CEMENTING THE NEXT LEVEL IN 2024 (LONG READ)

by .

Happy New Year to one and all! I hope you are nursing a bad hangover this morning. I wish I was. My bedtime was 0930 last night after picking up plane plague. I spent a load of money stocking the fridge prepared to battle, alas, the battle was lost. Now it’s dry January and I’ve got illicit goods staring at me every time I reach for the Athletic Greens pot.

Let’s talk about 2024 and some of the things I’d like to see happen this year.

The key premise is there are two areas of improvement I’d like to see. The first one is for the club to go hard at restoring the fraying relationship with fans by fixing the things they have broken in-stadium with tickets and going back to their 2022 mandate of making sure the stadium is red hot at every game.

The second one is about the Sporting Department going hard this summer to shift the squad rebuild project from IN PROGRESS to FINISHED PRODUCT.

If we can achieve those two things, we’ll be unstoppable for the next decade. If we don’t, it’ll be leaving things on the table unnecessarily.

WE’VE GOT OUR ATMOSPHERE BACK

You can hear the stadium noise through the TV, but people pretend you have to be there to experience it and understand the complicated nuance of it all. Well, I went to two games over the winter break and can confirm – the atmosphere ain’t it this season. To be more specific, I sat around different groups of people and mingled in the concourse both times and the lack of noise was a hot topic on every occassion.

Arsenal sends its surrogate fans out every week to explain away why each week the noise levels seem to get worse, but the consensus of not-very-online fans I hang out with is that the new systems put in place have been a flop, and the atmosphere rarely hits the heights of 21/22.

I understand why some of the new ideas were put in place. There was a lot of touting over the past two years and there’s always a desire to have as many people pass through a stadium as possible… but football is different to other spectator sports >IF IF IF< a fizzing game day atmosphere is what you are seeking out. Racing, boxing, and music festivals are annual events in the main and people don’t tend to do it 5+ times a year. A ballot system makes sense in those events. You are seeking fairness in distribution because everyone should be on an equal footing for something that happens once a year. If the only way to get to Taylor Swift concerts was if you’d been before, you’d cause reputational damage, and it’d cost you money in merch sales because you’d be speaking to a smaller market. More to the point – how good a Taylor Swift concert is is not dependent on who is in the crowd.

Balloting systems in football work on paper because you can put a slide up in a meeting and say ‘we have delivered tickets to 60,000 new people who will have memories to cherish as they spread the gospel of Arsenal around the world.’

… but what does the sporting department want? To spread the gospel of Arsenal? Or do they want a red-hot atmosphere every game to give the players some of that home-ground advantage?

‘For tomorrow {West Ham}, please go to the stadium and get it rocking. Get behind the team, inspire them again and the team is going to try to do everything that we can. It’s going to be the last game of the year in front of you so it’s a special moment so let’s make it beautiful’

That’s Mikel Arteta begging for noise. At both the Brighton and West Ham game, Martin Odegaard and various other players tried to rile-up a dead stadium to get more behind the players. Who is the most important man at Arsenal? Mikel Arteta. Who has rebuilt the relationship with the fans to achieve new highs with the atmosphere in the stadium? Mikel Arteta. This will absolutely be a discussion point in the corridors of Colney, if you don’t believe me, watch Martin Odegaard at a home game.

Arsenal had created something magic. They turned around a dead stadium full of toxicity into the best noise machine in the Premier League. Vinai was so pleased with it he bragged about all the amazing things he’d done to help make it happen at the club in a New York Times article titled HOW ARSENAL FOUND IT’S VOICE.

So what happened next? Arsenal took something that was working perfectly and tried to fix it with ideas that didn’t match with the objectives of the sporting department.

Ashburton Army might not be your cup of tea, but who cares? They were noise makers, they had ideas, and they delivered. They complained recently the club stopped talking to them, didn’t approve their tifos, and they’d had their ticket allocation cut. There was a particularly stinging moment during the West Ham game when their away fans sang ‘where’s the wanker on the drum!’ and AA had to respond with a sheepish song. They have been neutered.

The crowd on the internet that say ‘how can you give them credit for the atmosphere’ absolutely lose me. The atmosphere at The Emirates had been TERRIBLE for the entire existence of the stadium. Then Arsenal gives a section to young noisy fans, things get better, and people want to deny the vibrancy of ‘ultras’ had nothing to do with it? Even if you think there are 5 ingredients more important than that… you couldn’t scientifically conclude which one, because your conclusions are feelings-based. So why break any of them?

