WHAT IS ARTETA DOING? (LONG READ)

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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Graham

The most damning indictment here is that the player who must epitomises both the on and off field attitude and the tactical and footballing no ability that Arteta is aiming for – and who is listed first by the article – is Granit Xhaxa. We are putting up with the worst Arsenal team for years and a series of breaking bad records going back for decades while paying some of the highest ticket prices in football, with that as the ultimate aim. Hard to think of a player whose ability but attitude on the pitch and above all to the… Read more »

englandsbest

Pierre

I love wikipedia, I conribute to it, I use it constantly, but we must never take the site as an absolute authority.

I was there at Wembley in 1966, watching games. So I will trust my memory. For sure Greaves was fit and eager to play – for the final, certainly.

But I’d much rather deal with the wider issue of the post., Arteta as a forward thinker, an innovator. Where do stand on that, pal?

Ishola70

Graham
“The most damning indictment here is that the player who must epitomises both the on and off field attitude and the tactical and footballing no ability that Arteta is aiming for – and who is listed first by the article – is Granit Xhaxa.”

This is a huge minus point to whatever this system and planning is.

And yet Pedro last week was wishing for Lokonga to oust Xhaka from the starting XI.

Ishola70

I think Pedro gets it in the neck a bit not because of his stance but because of the inconsistencies in his stance but it can go a bit OTT.

At the end of the day it is just debate about sport and it can be civil with even humour sprinkled in as well.

If you think you are on the right side of the debate then there is no need to start screaming and getting a little catty. Time will prove you right although the frustrations in the meantime can be understood.

Bob N16

ES, I think the most expensive ST at Arsenal could have been the most expensive. My ST this year was as just over £600 for reasons as you explained. . Our ST with 7 cup ties included, have always been compared to Spuds and Chelsea who just include PL games, so concluding that ours are the most expensive without being like-for-like was lazy journalism or agenda driven. Demetrios, I’ve posted similar on various occasions. Just like with being a fan of a club, there is a connection with this blog that raises the passion and emotion. This affects people differently.… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

Ishola 70

Pedro is a genuine Arsenal Supporter albeit like myself not adverse to “constructive criticism” of the club, management and players.

However, there are far too many posters whose sole objective appears to be to criticise the club for the sake of it.

Overall I think that Pedro has endeavoured to be tolerant and polite towards most posters, but I detect that he is now growing fed up with certain individuals who seem to target him
personally.

Ishola70

ES

tbf the club has made so many bad decisions over several years that they have been open to continued criticism so you can’t hold that against posters really. That they angst against these bad decisions show they care just as much as those that go along with everything the club does.

I was more on about the situation with posters and Pedro himself rather than general criticism.

Emiratesstroller

Bob N16 I have got two season tickets which cost £2,100 each when we played in Champions League. They reduced to under £2,000 when we played in Europa Cup. Today the tickets cost around £1,600, but with the credit for 2019/20 season I paid around £1,100. For the record I have not been to either of our first two games, because the people who go to the games with me were unwell or have to safeguard due to covid. This may well be my last season, as a season ticket holder, but if that is the case I will pass… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

Ishola 70 No-one goes along with everything that has been done. I joined Le Grove at a time when I wanted Wenger to retire, because he was past his sell by date and I suspect that Pedro started this website for precisely that reason. The club is not doing well at the moment. I am sure that the owner and senior management are not blind, but the idea that you can change everything overnight as some seem to think is completely unrealistic. As I responded to another poster some weeks ago the choice is that if you do not like… Read more »

