YOUNG ENGLISH STARS MISS OUT + THOUGHTS ON PHASE 3

by .

Well kids, how are we doing on this fine day? I’m in Miami making deals happen. Well, ok, maybe not doing that. But that’s beside the point… the point being is that you are in the rain and I am not. So I am bragging about it.

Let’s move onto the latest in Arsenal opinion.

Gareth Southgate is back on the shit list after he passed on Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe.  Aaron Ramsdale did get a call-up, but you know he won’t start.

Now, on the one hand, we can take solace in the fact that two of our star performers don’t have to travel. On the other, you have to respect that they’ve both been better than some of the dross in the England setup and it’s a bit unfair. Still, that is international football. Reputation quite often beats out the hard facts of performances. There are a few in the current squad that are dining out heavy on the past. I’ve no doubt there are starting places in the future of all three players. They are young enough not to need to worry.

KT is back training with the Arsenal squad. It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for action, but I suspect he’ll be well in contention after the international break. I wonder if they’re going to line-up another friendly for the players that stayed at home? I do think KT will go back into the starting 11, though you’d be hard pushed to give a justification outside him being a top, top player. Nuno has done an excellent job in his absence, I hope some of the things he’s been doing will inspire the Scot.

Don Unai has passed on the Newcastle job. I think that’s probably for the best. Let’s be honest, the Spaniard travels extremely badly, and I have my doubts he’d get the control he has at Villareal under a megalomaniac at Newcastle. Eddie Howe is the frontrunner. It’s not as sexy as some had hoped, but I think it’s a sharp move. Eddie suffers from the English name tax. If his name was Ediano Howistzer and he’d taken a small Spanish team up 4 leagues, he’d be a hipster wet dream. But he’s not. He looks like he could paint your garage door in another life, so he’s written off. I struggled with the same thing, Peter Wood is a boring name, so I went to America where I can create endless hours of joy by just saying words like ‘Tally-ho’ and ‘blimey guvnor’… always go where you can be an object of joy, life is so much easier.

We play Watford at the weekend. We’ve been good against them over the years, we smashed them in preseason, but this is the Premier League, and Arsenal are that box of those chocolates Forest Gump was banging on about. If we show up, play with focus and energy, we’ll come away with the desired result and phase 3 of the season will have been a rip-roaring success. If we draw or lose, it’s a setback, but hopefully Arteta and the players will have done enough not to set the ball in motion for the whiners to get on the front foot for the international break.

It is fun to have a better flavor of conversation right now. All the things people complained about are slowly but surely being addressed.

The biggest win of the last phase was the senior players for me. Auba, Lacazette, and Partey have all decided that they are going to give us fitness, form, and leadership. Art De Roché had a great piece in The Athletic where he mapped out the numbers, Auba is pressuring more than ever, so those lying eyes of yours might be telling the truth for once. Lacazette has found the zone, he looks connected to the squad, he looks at ease with the beautiful game, and he’s playing a stunning role no one else in this squad can play. That one touch movement in the false 10 position allows our build-up to go faster, his aggression sets the tone for the team, and he’s showing up in pivotal moments.  Thomas Partey looks like a £50m player right now, that’s all we need to say there.

The young players haven’t ever let us down really. Saka and ESR have moved their games up a level, of that there can be no doubt. Smith Rowe is offering end product. Saka has been a little quieter on that front, but he’s still been good. Both of those players will grow in stature this season, they’ll become more reliable on off days, and the numbers will improve.

But how about the new signings? Talent ID was a big issue for the fans and rightly so. From what I understand, some of the cheaper signings with certain agents arrived at the club because that was all that was on offer from a certain operations guy that doesn’t work in the game these days. Since he exited the building, we’ve been laser-focused on getting the deals right. This Project should have started a year prior, we’d be so much better for it if we had, but there we are. What we have now is very exciting. We’ve aged down the squad, each of our 6 signings has offered something fresh to the side, the entire squad feels bigger in character for it.

We’re also offering performances now. Actual good football. Can we make the good football last longer? Yes. But that’s not the point, these players have been together 7 games, performances will get better, that’s a given. What we needed to see was that there is in fact a promised land and a clear identity. Well, we’ve seen it. We cannot unsee it now. We know the potential and we want to see more of it. There are going to be more rough moments. I’ve read and heard people doubling down on Brighton and Palace performances, like those 90s were moments of shame. Brighton should have beaten Liverpool. Palace beat Manchester City. Shake the idea from your mind that this is 2003 and there are whipping boy teams. It’s not the case. Every game has the potential to be tough. The league is so much stronger than it was even 6 years ago. We are going to suffer at times this season, as will every side. We’re 5 points off 2nd. Why? Because the league is tough this year.

