‘BECAUSE HE’S A MATE’ – MIKE DEAN CONFIRMS WORST FEARS AROUND PGMOL

by .

We’ve said for a long time that PGMOL isn’t fit for purpose and referees in our country, for a variety of reasons, are not up to the standard.

Some basics have had my alarm bells ringing for a long time.

  • They are predominantly from the North of England (37%) with 0% from London
  • They are all English – I flag this because football teams have a diverse range of nationalities – why? Because they are picking from the best.
  • Up until last week, they were all white
  • The only severe accountability for poor performance has been one firing. For perspective, 17 Premier League managers were sacked last year.

If you were to build out an approach to creating a system of accountable refereeing that put a priority on performance and fairness – they way we have it right now would not cut muster.

Certain teams seem to be on the end of worse decisions, consistently

Certain referees have very disturbing patterns against certain teams

There is no consideration of regional bias when mapping referees to games

Certain managers have the ability to move refs off their games

The only consistency is the inconsistent application of the rules

So when Mike Dean goes on a podcast 3 months after giving up football and brazenly talks about not giving a decision…

“because he is a mate”

“I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had”

… questions will be asked.

There is a segment of people in media who think fans are absolutely mad for creating theories around how refs officiate – now they can all stand down, because one of the most notorious refs of the past decade just gave up the goods and told the world what we already knew – decisions aren’t based on the facts of the game, they’re wrapped in emotion.

If you can fudge a decision because you empathise with a mate, you are not a serious official. You are not above bias, you are not above partisanship, you are not above revenge, you are not mature enough to look beyond your own personal feelings of disdain towards characters you simply don’t like. That is a problem when your decisions impact lives.

One of the most famous referees in PGMOL history just admitted he took one for the team to protect a mate from grief. This gives an incredible amount of weight to the ‘not fit for purpose’ crowd. I’ve seen headlines that say ‘this will feed conspiracies’ which is amusing, because it’s not feeding anything bar the truth we all knew about.

The framing of this headline is so disappointing – it’s like the writer thinks this is a gaff that shouldn’t have happened. I disagree, I’m glad he said it, because now we have something to fix. This sort of honesty around the problem is much needed – especially as so many of the football intelligentsia have been telling normal fans they are stupid for believing that the only thing going on with refs is a touch of ‘whoopsie.’

The moment merits an external investigation. It needs a reaction. There has to be a longterm plan for how this sort of behavior is fixed. This isn’t a one-off – it’s part of a rotten culture. It is a corruption of the game, it is a sledgehammer through the window of fairness, and it’s a look inside the mindset of a group that has almost no accountability. If a Judge made decisions like this in court, they’d be removed. If an auditor made decisions based on likeability, they’d be sued. People lose their livelihoods based on these decisions and we’ve just found out they are tainted.

This cannot go unaddressed. The first action should be to hire an independent consultancy. There needs to be a root cause analysis of what the problem is and why it is getting worse.

  • Understand the data
  • Interview the refs
  • Interview managers
  • Look at the training
  • Look at the processes around improvement
  • Look at how discipline is dished out
  • Spend time with refs in realtime
  • Come back with recommendations that haven’t been influenced

Mike Dean’s comment has rocked the belief that there is fairness in the game, the severity means the investigations findings should be made public so we can see how PGMOL plan to fix them.

Will anything like that happen? No. Because Howard Webb is one of the boys. His job is to protect referees at all costs – not the integrity of the game. Until we put someone in charge who knows how to be a change agent in a rotten organization, we’ll keep seeing the decline of standards, and we’ll occasionally get snippets like this that confirm our worst fears.

Right, get on the latest podcast.

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Freddie Ljungberg

Neither Saka or Martinelli gets the much needed support they need when we play this formation and they’re our 2 most dangerous players. Saka doesn’t have White overlapping and Kiwior/Tomi isn’t helping Martinelli at all. The difference when Zinchenko came on and White moved to RB was night and day, Zinny even overlapped a couple of times which he normally doesn’t do and we looked much better down that side. We look worse in defence and laboured in attack so not sure what this new setup is supposed to achieve. Inverting fullback just for the sake of it even when… Read more »

andy1886

Un, remember when Emery went on a great run and people were saying ‘yeah, but the performances aren’t great and it’ll catch up with us eventually’? But now it’s never mind the performance, just look at the points. Wish people would be consistent.