Ishola70

Many on here will have to start living with Arsenal not competing at the real top level. I see there is enthusiasm regarding the age of the players being brought in. That they are young is being championed. It’s never about just a players age. It’s about getting the right player never mind how old he is. This liking for this is of course because of Borussia Dortmund and how they have been run. But Dortmund start from a position of strength in the Bundesliga. This is not the case for Arsenal in the EPL. Also the EPL is more… Read more »

raptora

The big problem is that Pedro is out of sync with most of his readers. He’s built this blog over the years, got an audience that likes the idea of the blog. The readers knew what to expect because their view was mostly in line with what the writers were preaching. Bar Gazidis, Pedro has had his finger on the pulse of most of us and what we want and expect for Arsenal’s present and future. With Arteta though, the opinion of literally 75%+ of his audience, has been on the polar opposite. He’s alienated and ridiculed a large portion… Read more »

WengerEagle

Kids outside of England unless coerced into it by their old man 9 times out of 10 will support one of the best teams around so one of your Man City/Chelsea/Liverpool of late and abroad Real Madrid/Atletico Madrid/Bayern Munich/PSG, etc. They could also fall in love with an underdog team that plays exciting football i.e Dortmund, Atalanta, Leicester, Lille, etc. We don’t tick either of those boxes right now, sure we have a great history but do kids really care about that? Of course not. We currently are an upper midtable club that plays uninspired and ball-achingly dull football. So… Read more »

Bob N16

Raptora ‘he’s alienated and ridiculed a large portion of his posters’ – is this true?

raptora

Bob,
Want me to make a list of the excellent posters that were banned in the last 2 years?

Bob N16

You’re right Wengereagle, non aligned supporters will always follow the successful teams unless they’ve family allegiance to follow, and always then!

We will return to the top and we’ll pick up a load of new fans, just as we’ve been losing out on newbies in the last few years.

Ishola70

Raptora

If Arteta was 10 years older Pedro would have already asked for his head on a plate with no flip flopping.

Again we go back to age as with the players.

Young is seen as fresh and exciting.

The problem is we have not seen this on the pitch. It hasn’t translated. In fact the opposite.

A fixation with image that manifests itself in age terms.

Dissenter

Ishola
Dortmund aren’t overly sentimental towards any manager
If a manager can’t cut it, the manager is out.
The new Arsenal approach of signing youngsters is quite good, it’s rather foolish to put it in the hands of a novice manager with no track record of developing players.

Marc used to write all the time that some of our best youth are going to be tempted to go elsewhere as time goes on, the longer we stay out of Europe.

PhD2020

What’s most jarring is someone with a wry smile and a smirk-urinating in your overcoat pocket with full propulsion in your face and repeatedly telling you it’s a torrential rain.

Poster:WTF?

Blogger:It’s the weather.

Bob N16

Raptora, ‘excellent posters’.

If you were running an Arsenal blog, would you at any point ban posters? These ‘excellent posters’ could they have gone too far in their criticisms of Pedro or other posters. We’re they wind up merchants?

Valentin

Ishola70, I agree. Young mediocre players are still mediocre players. Old talented players are still talented players. You just need to excitement for Zlatan, Messi and CR7. They may not be as good as they were, but people are still excited to see them play. This week European games have shown that you do not need to spend gazillions of money to create an exciting team ready to challenge. If small undistinguished clubs can use cheap young, but talented players to produce exciting football, Arsenal should not hide behind the age of their recruits and the latest process fad (currently… Read more »

Dissenter

raptora is right
Many posters who still come here do so in spite of Pedro, not because of the posts.

For me, Pedro has earned the right to go about his Arsenal midlife crises his own way. Anyone with discernment can see how far he’s into Arteta, it’s like a dependence at this stage.
He doesn’t deserve undue abuse. He provides this blog for free and I don’t know how we manages to squeeze time out of his marketing executive schedule.

Valentin

Bob16,

You can’t build your reputation on”this is a blog where you can have an opinion not been given one” and then make a complete U-turn and start banning people you disagree with.

If you do, expect backlash. Especially from those people who have followed you for years.

Ishola70

Dissenter

“The new Arsenal approach of signing youngsters is quite good”

Why is it “quite good” ?

Is it going to cut it in the most competitive league in the world?

Or do you just like the idea itself even if it doesn’t materialise in success at the real top level?

