5 YEAR PLANS TO REPLACE SHORT-TERMISM (LONG READ)

by .

Well good morning my dearest, dearest of chums.

What do I want to talk about today?

Last season’s table since Christmas. I wrote about it a lot because the first 38% of the season was dreadful, but the second 62% of the season was really, really decent. I wrote this after we beat Brighton.

The final 24 games of the season also post a cheery outlook. 2nd most points. 2nd best defensive record. 3rd most goals.

If you are looking for signs of life and you can’t feel a heartbeat in ‘6 points off 4th place, with the 2nd best form over the final 24 games after we made pointed changes at Christmas’, I honestly can’t help you.

If you thought the first 14 games were relevant enough to merit sacking Arteta, I can’t listen to you tell me the 24 games after count as a mathematical sleight of hand. Again, just to remind you, I understand that the league is 38 games, but we’re searching for light, I’m not trying to convince you we actually won a trophy.

This landed quite the reaction from certain quarters:

ANON 1:

I was thinking more about sacking Arteta pre Christmas after we went through a horrific barren run to get in a clearly better manager. Again I don’t really buy into the whole upward trend post Christmas nonsense cause there was still inconsistent performances embarrassing defeats and struggles along the way.

I will say what actually might save the god awful manager might be the fact that while we fail to make an actual smart decision on him we’ve missed out on Nagelsmann, Rose, Marsch and possibly Galtier. Might be left with a scenario where Fonseca, Allegri or I dunno Rangnick might be the only ones left.

Should have sacked him pre Christmas during that period and made a move for Marco Rose before he committed to Dortmund.

Ouch.

There were people who thought Arteta hadn’t changed anything in 24 games and he’d be gone by the following Christmas.

ANON 2:

Arteta needed to go, but instead of taking the hard decisions now, so that the new manager could have the summer to peopare the squad, we’ve decided to drag our feet and keep him until December next year so not only content with sabotaging this season, we want to sabotage next season by keeping Arteta on.

Why does Arteta deserved to be kept on?

The silence is deafening.

There were the out and out doomers:

ANON 3:

However next season when the situation will stabilise (no COVID, people in stadium, …), I do expect us to be back in mid table mediocrity between 6th and 10th. That’s exactly where the underlying stats and performance point.

ManCity, ManUtd, Chelsea, Liverpool will be back to proper level of performance.
Leicester also played in Europe this season, so I see no reason why next season should provoke a dip in performance and result. If they recruit smartly like it look they are doing in getting B Soumaré.
WestHam may be impaired by having mid European competition.
Spurs are going to treat that 3rd tier European Cup as an hindrance and plays kids and fringe players.

So of the club above us, I can see us overtaking WestHam or Spurs. However from the clubs that finished below is, I do expect Everton to have a better season.
If Leeds recruits well, they could become a force.
AstonVilla have in their academy a player ready to explode and lessen the impact of Grealish injury. Basically with Grealish Aston Villa is a top half club without they are hovering above relegation.

Where are we 11 months later after those great non-data-driven predictions?

Sitting in 4th with the run in our hands.

So why do I bring this up? Because football requires a bit of vision in 2022.

10 years ago, you could hire Antonio Conte, spend £50m, and put on a title charge. 2022, you just can’t do that. Why? Because you need more than money, you need to be smart.

The two best teams in the world, City (richest) and Liverpool, both have a long-term vision, both have a strategy, and both are ruthless about delivering on their philosophy.

The biggest mess heads in world football?

PSG: No footballing vision, no recruitment plan outside STAR PLAYER NOW, and no control over club culture. The teenagers loved their summer signings, but most saw what was coming, a disaster of a season again.

Manchester United: Again, the strategy is BIG NAMES. They nearly had a bit of a vision under OGS who wanted to sign young exciting players that cared about the club… but then they signed Ronaldo, a 37-year-old past his prime, and it crashed everything. None of their players make sense, they’re just expensive. The idea that Ten Hag is going to come and fix that squad in one window, again, is extremely fanciful. Ralf Rangnick is one of the best squad builders in the game, he says they need 10 players and 6 years to get to the Liverpool standard. Why would he be wrong? Some fans don’t believe him, but really, why should you believe the truth of someone that has never worked in football, let alone United? It took Liverpool 5 years to get to their standard, if Rangnick is 50% wrong, United are still 3 years away.

Barcelona: This is a club that didn’t look after the basics when it had the greatest player of all time. Now he’s gone, the curtain has been drawn, and no one knows what they are doing. They brought back an exlegend with the hope he could revive club fortunes like Pep did. His player strategy looks like some of the business Arteta did at the start of his career. Auba is not reviving Barcelona, nor is Lewandowski. Throwing money at short-term ideas rarely works for the short term, but even if it does, you pay in the end, because you have to replace aging players.

