ACCEPTING THE PAIN OF PROGRESS + FIRING UP THE 12TH MAN (LONG READ)

by .

Arsenal drew against Fulham, and there have been many meltdowns. My group chats, Twitter, Arsenal fans sacrificing themselves to the gods in the streets.

It was only a draw folks; it’s really not the end of the world.

There are two things that need straightening out for me.

1.Why we drew

I’ve seen people picking on Havertz, blaming Martinelli, and digging out the Trossard performance. It wasn’t an attacking issue. They did their job. We created 19 chances, 11 shots were put on target, the quality of the chances merited a 3+ for xG and we scored two goals.

Two goals against Fulham and the best shot stopper in the league is very, very good. It doesn’t matter what you thought of the system or the personnel, if you’re criticizing the forwards, you are looking in the wrong place.

The issue was the defence and there was a very specific problem: Individual errors.

Bukayo Saka gave it away uncharacteristically. Perriera tried to chip Ramsdale and scuffed it past him. A total freak. Should Partey have moved into midfield so quickly? Hindsight, no. But we’re at a level nowhere you don’t expect Saka to play a through ball for an opposition attacker.

Zinchenko gave the ball away trying to play an unnecessary ball in a game we should have been killing.

The system can’t really save you in either of those situations unless you are being really critical and maybe a bit hopeful. Could Ramsdale have made sure a big man was on the front post? Maybe. But is that all on him? The fault is how the corner happened.

The good news is reducing brainfarts from quality players should be a fairly straightforward challenge to overcome. It’s a concentration issue. The biggest challenge we have in the area beyond the individual is early goals becoming our thing, a bit like it was under Conte at Spurs last season.

But in short, we’re not going to drop two points to many teams this season when we record 3 xG and concede less than 0.5. To put a finer point on it for the xG haters.

Teams that registered more than 2.5 xG this weekend.

Arsenal

City

United

West Ham

Villa

Only 2 of those teams didn’t score 3 – Arsenal & City

Only 1 team didn’t win – Arsenal

A little bump of copium for you there.

2. Why we’re changing

I chatted with three different groups of people yesterday that all reported the same thing: The atmosphere at the stadium has changed and it’s not like it was last year.

There are some soft reasons for that – it’s harder to get a ticket, the make-up of the stadium is more random, and maybe a reduction in allocations for the noise makers has had some bearing.

But the hard reason? Expectation. Every group said the same thing. Last season, we were underdogs. This season, every fan that is sitting in that stadium has shifted their expectations to CHAMPIONS ELECT.

It’s not YOUR fault if you feel like this. Arsenal finished a close second last year, we added some serious equipment to the side this summer, and we tied elite boys to contracts, and now we see them as MEN.

I wrote a few months ago that Arteta should do a better job explaining his plans. He hasn’t really and it’s biting him already. Fans are at their worst when they don’t understand the direction.

Here’s where I think we’re going and why:

Arsenal overachieved last season with 14 players (very young players). We started well, everyone came good, the system shone, and we competed for the league for 95% of the season.

It all collapsed for two reasons:

  1. Our squad wasn’t deep enough
  2. Arteta refused to rotate when he had the choice – rotation only came when his hand was forced because of injuries
  3. We were predictable because of the two points above

I don’t care how close we were in the league – the reality is Manchester City took us out into the garden, pulled our pants down, and spanked us with a stick. It was men vs boys – and our manager looked like a rookie chump.

Arteta felt that, it impacted him, he knew there was work to do.

Here’s the difference between Wenger and Arteta.

Arsene would have looked at the close finish, changed almost nothing, and maybe signed one or two players. His belief was too much change hurt the dressing room. He was a man of incremental improvement. Theo Walcott said the other day that he hated conflict. Arsenal fans were like docile dogs being petted in front of the fire when he convinced us all that there was simply no way to compete against monied teams – and we should basically shut up and let him have a good time with no accountability. We let that happen. It ended badly.

Arteta didn’t look at the five points and point to refereeing issues whilst drawing hard on a pipe of ‘maybe players won’t get injured’ hopium.

He realised to best City, we needed to add depth, we needed to have a deeper bench of super-intelligent players, we needed more height and power, and he needed to have more than one way of playing to keep opposition analysts guessing.

It should also be noted that the average age of our signings this summer was 23.75. The club has aged down our squad despite already having the second youngest in the league. Nothing gets people more angry that raising age as a challenge – ask ANY coach in ANY sport whether age impacts sporting outcomes and I’m telling you, none of them are going to deny it. Just think about how much you grew between 22 and 29 years old. Think if the mindset you had, the fuck ups you made, all the things you DID NOT KNOW. Then tell me age isn’t a factor. There’s a reason the average age of a CEO is 58 years old in America. There’s a reason that the average age of starting 11 teams that win BIG trophies usually sits at around 29 years old. Experience matters.