Marko

For all the Havertz talk (keep in mind I wasn’t a fan of the signing) how much is he actually to blame and how much is it down to the manager? Cause he’s honestly getting a lot wrong with this team. But a lot of people were worried about him as a number 8 cause he’s never played that role before

bacaryisgod

I’m not anti-Havertz and I hope he comes good but right now it’s all feeling a little like when Man U bought Veron and it messed with their chemistry.

TitsMcGee

and a trophy“

Lol Jesus Christ

Are you banging on about the Community Shield? Christ almighty , that’s why everyone hates us , out of touch with reality.

FoxInTheBox

Why the fuck did Arteta buy Havertz? How could he convince the Arsenal management to committing such a blunder? That 65 could have got Marco Reus and Dani Olmo both.

What dickheads Edu and Josh K are!

raptora

Their first goal was entirely on the Partey at RB experiment.
https://dubz.co/c/8254bf
Look at it. Bad pass Saka but look where Partey goes, look where White is. The world can fit in the space between White and Saliba. Players didn’t know what’s up. It kept happening in the first half not once or twice.

We don’t have to do this. We can deal with Fulham in a much easier way if we play our best players in their best positions for fucks sake.

rollen

Play Gabi in defence and Partey in midfield, how the fuck this suborn twat dont get that.
We should stop indulging this rookie check book manager fantasies.
But just like with Wenger who at the club will do it? How much money did he spend? Not much to show for it.

Nigel Tufnel

I was so happy for both Vieira and Eddie at that moment. Too bad we blew it.

TitsMcGee

I’m not anti-Havertz and I hope he comes good but right now it’s all feeling a little like when Man U bought Veron and it messed with their chemistry.“

Havertz is a Premier League flop even before he arrived here. He got a “get out of jail” free card because he scored in the UCL final but other than that he’s not proven any consistency or improvement since he got to the prem.

Mikel Coneteta

Andy Take it up with Arteta, he clearly sees an inverted FB as his choice of utilising the players in the squad. We bought Timber because of these qualities, he broke. We have Zinchenko because of this, he’s coming back from injury. We see Partey as an auxiliary option there and have worked on that over the summer and opening few games – where despite the noise he’s been a more than solid performer. The problem is we gave a goal away after 2 mins against a well drilled team, then after getting ahead we fully coasted and got burned… Read more »

Madhu

We should play back 4 with Gabriel, play double pivot of Partey and Rice. Get some stability and start winning games before trying to be too cute. We should be playing way more fluently for the talent we have and win games against bottom table sides more comfortably.

andy1886

Reus is about 40 years old (okay I exaggerate), but £65m for Havertz always seemed bonkers.

raptora

Play the best players in their best positions surely ain’t that hard.

FoxInTheBox

The prob with Martinelli is he has a far bigger fanbase in Arsenal than his actual contributions.

For all the 20 passes he got, he took just one SOT.

TitsMcGee

That’s a shocking save attempt by Ramsdale as well. Well out of position.

Guns of Hackney

Today was a microcosm of exactly why Arsenal will not be challenging for the top prizes. And it’s not a new thing. Many times last season, THIS result was always there but we managed to survive and come out on top, not this time. This is game no.3 and we’ve lost. To Fulham. Our recruitment has now been found out to be very poor. Rice isn’t a game changer or title winner. Jesus is not Haarland. We don’t have a forward. Havertz is trash. This is a very very poor buy. Timber gone for the season. Partey still here. No… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Havertz played lots at 8 coming out of Germany, just to correct a mistake.
Did Trossard come off for a knock? I assume that was it.

Mozi

Good job we’ve not played anyone decent yet with all this Partey at rb bollocks.

Dream10

Is there anything Kiwior provides that Gabriel is not capable of?

