INTERNATIONAL BREAK DAY 2: EMILE LANDS A CALL-UP

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The fallout from the ‘incident’ against Watford at the weekend really does sum up how differently Arsenal are treated to other clubs. It goes back to the Wenger days when we were held to a different standard for a similar incident. We then had to ride the ‘they’re soft boys’ accusations that led to a snapped leg. Now we’re finally showing some edge and win at all costs mentality and it’s happening again.

Think about what we’ve dealt with:

Aaron Ramsey getting chopped down at Stoke and there’s no scandal about their fans booing him.

Hector Bellerin getting smashed over at Chelsea and the narrative is men vs boys.

The absolute scandal whenever we do something that remotely resembles unfair compared to other clubs is spectacular. I’m thinking as far back as the Sheffield United FA Cup incident when we actually replayed a game based on unsporting behaviour or the national indignation over the Robert Pires dive. I mean, don’t even get me started on Eduardo vs Celtic.

Chelsea, Liverpool, and United just don’t have to deal with this sort of press barrage after similar incidents.

Arsenal are held to different standards.

The debate over the Watford incident is not about whether the ball should have been kicked out. It was about whether a team that engages in rotational fouling as a spoiling strategy has any right to complain when something ‘unsporting’ happens to them.

To my mind, they don’t.

Arteta had it right, we’re so honest, it borders on naivety. I’m glad the players made the correct call that Watford were making a meal out of a challenge and trying to run down the clock.

I’d like to see more haranguing of the referees because it’s clearly a tactic that gets you better decisions. Just look at how Sissokho reduced the Watford card output for 19 fouls. You can talk about the red, but who cares when it lands that late in the game?

I want to see our players go to war for each other. Each game is a battle and if you let your men get kicked around it sets a shit tone for a game. I like that this new group of players is looking out for each other. Sambi Lokonga even posted to that effect.

We need to engage in the dark arts. Granit Xhaka will fall on the ball to get out of trouble, Alex Lacazette goes down like he’s been hit by battlefield shrapnel, we’ve started to make tactical fouls of our own. The reality is, if we want to get back to the top, these grim parts of the game are just part of the equation. There’s no point in being a moral bellwether 1) if it costs you points 2) if your rivals do the opposite.

I wish we’d punch back in the media, but I do understand that’s a race to the bottom and legitimizes these voices. Chris Sutton kicking off about the Watford incident when there’s a video of him doing the exact thing against Arsenal, at Highbury, without the context of rotational fouling is a prime example of why this happens: Our fans create viral moments out of insincere punditry.

Aside from that, I’m feeling pretty feisty heading into the November International break. We’ve done really well at managing the fitness of the squad so far, no injuries to worry about right now. We’ve found some rhythm from a performance perspective. The trend line for the type of performance on offer is shifting up a bit. We are offering good football even when we’re not at peak. 

There’s are also some nice bits with regards to the football. Brighton and Palace pushed us back. We defended too deep in both games and our keeper had to go long because the midfield wasn’t showing. We’ve seen Ben White and Gabriel push that line higher and whoever has dropped into midfield has given confident outlets.

The striking output isn’t back up to full steam yet but I think there’s finally a system that’s working with our 4-4-2. Auba and Lacazette are working like machines and having the Frenchman drop deep like he does has really opened our game up to speed. We’re much more often on the front foot facing the goal. Last season, everything involved more touches, and there wasn’t the confidence to move at speed.

Overall, the model is more George Graham than Arsene Wenger. The foundations are defensive. We’ve kept 6 clean sheets in 9 since the re-engineered back 5 was put in place. There was a lot of ‘We’ve spent £150m and the needle hasn’t moved’, but I think most can see how silly that view was. I also think people are realizing that upgrading a solid defence was necessary to make the overall system work better. Just look at the speed with move through the lines now. Look at the added height and aggression we have from set-pieces at both ends. Look at some of the deliveries Nuno and Tomi were giving us at the weekend. We just didn’t have that last season. Playing out the back with variety and speed has been absolutely essential to our game this season.

