CUP GAMES MIGHT NOT BE FOR THE KIDS + ARTETA COMMUNICATIONS SHIFT

by .

I spent last week back in England after two years out of the game due to the pandemic. Honestly, it was so good to be back. I knew it had been too long because I was oddly enamoured with people’s accents. I loved the little things, like not being able to get a haircut until after 3pm on a Saturday, or being strong-armed into destruction drinking by nearly everyone. I honestly can’t wait to be back at Christmas and take a few games in. I miss London man, I’m in pieces at my desk this morning stroking a box of PG Tips whispering ‘alright you facking melt’ quietly to myself.

The other nice thing about the trip? I am something of a good luck charm for Arteta’s career. He won his first game with my presence and he just pulled himself partially out of a hole this weekend.

I went back over his interviews. I don’t know what the ground zero situation looked like over the past two weeks, but it felt to me like some people at the club sat down with him and had a proper conversation. I might just be projecting what I’d liked to have happened.

Notable things:

Vibes: His demeanour was very different before the game. He’s back to selling a future we can buy into. There was no moping or feeling sorry for himself. There were no excuses, no disgruntlement at what had gone on, just a laser focus on clearly communicating with the fans what the plan is moving forward.

Content: I think his content has improved over the past couple of weeks. The main message I was getting from his pressers is that he’s happy with the talent, but more than that, he’s happy with the new characteristics of his squad. I’ve found that interesting. When he spoke of his new players, he spoke of their personality traits. Tomi was ‘all smiles with a desire to play’, Sambi Lokonga ‘was desperate to play despite a knock’, and Aaron Ramsdale ‘is a great energy, something different.’ 

Happy family: I think Arteta also went to great lengths to thank the wider staff for getting him through it. Moving up to manager can cloud your ego, we’ve all been there, you make director and you think you’re a GOD of the internet at first. Arteta is not a god, so throwing his weight around in August in press conferences like peak-Jose wouldn’t have gone down well. It read to me like maybe he’d been force-fed a bit of humble pie because he was very keen to stress that everyone had mucked in.

Have you ever seen those memes on the internet where there’s a bear hugging a dog with a caption like “This bear loves the dog” then an animal expert writes underneath “this is a dog tied to a bowl, the bear is about it eat him.” That could be me with these hack observations. They might not be true, but whatever went on, one thing is for sure: the players didn’t down tools on him. Sure, it wasn’t an A+ performance for the ages, but you could see the specifics of what we were trying to do. I thought we were very aggressive for most of the game, our players pressed far harder than they usually do, and our overall play was far more unpredictable. Ben White creates chances, has great passing, and uses his runs to create overloads. Sambi Lokonga, quite simply, is not Dani Ceballos. Tomiyasu gives us height defending longballs, he gives us an option outwide, and he can actually right back. Ramsdale can pass so playing out the back looks good. It didn’t work as a piece of art, but at the very least, you could see the component parts and how they’ll make us better.

Some of the criticism after the game did make for painful reading. People position themselves as elite analysts of the futbol but fail to understand that we’re putting humans out on the pitch. You put a bunch of people together in a new office and it takes a while to get going, it’s the same with footballers. Arteta gifted 4 players home debuts, only one of our back 5 remained the same from the previous two games, we started a brand new keeper, we ran a midfield pairing that had never played together, and we did that all in the first game after the international break.

I know we’re all dying for a blowout here, but once again, we have to accept that it’s going to take a bit of time to start firing on all cylinders.

The good news? 

  1. We don’t have European football so the players can spend more time on the training ground
  2. We have specificity in the important positions, so if we can keep players fit, we’ll have a system that works
  3. We’ve played the two best teams in the country right now

I suspect the club will have a lot of attention on Spurs, who have been shite this season, because that’s an Arteta Cup Final. It’ll be very interesting to see what he does against Wimbledon this week in the league cup. For me, it’s not a rest day, it’s a ‘let’s work each other out’ game. It’s a practice game with a trophy attached to it. Certain players shouldn’t be risked, like Saka, Auba and ESR, but I’d really like to see a strong team out there so we can get some minutes in the legs.

This idea does run into challenges though. We have all these fantastic kids looking for minutes. Folarin Balogun scored for the U23s at the weekend. We’re all watching the Patino hype videos. These players need experience as well. There’s a balance… but the most important thing at the moment is the development of the first team and for the players to get to full match fitness.

I’m weirdly looking forward to the away day at Burnley. It’ll be a roughhouse game and I want to see how this new defence stands up to a thug 90 minutes. I think we have more than enough to dispatch them and I really hope they can be the team we find our edge against.

Right, that’s me done for the day, see you in the comments… and please watch the videos below.

SPOTIFY | GOOGLEIHEART

533 Responses to “CUP GAMES MIGHT NOT BE FOR THE KIDS + ARTETA COMMUNICATIONS SHIFT”

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  1. Foxy

    We have not really had a right back who can defend since Sagna, so Tommi can only be a big improvement to our defence on that side.

  2. Madhu

    Regarding Spurs , let’s clean our own house before throwing stones on others please. Sports always teaches you to respect your opponents. Lest we forget that. Let’s get beyond them in the table before we start casting aspersions.

  3. Valentin

    Madhu,

    Agreed.
    Let’s make sure that we won the NLD, before we start laughing at them. The best trash talk we can make is by smashing them on the pitch.
    I am not so sure that Arsenal would have fared much better against a motivated Crystal Palace had we missed as many important players as Spurs did.
    Crystal Palace seems to have a few talented, hungry players and PV4 is letting them express themselves.

  4. Berg10kamp

    What was good to see is the over the top balls from odegaard. Something we sorely missed since peak ozil. Just need to work on playing those same splitting balls on the ground as they would be more effective for Auba. Tomi was great and looks a good player. We should be starting partey and sambi in the next game. Depending on what we need it will be a coin between esr and odegaard and at some points esr on the left. Team will be rocking if we hit form and everyone gives 110%

  5. Madhu

    Good pod guys love listening to you. I hear you guys, Arsecast and Arsenal Vision as my share of Arsenal pods.
    Valentin – I think we missed a trick on Edourd. Let’s hope Viera shows his managerial skills and can take over Arsenal sometime.