The final part of the equation isn’t Arteta. It’s the fans. I don’t know what the pivotal moment was, but I do think the accusation that we were cheering City goals really stuck with a lot of people. It was not true and since then, it’s like the fans have gone out of their way to go all-in on the squad. The Emirates is loud. You can hear it through the TV. There’s very little groaning. The young players need that. Anyone can offer their energy when things are going well, but that’s not when they need it… they need it when there’s a disaster class brewing. Our fans are there for kids and it’s fucking beautiful to see/hear because our summer was radioactive online and there was a big fear that’d be in the ground.

The internet is not real my friends. I am glad about that.

We had our best week ever for podcast numbers. We broke the top 50 for UK sports podcasts again. The most interesting twist for the podcast is MORE people tune in for winning podcasts. That trend happens on the site as well. It wasn’t that way in the old days. Are we… the place for positivity? Did we move from the darkness to the light? Did someone just drop the keys to the hashtag #TeamPosiGooners through the letterbox? What turnaround. Anyway, thanks for listening (and watching), it means a lot. X

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191 Responses to “YOUNG ENGLISH STARS MISS OUT + THOUGHTS ON PHASE 3”

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  1. TheLegendaryDB10

    Kris

    I was being a bit too broad with my statement I admit. And you are very right with what you are saying.

    I was more thinking along the lines of progressing your philosophy and not staying too static with it. Arteta is young and one pitfall is being too cocky and thinking you made it (winning the FA Cup was it). And he got himself into a job that required a lot of work to be done, regardless of who the manager comes in and what experience he has.

    Arteta looks to be finally be doing alright. I will judge him at the end of the season. I just want to see some tangible progress and a recognisable football ID as the last 2 years were very messy.

    Finally, never would I put Arteta on Wengers level. He has a very long way to go and a lot to prove before matching what Wenger achieved.

  2. AFC Forever

    Arteta is a far better coach than a lot of people want to admit. Professionals rate him very highly.. Wenger was a bit of a one off, what he did was outstanding for many years Today’s game is more tactical, the rule change has made a big difference. This is why will we see a lot of younger Coaches/managers, like Arteta, imo.

  3. Kris

    We’ll have to wait at least until the end of the season to see how good a coach Arteta is, based mostly on how much the players improve. Right now he looks like a mixed bag.

  4. Rich

    Roy Keane a much better pundit than Gary Neville 😂

    Poch to United, Zidane to PSG wouldn’t surprise me

    United will win plenty of games with the amount of firepower they’ve got, but it feels like Solksjaer won’t make it to the Arsenal game at this rate

  5. Globalgunner

    People pontificating on how good a coach Arteta is on the basis of nothing. An FA cup win is something many ordinary coaches have lucked upon. Give him till the ned of the season, then next season the same thing again. Be fore you know it 5 years will have passed and we be furiously paddling to stay mootly relevant to being worthy of consideration for anything of substance. If we are 8th again, then what exactly are you waiting to see?

  6. Terraloon

    AFC
    We have a family run pub about 100 metres from where we live.
    Their lunchtime and dinner menu is at best ok but come a Sunday they do a Carvery @£12.95. Which to be honest is a bargain
    They will have a minimum of 5 meats. The Brisket and Pork Belly are my favourite
    He pushes the boat out with veg last Sunday there was 9 choices add to that roast pots stuffing, yorkies and gravy that is made with care as opposed to just a powder mix.
    A pint on arrival and a couple of glasses of Chardonnay ( not a fan of red wine)

  7. Globalgunner

    Rich. Thats exactly what I forsee happening if PSG do not improve this season even with the GOAT in their team. Zidane is a better coach than Poch and Poch would be a perfect fit at OT.

    City should hold on and not give United a sniff. If they can score 1, they will surely dive their way to a 2nd

  8. Rich

    City are so good at controlling the game, United chasing shadows

    The league is competitive, but the gulf in class between the top 3 and the rest is substantial

  9. WengerEagle

    That was nearly as humiliating as the Liverpool game at OT.

    Sure was only 2-0 but as Rich says, they literally didn’t string 3 passes together for the last 20 mins.

    How the fuck was that not a pen on Jesus either?

  10. Rich

    WE, Clear penalty

    City didn’t get out of second gear, it was a stroll for them, if they’d been bothered to turn the screw, that could have easily been another absolute drubbing

    Still think United have enough quality in the final third to win plenty of football games though

  11. Mb

    I’m not sure if I am the only one, but the website’s response time is quite low from a week.

    Pedro – worth checking with the hosting guys may be, only if others are facing too though.