As said before it’s about getting the right players in rather than fixating on age.

If that right player is of a younger age all good.

Matt

Emirates troller

‘As I responded to another poster some weeks ago the choice is that if you do not like the way the club is run go off and find another club who suits your expectations better.’

This is probably the most ridiculous statement I have ever read on here, and that’s saying something.

Ishola70

Valentin

“to excuse gross blatant underachievement.”

And this is what it is basically.

We all know this.

For the outlay this club has undertaken over several years it is clearly very big underachievement.

It seems now they want to hide this underachievement with complete re-sets, talk of youth including young inexperienced manager. All done to gloss over this underachievement.

S Asoa

Appropriate acronym

” The Brotherhood of Arsenal’s Sincere Trusted And Really Dedicated Servants (B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S) ”

Thanks Aluminia for showing these the mirror

Bob N16

Valentin, I take your point but agin as I asked Raptora, if you were running this blog when if ever would you ban someone? I must admit I would struggle to show restraint! If you want a healthy comments stream, you want people to express their opinions and it would be a stale stream if you only accepted opinions that mirrored your own. That being said, if someone constantly winds up other posters in a way that is overly rude, and if after they’ve been warned they persist, they deserve a ban in my book. The posters who attack Pedro’s… Read more »

DUIFG

This man managed to list mavrapanos who is was sold on an option ahead of saliba. God give me strength, we have a monster ready to go and he’s already been sidelined to sale by many.

I will not understand it

Matt

Pedro gets called out on here because he has the most inconsistent views of anyone. One minute (a few weeks ago), he was essentially saying Arteta’s day are numbered, now it is back to manipulating every possible narrative to make it seem like he is doing a good job. If Pedro cant face criticism for that (which I expect is the case as he wont even acknowledge it), then I would suggest he is a bit of a snowflake. I appreciate it is his blog and I’m sure everyone appreciates the time and effort he puts into it, but he… Read more »

Dissenter

Matt
It’s okay for people to etch out their utter inanity in stone for all to see.
The ignore button works very well here.

curse

Pedro, you mention Gnabry, not sure why he would want to come back but that would be cool. I’d prefer Doku, add Isak and another mid and this squad would be looking pretty gangsta.

Matt

Dissenter

Of course you can ignore it, but equally if that’s the case, why come here at all? Coming to Le Grove now compared to years ago is akin to supporting a different team. You can’t relate to it. Pedro is unrecognisable and the only familiarity is with some (in fairness most) of the commentators, which is why I continue to come, albeit don’t post very often.

PhD2020

Without poster’s there would be no blog.Without a blog-no posters. It cuts both ways.One hand washes the other. Ultimately it’s about having a mutual respect between both parties.You’ll vehemently disagree on occasions..On other occasions either side’s views will or would be in alignment. It’s all part of the discourse.Challenging,debating,putting each other’s viewpoints across in a meaningful way. But when it now descends into a wack-a-mole frenzy,deleting comments,censoring comments, patronising and banning posters that are not in line with your view point over a considerable length of time…Then it ceases to be a blog where open debate within tolerable and respectful… Read more »

Tom

“@Englandsbest- spot on re the England ‘74 side.So many fabulous players.Should have gone onto win the ‘74 World Cup ( even with a great German & Dutch side eventually deciding it)bar an aberration against Poland.Never seemed to recover after that.“ Positive Pete, a bit of a stretch considering England played four qualifiers then , winning only one, losing to Poland 2:0 away, and failing to win at Wembley both times despite creating countless chances against Poland and resorting to a dive to win a pen and a rugby tackle on Lato to keep him from scoring on a breakaway. Then… Read more »

Dissenter

Matt If you don’t ignore it then you’re going to be another extinct poster because just like you write, Pedro is unrecognizable. He operated a fiery Wenger-out blog, against the grain of public opinion and now, he’s Arteta-establishment. Like RH wrote earlier, nothing Pedro writes annoys me these days because he’s nailed his colors to the mast. Not even when he does the typical fleeting angry posts when Arteta shits the bed. Haven’t you noticed that he’s attracted a new breed of passionate establishment posters to his cause? He will argue the volume of posts haven’t dropped so why should… Read more »

TR7

“As I responded to another poster some weeks ago the choice is that if you do not like the way the club is run go off and find another club who suits your expectations better.”