  6. Kroenkephobe

    I’d be inclined to reserve judgment on Odsonne Edouard. I saw him play a few games for Celtic over the last few years and he was pish. It’s one thing banging them in against teams like Spurs(!), St Mirren and Hamilton Accies. Quite another thing against Liverpool, and Man City (notice I didn’t include us in that latter category…)

  7. Emiratesstroller

    We have discussed ad infinitum the shortcomings of Arsenal’s midfield and in particular the lack of goals.

    Le Grove has been highly critical of the investments made this summer as well as the retention of Xhaka.

    My view is and has been in the last 2 years that Arsenal are reluctant to spend mega bucks in this department, because they have in their Academy 2 players in Patino and Azeez who
    in addition to Saka are considered medium to long term members of the first team.

    I have watched the clip of Patino scoring the goal against Man Utd U23s on the weekend. This shows his class and as has been mentioned on a number of occasions previously one of
    the best prospects in the game.

    He looks on par with Fabregas at the same age and it will not surprise me that he will be playing in the first team at some point this season

  8. Sid

    “”””My view is and has been in the last 2 years that Arsenal are reluctant to spend mega bucks in this department, because they have in their Academy 2 players in Patino and Azeez””””

    Those 2 were 15yrd and 16 yrs two years ago. How much longer do we have to wait?

  9. Fire

    Valentin
    Nailing your colour to the mast already.
    Spurs were missing players so were we against Brentford. Why the passionate defense of the spuds.
    Besides, they’ve not played an enjoyable game of football this season.

  10. Pierre

    Pedro
    “The good news?

    We don’t have European football so the players can spend more time on the training ground”

    I would put that in the “bad news ” department , spending more time on the training ground i mean..

    Under Arteta , we always look in danger of being over coached with little or no individuality or off the cuff movements..

    So , the thought of the players having more time on the training ground feels me with dread.

    Our best football under Arteta was when he first arrived, as he readily admitted that he had little or no time on the training ground in the first 3/4 months .

    The more time he’s had with the players the less they have been able to express themselves on the pitch

  11. Ben D

    Good to finally put 3 points on the board. Hopefully it’s not another false dawn and Arteta doesn’t go back to trying to be a smart arse.

    Interesting to read people on here giving Tottenham the benefit of the doubt after losing to Palace because they were missing 4 players. Same people gave us no such leeway when we lost to the two best teams in the league without several players.

    On reflection, the loss to Brentford was the really bad one. Hopefully we win the next couple including the one against the scums next door.

  12. Madhu

    No sympathy with Spurs. Iam more inclined to look at internally and fix our issues. When we meet spurs we might well be 3 points from them if results go in our favour.

  13. Valentin

    Fire,

    Only in your mind was congratulating PV4 for a job well done is a passionate defense of Spurs.
    Nailing my colour to the last of reality and objectivity.
    I am delighted that Crystal Palace smashed Spurs, but let not kid ourselves that we are miles better off than them.

    You seems to confuse acknowledging other teams issues with undermining Arsenal. Instead of concentrate on Spurs, Let make sure that Arsenal win games.

    Against Brentford the only two missing players who would have made the starting 11 were Partey and Aubameyang. You could argue that Arteta would have started Ødegaard instead of ESR, but as ESR was the only player emerging with credit intact, his performance was a plus. Even so, we should not need them to not be humiliated by Brentford. Against CP, a much better team than Brentford, Spurs had 4 starters not available.

    Against Norwich, we had a near complete team and we struggled to really open them up. Lots of attempts at goal but very few clear cut opportunities. We needed a lucky goal and then we hanged for dear life for the last 10 minutes of the game.

  14. El Gooner

    Was at the game on Saturday and not really buying into the “hype”. We played Norwich, regardless of whether you are in transition, or whether we need to trust the process, I repeat, we played Norwich, who were unlucky to not equalise at the end. (Arise Sir Cedric – literally)

    Apparently we had 30 shots? ask anybody when they were leaving if it felt like they had just seen a 30 shot game and nobody would have believed you. We had a few good moments…..against Norwich. We were pretty frail defensively and a more clinical team would have scored at least once. Our back post continues to look like the spuds trophy cabinet but Sambi looks like one for the future and hopefully he can be given a chance to gel with Partey before Granit makes his inevitable return to the starting line up, and we should be starting Ode and ESR against Norwich at home.

    the most positive take were the fans who vocal from the start, (me included !) – in other seasons it would have been pretty quiet after 20mins but there does seem to be a genuine interest in supporting what is a young team. How long that lasts for will depend on the players.

    “you can beat who is in front of you” they say – which for me makes it more frustrating because it was Norwich who were sh*t.

  15. AFC Forever

    Foxy

    “We have not really had a right back who can defend since Sagna, so Tommi can only be a big improvement to our defence on that side”

    Yes. I mirror what a lot of people have said on Arsenal comment sections because I too was impressed with the new signings. The fans in the stadium were right behind the players and that’s going to be important going forward because toxicity is bad for performance. It was noisy and where I was seated there was a lot of encouragement for the young players. The minimum requirement is that you see effort and desire and there is no question we saw that from them.

    Odegaard was like a man obsessed, he played very well and was leading the press – in fact and all over the pitch our energy levels seemed to be much improved. We played quicker & more forward. None of the new lads seemed out of place at this level and despite their unfamiliarity with each other the team performance was good. Remember these lads had never played together before and we had a pretty makeshift engine room too with Lokonga and AMN.

