw the decline in performance, he saw the fan angst over the deal, he saw the bottom line cost. Just as we were moving him out the door, what did he sign off on? Willian on £250k a week for 3 years. He did this deal with an agent that was toxicly involved in club affairs, had already started loading us up with shite players, and had ties to an exec we had moved on. In fact, I think the contract announcement was photographed at the house of the said agent.

He was also at the table when Arsene was fussing over the wattage of bulbs in the Arsenal canteen. He saw what an all-powerful coach could do to a club. So after it looked like he’d made a sharp decision with Arteta, what did he do? Let a 37-year-old launch a land grab for a promotion. He made Arteta the manager, then demoted Edu, and worse… he made Edu sit on his lawn and tell the world he was happy to be demoted.

What makes this even worse? He was basically co-CEO with Raul who ran the club so badly, he was fired 5 weeks into an audit by Tim Lewis. Vinai literally experienced the nightmare that is co-leadership, yet he bestowed it on the two most important people on the football side of things, after years of average structure.

Then we roll into this summer after our worst season in living memory… and what changed?

Nothing.

Arteta kept his coaching staff largely intact, despite big problems in the keeping department. He kept Edu in his job, despite overseeing a vast amount of wastage in the system. He didn’t change a single thing. We are in ‘let’s have another go’ territory.

Name a CEO at a major club that would operate that way? That is rudderless leadership.

Then let’s move onto the Technical Director. If I were him, I’d smell blood in the water with Arteta, I’d be in the press setting expectations, I’d be talking up the player recruitment vision, I’d be trying to connect with the fans.

What is he doing?

He’s spent the summer sharing his vacations like he’s a 22-year-old on a trust fund gap year.

People call this line of attack petty, but I guarantee you that those views never come from people that work in serious jobs where optics are important. When you ‘lead’ a department, how you are perceived with your customers is of the highest importance, especially in an industry where your customers are very emotional. Vacation snaps are for private, it’s bad judgement to be having fun when your club is burning. If you are going on a yacht trip, do not share pictures of the agent that lumped the club with Willian and Soares in the picture, and for god’s sake, do not share with the world that you are still in contact with a grim ex-exec that was sacked for grim things. BBQ post-Brentford? I mean, come on. This is the level of acumen we are dealing with, but my question, once again, is where is Vinai in all of this?

When I worked for an American agency, one of my pals I worked with slandered a jewellery brand at 9pm London time. The New York CEO shot her a text almost instantly and told her the jewellry brand was a client, to take it down, and to never do something so stupid again. You shouldn’t have to be told at Edu’s level, but the fact Vinai has no control over it tells a story.

Then you move onto Mikel Arteta. The concept of a young manager was an interesting one, but now, I have to accept, one that has failed miserably on many levels. The problem now is the metaphorical fuse has been lit, his rep with the fans is dead because of his arrogance, and let’s be real… the way he treats people has left a bitter taste in the mouth.

… but it didn’t need to be that way and good leadership could have averted the disaster unfolding now.

Just look at the behaviours that have been allowed to pass. The Brentford press conference was a disgrace and it set the tone for a dismal game. Win that, we’re 4 points off the top of the league after playing the two best teams. He sunk that game with his attitude.

Look at what happened at Manchester City. He rolled out a Kia right back who dropped a 40% pass completion rate and contribute almost nothing defensively a week after we saw him drop a stinker against Chelsea. He was allowed to galaxy brain the central defence with a player he has absolutely humiliated with average loan spells and a summer of ‘we would like you to do one’ talks over deal termination.

You earn the right to galaxy brain. He has not earned the right to do things like that. Where was his team? Where was the Technical Director? Where is Vinai now?

Mikel Arteta doesn’t have a feel for the fans and he doesn’t have a feel for people in general. But that’s ok, lots of talented people have weaknesses. But who is there to help him? Steve Round? Clearly not. If you or I were at the club we could explain to him how his decisions affect the fanbase.

If you are going to bomb Saliba off on loan without looking at him again, you have to be sure that Pablo Mari, a man who couldn’t get a deal in Europe before Brazil, is at the right level.