This guy gets on my nerves for his disgusting sense of entitlement and condescension.

Ishola70

Talking of establishment figures GeoffArsenal is now retweeting Pedro’s comments and championing them on the tw@tter..

The same GeoffArsenal who I am sure Pedro didn’t see eye to eye with during Wenger’s last period at the club.

Sid

“””Brotherhood of Arsenal’s Sincere Trusted And Really Dedicated Servants”””

These guys crossed the street from Untold, i can smell them from a browser away.

Tom

Positive Pete, England also failed to beat Yugoslavia in a friendly just before that , also at Wembley. The same Yugoslavia Poland beat at the WC.

So the same England that couldn’t beat Poland, Italy , Yugoslavia and Wales at Wembley shortly before the 1974 WC should’ve gone on to win the 1974 World Cup.

Ok then, why not.

Matt

Ishola

Unless I am mistaken, Geoff is actually Pedro’s old man. Hard to believe I know as he spoke a lot of sense.

englandsbest

The idea that Pedro is obligated to reflect the opinion of the majority on here seems odd to me. After all, he is not a politician. Furthermore, the opinion of most on here may not coincide with the opinion of most Arsenal supporters. It certainly does not coincide with those who turn up for games.

Karsa

Another youngster signs a new deal.

PhD2020

TR7September 17, 2021 12:19:26 “As I responded to another poster some weeks ago the choice is that if you do not like the way the club is run go off and find another club who suits your expectations better.” This guy gets on my nerves for his disgusting sense of entitlement and condescension. ——- Not wishing to wade into this argument..As it’s all about positive energy…. I know,I know…..I’ve fired off about three posts that might contradict the above sentence..But I’m only human… Anyway,I digress.. Maybe ES could have worded his statement better..For example,to edit his words…. ‘As I responded… Read more »

raptora

Stroller says some truly mind-boggling things. Entitled prick.

englandsbest

Tom

Stats don’t tell the whole story: far from it.

Fate smiled on Poland that day.

Ishola70

Matt
“Unless I am mistaken, Geoff is actually Pedro’s old man. Hard to believe I know as he spoke a lot of sense.”

Ooops really?

Well I am sure I saw them in disagreement when Wenger was around in his last throes on tw@tter in the past. And I always thought of GeoffArsenal as always backing the club come what may but maybe not the case with nasty Emery.

But then it falls into place. Disagreeing and arguing with your old man is par the course.

Seems they have made up on the footballing front atm though.

Pierre

Englandsbest “I was there at Wembley in 1966, watching games. So I will trust my memory. For sure Greaves was fit and eager to play – for the final, certainly.But I’d much rather deal with the wider issue of the post., Arteta as a forward thinker, an innovator. Where do stand on that, pal?” Yes Greaves was fit for the final , but as I said he was not dropped and if he hadn’t have been injured he would have no doubt been selected to play in the forthcoming games.. How I look at it is that Ramsey got lucky,… Read more »

Graham62

Pedro aside for one minute, what did Arteta have that Arsenal needed? Was it just down to his past connection with the club and his time with Pep at MC? What about his language skills? Did this come into it? After Emery, most likely. From my own perspective, there was no evidence that Arteta was up to the task. His one managerial game at MC he lost. He came into an utter shitfest and managed to steady the ship and due to an injury to Leno, he unearthed a quality GK who had a marked effect on the entire defence… Read more »

S Asoa

AlumiaNoMore

The tenor of today’s episode was right. It conveys the obscene level of justification of Fraudteta we sunk in today.

