ARTETA DELIVERS STATEMENT VICTORY – DOES IT MEAN ANYTHING?

by .

Arsenal won the Community Shield. It mattered. Two things should lead you to that conclusion.

  1. Pep Gs reaction when City went 1-0 up
  2. Arteta’s when we equalised after 100 minutes of play

The victory doesn’t impact the winning machine Pep has in Manchester, they already know how to do the business against everyone – they have the Champions IP coded into their very existence after a tremendous run under the best manager in the world.

It’s different for Arsenal.

Our season faltered last year because Manchester City knew they were chasing boys. Our boys knew they weren’t ready for the big time. When the crunch came, we lost the league because were weren’t strong enough physically and we were a long way off being mentally equipped to deal with their presence. That’s to be expected, they’re seasoned pros, we were the second youngest team in the league last season. That didn’t change our reality – you can’t be Champions if you have a bogey team you are literally petrified of. We needed a win to unshackle the fear that we can’t beat them. It really didn’t matter how it came, but the fact it happened after going 1-0 in an important game will feel extra special.

This has to be our moment. I can’t listen to any more ‘Arteta is a genius’ pieces of content, because no one will care unless he has trophies stacked up against his name. Right now, he’s the kid at school that blitzed his GCSEs with 16 A* grades. Well, we all know plenty of kids that did that, only to end up working 14 hr days wrapping balloons around people’s arms at Thurrock TGi Fridays singing *that* birthday song that all the patrons pretend they didn’t know what was coming. Being a genius needs more substance, in football, it’s the metal kind.

Arsenal looked like they are about to prove Arteta’s genius after yesterday.

We shook off the bullshit of preseason with a decisive performance. The team started with a bit of fear, but eased into the game, controlled the nerves, and grew into the occassion like an early 2000s Italian team in the Champions League. Pound for pound, there wasn’t much in it. We had the better chances in the first half but only had positive vibes as a great xG to show for it.

There was a lot of online celebration before the game had finished. After 55 minutes I’d seen enough, I was happy, I know plenty of fans felt the performance was enough even if we didn’t win. When we went 1-0 down, I was resigned to a glorious failure… it wasn’t to be. Leandro BOSSARD had other ideas, in the 100th minute, he took a chance, cutting in from the right with a smash-and-grab deflected goal that Frank Lampard would have been very proud of. This goal spoke to more than Trossard’s fine form… it spoke to a team that wants to be known for scoring late goals, and it spoke to a mentality shift, because last year, we’d have been beaten if City scored that late.

My big fear has been that we’re going to struggle with the new players – at least in the short term. I might be wrong, but give me that humble pie with a little pastry dunce hat, because I’ll be happy to eat it.

The new players all looked like they’d been at Arsenal for a long time. We didn’t miss a beat against the best opposition on the planet. Mikel Arteta rolled with a new right back at left back and it wasn’t a weakness. He played Rice and Partey and it was an upgrade. He decided, as I predicted, to go with Kai Havertz as the #9 and it gave us something extremely different to a Short Boy Summer line-up.

Older heads played blinders.

Ben White – oh, he’s our right back.

Bill Saliba – worth every penny of that new deal

Odegaard – here for the crown of KDB

Thomas Partey – he’s here to stay, keep your Saudi money

Aaron Ramsdale? He heard the coach was doubting him and he showed who he was with a sublime display.

Kai Havertz turned heads with some of his play. We need to get over the rating of players based on charisma and how good they are on podcasts. The German looks al0of – the type that would hard judge you if you held a fork like a shovel at a dinner party – but that shouldn’t mean he gets unfair press. He is not Mesut Ozil, he works hard, he’s a beast, and he has so many ingredients you look for in a world-class talent. Just look at the way he turned Ben White’s errant cross behind him into a chance. Not many players in the world could do that.  Was his finishing good? No. But let’s not jump to HE CAN’T DO IT conclusions just because he’s not doing banter on the main feed.

Jurrien Timber really did blow my mind. He played out of positon, filling in for Zini, and he dropped a 10/10 performance. The boy was everywhere. He has power, exceptional pace, and a brain from a galaxy far, far away. There’s just so much to his game. He moves where he wants. there seem to be very few weaknesses, and he’s slotted in like a veteran. HE IS ONLY 22. Our defence has so much depth right now, it’s crazy.