There’s also a deeper more tactical reason for ageing down. >>> Arsenal are aiming to peak when Manchester City fall. They won’t say this publicly because fans will be up in arms. But I have absolutely no doubt part of the summer rebuild was focused on two things:

When will Pep G leave?

When does this squad need to peak?

Pep will almost certainly be out in 2 years, maybe one.

As I said, squads tend to peak across all sports at around 28 to 29 years old. The average age of our starting 11 yesterday was 24.9 years old at the weekend. In 2 seasons’ time, the average age of our squad will probably be at about 25-26 once we ship out players like Partey and Jorginho. Then they’ll be ready to takeover… and stay there.

Part of peaking isn’t just about being mature enough to handle the pressure and the moment. It’s also being equipped with the right tools to take down any team. Arteta has said in the past that sometimes he makes decisions on who will play right up to the last minute. Being unpredictable is the ultimate weapon in the league. If you don’t know who is going to play or what shape will be deployed – it makes it very, very hard to plan.

Would the simplest way to compete this year just be more of the same? Yes. But eventually, in a league with the coaching talent we have, you get found out. Mourinho, dead. Carlo, dead. Antonio Conte, dead. Wenger, dead. Why? Because they were predictable.

Arteta wants to be unpredictable because he knows the best coaches in the world are working on exactly that at the moment. Pep G is the gold standard, he’s always doing new things, people disagree, they call him an galaxy brain thinker, but look at his accolades.

Our manager knows he’s the gold standard and the only way to match what he does is to have a deep squad of young players who are intelligent enough to be able to slip into any system, against any team, and play any way they are told to take the W.

My question here: Why wouldn’t you want that? Well, you would.

Now for the pain – it takes time to learn new skills. Arteta has a very complex system that took 18 months to get up and running. He’s trying to speedrun players into his way of thinking and it comes at a cost sometimes. The Fulham game was lost because of individual errors, but people don’t like change, so the finger of blame will always lie at the door of the obvious. That’s just something Arteta is going to have to deal with. Fans feel like they’ve been served tomorrow for 15 years. We’re 4 years into a project, and now we’re getting more of that. But we have to give managers freedom to move things forward, even if that causes light disturbances in our season. The alternative is a manager paralyzed to try new things – like Graham Potter at Chelsea.

What could make things easier for Arteta? Bring fans into the process. The more we know, the better we’ll handle days like yesterday. Right now it looks like Arteta is moving goalposts and creating complications where simplicity was winning.

We also have to be a little more accepting as fans. Too many people focus on the wrong problems and want to fight change. Football is always changing, as soon as you stand still to marvel at your achievements, you’re Antonio Conte screaming at shadows in a press conference.

The way I’m looking at the Fulham game is through my own lens of criticism last year.

  • Rotate in games you think you can get away with it
  • Lean into the full squad when everyone is available, not just when you need the players
  • Continue to develop the club to be future-proof

A lot of what happened yesterday was Arteta building on previous weaknesses – and people don’t like it.

It was extreme though. Does Arteta really have to play non-fullbacks as fullbacks? I’m not so sure. Jurrien Timber out injured threw a wrench in the system he’s trying to figure out. The manager really believed he was going to be an unreal piece of machinery this season.

Do we need to be dropping red-hot players 3 games into the season? Again, with foresight and hindsight, I think you could say that was an odd move.

I could go on – but two things I want to end with.

The 12th man has been one of the biggest attributes of the last two season. Arteta was worried some of our players were scared to play at home the season we opened with 3 losses. The turnaround has been outrageous. Whatever can be done to get that back in the mixer will pay dividends. The best space to learn is one that is warm, welcoming, and forgiving in the bad times. Groaning at misplaced passes makes for a shit day out and it causes issues with players who are listening.

Our manager has brought high-performance culture to Arsenal. He makes tough decisions 99% of Arsenal fans would never dream of. He puts blood on the floor and makes you look at it, weeping, like a small child. No one wants to win more than him. We’ve gone from being a laughing stock of the league, to genuine title contenders in 4 years. If he is running at change this hard, there comes a point where you have to sit back, and kind of let him do it. The base premise of what he’s trying to do isn’t wrong – if you think it is, please explain why you’re a fan of being predictable.