If we are going to lose the City game, you absolutely have to put a likeable team out there, because Soares is going to make distrust you even more. Kolasinac is a direct hit to your non-negotiables. Xhaka pining a midfield on his own despite the fans watching him struggle with speed for 5 years is going to be a problem.

No one is there to stop a tyrant from behaving like a brat, so he keeps on doing the same thing.

There is no more than 10 games to save this disaster of a season and if he gets the sack, it is more than deserved. But what I cannot emphasize enough is the silver bullet we are looking for does not exist in a system this broken. Great managers need controls, why do you think Conte never lasts more than 3 years? He tries to make a play for the steering wheel and he’s told no. BIg clubs need vision, structure, and someone who can make the big calls. Technical Directors need a level of maturity we lack, and if they have no power, why do you have one at all?

Big changes needs to happen. There needs to be consequences for the start to season we’ve had and how last season rolled out. But it can’t be token, it needs to be a change that has a strategic lens over it. What we have doesn’t work. What we have won’t work for anyone. If Wenger, Emery, Sven and Arteta can’t survive this system… no one can.

Before I leave, I want to point to some positives. We’re not in a relegation fight this season. We have not signed 6 bums this window. When our best players come back after the break, there will be a big improvement in the football. We’ll get a right back,  we’ll move on a bunch of players, and the spine of our team will repair. This squad is not a bag of mess, the right coach will take it to higher levels, the strategy of this summer might look odd now, but it was mostly done properly. You might read this line and say ‘but you just hammered the club’… yes, I did, a functional club goes so much deeper than the squad… 5 wins on the bounce won’t change the truth. Nor would 10. The club lacks leadership and until that’s fixed, we’ll always be searching for the silver bullet that doesn’t exist, and we’ll always feel like there’s no stability.

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856 Responses to “‘MINI-ARSENE’ (LONG READ)”

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  1. BacaryisGod

    It has got me wondering what exactly Edu does.

    Arteta is identifying the players he wants to buy, renew or sell/loan..
    Garlick is handling contract negotiations.

    Maybe Edu was on the yacht and having bbq parties because he doesn’t actually have much to do?

  2. Habesha Gooner

    Iliax Moriba and Marcel sabitzer both moving for 15 mil euros. Anguissa joining Napoli on loan with an option to buy. After seeing these prices 12 mil was a fair price for Xhaka. Still rolling up with Elneny for the new season is stupid when you see what we could have done with little money.

    Take anything for Nketiah too. We are getting nothing for him in 6 months. How are we this horrible at making decisions?

  3. Mr Serge

    Any player would be mad to move from us right now they can just stay and out live MA and see if the new manager wants them
    Like all the youngsters and Auba

  4. TR7

    Arsenal transfer window 2/10 for me, 2 points for Lokonga. It’s been a shit show otherwise. Worse than the transfer window in which we signed only Petr Cech.

  5. Jim+Furnell

    “Arteta never learned his lesson from the home game against Villareal. when he played a midfield of only Partey”

    He never learns any lessons, playing Cedric against Chelsea, he fucks up so play him again against City, meanwhile AMN warming the bench but had great game v City in the FA Cup semi. He watches Mari fuck up at Brentford and plays him v Chelsea, meanwhile Saliba is on loan.

    The best lesson Arteta can learn is that he needs to do a lot of learning before he’s good enough to manage the Arsenal.

    Bakayo often talks about being humble, and he is, Arteta is the opposite

  6. Champagne Charlie

    Arsenal’s transfer business has descended into a very familiar nonsense.

    Laca and Eddie entering their final year with us, 4 RB’s on the books, and just 1 outright sale this whole summer despite claims of an overhaul.

    Shambles. This summer was the acid text for Edu and he’s pissed it up the wall.

  7. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    So we have one player who tips up his contract ..
    Another who uses social media to demand he is released.

    And countless players winding down the contract or who want to be elsewhere..
    Leno
    Hector
    Auba
    Laca

    No please explain to me why arteta should remain as manager of this once fine club.

