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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Guernsey GUN

MG ignore yank fan comments they are 5 year fans. They know fuck all about supporting arsenal….look at that weird cunt in SF who loves the rape and torture of Israeli women.

Thierry Martinelli

3yrs for a chance, not even a guarantee, for us to win a trophy. Will the other clubs be in stasis? Will our star players be that patient?

Samir

The main worry for me is Saka & Saliba will want to leave if this mess continues (followed swiftly by Gabriel, Rice and Martinelli).

Arteta needs to wake up.

Chris

Pedro’s point about the atmosphere was an interesting read. It seems like a classic case of reinventing the wheel by the club. Surely making the noisy section bigger and not smaller was the way to go.

Liverpool game a compelling watch. They ought to be 4-0 up by now and will likely out a couple away at least in the 2nd half but wouldn’t be surprised to see Newcastle steal it with a late sucker punch.

Tom

Un, what satire?

Does Joelinton have some pictures of Howard Webb blowing o horse or a donkey?
Never seen anyone get away with what he gets away with with refs.

Chris

The second part of Pedro’s post I get why it would rule some people up especially with some of the wording. But I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with it, without a tl;dr post I actually largely agree. I think the reaction to two losses is a touch hyperbole. I get if people think the performances are trending in the wrong direction and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree but I feel we can turn it around to the point where we were winning consistently as we were earlier in the season, even if the performances aren’t mind blowing. I do… Read more »

evilc

This blog is manager before club now. Arteta has done well, but he aint Wenger or even Graham yet and i dont think he will ever be.

But what can we do – unless there is a better option out there that we can get and bring in we will have to stick with Arteta.

Un

Lads
Chil your herbs
It’s New Year’s Day
Enjoy a tasty beverage and play some of your favourite music
Fuck it
Don’t get bent out of shape about football or political shite
Enjoy your family
Enjoy your pals
Enjoy your tasty beverage
If you’re marko enjoy thinking everything is futile and will be now and forever
Blog of love x

Un

Tom
I’m too happy to remember
But happy new year to you as yours
Hope you have a blinding 2024
Fuck 2024
I’m 40 in 13 months!! Still a pussy magnet

LoveSausage

Arteta needs to turn things around in the second half of the season or the fans will begin to turn on him. I’m sure that the ticketing changes have contributed to the poor atmosphere but so has the bland football. It’s hard to see things improving if he persists with Rice and Havertz in midfield – two players who can’t progress the ball sufficiently. Replacing Partey with Rice was the right choice, but we need a different profile next to him. The thing is, he has the tools available to him in the squad. He can either go with Jorginho-Rice… Read more »

Guernsey GUN

Un it’s all good mate, but I’m not having spastic plastic so called fans talking bollox. I’m not having it.

LoveSausage

Chris,

It’s only hyperbole if you really think it’s an isolated reaction to two games. Or you can see the two game as a culmination of a downward trend we’ve been seeing since last spring.

Results usually catch up with the underlying performance. Many of us saw where things were heading during Unai’s unbeaten run. Some of us have seen something similar (although less extreme) here. There’s been a lot of knife edge results (United, Luton, etc) that have masked over our issues but that’s not sustainable in the end.

Un

Guernsey
Why don’t you chill out mate? Light up some Hindu Kush or have a glass of musky red wine? Whatever you prefer
Start off the year with some mellow

Tom

“Enjoy a tasty beverage and play some of your favourite music”

Hopefully not techno though, we all know what can happened to techno lovers

Samesong

Looking at Isak more and more he would of suited our style of play.

