by .

SPRING HAS SPRUNG where I am today, it’s p*ssing down with rain, but it’ll be a balmy 22 degrees later. Are we close to complaining it’s too hot, yes we are people. You can take the boy out of England and all that, but you’ll NEVER take my right of weather complaint.

Complaining about Arsenal? I’m not sure I can muster it today.

I saw people sharing a GFFN x Guardian love piece on Matteo G yesterday. The Frenchman has pulled up his socks this season and he’s doing a great job. I think he has 14 or so assists, a bunch of goals, and he’s being described as a leader. It’s easy to use that to point to his form being a Mikel Arteta problem, I did briefly yesterday, but I’m told the biggest problem Matteo had at Arsenal is the other players couldn’t stand him.

I worked with a woman once, she was a lunatic, lovely, but very inappropriate. Old school New York type, would blithely offer out bad things in the office, once came to my desk and asked if I like getting spanked because she did. It didn’t work out for her at our place, the fit wasn’t correct… now she’s running shit at a massive organization because the vibes connect. Right time, right place, right energy, right culture. She’s basically working in a pro-spanking agency. Was it the fault of my agency and their leadership that we were anti-spanking? No. But life goes on, you have to be happy for people.

It’s a similar thing for Auba. He’s scoring for fun at Barcelona. Good for him. He was terrible for us. If you had to choose his lack of goals or Lacazette’s, the data would suggest Lacazette’s was a better type of zero threat.

Where Arteta has to watch things is that there was an impression before he was a bit too ruthless for his own good, now that ruthlessness has cost him Top 4 this season. There are plenty of managers that fall out with players, all the best do, but they can usually prove the point out the side of it. Thomas Tuchel has decided he doesn’t like Rom Lukaku, his team has been pretty average by Chelsea standards, I suspect if Roman was in charge, an exit from the CL this week might cost him his job. Jose Mourinho would always fall out with players, he was usually wrong, it was always a power move, but he won things… and winning things means people overlook your flaws.

Arteta has exposed himself as a spanker this week… the question is, can he pump Arsenal up a level so no one noticed the belt-affixed-spanking-paddle when he’s marching the halls of Colney.

Ok, ok, I will stop with the spanking references.

Arsenal are still competing for everything we wanted to compete for this season.

You wouldn’t think after the last few days of ‘BURN IT ALL DOWN’ but the people at the Arsenal training ground don’t think the season is over and nor should you.

We have to beat Southampton. The way to do that is to put out a normal team and control the game. No galaxy brain.

Then we have a cup final run of Chelsea, United and West Ham. Take 4 points from those games and we’re up to 7.

Then, by my calculations, I think we probably need 2 points from our remaining 4 games.

Yes, 9 points gets us into Europe. 16 might get us into the top 4. There are 24 to play for.

We have to take it one game at a time. It’ll be tough. But remember… our financial and squad planning was always built around Europe this season, top 4 next season, title push the season after.

We are on track if we can take 9 points from 24. Anything else is a bonus.

Summer has to take Arsenal to the next level. If we can do to our attack what was done to the defence last summer then we will be in very good shape next season if we can get off to a good start.

Expect Arsenal to add at least two high quality midfielders. It is not a surprise to see Neves linked, we are most certainly courting Tielemans, and I wouldn’t be shocked if we moved for Renato Sanches who has looked great when fit this season.

We’re going to have to reshape our forward line. How aggressively remains to be seen and probably boils down to a few things:

  1. How ready is Folarin Balogun next season
  2. What we do with Lacazette and Eddie
  3. Whether we can extract a fee for Nico who earns about £140k a week

There will be a blockbuster forward signing. The profile is pretty clear. Young, tall, powerful in the air, decent link up play, with goals, goals, goals. This is the most consequential signing of the next 10 years. We cannot miss here. If we can make it happen, I wouldn’t be shocked to see us sign a goalscoring wide player. This won’t be blockbuster, it’ll be rehabbing a broken player (Rashford) or picking up a free transfer (Dybala). We don’t score enough goals, we need someone that can change that, and do the things needed in the system.

There might also be some opportunistic upgrades in defence. Cedric probably won’t move because we have Norton-Cuffy developing at a rate of knots. But the left back position will see some action if possible. Kieran Tierney is turning heads, he’s at the peak of his powers, I’m not sure we could afford to say no to £50m from Madrid. If we could replace him with someone more robust, we will. I’m not sure what we do about Nuno Tavares, it looks like it’s over for him, unless Arteta has a change of heart.

Then there’s William Saliba. On paper, he’s perfect for our system. He’s a French international, he’s tall, great with the ball at his feet, he’s hard to go past, and he can move through midfield with his surging runs. This is a test of Arteta. Clearly he doesn’t fancy him, the press all say he hasn’t spoken to him… but can the club afford to let Arteta’s ego rule the roost on this one? Especially after losing Guendouzi for pittance and Mavropanos for similar amounts of money


570 Responses to “JOB TO BE DONE IN THE LEAGUE”

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  1. Le Sauce

    We’re playing a game per week yet our squad looks overstretched like we’re competing on all four fronts. I wonder what’ll happen if we don’t have CL money to add serious depth to the squad, if our season tails off because of injuries to Partey and Tierney what then happens when were in Europe next season, are expected to officially compete for top four (according to Pedro) and have to do better than a 3rd round exit in the FA cup. I guess we’ll see how much the gaffers man management and decision making has improved by then because it clearly isn’t up to scratch now

  2. Terraloon


    Did Stan and Josh authorise the £100 + transfer spending last summer just to get back in the EL. I think not and fear that if we do not get CL there will not be the funds available to strengthen the squad to the level needed to compete in both the PM for top 4 and try to win the EL. It could have been different if we were bringing in good money for all our Arteta rejects but we are not. In addition our next generation of young players all look like they need another season or two to be ready.

    Some crucial points in there and the basic economic facts that seem to have been dismissed by so many.

    If both Eddie and Lacazeete do in fact leave at seasons end and even if you factor in Saliba returning and Arteta preserving with Tavares I think you are looking at a minimum of 6 replacements a and if we are totally honest the cheaper summer 2021 recruits haven’t really hit the heights be it through injury, inconsistency or sadly inability.

