by .

Why do we keep hearing that Arsenal are 100% behind Mikel Arteta regardless of form and results?

Arsenal under Mikel Arteta are going through massive change. Quite something for a new coach to be trusted with. There are 3 main tasks that he’s been given or decided that are crucial in turning around the fortunes of the club.

  1. Culture
  2. Recruitment
  3. Sustainable modern footballing structure

I believe the reason that he has the trust of the club is that he is strong in all 3 areas. Many other coaches would want ready-made players and wouldn’t want to fool with culture issues.

I also believe that the club fully supports the concept that change in all 3 areas is going to take longer than the fans want it to but is necessary for any sustained future success.

If the fans get impatient the club has to stand firm in the knowledge that society’s impatience isn’t just ‘the way it is.’ It is a fault in society, not a football club. If ignored, you don’t change your circumstance. The club has to wade through the unrest knowing a brighter day is coming but correctly timed communication is vital.

As fans we have to admit that we ARE impatient and that’s on us. There are times that the cord should be cut, as it was with Emery, and there are times that we can’t let our impatience be the driver.

The focus of this piece is on #3, the tactics, but firstly to briefly explain #1 and 2.

Culturally Arsenal were a mess in the later Wenger years and half of Emery’s tenure too. Player power didn’t rule but in adversity, the rot came to the fore.

Arteta is seen as unwavering in his pursuit of not only getting rid of the rot but replacing it with not just non-rotten players but those that have the optimal attitude for success.

This moves us fluidly on to #2 as the change is evident in Arteta’s recruitment.

Out have gone negative influences in players like Ozil and Guendouzi and in have not just come good players but those with this optimal attitude. Tierney, Odegaard, Lokonga and Tomiyasu have or do lead their national or previous club teams and are seen as top professionals by recruiters. Gabriel, White, Ramsdale and Partey bring a vibe of great positivity and in Ramsdale the club now have a fist-pumper that will ignite the crowds energy. The younger players character is unquestioned. The proof is on the field and Saka, ESR and Martinelli were those that led the way last season when senior players didn’t. The former two in particular.

Look at some of the senior players that have been retained and you see positive energy in ElNeny, Auba and those helping the younger players like Lacazette. Xhaka has his days but he has been retained as he is clearly ‘a needed leader’ at this time.

The energy in the room is changing.

We all started shouting our own versions of angst towards Edu and Arteta recently but the club probably saw that Norwich game as Day 1 in the rebirth of our club. The first day when ‘the new team’ stepped out. You can see why they’d be reticent to consider change when Day 1 has only just shown up.

They have to ride the storm of impatience whilst being alert to what results are telling them beyond the shouting. They may find that Arteta was the coach to get them to ‘Day 1’ but not ideal for beyond. All options are possible.

Moving on to #3, the tactics.

You may have a fresh dislike for the word ‘patience’ by the end of this but what is happening tactically is from a new text book and some of our players have just opened it. Chuck the text book away and you’ll have short term confusion and a limited pool of coaches worldwide that can teach the same ethos.

I speak of positional play or what is called ‘Juego De Posicion’ in coaching circles.

What is Juego De Posicion?

The exact translation is ‘positional play.’

In short, it is the concept of defending whilst attacking in order to control both sides.

The defensive goal is sustained pressure.

The attacking goal is to make pre-planned patterns instinctual for players to an end where telepathic football is possible.

The field is divided into 5 vertical lanes and horizontally boxes that players have to occupy both for attacking and defensive efficiency.

The 5 attacking lanes at Arsenal are taken up by a left-back, left-winger, striker, attacking midfielder and right-winger. Against Norwich it was (from left to right) Tierney, Saka, Auba, Odegaard and Pepe. You will notice that the wide and central lanes are broader and the interior lanes (half spaces) are narrower and harder to penetrate into vertically but are often used as zones to combine in.

To take a quote from the article below…. “The players will have specific tasks and responsibilities within these zones depending on the phase of the game. The unique thing about this concept is that the options are predetermined by the position of the ball. “

I strongly suggest reading this to fully understand ‘JDP’

JDP is a whole new way of playing football. Almost like being told that the textbook you learnt football from was the wrong one after you’ve finished the text book.

Many players struggle especially ‘big players’ as their egos tell them that freedoms are theirs and they’ve earned them.

This system is everybody or nothing. One cog out of place and the whole machine fails.

It is therefore a risk as the trust a coach puts in ‘freedom football’ is arguably less than the trust he puts in players being out of position and failing their team. Players don’t want to be the one cog that breaks the system.