The club should have looked at the lab experiment they permitted to run, patted themselves on the back, then said ‘how do we scale this?’

There were grim PR issues with AA you could point to. Well, don’t punish everyone, just those that were caught. If AA is too much to handle, seek new groups that could partake in a more inclusive section. Most MLS clubs that have elite supporter sections of 3000 or more will have 6 to 10 groups within a section. Those groups are like social clubs. You can have a latino group or a group that gathers around music – it doesn’t really matter but more groups is better because bad behavior doesn’t represent the whole section. The club gives a cheaper allocation of tickets in exchange for relentless noise for 100 minutes on game day. It is a good deal and the output is global fame. It shows that Arsenal is an old club with a young edgy vibe about it. Sponsors want to be part of that. So do premium ticket buyers.

The answer to a first season of success so good the NYT wrote about it should NOT have been to reduce the ticket allocation and make the noise generator part of the stadium smaller.

As for the balloting system. It’s complicated and the randomised nature means loyal fans who understand the stadium don’t get to go as often. So the stadium always feels like a bunch of brand-new people coming together. Red hot nights are few and far between. Because the process is complicated, people don’t fill their seats. The Brighton game had empty seats scattered all around the stadium. Clamping down on touting by implementing painful rules has the counter impact of making it harder for normal fans to give tickets away. Touting tickets is a sign of success, 10 years ago, I couldn’t give my seats away. Touts are still making the new system work. For them, it’s an inconvenience that’s worth the time. You’ll never stamp them out – but you will make it hard for friends and family to spread tickets between them at late notice. People literally buying burner phones to make things work is not the sign of a process that is working well for the fans. New tech is supposed to simplify, not complicate.

Again, these moves all look good on paper – less touting, more control, better marketing funnel opportunities with people signing up for memberships, more new fans walking through the gates.

… but if the sporting department of the club isn’t happy. No one is happy and your great metrics will not be celebrated like they would at non-football organisations.

I also feel like all of the above has lead to a lot of angst amongst supporters in general. Making things harder for people is never a good thing to do. Arsenal made things harder, crushed the atmosphere, and basically said ‘we don’t really care about that part of the experience.’ The relationship between fans and club really improved over the last 4 years, but it looks like it’s creaking at the seams a bit. There’s still time to fix it, but you need the objectives of the corporate side to align with sporting desires. You also need to correct areas the fans see as painpoints. Sometimes, you have to take and L to earn a W. It’ll be interesting to see if Arsenal will own the error, especially if Arteta is banging the table like the fans.

THE FINISHING MOVES

Arsenal fans have been very patient with Mikel Arteta and Edu. They let the two of them have a very bad year of mistakes and poor results. They got behind young players and elevated their game with unrivaled support. We were rewarded with a system that took us to second last year.

The job Arteta has performed has been immense. Incredible. He is a once-in-a-generation managerial talent we brought in at the ground floor.

But this year, he has to be delivering the final touches to the squad. We can’t be going backwards to go forward this summer. The fans need to see the familiar problems of the last 4 years addressed so we can finally cook as a team.

There are a few areas I’d like us to seriously look at.

FULL BACKS: We have to move towards robust fullbacks at some point. Zinchenko, Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, and now Timber have availability problems. Timber was VERY robust, but I’m putting him in here because the start was a knee blow out for him. We can’t keep stuttering in the league because our fullbacks break. Arteta needs to invest in players who can manage more than 6 games in a row before exiting for 3 months. He also needs to address how he manages delicate players with his training methods. The best teams have the most robust players. City is the benchmark, they rotate well, and their players are always ready.

MIDFIELD REBOOT: Big Mo, Jorginho, and Thomas Partey will need to be changed up this summer. It’s going to be a massive ask to replace Thomas Partey, but again, the priority needs to be a warrior that never gets injured. We also have find back-up players that are of a high level, but also happy to play limited minutes because Declan is a warrior and never gets injured. Arsenal cannot be giving any of those three new deals. Particularly Partey, who derails us, but always finds the energy to make it for Ghana.

ATTACKING PIECES: We signed Reiss Nelson to a long-term deal last summer, I told everyone Arteta didn’t fancy him, and guess what, he doesn’t fancy him, and he never plays. Trossard has showed in spurts that he can deliver numbers, but he can’t put Martinelli on the bench right now. We need to get serious about the players that sit behind sub-22-year-old wingers. How Saka doesn’t have a back-up after 3 years of trying is beyond me. Even elite players need competition, but the reality is they need to rest.