    KSE haven’t just injected £100 million since Arsenal last reached the CL it’s triple if not quadruple that sum. In a way they are now between a rock and a hard place. If they turn the tap off that will almost certainly turn out worse but I wonder if they are being sold that the academy products are the cavalry on the horizon and yes there is some decent potential in there like you I don’t see any as being PL ready and until they are tested out on loan it would be even greater folly to bulk the 22/23 squad with too many developing players.

  3. Kegunner

    Arsenal fans and club should be sorry to Emery. Learn from their mistakes and chart a new path sticking to the football. This is especially after his exploits in the champions league.

    Emery can be joined in that list by several other personalities – Giroud, Ljungberg and so on. Keeping a focus on the joy of football can prevent such mistakes. Hopefully the mistakes are recognized and avoided in future.

  4. Tom

    Shame, I was really looking forward to Zach’s making good on his promise of trolling the shit out of Emery fanboys after Bayern spanked Villarreal.

    Emery ” tanked” the league with Arsenal on 70 points in his full season , and did it with players Arteta wouldn’t touch with a barge poll…….what year do you suppose Arteta will match or better that disastrous points tally with his hand picked players?

  5. Mysticleaves

    You all! Pedro is in love. Very hard to reason with a person that’s love struck. But like all lovers, he will learn the hard way. Cos it will surely end in disaster.

  6. Mysticleaves

    Emery ” tanked” the league with Arsenal on 70 points in his full season , and did it with players Arteta wouldn’t touch with a barge poll…….what year do you suppose Arteta will match or better that disastrous points tally with his hand picked players?

    If Arteta stays on for 5 seasons at Arsenal, he won’t make 70 points. It’s just so easy to see

  7. The Bard

    Terraloon some decent questions in your post. They also highlight the folly of this ‘long term project ‘ that Pedro is so smitten with. Relying on academy players to take us to the CL is a ridiculous notion. There is a second point to make the CL you have to pay the price, whether the Kroenkes are willing to pay it is another matter. I think the club are currently trying hard to sell us success down the road to avoid a rebellion of the fan base. As I have posted the Spuds success might make that project a lot more difficult

  8. The Bard

    Terraloon some decent questions in your post. They also highlight the folly of this ‘long term project ‘ that Pedro is so smitten with. Relying on academy players to take us to the CL is a ridiculous notion. Are the Kroenkes are willing to pay the price for making CL ? I think the club are currently trying hard to sell us success down the road to avoid a rebellion of the fan base. As I have posted the Spuds success might make that project a lot more difficult

  9. Tom

    Pedro isn’t love struck. He’s invested his entire blogging capital in Arteta, and if it goes tits up he will never be allowed to live it down.

  10. Leftside

    If Arteta can make 70 points in any season with his system that isn’t designed to score many goals unless we have prolific wingers and midfielders that can chip in with 10-15 goals a season then I will be shocked.

  11. Leftside

    Southampton now becomes must win, and that we must do. It will be interesting to see how we’re set up for that game, you can usually tell within 5 minutes what type of performance you will get with this side.

    It almost seems like we have to have all our players available, start well and everything go our way for us to get good results, which is unrealistic and unsustainable.

  12. InsideRight

    Pedro – “Benjamin, you have to argue with reality my friend. We are 3 points off 4th having played 1 game less than Spurs. We have 8 games to go. 24 points to play for. We’re on 54 points. There’s a pretty good chance we’re going to be near 4th place.”

    Also Pedro – “Diss, he [Emery] was sacked for many reasons. Results one of them, respect of the players another, culture at the club one, his relationship with the fans, the terrible football, the awful defence, the lack of gravitas to change things.”

    I think it’s worth noting that we were 4th with games in hand. We are now 5th, having lost three of the last five games, effectively 4 points behind Spuds because of the goal difference, which we are not going to make up. The last time we won a game by more than one clear goal was the 2-0 against Leicester in March. You have to go back to Boxing Day for the next most recent win by 2 or more clear goals. So much for the football being sexy. Some might argue that when it is, it’s inspite of Arteta, not because of him. His plan was Luiz, Willian and Mustafi.

    It’s bizarre that Pedro is talking up the side saying there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to be “near 4th place”, when Emery only just missed it himself… despite, and I quote, poor results, lack of respect from players, culture at the club, terrible football, awful defence, and lack of gravitas to change things. On current form there’s a high probability that we won’t even make 5th. I wonder what the inside take is on Arteta’s inflexible approach, the appalling man management, the shocking waste of money, and results showing that after 2 years we are no closer to Liverpool, City and Chelsea than we were before. We are even struggling to keep pace with Spuds again.

    I never wanted Emery as coach and I was pleased when he was removed. But I didn’t want zero-experience Arteta either. He is still behind where Emery and all his failings were, despite close on £300m spent (God knows how many millions more wasted on removing players) and stumbling into Project Youth and using it to reset the objectives clock. That is an inescapable fact that seems to be swept under the carpet because it undermines a narrative.

    Maybe given enough years, hundreds of millions more spent and enough advocates pushing him as a generational genius, Arteta might get near competing for the top 3. But I wager no matter what happens this season, we will not make the Champions League next season. Teams that have dropped so many points are unlikely to do so again because of the changes they are making. What will be the excuses for drifting off plan and who will be blamed for it?

  13. Terraloon

    The Bard

    People keep making reference to the infamous quote about not winning things with youngsters and incorrectly mentioning Man Utd’s class of whenever it was.

    Yes they had a clutch of youngsters mature at the same time but added to that clutch of half a dozen academy products they had huge experience upon whom the likes of Beckham, scholes and Neville relied heavily.

    My brother is a Chelsea ST holder so I know quite a bit about their academy production line. Last night they had James,( what a player ) Mount and Loftus in their starting 11 add to that they have Hudson -Odi and Chalobah already integrated into a winning squad so all of those academy products have won and won big.Add to that number three or four players like Gallagher, Broja, Ampadu and Gilmour all performing reasonably well to v good at PL level and are all full internationals. They may not all be at Chelsea next season but if they were it wouldn’t surprise me
    People talk at Baloguan he should have been out on loan from at least the start of 21/22 season there are others in the academy but they are as someone suggested earlier a year or two away from even being integrated into the squad and that’s even then is making the huge assumption that they will even be close to PL class or even PL ready the trouble as I see it that the 5 sub rule change will massively alter the landscape.
    You will need a full squad in numerical terms of players that are tried and tested and as I said earlier I see a minimum of 6 players needed and I just can’t see how that number can be achieved

  14. CG


    ””””Where did Rich go? I hope he’s well”””””””’

    ‘Waffle’ is waiting for the 28/29 season – when the title returns to Arsenal.