    As said already, Tomayisu looks a hell of a player, quick, strong and technically impressive. Had Spuds signed him, you lot on here would be moaning about Arsenal not being capable of finding gems like him from other leagues and bigging up Spuds.. Lokonga also looks a player, thrown in at the deep end but proving an exciting talent; a player is no mug if they make the Belgium squad or team. Ben White was composed and his passing ability proved the reason he was signed, easily beating the press, moving into midfield but also spraying accurate long passes. Certainly speeds up our play from the back which is why he was bought. I would argue the same with Ramsdale, a brave selection but again he is more composed with the ball than Leno and his distribution is good too. AMN worked very hard, I’m not convinced he is a CM but to be fair to the lad he ran his socks off and made plenty of recovery tackles. He’s energy and versatility is a bonus. When Partey came on, he instantly showed what we have been missing, having an influence in the goal. We need to keep him fit, it is concerning he seems to have a muscle problem but at least we have fewer games this season. Keeping Partey fit as the other players integrate themselves into the team and our tactical plan, will determine how well we do this season.

    I have to be honest and say I am a big fan of younger players and delighted that is the path the club has taken. The reality we have to face is that this team is a work in progress, pretending otherwise is moronic and an attempt to debate dishonestly. As the season unfolds we will see how the players have developed training and playing together, that’s when you can accurately evaluate and reach an informed opinion. Not after one or two games playing together. For his first game, Tomayisu really impressed, he made us look more balanced than we have been for a while. In many ways he’s similar to Tierney, no mean compliment. The same is true with White and Ramsdale, for a possession based game based on transition it is so important you have players who suit that tactical approach. We finally look to have the ability and balance to play that way and have addressed the compromise approach of last season.

  16. underrated Coq

    If you’re going to excuse pitiful losses on the premise that ‘they were to the best teams in the league’, then showcase the same restrained emotion for the victories over ‘the worst team in the league’ .

    Sorry, victory singular as in the one win with one goal scored in 360 minutes of football.

  17. AFC Forever

    Valentin

    “I am not so sure that Arsenal would have fared much better against a motivated Crystal Palace had we missed as many important players as Spurs did”

    It’s not that I disagree with you, I don’t – but you don’t make the same allowances for Arsenal. Nobody on here does for the obvious reasons. We have fielded makeshift teams every game this season due to Covid and injuries, that is a fact.

    You said: “Against Norwich, we had a near complete team and we struggled to really open them up. Lots of attempts at goal but very few clear cut opportunities.”

    For starters, it was the first time that team had played together, let alone it being a patched up team of debutants with a makeshift CM pairing. There is a whole new world of difference between a team that trains and plays together regularly and one that doesn’t or hasn’t. Feigning disaster because we didn’t beat them by five or six is what I would expect on here but it doesn’t resemble reality or an understanding of the game. Sorry to be harsh but it wreaks of agenda.

  18. Fire

    Valentin
    First, nobody in his right senses would claim we are better than Spurs at this Moment in time. While we are not better than them, I don’t think they are better than us either.
    Secondly, you acknowledge other clubs issues but never do same for Arsenal. You must be a super fan.
    Your last paragraph about the Norwich game… Prove me wrong by finding an excuse or a mitigating circumstances for our hanging on for dear life. I’m patiently waiting

  19. AFC Forever

    Underrated Coq

    “…then showcase the same restrained emotion for the victories over ‘the worst team in the league’ .

    Firstly, we beat Norwich with a makeshift team and debutants who had not played together before. Every time we win a game the same thing happens, the win is discredited. I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or freak event. Truly bizarre.

    Secondly, accusing Norwich of being the ‘worst team in the league’ because they have lost to Man City, Liverpool and Leicester is quite something. They might prove to be the worst team but I’m not sure losing to City, Liverpool & Leicester is the right criteria for that judgement call. Mind you last week Spurs were potential League Champions on here…..!

  20. CG

    Excuses, excuses and excuses.

    Arteta has butchered the start of the season , like he butchered the Villarreal away leg with his tactics.

    Already x 7 points of the of the top 4 places.

    Man United, Man City, Liverpool & Chelsea .

    All who happen to be in the CL this week( $$$$)

    Arsenal meanwhile can twiddle their thumbs all week and wait for Burnley!

    ps. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES LET ARTETA & ROUND NEAR PATINO.

    This boy can play. And he can score a goal or too.

  21. Kris

    DM,
    Spurs HAVE been shite. They were just extremely lucky until Saturday, akin to our unbeaten run under Emery. Just watch and see how they drop out of the top 6 again this year.

    Pedro,
    I think the player we need to protect ARE Saka and ESR, but a 3rd one would def. be Partey, not Auba. At this point, I don’t think Laca can be much worse than Auba.

    But overall, you’re right to be happy about our signings, they look good and Aaron is already someone who transmits a similar energy to Martinez unlike the scared and disinterested Leno. And Tomi already looks better than Calum and Cedric (though let’s not forget Kola and Torreira were both pretty good at the start, too). White, while overpriced, looks solid, as does Sambi. Ode seems a bit stiff and slow to turn to me compared to the slickness of peak Ozil we had, but is not a BAD signing. He’s also a finished article as he hasn’t really progressed since he was 19/20.

  22. underrated Coq

    AFC Forever,

    ” I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or freak event. Truly bizarre.”

    I don’t see you here when Arsenal lose. Pretty sure I’m not the first to have noted this.

    Are you sure you’re a AFC Forever fan? I think you are a fair-weather fan, at least that’s what your behavior indicates.

  23. Kris

    stroller,
    Patino will be 18 in a month.
    At his age Fabregas was already one of the league’s better midfielders. If he reaches 90% of Fabregas’s quality, it will be great, but let’s not hyperbolize too soon.

  24. AFC Forever

    Kris

    “But overall, you’re right to be happy about our signings, they look good and Aaron is already someone who transmits a similar energy to Martinez unlike the scared and disinterested Leno”

    Yes agree. Any fan wants to see their players showing they care and I cant say that has always been the case with some of the older players. Your point about Leno looking disinterested is spot on. I suspect thats why they bought a first choice replacement in Ramsdale and spent big, as opposed to buying a second choice ‘keeper. I’m excited about the young players, we will know more about them after they’ve trained and played more together because ultimately it’s about how a team gels, which takes time. Promising.

  25. CG

    Kris

    ”””’Patino will be 18 in a month.
    At his age Fabregas was already one of the league’s better midfielders”””’

    Management.