So back to my point, Arsenal had to accept that getting back to the top was a process, and it was going to take time. That’s brave, because fans online don’t care for patience, and clubs have traditionally behaved like fans. This video doing the rounds perfectly captures the modern fan and the delusion of who we are.


Daniel Levy at Spurs had implemented an elite plan of his own. He had a young dynamic coach, a group of really talented players, and a style of football that was progressing. It took Poch about 5 years to get Spurs into the Champions League final. They lost, but it was an incredible achievement. Then what happened? Levy shit the bed. He decided that the failings were on the manager, not part of the process in building a sustainable football club. He jumped on Jose because he believed in the idea of short-term winnertivity. That failed, he went for Nuno because Mendes said so. That failed, so he doubled down on Antonio Conte, despite the biggest chequebook manager in football being a HUGE mismatch for a club that is incredibly frugal / now skint.

Strategy takes discipline. There are always quick hit temptations. The best resist them.

Back to that half-season table and why it is still important.

The second part of the season we:

  1. Shipped out the toxic players that were trying to down Arteta
  2. Arteta finally discovered the benefits of young players over seasoned pros that had done it all
  3. Arteta showed that he could progress players through good coaching

A large chunk of the fanbase thought he should be fired because of the first 14 games, but refused to acknowledge the 24 after were absolutely immense from a points collection total. We had the 3rd best defence, scored the second-most goals, and had the 2nd most points.

Mad that anyone thought that sort of run should have still ended in the sack.

There was a notion that this sort of sample was dishonest and NOT predictive. If I could be bothered, I’d pull some of the tweets under the posts. But so many smart people weren’t having it.

Well, a year on, we are in 4th place with 5 games to go. That table WAS predictive of better times.

We might not break the top 4 this season, but we are very close considering the issues we’ve had.

This summer might require a bit of vision again if we don’t get top 4, because no doubt, there will be people calling for the sacking of Arteta if we miss out.

Things to remember:

We have two players in the top 5 for open-play chance creation this season: Saka (20) & Odegaard (23)

We have not had a proper striker all season (7 goals, Auba)

We are joint bottom in the top 7 for goals scored.

The vision some need is that if you put the right striker in our system, we are likely 10 points better off NOW, which makes us a top 4 team, possibly challenging Chelsea for 3rd.

Some more vision:

Thomas Partey is a big weakness in our squad. He’s too good. When he gets injured, it takes us time to figure out how to absorb him. If we had a competitor for his position next season, we’d be able to rotate him more often, and we’d be able to absorb the inevitable injuries.

The path forward for Arsenal is extremely clear:

  • 1 elite young striker
  • 1 elite young midfielder

Just two additional players, in this system, and we are so much better.

Now, there will be other bits of business we’ll do that might look a little cuter and be more with a view to the future. I suspect our secondary striker will be less expensive, so we might take a risk on someone with high potential. We might add a free transfer like Sanches, who had injury potential but could be good for 25 games a season.

Then think of who is coming back to the team: William Saliba will fight it out with White & Gabriel.

We’re being linked with all the right names. I don’t have the same belief others do in Gabriel Jesus. I don’t think his primary objective is Arsenal, he’s not a ‘main man’ profile, and I don’t think he’d leave City to be back-up. Regardless, he’ll cost ‘main man’ money… but I totally accept he is a level above anything we have right now. Victor Oshimen is being linked, he’s raw, but he has all the ingredients you look for in a striker in the Premier League, and he scores goals. Arsenal will be linked with a lot of strikers, that’s what the recruitment team want, so don’t fall in love with any rumours yet… just know that the club waited 6 months to make a consequential signing. Arteta wants to compete for titles, he’s going to derisk that signing as much as he can.

David Ornstein is linking us with Neves and Tielemans, I told you here we’d be interested in them, they are top, top players that make us much better.

So overall, the story of this post? Last summer, the data pointed to better times. This summer, it’s even clearer, the leap of faith is more straightforward: Do you believe an actual striker with a chance creation team behind him will score more than 7 goals? Do you believe elite competition for Thomas Partey will lesson the impact of injuries? If you ticked yes to both, then you agree that this club is going places and you should, as Josh Kroenke said, ‘be excited.’

Right, that’s me done, check out our podcast, maybe drop it a 5* rating?

271 Responses to “5 YEAR PLANS TO REPLACE SHORT-TERMISM (LONG READ)”

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  1. raptora

    Zach,
    True but it was Suarez who made all the difference in the world. and won them the extra 20 pts than they would have normally collected.