    Him and his bloody cycles.

  15. Leedsgunner

    I’ve defended Arteta for a large part of this season but he needs to accept responsibility and learn from his mistakes, doesn’t he?

    Trust the process?

    What about “Why are he making the same mistakes?”

    Arteta has been given more money and time than Emery was. What have we received for that?

    Have a look where Arteta is, struggling to beat the best in this league as well the likes of Brighton and Palace… and where Emery is in Europe:

    Am I saying Emery was right for Arsenal? No, not necessarily but this narrative that Emery is inferior to Arteta is rubbish.

    Arteta needs to start producing soon or he needs to go.

    Emery’s Arsenal collapsed because he was distracted by Europe. What’s Arteta’s excuse?

  16. Edu me a favour

    “”” Emery’s Arsenal collapsed because he was distracted by Europe. What’s Arteta’s excuse?””””

    After watching us in his second season – this is why you think we collapsed ? Because of the europa league ?

  17. Samesong

    This blog comes alive when we lose. so odd

    Also the same applies when we win also. So not very odd. When we win you will see the likes of Rich AFC Foam, raulispuss and their I’ll. Tbf Nigel the nutcase is here win lose or draw.

  18. Mysticleaves

    It comes alive when we lose because it’s easier to pass your point across on the back of a defeat.

    People like rich, AFC forever, Nigel and PP would come onto people that criticize the team after a win with lines like “if you can’t find joy in a win why support the club?”

    Make no mistake these past few days posts aren’t because we lost 2. It’s because we haven’t been doing well enough over the course of a whole season (performance wise and given the circumstances). When we win you can see the cracks but the victories have just been papering over them

  19. Ishola70

    Well if Arsenal beat Southampton and whether it be impressive or ugly everyone on here should celebrate because wins and three points are absolutely precious at this stage of the season even if people are disappointed with the last two matches.

    And then it’s onto the next one.

    If a lose occurs though at Southampton then of course it’s a different story. Arteta will be getting absolute dogs abuse and considering the circumstances and the teams we have played recently then it will probably be seen as justified.

  20. alexanderhenry


    I still think we have a chance of top four. Beat spurs and it’s doable.

    If I was to put money on it though, 5th seems more likely.

    That’s perfectly respectable. Our squad has potential but it’s not there yet. I knew it would take time for us to get back into the top four.
    However, we did have a big advantage this season not having to play in Europe. That, combined with early exits from the cups gave us the luxury of one game a week football.
    It shows in our minimal injury list. That does make it all a bit disappopinting.
    Next season will be different. so we need to strengthen effectively.
    It can’t go tits up just because Partey misses a few games.

    Regarding Arteta, the emphasis has been on his tactical know how but that’s only 50% of it.
    Great managers are great man managers.
    Carrot or stick you have to make the right choice.

    Anyway, assuming we finish top six, it’s all about the summer.

    No more Pepe type signings please.

  21. Mysticleaves

    If easy to understand why Emery was sacked. I could see it. The players (the management got rid of for Arteta eventually) and fans weren’t keen on him irrespective of the plays he tried to implement or the results he gave. They never gave him much emotional bias capital to work with. You know why? Because of this same Arteta and people like Pedro that oversold his (invisible) credentials when he was a cone man.

    When Emery was appointed, many was already keen on Arteta and it felt like Don Raul had done a great sin with Emery so at the first sign of trouble, they remembered that there was a knight in shining armour somewhere that will steal Peps brain and transform Arsenal. The rest is becoming history.

    If Emery wasn’t right for Arsenal, it’s because we didn’t give him a chance irrespective of competence levels. But Arteta has proven that he’s wronger for Arsenal than Emery ever was and it’s because he’s incompetent, still.

  22. raptora

    Emery commented that the manager protects the players, and the club protects the manager. He said he’s been protected at every club. Bar at Arsenal.

    “At Arsenal they weren’t able to, maybe because they came from Wenger, who did everything. They’d say: ‘We’re with you’ but in front of fans and the dressing room they couldn’t protect me. Truth is, I felt alone. And the results dictated I had to go.”

  23. reality check

    Just thought I’d post this gem

    ZacharseApril 9, 2022 07:09:06
    I’m gonna enjoy the fucking crickets chirping when bayern rolls villareal at home. Fuck i might take a break out of my 12 hr work day to watch it and then ask why a guy put in charge of arsenal directly after wenger, who couldnt speak the language, who had zero experience
    In the prem, who has never set up a team to play fluid attacking football, who wah wah wah wanted zaha and got pepe- why he wasnt given more time. Fuck we finished 8th. Guess that was artetas fault. Whomwon the fa cup against the same team who FUCKING SCHOOLED emery to the degree he couldnt even come back from THE NEXT SEASON. Ya we shoudla give him
    More time. Ok. Fuck what a buncha louts.

    Deary me.

  24. raptora

    Last night, in the studio the pundits were saying how Emery has done well in every single club he’s been at. But Arsenal. Bum manager though LOL.

  25. LoveSausage

    No way we’re selling Gabriel. He’s had a few bad games this season but overall he’s been our most consistent performer. We should tell them to give us Frenkie De Jong in exchange or go fuck themselves.

  26. Ishola70

    The irony of that Zacharse post is when he talks about Arteta beating Chelsea in the FA Cup in comparison to Emery losing to them in the Europa League final.

    Arteta won that FA Cup playing very much underdog tactics just like Emery is doing now with Villarreal in the CL.

    The only difference is the CL is on a higher level than the FA Cup.

  27. Mr Serge

    raptoraApril 13, 2022 12:31:31
    Last night, in the studio the pundits were saying how Emery has done well in every single club he’s been at. But Arsenal. Bum manager though LOL.

    he was amazing for us wasn’t he? no he was shit do you want him back Raps?

  28. Ishola70

    The truth is the playing rule book at Arsenal was re-written after Emery left.

    We were told to be enthused and massively excited that Arteta was bringing a defensive structure to the team when he came in.

    Emery could have done that and quite easily. Pundits are going apeshit on their commentary about how good Villarreal’s defensive structure is in this CL run they are on.

    But the bar was set higher for Emery when he came in at Arsenal.