Aaron Ramsdale could have melted after the press this week, but bar one distro issue, he was excellent. After we went 1-0 down, he made two utterly crucial saves. He saved one vs one, then did brilliantly from a back post header. This saves kept us in the game and his penalty save won it for us. David Raya is coming to Arsenal to take his #1 position, make no mistake about that – but only if Aaron drops his level again. Play like that every week, it’ll be David ‘League Cup’ Raya.

We should focus a little bit on the shocking refereeing. Stuart Atwell was atrocious. He booked Partey after 7 minutes, but let Rodri foul tactically all game. He booked Mikel Arteta, a nod to Richard Keys, for touchline dissent for flagging that Rodri was making a mockery of the game. Howard Webb was sitting in the stands looking very smug – what did he think of it? When are we going to see real moves here? Our goal could have been prevented if Partey could tactically foul – he couldn’t. If Rodri had been punished, you know, at all, maybe we’d have scored earlier? Standards need to get better. Webb not looking very effective right now.

That said, I like the new rule for keeping time. Is it shit for fans who want to get home? Yes. But there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to fan convenience. The rule for accruing time for wasting away the game is critical. If you waste time against fitter more gifted players, chances are, they’re gonna get you late in the game. The Arsenal vs City game saw an extra 8 minutes added, but 10 minutes played. That helped us level the game. This is a great move considering the nonsense Newcastle got away with last season.

Back to the game – I liked the subs who drove the game forward with fast passing and more forward intent. I loved Bossard stepping up again, showing he is going to be a force to be reckoned with this season. And I loved the swagger of our penalties. Odegaard leading the charge settled the nerves, Saka was always finishing, Trossard never looked like missing, and Fabio Vieira sent the doubters tweets back to drafts with a screamer for the winner.

So overall, a lot to love.

The big questions: Most Community Shield wins mean nothing – Liverpool ripped City apart last season, only to have their worst season on record.

We have 4 games that’ll tell us a lot about our season. Forest, Palace, Fulham, and United. 10 points is the target, but really, if we want to keep those title hopes at level 11, we need 12 points.

I’ve flip-flopped a lot this summer – right now, I’m halfway to flopping towards a title charge THIS season.

Let me know where you are in the comments RIGHT NOW.

xxx

P.S. Subscribe to the damn podcast – and get on the Youtube Channel RIGHT NOW. x

265 Comments
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Northbanker

At the back of my mind I wonder if Ethan Nwaneri could be our star striker of tomorrow. Midfield is cluttered already

Crimson

The squad needs trimming Pepe – incoming cancelled contract, so off to Besiktas Tavares – Wolfsburg and Werder breman Turner – off to Forest for around 10 million Marquinhos – Loan to Nantes seems imminent Alebiosu- loan to QPR Balogun- Inter and now Monaco Jorginho – Not going to Fenerbache Tierney – Not going to real sociedad Lokonga- loan to Burnley probable Okonkwo- alot of interest from Germany Holding- surely there’s a buyer out there… The long list of players who are in need of moves elsewhere includes Tim Akinola, Miguel Azeez, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Marcelo Flores, Tyreece John-Jules, Alex Kirk,… Read more »

Tom

“Not as sweet as seeing Rapinoe miss her penalty though and watching her silly duck crest hair cut slither off the field
Such an inspiration ❤️“

Still not as sweet as watching England’s James stepping on the Nigerian’s player back, amirite?

Savage

Nkunku out with a long injury

Un

Tom. My dear precious little tom
1) I had no idea what you were referring to so had to go and google it because, this may shock you so perhaps sit down first, I don’t watch women’s football. Just enjoyed clips of USA going out.

2) what’s the implication of your comment? I couldn’t care less about the England’s female team. No interest whatsoever. I’d have more invested in an Indian village Kabaddi match up and I’m not being sarcastic either.

Dissenter

Un
Stop waffling
I’ve seen your previous comments about the England female national team during after the last Euros. You couldn’t stop waxing lyrical after they won it
It’s not exactly true that you “couldn’t care less about the England’s female team”

Northbanker

I would prefer to see Hein sold (Estonias no 1 keeper) rather than Okonkwo , who clips be a useful no 3 and has potential to be a top Prem keeper. Had a great loan year with Sturm Graz last year and kept a high number of clean sheetd

Northbanker

Could not clips

Tom

Un, not into women’s WC ? No problem.

How about the law enforcement’s sting operations against child sex trafficking?
Big gains by the FBI, as well as international law enforcement agencies on that front, with hundreds of kids freed and hundreds alleged traffickers arrested.

Sadly, neither Clinton or Biden implicated.
Not yet, anyway.