Un

Tom
I’ll blast a bit of hardcore tiesto on hot summers day, occasionally but these days I’m all about Michael Kiwanuka and Neil young
Was linkin park Arctic monkeys and oasis whe I was a wee fella (and tiesto)

Madhu

Let me give a perspective of both points that’s Pedro mentioned 1. Atmosphere – Ramsdale had a great vibe with the fans and regularly kept them in the game with his interaction with them. He celebrated every Arsenal goal with the crowd. Wasn’t he one of the main contributors to the atmosphere? 3. 3 yrs sure why not extend his contract by 5 yrs. Iam sure Pedro if he keeps the blog will write about Phase 3 and step 1 after coupe of years because by them we would have lost Saliba, Saka, Rice etc and another rebuild would be… Read more »

Guns of SF

Un

This fella clearly is triggered. Calling everyone names who doesnt follow his moronic hot takes on here. Talk shit, guess what? Get called out.

Guys needs to grow a few between the ears and yea, he should light one up right about now.

Chris

LS Some of the stuff in the comments here and elsewhere online has absolutely been over the top, you’d think we were marooned in midtable. I totally get where you’re coming from, but I also think we’re more than capable of course correcting to a good run of results (it’s easy to forget we’ve put 5 and 6 goals past some teams this season) And again I do feel Man City will ultimately pull away again in the league anyway but for now it’s so tight in the table a few good results for us and we’re in the thick… Read more »

Chris

Dubravka having the game of his life tonight!

Vickingz

Artesunates are irredeemable, they are running faster than logic

TitsMcGee

Gotta say. Feel sorry for Darwin Nunez. Works hard. Makes the runs. Just can’t put the ball in the back of the net consistently.

If he falls out of favor at LFC I’d take a punt on him and hope he comes good.

LoveSausage

Chris,

I agree it’s not too late. We’re only a couple of points behind. But personally, I believe this is less down to misfiring players and squad quality, and more down to tactical choices. The system isn’t set up to get the best out of our players and I’m not convinced that Arteta is capable of learning and changing quickly enough. I hope I’ll be proven wrong but he tends to stick with what he’s doing.

LoveSausage

When was the last time we saw our midfielders or even our striker attack the box through the middle the way Liverpool players do every time their wingers take on a fullback?

Mikel Coneteta

Liverpool are suspect at the back, but as ever they’ve got a sharp attack with a world class attacker in Salah able to drop game changers at key moments.

That makes them dangerous. And what do you know, their subs in Jota and Gakpo make the difference. Imagine that eh, competition pushing players to deliver. Don’t tell some on here about that balmy concept.

Guns of SF

Dubravka made so many saves,

Mikel Coneteta

Word on Szoboszlai though…

Massively overrated this season, he’s been shit in a good few games I’ve seen him. Loves the camera and scored some worldies, but masks some flaws.

MG42

The eternal delusional excuse from many here “We are only a couple of points behind”. Well that would be 5 in 15 minutes.. We are 10 points worst off than last season. So how the fuck will you make up those points? The realists here see no way that this can happen the Arteta super fans and the delusional ones cling on it as that is a mathematical possibility but a big fat nada, zip naught for those that are realists.

Tom

LS, Liverpool brought on four subs each worth 40m plus.
I can’t recall Arsenal doing that once in a league game that mattered.

Benjamin

Fucin dive

Youdaman

Pool play with a totally different pace altogether.
And not to mention their squad
Depressing

Mikel Coneteta

The biggest dive you’ll see in some time to get Liverpool off the hook.

andy1886

Pathetic dive by Diaz yet it’s given…

Tom

Meaning , of course, that they are either deeper or rotate better.

Leftside

Not surprised that was given

MG42

Yom
Or they have better talent spotting personnel and are better in buying and selling. In all these areas Arsenal is woefully inadequate and the manager has lots to with that.

David Smith

Liverpool get help when needed. In no universe do we get given a pen for that

Mikel Coneteta

Absolute must win on Feb 4th against Liverpool at Emirates.

With any joy Bournemouth and Chelsea take something off them between then, but regardless.

Un

Outside
Live
By stained
Tune

LoveSausage

Tom,

Yeah, that’s what happens when you waste money on players like Vieira and don’t give minutes to those that could be good enough to play. You won’t have anything on the bench to change a game.

We could spend another 500M and Arteta would still have 12-13 players he trusts with the rest in the freezer.