    A.Wenger would already have blooded Patino. Gave him and the punters a taste.

    Arteta would rather wait to see if Elneny will blossom into Pirlo.

  26. Tom

    The club just gave Arteta the vote of confidence and our DoF stated publicly there are no goals set for him other than hoping to keep the squad fit.
    What’s not to like if you’re a manger of a big club sitting bottom of the table, so maybe that’s why Arteta seemed more relaxed.

    There’s a reason everyone said we would beat Norwich — some even predicting lopsided scores— because they are a club without a single identifiable strength but many weaknesses, including a terrible keeper and blanks firing front line.

    Conversely, the same posters are hesitant to predict we’ll get anything from the Burnley game precisely because they do have easily identifiable strengths, even if they did finish 17 th last season and barely spent anything to improve the squad.
    They bought a relatively unknown black left back from France for $15m, which is truly shocking ( the part about him being black )

    We walk away with three points from Turf Moor and I guarantee there will be far more positive energy going forward.

  27. Tom

    ” I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or freak event. Truly bizarre.”

    Someone actually typed this and pressed send?

  28. InsideRight

    I’m a whiney git when we lose. I’ve no confidence in Arteta. But the performance was an improvement against a team fighting for their lives. We won and I’m happier.

    It was always likely to be a raggy arse win and so it proved. But it was a win. It will give the lads some confidence, it will see them more dogged and determined to beat Burnley, and if we do, confidence will grow and things will settle.

    Great to see Take looking solid on the right, great to see Partey getting back in the swing of things and really good seeing Lokonga wanting to bleed for the cause.

  29. Tom

    “Firstly, we beat Norwich with a makeshift team and debutants who had not played together before. “

    Three new field players, two of which have been with the club for months, while the entire front line of Pepe, Ode, Saka, and Auba all too familiar.
    Hardly a bunch of strangers thrown in together at moments notice.

  30. AFC Forever

    Tom

    “Three new field players, two of which have been with the club for months, while the entire front line of Pepe, Ode, Saka, and Auba all too familiar. Hardly a bunch of strangers thrown in together at moments notice.”

    The fact you actually typed this, let alone believe it, speaks volumes. Go have a chat with Valentin, he thinks Spurs missing a couple of players made a world of difference and was why Spuds were thrashed by Palace. Could be quite a conversation that one; two great minds trying to fathom out how missing players or playing a makeshift team only affects some sides and not others.

  31. Tom

    “Firstly, we beat Norwich with a makeshift team and debutants who had not played together before. “

    When we scored the winning goal on 66 minutes the only two debutants were our new £55m CB, who’s a RR of a player apparently, and the keeper.

    Everyone else knows one another very well from last season.

  32. CG

    DS

    “”Vivianne Miedema would be able to good job upfront for us “””

    Vivianne Westwood would get game time up front for us.

    Bloody barren aint we.

    I follow all these games, on my bank of screens in my office.

    Liverpool, yesterday for an hour, were playing a different sport compared to us at the weekend.

    That tennis lass, 100% superstar.
    No wonder , why the Brits are claiming her.

  33. Bob N16

    Tom,

    KT only constant in back 5 this season, TT new, Gabriel just back from injury, never played with White before – 1st game of the season, White home debut new CB partner, new GK.

    Lokonga and AMN never played together before.

    Why bother with nuance when it doesn’t suit your state of mind/ agenda? It’s so easy to write excuses, excuses, excuses…..

    With that back 5 and Partey joining Lokonga, that’s effectively a new defence and midfield. Sure Partey, Gabriel and KT are not new players but their partnerships on the pitch are new and will improve with time, both on the training ground- no European football this week and playing matches.

    If we don’t improve, daggers should be justifiably sharpened. There are a lot of posters on here who won’t get behind the team until Arteta is gone. Their daggers are already plunging incessantly into the still living, body of Arteta.

  34. S Asoa

    Banks

    “ After Saturday’s performance, we just might win the league after all.
    Massive 1-0 win against the mighty Norwich. “

    Another first from Banks ( ref : guy before DM was born to Troph4ey )

    Cape should fit all the Precocious Elated(Ejaculators)

  35. Nelson

    I think both Saka and ESR need to learn to shot like a striker. Currently they try to hit the ball as hard as possible. A good good scorer is aware of where the goal is and can place the ball low to the corner of the goal. It takes skill and practice to shoot the ball low and hard.

  36. Tom

    AFC, I don’t give a shit about the Spurs or your ridiculous assertion that anyone on here ever thought they would win the league having won their first three games.
    Just as Weagle said yesterday some of your comments are absolutely shameless, and because you’re “super positive “ ( have at it, by all means) but rather because you pull shit out of thin air
    (your back side more like it) to score some imaginary points.

    If there’s anything that’s been constant about Arteta for the last 20 months, it’s the chopping and changing of the starting Xl regardless whether players were fit or not.
    So forgive me for not using this excuse against Norwich especially after having two weeks to prepare.

    He could’ve started every player from last seasons roster against them and still should’ve been able to win.

  37. S Asoa

    And what is the lame excuse when the new players had 12 days to practice together ? What is the novelty we talking about ?
    Just excuses and alibis for Dumbterta

  38. AFC Forever

    Tom

    “When we scored the winning goal on 66 minutes the only two debutants were our new £55m CB, who’s a RR of a player apparently, and the keeper.”

    Jesus. Are you being serious or on a wind up? I’ve read some naive stuff and that’s up there. I’ve been coaching for years and let me tell you something for nothing mate, it takes time to build a team. When players aren’t used to playing with each other they lack that ”instinct’ within the team framework – things like knowing who will make runs, drop etc. Partnerships won’t be developed -partnerships are important in the game especially centrally. Please don’t tell me AMN & Lokonga is a ready made partnership, it isn’t. Likewise White & Gabriel.

    That was a completely new back 5 who had never played together before. So what are you talking about? The central midfield was Lokonga and AMN, hardly established.