Then there’s the striking issue. We don’t have a forward that can score regular goals. Eddie hasn’t hit the level this season despite loads of minutes and Gabriel Jesus is a hipster striker who does everything bar consistently put it in the net; he’s the ‘if you don’t get ____, you don’t get football’ player of the 2024 squad. This summer, we need to address that issue head-on. I want a bully, an aerial duel monster, and a guy that wants to play as a centre forward, not a roaming chaos merchant, and I need to see non-penalty goals and greed in front of goal. I strongly believe that’ll be Ivan Toney and I’m here for it. But we can’t exit the summer without that piece. It’s the crown jewel of this project. Once we can these attacking players in place, we are ready for the next 5 years.

People say ‘why didn’t we do it this summer?’ I hear you. But the whole project has always been about a slower build. We don’t have cash injection owners, we don’t have nation-state money, and doing everything at once certainly didn’t help Chelsea get to the promised land.

Arteta needs to finalize the project and he needs to bring us a big trophy in the next 3 years. If he does that, he’s cemented his legend. We will be able to finally say we got our Arsenal back. As fans, we need to give him this time. I can’t believe some of the embarrassing carry-on I’ve read from fans threatening to withdraw their faith or slobbering over Tottenham Hotspurs. We have the best young manager on the planet, dragging us into the elite level, and he’s done through sheer force of personality at a club no one thought had the guts to back a manager.

We’re on the right path. The core of our squad is scary. The system is the right one. Address the two things above and I think we could have a very exciting 2024 and beyond!

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Tom

Weagle, I’m not sure it was a case of Pep not rating Palmer.
Pep is known for not objecting to players leaving when they feel unhappy over lack of playing time.
I don’t have any info this was the case with Palmer but he was never getting more minutes than Foden who’s absolutely tops.

I rate Palmer but Pep would never have sold him to Arsenal after we came so close last season, so folks complaining we didn’t buy him should give it a rest.

Madhu

“When you are competing for major honours then unless the talent is unbelievable (Foden, TAA, Vinicius Jr, Musiala, Fabregas with the Invincibles, etc) they aren’t about to be blooded into the team in the middle of a season.” Even if we consider the above statement, then why not look at loaning academy players to just promoted or lower half of table PL clubs. In that way you know how will they cope up with PL and then you also create a market. Not sure why we dont do that for ex Patino could have played in PL clubs like Burnley,… Read more »

Mikel Coneteta

WengerEagle That’s precisely it. Your standing as a team makes all the difference, which is why youngsters get games in Ligue Un and similar because the pressure is lower, the outcomes less impactful, and the conditions more nurturing. You don’t see talents emerge at top teams and become a feature in the XI with any regularity at all, it’s a myth. The most famous for it are Barca and Ajax, and the number of “next Messi’s” that have landed since he moved on is something hilarious. All with a cult following explaining away why they didn’t live up to expectation.… Read more »

Paulinho

WE – How is Sane doing at Bayern? He had that injury and get the feeling he’s never been the same.

He was a rare winger that could actually play on the side of his strongest foot.

Mikel Coneteta

“Even if we consider the above statement, then why not look at loaning academy players to just promoted or lower half of table PL clubs. “ Because those clubs have a 150M bounty they’re trying to cling onto every season by staying in the division and 99/100 have no interest risking a 16/17 year old in their XI against bonafide top level professionals. The same promoted sides that spend 100M in transfers when they arrive in the league to stay there aren’t giving a fuck about blooding Arsenal’s yute. That’s why they go to league one and championship also rans,… Read more »

WengerEagle

I do think that Lewis is a top talent Dissenter, not to that level obviously but he’ll be a terrific player. And are you taking the piss? Wow, 901 minutes, 9 whole full apps worth in the league. Major contributor for sure… Walker needed a rocket up the arse and Pep isn’t daft, who played all those crucial CL knockout matches against elite widemen and kept them quiet? Walker is a big character and personality, Fergie used to rip on Rooney because it’s what worked for him and Rooney was a bull of a player and a mental giant. He… Read more »

Tom

I definitely rate Palmer over Rico Lewis

Pierre

Weagle
“I’m just not convinced on Palmer. It’s rare that Pep would sign-off on selling a young player who has top potential in his locker.”

I am , has a touch of Bergkamp about him in the way he finds pockets of space and he will only get better , can score all types of goals , plays with his head up and can pick a pass.

Samesong

WE

Palmer was a bit of a bad boy in Manchester and hung around with the wrong crowd. I applaud him for wanting to play first team football. Pep as great as he not everyone wants to sit on the bench.