Is that AKBism in a nutshell? Could be. But for me, trust is a reward for getting majority of your decisions right. People were trusting Wenger when he was going entire summers without signing a single player. People trusted him when we passed on Toby Alderweirald and Virgil Van Dijk to bring Cal Chambers to the carpet. Trust shouldn’t have a forever window. But I think we can give change more than 3 games before declaring our season is over.

This is going to be a good season, the hard work we put in now will come with some bumps, but come the end of the season, we’ll be a better team, we’ll be more unpredictable, and hopefully we’ll be able to put Manchester City to the sword and show the world we’re a serious outfit that is built for the next decade.

LONG post today. Hope you enjoyed. Jump on the podcast if you haven’t already.

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grooveydaddy

Yo

grooveydaddy

It’s

grooveydaddy

My

grooveydaddy

Tr4phy

grooveydaddy

Ah, there’s nothing quite like waking up to a fresh Le Grove post!

Cheers, Pedro

Zacharse

2 freak errors from saka – 2 goals.
1st half was obviously not great, havertz and martinellu stunk out the left together, neither was good. looked like trossard might be injured after that early blow…
but barring that i thought we were great in the 2nd, seeing how fucking good the tteam will be when gelled.. not sure why arteta didnt correct it before half, it was quite obviously not working.
viera was great, reviving those bernardo silva cmparisons

Zacharse

that game should have been put to bed btwn the 70th and 80th
hope the lesson is learned

David

I still struggle with Partey at right back experiment when we aren’t short of right backs.

dSidstathopoulos

I stopped reading at the part Wengers name is thrown in the mud to tell the strengths of Generational.

Aaron

Got caught between posts, but not the near post. Newcastle just pulled an Arsenal. AFC have been caught on fluke goals for 10+ years, they are NOT flukes or abnormalities. Do people actually watch the games instead of spewing stats only?? What kind of possession do we have? The entire left side was unbalanced with Kiwior, back passes were the name of the game which left Martin alone and isolated up front. Partey anywhere near rb is a waste of space for him and it is obvious that he is the dm with ESR/Tross/Rice in the Xhaka’s place. I do… Read more »

dSidstathopoulos

Wenger played Arshavin as a CF, Coquelin from RB to DM, Carzola from wide forward to box to box

“”My question here: Why wouldn’t you want that? Well, you would.””

China1

Saying we got predictable last season is a very convenient scapegoat for arteta galaxy braining the start of this season a bit too hard How and when exactly did our predictability cost us last season? We lost the title because we buckled under the pressure in the final stretch. We didn’t give up to 2 goal leads in 2 consecutive matches at the end of last season because we were predictable – it happened because we felt the pressure That combined with some shocking decisions which cost us 5 or more points effectively killed our season. Not predictability It’s also… Read more »

Wengaball

Yeah compare highest net spend in the league but win nothing yet Arteta to the greatest ever Arsenal manager, who had to manage 3/4 of his stint with a negative budget.

Wengaball

1-0 up, opposition down to 10.

What does he do? Brings on Jorginho. Tells you everything about the galaxy brain.

Once a DM, always a DM.

Wengaball

And what loser’s way to think – we will win something Pep effing G retires.

I am pretty sure even galaxy brain doesn’t think like that. That is the invention of the resident galaxy brain’ to excuse away anything that happens on stage 7&8 of phase 4.

Wengaball

Correction

‘And what a loser’s way to think – we will win something when Pep effing G retires.’

Muppetman

Not sure how true someone here might know but haven’t the club tried to split up the ashburton army (the massive group of young supporters) that bought loads of noise last season?

Muppetman

China Zinc at inverted left back, teams started to play long balls in behind the vacant left back causing the centre back to come across to cover.

EdTheRed

This utterly ridiculous post by Pedro, yet another one in chain of posts desperately trying to portray Arteta as some sort of genius worth sticking with is yet another proof how low expectations at Arsenal are. Honestly, what the fuck are you people thinking. You’re not as clever as you think you are., and the only thing massive about Arteta is his ego. Progress my arse

Jim Furnell

‘Everyone comes into the ring with a plan, until I punch them in the mouth’ . . . Mike Tyson. We should be too good for teams to plan against. City are predictable, give the ball to the cyborg in the box and he’ll score. All this fluidity and unpredictability bollocks leaves players playing out of their optimum position.