  8. MidwestGun

    Val-
    You could see it in there eyes for the first time… I noticed during the game. Players were giving up..so not surprised about rebellion rumors.. That pat on the back to Xhaka really bothered me.. Anyhow, As I said right after the match when that happens it’s over..same thing happened under Emery. I honestly don’t see the point in waiting another match or 5 or whatever. but this is what Arsenal do. Amazon must be absolutely thrilled. Probably Asked Auba if they can film his come to Jesus talk with the team.

  9. Mr Serge

    TR7August 30, 2021 18:31:47
    Arsenal transfer window 2/10 for me, 2 points for Lokonga. It’s been a shit show otherwise. Worse than the transfer window in which we signed only Petr Cech

    Lol nothing is worse than that one you have just forgotten how depressing that window was

  10. Dissenter

    CC
    “Shambles. This summer was the acid text for Edu and he’s pissed it up the wall.”

    You do know that Arteta has a co-equal status on all footballing matters so your statement should have read as “Shambles. This summer was the acid text for Edu [and Arterta] and he’s [They’ve] pissed it up the wall.

    It’s Edu and Arteta that messed it up mate

  11. Dissenter

    The international break came at the worst possible time for Arteta
    We would have been better off playing on Wednesday to get a chance to change the narrative, instead we all will look at that league table with Spurs on top with 9 points no goal conceded while we have zero points and nine goals conceded.

  12. Sid

    Now Diet Pep fanboys should sit back, let their backsides relax, then watch as Mertesacker steadies the ship until winter when we do some sensational transfers

  13. TR7

    “just 1 outright sale this whole summer despite claims of an overhaul.”

    Credit for the solitary outright sale goes to Willock himself, not A&E.

  14. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Also the failure to accept the sum offered for soppy bollocks xhara who then thanks the club in the first 3 games..

    Fans know it
    Players know it
    Xhara is the root of all problems

  15. Peckobill

    Deary me , on IMDb website ( for those who don’t know is sort of the go to place worldwide about films and Tv shows ) have this as their description of the upcoming all or nothing show

    In Amazon’s third instalment of “All-Or-Nothing”, we uncover the pathetic downfall of North London’s 2nd biggest club. No European Football, No faith, just vibes.”

    Shocking !!

  16. Dissenter

    Guns
    “Is there a plane with Arteta/ edu out banner??”

    Where you going to fly the banner?
    I’ll suggest over the Waggoner ranch in TX because the vast majority of people know what is going on. Right now, it’s an audience of one. that counts.

  17. Savage

    I really hope Real Madrid don’t sign Mbappe now, so that PSG won’t get the cash and get FFP justification. Let him leave for free and hurt their books.

  18. Sid

    Its difficult having co workers like Diet Pep, when Edu posted pics of himself on a boat, it was a clear message Diet Pep was on his own.

  19. Valentin

    Midwest,

    Now that Steve Bruce has revealed that Newcastle have bought Willock on installment, I don’t understand why his agent had not insisted on a loan with an obligation to buy if player agree. Payment would have been the same, but Willock would have kept the door open for a return after Arteta.

  20. Sly

    Emperor has lost the dressing room
    Who actually wants to play for this guy lol…aside from xhaka
    He’s decimated a first and second 11 including players he recruited

  21. Dissenter

    Midwest
    “Nah.. fly it over the LA Stadium… for the Rams season opener.”

    Ha, some of the Rams fans will probably think it’s a marriage proposal and look for the kiss-cam to zoom in.

  22. Guns of SF

    The one good thing I guess is demoting Edu and promoting mike means they get canned at the same time. If edu gets chopped and mike does not, then this would be unbelievable
    Well maybe it will be believable given what we have seen

    They need to go hand in hand outside and into the Uber we called for them… 2 hours to pack your shit and leave the office

  23. Paolo

    Guns of SF

    “Interesting how silent it is… I can only hope the search process has begun.. silently”

    I so hope this is reason for silence from Arsenal.com. I was fully expecting a vote of confidence statement in mike & his process by KSE after the Man City embarrassment.