    A team is more fluent when everyone knows their respective role understanding what their team mates are likely to do in different scenarios. for example. The fact I am having to explain this to you is probably why you think football is just putting 11 names on a piece of paper and how anyone can manage.

  39. Leftside

    Too much emphasis on passes in this side, slowly passing the ball around the field. Everything is too slow and easy to defend against, and even our better players will not improve under Arteta and his coaching staff so I expect a very long season.

    Imagine putting this club on a back burner so that an inexperienced manager can learn his trade at our expense.

  40. raptora

    ES: “He looks on par with Fabregas at the same age and it will not surprise me that he will be playing in the first team at some point this season”

    Patino is a great talent, no doubt. But by the time that Cesc turned 18 he had played in 50 games for us, including 33 EPL games in 1 season. And he was shockingly good.

    Patino, with 0 EPL games so far, could become a fantastic player. But let’s put one foot in front of the other. The sad part of no Europa League is that the young players will have drastically less chances to showcase their skills.

  41. Leftside

    Even if Auba can recapture form from a few seasons ago it won’t be enough, Laca and Pepe won’t score us enough goals and the rest of the side are impotent in front of goal. Goals win games, not silly meaningless passes and crosses from Tierney into nobody in the box.

  42. Tom

    AFC, except we’re not having this conversation two months into Arteta’s reign are we.
    During 20 months in charge he hasn’t been able to show any semblance of free flowing attacking football against anyone no matter the line up.

    Wenger did it regularly with bench warmers and third stringers in cups.

  43. Graham

    “It’ll be very interesting to see what he does against Wimbledon this week in the league cup. “

    That’s up there with the post WBA comment that “We will still get beaten by City on Sunday”

    Can your ITK sources at the club not get you one of the top secret fixture lists.

  44. Valentin

    Raptora,

    “The sad part of no Europa League is that the young players will have drastically less chances to showcase their skills.”

    Last season when we had Europa League, Arteta hardly used it to blood young academy players. I also doubt that against Wimbledon in the League CUp we will see a lot of academy players.

  45. Dissenter

    I think it’s better to just offload most of the youngsters on loan for the rest of the season, once the window opens in January
    It’s safe to assume that Arteta wont be playing them this season. We have no Europe and he has a lot of new players that need to be integrated into the squaD.

    The likes of Patino need more than a few minutes here and there, they need to play regularly. That’s the systrejkm Chelsea pursue and it’s paying off massively. This U-23 business isn’t improving most players.

  46. TitsMcgee

    I suspect the club will have a lot of attention on Spurs, who have been shite this season,”

    But says in same breath ” be patient ” with Arsenal.

  47. Pierre

    AFC forever
    ” The fact I am having to explain this to you is probably why you think football is just putting 11 names on a piece of paper and how anyone can manage.”

    Tom is from across the pond, which explains a lot

  48. Tom

    “If we don’t improve, daggers should be justifiably sharpened. There are a lot of posters on here who won’t get behind the team until Arteta is gone. Their daggers are already plunging incessantly into the still living, body of Arteta.“

    That’s very dramatic, Bob.
    For the life of me I can’t figure out why some posters would want Arteta gone.

  49. AFC Forever

    The Wimbledon game is an interesting one. As our players haven’t had the chance to play together, that would be a good opportunity to get minutes together. Partey needs a run out, we have missed him and he needs to gain match fitness. The back 5 played together for the first time Saturday and as most of us know, building a centre back partnership takes time but is crucial. Tomiyasu has been with us less than a week, so he also needs minutes in the team. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of them start. I would play Lacazette too, he’s a leader and we have a lot of youngsters. Odegaard and ESR should play and rest Saka due to his England duties. Like it or not, we have a new group of players who need to play together to build familiarity and that wont happen over night.

  50. Valentin

    Raptora,

    I am all in favour of using young academy players, but we have to accept that some as talented as they may be are not physically ready to play against grown-up men.

    It is making them a disservice than believing that because they are technically brilliant they would be able to repeat the same form at senior level. Look Eddie, it has taken him extra training sessions with Willock and St Maximin during the summer to shift the skinny scrawny body. Now with proper upper body strength, he looked sharp during the preseason.

    I would not want Patino to start and either being emotionally crushed by a bad performance or worse physically hurt. He needs to put 5kg of muscle. Fabregas and Wilshere were already fully formed in term of upper body strength when they were given their first start in the premiership.

  51. Dissenter

    Tanganga should have been sent off three times this season
    The new approach ot letting the game flow will lead to lots of broken bones and busted knees/ankles.

  52. Valentin

    I think that Tanganga should have been send off in the first incident. A yellow card for the rugby tackle and another for unsavoury dispute with Zaha.

    You may even argue that his rugby tackle was deliberately removing a goal scoring opportunity and his tackle should have been a straight red. David Luiz received a red card for a lot less.

  53. Dissenter

    It seems the league wants to market itself on the basis if these drama moments, like the burst up after the Zaha “tackle”.

  54. Valentin

    The Euro exposed the incompetence of the PGMOL referees. No more hiding behind the law to blame bad officialdom.

    Letting the game does not mean to let every minor infractions go unpunished. It means play the advantage and then if it is warranted punish later with a yellow card. It also means that if no advantage accrued, do not be afraid to go back to the initial fouls. But here we have no advantage play and no yellow cards just a public show of stern lecture or interruption of a clear advantage to give a yellow card.

    Talking about card, I worry about Partey, because to me the way he plays it looks like he will get a lot of cards.

  55. AFC Forever

    The Pascal Struijk tackle on Harvey Elliott didn’t look a red.

    Unfortunate that Elliott dislocated his ankle, not nice. Same injury Wilshire suffered when Paddy Mcnair missed the ball by miles and Mike Dean didn’t even give a foul!!! That was pre VAR but you have to wonder about the consistency of some of these decisions. I’m not sure you can send someone off because the injury is a bad one IF the foul wasn’t deliberate or out of control. On the fence but seems harsh.