MidwestGun

I think we are aging down the squad because .. we are buying more expensive players trying to raise the quality of our squad. And if your going to buy expensive players, you get more value out of it if they are younger. Nothing to do with planning for some sort of peak output. or Pep retiring…that to me seems far fetched. Usually the simplest explanation is correct. Also, has to be noted .. Saka’s first error leading to a goal was directly because of the system. He passes back to where Partey should have been but TP was too… Read more »

Aasim

Pedro, Look great work as always with the analysis. But, I feel the issues aren’t as black as white as you have detailed them. TP at RB just isn’t the right profile. He does not have recovery pace. And half of his press résistance is gone because half of his turning radius is the touchline where he cannot go. Similarly, whatever role Kai is trying to play, he looks horrible on the eye. A number of players are failing the eye test, including TP, Kai, and Martinelli, whose movements seem to be rehearsed and predictable at the cost of explosiveness.… Read more »

EdTheRed

ASC – Arsenal Statistics Club.

Guns of Hackney

Okay. China1 makes a great 2. Point. Liverpool took on and beat city. So bang goes that argument. Ed. Is correct. Too many excuses. Arteta isn’t reinventing the wheel. This is forced and seems to be weird for weird sake. Why? The fans don’t get it and clearly the players don’t. Play football simply with the best players in the correct position and you will win 9/10 games. Average age 23.9999. Okay. Teams don’t usually peak and win until 28/29. So are we waiting another 5/6 years before we peak and win or are we trying now? Ajax won the… Read more »

dSidstathopoulos

We are waiting for Guardiola to retire

You heard it here 1st!

Guns of Hackney

If we had a proper striker, we would have beaten Fulham comfortably.

£665m and no forward?

Yep.

Kay

+1 to China’s quote above

We are just not ruthless enough (whenever we get into a lead) to win the league

We ain’t doing what Pool did against Newcastle away from home and down to 10 man

So apart from Citeh we are saying Pool won’t improve, Utd won’t improve, Chavs won’t improve?

To hell with defense 1st approach and all the talk about controlling the game

EdTheRed

Pedro mate you should try your luck writing SF. “Our manager knows he’s the gold standard and the only way to match what he does is to have a deep squad of young players who are intelligent enough to be able to slip into any system, against any team, and play any way they are told to take the W.” Let me tell you now – this is bollocks. And it’s detrimental to the future of Arsenal to think this way. It’s lunacy. Really is. And how can you write 3000 words essay in defence of manager and NOT ONCE… Read more »

Left Testicle

Persisting with Partey at right back and now selling Tierney, an international left back, after a season long injury to Timber and an injury prone Zinchenko. Is this progress?

Patrick

“Our manager knows he’s the gold standard and the only way to match what he does is to have a deep squad of young players who are intelligent enough to be able to slip into any system, against any team, and play any way they are told to take the W.” Good grief. Arteta THINKS he’s the gold standard and the only way he’ll succeed is if he finds 22 players who have never existed before. “The alternative is a manager paralyzed to try new things – like Graham Potter at Chelsea.” Talk about a false dichotomy. We could’ve got… Read more »

Left Testicle

Also left scratching my head with Trossard as a deep nine.

Left Testicle

Also no Gabriel. But, apparently this is progress.

Left Testicle

MA = The Tinker Man 2.0.

Osofuye Odunayo Damilola

Arteta is doing a great job but he needs to stop overthinking things. Finding game times desperately for Trossard on the wings and upfront will always be a hit and miss. Arteta is the problem of the Fulham match not Havertz. Bringing on Jorginho for Odegaard was a sacrilege! Nothing is wrong with Havertz. Arsenal did extremely well with their transfers this current window. They got their perfect players. From last season, Arsenal needed to replace Xhaka (with Havertz), provide rotation for Zinchenko (with Kiwior or Timbre) provide rotation for Partey (with Declan) and then possibly improve on Magalhaes (with… Read more »

Wicked Willy

Some fascinating stats comparing TP5 from last season to this…really quite insightful:
https://twitter.com/TheGoonerTalkTv/status/1695704521534501289?s=20

EdTheRed

Nigel is probably still asleep, so just for the balance of argument, this is what he’ll write, once he gets here:

“Great post Pedro. It’s clear to anyone but dumb bitter haters with no friends in real life what is Arteta trying to achieve this season. I had my doubts about our direction, but after reading your excellent post I understand it completely. This is clear and obvious progress on every front and only those lacking basic intelligence refuse to see it. I love how accurate your description of Arteta is. Golden Manager. He fully deserves it. XX”

Left Testicle

WW
So we needed a top class striker who stays fit rather than a keeper who’ll sit on the bench?

Wicked Willy

Did I post the wrong link?? It’s meant to show TP5 stats from last year to this. The post I saw showed how Partey’s stats have improved in pretty much every major category.