  12. Zacharse

    “ The news outlet has added that there is still time for Odegaard not to become Ozil 2.0.”

    Funny that things are so bleak journos in madrid writing about ode.
    Maybe this gives him a little extra motivation. Bizarre little subplot

  13. Rich

    This post game section is brilliant

    Roy Keane keeps coming back to a lack of characters at United

    It’s something we’ve got to learn from, we should go all out for Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice next summer, we need to litter our dressing room not just with quality, but the right type of characters, particularly through the spine of the pitch

  14. Globalgunner

    Pre game noise was all about the Brilliance of Ronaldo and how he wins games single handedly. This of course hasn’t been true since he left OT for RM way back when. If the team sucks, so will Ronaldo

  15. Havyn

    Rich
    We can’t get Jude Bellingham now. We had a chance to sign just before Edu came but he was so consumed with signing Kia players so he didn’t bother when the report dropped on his desk. Now we cant buy Dotmund players, they’re too expensive.

  16. Rich

    Havyn

    We’re 1 of the biggest clubs in the world, we have incredibly wealthy owners, and the PL is where all the best players want to be

    I’m a bit sceptical of giant fees + wages, but there’s always exceptions, and Bellingham would certainly fall into that category

    If he cost £70 million, and then sat in our engine room for decade, then £70 million would prove to be a bargain

    KSE have shown they’re willing to put their hand in their pocket under the right circumstances, we couldn’t currently compete with Liverpool, Chelsea or City for players

    But there’s no reason we couldn’t compete with anyone else

  17. Batistuta

    Seeing those links to Zlahovic gladens my heart, guys going to be very good. Perfect replacement for Lacazette whom we absolutely shouldn’t be renewing his contract.

    Have to say last few weeks have been good and positive, expecting a good performance and win tomorrow

  18. WengerEagle

    Great to see you Bati. Milan ripping up Serie A, hopefully do not run out of steam again.

    Paddy is building something special at Palace, have never seen a Crystal Palace team play like this.

  19. G

    ‘’ The cojones Troy Deeney mentioned were the ones Arsene Wenger lacked .. not the players..‘’
    Maybe he didn’t need them being the most successful manager in the history of Arsenal

  20. Batistuta

    Eagle

    How you been man??

    Very happy with the way Milan have started man, but yea just hope we don’t run out of steam like last season. Our Champions League campaign has been an absolute shambles but not a lot of folks were expecting much over here in that regard and I’m glad we may not even make the Europa League. Need all of our attention on the league.

    How you been enjoying the Arsenal last month or so. Quietly optimistic really but the club has let us down so many times before I’m basically in a holding pattern.

  21. Globalgunner

    How exactly is Wenger the most successful manager in Arsenals history?. Did he ever win a European trophy?, Did he ever defend a title?. He watched Fergie win 3 in a row and sold him his best player to help him win a send off title after not winning one himself in 8 years. Are we counting Emirates cup as well now?

  22. Rich

    Our position is easy to explain:

    1. We lost 3 games with new players settling, key players missing, and two of those games were against the PL + European Champions, two established + settled teams, and the majority’s of our fans pissed the bed…..

    2.
    Norwich (Home)
    Burnley (Away)
    AFC Wimbledon (League Cup)
    Spurs (Home) (we’ve lost once in the league at home in 23 years)
    Brighton (Away)

    Palace (Home)
    Villa (Home)
    Leeds (Home) (League Cup)
    Leicester (Away)

    We dropped 2 points at home to Palace, but gained them back away to Leicester, things have just balanced out, after a relatively friendly set of fixtures, new players have settled, with new partnerships improving

    We’re not brilliant, we’re not awful, we’re in with a decent chance of 5th/6th, an outside chance of 4th, but could easily drop into 7th or 8th, because we’re light on experience + quality in the middle of the pitch

    I’d love us to be better, but that’s pretty much the state of play.

    We’ll likely drop points after the next international break, but providing we win 5 of our next 8 league fixtures, we’ll have put ourselves in a decent position at the halfway line, it would also be nice to have a League Cup Semi Final to look forward too in January

    We’re still bipolar, hopefully the players show up with the right level of commitment + discipline tomorrow, every point is vital, and we need to win the vast majority of our home games

  23. Pierre

    Globalgunner
    “How exactly is Wenger the most successful manager in Arsenals history?.. Are we counting Emirates cup as well now?”

    Could possibly be that during his 20 years at the club he won 10 trophies with 10 runners up , which equates to a trophy or a runners up for every season…

    Could add the many community shields but no need , Wenger’s record is very very impressive as was the quality of the football.

    I’d settle for that for the next 20 seasons……wouldn’t you.