It’s also worth looking at some of the attacking decisions we made. Emile Smith Rowe was given the #10 shirt and he’s totally owned it. He landed his first proper England call-up yesterday. He earned it. 5 goals and 2 assists so far this season is excellent. You’d hope he might make it to double figures in both across all competitions. Saka still needs to kick into gear, but he’s been really good regardless of numbers. 2 goals and 2 assists so far. That’ll get better as we kick on, I’ve no doubt about it.

Then you look at the objectives I thought we needed to address this summer. Improve striking output by 20% and reduce errors in the system by 50%. Now, it’s hard to judge where we are on this because the first 3 games were a write off for so many reasons… but since then, it feels like we’re making less errors generally. Even when mistakes are made, we have the pace and positional awareness to cover for them. That Aaron Ramsdale save vs Leicester wouldn’t have had anyone talking about it last season because no one would have followed in for the clearance. There’s an elevated defensive mindset this season because everyone has the talent and wants to be here.

I know I’ve been going on about it all season, but the fans really have to be seen as part of the process. Having limited fandom in the stadium last season now looks like it was a disadvantage for Arsenal. The fans have been awesome, home and away, winning or losing. That’s massive progress and it’ll be benefitting the youngest team in the league this season.

My favorite part of the last 2 months is that we’ve seen the toxic voices driven into an underground bunker. It’ll be temporary, but you know the types. Only about with their views on what ‘elite’ is when we’re losing. I haven’t seen the screaming guy in the car for a while? Haven’t seen Thierry and Daniel Ek looking cool in the box since Spurs? Are websites still selling merchandise associated with sacking the manager? It’s all quiet, so I haven’t noticed. Hopefully, the fanbase has reached a level of normalization with Mikel Arteta. He’s probably not going anywhere for a while. He’s likely pretty decent and suited to this project. There’s a big chance he’s going to move us up a level this season if things roll well for him.

LATER TONIGHT: We have Perry Groves, cult hero to the fans, joining the podcast to talk about his career and his views on where this Arsenal team is currently! Let us know if you have any questions for him in the comments!

206 Responses to “INTERNATIONAL BREAK DAY 2: EMILE LANDS A CALL-UP”

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  1. LoveSausage

    EB,

    Can’t communicate without the insults?

    It really shouldn’t be that hard to grasp the difference between loyalty to a club and loyalty to a person.

    And while I get that footballers experience temptations that we mortals don’t, the standards for behavior should be the same.

  2. gnarleygeorge9

    “the model is more George Graham”

    Good, can The Arse chant be ‘Red & White Army’ again, not ‘red army’

    “don’t even get me started on Eduardo vs Celtic.”

    Don’t get me started on celtic, they should go back to Ireland!

  3. Kroenkephobe

    Fun fact, I’ve watched Barry Town play Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA CL!! I shit you not

    TBM
    Nice one mate. I assume it was the home leg in Wales🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 rather than the tie in the Ukraine🇺🇦! Anyway it finished 1-1. Good honest game between two evenly matched sides. Big ups to the Barry fans. They travelled over 100 miles in shitty weather and sang all the way through.

  4. LoveSausage

    Di Marzio is now saying that Vlahovic’s agent isn’t even interested in taking a phone call with us…

    Funny thing is that Spuds fans are laughing about it as if it means they’ll get him now. You’d think they would have sobered up to reality by now.

  5. LoveSausage

    Serge,

    Google news. Multiple outlets referring to it.

    Always hard to know what to think about transfer rumors. But if it’s true, it probably means he already has some kind of deal in place with Juventus. Would be pretty stupid to burn bridges like this otherwise.