So, what is ArtetaBall?

Arteta is forming not just a team with the right attitude, athletic and age profile but a hybrid team that can play this organized yet flex system and adapt to the needs of the game and take advantage of them.

He has in White a modern defender who has excelled in a 3 and 4 man defence complimented by Tomiyasu and Gabriel who are more aggressive and better aerially. Midfielders that can slide into a back 3 and midfielders that can flex between a single pivot, 2 man pivot or 3 man midfield.

The attackers are the game winners and where the most hybrid options are available.

Saka can play everywhere, ESR plays anywhere across the attacking third, Pepe can play both sides and is most effective when in central spaces. Odegaard plays central or right and deep too. And on….

‘ArtetaBall’ has the JDP as its core principle.

It then adapts to the opponent.

It then adapts to game state.

So, it’s hard to define as one thing because it isn’t. Modern football is a coaches game and no longer player dictated. It’s about sustaining pressure and taking advantage of weakness.

Over time a keen eye will spot repetition and see the ‘style’ they desire to see. Arsenal fans are having the biggest struggle because ‘ArtetaBall’ is the opposite of ‘WengerBall’ as one is hyper-focused on structure and the other radiated freedom. One at its peak was heavenly and the other at its low ebb has been monotonous and dull. The reality is that with time ArtetaBall can be fluid and beautiful but have the defensive structure that WengerBall didn’t have post-Invincibles.

Why doesn’t Arteta play the same team and system?

I think he knows he has time. I think he’s playing the long game. Getting Auba used to playing left wing and striker. ESR used to all areas. All-knowing that in the long run he can move his chess pieces around and the players will understand the JDP roles and the team will be able to adjust to any and all game states and win.

Who else is doing JDP?

Guardiola is often credited as being the author at Barcelona but as with much he designed he often points to Cruyff as his inspiration.

Utd under Van Gaal did JDP but got as far as the defensive organizational side until the fans turned on him. To be fair, it was a very dull version.

City and Liverpool utilize JDP. City are much further down the road with elite starters and bench options and their automatisms are in place.

Liverpool have focused their JDP more on the ‘sustained pressure’ piece and use more vertical and direct passes compared to City.

As both are further along in the process we see their ability to play with a far quicker tempo than Arsenal. We will get there too.

How will players fit?

Firstly, Xhaka has been retained due to leadership but also down to system. He is the ultimate positional player. He fully understands it and is rarely out of position. Arteta likes Xhaka because he can control him.

Saka is the most interesting one though.  Are we going to give him a permanent position or continue to lean into his versatility? Personally, I think Saka will become a top-class attacker but could become a world-class left wing-back. His most effective games for me have been as the overlapping player in Channel 1 rather than in the half-spaces. I think he could become an assist monster but may never fully justify being a winger if he doesn’t get 10 + goals a season as all the very best wingers do.

Odegaard is a pivotal Arteta piece. If we stay 4–2-3-1 then he is the #10. We are now seeing him being trained in deeper spaces likely with him having a role in a 4-3-3 with freedom to wander between the lines and become the 10.

As mentioned before, there is pressure on Pepe. When the club sold Willock without trying a 4-3-3 with a late-arriving goalscoring CM, they decided to lean into Odegaard and ESR. The hope is that ESR can become a goalscorer and that Odegaard can reach his assist potential to justify his inclusion. This leaves the main goalscoring threats as the front 3. Saka isn’t convincing there yet and Auba/Laca/Balogun need to fire.

The central midfield is evolving quickly. We see Arteta experimenting recently with 1 DM pivot and two 8’s. We see 2 DM’s and ESR and MO in front in a box shape. Will we see Arsenal sign a DM and free Partey to play as an 8? Will Lokonga be trusted as the DM? What is the pathway for Patino and Azeez. Both are ideally DM’s but Patino has the ability to play anywhere in midfield and in the long run could end up being the best midfielder at the club.

Do we focus on 4-3-3 and try to bring Bellingham back to England? We nearly got him before and as I watch him scoring vs Besiktas I’m reminded of his goalscoring potential as a 3rd man runner beyond his general excellence as a midfielder. Would need CL football to do that, I’d say.

In the back I was very surprised that we didn’t replace one of Chambers, Holding or Mari with Mavropanos who is a more athletic alternative to White and Gabriel and has played both sides. Perhaps the club see a full season of first choice as more beneficial at his stage of development.