    Mike’s player judgement is the biggest flaw of his tenure for me. If he could not see Pepe was a waste of space prior to taking the job then he should never have been given it. I would not have agreed to take job unless guarantees were made to sell certain players like Pepe & Xhaka.

    So many bad players were already here before he came but he has tried to win with these same bad players that have been a massive part of our decline. He seems as blind as Wenger was at his worst.

  24. Guns of SF

    Paolo,
    Much more than that. In every aspect of management, he has failed.
    There really is not one thing I can say he is good at.
    Parking the bus and hitting teams on the counter to the FA cup was one thing, but actually trying to play football, he has failed in. No steady line ups, tactics, in game management, the entire thing sucks. His formations are wrong and what is amazing is how much time and excuses he has benefited from.

    Calling it a project and a process is a smoke screen for accepting mediocrity

  25. MidwestGun

    Diss.-

    All I Know is it would definitely get covered massively here.. As the Rams splurged on a new QB and will be one of the big games covered. They are the prime time Sunday night game to open the season.
    Kroenke would have to explain what the hell it means.

  26. Guns of SF

    Serge you said that Aour staying? I think Aulas just playing up for more $$. He will sell if we come in with $$.

  27. Batistuta

    That seems to be the theme so going with the flow here.

    Going with the path that sees the TD out first before the manager

  28. Peckobill

    Mid
    Even if they did fly the banner there it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Stan when asked about it said “ I don’t even know what the hell an arteta is , josh know what an arteta is ? “

  29. Guns of SF

    Fabrizio Romano
    @FabrizioRomano
    ·
    1h
    Reiss Nelson from Arsenal to Feyenoord, done deal and here-we-go. He’ll be the new winger after Diallo move collapsed because of injury. Loan until June 2022, Nelson traveling – on his way to Holland now. White circleRed circle #AFC

    Nelson will sign a contract extension with Arsenal until 2023.

  30. Guns of SF

    Moriba to Leipzig.
    Like WTF, they lost Sabitzer and grab Moriba.
    The talent they are stock piling is sick…..

    We need to recruit the entire leadership team from Leipzig.
    Sheesh…

    They will sell for double or triple what they pay, they do it all the time.

  31. MidwestGun

    Peckobill – true.. it would at least be funny to see all the NFL commentators have to talk about “soccer though.. Maybe it would only amuse me.. But it would definitely get attention at least”.

  32. Mb

    You can’t really blame Maitland-Niles for that Instagram, can you?

    If as a player, being part of a FA cup win, playing in a position you are familiar with and still doing miles better than others – gets you on bench for half a season and a loan to a relegation team, would you not do that?

    Even if wanted to play the midfield, WBA loan stint showed it he can’t make it. So he accepts a Full Back role but the manager forgets the cup winning playing XI, and remembers when the other thing.

  33. salparadisenyc

    CC

    Well I salut him for getting the conversation rolling.

    Looks like Stan seen enough spend in this window and to be fair I would save whatever’s left for next crew as well.

    Best case we loan someone in.

  34. bacaryisgod

    Curious to find out when some of you flipped on Arteta.

    For me the date was December 6th, 2020 when Arteta pushed a clearly injured Partey back on to the pitch and then criticized him in a post-game interview. Clearly it was not a smart thing for Partey to do but Arteta made the situation so much worse. It was at that point that I totally flipped on him.

    What was your date, anyone?

  35. Raulishuss

    JESUS CHRIST!!! You guys are crazy lol. Amazon needs to come over here lol. Nobody beats val putting 2+2 to get 52 tho, what a jerk. Loves it when there’s chaos around the club that one. Just to say i told you so

  36. Champagne Charlie

    Sal

    Just read we were interested in Emerson who has now joined Spurs. Not sure if it’s true, but it makes perfect sense of how we’ve managed this window.

    Pedro mentioned a RB loan yesterday, can’t think who is a marked improvement and available to move like that. Seems more likely we’ll see AMN stay and get another roll. Same with Eddie, Laca, Kolasinac…

  37. Graham62

    Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Pepe is a waste of space.
    For me he is someone who could play a pivotal role in our progression.