  2. Northbanker

    LS – suspect reason there is a difference is Artetas force of personality . He didn’t just accidentally become a manager. Emery always looked a bit of a rabbit in headlights during his tenure at Arsenal. His constant indecision (let’s have 5 captains ffs) reduced his standing further

  3. Le Sauce

    Zacharse

    My point with regards to the SAF comparison is that we should put some respect on Wengers name, I am not English and I wasn’t born in England so the reason why a lot of us foreign fans started supporting Arsenal is because of a certain Arsene Wenger, his scintillating brand of football and the early successes he had case in point the invincibles.Also, Wenger wouldn’t have been sacked if we continued making top 4 and not because of the £100M waste, I dare say that if Wenger had left after the 2014 FA cup win, will people still label him a failure. The man thought he still had it in him for a final push for the PL title and he has been proven wrong.
    I just find it absurd that some fans on here deride Arsene Wenger and in the same breath applaud Arteta when he still has a lot in prove that’s why I found your comparison of Artetas £130M spent and Wengers £100 a bit odd. Let’s not forget that Arteta has had his fair share of Pablo Maris, Cedric’s and Willians in fact his most trusted leader is Xhaka who is part of the £100M.

  4. LoveSausage

    Northbanker,

    I’m sure that’s true. The other reason is probably just good old corporate waffling. I’ve worked in organizations who have been in a constant state of re-orging and the institutional memory is usually pretty short. You make a big change and it doesn’t work as intended. So you iterate your way back to the initial setup, only with a different set of people.

    A triumvirate of a CEO, DOF, and head coach sounds great in theory but it’s hard to execute. In real life it’s probably easier to get to an acceptable level of organizational performance by just concentrating the power in the hands of a manager.

  5. Leedsgunner

    This Emery versus Arteta debate is pointless. Emery is a more experienced manager who wasn’t the right fit for our club. He was let go. Let him be.

    Arteta is a young coach/manager who seems to be doing well, making mistakes yes, but still doing well in that he is meeting expectations or exceeding them depending on who you talk to.

  6. Zacharse

    Sauce
    i am not english either and i began following arsenal for the same reasons. I appreciate your take here, but the reality is that wenger was kept on for anything but footballing reasons. to boot the people who could have made the decision to fire him were not interested in rocking the boat. point is there was so much going on behind the scenes and none of it had to do w football. that mess ended up being associated w wengers legacy and my feeling is that is totally justifiable- the choices he made, the way he manipulated the fanbase, the way it all went to his head… when it comes to his ability- there was a point at which he and has coaching and recruitment staff just weren’t cutting the mustard and that was long before may ’18. when it comes to keeping us in CL, those days are over. It will never be the way it was in the late aughts. so much more overseas money has infiltrated, the cream of the crop has left/eventaully leaves everywhere else to try their hand in england and wenger is one of the reasons its like this. i don’t see it as a bad thing. the level of competition in the PL is mindblowing. its totally taken my interest away from anything equivalent in the usa. I agree that he left the pathway out of the mess we’re in so to speak, but he also left the mess too.
    As for arteta, i appreciate that not everyone i sold on him. doesn’t mean i’m not going to argue against dum dum hot takes, doesnt mean i want arteta to stay for 25 yrs either. what he’s done speaks for itself, the platform we now have to attract talent, fight and play fun fucking football again is huge for the club, the supporters and whoever comes in to manage after him.

  7. Nigel Tufnel

    China – “Klopp had liverpool putting in title runs and CL final runs within a few years of joining liverpool”.

    Completely true, as someone said, he had the audacity to predict a title for a team that hadn’t had one in a long time, also he delivered quickly.

    I knew it before he came to England, and everyone knows it now… the guy is generational manager… likely to achieve legend status.

    So honestly, to compare Arteta, a 40 year old in his first managerial job, seems unfair. Arsenal fans do that to criticize their own team, which I don’t subscribe to.

    To compare him to Emery is fair because he’s the predecessor. I have a lot of respect for Unai, but sadly it didn’t work out because of the front office executives. Shame because maybe he would have been good in charge of a true rebuild from the mess he inherited. Though I think Arteta inherited even worse. Ask Freddie.

    People saying Arsenal will never win a title as long as Pep and Klopp stay….

    One thing you don’t mention… is that there are 17 other clubs that have no chance either. None. But you want to hammer Arsenal as if it’s some special sign of failure.