I’d love to think that AMN can establish himself in midfield as his toolbox is perfect for modern football. I just wonder if his inconsistent passing will keep him sidelined. I think all would agree that AMN as a Right Back option is far better than Cedric or Chambers. If we go back three then AMN is our best option at RWB beyond Tomiyasu.

What of this ‘patience’ we need?

We think back to last season and watching Arteta literally micro-managing every kick and movement from the sideline as if with a joystick.

It makes sense now as a coach trying to teach his JDP principles. It was as if the players were in class. They couldn’t tell the fans this as we wouldn’t have had the patience to buy into a ‘teaching season.’

Part of me wishes they’d explain JDP to us but they also don’t want to reveal strategy and don’t want to have to explain why it will take time. Time is needed as some of our players aren’t the ideal pieces and if the club communicated that they would feel insulted. A new striker, centre midfielder and if Pepe doesn’t produce more consistently, a new winger will show up. I think the club are looking at Gnabry into his last contract year as the best opportunity to get a consistent goalscoring hybrid winger.

The problem the club have though is that the fans are wise enough to see that this ‘ArtetaBall’ may be starting to reap benefits, but what we have a large kink. Over the last season the glaring issue was over when you get ‘set up’ and when you transition at speed.

This has led to fair criticism that the football is robotic and boring, which is fair.

I think this will make or break Mikel Arteta as the structures around him are now solid enough to where another JDP coach could take over fairly seamlessly. The only issue the club might have is that there are only a handful out there that are trying it successfully.

Many coaches won’t touch JDP because there are absolutes/questions that they don’t feel comfortable to answer. Players needing to know their roles as they change based on ball position and game state. Many coaches might understand the general JDP structure but aren’t familiar enough to know the details.

The future?

The truth for me is that the club under Arteta can get there and look less robotic in the process.

It requires Mikel Arteta to stay humble and be open to a clear mind on his teams faults and not get too stubborn.

It requires fans to understand that Day One of this project was probably September 11th 2021 even though this is his third season. All else prior to this date was largely cleansing and teaching.

Personally, I’ve accepted that I’m ok with this season ending in a similar league position to the last two as long as we see obvious progress as the ‘new team’ learns the text book.

I think that the 2022/23 season could easily see a big change in league position and see Arsenal challenge in the Top 4 and even contest the league as I see so many positive pieces being changed.

All of this will depend on if we can control our noise and fight our instinct of impatience.

Mike McDonald writes the transfer blogs here @LeGrove as well as the post game ‘Positives, Needs and Hopes’ @Gunnerstown. He also writes ‘Coach Mike’s Clipboard’ for The Gooner Fanzine.

Follow him @Mike_Mmcdonald

P.S. You know the drill. 👇👇👇


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James wood.

Morning all.
Long read 😅

James wood.

Just don’t see players like Tierney being able
to comprehend his position.?






Leno shouting at Diet Pep is negative influence

James wood.

Perhaps Tierney might pick up a few tips from
Tomiyasu how to play the position.


Another long read here – Nearly similar


Is that Pedro too?




So JDP is the new excuse? How many more players do we need to add to play JDP?
Theres a reason you cant train Brentford players to play JDP, you play to their strengths.

The Bard

Interesting post. Patience is needed, you are right but he won’t get it. As you say it a societal issue. Once the fans turn he is done for. He needs to produce some terrific football to buy time. Whether he can do that remains to be seen.


It absolutely is your duty to abuse Arteta in the midst of that game. I know he’s basque but if you want a few choice phrases in Spanish (which will doubtless go over the heads of the stewards and thus guarantee your immuity), I’ll be happy to offer some. You sound like a pretty lairy geezer, happy to speak his mind, so offer it up with both barrels my man.


An interesting read – but highly speculative. JDP is just a structural positional plan – not a tactic to form a playing style from my understanding. If this is the magic sauce that Arteta thinks will work I think it is entirely destined to failure. As with any system without flexibility – Its too dogmatic, readable and quite frankly confusing. You claim City and Liverpool use this but I wholeheartedly disagree. They have better players – use a high press constantly and effectively, have fast one touch ability and a lot of off the ball movement that moves the opposition… Read more »


bsnb, Can’t believe that plum is trending on twitter. You won’t find more deluded guy than him. Hides behind an anonymous. Who in their right mind can type the following with a straight face? No way that such a creature exists in the real world. “It is this terrible club culture that Mikel Arteta has took on as a rookie coach. We should be so much more grateful for it. The likes of Mourinho, Conte and Pep couldn’t do much better than what Arteta has done. The next reason why I utterly support Arteta is that he is a genuine… Read more »


My only hope is that the people retweeting it are actually taking the piss as it says in most comments. But there clearly are thousands of other people who think the same way as him. Which is stunning. And I would rather close my eyes and pretend that no such people exist.