  56. AFC Forever

    Valentin

    “The Euro exposed the incompetence of the PGMOL referees. No more hiding behind the law to blame bad officialdom”

    Yes. A former head of PGMOL, Hackett, warned this would happen under Riley’s leadership. I read an article somewhere about how they select the referees and it was damning. They don’t select them nationally, they tend to be selected from the merit tables for Northern Counties. The reason for that is because they ‘claim’ the game in the North is more robust and physical play is tolerated more. Hackett said they concentrate training in those regions. According to FA & Riley, the English game is a physical game and they don’t want to dilute it by stopping robust challenges. That opposes UEFA and explains why European referees are better. Have to dig Hacketts piece out.

  57. Nelson

    Val
    I think that Tanganga should have been send off in the first incident. A yellow card for the rugby tackle and another for unsavoury dispute with Zaha.
    —————————————————————————————————-

    It was not a rugby tackle. He pushed Zaha down without holding on him After that, he just stood still while Zaha grasped him with both hands and kept yelling at him. But the 2nd yellow was stupid. He got the Xhaks moment and dived in without hitting the ball.

  58. Bob N16

    Agree AFC, I think it’s safe to say if he hadn’t been badly injured he wouldn’t have got a red. Clumsy challenge, just about a yellow.

  59. Gonsterous

    We were awful, but winning the game gave me strength to rewatch it again
    Tierney was god awful, blind crosses, hitting the first defender, all afternoon. Odegaard was another average joe (no idea what fans see in him),
    TT was the only positive, we may have finally gotten a decent RB. Hes got pace and likes to press from the front (hope this doesnt cause us problems against better oppositions)
    AMN was another waste of space in the middle

    All this against the worst side in the league

    Mikel still doesnt have a game plan to take us from one end of the pitch to the other. Always hoping for individual brillance or sheer luck to score a goal.
    I can see us struggling to get wins and goals, unless something drastically changes

  60. AFC Forever

    Bob, yes it’s always difficult when a player gets hurt like that; but to me the decision should be based on the tackle and not the injury suffered. You get dangerous tackles that don’t injure a player, just how it is.

  61. Valentin

    Nelson,

    Tanganga elbow made contact with Zaha’s throat. In rugby that would have been not just a penalty because high tackle (anything above the arm pit) are banned. Make contact with the throat and it is at a minimum a yellow card and a citation.

    He was not a poor guy assaulted by Zaha, he deliberately insulted a player (which just enrage him even more) and then try to block him (look at how he locks Zaha’s arms) from complaining further.
    At a minimum he was a willing participant in the dispute, so a yellow card for that would not have been out of the question.

  62. Nelson

    Gon
    Odegaard was another average joe (no idea what fans see in him),
    _________________________________________________________________

    Odegaard is a play maker. For him to be effective, he needs to build up chemistry with our two fast attackers, Auba and Pepe. I talked about how Manure executes this long pass from Pogba to Fernandes. This can open up the defense in no time.

  63. Dissenter

    Tanganga pole-axed Zaja
    He used both elbows and forearms to knock him down like he was playing in the Sunday leagues. That “tackle” will elicit a melee in any league.
    That wa a red card in itself. Tangmange was upset that the whistle wasn’t blown for a spurs player and just stopped playing football.

  64. bacaryisgod

    Emiratestroller

    ‘Le Grove has been highly critical of the investments made this summer as well as the retention of Xhaka’.

    Generalize much? The response to our summer activity has been balanced. Most fans like most of the players signedif not the price paid for a couple of them. Most of us wanted Xhaka gone but not at a laughable price. The best of all worlds is if Sambi can cement a CM role alongside Partey and we’ll have Xhaka as a back-up and for Cup games.

    There’s been very little criticism of Sambi, Tomiyasu and Tavares. Most of the criticism around White was for the fee, most of the Odegaard criticism is due to his lack of explosiveness and Ramsdale has been hit largely for the price but also that he’s a work in progress.

    If we had signed White for 35m and Ramsdale for 16m and there would be few complaints.

  65. Tom

    Valentin, not elbow but rather both hands/wrists which he thrusted into Zaha’s face…….an open field tackle with both hand to the face to retaliate ( let’s not kid ourselves that he wasn’t) for CP failing to put the ball out after what Tottenham players thought was a foul on Lucas Moura just seconds earlier.

    The whole time he’s talking to the ref Tanganga and Kane are pointing to the Moura incident to justify his actions.

  66. Matt

    Odegaard is a slight upgrade on what we have – not hard when you consider his competition. But, in a team devoid of goals and goal scorers, someone in his position needs to be getting between 5 – 10 goals a season, which I can say with confidence, he will not do.

  67. Nelson

    Matt
    someone in his position needs to be getting between 5 – 10 goals a season,
    ____________________________________________________________________

    I would demand both Saka and ESR to get between 5 – 10 goals a season, For Odegaard I would demand 10 assists.

  68. Graham62

    Bacaryisgod

    My two children were both born in Doha, Qatar.
    I’m English, my wife is Eritrean.
    It’s a sign of the times.

    Emma Raducanu was 2 years old when she came to the UK.
    Where you were born has nothing to do with how strong a country is at a particular sport, although in the case of Canada, I know they’ve invested heavily in their tennis program over the past decade or so.
    The LTA, for all their failings over the years, have also improved greatly these past few years.
    Can see more youngsters coming through the system over the next few years.

  69. bacaryisgod

    Tom,

    She did. I didn’t mean to give any credit to Canada for her development, but it sounded like it did. Maybe impressive was the wrong word to use!

    English fans have taken to her because she’s been in the country for nearly all her life, unlike Rusedki who showed up with the strong Canadian acccent and said he came for ‘lifestyle’ reasons. The fact he had an English mother was less important than the appearance of not being English.

  70. bacaryisgod

    Graham62

    Like I said before, impressive was completely the wrong word. It was more of a coincidence.

    Of course it’s a different world. My son who was born in the United States considers himself 100% American and would support the U.S against either of his parents’ birth countries.