    I’m liking what we are building and how we’re aiming to do it. We’ll get back to champions league by next season at least… and if one of the 2 great managers leaves, maybe we’ll be the main challenger. That would be exciting times again. With Saka, ESR, Ødegaard, Ramsdale, White, Partey, Martinelli, Patino still looking great, and owners wanting top 4 money – I don’t think it’s that unrealistic to hope for.

  8. Benjamin

    Goobergooner talking sense!

    Funny how Emery is being louded as a Cup
    Manager and yet the only thing Arteta ever
    Won is a FA Cup.
    Emery wasnt right for us but to Call him
    Bum or disgrace is just silly!

  9. China1

    Nigel I wasn’t actually comparing him to Arteta. I was just highlighting that Klopp didn’t take long to make them great. Certainly not 5 years

  10. MidwestGun

    Damn… Emerista Ultra’s going in hard right before a match he is most likely going to get his ass kicked… but to each his own, I guess. I suppose if he beats Liverpool, today we will never hear the end of it.

    Never happier to see a manager leave Arsenal then Unai Emery, personally.. and that incudes A Wenger when it was clear he was just hanging on to spite people, the last 3 seasons. Emery ball was so turd.

  11. Nigel Tufnel

    China I was talking about others here talking doom and gloom only for Arsenal in relation to City and Pool. Always used as a negative on us.

    Imagine .. in any league, Guardiola with all the money in the world to spend, and Klopp being well supported. Klopp would’ve crushed Bayern on a level playing field, or even close in spending.

    We can just continue our rebuild and try to be relevant here and in Europe until one of them leaves. When they’re both gone though, City will always be challenging because of the overspend. Liverpool will never be this dominant again. Luckily, neither will go to Newcastle.

  12. HerbsArmy

    Nigel

    Liverpool were dominant from the mid 1970’s through to the late 1980’s, long before football became about money, so they have form.
    Saying they’ll never be this dominant again (having twice proved they know how to dominate) seems a statement more in hope than expectation.
    We, on the other hand, were last level with Liverpool when Bertie Mee was sacked, and no-one at Arsenal has ever been able to take the club anywhere near the levels Liverpool have reached, which I find quite depressing.

  13. MidwestGun

    My question is … if you go on a PSG fan blog… do you think there is a dozen or more people ready to jump in everytime somebody name drops Emery to defend his honor? I’m going with, no and hell no.

    So honestly I really just don’t get the point of it and never will.

  14. Gbat

    Klopp has spent a fortune to get Liverpool to where they are. Their recruitment has been excellent. However they broke two transfer records to go from 4th to title challengers. Hasn’t exactly done it on a shoestring budget.

    I’m expecting this summer to be our big window.

  15. HerbsArmy

    Gbat

    Liverpool operate levels above Arsenal.
    A lot of Klopp’s spend was financed by getting £200m* for two players, Coutinho and Suarez.
    Arsenal never pull in money on that scale when selling players.

  16. LoveSausage

    Midwest,

    That’s because it’s not really about Emery here. It’s just another stick to beat Arteta with. I’d imagine that the PSG fans barely remember him.

  17. Gbat

    HerbsArmy

    They got lucky with the crazy Coutinho deal but they’ve done it the right way. They’ve had a plan and executed it very well. However it has taken smart signings to get them where they are. Like all the best teams. I don’t subscribe to the thinking that all it takes is a top manager.

    It’ll take an excellent summer recruitment strategy to move us closer.

  18. Rich

    We can absolutely win a PL title while Pep + Klopp are at City + Liverpool.

    Success isn’t continual, the future isn’t etched into stone…..

    If someone had told you in May 2004, that Arsenal wouldn’t win another title until at least 2022/23, and even that season it would still be unlikely, most fans would have laughed at you.

    Football and football narrative can change very quickly, after the invincible’s we struggled to recreated a winning structure, nobody seen that coming, Chelsea and then City changed the landscape.

    Liverpool went 30 years without a top flight title, United were dominant for almost 2 decades, but are now having issues, but even during those successful years, they had periods where they fell away.

    City + Liverpool are currently the 2 dominant teams, but that doesn’t mean that monopoly can’t be broken up, United finished 2nd last season on 75 points….

    Arsenal finished in the top 4 for 20 consecutive seasons, but then we fell away, which was always likely to happen at some point.

    We can 100% assemble a competitive squad that competes at the very top, we need a lot to go right for us over the next 16 months for that to happen, but that should still be our aim + objective.

    In Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe + Martinelli, we have 4 elite young attacking players, that will continue to get better + better, there’s plenty of room for internal growth within our current squad.

    The noises around this summer are promising, pretty much every player we’re linked with are aged 24-25 with PL experience.