    Arteta has, like so many other players, totally mismanaged him. Ignoring his £72m fee, he has so much to offer but sticking him out wide is not the answer. He needs to be given the freedom to roam. His effort at Brentford is where I like to see him, not camped out wide trying to make things happen.

    The Willian scenario didn’t help matters and I’m sure it must have been incredibly frustrating and demotivating for him. For some reason Arteta doesn’t see these things. What does he frigging see?!

    If your spending that much on a player at least show that you love him and trust in him.

    Arteta doesn’t have this in him, except when it comes to supporting the wrong players. Xhaka, Willian, Luiz, Leno being prime examples.

    That’s the lopsided way Arteta operates.

  38. Mb

    bacary

    Don’t remember the exact date and it was a series of events for me.

    Seeing Saliba play for under 23.
    Seeing Willian start every match when we had enough Wingers.
    & moving on Freddie – which was probably a graceful firing.

  39. Jim+Furnell

    Paulo – ‘So many bad players were already here before he came but he has tried to win with these same bad players’

    And he has added to the mediocrity – Willian, Cedric, Mari, Runarson, FFS,

    And he has neglected development – Martinelli, Balogun. Azeez, – ESR would be in limboland too if he had not played against Chelsea by total coincidence.

    I hope the media silence from AFC is a precursor to something big but I doubt it. Arteta will stink the place out until October/November. Then who will we hire? Brenda? would Conte come to this shit storm. Harry Potter? We need some middle eastern state to buy KSE out to compete with the adults in the prem, we’re kindergaaten fodder.

  40. Foxy

    If AmN wants to play right back a move to Everton under Benitez would be the best thing he can do. Benitez has even got Iwobi playing OK again.

  41. Graham62

    bacaryisgod

    That’s easy.

    Martinez/Leno scenario.

    Letting one of the best GK’s in the world go at the expense of a German glamour model.

  42. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    When arteta n edu go we will still have the dross of players .. also the new mob this shower have signed.

    But hoping we can call back saliba n Mattie at Xmas

  43. salparadisenyc

    CC

    When a player chooses Spurs over the Arsenal if thats the case w/ Royal have to think the rot is out there in the footballing ether. Arsenal needs to remedy this and remedy it in timely manner.

    BIG

    Villa in February put me on thee rope but Arsenal vs Liverpool early April was the dagger match.

    0-3

    First time club lost 12th premier league game in a season, Liverpool we’re on wretched form and we literally gave them the pitch.With entire first team available barring maybe ESR. End of match Klopp talking with Øde for long stretch and he looked like he wanted to change kits.

  44. Foxy

    Interesting to hear Mattie is playing well. I think his average form last year was more due to Hertha being relation fodder and playing over defensive which we all know is not his strength.

  45. TR7

    Overmars is accused in some quarters of signing old players and then failing to get rid of them. So not quite sure whether it’s a good thing to have him throwing his hat in the ring.

  46. Tom

    Bacary, no date, just a cumulative effect of his decisions and style played.
    Improving defense is great if done at no negative cost to offense but that wasn’t so.
    Making the whole team more defensive isn’t equal to improving the defense……people confuse the two.

  47. Champagne Charlie

    Sal

    Not only that, but with news that Bellerin is a potential option for Barcelona before the deadline it makes a mockery of our ability to structure deals that are begging to happen.

    Same situation with Tammy, who waited for us to formalise our interest before turning his back and accepting Roma. Now we’ve negotiated Palace out the Eddie deal and are left with another player entering his final year.

  48. Kroenkephobe

    BIG
    That away loss to Brighton (you know the game with the Bernie/Maupay/Guendouzi thing) got me started on the wrong side of him. I think that was at the end of the 19/20 season right? And by the time we lost to Southampton while defending the FA cup, I’d more than had enough and the die was cast.

  49. bacaryisgod

    So WIllian is getting paid a fee to leave but it will still save the club a lot of money over the two years. What a mess but at least he didn’t sit around collecting his salary like some.

  50. Tom

    No single Arteta decision should’ve been fatal in itself no matter how upsetting, but a few posters took time and effort to catalog them all and it was grim reading.