  71. englandsbest

    Boy, the anti-Arteta brigade as ever scurrying around for reasons to justify an opinion that is rapidly becoming obsolete. Now it’s “Norwich, the worst team in PL” That may or may not be the case, it’s far too soon to tell.

  72. bacaryisgod

    englandsbest

    That’s your argument? Even the most pro-Arteta fan recognizes that a home game against them is not a true test of what the revamped Arsenal squad can do.

    We’ll all have a much better idea after Burnley and Spurs.

  73. salparadisenyc

    No question Norwich will struggle this season along with the usual suspects but they’ve had a wretched start to season with Liverpool, City, Leicester and the mighty Arsenal… whom put a glorious goals past them akin to summiting Everest that effort. Denied not an option.

    In all seriousness Norwich will likely get relegated but this position they are currently in is potentially false.

  74. Sid

    Raducanu is lucky to have been born in Canada, had she been born in England the nurses accents and looks would have scared the talent out of her

  75. Bob N16

    I know Odegaard is the same player as last season but psychologically I feel much more invested in him as he is now our player!

    On Saturday there were two or three occasions that the ball seemed didn’t quite fall for him, in future games, l would hope that he’ll be able to get shots off. What surprised and impressed me most in equal measures was his workrate. It felt like he was leading the press on many occasions and a couple of times towards the end of the game he tracked all the way back conceding a corner with a block following a corner. His pass to PEA which resulted in a one-on-one and a good save from Krul was outstanding.

    I think he will now develop as one of our main leaders on the pitch. Arteta just needs to make sure that both Odegaard and ESR can play in the same team.

  76. Tom

    Valentin, I agree.
    I guess I didn’t make it clear enough. I thought it should’ve been a straight red regardless what happened after the challenge itself.

  77. Emiratesstroller

    bacaryisgod

    I do not disagree with your analysis about our transfer business or the reasons for not selling
    Xhaka to Roma.

    Currently our expectations for this season are low and we are still very much in rebuild mode.

    Our midfield is currently rather average, but if we add Patino and Azeez to the squad then
    over next couple years the dynamic could well change. Patino is a very versatile player who
    can play in almost any position in the midfield.

    If we hold onto Saka, Partey, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe and Lokonga the midfield will look a lot
    healthier than it does now.

  78. Bob N16

    I think where you’re brought up and spend your formative years (school years) has the greatest impact on your sense of belonging. Obviously your parents and their cultural upbringing is also integral as well as how you feel you have been treated by your adopted country.

    Where you’re born is almost incidental other than having bureaucratic significance – e.g. getting a passport! Not sure Canada deserves much reflected glory on Radecanu’s success.

  79. Pedro

    Sal, 100%.

    ‘Potentially’

    Arsenal, City, Liverpool and Leicester in their first 5 games means their position is 100% in the arena of ‘maybe it’s the level of teams they are playing.’

    They smashed Bournemouth 6-0. Think they play some good football. Needs to win their next game, but no reason they can’t start racking up points. They aren’t an awful team by any stretch.

  80. Pedro

    Bob, so weird that this 18 year old drops one of the sporting performances of the decade and people want to 1) talk about a TV presenter that popped off at her 2) talk about her heritage.

    Can’t people just celebrate a Brit winning a tournament like a star without all the bullshit?

  81. China1

    Pierre it was only a few days ago you were on here bagging on people for being negative

    Apparently you’ve forgotten yourself…

  82. Sid

    British society has been highly influenced by the concept of social class ,
    A person with Romanian and Chinese heritage will stir that discussion

  83. Graham62

    Sal

    There is always someone somewhere trying to justify things.

    Norwich are poor. As it stands, we are not that much better and all the other teams you speak of are far superior.

  84. salparadisenyc

    Graham

    Haha ok, I’m not trying to justify anything other than stating thats a tough run of games for any side and yes Norwich will likely get relegated.

    This site wound so god damn tight in anti Arteta mania its lost its best value, essentially le groves core – banter.

  85. Matt

    I think we just need to take the 3 points, be happy with it and move on to the next game. Disingenuously trying to make out that Norwich are in fact a much better team then their league position suggests is a bit much. They will be hovering around the relegation zone and will likely be in the bottom three. Name me three teams worse than Norwich, and no, you cant choose Arsenal!

    You can only beat what is in front of you and in this case, we beat a poor team and were not overly convincing doing it and in that respect, we are way behind City, United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

  86. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    “Sal, 100%.‘Potentially’Arsenal, City, Liverpool and Leicester in their first 5 games means their position is 100% in the arena of ‘maybe it’s the level of teams they are playing.’

    I said this earlier. The desperation to discredit the win with what we all know was a makeshift team using an untried back 5 and centre midfield is really telling. This is a predictable narrative because some people are that sad.

  87. Positive pete

    Pedro,that’s called perspective.Something that is seriously lacking in the hardcore,Arteta out cabal.Norwich have had a ridiculously tough start.They can disregard that all they like.Doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to those on the know.

  88. Guns of SF

    Norwich came to play against us.
    A tougher test will be Burnley team brexit

    I think Ode is better deeper… we need better ball movement and deep passing ….

    ESR the all action hero should stay forward… he is not afraid of contact or getting into the box…unlike Ode

    Hope TP gets healthier… he was a beast in the middle, covering lots of ground…

    But again, it was Norwich so lets see

  89. Tom

    ” I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or freak event. Truly bizarre.”

    No one who wrote this can ever pretend to be a straight shooter , ever.

  90. Positive pete

    “ I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or feral event.Truly bizarre”.Spot on.Never a truer sentiment.Sumsup the negativity succinctly.

  91. Bob N16

    Pedro, without wishing to go down a psychological rabbit hole, it says much more about the commentator who seems determined to find a negative in a situation that is clearly positive.
    Not the first time on Legrove that one can experience that phenomenon!

    As a Londoner, I am proud of our city’s diversity and am delighted that Emma R. is such an amazing example of a young woman flourishing after her family’s arrival in the UK. Immigration has been and will remain a vital ingredient in the health of our country- she can be the new poster!