TitsMcGee

Liverpool get help when needed. In no universe do we get given a pen for that“

We certainly benefited from the Odegaard no penalty call a couple of weeks ago.

CG

This Klopp.
Same mindset as Fergie

A staggering x16 shots on target .
He wants a 2nd league championship.

Majesticedthegooner

Please arsenal players , watch Liverpool play,, saka in particular, watch sala playing on the right and try to copy what he does , there is always an end product with him, he releases the ball as soon as the openings is there, using the outside of his boots to make telling passes, something I don’t see sala attempting, watching them against Liverpool not a lot of backward or sideways passes, their midfielders also running g into the box to make the extra attacker. We so lack all of those things. Another thing I’ve just come to realise is how… Read more »

MG42

Pool 34 shots with the highest xG on record but unlike Arsenal at West Ham they put 4 in the back of the net, that is the difference between us and them.

LoveSausage

Liverpool rack up 7.5 xG in one game. Insane.

Samir

Liverpool are going to tear us to pieces sadly.

MG42

You can tell some here are grasping at straws and how far Arsenal has fallen under this manager when you read comments like “With any joy… teams will take points off…” Yeah, we don’t have the leadership to do it on our own and need favors from others. How was a put so excellently “An embarrassment and a disgrace”.

MG42

When we looked at Vlad we were also in the discussion for Isak, but generational said fuck that we will go for Jesus. Still think that was a good move? Or in the Jan 2022 TW when we got rid of a lot of players without replacing them, Arteta said there was no one worth bringing in. Bruno G. said fuck that shit I am going to Newcastle. How would that look right now with him in the team?

Tom

Not feeling sorry for the beheaders but 10 first team players out with injuries is crippling as hell.

Gazza

Couldn’t help but notice Liverpool energetic play tonight vs our tepid slow passing nonsense yesterday

Pierre

There is a freedom in the play of teams like Liverpool, tottenham and villa , whereas this season we have played with the handbrake on. Fans will accept tedious football if we win games , 2 defeats is not the end of the world but Arteta has ro get better movement and more pace in our game and give the players more freedom to express themselves or the supporters will start to doubt him. There is simple reason why the atmosphere is not as electric as last season , the football is not exciting the fans enough this season .… Read more »

NJ Gooner

MG Yes, I watch Arsenal games. I watched my first one in 1963. I’ve seen the great years, and some terrible ones. I’ve seen great managers (as we called them then) and some that didn’t seem to have a clue. I know that it takes time to build a successful team, and that time is the variable in shortest supply in modern football. I’ve learned that nobody favors nuance, least of all the prize idiots who scream for firings at the first setback or who claim to have a position on the morality of the Middle East when all they… Read more »

Pierre

Samar
“Liverpool are going to tear us to pieces sadly.”

If you had any understanding of the game you would know that football doesn’t work that way, yes Liverpool are playing good football atm but I expect the Arsenal to put in a performance at the weekend , the atmosphere at the Emirates will be electric , it’s a game that we have to compete physically and let Liverpool know they are in a game.

allezkev

Report for Don re: Charlie Patino He had a quiet 1st half but he became more involved in the 2nd 45, whenever he received a pass he always seemed to have time on the ball, only lost possession once and effectively recycled the ball, put over some nice crosses, worked really hard even when he looked cooked in the last quarter of the game, put in some good tackles during dying minutes as Swansea held onto their lead, looked good and would probably look even better alongside quality players. Is he good enough for Arsenal as of yet? Probably not… Read more »

Belfast Gooner

I think we have to be honest. The product on the pitch this season is inferior to last season despite £200m dropped on the squad. 10 points fewer than this time last season. 10 fewer goals scored. 3 more goals conceded despite apparently tightening up at the back. The patterns of play are identical. Every game. There’s no variation to give the opposition something new to deal with. The subs that come on play exactly the same way as the players they have replaced. Plenty of people have said we look predictable, and it’s true. Despite being told our front… Read more »

David Smith

Well said NJ

David Smith

The BBC are reporting Eddie Howe saying he was confused by the penalties Liverpool got and one his team didn’t.
Don’t know why he is so confused, Eddie of all managers should be well aware certain teams at home get an imbalance of favourable decisions

Ben D

Is it only me that struggles with analysis that concludes a team is performing worse in a particular season because they have scored fewer goals or conceded more? Wouldn’t that require the opposing teams to be identical and put in same performances as last season for that analysis to be valid?