    Van Dijk, Alisson + Fabinho transformed Liverpool, they also did well using the domestic market with Mane, Wijnaldum, Robertson, Jota, Shaqiri, Van Dijk

    There’s no reason that if we get our recruitment right, that Saliba, a top midfielder + Striker, couldn’t do the same for us.

    Next season will likely be a bit early for this team, but if we secure the Crown Jewels, and then get our next 4-5 signings right over the next 3 windows, that we can’t see Arsenal return to the pinnacle of English football, regardless of who’s managing City + Liverpool…

    Football fans are like gamblers sitting at the table, when they’re winning they think their run will never stop, and when their losing, that sides above them will just keep winning in perpetuity.

    But football doesn’t work like that, the landscape is forever shifting, success is cyclical

  19. HerbsArmy

    Gbat

    To have the sort of summer most Arsenal fans want would mean needing a lot of good fortune and breaking a lot of old habits.
    Hopefully CL qualification gives us those options.

  20. Dissenter

    Mid
    “My question is … if you go on a PSG fan blog… do you think there is a dozen or more people ready to jump in everytime somebody name drops Emery to defend his honor? I’m going with, no and hell no.”

    Try telling Pedro to stop mentioning him at every turn, that will stop the conversation

    When Pedro writes that the man is a bum for being paid a lump sum for the last 8 months of his contract, are we to just tag on like toe rags?

  21. raptora

    LS,
    Hahaha. If you actually believe that you need to see a psychiatrist.

    It most probably has to do with the double standards that Emery and Arteta had to face in this blog fueled by the blogger’s unconditional love towards one, and full on abuse towards the other one.

    Emery was an Auba penalty away from a top 4 finish and missed it by a point, yet now Arteta is doing some incredible, unthinkable job by having Arsenal in a good position for a top 4 place. Arteta lowered the bar with the 8th finishes to now be considered the Messiah for being close to what was the minimum that the previous 2 managers were judged on. The absolute minimum.

    He’s doing it with the complete and full backing of the directors and a huge say in our transfers, something that the previous manager didn’t have and a big reason for why things got ugly at the end.

    He’s in a good spot to achieve the absolute minimum after he was given chance after chance after chance and could have been fired at least 2 times, he has no Europe this season, and he was also shambolic in Europe in the previous seasons, yet it’s a generational feat to achieve the absolute minimum because something, something, something.

    There is an obvious downgrade of Emery’s achievements and ability, and an obvious hyperbole of Arteta’s achievements and ability. That’s what’s annoying and it’s a full on hypocrisy.

  22. MidwestGun

    Diss-
    I guess… we are just fundamentally different.. I don’t care in the least bit if Pedro slights Emery or treats every manager 100% fairly in his blog. It’s really doesn’t matter to me. Pedro is a fan not a news agency.

  23. Dissenter

    The reason why Emery gets mentioned is Pedro.
    He went in two footed when the man was head coach, set a precedent and then continued to slam him in very abject terms after he moved on. Rather than walk back some comments or just moved on Pedro doubles ul ala Trump so the circular conversation continues
    If you’re going to slam Emerista ultra or whatever perjorate fitting for the purpiose, add Pedro to the list …or just ignore the Emery posts.

    No one misses Emery
    He was a short term roll of the dice by Arsenal to quickly return to the CL after one year of dropping out. He came, he saw, and was conquered. He fully deserved his sack.
    The Kroenkes are trying a different approach now, a methodical build from bottom up. Let’s hope it works.

  24. Dissenter

    Mid
    That’s the difference then
    You’re happy to read about Pedro maliciously sliming a decent human being because he had the audacity to apply to manage Arsenal. some of us are not.

    Pushing back against Pedro excesses has nothing to do with Arteta by the way.

  25. IAT-Robbie

    “My question is … if you go on a PSG fan blog… do you think there is a dozen or more people ready to jump in everytime somebody name drops Emery to defend his honor? I’m going with, no and hell no.”

    I looked into this and it appears that PSG fans do debate Unai Emery when he is brought up. Perhaps, not to the same extent as Le Grove but it happens nonetheless. Take a look

    https://leforum.culturepsg.com/index.php?showtopic=6127&st=11600
    https://www.reddit.com/r/psg/comments/tgkuby/rothen_senflamme_jerome_rothen_its_too_easy_to/
    https://www.forumpsg.com/topic/3470-matchs-de-paris-ligue-1/page/81/#comment-803622

  26. raptora

    Gbat: “I don’t subscribe to the thinking that all it takes is a top manager. It’ll take an excellent summer recruitment strategy to move us closer.”

    That’s what Pep and Klopp give you – clear vision and the ability to judge the right positions they need to strengthen and also the correct player for the positions they marked as problematic.