Kenyangunner

Big Gab may be untidy on the ball but no way that corner would have landed on Palhinha’s feet with Gaby on the side!

Left Testicle

WW,
It’s the correct graphic. But the other graphic on the same post suggests we’re not clinical enough.

Pierre

Last week I asked these questions “is the new system really working، is it an improvement on last season and do you want Arteta to continue with this experiment” It’s still a no، no and no from me. I’d like to see Gabriel back asap as he commands our penalty area and brings balance to the defence. Bring Gabriel back and the rest takes care of itself ، white naturally moves to right back، zinchenko resumes his place at left back and Partey moves into midfield alongside Rice، though of course it may mean Partey is benched if Arteta prefers… Read more »

dSidstathopoulos

The club should choose between great stats or results

TR7

Rice and Partey need to play together in midfield.

ESR must be starting ahead of Harvertz. Arteta is wasting away Emile’s career. Harvertz has become his pet project.

Arteta’s poor team selection, his stubbornness/partial treatment to certain players and poor utilisation of our squad will cost us.

dSidstathopoulos

Man c have great results and stats.

Mike Perry

We couldn’t have wished for a more comfortable opening 3 games. We have not played really well in any of them. Our two best players of last season, Saka and Odegaard are not at their best level. Our back four was the bedrock of the team last season, yet have been broken up.
Cannot see the logic of 30 million on back up keeper, has this affected the dressing room. Something is wrong , if we don’t beat Man U fans will definitely be restless.

Freddie Ljungberg

Ed

Uncanny. Needs a sprinkling of clowns and retins to be fully authentic though. Do that and Nigels own mom couldn’t tell you it wasn’t him.

Pierre

W willy I would say that the problem most fans have with changing our right back for little or no reason is that it affects the dynamics between Odegaard and Saka، as white often created the overload wide right ، which allowed Odegaard and saka more space. I feel it has affected Odegaard as much as anyone as he has created next to nothing against average opposition and these are the type of games he normally flourishes in. . Also Saka needs a full back who will grab the opposition left back attention to create space. So yes، Partey’s stats… Read more »

raptora

Fabrizio Romano 1h
Rob Holding, still expected to leave Arsenal in the final days of the transfer window. There are discussions now ongoing to make it happen 🔴⚪️ #AFC

Understand there are also Spanish clubs asking for conditions of Holding deal.

Josip Skoblar

Pedro
I like reading your posts but you could make the case for Arteta’s project without deriding Wenger’s achievements. You do this far too often.

Tom

Pedro-
Reasons why Arsenal aren’t in position to dominate anything long term:
– We don’t pay the types of wages some other clubs pay, so sooner or later our best players will get picked off, or go for Saudi money all together, which seems to be a growing trend.
– Our injury record has never been great, and Arteta will push players to very edge of fitness to get results while breaking them.
– The media and the league will never stand by idle while we are on top.

It’s a pipe dream.

Pierre

Without wishing to be too critical of Ramsdale for the first goal conceded v fulham as he was put in an unenviable position، I am baffled as to why he was moving to his left when Pierra had the ball، he was actually leaving an empty goal to shoot into by moving to his left . For me a keeper should always be aware of where his goal is but Ramsdale didn’t have a clue with his positioning، the easiest solution for him would have been for him to retreat in a straight line back towards his goal ، instead… Read more »

Mr Serge

Muppet man not sure it’s arsenal stopping the Ashburton Army from coming this season it’s the new ticketing system. They stand 3 to a seat and block the view of about 5 rows behind them. They get let in by the stewards without tickets and bow that can’t happen. I was behind them once last season as I swapped my seat with a mate to see what the fuss was about with them. They are obnoxious little wankers that think they are hard men and just stand right in front of you as I said before 3 to a seat.… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Man United ain’t the team you want to play when you’re feeling down.

Tom

Unless I’m mistaken both Saka and Saliba signed four year deals only.
Why is that?

Chrispy

Great post but our starting 11 is weaker than last years just by playing so many out of position. I like Havertz ( watched him a lot in Germany)and want him to do well but his inclusion right now is not helping him ( fans getting on his case) or the team( Partey at RB). Why Gab is out, barring carrying an injury, is a mystery. Lasts year back 4, Partey at 6, Rice at 8 and Eddie at CF will smash Utd. Anything else and we’re asking for trouble.

Guns of Hackney

Arsenal with a quiet and placid fanbase? Nah.