raptora

https://twitter.com/Lauren12arsenal/status/1438827720897662978

Saw this picture on Twitter of Gilberto and Lauren. Gilberto drops a comment that it must be one of his first trainings at Colney and Lauren added:

Lauren Etame Mayer @Lauren12arsenal
By the way, when @GilbertoSilva saw how we trained, he decided not to take his shin pads off… and that despite being one of the toughest tacklers in the team! Face with tears of joy

PhD2020

KroenkephobeSeptember 17, 2021 08:01:46 PhD Respect mate. Good luck with the training and the event. There’s an annual triathlon in our village in West Wales every year. If you get the bug, you should give it a try. The swim is in the Irish sea and the cycling and run feature sone pretty full-on ascents. ——- Thanks Kroenkephobe… Haha..Would not go that far just yet… Just setting small targets….Building up to a mini-triathlon first.Which should be doable.. And see,where I go from there… Swimming the Irish Sea…Nahhhh….I’ll pass on that one..I’ll leave that to you… 🙂 But you never know…… Read more »

HerbsArmy

Emirates Stroller

You say you have passionately supported Arsenal from as long ago as the 1950’s?
With that in mind, during the last 60 years, if you were to compare Arsenal with a club that hasn’t relied on petrodollars or oil money, and were similar to us in the way they operate, how have Liverpool been so successful, and Arsenal practically the complete opposite, given that Arsenal have had a lot more advantage?

Dissenter

Don’t criticize the man until you’ve been invited to a billionaire’s daughter’s wedding.
How else would you know how billionaires think..

raptora

We haven’t had many tough players in the last 10+ years. Who comes to mind – Koscielny kind of, Flamini and Coquelin maybe. I can list maybe 3-4 players in the last 15 years that were hard and determined to win the ball no matter what. It’s one of the shortcomings we’ve had along the years and one that has yet to be taken care of, even after dropping north of 200m.

Tom

Englandsbest You must’ve missed the main parts of my post where I said England failed to beat Yugoslavia, lost to Italy, failed to beat Wales and Poland, all at Wembley in the run up to the 1974 WC. Creating a massive amount of chances while failing to score from open play in one game against Poland could be looked at as unlucky only if there wasn’t a clear pattern of England’s steady decline. The fact England had to score from a dodgy pen and resort to an open field rugby tackle to even stay in that game tells its own… Read more »

Ishola70

I like the drumbreak at the very start but that’s about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVrvayxkqpI

Domagoj+B

I don’t post here often but regularly visit for the last 4-5 years and read comments as well. Don’t know if my post will even be posted. But I need to say Pedro that I really don’t get you man. The level of support, explanations (more like justification) and putting blind faith in this article, in Arteta makes me think you are not as you once were, a strong voice against all that is bad in our club. And no longer neutral. This sounds more like a PR piece from the club. Especially since you’ve accepted at one point recently… Read more »

Tom

Ishola haha

WengerEagle

HerbsArmy asking the right questions.

-Arsenal net spend from 2016-present: £445m
-Liverpool’s 2016-present net spend: £140m
(Klopp’s Liverpool tenure)

Graham62

Herbs Army Comparing Arsenal and Liverpool, in many aspects, is like comparing chalk and cheese. The passion and feel for the club is totally different. My long departed Uncle was a hardcore Liverpool supporter. He took me to Anfield for the first time in 1976; when I was 14. The atmosphere, the feel of the place, everything about it was different. Fans were far more vocal and far more passionate. If a player made a mistake they let you know about it. I also feel the culture of the city made it so appealing for so many players. The music… Read more »

Ishola70

Actually there was some very good music to come out of Poland in the late 60s and 70s.

For those who like the jazz then you had the 70s Polish Jazz series.

Also for the Polish Kultur you had the Polish Film School originating from the 60s.