  6. Nigel Tufnel

    I was just catching up on yesterday’s comments.. found this gem, must give it props:

    AFC ForeverNovember 8, 2021
    14:05:45
    Tom
    “Kinda funny reading posters clamoring for a clinical goal scorer after having seen them lambasting anyone who dared suggesting a £50m CB might’ve not been a priority.”Here we go again.You really are showing your ignorance here Tom. If you think we could have kept Leno and that back four and only needed a striker you really shouldn’t be so arrogant with your views. You don’t know what you are talking about if you genuinely believe that nonsense.We needed White for what he brings to the team dynamic. It was essential we can play quickly from the back, beat the press and start our attacking play. Same with Ramsdale. We’re building a team, not adding players to a fantasy league team.This is why you all got it wrong spending months slaughtering Ramsdale and White. The fact you still don’t get it is alarming to be fair, so you must be trolling.You all complained we were too slow and sideways and when I used to explain that was because of the personnel at the back you all called me a fanboy. Well I was right. Your ‘mate’ Jamie was even less complimentary. Changing the goalkeeper and back five has transformed us. It was £70m well spent on Ramsdale and White, especially when Harry Maguire cost £80m on his own. We now play a higher tempo and don’t give the ball away playing out. It was important that we fixed that major problem first. We did. Buying a striker would not have fixed any of that, we wouldn’t be creating the chances we do now to complain about not being clinical enough.The first part of team building is to identify the way you want to play and profile players that fit that. It’s basic stuff. Last season I said we had to compromise and needed press resistant players at the back. I was right as were many others who said the same thing.So Tom. sometimes in life we get things wrong. None of us are perfect mate. When you are wrong, the best thing to do is put the shovel back in the shed. Otherwise, as the hole gets deeper your vision becomes even more impaired. Enjoy the way we are playing now and don’t worry about having to keep finding ways to have digs with that shovel of yours, about why Ramsdale and White were a waste of money.

    I’ll add,
    people who are complaining about Artetas 100 game record being less valid because of some weak Europa opponents we crushed…. that is so obviously Anti Arteta hate, you make yourself so obvious and bitter because your previous comments are looking more foolish with every team performance.

    Then you respond by mentioning Dundalk again. Who cares? The premier league is so strong from top to mid-bottom, much more than ever in these past 2 seasons, with Leeds, West Ham, Leicester, Brighton, Brentford, Palace, all giving the big money clubs a hard time.

    You conveniently ignore those facts.

    I love when Pedro mentions that your mask is slipping. We all remember the people who were incessantly sh1tting on Aaron and White, also on Arteta and Edu.

    Where’s the loser who kept repeating Artedu or Edarta or whatever stupid thing it was he thought was so clever?

    Haven’t heard it from you in weeks, but you used it here multiple times daily during the window.

    It quietly disappeared and you slink away, not mentioning how good Tomiyasu, Tavares, White, Aaron look.

    I’m also lucky not to have to read those long fictional conversations some idiots thought were so brilliant. Just because they were on their agenda against our manager.

    All hiding now.

  7. Tony

    I wish Wenger would find another managerial job in Qatar or somewhere similar.

    He is quoted as saying 99% have agreed with his biannual world cup. So he’s talked to 1 person who disagreed?

    The world cup as I mentioned yesterday should be every 6 years, not 2. Personally it wouldn’t bother me if it were scrapped altogether. It’s a waste of time and players need rests, especially PL players at the end of a hard season.

    Wenger finally agrees he stayed 7 seasons too long (should’ve been 12) and now the old senile idiot wants more football just to try to be relevant.

    Wish he would fade into obscurity and enjoy his retirement on our money.

  8. Tony

    I never hid nor did most of Arteta’s detractors who rightly called Arteta out for being our worst manager ever, Nigel or are you AFCF?

    Arteta is far from out of the woods yet, as he’s about to play top 6 teams.

    Let’s see the results by Feb 1st, and see just how well Arteta has learnt from his copious amount of mistakes.

    Still waiting for Martinelli, Eddie and Bolagun to get the minutes they should have had last season.

    I’d wait until Arteta has secured 4th before regurgitating Pedro.

    The table never lies, Nigel. It’s people who lie or embellish or just talk shite.

    Are you, ‘it’s people who lie’ or do you believe the PL table?

    From the above post, it seems you don’t believe the PL table.

    I’d say most ‘Arteta out’ people are happily watching the team climb to 5th, winning games, and gaining 10 from 12 points because they support the team, as I do and have done since Arteta arrived.

    Funny I called for a cease fire a few days ago urging the ACRONYMS to ALL get behind the team and leave Arteta out of reviews unless constructive criticism is warranted, such as in-game management.