Paulie

This shambolic performance is all on Arteta. He thinks his bullshit talk is going to win matches but he’s getting a rude awakening, it takes more than silly motivation talk to win games, I’m afraid he’s not got the ability to actually win things

andy1886

MikelC, but are we playing anywhere near the level we were last season? You can’t say that we are, and sterile possession is a latter day Wenger trait that is pointless. I’d rather see us get back to basics, get a rhythm going and tinker a little then. Not throw the baby out with the bathwater and ruin the flow of the whole team.

FoxInTheBox

We lost 2 because of individual mistakes and the usual apathy towards keeping the momentum soon after a lead.
But overall Arsenal played much better than their last 10 PL games.

Don’t forget last season Arsenal were lucky

David

Guns, we have lost once? To who?

Madhu

Andy some of the Wenger sides post 04 played better football than what we say today. Sure they didnt have a great defense well you could argue neither does this side.

Marko

Havertz played lots at 8 coming out of Germany,

He didn’t he was a 10 occasional RF/LF at Leverkusen. He’s a CAM/forward not an 8 who needs to do a lot more than what he’s used to doing.

Pierre

I prefer centre backs who dominate their own box، I don’t think we conceded a goal last season from a set piece with both saliba and Gabriel on the pitch..

Crazy to break up such good partnership Crazy to break up the white/saka partnership and Odegaard’s game is also suffering without Partey to feed him between the lines، however Rice had a very accomplished game.

Guns of Hackney

David

My apologies. I thought we’d lost today…should have said “felt like a loss”.

zaco

David
“Unpopular opinion: Eddie should start all our games with Jesus coming on as an impact sub”

I agree completely

Mikel Coneteta

Andy It’s the first few games of the season, form is rarely something a team starts with. We’re also integrating new players in key areas, missing big players from last season, and dealing with teams giving us a different level of respect. This sort of forensic analysis and dismissal of basically everything moderately different to last season is so wildly over the top it’s mental. I’ll repeat… we have fully deserved the win in every game we’ve played so far. Reason we haven’t today is individual errors. Reason Palace was closer than it was was individual errors of a sort… Read more »

Gonsterous

I have a feeling that this situation where we keep buying chelsea rejects will come to the surface in the near future when we finally find out someone was getting bribed to pay specific sums for those players. Its no coincidence that we have had a lot of chelsea rejects starting from David Luiz and willian to now jorginho and havertz.

Kind of like the Don Raul situation a few seasons back..

Madhu

Eddie scored today after coming on sub may be the first time. He looks good each match.

Mics

A lot of knee jerk overreaction here, but this was a poor performance and a poor result that was entirely self inflicted. The manager is being too cute, trying to fix shit that wasn’t broken, and creating new problems in the process. TP is not a right back and leaves a gaping hole that is easily exploited. Ben White played all last season as a RB and was one of the best in the league at doing so. Saliba and Gabriel was one of the best center back pairings in the league. White at center back isn’t a problem, to… Read more »

Wicked Willy

i’m with you Mikel.

Aaron

No emotion pure facts. AFC top 3 defense and offernse through 30 games last season. Felt calm when we had the lead late in games with White, Saliba, Gabriel, and Tierney/Zinc…most of the time. We lost the league because players broke. So, what does Mikel do, change the formation and not give the team anytime to bed in. Just play with a back 4, go on a run and save the mutli-dimensional thinking when 2-3 goals up. AFC scored many goals last year and had many games won by halftime. AFC cannot and will not ever win league by drawing… Read more »

Goonerboy

It’s not over yet but a good team would not have drawn this game.. Arteta did not need to completely change what worked last season. But he has and we are back to being an underperforming group of good players in a disjointed team. Where average sides always have a chance.
United beat us comfortably pre season and it will be the same again. Unless we can find something that has been missing from the last 3 games-some real energy and commitment

Thierry Martinelli

Partey Vs Rashford is going to be quite interesting next week.