  29. Dissenter

    Mr Serge
    Drop this silly ‘he was bad for us’ nonsense
    He came up two points short of 3rd place in the his first season and got to. European final.
    Second season he lost his way because he wasn’t backed by a back room room that was constantly changing. At the end he deserved his sack, he pretty much said that he deserved his sack for poor results.

    We pride ourselves as the classy club but we indulged in some nasty xenophobic attacks on him.
    At the end of the day, that ‘good ebening’ nonsense boils down to a cheap. Xenophobic jibe. I once met a Japanese Nobel laureate who spoke English like it was 5th language and still everyone listened with rapt attention.

    Have you considered the possibility that Arsenal may very well be the problem?
    . The man had proceeded to restore his reputation with ease, meanwhile we are still in the doldrums, ready to embrace the conference league if that’s what Arteta serves up.

  30. LoveSausage

    Emery had enough time to bring defensive structure and failed miserably at it. Arguing that he could have done if he’d stayed longer is the same as arguing that Arteta can give us offensive output if he’s just given more time. Both of them should have done better with the time they’ve had in the job.

  31. Dissenter

    They keep saying Arteta has improved the defense yet we are on course to conceding more goals that we did before spending £115 million on the defense.

  32. Jaroda

    Our woes are not because we’ve dropped a few points to lesser opposition.
    As I’ve posted before, the ‘big-6’ mini league shows that we struggle to beat our supposed peers on merit or even throw in a random surprise undeserved result! I mean Spurs aren’t better than Man City in any regard but have taken 6 points from them. Hell, the only points we have are from Spurs!

    Team P W D L F A GD Pts
    ManC 10 6 2 2 21 10 +11 20pts
    Liv 8 3 5 0 20 9 +11 14pts
    Che 8 3 3 2 11 6 +5 12pts
    ManU 7 3 1 3 11 16 -5 10pts
    Sp*rs 8 2 1 5 9 18 -9 7pts
    Ars 7 1 0 6 6 19 -13 3pts

  33. Dissenter

    Love sausage
    ….and we have that defensive solidity now after spending god knows what?
    Conceded 36 goals in 30 games, last season ti was 39 goals in 38 games.

    The point is not that Emery should still be Roy d. He earned his sack same was this manager as earned his sack several times over.

  34. Ishola70


    You are completely missing the point.

    Emery bringing defensive structure was not on the must do list when he came in.

    And you seriously think he could not have done this if it was ordered to be done?

    Have you been watching Villarreal on this CL run? Their defensive structure is top notch.

  35. Naija+soccer

    Still reeling from the loss. I think I have to accept that Arsenal winning or losing is directly proportional to the level of my giddiness.

    When Arsenal win I m like Ian Wright all day long.

    When we lose though, just think Tom Hanks type heaviness in Castaway.

  36. LoveSausage


    I agree that Arteta has failed at defensive consistency. But for large parts of the season we’ve looked defensively solid. The fact that we implode every now and then in ways that impact the team’s confidence is on him and a poor mark on his management. But it’s disingenuous to argue that we aren’t more solid than under Emery. I’m not saying that should be enough for him to keep his job after this much (it shouldn’t), but let’s at least be honest when we’re criticising.

  37. Edu me a favour

    “”””” Emery bringing defensive structure was not on the must do list when he came in. And you seriously think he could not have done this if it was ordered to be done?“”””

    Ishola , what on Earth , make me understand this please 😂

    The team well known for being terrible defensively under wenger towards the end and you think defensive structure wasn’t on the list of things to do ? And also – you think Emery only had to address tactics that were “ordered to be done” have I miss read this or ? ….

  38. Nelson

    It toke Arteta two years to come up with a system of attack. The problem is other EPL managers know that’s all Arteta can do. Like Patrick Vieira, they’ll set up to stop us. Crystal Palace played us out of the park. Arteta has no Plan B. His galaxy brain toke over. As expected, it goes de pire sen pire.

  39. Ishola70

    When Emery came in he said he realised what was expected at Arsenal playing wise following on from Wenger and we know what that means. Attacking progressive football.

    So in that sense Emery wasn’t the right fit from the start.

    What is ironic in all this is Arteta getting a defensive structure and really concentrating on it was seen as great and of course Arteta’s only notable real success to date with Arsenal was winning the FA Cup where underdog tactics were used plenty of men behind the ball along with defensive structure.

    Emery could have done that easily. Easily. But he thought and was probably told Arsenal is more about Wenger type of football when he came in.

  40. Ishola70


    You like everyone else knows the image Arsenal had under Wenger and what the club were known for and celebrated for playing wise and defensive structure wasn’t top of the list was it. At least in Wenger’s second period.

  41. Ishola70


    You are not addressing the fact that Emery’s Villarreal side are being absolutely praised to the skies rearding their defensive structure.

    So it was clearly in Emery’s locker to be able to set up a good defensive structure to a side. Not just good. Excellent.

  42. Naija+soccer


    I definitely fear Arteta might not know how to properly set up an attacking team. There are definitely signs ;
    Auba struggling for goals in our attack then becomes prime Lewandowski at Barca,
    Lacazette not scoring,
    Martinelli was free scoring before Arteta then Arteta joins then all of a sudden, Martinelli ain’t ready yet,

    But I am hoping that I am overreacting and he s a genius of an attacking coach.

  43. Naija+soccer

    Emery is doing well but he was never the right fit for Arsenal. It’s not even the language issue. Person/Environment was a mismatch.

    Think Moyes at Man U then think same Moyes at West ham.. Similar situation to Emery.

  44. Edu me a favour

    “”””You are not addressing the fact that Emery’s Villarreal side are being absolutely praised to the skies rearding their defensive structure.So it was clearly in Emery’s locker to be able to set up a good defensive structure to a side. Not just good. Excellent.””””

    All credit to Emery and his villa real , absolutely. But you can’t tell me he just didn’t focus much at all on defensive structure at arsenal – after conceding 9.8 million shots to Watford , do you not think he might have thought , hmmm we should probably work on our defensive structure a bit ? He had a dossier on Arsenal when he came to the interview , I’m sure our soft defending must have come up , surely ? Didn’t he start us playing out the back ? I guessing that would have been in the defensive drills ?

  45. IAT-Robbie

    The Real Vieira Lynn,

    For me, Arteta is only still in this job because:

    (1) He is in Josh Kroenke’s good books
    (2) He was a cheap hire.