Interesting piece, thanks. Not convinced by “JDP”. Will do some research but it comes across as an excuse for a confusing and incoherent tactical approach. If the choices are Pep’s “JDP” or Tuchel’s very clear “accordian” (ref. Tifo IRL) then I’d pick the clarity of the accordian every time – it won the UCL. One thing I noticed was your hypothesis that Mavropanos might be coming back after another full season away – apparently Arsenal agreed to an obligation clause that is activated under very achievable terms (for just £3-4m) so it’s unlikely he’ll return. I imagine they’ll look to… Read more »


I didn’t realise it was called juego de posicion, but you can see this system from they way they play. I’m gonna sound like Pierre now but no wonder Tets failed to get a tune out of Ozil and Willian. This system is the antithesis of the flowing flexible game Arsenal played under Wenger and to a lesser extent Emery (and all their attendant weaknesses) It requires highly intelligent, highly disciplined, super fit footballers who are all up for it and can read each other. Weak links mean the chain gets broken and teams pass through it. It seems our… Read more »


Good analysis. Thanks.


“”””””””This is, in any case a revisionist case put forward to keep our worst ever manager in a job”””””””””

Comment of the day!


You can roll a turd in glitter and tell me it’s changed…

But a turd is still a turd…..

His time is up it’s over it’s just has to be sooner rather than later he’s a disaster completely out of his depth..


Interesting but I’m not convinced. I still have the Shankly doctrine in my mind that football should be a simple game. This sounds like a recipe for a mess and lol at what we have now – a mess It also doesn’t explain the selection of Cedric at RB and Kola at CB. Th was e selections don’t feel like a master tactician at work. View the tactics in the Villarreal games and the in game Mgmt against Brentford, Chelsea and Man City and to me the tactics become clueless It is Emperors new clothes. I wouldn’t be happy with… Read more »


Xhaka understands the system – the only thing he understands is the playground game called statues – he is still playing it.

Up 4 grabs now

Oh Pedro you love an acronym don’t you. Jdp, Xg. I remember when football was about clean sheets and scoring. And thats just George best in a hotel room with a miss world!😉 On a serious note, sometimes I wonder if footballers can keep up with the technical side of things, arteta does like to confuse the hell out of the players sometimes. As for retaining xhaka. “Firstly, Xhaka has been retained due to leadership but also down to system. He is the ultimate positional player. He fully understands it and is rarely out of position. Arteta likes Xhaka because… Read more »


What a load of nonsense in the article to justify some of the criminal decisions the manager has been making.

I really don’t get the level of excuse and pandering some Arsenal fans give the ‘hill the wish to die on’.

You cannot hide from the list of downright bad tactical or selection he has made over the past year.

Let’s just be brutally honest, there is a lot wrong at the club but the manager is and has been at fault for a lot of it.


Artetaball so far has been drab, rigid and unexciting.

Regarding patience many can understand this but it has to be coupled with attaining a certain standard at the same time.

To just float around in midtable or just above is not acceptable for the size of this club and more pertinently the money we spend in comparison to the rest of the league.

As Pedro states Arteta may not be the one to oversee this “revolution” and that is the most likely outcome. That he is relieved of his duties.


Personally thought this was a great read – Thanks Mike ! Think fans definitely get caught up in the emotion and hysteria of the game which limits the patience clubs will operate with But is that not why we all love it so much?. Do the Arsenal hierarchy really have the minerals to outlast declining fan sentiment if it’s only the tail end of this season or next when things start looking up ?? Also regarding the Hale Enders think it interesting that their positional versatility is always championed. The likes of Saka and ESR have gone through the age… Read more »


As The Bard says more patience would be afforded even if we do finish midtable yet again if the football itself looked exciting and progressive. But it is not.

And any system that sees Xhaka as a key compenent in it is flaweed straight off the bat.



Going back to Leno in the last blog.

You have stated many times that you don’t rate him so why the understanding of him being reinstated back into the team so quickly.

Is it a case of better the devil you know?


Oh my…
When will this ever end?

It’s just the comments section from now on..


They are trying to continually condition us for mediocrity with of course that always easy promise of better things to come.

Don’t fall for it.