Wicked Willy

Agreed on Ferguson. I’m hopeful, but he needs to really put a marker down this season. If he does, I think he’s the one

raptora

@lequipe
Arsenal rejected an official offer of 30 million euros from Monaco for Balogun .. but Monaco is not ready to give up and they want to replace their striker Embolo, who suffered a cruciate ligament injury, by contracting with Balogun
______________________________________________
I’d be alright with £35m and a buy back clause inserted. Say we can buy him back for £50m in 2025.

Emiratesstroller

Northbanker Arsenal have three goalkeepers challenging for third slot place in squad. These are Runarsson, Okonklwo and Hein. Runarsson was a disaster when he came in at our Goalkeeper’s coachrecommendation in season 2021/2. He cost us a transfer fee plus significantly higher wages than other two. Okonkwo was third string in 2022/3 and was Under 21 that season. So did not need to be registered or paid first team wages. Since then went out on loan and by all accounts played very well last season. Hein was third string last season and again was not registered for first team as… Read more »

Jim Lahey

It is absolutely nuts how far this team has come since 2020. Three years ago, and we are looking at a totally different club.

Jim Lahey

I think Balogun’s behaviour online is a good look into why Arteta isn’t too pushed about losing him.

raptora

Weird that Forest have already signed our boy Turner but want to bring Dean Henderson from Manure as well. In general, Henderson is higher rated than Turner although Forest wanted to complete Turner first then focus on Henderson. Would be such a stupid and sad move for Matt if he still ends up the backup keeper again and not for Arsenal but Forest…

AFC Forever

Jim Lahey “It is absolutely nuts how far this team has come since 2020. Three years ago, and we are looking at a totally different club.” Such a great comment Jim. I think that just goes to show how important it is that the club has a vision, a leader and everyone is on board with it. Left to fans we would be changing manager once or twice a season, whenever a bad run of results occur, stuck in a cycle of endless tinkering without a plan, wondering why players want to leave. Some fans see things in a very… Read more »

Un

Tom

Good job well done then
Not sure about the sting you’ve been referring to as I’m on holiday with my little ones and trying to keep my nose out of politics

Diss
Oh yeah I love winding you lot up whenever there’s something to crow about but truthfully Uber never watched a minute of the England woman’s team
I’d have more fun watching the grass grow or paint dry

Un

What’s the story with Charlie patino? Has he been sold or what?

Crimson

I forgot Cedric Soares and Runnarson.
Easily forgettable, just like Un’s comments

Un

Last season Barcelona were said to be sniffing around him
Such a talented lad with lovely ability on the ball. Great reading of the game. Clever footballer. Not sure why Arteta would let him go.

Un

Crimson

Oh you cut to the very core of me. How shall I continue through my day knowing you forget my comments?

raptora

Gary Neville says he was told the Premier League are implementing new rules on touchline behavior and they specifically cited Arteta and his behavior last season as the reason for the changes.

LOL!

FB

Un

Can’t find anything concrete on Patino other than he wasn’t on pre season tour to Germany

Un

Those new rules have been thought up and designed so that the only possible way they (officials) can be confronted about about their abysmal decision making is removed. But I suspect it could backfire because coaches may now be more likely to call them out in the media than they currently do and stadium going fans may be more vocal in their criticism mid-game. It may actually shine more of a light on their incompetence/corruption. Seemingly the heat on them in the last year or two has been uncomfortable and they’ve decided that coaches challenging them mid game is no… Read more »

Un

Fb

Me neither
I think he could become one of the best of his generation if he is nurtured well. Bags of ability with a top notch footballing brain. Really surprised that Arteta doesn’t fancy him

Un

Fb

Actually I take that back
We don’t know for sure that Arteta doesn’t fancy him
There have been rumours that ESR Martinelli Saliba nd Eddie were not fancied, which all proved false. Could just be usual click bait transfer bull shit

Wicked Willy

Jim and AFC

Some of my favourite comments I’ve seen in here for a while. We are very lucky to have what we have. Let’s hope we all continue to feel the gratitude even if we become the hyper successful club we are on the threshold of becoming. Hopefully the sweet tastes also the sweeter because of some of the sour we’ve had to taste during the less fruitful years.

Crimson

Using sarcasm, the most powerful of tools you silly goose. Keep shouting at the ether. Be a better human bean. Give you little Un’s someone to be proud of. Instead of …

Un

‘I love passion, we [Liverpool] have got Jurgen Klopp, you love it when he’s involved and we all love to see our managers show that. But I just thought it was too much. Ten minutes into the Community Shield?