    Many of the other reasons being mentioned by his supporters is just conjecture sandwiched with vanity metrics. His contract is worth less than Rodgers, Lage and the now departed, Bielsa.

    Hopefully, when the Board of Directors look at the dreadful mismanagement of player value that has occurred. They’ll rethink dipping into the bargain bin to recruit the likes of Edu and Arteta in the future.

  46. Matt

    If you have just had a spanking
    If confidence is low
    And you need a win
    Maybe you should play, the Arsenal…

    (spoken as per the A-Team them song)

  47. Naija+soccer


    That defensive structure of his had us conceding like 20 something shots against the likes of Watford in the league . Which proves the point he was the wrong fit for Arsenal.

    Glad he’s doing well again.

  48. Edu me a favour

    Just want to make it clear that I’m a fan of the pre Arsenal Emery and the post Arsenal Emery – just not much of a fan of the one in between all of that. But he is absolutely NOT a bum , not at all , just not the right guy at the time – who knows , maybe it was just a bit too soon for him after psg – let’s say he skipped us and went to villa real – if we were about to get him now we’d all be loving it

  49. LoveSausage


    Yes, we had an image for attacking football and I’d love to have that again. And there’s always a trade off between attack and defensive solidity, unless you’re Pep. My point is that a new coach’s job isn’t to live up to his predecessor’s image. It’s to do better than him. Considering that we were undone by our lack of solidity in Wenger’s last 8 years (at least), Emery should have focused on that without needing to be ordered. That’s what you do when an organization is facing a crisis. You stop the bleeding and then you work on the more long term stuff. He failed.

    But that’s really a secondary point. My main point is that Emery and Arteta aren’t so different in the sense that they both should have achieved more with the time they had.

  50. Ishola70


    Again you are not adressing the fact that Emery is getting massive plaudits for the defensive structure that Villarreal are showing.

    Not just that they are getting through ties in this CL but the fact that their defensive structure is absolutely paramount in all this.

    So you just want to blame Emery one person for failing to bring this excellent defensive structure at Arsenal when he was here rather than look at the whole picture and the mindset of the whole club and it’s “philosophy” before Emery came in?

    It was said before that Arsenal don’t play little club football. Well Emery is playing little club football now with Villarreal which is apt considering how small a club Villarreal are and getting huge results with it. Areta won the FA Cup by playing little club football.

  51. LoveSausage


    Your comment about the environment and personality is spot on. This is what so many people fail to understand. I’ve hired hundreds of people in my career. Some of them succeeded and some failed miserably. Some of those who failed were extremely talented and had all the hard skills for job. But they weren’t right for the environment. I’d go as far as to say that this is a much more common reason for job failure than the lack of hard skills. I’ve never worked at a football club but I don’t see any reason why it should be any different. If anything, the environment is probably a bigger factor due to fan and media pressure.

    I for one am happy to see Emery doing well again in an environment that suits him better.

  52. Samesong

    Arteta: Don’t give freekicks outside the box especially as Ward-Prowse is a set piece specialist

    Can see Him scoring a freekick against us for some stupid holding a player or silly foul in and around our box. Hopefully we beat Southampton but the draw is also on. Two teams out of form.

  53. Edu me a favour

    “”” Again you are not adressing the fact that Emery is getting massive plaudits for the defensive structure that Villarreal are showing.”””

    Ok what else other than “” all credit to Emery and his villa real””
    Do you want me to say , in order to address his outstanding defensive structure at Present? 😂

    Again – His villa real have shown a serious amount of defensive know how , all credit to them – but to sit here and suggest he just wasn’t focused on it at Arsenal , is complete madness. It was said he had a file on each player before he came and he presented it to the hierarchy when he was interviewed and he spoke about how he would make each player better – I would hazard a guess that he also spoke about our defenders and how he would make them better …..

  54. Davey

    I take it nobody has seen the Xhaka interview with his relationship with Arsenal fans? iNTERESTING READ- THE GUY JUST DON’T GET IT.

  55. Edu me a favour


    What ever emery’s defensive ideas were at Arsenal – they clearly didn’t work , for what ever reason – I wouldn’t even say it was the players as he’s working with a lesser group now than when he was here – he’s in a set up now that suits him and his methods and we’re all seeing how harmonious it is for them – long May it continue

    And who cares about the tactics Arteta used to win the fa cup ? We won it , that’s all that matters , yet another fa cup final we beat Chelsea in 💪🏽

  56. Davey

    Listen, the cards have always been part of my game. They were in Germany, too. Remember the 50-50? I’m all in, and it’s the same in training. If I elbow a player, I’ll be the first one to say, ‘I’m sorry.’

    “But a tackle? Come on, guys. This is not ballet.”

    You are too slow to make the tackle you are not a tough guy you are a brainless idiot with no dicipline

  57. Ishola70


    Defence is obviously worked on but we have to go back to what the footballing philosophy was at Arsenal when Emery first came in and that can hinder in this respect.

    We then celebrated that Arteta when he first came in concentrated heavily on defensive structure.

    The scenario had changed in regards the club in comparison to when Emery first took over and when Arteta came in.

    The grandiose we play the best football had been dropped by the time Arteta came in. We celebrated defensive structure.

  58. Naija+soccer


    Yeah bro, the environment is extremely important. We dont talk about it enough but we really should because it matters that much. Torreira is another example.

    Football and the world in general is getting to this micro manage stage where we are now looking deeper and underneath things to truly understand how they work/function.

    Clubs will soon start considering how compatible a player might be at their club or League before signing them.

  59. Edu me a favour

    “””Defence is obviously worked on but we have to go back to what the footballing philosophy was at Arsenal when Emery first came in and that can hinder in this respect.”””

    Yep you’re spot on here , no doubt. He even said he wanted us to be the protagonists. Really did hinder him considering that’s not what he was known for

  60. LoveSausage


    I think you’re overstating the philosophy aspect. We the fans certainly had expectations. But there was no philosophy at the club level. Arsene has a very strong philosophy but he was gone. The rest of the club were a bunch of bland bureaucrats who had neither football knowledge nor a philosophy. Our owners only philosophy is to reach 4th so that the club can maximise revenue.

    So if Emery felt that he needed to live up to the fans’ expectations around football style at the expense of defensive solidity, then that was his choice. And a poor one.