PhD2020

TonySeptember 17, 2021 08:20:32 PHD I know nothing about how you train for such endurance.Do you use any machines, such as cross trainers? —— Hi Tony, Hope all is well..Along with you and your family. Thanks for the reply and support.. In answer to your question,no I don’t currently use cross trainers-but will bear that in mind for sure… I started training just after the Tokyo Olympics..I think being homebound with the lockdowns and just vegetating got to me.I’ve always been sporty to be fair.So,do have a reasonable foundation to work from. The Olympics got my sporting juices flowing…Especially seeing… Read more »

PhD2020

*And the cycling of which I’ve yet to build upon considerably

Tom
Ishola70

That boy could put the burners on. No question.

And people always say that the game is quicker now.

Not in the case of that Polish winger.

Tom

Ishola the game is quicker now not the players.
Poland had two of them one on each wing.

PhD2020

Tom

FFS

Good winger that could put the burners on…But in that compilation….

1 goal,1 assist..At most 2 goals ,2 assists….

What’s your point in that three minute compilation video?

HerbsArmy

Thanks W.eagle, our acceptance that we are somehow inferior started gaining traction in the ’60’s, but really ramped up during the ’70’s and has continued ever since. Now they are eons ahead of us, and we’re not the remotest bit interested in catching them, which as a sporting entity, is a major concern (possibly only on my part). Hi Graham (62), yes lots of culture going on in Liverpool, Mersey beat, Beatles, their mate Cilla, all the comedians like Doddy , Stan Boardman et al, the city was fair rocking it for a good few decades, and standing in the… Read more »

WinOrDie

Arteta has just acquired an almost complete set of players to execute his ideas and i think that is evident when he said that the last 15 days have been the best….. so let’s wait and see if the football flow improves.

Doublethink

ES
He can’t be trying that hard to be polite and tolerant because all I posted was a comparison between Emery’s and Arteta’s record with Arsenal and asked which ones generational? That’s all it took for him to start with the ad hominem attacks.

PhD2020

DoublethinkSeptember 17, 2021 13:30:08
ES
He can’t be trying that hard to be polite and tolerant because all I posted was a comparison between Emery’s and Arteta’s record with Arsenal and asked which ones generational? That’s all it took for him to start with the ad hominem attacks.

——

Bamford is that you?

Lol

Ishola70

Stan Boardman was instrumental in Liverpool’s footballing success.

That curled lip of his.

“The Germans bombed our chip shop”

He didn’t like the Germans.

Of course his anti-German sentiments would not be tolerated today.

Emiratesstroller

Matt My statement is not ridiculous as you suggest. If you don’t like what is going on at Arsenal and you have nothing positive ever to say about the club then you have a choice and that is to move on and support another club which suits your expectations better. As I pointed out yesterday most genuine supporters pre EPL supported their local team or the one their family support. It was called “tribal”. Even now most clubs in England apart from perhaps the so-called 6 major clubs are supported locally. As I pointed out Arsenal have produced throughout its… Read more »

HerbsArmy

Ishola

‘The German Fokkers’ was Boardman’s line.

raptora

I didn’t know that GeoffArsenal on twitter is the old Geoff that created the blog along with Pedro. He is a known name of course. Got a lot of followers too. Just ran a quick check on his actual tweets and not retweets since the beginning of the season and I got this: GeoffArsenal Aug 8 Worst pre season I can remember, don’t bode well does it? GeoffArsenal Aug 14 I saw people telling me when I commented on a bad pre season that “it’s only pre season” etc. We’ll, buckle up people, this will be a tough one. GeoffArsenal… Read more »

Janky

PhD2020September 17, 2021 06:33:21 This post. Pedro keeps pushing the goods proper like the ad man he is, but the substance is virtually nonexistent. Arteta is a failure. Facts are as PhD listed. All things are subject to change however, which is about the only constant going, so mike might yet turn a corner. At this point though, there is little to suggest this beyond blind hope and the kind of straw grasping arguments Pedro proffers on the regular. The main issue I take with the patience merchants/apologists is that real damage is being done to the club whilst we… Read more »

Ishola70

Raptora

The latest from GeoffArsenal is that he is behind giving more time for Arteta.