    Seems you still want to carry the fight, Nigel. I doubt you’ll find many who will do battle with you.

    So give it a rest, Nigel, and just support the team and Arteta if that is your want and right.

    My post today was going to be all about giving Arteta a free ride for the Dippers game and go toe to toe with them as the Hammers did. If we lose 5:1 so be it.

    I think we can draw or get the win if we keep improving, as we have done.

    Whatever the outcome against the Pool, I won’t be criticizing Arteta unless he parks the bus, applying the handbrake and beats himself before a ball is kicked in anger.

    I’d settle for another Ashavin type 4:4 draw. What a game that was.

    Top 4 games are all cup finals for us and should be treated as such as we do well in domestic cup finals not so much in Euro Finals, which has to change.

  9. Dark Hei

    Also agree with Peds.

    Winning and losing is one thing. Violent play is another.

    During Wenger’s era, the refs just let the opposition kick our players to pieces and our own fans shamefully tell our own players to just drink more milk.

    Dreadful.

    When Diaby accidentally knocked John Terry out, he was rightfully shocked and contrite,

    Was Dan Smith contrite when he ended Diaby;’s career?

    We got so many broken limbs that screams statistical significance but the media and the EPL love the narrative and controversy they let it go on.

  10. Zacharse

    Re Wenger

    Hes a bit naive but his hearts in the right place. He thinks changing things would spread the money around more. Unfortunately hes wrong and hes just playing into the hands of those he fought w during his career

  11. IAT-Robbie

    @Nigel Tufnel

    That is as incendiary a comment as one could possibly make. Not sure why you take it so personally that some of us aren’t convinced by Arteta.

    RE: Arteta’s 100 game tally
    Yes, his number of wins is undoubtedly bolstered by cup competitions, which includes the Europa League.

    Arteta’s first 100 games:

    Played – 100 | Won – 56 | Drawn – 18 | Lost – 26
    Points – 1.86

    Arteta in the Premier League:
    Played – 69 | Won – 33 | Drawn – 15 | Lost – 21
    Goals for – 100 | Goals against – 73
    Win Percentage – 47.8%
    Points per game – 1.65

    Wengers’s first 100 games:
    Played – 100 | Won – 53 | Drawn – 28 | Lost – 19
    Points per game – 1.87

    Wenger in the Premier League:
    Played – 79 | Won – 42 | Drawn – 23 | Lost – 14
    Goals for – 126 | Goals against – 62
    Win Percentage – 52.7%
    Points per game – 1.89

    Emery’s 78 games:
    Played – 78 | Won – 43 | Drawn – 15 | Lost – 20
    Points per game – 1.85

    Emery in the Premier League:
    Played – 51 | Won – 25 | Drawn – 13 | Lost – 13
    Goals for – 91 | Goals against – 70
    Win Percentage – 49%
    Points per game – 1.73

    As evidenced by the data, out of Arteta, Wenger and Emery…Arteta has performed the worst in his first few seasons of league games. He has had far more control in player recruitment and selection than Emery. Yet, he is still underperforming Emery’s league record and some of us are meant to believe we have made significant progress?!!

  12. IAT-Robbie

    RE: Ramsdale and White.

    It was a fact that CB was the most manned position at this club this summer. Even after some depatures. I don’t blame anyone for thinking that £50m could have been better used in more urgent parts of the team. Thus far, Ben has put in mostly good performances. He still has a tendency to be a bit rash and impulsive (e.g the Maddison free-kick at Leicester) so I’d exercise caution if I were you before closing the curtains already.

    We can point to the likes of Xhaka and Mustafi as points of caution. Xhaka was 23 and Mustafi was 24 when they signed. Musti in particular had a good run of opening performances in 16-17. He even drew the eye of Inter Milan scouts. Then 5-1 against Bayern happened and he never recovered his form nor the fans’ trust ever again. The Bayern game came in February 2017 if I recall, so awkward surprises are still possible deep into a season.

  13. LoveSausage

    Interesting interview with ESR in The Guardian. He talks about how he used to have bad eating and hydration habits earlier. I wasn’t aware of that but I’ve seen a huge difference in his fitness so far this season. He was amazing last season as well but he would look absolutely dead after 65 minutes or so. This season he looks like he could go on for another 20 minutes after the games are done.