Emiratesstroller

I have refrained until now from being too critical of Arsenal’s pre season and early epl form. I anticipated that we would expect most of our opponents to pack their defences and play counter attacking football. Also the loss of Timber had undoubtedly an impact on the team in a game against Nottingham Forest which we should have been won comfortably. However… my first crticism is directed to Ramsdale. I was already concerned last season when he positioned himself for many games almost up to the halfway line. I am all for goalkeepers being “better footballers”, but their priority must… Read more »

One

Pierre It would probably have been wiser to ease Havertz into the starting line up as we have enough players who can play the role. What we have with Havertz is the fans expecting goals and assists straight away, this is an unrealistic expectation as his team mates are ignoring his off the ball runs, that is why a few 20 minute sub appearances would have eased him it with lower expectations.. It was easy for me to predict the backlash against Havertz if we dropped points, it’s a pity Arteta didn’t use some common sense to take the pressure… Read more »

TR7

Ramsdale was never the GK we needed, he is mid-tier.

Mr Serge

Ramsdale has reya over his shoulder he cannot keep making these errors of judgement

Eddie M

Arsenal fans have got to be the most fickle on the planet. Last season MA was one of the best managers in the PL, then 3 games in many fans are questioning his ability after 2 wins and a draw (in your post you’ve even at point 1 put “Why we Lost”) we are unbeaten, 1 of only 6 teams after 3 games. Some fans are questioning why MA is making unnecessary changes to the defense, well Zinchenko & Timber injuries, Saliba out at the end of last season with only pre season to get back to match fitness. Yes… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Ramsdale shouldn’t start the next game. Period.

Belfast Gooner

One, it’s really not a fact. It’s just your opinion. Fans are not expecting goals and assists off the bat, after all we’ve seen what he’s produced in three years at Chelsea. But we’re hoping for more than lateral and backwards passing. He’s a square peg in a round hole. You’re basically claiming Havertz is too good for the players around him, who presumably don’t pass to him because they don’t like him. It’s a poor argument.

Karsa

The loser mentality is wailing and gnashing of teeth after an unbeaten start to the season.

Even the invincibles had several scrappy draws on their record.

Guns of Hackney

Karsa

You’ve just compared arsenals greatest team to this one.

That’s embarrassing.

Habesha Gooner

The underlying issue that pedro refuses to point out is the fact that we still have a soft underbelly. I thought it would have been eradicated by now. Especially at home. It is like our players dont concentrate when we play at home. Away we have been beasts for a while now. There have been massive wins while we barely gave away any chances. But at home we seem to concede stupid goals every week now. Arteta really needs to adress it. And defending set pieces has also become a problem. We are conceding set piece goals at cruicial times.… Read more »

englandsbest

Arteta is still in an experimental stage of squad selection and style. What we nave seen is far from the finished product. It’s worked in some respects and failed in others. No doubt he’ll revert to playing players in positions they are accustomed to play. No doubt he’ll solve the problem of Havertz role.

Jamie

EdTheRed 08:30 –

Post of the day! 👏

Un

Such millennial knee jerk instant gratification here Fucking reeks of entitlement. No wonder the world is going the way it is Laughable Havertz has played 3 games. 3 games. And he’s being written off. He hasn’t even been bad. He’s been pretty good. He’s working hard and finding his way. 20 years ago Bobby pires was given over a year to settle. Havertz gets 3 games. Whatever happened to patience? You’re all throwing in the towel on a 24 year old who had 3 years at club with 5 managers, no settled style. Moved around dropped, reinstated. You can literally… Read more »

local

I am personally okay with not challenging for the title, even okay with not making top 4, but it is frustrating to see the manager overcomplicating things. If Arteta wants to play 4 man midfield with 3 at the back(to accommodate Kai) at least cover for the deficiencies in squad like a painfully slow midfield. When Ode or Saka misplace a backpass, Partey doesn’t have the legs to cover the distance.The guy is nearing expiry as premier league DM and would do better with someone younger and fitter covering behind him. It was also weird that he left his position… Read more »

Karsa

That’s embarrassing.

You’ve just described your every post guns.

Weak.

dSidstathopoulos

“”For me a keeper should always be aware of where his goal is but Ramsdale didn’t have a clue with his positioning””

Ramsdale strength is at following routines, when he has to make decisions on reflex, he struggles.

Guns of Hackney

Karsa

Ha ha. I enjoyed that.

Samesong

“I am personally okay with not challenging for the title, even okay with not making top 4,”

I don’t get this mentality from Arsenal fans.