    A lot of the deals they made are in the 30-40m pounds. Very doable for a club like Arsenal to maybe not buy 5 30-40m players in one window but across 2 windows. It’s just that they barely miss in their transfers. It’s very rarely money badly spent something that Manure have not been able to do as their quest for a top class manager, that has been given all the tools to succeed, still goes on and hopefully for a long time too.

  27. MidwestGun

    Serious question Diss why do you care? I think Emery was a bum for us too. Didn’;t get us 4th place, Didnt win any trophies and didnt get rid of our trouble makers. So yes I don’t care if Pedro calls Emery a bum.

  28. Nigel Tufnel

    Rich, Herbs….

    You’re both right..

    Herbs,
    Liverpool may have their moments after Klopp, but with American owners who won’t spend like Abrramovich or Sheiks, they won’t be any huge dynasty problem for us. Especially with a Gerrard level manager lol. How’s he looking now ?, after so many were lauding him here.

    Rich,
    I always agree with you… but in this instance, I’d like our chances if at least one of them is gone.. then one subpar season from the other opens everything up. But we’d still be able to challenge one toe to toe.

    You’re totally right about the nucleus of young talent we have, and that’s what has me saying that we are going to be a force with or without top 4 this season.

  29. Dissenter

    Arsenal was not ready for a head coach, right after 22 years of an omnipresent manager that thinks he was a guarantor of the bank loan that built our stadium
    We didn’t have the backroom stability and culture then and we still don’t have it now.

    That’s why I think Arteta was right to do that power grab the first chance he got.
    Iused to subscribe to that belief that Arteta should have never been elevated to manager but now my views have changed. Let the manager have the power and own the consequences.

  30. Le Sauce

    ‘As for arteta, i appreciate that not everyone i sold on him. doesn’t mean i’m not going to argue against dum dum hot takes, doesnt mean i want arteta to stay for 25 yrs either. what he’s done speaks for itself, the platform we now have to attract talent, fight and play fun fucking football again is huge for the club, the supporters and whoever comes in to manage after him.’

    I really can’t argue against this and I understand your POV. Cheers

  31. Dissenter

    Mid
    Yea, I have his poster on my bathroom wall and wank to it everyday
    I’m not the one triggered by people talking about the preceding substantive head coach/manager we had.
    At least you stated that you think th man was a bum so that’s it.

  32. WengerEagle

    Should be a good game later on tonight, will be interesting to see how Emery approaches it.

    A 1 goal defeat wouldn’t be a bad result, a draw would be dreamland. I hope that they can keep it competitive and we get an entertaining spectacle like last night.

  33. HerbsArmy

    Nigel

    I can’t believe Villa sacked Dean Smith for a novice manager who won an SPL title in a two team league, and against a Celtic that were out of sorts.
    He added Coutinho, and Villa have been piss poor.
    He probably only has a job because they can’t afford to sack him so soon after sacking Smith.

  34. Le Sauce

    Midwest, at the end of the day this is a football blog and every footballing opinion is most likely be contested or supported. That’s what make it fun, you can’t have a situation where Emery isn’t talked about on an Arsenal blog because he was the last manger we had before Tets. I really don’t care much about what he’s gone on to do after Arsenal but it’s clear the man isn’t a bum like Pedro said. I’m sure the backlash has made Pedro pivot and called him “bum at Arsenal”

  35. MidwestGun

    Hahaaha Diss don’t pull a Trump and try to turn this back on me..for your own behavior I could go back and look but literally everytime Pedro mentions Emery … you get every incensed about the unfairness of it all.

    You do you, man.. Just telling you I don’t get it. .

  36. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    Liverpool’s offensive firepower is to much for everyone, with the exception of Man city
    Villareal are going down

  37. Le Sauce

    WE
    Whatever the result tonight Villarreal can’t have any complaints. EL winners last season and a CL semi final this season is Dreamland stuff. If he had given us that at Arsenal, I’m not sure even Pedro would be so audacious to call him a bum publicly irrespective of his opinion of the man

  38. WengerEagle

    Probably how it goes down Dissenter but Villarreal have a lot of heart and reduced a Bayern juggernaut to 1 goal over 190 mins of football in the QF so it’s not an impossible ask for them.

  39. Zacharse

    I’m also curious to see how emery approaches this. seems like a whole lot of their season is riding on it since they sit in 7th 9 points off CL spots, 5 off europa

  40. WengerEagle

    Agreed Le Sauce, he has already equaled their greatest ever CL run no matter what happens and that 2006 Villarreal side were far more gifted a group with prime Riquelme, Marcos Senna, Sorin, Forlan.