I’ll try not moan about the tactics or the players going on to the next matches. Arteta can play whoever he wants and wherever he wants. We’ll cry for ESR only for him to be played at CDM.
Anyway, good to see Jesus back in the mixer. Tomi will be back too after the match ban

Mics

I thought taking Odegaard off was a mistake btw. Our attacking structure went out the window when he came off and we never found it again.

Thierry Martinelli

And Arteta needs a new wardrobe for crissake

Mikel Coneteta

“Partey Vs Rashford is going to be quite interesting next week.“

Will be surprised if we don’t see the Zinny-Gab-Saliba-White back four return next week now Zinchenko is fit.

Rice likely to be the #8 and Partey back into being the #6.

Danny

Instead of improving on finishing 2nd, Arteta seems determined to destroy this team with his childish behavior towards certain players e.g. Gabriel, Tierney, Smith-Rowe.
In the opening 3 games we’ve been shit.

raptora

We’ll never know but I think we win today’s game convincingly if we had started with White at RB, Gabriel at LCB and Partey with Rice in the middle, no Havertz and with Eddie up front since he had a very good game vs Palace.

Mics

It just seems like the gaffer is needlessly over complicating things and messing up team chemistry by doing so. We were a hair’s breadth away from the title last season—we just needed to reinforce, add depth and options, not rip everything up and start from scratch.

Timber is really a big loss.

into the red

Arteta the Obstinate on display again. Like the last two months of last season he flounders around when the master plan doesn’t work out. We clung on in the last ten minutes against Forest and Palace, who could have scrambled an equaliser, which Fulham did today. Hardly the brave new dawn of an expensive summer. As plenty are pointing out, because he has his nailed on favourites, the team is distorted to accommodate them. If you must play Havertz, Rice, Partey and Odegaard, then you have to lose one of either your back four or attacking three. Arteta has chosen… Read more »

Thierry Martinelli

@Mikel
That would be a decent setup. Just want to see Partey,Rice and Ode in midfield. Surely, how bad can that combination be on Arteta’s books?
Havertz is simply following instructions from the coach and seems like the instructions are crap.

raptora

Can’t believe just like that Gabriel has been sacrificed because of “tactical” reasons. It was between himself and Akanji for the best CB in the league last season but Arteta decided to bench him. I don’t care the tactical reasons for it, you have a hell of a CB, you play that guy. Instead, we’re shoehorning Havertz who hasn’t done much at all when we can play Partey in midfield and dominate games.

Red Line

Should’ve bought Ward Prowse….

Dissenter

Just sickens me to know that a season where city are in a proper transition away from Gundogan and Mahrez, a season where their best player is out for half the season

…Arteta is intent on writing a doctoral thesis about how to reinvent the wheel.

There’s nothing from his experiments in the first three winnable opening games that makes us better.

If he plays Ramsdale as attacker, some here will still line up behind and back him no matter what.

Thierry Martinelli

It would be nice to know why big Gab isn’t playing. I’d be pissed if we’re planning to sell him

Thorough

Guns of SF
think Mike wants all players to invert and outvert
and to be introverts

Comment of the day!!!

Dissenter

raptora
When we we pumping crosses into the 6 yard box for the last 10 minutes
I kept thinking, so who’s going to nod it in with Gabriel on the bench?

Madhu

Can we have a ban and wage cut on any back pass please. It’s annoying tk see that we go near the edge of the oppositions box and then go back and side wards. Havertz receives a pass in the center with acres of space in front of him but immediately passes back to the same player who is not expecting it and looses the ball. The build up is extremely slow with lots of sidewards and backward passes.

Thorough

Madhu
We should play back 4 with Gabriel, play double pivot of Partey and Rice. Get some stability and start winning games before trying to be too cute. We should be playing way more fluently for the talent we have and win games against bottom table sides more comfortably.

That’s too normal and basic for our generational coach. He watched that formation against ManCity and was probably angry at how good we were.

kjelli

Feel deflated but there are positives; the subs made an impact, and Rambo made a save at the end
and negatives; two mistakes led to their first goal. we lacked speed and ideas, and Arteta looked
perplexed and stressful.