Grabs – would that be the same Bellingham we wouldn’t part with £5M for?


And there you have it, Pedro back full on the Arteta’s is great train. By the way, you are confusing training method and pattern of play. JDP is a pattern of play that used to be big that nowadays the big managers do not espouse anymore. JDP is about zone and players working in their allocated area of the pitch. The big thing right now is the twirl (I can’t remember the Spanish name of it). Instead of triangles, the teams move in quadrilaterals that rotate. The idea comes from South America and is now quite popular with a lot… Read more »


That twitter relating to Arteta has been conjured up by a Spurs fan.

The wording of it is obviously a piss take.

Being trolled again.



“Whoever was tasked to cover Trent ”

And does he need covering.

Mr Serge

KroenkephobeSeptember 16, 2021 09:16:50
It absolutely is your duty to abuse Arteta in the midst of that game. I know he’s basque but if you want a few choice phrases in Spanish (which will doubtless go over the heads of the stewards and thus guarantee your immuity), I’ll be happy to offer some. You sound like a pretty lairy geezer, happy to speak his mind, so offer it up with both barrels my man.

love this lol i have been known to be lairy in my time



My view on Leno himself have not changed. I still think that he is a mediocre goalkeeper.

What annoyed me was people being offended by the very notion that Arteta had promised the No1 jersey to Leno in 3 games. Spewing conspiracy non sense that it was TalkSport trying to upset Arsenal fans.

Coaches have done it before and will do it again. I just don’t see the problem in Arteta making the decision to take him out of the firing line for 3 games.



Ramsdale was put in for a couple of the “easier” matches.


Although Burnley away is when I would have thought Leno returns.

Mr Serge

if we do not win at Burnley and spuds win the NLD i can’t see MA being here any more i really can’t especially as Conte is available, are we going to pass on another top top manager? as we did with pep, and Klopp ?


I agree with the sentiment that it is hard to put faith in mike executing some grand sweeping tactical revival when he seems incapable of what would appear to be the much simpler tasks of team selection and in-game tactical adjustment. Not sure that patience and acceptance of another mid-table finish serves the club’s interests. Another year of no European football, the financial consequences, the recruitment consequences, the continued failure to keep apace the clubs at the top of the league. Saka? Seems like some pretty certain and fairly significant negative outcomes lightly accepted for the fading hope that a… Read more »


Congratulations, Pedro, for telling us what most of us don’t want to hear: we are impatient. I have a sense that this is your best-ever piece on the three issues you bring up: Culture, Recruitment, Sustained Modern Football Culture. On the first two, Culture and Recruitment, there can be no doubt that you are one hundred percent correct, a brilliant analysis. On Jdp, I have to admit I know little about football tactics – in fact, I skipped reading that bit. But you have my word that later I’ll get my head around it and follow your follow-up suggestion. But… Read more »



I think that Ramsdale is a poor goalkeeper and that Leno despite his flaws is still much better. However maybe for the style of play Arteta wants, Ramsdale is a better fit.

In which case if Arteta genuinely thinks that Ramsdale is the long term solution but is not yet willing to rely on him for difficult games, it make sense to use Ramsdale for a couple of easy games and see how he responds.

I don’t agree with the premises, but I can’t fault the logic of the actions.


Freddie Ljungberg: About a week after I joined, I remember Pat Rice said to me: “Just so we’re clear, what’s demanded at this club is that we win a trophy, a good trophy, every year.” I loved that, because that was who I was – that’s what I wanted too. At the end of my first season at Arsenal, we lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals. At the end of my second season, we lost to Galatasaray on penalties in the Uefa Cup final. Then, at the end of my third season, we lost the FA Cup… Read more »


Sorry I’m calling BS on this. As others have stated its excuse making crud. We all reset our clocks to day 1 now and ignore the litany of absolute fuck ups hes made in the last 2 years. No thanks, he ain’t got it let’s all move on now. Hes a classic bullshitter all noise and no substance.

Ernest Reed

Three Main Traits:
1 Culture
2 Recruitment
3 Sustainable modern footballing structure

Really short read…if you cant actually manage, the above three traits mean absolutely nothing. This is exactly what destroys your theory Pedro.


That last sentence “That team was full of players who had been winners, either with Arsenal or at previous clubs, and they wanted to be winners again” is so important. It’s important to bring leaders, strong characters, winners.

Meanwhile our 3 most expensive transfers this Summer were relegators – Ramsdale, bottom dwellers – White and players with zero physical or leadership qualities – Odegaard.