  14. IAT-Robbie

    Nelson

    I am genuinely envious that your predictions are more optimistic than mine. Wish I could still see the bright side of Mikel’s tenure. I sincerely hope you are correct.

  15. China1

    These World Cup proposals are pants and wenger surely can’t be so blind as to see that. It’s a very very basic cash grab from Fifa. Not even a hint of subtlety about it. There’s no footballing merit for it. All it does is lesson the significance of the worlds most important football competition by doubling its availability and serves to make the organizers richer whilst causing a massive headache for the organizers of the regional competitions.

    Waste of time. I can’t believe he’s shameless enough to even pretend it’s a serious proposal. But we did see in his final years he can be pretty cynical when he wants to be. The days of him doing stuff just based on ideology passed about a decade ago and it’s all been self serving since

  16. China1

    The problem with wenger is he is very subservient to his paymasters for someone so high profile and respected

    He used to barefaced lie about our ambitions at arsenal when all he cared about was preserving top 4 income for the owners. He took so much heat from the fans because he preferred to be a fall guy from a club that stopped caring about winning.

    Now he’s at fifa towing the company line which just so happens to be shite – but interestingly serves to make them much richer.

    Whatever company he works for, he will just parrot their agenda as some ideologically great idea at any expense. If he wasn’t so high profile and respected I’d understand more, but he is rich, he is old and he is very high profile – he needs to stop being his organisation’s bitch everywhere he goes. He owes them nothing and needs to stop taking a chubby for his paymasters as if he can’t afford the alternative

  17. China1

    There’s a guy I work with who never pulls any punches here and always does the right thing even when dealing with top management – regardless of if it will piss them off and bring him heat. He told me he doesn’t care what they think and will do whatever is right because he’s already financially secure to retire whenever he wants. He doesn’t need the organization so screw them if they don’t wanna hear the truth

    Wenger should be like this. The last 10 years he’s been so subservient tho for someone who really never needed to be at any point.

  18. Pedro

    IAT-Robbie,

    Arteta inherited a worse team, dealt with a global pandemic, had transfers controlled by someone fired for being dodgy up until last summer.

    We are on a different level coaching and football-wise to what we were under Emery, who was, without question, a disaster of a manager for us… which is why he was fired in the rut and Arteta wasn’t.

    All data is pointing upwards since December, hard to ignore now.

  19. Pedro

    IAT-Robbie,

    You wrote this a few months ago.

    ‘Under Arteta, we’re risk-averse, one dimensional, creating record low number of chances and expected goals. That is not an environment in which most of the players will progress, if anything it is one in which they’ll regress. We’re already seeing this with Auba, Partey, Tierney, Saka and Martinelli.’

    … and this about me.

    ‘I must say that I am no longer sure about that. Maybe your irresistible impulse to defend Arteta really is a part of your subconscious as many on here suggest.

    Never have I seen mediocrity so fiercely defended. ‘

    I think you might have some pride on the line when making your Arsenal assessments.

    The regression of our young players has Saka, Smith Rowe, and Ramsdale vying for starting spots this week. Ben White is surely next.

    All the young players we signed this summer have been hits.

    Our senior players have stepped up to the plate.

    The football is structured. It’s exciting. It’s played at high speed.

    Our pressing is disciplined, much more consistent, and it’s effective.

    Shots have increased to 14 per game. We’ve kept 9 clean sheets in 6 since the new defence was put in.

    We’re 6 points off top after a shocking start that we can put down to extreme mitigating circumstances. This progress has been going on since Dec 26th last year. We have the youngest squad in the league.

    You jabbed at my character because of my football views that now look closer to correct than incorrect. Back-peddling with ‘Mustafi was young once’ or ‘Unai was great’ is as low as saying with a straight face you can’t see the upside to what Arteta is delivering.

    Sour grapes it is.

    Anyway, good luck this season.

  20. Pedro

    Rio Ferdinand on Arsenal:

    “There’s a team, there’s a united team. There’s a togetherness that I haven’t seen at Arsenal for a long time. There’s nobody doing more right now than Emile Smith Rowe”

    But hey, no progress. Right Bamford? I mean IAT.