Dissenter

Also if Arteta is going to experiment like this in the league where there’s familiarity, what’s he going to do for CL games?

Madhu

Thorough this is Le-grove holy grail of Arteta. Can’t say much

Thorough

Now let’s get this straight, if you’ve watched Arteta for 4 years and you think he knows what he’s doing then you need a lobotomy. This man is basically destroying the hard work of 3 years by shoehorn ING his new signings. Against Manu in preseason it became obvious that Rice can’t handle that midfield all by himself. What’s his solution? Put Partey at right back to drift in and help Rice. If he played a double pivot it will make Rice look just like another piece of the puzzle. But Arteta must make him the center of everything, to… Read more »

Un

andy1886August 26, 2023 17:26:20
Un, remember when Emery went on a great run and people were saying ‘yeah, but the performances aren’t great and it’ll catch up with us eventually’? But now it’s never mind the performance, just look at the points. Wish people would be consistent.

Andy
Emery never finished too 4 let alone 5 points off city and he never delivered a trophy
Arteta has earned some time to experiment

David.D

Still fucking fuming. We managed to turn it around then the advantage of 10 men then still proceed to fuck it up. What was Zinchenko doing???!!! He is so fucking annoying then he makes those errors that lead to goals. Tries to be too showy then loses the fucking ball. 2 points fucking dropped. Nice cameo from Viera but still no minutes for ESR. Viera looks like he has an added hunger this season. More of that please but criminal to spend 65 million on havertz when we have ESR who could have played 8. Shoehorning havertz in is just… Read more »

Thorough

Madhu.
I await superior intellect from the superfans too.

izzo

No idea what Mikel is up to this season but we definitely aren’t challenging for the league. How do you dump what worked last season into whatever the fuck this is. Bored already. Too much tinkering and trying to be too smart. Not interested in watching experiments.

Pierre

Pre season it did seem like square pegs in round holes and nothings changed really.. The return of jesus may only make things more complicated as there is no way Eddie should be dropped again ، fortunately Arteta realised his mistake (or was trossard injured) and brought Eddie only at half time and he and Vieira certainly did change the game.. Was Vieira’s performance enough to convince Arteta to put him in in place of Havertz…unlikely. We could be getting ourselves into another Willian situation with Havertz with Arteta playing him week after week without any noticeable improvement…still early days… Read more »

EdTheRed

I fully expect Raya to start ManUre game.

Un

That’s too normal and basic for our generational coach. He watched that formation against ManCity and was probably angry at how good we were.

Through
Even for you that was dumb
I bet your school teachers wouldn’t be surprised

Up 4 grabs now

Remember when pep would go all galaxy brain and try something stupid in the champions league. Like play with no striker.
One thing arteta didn’t need to learn was that.

Put partey back into midfield, white at right back and stop alienating Gabriel and bring him back into defence.
Havertz was a bad buy since we already was going for rice.
And now he can’t cram them all in without playing this stupid system.
Top marks for the subs though zini and Viera changed the game, and Eddie look so much better up top than trossard.

Josip Skoblar

Havertz is not the new Ozil. Before fading away, Ozil played well for us, and was influential. Another big difference: Ozil was a talented player.

Dissenter

The problem with Arteta’s Havertz obsession is that if, and when he eventually drops him after these experiments, he won’t ever go back to him again.
The lad will go into that Arteta freezer and the Arteta diehards will start to hate on him like they did to Ozil.

dSidstathopoulos

Nketiah is carrying this team.
Theres more to the individual errors.
We have had too many since the 2nd part of last season and the manager hasnt dealt with it.

TR7

Does anyone really think Rice Harvertz is a better midfield pair than Rice Partey?

I can’t help but feel Harvertz is being shoehorned when we don’t really need him starting and he most probably has become Arteta’s pet project.

TR7

ESR totally frozen out by Arteta.

Dissenter

Anyone here missing Xhaka yet?