  41. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Good read Peter.

    Would love to you about the spurs financial dire straits with Conte n levy.
    Standard did a bit today just skimmed surface really tho needed a bit of guts to it

  42. Dissenter

    Mid
    When Pedro says a man is slimy because he was paid his outstanding 7-8 months wages in a lump sum by Don Raul.
    You stay quiet because you think the dude was bum
    I push back because It’s who I am, even if I never fancied the person being slimed.
    It is what is is

  43. IAT-Robbie

    “To have the sort of summer most Arsenal fans want would mean needing a lot of good fortune and breaking a lot of old habits.”

    Precisely, Herb.

    Under Arteta, we’ve terminated 7 contracts and the only players who left for their actual market value were Willock and Martinez. As a consequence, the market value of our squad has dipped continuously since 2019.

    This is definitely a habit the club and Arteta have to break if we ever want to a cash influx like Liverpool did. I think the sale of Saka could fetch £50m to £85m depending on the inquiring club

  44. Le Sauce

    I don’t see any other result than a Liverpool win to be honest, i strongly feel this is Liverpools trophy to lose as their most likely to outscore any of Villarreal, City or Madrid at this point in time. I stand corrected tho

  45. WengerEagle

    Here’s an interesting one, has Thierry Henry ever had a season as good as Benzema’s this season in your opinion?

    And what was Henry’s best season in your mind? For me it’s actually his 2005/06 season, that felt like his Final Form so to speak to me, even better than his 2003/04 or 2002/03.

  46. Rich

    Nigel

    Liverpool + City being worse, won’t make us any better..

    Those 2 teams have set the benchmark over the last few seasons, Liverpool finishing second on 98 points is crazy..

    One of those 2 sides will likely come up short on 90+ points this season.

    High standards are a good thing, they give us something to strive towards, we don’t make ourselves any better, just by wishing others just get worse…

    What we need to do is strive to set even higher standards ourselves, we can’t control what others do, so there’s absolutely no value in worrying about it.

    We can only control what we do, under both Emery + Arteta, I’ve always maintained there were no short term fixes

    My biggest concerns have always been around our recruitment, contract management, and squad planning, because if we get those things right, then whoever our manager is, will have a much easier time of it.

    Replacing managers mid-season isn’t ideal, but doesn’t need to be terminal, but if we screw up 4-5 signings, squander a lot of money, then those types of mistakes can be screw us up for the medium term, are much harder mistakes to rectify, and can be detrimental to securing our best players.

    If we get those decisions wrong, then clubs often have to tear the lot down again, and then start again from scratch which can put us back years.

  47. LoveSausage

    Raptora,

    I get what you’re saying about Emery and Arteta being evaluated differently. Emery had the harder job and was shown less patience. My point is that doesn’t mean he was the right fit or deserving of more than he got. The football was turgid. And all this sudden outpouring of love for him doesn’t strike me as very genuine since there was very little love for him while he was still here.

  48. MidwestGun

    Eagle- I’ve thought about your question but I think I’m too biased to answer that question.. Hahaaha Benzema while great still nowhere near Henry in my mind.. I agree form – wise 2005.2006 Henry was probably peak but 2003/2004 still my favorite Henry season.

  49. WengerEagle

    Middy

    Yeah I’m biased too cause Henry is my guy and all-time favourite player but I haven’t seen a CF in God-mode like Benz this season since 2013/14 Liverpool Suarez.

    I know Lewandowski has put up crazy numbers but imo his all-round impact has never been as great as Benzema’s or Suarez’s these x2 seasons.

  50. bacaryisgod

    Midwest

    To call Emery a bum of a manager is just crass and I think you know it. I think Pedro was right a day or two ago when he said that Emery was a mess as Arsenal manager. That much is certainly true, but I still think there’s the added caveat that the management of the club (Ivan leaving, internal battle with Raul, Sven etc) didn’t help Emery in the least.

    No-one doubted Emery’s decency (maybe too decent for shark-infested waters) and he’s clearly got significant abilities as a manager. He was not the right manager for us though, and the results and performances ultimately proved that.

  51. bacaryisgod

    This below from Pedro did make me laugh when he wrote this after Emery was sacked.

    ‘Emery is right there with Glen Roeder when it comes to persona’

    A little harsh, but that was always my issue with Unai as manager of Arsenal, at least.

  52. bacaryisgod

    Midwest

    I also think the vast majority of posters don’t think about Emery for a second (although he’s been in the news recently due to Villareal’s run). Pedro’s just an expert at winding people up. It’s part of why he’s done a great job with Le Grove.