£110m spent like that and we expect to compete. Forget about it.


Norwich City at home.

Mark it in your diaries as the start of the Arteta revolution.

Up 4 grabs now


Exactly, wouldn’t pay 5 million but will shell out 20 times that when dortmund decide to sell. No chance.
Wasn’t he being tracked by arsenal? im sure keown came out a year ago and said Edu never followed up on him when he came in?


I could not stop laughing when Pedro congratulated Arteta on the 3 items on which he failed. 1. Culture Culture means respecting other and respecting your own value. The idea that one size fits all treatment of everybody has been proven by countless management and psychological experience that it is a fallacy. Also when a manager insists on non-negotiables but himself break them or give preferential treatment to some players when the broke them, then they are not non-negotiables. They are tools to bully and subjugate people the manager does not fancy. Willian not being punished despite breaking UK and… Read more »


lol that picture of Teets at the top of the blog.

Commander In Chief.

Destined for greatness.


Pep the current proponent of JDP can only function with the very best footballers
The true measure of a coach imo is having an ability to adapt and get the best out of his players. Tactical flexibility is critical
JDP appears to be another iteration of total football which has been around since the 1940’s and was a hell of fun to watch particularly with the Dutch
It was clear that diet p was adhering obsessively to a blueprint. He hasn’t shown signs that his thinking can evolve or adapt


Pedro Before responding to today’s interesting post I will revert back to the questions you posted in yesterday’s thread. Interestingly I receive on almost a daily basis emails from Arsenal on a wide range of topics. The emails are sent to me now as a “gold member” and not because I am a season ticket holder. I think that the dynamic of the club’s relationship with its supporters has changed. When I first started “supporting the club” I did so because my father was a season ticket holder and supporter ie because of family connection. Also I was a supporter,… Read more »


If Leno doesn’t return for the Burnley match but instead the Spurs game why would that be? You can understand Norwich at home being seen as an easier match and the League Cup matches against inferior opposition but any EPL match away from home can’t be seen as easy. Could it be that Arteta sees that the Burnley match could entail them being very physical and putting in plenty of aerials in the Arsenal penalty area which we have seen Leno is not comfortable with? Spurs match would be seen as them being less physical and more of a footballing… Read more »


Was that really a Mike McDonald post?

Is he gimped up down in Pedro’s basement or sonething?


Our best transfers in the last years were absolute proven players that were already lightning up the stage for years but hungry for more success – Alexis and Auba. Two players used and addicted to winning. They were/are the difference maker for us. Not the likes of Xhaka, Mustafi, Lacazette – a combined £125m – experienced players but never even close to being top shelf or playing for a top club. Or the likes of Torreira, Perez, Welbeck – supposed bargains that rarely if ever work out. The only player of late I can add to the first category is… Read more »

Ernest Reed

Great post Emiratestroller! Now that is a worthwhile long read.


Northbanker You are absolutely right, football is a simple game at the end of the day. The man seen as the most innovative coach in the modern game in Pep Guardiola had a mentor in Cruyff who firmly believed in that. “Playing football is very simple but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is”- Cruyff himself. The game is beginning to be over-complicated in some quarters in a desperate attempt to conceal Arteta’s patently obvious shortcomings. How about getting the sheer basics right first like knowing your best XI and getting your players to actually… you know score… Read more »


Another long read justifying why we need to have patience with the “generational coach”. If the system is so good, we should be seeing some results after 18 months. I can accept losing to Man City and Chelsea, but losing to Brentford and struggling to win at the Emirates against the likes of Norwich do not give any confidence of a better outcome at the end of this process.

Boring, boring, boring!!!


Arsenal’s best recruitment is and has always been its promotion of youth players from its
academy or interestingly low budget acquisitions as was case when Wenger joined the club.

The best recruits in my lifetime were Charlie George, Adams, Liam Brady and Fabregas.
The best transfers which were mainly low budget were Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira
and Thierry Henry.


You’ve summed it up quite nicely

Bob N16

ES, been supporting for 49 years and your post rang true. We no doubt sound like old gits but we are old enough to remember many seasons of mediocrity. Nowadays with social media and a depth of analysis that never existed has changed the expectations and demands from supporters, as well as prolonged success with AW. I remember when I was around 9 years old (1974) and my Great Uncle Tom was consoling me about Arsenal’s poor start to the season, that Arsenal was a great club and that he remembered the glory of the 30s and that I should… Read more »



“The best transfers which were mainly low budget were Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry.”