  61. izzo

    Pretty sure none of the players we have signed are inexperienced or haven’t been playing top flight football before joining and pre Arteta. This young players excuse is getting boring.

  62. LoveSausage


    Yeah, that’s happening more and more. I read somewhere that Juventus were pioneering that sort of evaluation already back in late 80s / early 90s. They didn’t want any party boys at the club so they would do extensive due diligence on a player’s family, values etc. And more often than not they would pressure their players to get married and have kids ASAP. Not the most modern approach and not something I’m advocating. But it illustrates how important the environmental fit is to some clubs.

  63. Dissenter

    Love Sausage
    I don’t disagree with much of what you’ve written above
    However you’re wrong in the assessment that Emery failed because of a lack of fit. If you were doing management review of Arsenal and that’s what you came up with then all bets are off.

    Arsenal had an all powerful manager for 22 years who dominated every aspect. We didn’t have any semblance of good management behind the scenes. It was all one man.
    Then we hired a linguistically challenged HEAD COACH who was accustomed to working under a director of football. I doubt that Emery had ever had to sign a single player in his managerial career.

    What dis we give him to work with? quick sand and game of thrones in the backroom.
    Gazidis hired and then left with a stupid power co-sharing arrangement with Vinai and a Barcelona bagman. Mislintat left and then we went to get Edu who has never done the work of DoF.
    Al this while a manager who needed a good backroom was in charge. That’s why Emery never got the support he deserves. We set him up to fail.

    The reason why Emery failed has nothing to do with the environment, culture blah blah. He was appointed to Arsenal at the worst possible time. It was all timing. We had nothing to support a head coach with at that particular time.

    If Arteta had been appointed in May 2018, he too would have failed as head coach. Arsenal didn’t have the structure in place to support any head coach.

  64. Ishola70

    LoveSausage makes fair and good points in his most recent posts.

    Emery was not the right fit.

    That’s what it boils down to.

    I myself was not overly enthused when Emery was announced as Arsenal manager.

    In the long run though Arteta rather than being seen as not the “right fit” may ultimately fail for just not being good enough.

    We will see.

  65. Edu me a favour


    There’s top flight football , then there’s playing top flight football for a massive club like Arsenal. The pressure and expectations are completely different- but the experience these boys are getting right now will only be better for us going forward.

  66. ahk_13

    Auba struggling for goals in our attack then becomes prime Lewandowski at Barca,
    Lacazette not scoring,
    Martinelli was free scoring before Arteta then Arteta joins then all of a sudden, Martinelli ain’t ready yet,

    Lol peak Henry would struggle to get to double digits in this setup

  67. Graham62

    Those folk who still feel that Arteta is doing a great job are delusional.
    This has nothing to do with two incredibly poor performances either.
    There is a systemic problem in Arteta’s methods that is detrimental to a natural progression.
    Yep, he’s just not good enough.

  68. LoveSausage


    I agree with everything you’re saying in your last post. I think we’re just using different words to describe a set of circumstances. Your description of the situation Emery stepped into is what I mean by “the environment”.

    And maybe I wasn’t clear about this but I’m not arguing that Arteta stepped into the same environment. Emery had the harder job by a country mile. Everything was much more dysfunctional than when Arteta took over. The owners were just waking up to the fact that they needed to be involved, something they’d never done before. Political power struggles all over the place… Arteta would have failed too, 100%.

    Ironically enough, I think the only type of manager who could have succeeded (as measured by actual results) at that time would have been someone like Conte. A manager with the personality of a hyena who’s not out to make friends or be a good corporate citizen. That would have been bad in the long term though since having a manager with God-like powers was what got us to where we were at.

  69. Dissenter

    Xhaka: “When I close my eyes now, I can still see their faces. I can see their anger,”
    “The passports were out. I was done with Arsenal. Finished.”
    “I had barely begun to move when I heard the boos. And it was not just a few guys in the corner – it was a lot of people. I was shocked. I had never experienced anything like this,” said Xhaka.
    “This is hate. Pure hate. I am really not exaggerating this.

    I’m not a Xhaka basher and understand the human par of his reaction but he’s not telling the truth here. He was booed because he was foot-dragging in game that his team mates was trying to win. He needs to see how Henderson leaves the field when substituted in similar situations .

    I suspect that this PR parade is because Arteta is going to give Xhaka the captain’s band.
    Now he can kiss the badge.

  70. Graham62


    The worst part in all of this is that GX is still at the club.
    He should have been kicked out there and then.
    Arteta sees him as the lynchpin.
    I see him as the core of many of our problems.

  71. Dissenter

    Love Sausage
    Conte would never has signed unto Arsenal in 2018.
    We didn’t have the personalities to deal with an exuberant character, Everyone knew we didn’t have know-how in the back room Wenger’s long stay atrophied every aspect of football management/know-how that we had.
    Our backroom was a mess from 2018 to probably maybe, just recently.

    Conte would have done to us what he did to Spurs initially. He would have walked away.

  72. LoveSausage


    I think he (or someone like him) might have considered it. Back then, most people saw us as a top club that was just temporarily out of the CL. And we were already spending plenty of money on players (Auba, Laca, Ozil etc). It was basically an opportunity to become Wenger for the 21st century. That’s an attractive proposition for any megalomaniac. He would have installed his own back room, from CEO down to the tea lady, just like Wenger did.

  73. LoveSausage

    Anyway, I’m not saying this would have been a good solution. Just speculating about what type of manager could have come in back then without falling on his face immediately. It was a borderline impossible job.

  74. Ishola70


    If an Arsenal star player was in the same situation as Xhaka was in regarding that infamous episode then he would not have been given the same vitriol as Xhaka.

    The initial reaction may have been to boo because Xhaka was taking too much time to get off the pitch but when fans saw it was Xhaka this was mixed with not being happy with him overall at that time so he sees more vitriol.

    Xhaka should look at it more closely and realise why he saw such vitriol but self inspection can be difficult for some.

    I fully expect him to see his contract out at Arsenal which of course means no CL football for another two seasons from this current one.