TR7

“Havertz has played 3 games. 3 games. And he’s being written off. He hasn’t even been bad. He’s been pretty good. He’s working hard and finding his way. 20 years ago Bobby pires was given over a year to settle. Havertz gets 3 games.” Well all well and good giving Harvertz a chance to settle in but what has ESR done to be sidelined for Harvertz? Unlike Harvertz, he has actually delivered for Arsenal and was the best player for us along with Sake until he got injured. Likewise Trosaard has done exceptionally well for Arsenal. Nothing against Harvertz per… Read more »

Tom

“I am personally okay with not challenging for the title, even okay with not making top 4,”

This should probably be followed by: so long we finish above Spurs and City keep winning everything in sight

raptora

Yeah, I don’t like the “wait till Pep goes”. So Arteta just admits he’s second best no matter what?! Let’s build for when Pep’s gone? What? What if he renews and is here for 5 more years? What if City don’t reach 90 points again, they did 89 last season? This shows they are vulnerable and can be got at. Accepting that all you can do is build up for an eventual future when the big shot is gone is such a loser’s mentality. People and organizations with that type of thinking always have an excuse lined up and will… Read more »

TR7

I would rather we showed patience and gave opportunity to our own academy guy ESR than someone who we signed from Chelsea.

Madhu

As dis and other said, for Pedro its always bringing in Arsene to big up Arteta. Shame on your Pedro talk to us when Arteta has won 3 league titles. Pedro says that Arsene used to sell failures to Arsenal fans. So what is Pedro selling when he says that Arteta is preparing to win league once Pep leaves? Its been 4 season and with an investment of 200 M we are still waiting for Pep to leave. In such a long post which is a combination of Arteta fandom, PR activity and plain excuses, Pedro just doesn’t see the… Read more »

local

Samsong,

If we are making best use of our resources and still finish 5th/6th then that is acceptable to me.

Putting yourself at a disadvantage when there are already many potential pitfalls like long term injuries, pathetic ref/VAR decisions, loss of form etc. doesn’t make sense.

Just yesterday I said we have a squad good enough to finish 2nd but if Arteta doesn’t get his act together we could end up in 5th or 6th place.

Emiratesstroller

So I move on to my second critique of Arteta’s current decisions. No team wins league titles UNLESS they have a “solid defence”. Bluntly it does not matter how many goals you score if the defence leaks like a sieve. Arsenal had a settled defence for three quarters of last season and conceded less than one goal a match until Saliba got injured in Sporting Lisbon game and this coincided with Tomiyasu’s injury as well. Both did not play again and our defence was unsettled in consequence and it impacted on the form of other players in team. This season… Read more »

Foxy

Just started watching the Fulham game. For first Fulham goal Partey had moved up into the centre circle and Saliba was more or less where Gabriel would have been leaving only Ben W to cover both right MF and FB areas.

Samesong

Local

Other teams face the same dilemmas. The best manager’s know how to manage their squads and prepare. If last season had never of happened in terms of our start then I would get your thinking.

Remember we are still only 3 games in and teams will drop points. I am really concerned that this season could be an invincible season for City. Whereas everything goes for them.

We have to ensure that we are challenging again and not just be a season wonder like so many rival fans predicted.

Arteta needs to find a way.

raptora

https://dubz.co/c/8254bf 0-1 https://dubz.co/c/f4d8f5 1-1 https://dubz.co/c/caddad 2-1 https://dubz.co/c/7721dd 2-2 First goal is on the system. Yes, Bukayo makes the through ball to Pereira, but Partey moves into midfield because he is told to move there and White goes wide because he is told to move wide. They all make mistakes because they leave a massive hole between Saliba and White but that’s a mistake because the players are green to whatever is asked from them. That’s why I said the players look more clueless than last year, and more clueless than during preseason. We were supposed to be ready to kick… Read more »

into the red

Well, you have to hand it to Pedro for spinning another yarn about how everything that happens, including all the errors and tactical mistakes are part of the master plan…which is…wait until Pep leaves and then we’ll be good. Never mind that City will acquire another top level manager, oh maybe ‘gold standard’ Arteta, and will continue to hoover up top talent. They will carry on like Real Madrid, spending to stay top. So basing your excuses on a fantasy future two or more years away, in which Chelsea, Pool, Newcastle don’t also improve and challenge, is just more of… Read more »