Bergkamp and Henry though were so-called low budget transfers from top sides. Vieira of course was yet another French gem that Wenger specialised in.

So there is a subtle difference between low budget transfers of players from middling to lower clubs and low budget transfers of players from undisputed top sides.

That’s not to say that some of these recent transfers won’t come good but just highlighting the difference between these most recent ones compared to the Bergkamp and Henry transfers.


Brilliant article. All i’ll is time will prove everybody wrong or right! Interesting read VAL but im afraid you’re wrong. Positional play is the vogue. Nals,pep,poch all use it. It’s the trend


Temagooner If you care to read properly what I posted you will see that I gave Arteta a finite period of 10 games this season to prove himself and if he goes on a losing run it could be shorter. However, the reality is that the owner has invested in the current project and is not going to boot out the manager just because some anonymous posters want him to do so. Many people in senior jobs both in business and professions are recruited at the same age as Arteta. So calling him a “generational” manager is not of itself… Read more »


“Positional play is the vogue. Nals,pep,poch all use it. It’s the trend”

Fashion means nothing if it doesn’t translate into winning football or if not that exciting progressive football.


Ishola 70

Arsenal have never been particularly clever in their transfer business particularly when they
spent a lot of money.

That does not just apply to Wenger and his recent successors.

Frankly Saka is by a country mile the best player on our books at the moment and did not
cost us a bean. It looks like Patino could also be the next best recruit.


“Positional play is the vogue. Nals,pep,poch all use it. It’s the trend”

remind us which teams they manage? The financial resources they have at their disposal, the choice of players and the number of players that want to play for them.

Even though Wenger was in decline players still wanted to play for AFC – is that the case now?



My comments were in relation to Pedro’s post, “long read”. I have not even read your comments. And it is Pedro who coined the term “generational coach”, not me. Unless Emiratesstroller and Pedro are one and the same person.


This post is sponsored by Pedro


It’s the argument of molecular vs traditional cooking. Cooks doing chemical tests in a laboratory to create a good awful experiment that think of themselves as innovators, when the best experience you can have is to go to an expensive restaurant where cook traditionally but have some of the best products and skills in the world.

Stop overcomplicating things.

Words on a blog

For all I know it is entirely possible that the club has gone all in on the implementation of a “JDP” structure, with players identified by A&E, based on data analysis by StatsDNA and the resident technical gurus of the club, and the coaching of JDP led by Arteta and his various assistants. The level of spending sanctioned by Josh and Stan would seem to suggest it. In the long run, JDP could turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread, but in the long run we are all dead. So far, as a supporter with no particular… Read more »


Win football games consistently lads, just win football games.


In that analogy, Leicester are the food truck that has the best bang for buck product.


Arteta can’t figure out his best starting 11 some 22 months into his reign, people think he is guiding us to a generation of dominance if we only trust in the process. Leap of faith is an understatement.


Bati Milan were shite last night barring that 5 minutes in the 1st half where they scored. Could not believe how bad Leao looked in particular, a player that I definitely rate. What gives? Missing Ibrahimovic but the likes or Kessie, Leao, Kjaer, Tomori, Bennacer, Calabria and Tonali all were shocking. Only Hernandez and Rebic/Brahim in short bursts looked in any way good. They are a young team and it was their first time back in the CL in a long while, maybe a lot of it was nerves? Anfield a very tough assignment for your first game to be… Read more »


Very interesting article Pedro. I am glad that you made the conclusion at the end that we need to see this through to the end of the season and see where we are. Game to game criticism is fine but it must be set in the broader picture of where we are at the beginning of May and no musings about who can do a better job than Arteta. In fact i think all such comments should be moderated out of the site!


^ Pedro with yet another burner account hehe.


To answer the 1st question, all clubs back their manager until they pull the trigger. They do this to stop the feeding frenzy of speculation.
This season’s recruitment is all on Edu according to David Ornstein on Arsecast https://arseblog.com/2021/09/episode-643-that-was-the-window-that-was/. Arteta’s big recruit’s were David Luiz and Willian. He also persuaded Xhaka to stay and then also extended him this summer. He also asked Mustafi to stay before he left. Runnarson was also his baby.


Sorry Pedro you lost me at

‘There are times when the cord should be cut as with Emery and there are times when we should be patient’

Because the anti Emery and pro Arteta agenda was too obvious to be worth taking seriously!


This isn’t a Pedro article. It’s Mike McDonald, right?! It should be stated at the beginning of the article imo.


The truth is often much simpler than complex obfuscations designed to conceal it.