  21. Graham62

    Pedro

    I see the progress now and take this opportunity to apologise for some of my previous comments. My dogmatic attitude to things can sometimes get the better of me.

    Let’s hope the improvements continue.

  22. Northbanker

    Can’t believe the moaners are back despite the club’s unbeaten run. Why can’t you just enjoy the moment. And instead of shuffling stats around until you find the ones that suit your arguments, try understanding context a little more.

    I’m not fully convinced about MA either but I am enjoying what has now been built. Whatever his selection and in-game faults (and there have been many) fact remains that he and Edu bought exceptionally well in the Summer and have given a platform which can really kick on.

  23. Kroenkephobe

    Some pretty cheap shots there typical of the worrying tendency for this site to become little more than a star chamber. And Nigel (yeah right!) having an easily seen through pop at Almunia who wrote some brilliant stuff on here that entertained us all during a difficult summer.

    IAT has put up some persuasive evidence based arguments today (and in the past) and yet you’re in a race to the bottom comparing that material to the foul racist bullshit pumped out by manure’s finest bamauberginecannonball. Or a robot for fuck’s sake!

    Really? You don’t hold a monopoly on Arsenal and Arteta related opinion. Other views are welcome surely otherwise the site becomes an Arteta hagiography echo chamber. We’ve all seen and enjoyed a pleasant and much needed uptick in form over the past 6 weeks or so and you’re all rushing to hail him as the messiah. It’s all a bit desperate and smacks of having an ulterior agenda. He still needs careful and critical scrutiny, not least because of all the flaws he’s demonstrated since he took over., eg alienating players, diminishing transfer values, inconsistency of approach to players he’s favouritised, his addiction to Willian and that embarrassing u-turn on experience v youth dressed up as sone big vision, Xhaka, baffling in game management, surly and poorly handled pressers, oh and the really fucking annoying touchline shouting and gesticulating which is embarrassing and something the players must hate.

    Overall the trend is looking better and a win against Liverpool will help in that regard. But much more needs to be shown.

    Pedro – you’ve also eloquently replied to him underlining some of the strengths of the team in recent months. That approach sounds much more sensible

  24. Pierre

    I like this Arsenal team, though I’m not sure this present starting 11 would be close to what it is if it wasn’t for a few well timed injurues that have proved to be a blessing in disguise..

    Credit should be given to Arteta for changing our goalkeeper and centre backs as it would have been easy to continue with Leno, Holding and Mari who were statistically were our best cenre back pairing last season..
    Ifvthe changes hadn’t worked then some serious shit would have come Arteta’s way

    There are good signs in this team that i like…
    I like that we have 2 6ft plus full backs who have great pace and energy and play with maturity and intelligence….

    I like that we now have 2 mobile centre mids who are good on the ball,, good positionally, very disciplined and are powerful athletes.

    I like that AMN can deputise in midfield and the midfield performance doesn’t drop..

    I like the way we set up defensively at corners with Tomiyasu commanding the near post.

    I like the recovery pace of our defenders.

    I like the way Ramsdale dominates his box and is brave in his decision making , though i have to say that he has had the gods on his side when he has made errors and hasn’t been punished for his mistakes ..

    I like the way we nominate a player to make the near post run when we have a corner, something that i have wanted to see for years as many corners fall short of the near post and by having a player making that late run to the near post will create confusion in the opposition defence.

    I like the way Ramsdale tries to find Aubamayang with low raking balls to his feet.

    I like the way smith rowe and saka come inside and play as an inside forward and are not stuck tight on the touchline.

    I don’t like that we gradually sit deeper as the match progresses as this will ultimately lose us points, we need to be braver on the ball in the latter stages of matches and continue to play out from the back whenever possible and not resort to hoofing it up the field.