  51. Dissenter

    BacaryisGod
    Death by a thousand cuts for me but it started after
    -Olympiakos beat us at home before covid
    – signing Cedric on loan even though he was crocked , extending his contract and not playing him
    – SALIBA
    -Publicly talking about finding leakers
    -Guendouzi
    These were since the first month of last season, even when we beat United away I was too far gone.

    Too many cuts, too many scars

  52. Dissenter

    Foxy
    “Eddie staying may be a good thing for us with both Laca and Auba in Decline and Balogun to raw”

    He has less than 12 months left on his contract though so their have overplayed their hands. He will leave for free next summer.
    Wish they showed the same resolution when bidding for Ben White

  53. Mb

    Ah I totally missed on Guen.

    The only one who was frustrated that evening, the reaction was kinda wrong but then we are left with players who don’t even ask a referee what wrong they did to get a yellow.

    You only go to the extreme for something if you love it. That kid could have been anything we wanted – so we treated him and sold him.

  54. Receding Hairline

    Will be very difficult for any technical director to do his job if the manager falls out with a new player every other week.

    Imagine you are Edu and your coach tells you he wants Kolasinac gone and you are working on it, then come match day against City he puts same player at center back after deciding Mari who he asked you to give a long term deal was not good enough for that game.

    Spare a thought for the boat man

  55. salparadisenyc

    TR7
    “So not quite sure whether it’s a good thing to have him throwing his hat in the ring.”

    You must fancy someone pretty special to take on that roll, i’d say please come home and give Erik Ten Hag a call upon arrival.

    That Ajax 2019 side which Overmars is in process of rebuilding after getting gutted tells a pretty different story.

    One can afford to keep Tadic or Blind around to balance out an under 23 core thats sold off.

    Ziyech £35m
    De Jong £75m
    De Light £68m
    Van de Beek £40m
    Dolberg £18m

  56. Dissenter

    Oh gawd, we have even mentioned signing the worst goal keeper in Ligue un, 3rg goalie of Dijon to replace Martinez
    Putting the horrible keeper on about 40k weekly [up from his 3000 euros/wk wages

    Anyone can make mistakes, i get that but there ought to have been accountability
    The same goal keeping manager that drove the cronyism signing is still calling the shots

    Runnarsson is so bad no one will take him off our hands. The Turkish minnow invited him and pulled out of his loan move.

  57. Paolo

    Choosing Leno over Emi, I think that was probably the moment I lost any faith in mike & edu.

    It was clear to see Emi was a better keeper than Leno for so so many reason’s. He did not put a foot wrong & was a commanding presence at the back we haven’t had since Jens.

    The correct & brave decision would have been to give Emi the No.1 shirt & sell on Leno.

    Mike & AFC were basically a laughing stock from that point onwards as everyone else in football including Messi could see what a great keeper & character Emi was.

  58. Peckobill

    Bac
    Yep for me it came in instalments as well , small things first gave a character into the man like the guen Brighton episode , it’s not even about the player more an insight that arteta wanted a group of players to show no passion or fight or any emotion in his players and all be good little subordinates ( probably links it to some psycho babble or another ) and boy does it show in our football .

    The overplaying of willian when it was clear he was bang out of form , remember being half way through the season and all giving a reflecting groan when we saw his name on the team sheet . That decision was made purely on the basis of his reputation after pushing for willian so hard and he put what’s best for team secondary to that . Knew the man was a snake from that moment .

    The bad run upto December was the point of no return for me as his complete lack of coaching ability was laid to bare with game after game of not providing a chance for his forwards . I knew from then he would never be able to coach a decent attack .

  59. Graham62

    Paolo

    I agree.

    Some on here though said “Martinez wanted to leave”

    He wanted to be the official #1 and he knew, as we all knew, he was a better keeper than Leno.

    By the way he still is.

    Another excuse was “Yeah but it was during Covid and there were no crowds”

    What a load of poppycock!

    I’d tell Arteta to his face, “ You know what, by letting Martinez go you disrupted the whole dynamics of the team”

    All his teammates also knew he was a far better keeper.