He has caught the “it all starts from Norwich” bug it seems like many others and it looks like he was impressed with this playing system unveiled by Mike McDonald.

WengerEagle

Ishola

Speaking of players from the past that were rapid, remwmber being shocked at how fast Michael Laudrup looked in his youtube clips, cut defenders to pieces in 1 vs 1s and was just as good over long distances.

He would have been just as devastating in the modern game, his clips are pretty sensational and the Wikipedia player/manager testimonies on him are beyond impressive.

Emiratesstroller

raptora

Let’s face if someone does not like what is going on at the club and you are not 100% committed to Arsenal then move on.

It is one thing to be constructively critical of the club, but when it become a “worn” record the message is becoming repetitive.

.

Ishola70

Weagle

Yes I remember Laudrup being very quick in tight situations with defenders and as you say he could motor over longer distances as well to receive the ball.

The dream player really because of course with his undisputed flair he had that pace to go along with it.

As Tom said earlier it’s not that the players themselves are any quicker than from the past many of them just that the overall instruction is to play quicker as a whole.

Tom

PHD good eye. That was his problem. Defenders couldn’t live with his speed and dribbling but he lacked the final product. Kinda like Wolves’ Adama Traore but without Rambo arms. He did have most assists , 2 more than Cruyff in the 1974 WC Lato, the right winger, who was just as quick ,was a better finisher and a golden boot winner then with 7 open play goals. No WC golden boot winner since has scored more to win it except Ronaldo in 2002 , but I think he might’ve had a couple of pens in there. The point of… Read more »

Jim Lahey

Fucking hell…
Joseph Goebbels eat your heart out

WengerEagle

Ishola Laudrup was rated by Cruyff as by far the best player in the world even when he went to rivals Real Madrid and blitzed them 5-0 at the Bernabeu in his first season at Real on route to winning the league. “Had Michael been born in a poor ghetto in Brazil or Argentina with the ball being his only way out of poverty he would today be recognised as the biggest genius of the game ever. He had all the abilities to reach it but lacked this ghetto-instinct, which could have driven him there.” “One of the most difficult… Read more »

Jim Lahey

“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.”

Man, this is pure nonsense 😂😂.

Xhaka is easily one of the worst players in Arsenal’s recent history in relation to the game time he has received. There is no coincidence that our rapid decline and Xhaka’s tenure are the club have occurred at the same time.

Offering this diaster of a player a new contact is most definitely a sackable offense.

raptora

Stroller, You are asking people why do they support Arsenal and that maybe they should change clubs. Who does that? I love Arsenal, I’ve been an Arsenal fan for 3/4 of my life, I’ve missed on holidays, events, family, work to watch Arsenal games, I’m not ever going to change my club, what is wrong with you? Don’t you see that Arsenal is like a homeland governed by garbage rulers? It’s a fantastic, phenomenal country, absolutely no doubt about it. But the people with power have been failing in their decisions for many years. I’m not flaming or criticizing against… Read more »

Tom

Weagle, agree on Laudrup, what a player he was.

Jim Lahey

“I have been an Arsenal Supporter more than 65 years and I have watched some dreadful teams and performances in that time.”

Yeah lots of dreadful teams, but what about a worse manager?

Ishola70

Yes it was a case if whether Laudrup fancied it or not.

But if it was one of those days when he did fancy it wasn’t worth the opposition getting off their bus to play the match.

Emiratesstroller

Arsenal have been rightly criticised for their transfer business, but I think that many of our
competitors have also made serious mistakes.

People are always complimenting Chelsea on how clever they are in transfer market. That is
frankly not correct.