  92. AFC Forever

    Graham62

    “Norwich are poor. As it stands, we are not that much better and all the other teams you speak of are far superior”

    So what? Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool are miles ahead of us. That’s a fact.

    This season we have bought a lot of new young players and due to covid and injuries we haven’t been able to play them yet. The team that played Norwich Saturday had never played together before and there were a number of debutants. The back five was a complete change, so too the centre midfield with Lokonga and AMN. Yet you want a Man City performance? The fake outrage is exactly that.

    Luckily the fans in the stadium were prepared to support the team and the young players, who actually put in a good shift. It was an entertaining game and considering the lads had not played together before, I thought we played well. Tempo was quicker and we controlled the game. Our finishing was poor but that’s on the more experienced players not the young ones.

    God knows what would have happened had the Le Groaners turned up to whine and groan at every touch, I don’t just mean the fights that would break out. If you cannot accept we have a load of new players who need to build partnerships and learn from each other and that, inevitably that will take time, there is no amount of help available. It is pointless creating fake expectation levels so you can enjoy disappointment. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and the atmosphere, some of those young players are impressive and have real talent. They deserve a lot more than some of you on here are prepared to give with your bloody agenda.

  93. Positive pete

    A truer test will of course be the route one ,Neanderthals under seargeant major dyke.If they get through the aerial bombardment & “ robust” approach( kick the shit out of em)& a dodgy ref determined to screw us over,I may well be even more positive going forward.zinteresting times.

  94. salparadisenyc

    That Norwich win was as scrappy as they come, only thing scrappier was the goal. Clearly sometimes thats what it takes to get off the mark.

    But a few positive signs can be found in Tomiyasu, ESR, Øde will get better together if Arteta decides to pull hand break on mid, Ramsdale who made no sense coming in unless it was to take over. Auba was still shit but shit with an extra bounce in his step and thats encouraging. He’s a confidence player and finding net however it falls will only help.

    Brings up the biggest worry, clearly lack of goals and where they’re going to come from. Another is our supposed best center back pairing looks shaky at defending certain situations, but still early days on the duo and more time will be needed. Real Madrid are going concede more goals this season than in past decade i’d imagine but they have potential to score more as evidenced by last night. Arsenal really don’t have that luxury.

  95. Tom

    “”“ I cannot remember us winning a game without 99% on here being upset or passing it off as some kind of lucky or feral event.Truly bizarre”.Spot on.Never a truer sentiment.Sumsup the negativity succinctly.“””

    We’ve had the pleasure of reading posts from posters like the “Positive Pete” and the “ Negative Nigel”………….
    but the one above could only have come from a “ Senile Sam”.

  96. Guns of SF

    Sid

    I agree. Mike does not know how to coach an attack. That is clear.

    So, give the mids the freedom, let them play freely in training, to get a feel for each other instead of rigid positioning and defensive minded tactics.

    Let the mids be free is what I say.

    usually players will figure things out on their own.

  97. Matt

    AFC forever coming back and telling everyone how to be a proper fan when he has been like Lord Lucan since the start of the season. Very amusing.

  98. salparadisenyc

    Guns

    Our mids a weird thing to watch, knowing Arteta played under Wenger almost like he over correcting where big Weng was too slack. And in doing so he’s auto corrected the flow right out of it. Solid metaphor for whole project.

    Sure i’m in the minority on this one but i’m all in on a mid field three of ESR/Ø with Partey pinning.

  99. AFC Forever

    Sal.

    Yes we do need to be sharper in front of goal. It doesn’t matter how well we play in other areas of the pitch if we can’t finish. Aubameyang was poor last season and cost us a number of points that would have made a difference. Pepe needs to deliver more too, he can’t just chip in with the odd special goal.

  100. AFC Forever

    Bob

    “As a Londoner, I am proud of our city’s diversity and am delighted that Emma R. is such an amazing example of a young woman flourishing after her family’s arrival in the UK. Immigration has been and will remain a vital ingredient in the health of our country- she can be the new poster Girl”

    Totally agree. I feel sorry for her after such a great achievement. What she did was incredible. Her parents emigrated to the UK from Canada yet minutes after her win, Gary Lineker and others like him made it political. Totally irrelevant her Father is a financier from Romania, who cares!!. Really unfair on her, she is only 18 and what she did deserves the highest praise not politicisation. A Brit winning a grand slam at 18 brilliant.

  101. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    There is a growing trend in sport generally and also in football that we are producing more
    intelligent and better educated sports people.

    Radecanu attended the same grammar school as Asher-Smith the sprinter. Her school adjoins the Bromley Tennis Centre where she did her training. Asher-Smith attended Kings College,London University where she took a degree in History. I would not be surprised that
    Radecanu will also study for a degree.

    The current British National U18 Tennis Champion attends Highgate School, but benefits also from training in a Centre of Excellence. She is 6′ 1″ tall!!

    There is a similar trend materialising in football as well where a number of professional
    footballers are or were attending private schools and even in some cases universities. Patino
    went to Aldenham and Foden, Bellingham, Arnold, Mings and Pope who are all in the current England squad were privately educated..

    Some clubs like Chelsea have close links with private schools such as Whitgift.

  102. Guns of SF

    Sal I would go as far as thinking that MA is rather clueless.
    He played with Wenger, and coached with Pep.
    Both enjoyed heavy possession, and freedom to attack in the final third.
    He is clueless. Unless he fancies being like Simeone?
    A boring bland player himself… it does not surprise me that this is what we have.
    Rather shocking if you consider his supposed Pedigree… Spanish, Wenger, Pep, etc….

  103. salparadisenyc

    AFC Forever

    Think we should of addressed in transfer window,, taking Laca/Auba/Pepe into third season expecting big gains wasn’t very sharp thinking if were honest.

    Fully understand shifting one was a tricky endeavour but it was a necessary one for me.

  104. Kroenkephobe

    There is a growing trend in sport generally and also in football that we are producing more intelligent and better educated sports people.

    Yeah right. Rooney, Grealish and our very own Granit Xhaka. Would you have those three suave intellectuals in your pub quiz team?