Positive pete

Jamie? Pleeeeeeeeeeessssssssseeee.lol😂less rimming & more constructive thought.🤫

Dissenter

Arsenal are aiming to peak when Manchester City fall. They won’t say this publicly because fans will be up in arms. But I have absolutely no doubt part of the summer rebuild was focused on two things: When will Pep G leave?When does this squad need to peak? Pep will almost certainly be out in 2 years, maybe one.” Pedro, That’s about the most gobbledygook defeatist and cowardly viewpoint you’ve espoused over the years. This coming from one who’s always had the utmost respect for what you’ve done for Arsenal blogging over the last 12 years or so. I mean… Read more »

Marko

Was the first three years not the pain of progress? I mean how much transition is he going to be afforded? More moving of the goalposts more lowering of expectations. It’s 200+ million spent after a season where we should have won the league and over 600 million and basically a complete overhaul of the squad under Arteta. Basically quit making excuses for him

Dissenter

Arteta is obsessed with Pep
What he does is recycle Pep’s old ideas but the master will least come up with new ones
At some point he has to break out on his own and stop trying to brag a geraniums at his own game

into the red

As for using Wenger to big up Arteta, early Wenger was obviously much more successful than Arteta. Sure, he got stubborn and unable to see the flaws most could, but that later Wenger has more in common with Arteta than you would care to admit. The current Arteta is a weird hybrid of the early and late Wenger – delivering great football at times, mixed with weird devotions to certain players and tactics which don’t work – the question is which one will win out?

TheLegendaryDB10

Pedro’s post really sounds like excuse making. In no sport does an athlete tell themself that they will wait until X,Y, Z has retired so that they can finally compete. Imagine Djokovich deciding to not compete because Federer was at the top of his game and that he’ll have to wait for his turn. Had he done that he wouldn’t be where he is now with all his Grand Slam wins. Djokovich fought hard from the start and throughout Federer’s career and showed everyone that he was equally as good as Federer as a tennis player. This is what got… Read more »

Marko

Wait so he’s given another two years to challenge? Unbelievable

dSidstathopoulos

Gold standard has only delivered great football in the 1st half of 2022/23 season.

Foxy

Just finished watching the first half, and OMG were we poor, players wandering all over the place and getting in each others way e.g. Is Havertz supposed to be filling in the Xhaka position on the left, no 10 or CF.
Trossard is a wide left creator with a precision delivery that a CF like Haaland would love he is not a premiership CF. Martinelli worked hard but little end product and too many touches in shooting when on goal. The side was very left side heavy with Saka too isolated as many have remarked.

Marko

It’s funny how midway through the window expectations were high we just signed our first 100 million player everyone was excited we were finally back and three poor performances and all of a sudden expectations are lowered and the excuse is he’s building towards properly challenging in two more years when Pep leaves. Absolutely absurd thinking. Look it’s not hard okay Arteta in three games is experimenting and getting it wrong from the start and then tries to fix it mid game when in-game management isn’t his strongest and it’s cost us form and that’s that. When he stops trying… Read more »

allezkev

Pedro, good post although I think you’re well wide of the mark when it come to your theory about Arsenal building a squad for when Pep leaves, no football club would base their team building on that. What if Pep signs a new deal and are you really sure he won’t?

Bringing in talented young players who Arteta can develop and mould into a successful squad just makes common sense, there’s no other underlying reason in my opinion, but if it sparks debate then I guess that’s cool.

TheLegendaryDB10

I would rather we showed patience and gave opportunity to our own academy guy ESR than someone who we signed from Chelsea.

This.

I really do not understand what ESR has done wrong to still not get selected in the first 3 games.

Surely ESR should be ahead of Kai, no?

And one can’t tell me it is because he will destabilise the team. Kai’s inclusion is already doing this now.

In fact, it should be the opposite. Including ESR should be seamless as he has trained with the team longer and should know Arteta’s system more than Kai does.

Marko

Look if he’s not keen on ESR then sell him. Absolutely no point in keeping him and letting his value drop

Madhu

Arteta cannot keep copying and obsessing about Pep’s tactics. He needs to develop his own. Copycat never works and he needs to develop his own style/tactics/unique brand.
Flexibility is key agreed unpredictability and surely not to your own team. Saka passed the ball in a Zone where he would have usually expected a right sides Centre Half or Right back would have positioned.
Also not accounting for players leaving if you not winning anything is stupidity. Gaby M is a another Auba like problem if he doesn’t play against ManU.

Dissenter

Pedro used to deploy Emery to big up Arteta
Now he can’t do that successfully enough because Emery mange’s in thr dame league and everyone honest can see he’s a good manager
So now he uses Wenger to big up Arteta

For me, I wanted to be sure that last season was not a one-off anomaly
Early days and small sample size, so far ir seems Arteta is struggling Tom make that next step. We may have misplaced our transfer priorities last summer.

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