The league changes every season. What matters is to achieve your set objectives. Season to season comparisons like these are useless, in my opinion

Ben D

That penalty for Liverpool’s 4th goal was never a penalty. How VAR looked at that from several angles and decided it’s a penalty is shocking

Belfast Gooner

Ben D

We have scored fewer goals. We have conceded more goals. We have fewer points at the halfway point of the season than last season. We are 4th in the table compared to top.

Do explain how we are performing better and achieving our objectives and why the analysis isn’t valid.

Ben D

Did Pedro write that Arteta needs to deliver a big trophy in the next 3 years? Another 3 years? If we don’t win any trophy this year or next, I’m afraid it will be time for a managerial change

MG42

@NJ Gooner With your time spent watching Arsenal I feel for you watching the present iteration but it didn’t have to be. It was always difficult to replace Wenger but we had a warning example of what not to do when United needed to replace Ferguson and they still haven’t found a solution. I feel we are repeating some of the mistakes they made. The powers to be were not convinced that Arteta was the right choice and decided on Emery. If they only had given the leeway and patience to Emery that they are now giving Arteta. If at… Read more »

Ben D

Belfast Gooner, I didn’t suggest we are performing better or that we are achieving our objectives. All I’m saying is that the number of goals scored or conceded can’t be the metric. The winner of the league this season will in all probability score less goals, lose more games and get less points than the league winner the last couple of years. That won’t mean the winner has performed worse (if it happens to be City again) Our basis for saying we are underperming has to be the fact that we don’t look like we will win the league so… Read more »

Aaron

Extrapolate Belfasts numbers out and the view starts to change.

20 fewer points
20 fewer goals
6 more goals conceded

Add in our customary season run in fatigue and injuries and what does that spell?

A mausoleumesque atmosphere at the Emirates and resignation we have a problem…

Ben D

MG42
Aston Villa will not finish above Arsenal in the league this season

Ben D

The league is definitely tougher this season than last season. Many more teams capable of beating any other team on their day. Better players and coaches at so-called smaller clubs

Jollof Rice

1) The atmosphere at the Emirates is poorer because, relative to last season, the football is poorer – both from a results perspective and from a style perspective. This year’s approach emphasises controlled, slow, measured, deliberate football, and repetitive, predictable patterns. Last year: heavy metal football; this year, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. 2) Slow deliberate football gives the opposition time to regroup and reset; predictable and unchanging attacking patterns gives opposition managers and players plenty of time to be coached, and more importantly, to defend. 3) Zinchenko (or whoever the left back is) drifting into the centre of the… Read more »

MG42

@Ben D
“Aston Villa will not finish above Arsenal in the league this season”

I need to borrow your crystal ball ASAP before the financial markets open on Tuesday.

Brian Muff

Funny because I often wonder what might have happened had Utd shown patience to Moyes. Alex Ferguson himself chose him so I’d be inclined to think it was for good reason. Yet Utd bottled it completely and binned him off, he just wasn’t glamorous enough for the fans, then they burned through manager after manager creating a bigger and bigger problem for themselves. We’ll never know what might have been had he been properly backed for a decent amount of time. I’m proud to support a club that doesn’t dump at the first sign of trouble*. I hope we continue… Read more »

Marko

Hardly the first sign of trouble. But also no one’s really calling for the managers head it’s more get better or questions need to be asked at the end of the season