  75. Zacharse

    just saw the results from yestetrday, sucks to have to eat my words about emery/bayern haha, but congrats to him – can’t help but enjoy the underdog knocking out a monopoly like munich. congrats to villareal, it would certainly be nice to see them go even farther at the cost of another fucking one horse league fav.

    hope artetas ego gets checked hard, but really, who the fuck in our organization can do that if he’s got a blind spot? stan? josh? fuck them in the ear. worst owners possible-more money than god, we were rolling hard in january – plenty of room on payroll and FFP bullshit and no moves. I’m sorry pete i’m not buying it. the worst case scenario which is not just what’s happening now but that what’s happening now gives pause to players in our club regarding contracts/grass being greener/as well as attracting new signings of quality. depending what happens over the next 8 games, we’ll see how retrospective our club gets about the the financial decisions they’ve made not only then but over the last fucking decade. nico on 140/wk – eddie and laca being out of contract in 2 months time. partey on how much? it’s not that it’s just not good enough, it’s that our backs have been to the wall since 2008 or whatvere with signings because of wenger/kroenkes. our squad is where it is because of that. it’s what made le grove’s name predicting this. If arteta leaves after the next fucking game, he will still have served a pretty valubale purpose here which is breaking the fever and making sure the youngsters aren’t coming into an atmosphere that accentuates the worst parts of being a professional athlete and preferring not to rock the boat instead of being honest w the fanbase.

    That nuno had a moment that isn’t continuing doesn’t surprise me one bit. The strategizing that goes on in the prem is top notch and once you play a few games anyone can watch that footage and see your weak points and plan appropriately. it’s the players’ job to understand this and nuno is what 19? like you said pete, not getting the minutes needed to develop and has been heavily exposed since that first burst. We’ve had this happen before, so has every fucking club in england. When you’re an unknown quantity it’s a lot easier to turn heads.
    matteo may be piling up the assists in ligue 1, but we have another player on our payroll, record signing right? who piled up not only assists but goals too in that league and its taken him 3 years to hit the level required in the prem and he aint displacing saka anytime soon. but yes 8m or whatvere is quite a bit too low for a transfer fee, but then so was 30m for cesc, and equally poor decision making when the only player we bought in one summer was petr cech. willian on how much a week? AFC is basically being run as a charity right now when it suits, and then the talk of money being tight. we’ll never know how it would’ve turned out if we’d gone hard for tielemans in jan instead of waiting 5 months. there are always optiuons available and if there aren’t it’s no one ‘s fault but the scouting dept

  76. Ishola70

    If Pepe had a bit of Guendouzi’s spikiness and vigour we may have seen a better career from him at Arsenal.

    As it is Pepe looks stoned a few too many times.

  77. LoveSausage


    I think you’re spot on about Xhaka. Going back to our earlier discussion about football philosophy and identity- Xhaka has come to represent how far we’ve fallen as a club for a lot of fans. He certainly has for me. We’ve gone from midfield intelligence and flair (Vieira, Cesc etc) to two wooden feet and stupidity. He’ll always get it more than other players, fair or not.

  78. Mark

    Arteta is a luckier manager than Emery. If it wasn’t for covid and no fans in the stadium he would have been sacked when he set all thise disastrous negative records.

  79. Dissenter

    The best part abut Guendouzi was never his technical nouse
    It was the fact that he never hid from responsibility, If something needed to be said, he would wait for someone else to do it.
    If his team mates gets needlessly injured, he wasn’t going just sit still

    Wenger understood this from the likes of Viera but Arteta lack this capacity.
    Arteta lacks the ability to be self deprecating, so when a player raises his voice back at him in a team meeting, it’s an unforgiveable slight. I gather that Auba made a joke at a team meeting at Arteta’s expense an that was the straw that broke the camels back.

    I can’t believe that Edu and Arteta [two rookies at the time] brought Guendouzi into a room to try to extract an apology from him. That in itself was poor management 101.

  80. David.D

    Everton were on a shit run
    They ended it against us.
    Palace hadnt won at home in the league in 2022
    Step forward us.
    Brighton hadnt won in 7 fucking games
    We are the gift that keeps giving
    If you havent won in yonks or scored in yonks we are everyones dream to play.
    Southampton will be licking their lips.

    That first 5 minutes and how we start will tell us if we are going to have the apetite for that game and the remaining fixtures.
    It will simply beggar belief if Lacazette starts up front and Xhaka up front.

  81. englandsbest

    It’s hard to credit the talk on here about Arteta’s ‘ego’. He doesn’t nod wisely as if he were ex cathedra like Wenger or tell the world he is the best like Mourinho. On the contrary he openly admits to his mistakes. Nor does he brag about victories, he hands the accolades to the team and the coaching staff.

    In fact there is no real evidence of ‘Arteta ego’. If anything, he is too humble. His differences with players – like Guendozy, Ozil – are deliberately misinterpreted by some as ‘ego’. Don’t lets fall for such nonsense.

  82. Chris

    “ It will simply beggar belief if Lacazette starts up front and Xhaka up front.”

    Xhaka up front would certainly be a head scratcher!

  83. Graham62


    It’s all very well admitting your own mistakes but if you keep on making them, then it’s self-defeating.

  84. InsideRight

    englandsbest – “In fact there is no real evidence of ‘Arteta ego’. If anything, he is too humble. His differences with players – like Guendozy, Ozil – are deliberately misinterpreted by some as ‘ego’. Don’t lets fall for such nonsense.”

    Top quality trolling. Funniest thing I’ve read in days.

  85. Ernest Reed

    “I can’t believe that Edu and Arteta [two rookies at the time] brought Guendouzi into a room to try to extract an apology from him. That in itself was poor management 101.”

    Arteta is nothing more than a self-served mug who couldn’t put out a a proper and functional starting eleven, to save his own life. He’s the king of trying capture lightning in a bottle.

  86. Killroy-TM

    EnglandsWorst, finally came out from underneath that rock and keep eating those mushrooms or whatever it is you smoke because it will help you to cope with the reality that the present Arsenal is and the failure of their manager.

  87. Graham62

    Mikel Arteta:

    Looks the part, well educated, speaks well, probably smells good!

    Ivan Gazidis:


    Common factors obviously are appealing to some.

    It’s a great shame that judging peoples character isn’t one of their strengths.

  88. englandsbest

    Oh my, the anti-arteta brigade out in full force!

    The reality is that the process is well on course, heading for the elite.

    Only those comfortable with mediocrity give a damn about coming fourth this season

  89. NORG

    IG may have been a snake oil salesman but he did have the same desires as many of the posters on LG – to get rid of Wenger.