‘He got a yellow card himself because he wanted someone booked for pulling a shirt and I thought, “Wow!”

Carragher. What a chimp faced goon he is. Gobbing on kids from his Range Rover
Tell me
What did Arteta do here that pep didn’t do also?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CkZsggCZf4M

Un

Crimson

Shouting at the ether? You mean laughing at Megan rapinoe? Cmon. She pretty much painted the target on her own back.

philmar

We still have a major and glaring hole in the squad. We need a competent backup for Saka, Sure we have Nelson but that is a huge drop off in quality. This will ensure Arteta overplays Saka and he will wilt in the latter quarter of the season just as he did the last two years. He may wilt intermittently this year as we have extra burden of Champion’s League. I would have prefered Kudus over Raya but maybe behind the scene Turner desire to play more forced our hand. Sure jesus can also play on the right but we… Read more »

Un

Phil

Both Jesus and trossard are good from the right. I’m not that worried about it this season
Next season I think we will spend our budget on predominantly forward players in the striker and wide positions

Crimson

My choice for a Saka back up would be Olise from Palace. £35 Mill release clause.
Love Eze too, for Xhakas role. But we are well stocked there.

Wicked Willy

Fair play Phil, I’m in agreement with the need for a high level Saka backup

Rich

WW

I wouldn’t be surprised if Cozier-Duberry was promoted to the first team squad, he’s outgrown youth football.

With Marquinhos on the cusp of a loan, and talk we’re set to terminate Pepe’s contract, maybe we’ll promote from within.

Positive pete

That man would be Kudus.If we get our fingers out of our arses.I can only think it might happen if we flog Balogun.That is the possible hold up.He’s waiting before putting pen to paper with Brighton.We need to get a shift on.

Positive pete

For the record.Should it happen.I would love it.Really love it. As a certain Bouffant scouser proclaimed back in the day.

Wicked Willy

I would love nothing more than for Cozier duberry to be that man, and from what I’ve seen he’s really very, very good for his age. But I’ve seen so many super promising youngsters come and go I can’t buy into them unless I am super convinced like I am with Lewis Skelly and Nwaneri. Remember Lupoli, Vela, Merida, Jay Thomas, Azeez…they all looked like they would go far and flopped. I’d feel much more confident if he’d been smashing it on loan for two seasons. Right now it’s a lottery, and we are so close to have a complete… Read more »

philmar

…and Ryo Miyaichi and Zelalem

Un

Pete
Wasn’t Keegan a Yorkshireman?

AFC Forever

Willy/Rich The reality is recruitment takes time. I think the business we have done has been well measured and addresses the main concerns we had. We have to accept that Saka is a world class talent and we can’t expect to bring someone in at his level, that’s not going to happen. However, we have plenty of attacking options now, it’s quite scary to be honest. Trossard can play left or right, Reiss and Havertz too so I’m not concerned at all. When you look at player stats it’s not unusual to see the best players hitting 50 plus games;… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

It will be interesting to see how Arteta sets up our best starting eleven once everyone is “match fit”
My view is that the only position which are undecided is in midfield. Who plays alongside Rice
and Odegaard? Is it Partey or Havertz?

My preferred starting eleven is
RAMSDALE
WHITE
SALIBA
ZINCHENKO
ODEGAARD
PARTEY
RICE
SAKA
JESUS
MARTINELLI

TIMBER, HAVERTZ and TROSSARD will also be challenging for Starting Eleven places.

Emiratesstroller

I omitted GABRIEL from starting eleven.

Labnj

Wicked Willy
Remember Lupoli, Vela, Merida, Jay Thomas, Azeez…they all looked like they would go far and flopped.

Vela is way more talented than that group, he scored some delightful goals for the club and had a very good spell at the MLS, I think his not so passionate about football as his talent deserves but Vela cannot be regard as a flop.

Dissenter

I’ve been impressed with FIFA’s recent innovation with refereeing

First is was adding on the time wasting minutes to added time

No it’s having referees address the crowd after a VAR review. I can imagine premier league referees will literally wilt from doing this.

The worst part of the season starting is seeing all these useless officials in the premier league strut around trying to make it all about themselves

Wicked Willy

Labnj The context of the conversation is around having a player who can adequately cover Saka when is injured/needs a rest. Vela eventually got to that level at Sociedad when he was like 26 years old, but Duberry being ready? I struggle to believe it. AFC – you are one of my absolute favourite posters, but I don’t think Trossard is that suited to RW, and Nelson is best on the left. When the business end of the season comes and we have 2/3 injuries amongst our attack, and eve got two must win games a week, I just don’t… Read more »

Dissenter

Arteta needs to be careful though
He needs to chill out on his overly-animated behaviors on the touchline
They can’t confront Pep because he’s a serial winning phenome, the modern day SAF.