On a more minor point I was surprised that Mike has described Charlie Patino as a DM

This ain’t the Patino that I’ve watched in the youth teams who is very much a CAM or a no8

I hope that Azeez emerges as a ball playing DM but have noted a comment from Jorge Bird that he and Patino don’t always mix well in the same team

Ernest Reed

“Stop overcomplicating things.”

In the throws of last breaths, is this not what a drowning person does, Raptora? The realization is that Pedro has essentially thrown everything he has at the wall and is hoping that something, anything sticks to it.

Ernest Reed

“In fact i think all such comments should be moderated out of the site!”

Then there would be no blog as only sunshine and daisy comments would remain.

Get over your self-righteous self Grouville.

S Asoa

aka filibuster, or pulling wool over the head. Sheep do it as they are taken to be fleeced – another apt term for what they are getting to


It’s september 16th 2021 and whoever writes these articles still somehow thinks Arteta will get it right at some point?
What’s wrong with y’all on this site?
Beat Norwich 1-0 and suddenly think we are enroute greatness?


I wonder if the changing of coaches at academy level is part of an attempt to develop the education that those kids get. As in learning the basics of what arteta is now attempting to teach his team to do.


Dont forget chaps. The season starts in December. That’s all I got to say on this post. Sauce kicks in after the Jingle bells are done with


The manner in which Arteta and his ‘principles’ are justified have all the hallmarks of a cult. What we’re hearing now sounds like every tech early adopter (95% backing crap products that quietly disappear), despite this ‘juego de posicion’ being nothing new at all (how many managers have tried and largely failed in the last 10 years, because the barriers to assembling the necessary players are too high?). All just re-inventing the wheel and re-imagining the past and present to buy Arteta more runway. Now, football fandom is tribal and cult-like by its nature, and the club having gone all-in… Read more »


Do not question dear leader Mikel!

He can only be judged at the end of the season. The end of this season ofc. Last season didn’t count


Arteta was hired in December 2019. As you noted, the Norwich game was on September 11th 2021 and we are talking about Day 1. What the actual fuck?


Also didnt realise it really before but now that i read the article it made complete sense.. as i watched the norwich game even when they were going on a break against us it didnt appear as dangerous as before. The defenders and midfielders simply held their zones and formation slowly draining their counters out of gas. Even when our first press was broken and bypasses things didnt get badly out of hand. And say what you will about norwich but you dont win the championship 2 times in 3 years with luck only. That team is bottom half quality… Read more »


Bewilders me how some can be so enamoured with Arteta. What is he doing that fills anyone with confidence? The only confidence I see is from opposition fans who rightly rule us out as a threat as long as he is here. What is his philosophy, what targets does he set himself and the side?

The sooner we stop this nonsense experiment and get back to being an actual football club the better.


How’s JDP faring against tuchels pragmatic style?


Arteta in 2020: “Those who don’t share my commitment to the highest standards won’t be at Arsenal for long.”

I do not think he is delusional or stupid but he is most certainly a liar.


This post has been plagiarized or should I say inspired from one of the threads of a Twitter account.

Receding Hairline

This T fella is special.

Wonder why we didn’t drain the teams that put 9 past us previously of their “gas”.

Just one win against Norwich. Says a lot about the supposed faith in Arteta if he gets this much credit for beating Norwich at home. The standard’s aren’t low, they are non existent


Elmo, The problem is that many people are only discovering JDP now and suddenly think that it is new and shiny, when the reality is that most coaches have already move to different approaches. The ignorance bias; of I did not know that how could you know that before me. That must be new! As you wrote, one well known issue with JDP is his prohibitively high cost. The system demands clever, fit, disciplined players who behaved like robot but who at the same can play instinctually when attacking. So the number of intelligent, disciplined but instinctual, fit and very… Read more »


These fellas are proclaiming that success is inevitable under Arteta. And we will dominate for years both in England and in the European scene. Not even Pedro has talked such drivel. I would exclude him from the bunch as believe it or not, he is the more measured pro Arteta fan. There is now a cult following we are dealing with. Dire times indeed.



Good fun. 22 months later, £200m spent on new players, out of Europe, our biggest banter league start in 50 years and we’re still getting 3000 words on how Arteta is an elite coach and tactician. Honestly.


This JDP just sounds like another excuse for Arteta.

“The generational one has a masterplan that is going to work out.Trust me. Oh you would like to know what it is? It is about space, positioning, lanes, [insert any word that sounds cool here], etc..”

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