He’s a very tidy technical football and is one of Chelsea best players currently.

Samesong

Palmer’s two goals against Luton were class the other day.

WengerEagle

I seem to remember Fergie messing Rooney around in 12/13 and dropping him/moving him out wide to accommodate fucking Welbeck.

This after he plundered in 34 goals the previous season.

Samesong

What’s happening with Nwarei?

I actually know parents of a friend youth player that is now training with the first team. Whether he makes the it or not who knows

WengerEagle

Paulinho

Sane is smashing it this season in the Bundesliga, him and Kane are literally toying with opposing teams.

He took a year to find his feet after the move/injury and Bayern fans are famously impatient so I think he had to overcome adversity to get back on track.

Sensational player for City, he was my favourite to watch a few years ago because as you say he was unique and just as effective LF or RF.

He doesn’t seem to have lost any pace/mobility you’d normally associate with that injury.

CG

Paulinho.

“”I think it’s the way Palmer plays the game. He’s a bit of a throwback, both in terms of character and the impish off-the-cuff manner he uses the ball.”””

Well described, like our RVP – he knows he can play and was not scared of leaving Man City and Pep.

He is a better player than Saka, and that’s no slight on Saka.

Someone, not sure who- probably Waffle- said Callagher was the best Chelsea player this season – codswallop- Palmer is x 100 times the player to Callagher.

WengerEagle

Tom

That is true re Pep but it just seems strange to me. I think Foden is better off the left or in the middle than he is at RF.

Palmer was the obvious Mahrez replacement. Doku and Grealish are out and out better at LF.

WengerEagle

Lol, Palmer better than Saka. What a terrible take

Dissenter

Wenger Eagle I think there some miscommunication I’m not asking to have these youngsters become the core of a title winning challenge I’m saying the need to be on the peripheral fringes in term of exposure, enough to see who has it and who doesn’t I don’t thui nk they should be the pivot of the team, just getting minutes where it’s possible. As it stands, they never get minutes, even in dead rubber games. I mean, what’s the point of Soares- we know what he can do and cannot do so why not give the Walters one chance. We… Read more »

Samesong

Don’t Rico Lewis and Palmer play two different positions? Rico is more of a utility player.

Tom

“How is Sane doing at Bayern? He had that injury and get the feeling he’s never been the same.He was a rare winger that could actually play on the side of his strongest foot.”

Sane on his day is absolutely unplayable and can dribble past two or three players effortlessly, but he’s moody and his judgment can be questioned.
8 goals and 8 assists in Bundesliga is a good return but I find him frustrating half the time.

CG

It’s my take and I believe it.
No slight on our lad- but Palmer is better.

Ernest Reed

“ He is a better player than Saka, and that’s no slight on Saka.‘

Please, stop drinking to excess.

raptora

The thing is, we’ve been with our #1 LW, CF, RW, LM, RM, DM, both CBs and GK for a long time this season. Also the #1 LB and RB from last season that we paid £80m for. All of them healthy and available in the last games when this crisis has happened. This is the core team that Arteta has created upon his desires, over 4 years, helped with £600m and several young talents he inherited. We have close to our ideal team (assuming Partey is barely in the conversation anymore) and our ideal team managed to win 4… Read more »

CG

Palmer 16 games 8 goals
Saka 19 games 6 goals.

Palmer drifts into the middle of pitch, like RVP and creates havoc.

WengerEagle

Coneteta

And you have to treat Ajax as an exception because until very recently they had a chokehold on the Eredivisie and could afford to blood youth and canter to titles because the level of the opposition in Holland was so atrocious..

Barca just were lottery winners and dined off the most insane generation of talent in modern football history with Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol, Busquets, Pedro, Pique, etc. That is definitely not the case anymore with Gavi the sole top La Masia product that’s made it at first XI level.

Un

Weagle

Henry wasn’t an out an out cf was he
Best player but not a cf
It’s like saying Messi was the best cf in la liga history
He wasn’t

Tom

Gallagher does a lot of donkey work you wont necessarily see Palmer do, but I’d take Palmer over him any time, as ugly as he is.

Ernest Reed

I see that Wayne Rooney got the sack from Birmingham. Admire him for sticking it out with Derby during their worst hour, but if I’m being honest he rubs me much in the same way as Lampard and Stevie G. – all three had storied careers, but none of that has translated into them being even half decent Managers.