  90. InsideRight


    There was nothing to avoid. There was no issue up for debate. You were talking unreconstructed rubbish.

    You are the one who claimed Arteta’s differences with players “like Guendozy, Ozil” are being deliberately misinterpreted as ‘ego’. OK, what is the correct interpretation then? Over to you.

  91. Major_Jeneral

    Let Me Set a Few Things Straight

    Today I know I made the right decision, absolutely, because I’m still here. But I can’t pretend that my relationship with the fans will ever be the same, because that moment will always be in my heart.

    – Granit Xhaka

  92. Ishola70

    So he’s basically playing for just Arteta then. Nice.

    And when he says his relationship will never be the same with the fans after that incident well I think he is over-estimating what his relationship was with the fans at any point because most can see he is a Europa League level player albeit one who puts some effort in.

  93. AFC Forever


    “Drop this silly ‘he was bad for us’ nonsense. He came up two points short of 3rd place in the his first season and got to European final.”

    It’s not silly at all, he was.

    There has been far too much revisionary bollocks about Emery on here that isn’t honest. Of course, It’s all part of the agenda game so I get it. Falsely painting Emery in a positive light allows you to discredit Arteta. It’s a sad way to behave because this is a football blog for good honest conversation, not somewhere to play childish finger pointing games. We should be talking football not having a dick waving contest. We had all this at then start of the season; all the abuse hurled at the new signings and anyone who didn’t agree was bullied.

    This blog has become very dishonest since Newcastle lost at Spurs and we were beaten by Palace. A host of new names have appeared (trolls?) along with those from the distant past, pretending they expected a top 4 finish and anything else is a disaster.It’s all fake. Sadly the regular members of this blog, on both sides of the Arteta divide, have decided the blog is just too unpleasant and toxic to have a sensible conversation so they are giving it a swerve. As for ridiculing people and calling them out behind their backs, that really is immature behaviour.

    Onto Emery.

    I liked Unai. A lot more than some of the unpleasant people on here. He is clearly a very good manager but he failed at Arsenal. No amount of pretending otherwise will disguise the fact he deserved to be sacked. How much of that is due to the problems Freddie identified with the poor attitude of the players I have no idea but he didn’t do anything to improve things. The shocking defensive set-up was never rectified and sadly, instead of improving us we got worse. Claiming he was a couple of points off third sounds good until you look at how he bottled the run-in and failed to address glaring problems. Emery is being treated very differently to Arteta and that hypocrisy on here should be called out. Arteta never get’s any credit but Emery get’s it in spades. Stop playing games and be honest for a change.

    So let’s look at the facts:-

    1. In 2018/19 we were favourites for 4th place. It turned out all we needed was a simple 9 points from the 21 available. He got 7. As all of these games were against mid and bottom of the table teams, everyone thought 4th was nailed on. But we imploded, losing 4 of those 7 games; Everton, Palace, Wolves & Leicester – each sticking 3 goals past us. Spurs took 4th place by one point and the CL Football that may have changed the course of history was thrown away by Emery & his failure to address our Achilles heel.

    2. So Emery took 7 points from 21 and it was okay? Arteta takes 15 points from 24, yet the acid tongued amongst you are demonstrating fake outrage. Hypocrisy. Even worse, we haven’t finished the run in yet!!

    3. After capitulating & throwing away 4th place, Emery then lost the Europa League Final 4-1 to Chelsea. Our defending was as bad as it had always been under Emery and the end of the season had been one massive cock-up. It was embarrassing.

    4. The 2019/20 season started okay until our fifth game. Watford away. Watford racked up a whopping 31 shots on our goal in a 2-2 draw. Pundits were laughing at us and the fans were seriously pissed off that Emery had failed to address the same problem we had during the previous season. Everyone was calling us soft because we were. Watford lost 8-0 at Man City the following week & nobody could understand how bad we had been.

    5. In Emery’s last 9 games before he was sacked, including Watford, we conceded 143 shots. The 31 by Watford was of course the worst of the lot but the 24 against Wolves & 21 against Southampton are all worth a mention. It wasn’t a first though, two games before the Watford game we conceded 25 to Liverpool. These weren’t one offs, we had a problem and Emery never fixed it. 24 shots at Everton etc. In Emery’s last 13 PL games we had conceded 209 shots, such was our incapacity to defend as a team with players like Guendouzi, Ozil, Ceballos and Xhaka in midfield.

    6. In the 9 games above, we took just 11 points from the 27 that were available. Relegation form. The performances had been really poor. It was similar form to that which threw away the Champions League spot at the end of the previous season. The problem was the fact performances were getting worse and fans were restless.

    7. Fans had been voting with their feet. I was at the half empty Emirates for the Frankfurt game, which we lost 2-1 against a hopeless German team. There were plenty of signs asking for Emery to be relieved of his duty and plenty of booing, as there had been at previous games. (Personally I am not a fan of that type of toxicity but I wanted him gone because proved incapable of sorting out our defensive team structure. It had gone on far too long). The next day he was sacked.

    8. Arteta came into what was now a big job with pressure on him to sort out our defending. Arteta did that and within a few months, with the same players, he took a team that couldn’t defend a baby from having her rattle stolen to an FA Cup trophy win; beating Man City & the team who battered us in the Europa League Final, Chelsea.

    It is very weird that Emery is held up as some messiah while Arteta is abused. The FA Cup Trophy was the result of good coaching & should be praised. He made us defensively more solid without the ball, something Emery failed to address. Those who don’t like Arteta choose to ignore that achievement because it doesn’t support their claims he is clueless. The ‘fluke’ accusation is just embarrassing.

    Nobody is saying Emery isn’t a top manager, he clearly is, but he didn’t do a good job at Arsenal. Mourinho failed at Spurs and Man Utd, while Van Gaal made a right mess of the Man Utd job. When presented with facts, sometimes things weren’t as great as you like to portray. Managers & players with big reputations fail, as Emery did. No shame in that, shit happens. I am pleased to see him doing well, it’s not a personal thing like it is for some of you.

    If you need to obscure facts or be dishonest to discredit someones achievements, opinions or to feed an agenda then that’s up to you. But it suggests a lack of confidence in the argument you are trying to present.

  94. Naija+soccer

    Exactly our performance was getting worse game to game. Averaging 20 something shots against you by opponents for multiple consecutive games is not a sign that things are going well and that it is a match made in heaven.