    Why should we be surprised about Xhaka when he can’t spot the difference between average and excellent players.

    Arteta is an embarrassment to us all.

  60. MidwestGun

    BIG_

    Losing to Emery … playing a false 9.. in the Europa. So April of last year. That was enough for me.

    Emery told Teta to hold his beer and schooled him. Knew it was all down-hill from there. Small hope we would have a transfer window to end all transfer windows.. based on ESL debacle.. I should have known better, Realistically we should have started transfer window with new manager. I think that was fairly obvious at that time in May.

  61. TR7

    “.Ziyech £35m
    De Jong £75m
    De Light £68m
    Van de Beek £40m”

    2 of them were products of famous Ajax academy. One of them used to play for a club where Overmars started his career in a way. Ziyech handed in a transfer request to move to Ajax from FC Twente. Not conclusively suggesting anything but one can argue Overmars benefitted from working at the biggest club in Netherland known for producing or attracting young talents.

  62. bacaryisgod

    Midwest

    That false 9 was a huge moment, for sure.,

    I just can’t wrap my head around the financial dealings of the club.

    1. Covid arrives and Arsenal go on a massive cost-cutting exercise getting Arteta to lead the charge with wage cuts and then after the players mostly went along they went and laid off 55 staff anyway.

    2. Instead of letting Leno and Martinez fight it out for the #1 jersey (both had multiple years on their contracts remaining). we sell Martinez and that fee may or may not have been earmarked towards the 40m + Partey transfer.

    3. We get caught up in the ESL disaster with one of the justifications being that we wanted to secure the financial future of the club. It falls apart under fan and media pressure.

    4. Still suffering financially from Covid and reduced revenues, we go ahead and spend 130m (110m net approx) to date. With the ESL and continuing losses from Covid over the last 18 months, why did we all of a sudden have over 100m to splurge on new players when we were so in need of about 16-20m last summer that we got rid of a hugely popular and talented keeper?

  63. Mr Serge

    PeckobillAugust 30, 2021 18:44:50
    Deary me , on IMDb website ( for those who don’t know is sort of the go to place worldwide about films and Tv shows ) have this as their description of the upcoming all or nothing show

    In Amazon’s third instalment of “All-Or-Nothing”, we uncover the pathetic downfall of North London’s 2nd biggest club. No European Football, No faith, just vibes.”Shocking !

    That’s also not right if you go to IMDb and look it’s just posted by spurs fans that way on Twitter and insta

  64. Jonnygunner

    TR7August 30, 2021 19:44:33
    If Elneny leaves then during Afcon we will be left with only two CMs (Xhaka and Lokonga).

    Even if he stays we’re only left with 2 CM’s….Elneny is that bad.

  65. Gentlebris

    To care about the sporting success of a club is not just about throwing money away, it’s about an intense demand for accountability. Imagine for a moment what Chelsea would do if they were rock bottom with zero points and zero goals after three EPL games. And that’s why they have come out of our historical shadows to grab two CL honours.

    If Arsenal had an owner who would sit on his fanny and do nothing after going three EPL games without scoring a goal and conceding nine in the process, then it didn’t matter who you brought as coach or director of football, it would be the same shit show.

    You don’t get results from your employees if you don’t intensely demand for it, and you can be sure Kroenke has no such demands as touching sporting success at The Arsenal.

  66. Sly

    Curious to find out when some of you flipped on Arteta.

    Games After the FA cup win
    When I found out this guy was a one trick pony
    Defend en masse and counter on the left
    Beyond that nothing else Besides the litany of flaws
    He’s floundering not due to a lack of players or the wrong kind but due to a lack of basic coaching skills

  67. Mee

    Was never enamoured by Arteta because he had no experience. Arsenal is the record FA cup holder ffs. Remember when he was asked about the Barca job and spoke about how there will always be those links like he was an Iniesta type figure. That was it for me

  68. Graham62

    Although I realise that loaning out players is key for all clubs at this moment in time, even if Covid hadn’t materialised, Arsenal would still not be able to sell players because they give average players far too much money.

    Only at Arsenal.