WengerEagle

22 year-old RVP shits all over Palmer, Jesus Christ do people forget how elite a talent Van Persie was now?

He used to have Henry and Bergkamp’s jaws on the floor in training he was that good.

WengerEagle

Un

If Henry wasn’t a CF then what was he? It’s basically thanks to him and R9 that strikers can’t just camp in the box and poach anymore, the anti-thesis to Inzaghi.

Un

Mikel ConetetaJanuary 2, 2024 16:09:46 UnWhy have you turned a debate about academy KIDS stepping up to a top team’s first XI into a misfit transfer medley spanning 30 years? Coneteta My point illustrates how young players need a chance to impress and that top coaches get it wrong on what they can offer until they are forced or they go elsewhere and prove themselves Patino could be one of the midfielders of his generation but he’s not being given game time as yet with top players Wilshere and scholes were average on loan So was gnabry and ESR All… Read more »

Un

Weagle
He was his own thing
A false9/winger/10/wide forward all at once
But fine
Let’s play semantics
Kane became the second highest all time goal scorer behind shearer.
Happy now?

WengerEagle

Ernest

That’s because Rooney and Gerrard are genuinely stone-stupid outside of playing football. Idiots never make top managers.

Not sure why Lampard has struggled as much because he at least comes across as much more intelligent and self-aware. Perhaps he lacks the charisma that all top gaffers have, always found him pretty soft-spoken and a bit bland.

WengerEagle

Un

That’s not true re Wilshere, he was very impressive for Bolton on loan.

Scholes at 20 got into the first team at Utd that was full of top class players and he scored 5 PL goals.

Patino may go on to be a very good player but you can’t compare him to those names.

Un

Eagle

I think lampard has too much of an ego and not enough to back it up
He may have had a few A levels but I don’t think he really knew how to set a team up
I also don’t think he’s avery likeable bloke
Same with gerrard.

Paulinho

RVP just seemed up that era. Could get absolutely ridiculous talents for peanuts.

Paulinho

*summed up.

WengerEagle

And I still think Gnabry was one of Wenger’s biggest gaffes along with Carlos Vela.

Gnabry at 18 years old in the FA Cup ran rings around Spurs, defenders were literally bouncing off him. Physical monster with all-round attributes to boot even then.

Dissenter

“22 year-old RVP shits all over Palmer, Jesus Christ do people forget how elite a talent Van Persie was now?”

That’s revisionist though
He was never fit enough for us to know that

Un

Weagle
Wilshere wasn’t impressive on loan to my memory
It was only whe he came home and started getting minutes playing wengaball that he really looked good

Oh fuck
I thought scholes went to Preston. It was Beckham

Mikel Coneteta

WengerEagle
Totally agree, but it’s somehow lapped up year on year that our academy should be a seen as a pool of top level talent ready to take the PL by storm. Madness.

Un
No, you highlighted how players perform in different conditions at different stages of their career – which is totally accepted by anyone with a lick of sense.

What isn’t true, is that the Academy to first XI route at the top end of the PL is a path well trodden. It isn’t, only outliers walk it.

Paulinho

Wilshere was very good at Bolton. Gary Neville has spoken about playing against him at 18 and knowing straight away he was a proper player.

WengerEagle

Paulinho

I still remember you calling Wilshere retiring by 25 on here. You were basically a long voice.

Fuck me you weren’t far off either, he was all but done by 25. That season he was at Bournemouth on loan was the last time we even same flickers of his ability.

WengerEagle

Paulinho

I still remember you calling Wilshere retiring by 25 on here. You were basically a lone voice.

Fuck me you weren’t far off either, he was all but done by 25. That season he was at Bournemouth on loan was the last time we even same flickers of his ability.

WengerEagle

The mid 2000s were definitely the glory days for picking up elite talent for peanuts.

6m for a world class Rosicky, 7m for Bacary Sagna, 3m for RVP.

Would have had ourselves Alonso too if we forked out that whopping 18m fee.

Un

Mikel
So what you’re saying is that we shouldn’t have been playing Cole at 20?
That Milan were right and that vieira shouldn’t have been playing for them or us at 21?
That ESR wasn’t really that good at 20-21 when he broke into th side? I don’t get it?

I mean yeah they got better as they aged but they were given game time at top sides and were top drawer because of it
Your point is invalid

Un

Eagle
Wrong
The season whe he came back he was very good
Ran the game v chelsea as scored a lovely goal in a 2-2 drawer at the near post

Un

What isn’t true, is that the Academy to first XI route at the top end of the PL is a path well trodden. It isn’t, only outliers walk it.