Dissenter

Wicked Willy
“Duberry being ready? I struggle to believe it.”

How are you ever going to know that since you’re averse to giving the kid a chance

When did we become this type of club where escalators for academy kids is being blocked by a spend-to-fix approach.

We are talking about a 3rd/4th cover for Saka behind the multiple senior players we have in the squad who can play several positions .. and yet you’re still hesitant

Wicked Willy

Diss On most occasions, big clubs send their players out in loan. Sometimes, a player is held back like Foden, but he wasn’t playing regularly til he was 20/21 yes old. Once in a blue moon, you get a Saka/Fábregas/Kane/Rooney who can bang from 17. So yes, it’s statistically unlikely that Cozier can do that. If you’d sen my earlier message, it also stated “but if the back room team think he’s good enough then all good”. So I am conceding that I am speculating given my distance from the training ground, but I am also stating that I don’t… Read more »

Wicked Willy

*or Saliba

dSidstathopoulos

Arteta needs to learn English touchline etiquette, improper spanish behavior will Not be tolerated unless you have lots of money like Man c

Un

Afc You don’t think they might drop off this season? Last season was an immense season in which they won the treble. Meaning every game in every competition bar the league cup. They also have a massive squad with a second team that can compete with almost any first team in the world This season we are far closer to that. Don’t forget our squad is young and you can’t overload young bodies too much too soon. Next season I think those young players will be capable of doing 50 game seasons. What the stats don’t show is how many… Read more »

Un

I’d give both Duberry and Patino some game time in the domestic cups this year
Both look to be real gems

Wicked Willy

Looks like we’ll be welcoming Raya to the club very soon. Very excited for this! I strongly suspect he will surprise tot he upside, and I think we’ll see Aaron respond in kind

Un

Sid

Delighted to see that you’re leading the way on old school gentlemanly conduct. Good lad

Un

Have to ask yourself
Who has benefited most? Those who went on loan or those who stayed and learned under Arteta?

Un

The loanees don’t seem to look like part of the in crowd so they? Saliba aside

Wicked Willy

I thought Smith Rowe got a lot of value out of Huddersfield. Saliba did great from it. Balogun came on leaps and bounds at Reims. Reiss was smashing it in Germany until his poor attitude caused him to fall out with the coach (Nagelsmann?). Eddie less so at Leeds. Bukayo is such a star boy he didn’t even need it. But then again him and Emile got their chance when we were crap.

Wicked Willy

And Eddie only really came good at 22 becaus of his lack of playing time til then

Bob N16

Interesting discussion about loans. It seems to be an area that we need to see improvement. I appreciate that there are rules and regs that I don’t know about but for example last season Patino’s stay at Blackpool was a disaster as soon as the dinosaur Macarthy took over. Hard to predict but could Arsenal have done something? What is happening with Patino by the way? It’s inevitable that with the strength of our squad, young players will increasingly need to get playing time away from the club. Agree with you WW, Nwaneri and Lewis Scully look amazing but so… Read more »

Crimson

Un wrong again. On many levels. Nothing positive, just another troll. Sad to see… this blog is sinking. Sadly

Nigel Tufnel

Some people on Twitter complaining about Raya price. I have no problem if the club sees that value. That’s how big clubs operate for depth and player competition. Top 6 clubs take a chance on a Turner. Title contenders attract Raya and pull the trigger. My biggest concern was that he would be unhappy if he can’t win the number 1 job. I didn’t even believe he’d consider it when the story first came out. As long as they had a candid discussion with him on what his realistic playing opportunities are likely to look like this season. It’s so… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter,

You never got back to me about the Man City academy players that are so influential in their lineup and titles in Peps 7 or so years.
I just see lots of expensive mercenaries when I think about the past few winning seasons.

Kpankulu

@AFC Forever:

Thank you for your post about the progression of the club under our wonderful gaffer. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. He has truly done a great job so far.

Kpankulu

@raptora: I’d be alright with £35m and a buy back clause inserted. Say we can buy him back for £50m in 2025.

Personally, I hope the club has nothing to do with Balogun after he is sold, based on his current attitude. Instead of a buy back clause, I hope a sell on clause is inserted. He doesn’t want to be at Arsenal, so hopefully a bidding war will lead to his exit.