Paulie

It’s incredible that Arteta was allowed spend 65 million on Havertz, how on earth did the kroenkes or anyone at Arsenal sanction that deal? Its a sign that Arteta has somehow surrounded himself with yes men like Wenger did. This is something that defies belief, just think about this fact that we actually paid 65 million pounds for a player who was atrocious at Chelsea

dSidstathopoulos

Funny there were posters suggesting Nketiah to be dropped for Trossard, loool
The 1st person to be replaced should be Havertz

Gonsterous

Un Why does artera have to experiment though? It was working last season, we just didn’t have the depth in the squad. Add players that give us a second option and offer depth. Follow plan A because it was working and occasionally (this word is important) change the formation when we are struggling against a low block or stubborn teams. Arteta should know when and how to use Havertz, not shoehorn him into the squad, thinking this is football manager. What we can’t do, is in the name of experimenting throw all that was good out the window, resulting in… Read more »

Mee

Diss
That’s one thing about Arteta…he’ll give you a fair share of chances but if you don’t take them, he is done with you for all eternity.
I was really rooting for Havertz and thought he would be an improvement on Granit and be our surprise factor this season. I really hope he gets a goal soon because he seems like a confidence player and perhaps only needs one big moment to get his Arsenal career well underway.

Dissenter

Paulie ‘ It’s incredible that Arteta was allowed spend 65 million on Havertz, how on earth did the kroenkes or anyone at Arsenal sanction that deal? It’s a sign that Arteta has somehow surrounded himself with yes men like Wenger did. This is something that defies belief, just think about this fact that we actually paid 65 million pounds for a player who was atrocious at Chelse’\a Excellent point I made the pint that our transfer policy is that Arteta gets what Arteta wants He’s a,so operating like a manager who’s too comfortable<like one that has a 100-yr contract and… Read more »

Dissenter

Mee
For me it’s pretty simple with Havertz
We have to judge him based on the resources that we’re used to sign him-Moyes our third highest transfer. . He’s also one of the highest paid players in the squad
Only Havert can change the story. There’s nothing we think or write that changes anything.

psuedo warrior

Putting the right players in the right positions is only part of the jigsaw. Arsenal will not win the title until the entire team learns to control the tempo and manage the game.

You shouldn’t be conceding goals in the first 5 minutes of a football match.
You should not be going full defense when a goal ahead.
You should not let the game become an end-to-end contest just because you concede a goal.

salparadisenyc

Give me a MF 3x of Ødegaard/Rice/Partey and quit fucking about with the full backs now that Zinchenko is fit.

Standard service for the back four please.

No issue starting with lessened form, was always going to be that coming off last season but lets not complicate it. We have one of, if the the best potential XI’s in league imo with a weaponised bench we’ll get there….. eventually.

raptora

Partey and Rice played together and performed vs the best team in the world just 3 weeks ago. Nah… Let’s play Havertz and Rice but fuck Partey to the RB. Havertz should have been slowly integrated. The players are not used to his runs, he isn’t used to the team. It was supposed to be an ongoing process. Maybe, use him in round 1, bench him round 2, play him again round 3, or something like that, make it a process. Not this throw him in the deep end and hope for the best. We’re suffering because of that and… Read more »

Mics

Gonsterous, agreed re Havertz. Shoehorning him in is not doing him or the team any favors. He’s definitely a confidence player, and forcing him into a structure that doesn’t work isn’t helping him play well and is disrupting the team. He is a talented player, the season is long, and we’ve got champions league games this season as well—the opportunities for Havertz to make an impact will come. This isn’t the way to make that happen.

Guns of SF

ESR is so much more robust than Kai, powerful dribbler, stronger, plays D

izzo

Guys stop beating the Havertz horse. He is not what you’re willing him to be. All those years at Chelsea has damaged him. We got rolled again by buying duds from Chelsea. We never learn. I never want us doing business with Chelsea again. PLEASE NO MORE!!!

izzo

This season is a write off. Too many mistakes creeping and setting in stinking out the place.