  53. Dissenter

    The last time Villarreal were in a CL semifinal, it was Arsenal that was facing them.
    Still get intrusive images of that fateful night at the finals in the Stade de France on May 17, 2006

  54. MidwestGun

    Nah …..B.i.g I haven;t wasted too much, my word count is pretty low.. 😀

    Your right though.. I have a feeling Peds is gonna trigger a few people in his next post depending on todays CL result.

  55. Dissenter

    Revved and reaaady to go
    Waiting to be triggered
    My E###y T-shirt is on, lube in one hand
    Let’s go Peds, bring it on

  56. James

    Just read the blog post.

    Our squad is already light. With European football next season, we will need to sign several players in order to rotate and balance fatigue and injuries throughout a much busier season.

    We’ve done very well so far to be in the hunt for 4th…all to play for…but we have had no other real distractions and therefore have focused only on the league. It’s a luxury we won’t have next season with another 10 to 15 games to factor in

  57. MidwestGun

    Not sure about Emery’s strategy in this one.. sitting back playing not to lose. Kind of plays in to what Pool wants to do with high line and high pressure. Unless you go full Mourinho and park the bus for 90 minutes. not sure defending is Emery’s jam, though.

  58. Tom

    The only thing more excruciating than watching Villarreal time wasting is listening to the CBS’s CL studio crew.

  59. Rambinho

    Dissenter the most pathetic comment in defence of Unai fucking Emery…

    ‘I push back because It’s who I am, even if I never fancied the person being slimed.’

  60. Tom

    WEagle, agree, as much as I normally root for underdogs the prospect of sitting through another Villarreal cup final wasn’t very appealing.

  61. WengerEagle

    So it’s going to be City vs Liverpool for the PL and CL. fuck me.

    Funny that Pep would prefer the CL and Klopp the PL but imo Pool win the CL Final and City the league.

  62. Le Sauce

    Yesterday’s match was ridiculously good I just knew today’s own would be shite. Except Villarreal pull one back now then the second leg would be a formality

  63. Dissenter

    The only club that has a chance of stopping Liverpool is City
    I reckon Liverpool can put four unanswered goals past even Real in the final.

    To think that Klopp is still looking to sign another striker in the summer

  64. Time Up

    My fear is….

    I came 2050, Pedro will be alone in this blog with only Rich commenting after losing his mind, thinking Arsene still the manger. While Pedro still talking about culture changes and how injuries, refs and bad luck stop us to BANG. Also, how we don’t see what he sees and don’t understand football.

  65. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    “So it’s going to be City vs Liverpool for the PL and CL. fuck me.
    You don’t think that King Benz will have any say about that

  66. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    I mean I wouldn’t rule it out because he has literally willed them to the SF but I think that City are too good and are a step above Chelsea/PSG in quality so it’s a massive ask.

  67. Why I Gunna

    If the vision is an elite MF why did we not buy Bruno G? And it’s an arguable point whether Arteta has improved players

  68. Rich

    Time Up

    Thanks for your concern, but I’m not sure why you’re wasting time worrying about my mental health, and the traffic of this blog, in 28 years time….

    Each to their own I suppose….

  69. Nelson

    Regarding William Saliba, if Arteta really wants him as one of his core player, he would have talked about it already. Now he just said that the matter will be discussed in the off season.

  70. Rich

    Nelson

    Talking about it at the end of the season, seems like common sense

    Marseille have the semi final of the Europa conference, and still need to secure a few more points for second, and CL football next season.

    It’s not good etiquette to turn his focus in the midst of all that, we’ve loaned him to Marseille for the season, Saliba needs to focus and see the season through, not be distracted by anything else.

    They’re the ones likely paying his wages and a loan fee, we shouldn’t be distracting his focus, we’d hate it if a club did that to us,

  71. Pedro

    Rich, great to have you back.

    Time Up, it’s really amusing to see how badly you are reacting to seeing exactly what I told you would happen under Arteta. You should show a bit of humbleness by bowing down to the narrative I put together this season, then you should sacrifice your typing thumb to the footballing gods… for you HAVE sinned.

    Also, remember this: Rich has been bang on all season. You should be sacrificing something for him as well.

  72. Nigel Tufnel

    No one has been more right than Rich about Arsenal this season. He is constructive and positive for the future, and rightfully so.

    We’re in a dogfight for 4th ahead of schedule, just a few games left including NLD. Yet some people are fretting about Saliba. Massive distraction, and totally unnecessary. Gotta find some doom and worry though.

  73. LoveSausage

    If it’s true that Conte is hawking himself out to PSG then it’s absolutely delicious news. And even if it isn’t true, the rumours will mess with his players heads.