    I don’t like that Eddie hasn’t had 1 minute of league football this season, i find this very odd as pre season and in the league cup he has shown more than any of our other strikers.
    His contract situation shouldn’be a reason to ignore him, who knows how much the inclusion of Eddie will change the dynamics of our attack,

    So for me, other than the striker situation , it is very positive.
    I see no reason to change a winning team atm other than to bring partey back in and give Eddie 20/30 minutes as sub along with Odegaard. as they will keep the team pressing from the front in the latter stages and hopefully keep us higher up the pitch…

    The match against Liverpool will be a good test for this team , would be nice to keep the unbeaten run going but for me it is a bit of a free hit, try and catch them cold after the international break and start off on the front foot.
    .

  25. Kroenkephobe

    Northbanker and Pierre
    I agree. A good precis of where we are and the improvements to the team.

    The last pieces of the puzzle could be re-signing Ozil and rescuing Wenger from his dungeon in Geneva.

  26. The Bard

    It’s perfectly possible to hold 2 differing positions about something. The Arteta debate isn’t black or white. I am very happy with our current trajectory but remain sceptical about Arteta as a top class manager. My reservations about him are to do with his psychology not coaching. When the shit hits the fan he has a tendency to throw someone under the bus like Maureen.This is divisive in the long run. We shall see how far we have come after the Liverpool game.

  27. Bob N16

    Great summary Pierre.

    Respect to you Graham62 6.58.

    I see Partey hasn’t flown to Ghana yet. Don’t know how critical these next international games are but obviously feel Partey should not be risked having missed the last game through injury. Let’s not be ‘too nice’ about it!

  28. Bob N16

    Kroenke – ESR appeared happy to discuss the fact that he was eating too much chocolate and takeaways. His fitness and form has both been impressive. By making those changes, he’s shown sense and maturity.

    Whether Arteta needed to mention it is more debateable but it doesn’t seemed to have had any detrimental effect. ‘Leaving him alone’ is really Arteta’s job.

  29. Kroenkephobe

    Hola Bob
    Quite, I understand that. It was a just bit jarring for the eating thing to surface when the guy’s football form is on fire and it’s clear that he’s (at least now and in the future) super fit. A year in Huddersfield would drive anyone towards Nandos or Kebabs-r-us. Ditto Croydon. He’s still only 20 – the more important issue is to make sure he and Saka are paid commensurately to their value to the team.

    Agree on Partey too – time to be much more Fergusonian about international releases.

  30. China1

    Artetas picked up the slack lately and full credit where it’s due. No recent criticisms from me

    Tho let’s not try to rewrite history Pedro. Emery inherited an even worse squad that was still suffering a wenger hangover. Not sure on what planet arteta inherited a worse one?????

    Emery didn’t even have any wingers! He had iwobi, welbeck and Auba, along with Mikki and Ramsey as options out wide. Stuff of nightmares compared with what we have now

  31. China1

    With Gabriel and white doing well as a partnership I’m quite curious if holding and mari have made any progress in training. If they haven’t we have to change the way we play when either Gabriel or white get injured/rested? Tbh I’d feel better with Saliba being third choice and he physically has the right attributes. For holding he’s a good player but he’s a traditional CB and not best suited to this system. Mari even less so

  32. Bob N16

    China, going on from your post, where we ultimately end up this season will depend heavily on how our injuries to key players compare to our fellow 4th place challengers.

    I notice Ogbonna is out for a considerable amount of time , breaking up West Ham’s first choice CB pairing. I think they are most vulnerable to key injuries. Man U have Pogba out now for a while, Varane is out for a few weeks etc.

    With Arsenal, given we have height with Tavares and Tomiyasu, could KT replace Gabriel if he were to be unavailable? Mari and Holding are both slow and turn like the QE2 although they obviously have some quality.

  33. IAT-Robbie

    Pedro,

    🤣🤣🤣 The only Bamford I know of is the one playing at Leeds United. No idea who you’re referring to. There are only so many words in the English language mate. To presume I’m the second account of (I’m assuming) a banned troll is a bit much tbh. I’ve been an Arsenal supporter long enough to know that as a fanbase, we have a tendency to talk up our signings very early on, only to tear them down when they can’t deliver. Reading the sentiment of comments about Mustafi pre and post Bayern in the UCL is like night and day.