Goonerboy

The original post about the PGMOL is spot on – referees in this country are disproportionately coming from the Manchester area and the football played there is not representative of styles of football played across this country . In addition, their interpretation of what is a foul, what is a yellow and red card , what is and is not a pen has been influenced far too much by and managers and media pundits – ex players and supporters of big northern teams. Even if at best the bias of the PGMOL is unconscious – it is still bias. The… Read more »

Matt B

Dissenter: Agreed with your point about Arteta and his freezer! And what the hell is going on with ESR — another player whose value (and confidence, no doubt) Arteta has tanked, like Tierney.

Paulie

Arteta seemingly can do what he likes at Arsenal and gets what he wants yet so far this season we are awful and further away from city than last year. The team keep making the same mistakes and can’t seem to learn. Today absolutely confirms that Arteta just hasn’t got the knowledge to win the big trophies yet to listen to him one would think he was the world’s top manager, hes a fraud and bullshitter

Guns of SF

well, at least these issues are coming up now, instead of later, and even the late season collapse as per usual

The issue now, is how is Mike going to fix this?

He must play Gabriel in defense.

Mysticleaves

“Andy
Emery never finished too 4 let alone 5 points off city and he never delivered a trophy
Arteta has earned some time to experiment”

This was also pretty dumb considering that Emery was sacked within 18 months and Arteta made top 4 in his 3/4th season? Context. Arteta had a worse run in his first full season than Unai when he was sacked yet he got the grace.

MidwestGun

Yep… Sal.. my thoughts exactly. Havertz is the odd man out. Doesn’t mean I hate him.. but we aren’t getting the rewards in attack and losing defensive solidity. We spent a 100 mill to make our midfield solid with Rice so make it solid. Rice, Partey pivot and Ode. Also, I can see why Chelsea and Germany use Kai as a 9. Wouldn’t be the worst option to have but starting him makes the whole thing look discombobulated. It might come together at some point… but it feels like we are making it harder then it needs to be. Still… Read more »

Dissenter

Also I don’t get this bashing of Saka

Yes, Saka lost the ball but had we set up our defense with clarity that wasn’t going to lead to a goal
Problem is that it happened when Arteta’s galaxy’s brain scheme of RB Partey was slowly happening.
Teams are going to exploit this Partey as RB all season, at least until Arteta learns from his mistakes.

Mysticleaves

Unpopular opinion but I think Arteta is the yes man and Edu and Per are running the show.

Paulie

Please let this be the end of Ramsdale

local

Unpopular opinion but I think at least Per would do a better job with this squad.

Mysticleaves

Arteta is probably too grateful to remain in a job at a club such as Arsenal to upset the apple cart. He’s a fucking novice and it keeps showing

Mee

There are huge questions around team selection. For instance, why did Arteta suddenly pick Trossard when Nketiah was getting returns? I get it that Trossard was perhaps the best performer in preseason but he has been largely ignored so far. The part about inverting from the right and wanting to keep Saliba central breaks the Saliba-Gabriel partnership: Is it worth it? Difficult questions which Arteta must answer correctly or we pay the price. I think the reason the team has a default defensive mode is a mentality issue. Perhaps the players are anxious when executing the offensive tactics and prefer… Read more »

Guns of SF

I dont think anyone on here is in favor of TP as a RB
Some have said he does ok there. But OK is not good enough
He is a CDM and that is where he is a boss.
Please put him back there. Move white to RB

If against Manure we see this shit again, I think the fans will lose it

Mysticleaves

When it goes truly tits up and Edu gets tired of running the show, he will sack Arteta and Per will take over. Edu is probably the most powerful DOF in all of Europe.

Dissenter

Mystic
Yea that an unpopular opinion
Didn’t you watch the amazon prime doc?
Arteta single handedly said Auba was done and moved on….no arguments
It was left to the others to have whispered conversations behind closed doors and to clean up after him

Arteta is the alpha- he’s not being led by anyone The rest exist to help him.

raptora

If we’re being fair, our second could have been chalked off. It did look like Saka hooked and pulled Bassey’s arm. I suppose it was a different phase of play because Fulham had the ball for a second and lost it fair and square.

It’s so fkin dumb that Fabio made this pass and Eddie – this finish https://dubz.co/c/caddad , and it was for nothing.