Coneteta
Not any more
Because of the money and foreign coaches not Craig about the national team

Guns of SF

Xhaka bringing up good comparisons about Wenger era and now.
Lots more similarities than I though.

WengerEagle

Dissenter

It’s interesting, I looked back at the numbers there and RVP it seems wasn’t as much of a crock as we all remember. If you remove the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons then he never made less than 30 apps for us in all comps in a season.

It’s just a shame that they were the two seasons that we needed him the most. 2007-08 we were in a genuine title race and 2009-10 we had to suffer Bendtner up top for most of the season.

Injury-prone sure but nothing like Rosicky, Diaby or Jack.

WengerEagle

I don’t know what you’re on about Un. Wilshere was very good at Bolton and caught the eye on loan, just because your memory is fucked doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Paulinho

WE Yeah I remember saying it back in 2012 or something and it was like tumbleweed or something, one of takes that went down like a balloon. He was one my favourite players so I always looked closely when he went in for challenges after spell out and straight away could tell the resistance of his right ankle was gone. He then started to subconsciously protect it, became half the player by receiving the ball in space rather than up against pressure like before, and then when he tried to test the ankle by doing the things he used to… Read more »

Paulinho

* lead balloon.

Un

Not caring about he national team

Mikel Coneteta

So what you’re saying is that we shouldn’t have been playing Cole at 20? – no, the opposite. He was a standout talent who made his mark on the first XI early. That Milan were right and that vieira shouldn’t have been playing for them or us at 21? – again no. The fact he was shite in Italy had no significance to how he’d perform in a different league and club. He never started at Milan, he started at Cannes and racked up over 50 games for them. Almost like he’s French. That ESR wasn’t really that good at… Read more »

Tom

Wilshere’s style of dribbling fucked him more than anything. Sure he was fouled a lot but there are players who attract more challenges and get fouled more often but stay in control and are able to ride them.
Grealish for example.

Seg

Pedro would have to read what he writes sometimes I wondered WTF!

WengerEagle

Paulinho I always liked Jack and felt sorry for him because I agree, as a teenager he was an absurd talent. Very unique for an English player to be so brilliant technically and in the centre of midfield to be able to go toe to toe with elite continental talent which is an area they have been more renowned for producing blood and thunder types than elite technicians. Ramsey interestingly enough lost mobility and zip too after his broken leg at Stoke as a youngster. The difference with him was he was able to adapt his game and he was… Read more »

Un

Coneteta Vieira But he want fancied at Milan so they were wrong to not give him that platform. How do you know patino and ESR won’t fucking blow he lid off for us? ESR Ah but we can afford t give game time to neslon eddie Kai and Fabio vieira under pressure but not ESR? Not in a dead game at psv. Not for 20-30 mins whe we are losing with no real spark energy or imagination? ESR wasn’t played va chelsea because there was no pressure 😂 He was one game away from the fans completely turning on him… Read more »

WengerEagle

Un

Patino isn’t even blowing the lid off for Swansea in the Championship which is a comically lower level than challenging for a PL title.

Paulinho

WE

Ramsey could genuinely be one of the most injury prone players of all time. It’s beyond ridiculous how often he is out with different knocks.

How perfect would he be right now in that Havertz position btw.

Un

Eagle

Agree
But stop it
You’re gonna make me cry
I loved watching Jack play
Him and cesc together uninjured with a quality dm behind them would have been magic to watch

TallestTiz

New post

Un

Eagle

Did gnabry do well in the championship?
What about ESR at Huddersfield?
Eddie at Leeds?
Coq at Charlton?
Harry Kane in the lower leagues?
Plenty of examples of quality players struggling in lower leagues then producing much better at parent club

SV

Alex Ferguson would come out and talk about protecting good players of his, e.g Ronaldo, Rooney etc. It worked. The refs were more willing to blow the whistle.

We had Wilshere and now Saka under constant assault, and nobody is trying to draw attention to these England players. It would be more subtle and productive than the direct style Arteta chose to criticize the refs.

Bilbo

I almost don’t want to criticize Arteta here given it’s already an echo chamber for the AOB. Overall, he’s taken us from outside Europe, to fighting for the league, increased the value of the players we already had and helped create an environment that has facilitated some quality additions. He’s done a good job. That said, he’s clearly got areas he needs to work on and I hope he’s getting read the riot act by the leadership team. He needs to work on his obvious blind spots. The ‘generational’ chat is laughable but so is anything suggesting he’s not made… Read more »