Consider the following two sales:

Sala to Roma £13.5 Million
De Bruyne to Wolfsburg £19.8 Million

WengerEagle

Tom/Ishola

You lads are a bit older and got to see Laudrup at the time. He was held in the highest esteem by all of the world’s best players/managers of the 90s and 2000s and by many accounts was the best player of the 90s.

Why is his name not brought up with the likes of Zidane, Baggio, R9, etc when talking about the best players of the 90s among football fans? I have never really heard anyone say his name for player of the 90s.

Jim Lahey

“Consider the following two sales:

Salah to Roma £13.5 Million
De Bruyne to Wolfsburg £19.8 Million”

What does any of this have to do with the predicament that we are in now?
Also, This is nothing like the situation at Chelsea. Chelsea can afford to make blunders in the market, money isn’t an issue with them. It is with us.

Kroenkephobe

As for the vitriol aimed at Pedro cos he supports Artetas ideas,plan,vision.

Positive Pedro er sorry Pete

Defending yourself (via your own alter ego) is truly bizarre. Worse mate, it makes me wonder if you’re OK. Seriously Pedro, we’ve all taken a hit to varying degrees with covid. I’m not being flippant. Close it down for a bit or get someone to fill in for a week.

Otherwise, this blog is moving to a new metaphysical level.

PhD2020

WengerEagleSeptember 17, 2021 14:12:44
Tom/IsholaYou lads are a bit older and got to see Laudrup at the time. He was held in the highest esteem by all of the world’s best players/managers of the 90s and 2000s and by many accounts was the best player of the 90s.Why is his name not brought up with the likes of Zidane, Baggio, R9, etc when talking about the best players of the 90s among football fans? I have never really heard anyone say his name for player of the 90s.
——-
Simple…
Mental fortitude..

PhD2020

There were two of them–The Laudrups.Brian & Michael I think.Vaguely recall..

Michael not a big game player.Pressure moments-folded.

That was the separation between him and the Zidane’s of the world,if I recall.
The key pressure moments-he’d fold…Blasting over a penalty in a key match as one example.

In short, stepping up to the plate.

I might be wrong..Anyone else can correct me…

Dissenter

What knows being “constructively critical” means?
At best it’s very subjective, at worst it’s another BS from a condescending doofus.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve supported Arsenal in another life, you don’t get to appropriate it to the extent where you tell other people to go find another club.
People don’t just wake up and move on because Arsenal is etched on their hearts.
That’s why they come here to vent, they. won’t have their way, at least they get to have their say.

Jim Lahey

Question to all:

Do you feel like the upcoming generation of footballers will have the same star power as the previous?

Like, will we remember players like De Bruyne the same way we remember the likes of Zidane or Rivaldo?

WengerEagle

Interesting all right PHD.

Zidane was up there as the GOAT big game performer, the guy lived for them and was often a men amongst boys. Says a lot about his character and has helped him transition into a great manager and leader of men.

A very rare trait for even elite players. Drogba was nowhere near the player of Zidane but he was similarly at his absolute best in big games and pressure moments.

Tom

Ishola, here’s a bit of fun trivia/ gossip on a slow day. Poland were in the same group as Argentina, Italy and Haiti in the 1974 WC Italy were obviously the favorites being the finalists from four years before, and Argentina saw themselves as equally strong with the whole nation’s expectations behind them. Poland started out by beating Argentina and Haiti to lead the group, and Argentina tied Italy in their second game. Needing a win against Haiti and Poland victory over Italy to progress from the group the Argentinian players decided to bribe the Poles ( or give them… Read more »

Jim Lahey

Telling someone to “follow another club” is the last line of defense when you’ve got nothing else to back up your end of an argument.

Ishola70

I was a kid watching Laudrup and really my main memories of him was playing for Denmark in Mexico 86 I think it was. Maybe some club games from his time in Italy as well. So all I saw was this player that was great to watch and stood out in that very good Danish side from that tournament and didn’t think about his overall consistency as a player at the time. But of course you get more information and knowledge of the player as you get older by looking at his past matches on old videos. As others have… Read more »