    Of all the Arteta signings, the one I am most convinced by is Gabriel Magalhaes. I think he’ll be the most successful (provided Arteta doesn’t restrict his natural game). Of this summer’s signings, if 3/6 turn out to be a success, that will be a good return given our historical record. A great return if 4/6 turn out to be a success.

    I questioned your character not due to your football views but because you wrote a rather nasty hit-piece on Thierry Henry in defence of Arteta. It’s like excommunicating your favourite cousin because he thinks you can do better than the unstable woman you’re currently dating. Now that your mind is clearer after our recent form, reread your Henry article and see how it comes across.

    “Can’t believe the moaners are back despite the club’s unbeaten run. Why can’t you just enjoy the moment”

    Northbanker,

    I thought that was supposed to be the case too. I’m not the one that started calling people idiots out of the blue for having their own reservations regarding our season

    Zacharse,
    No comment bro 😂😂😂

  34. The BFB

    Some Le Grovers are asking where have all the Arteta non-believers gone. Well I’m still here and here are my thoughts. The team are playing more attractive football. The summer transfer window, despite the sums involved, was successful. Ramsdale and White have improved the side and don’t look overpriced and Tomi, Tavares and Lokonga appear to be promising acquisitions. I draw the line at Odegaard because I don’t think he’s robust enough for the premier league. Pedro keeps on about how significant our unbeaten run is but dismisses Emery’s 22 match unbeaten run as a meaningless fluke, and remember, this was achieved with many inferior players who have either left the club or are in the process of leaving. Now let’s analyse this seasons results. Some people say we should ignore the first three games because of circumstances and the standard of opposition. Fair enough but what about the results since then. 3 narrow 1-0 wins over whipping boys Norwich, Burnley and Watford and victories over Tottenham and Villa who are in freefall and sacked their managers. These wins were expected and the only real significant result was the impressive victory at Leicester. So it’s far too early to hang out the bunting and Arteta still has an awful lot to prove.

  35. IAT-Robbie

    “eg alienating players, diminishing transfer values, inconsistency of approach to players he’s favouritised, his addiction to Willian and that embarrassing u-turn on experience v youth dressed up as sone big vision, Xhaka, baffling in game management, surly and poorly handled pressers, oh and the really fucking annoying touchline shouting and gesticulating”

    Kroenkephobe,

    You just highlighted some of the gripes with Arteta’s management that I didn’t even realise I had. Incredible!

    Thanks for bringing the Guardian article to our attention, I’ll have a read. I have been a big believer in Emile’s potential since he was tearing it up in the Europa League in Unai’s first season.

  36. Ashwin Gunner

    I dont understand why people are so pissed for at RvP. He did what any of us would do. If you are offered a massive pay in another company, you would leave the very next minute.. He knew he had only a couple of years left in his footballing life at the top level. and so he did what every one of us would have done…

  37. Ashwin Gunner

    Wenger was a visionary. He was a much better coach than Sir Alex. But he is sentimental towards his players. Remember the time when RvP shouted F**K off to Wenger he substituted Ox in a match against Man u.. Fergie would have thrown a shoe at his face for such a behaviour.

  38. curse

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned but the exchange between Mikel and raneiri at the end was quite funny.
    At first it looked like they was having a nice sporting chat, not surprising, they must see each other fairly regularly.
    Then it looked like Ran started to moan about something and Mikel played it cool but cut the shit short. Ran didn’t realise Mikel had f ‘d off and turned to moan some more thinking Art actually gave a shit about what he had to say. He didn’t and was already meters away making the rounds lol. The look on Rans face when he realised he was venting to himself was hilarious. It’s what I’ve always liked about diet Graham? lol, serious guy, he ain’t got time for the bullshit.

    The signs are starting to break through, can’t wait till the team fully reflect that mindset.

  39. curse

    ash, I understand in a capitalistic society most people make decisions based on monetary gain but that isn’t everybody. RVP has always been a cunt, even when he played for us, it was an aspect I liked about his game.
    But no, I definitely would not have sold out, loyalty and morals are higher on the list for me, especially if I was already a multi millionaire like he was at the time.

    dudes like him and that spanish guy don’t get statues or respect.