Aaron

Brian, Not calling for his head-yet. Mikel has had a few years now and a few hundred millions more than Arsene ever had to spend. Mikel needs to surround himself with other smart coaches, advisors and strategists that think differently from himself.. Not only for creative ideas, but a check on Mikel’s objectivity and what many casual fans see who have watched 1000’s of games. The team look flat at the midpoint and that is not a good look, as the season grinds on the Cup, CL and EPL games will get tougher, especially for our team, who are in… Read more »

Guns of SF

This…

Mikel needs to surround himself with other smart coaches, advisors and strategists that think differently from himself..
Not only for creative ideas, but a check on Mikel’s objectivity and what many casual fans see who have watched 1000’s of games.

rollen

Pool is back to Heavy metal football.
Arteta still shitty slow disco/pop.
It will be hard second half of the season.
We are done in Pl with Arteta, he has no clue how to fix it.
We should push all in for CL.
If we can avoid City its possible.

Alex James

well well

Mikel Coneteta

“Mikel has had a few years now and a few hundred millions more than Arsene ever had to spend.“

This is such a crock line. Inflation is a thing, Arsene had plenty money but was wedded to an ideology and never deviated because he wanted to prove other wrong.

Aaron

Mikel,

Sorry to inform you bro, how do you think the Emirates got financed?
Banks said Arsene or no $.. Look it up.

Back to normal service.

Arteta’s players and he got backed to the gills!

Guns of SF

Indeed I recall the same thing. Banks would not finance unless Wenger was in charge for the stadium.

I certainly hope his post game comment about not getting new players is BS or a smoke screen.

Mikel Coneteta

Aaron

Maybe you should look up the spending figures under Arsene and apply inflation to them broooo

MG42

2nd that, the Emirates would not have gotten build unless Wenger was retained as manager such was his reputation and recognition outside the footballing world. At the beginning of this season many of us have said, Arteta got his players and it is his squad now, therefore produce what everyone expects from The Arsenal as well as what he has stated publicly to win trophies and I take Willian’s words for it. If he fails in this project now entering the 5th year, he has to be replaced with someone at the end of the season, that can get the… Read more »

Guns of SF

MG The issue is that he and Edu and equals now that Mike is manager. Only Kroenkes can fire him. These guys are a tight bunch it seems. Mike seems their man, and they seem hell bent on giving him what he desires, duped into thinking he can get them CL EPL etc. I wonder where the accountability is? IS he able to meet goals set up in the summer before the season? What happens if he does not reach them? I see Mike leaving for Spain, some day. Not City. They seen what a mess he has made here,… Read more »

Guns of SF

I think the issue is Mike ego. Many many good folks can advise this young man but its his stubbornness that will be his undoing. Not being able to adapt in all aspects of management/ coaching is really coming up to the surface again.
He keeps his yes men close to his chest. He must be great at selling a sales pitch tho, ill give him that

Aaron

Going to help you out.

“Arsene Wenger’s net spend at Arsenal in 21 years – £349m

Pep Guardiola’s net spend at Manchester City in 21 months – £371m”

2018

Yeah 1000% inflation adjusted-gtfoh

MG42

Guns I totally get it and my fear is that KSE is becoming a Glazer 2.0 for AFC. KSE was happy with Wenger as long as he produced the CL money. Also there was no ambition at KSE unlike they displayed with the LA Rams and the other franchises they own in the US to win the top trophies in those competitions. I don’t see that with Arsenal despite their denying it. However Wenger was in a similar situation but when the fan base turned against him and the atmosphere at the Emirates became toxic he had to go and… Read more »

Aaron

Guns,

Agreed and I believe it is an age and experience thing, he is young coach who understudied at $h*tTy with arguably the greatest coach ever, with $. He has no true perspective of many other successful coaches.

Guns of SF

Indeed, that is why Emery and his CV to me seemed more suitable succeeding Wenger. Some one here died when Mikel A was not hired.
Such is the entitlement of his hiring now, the chosen one to some and even “generational”
Unbelievable.

I personally was really pulling for gentleman Ancelloti. A tried and true tested coach

Hamza

Im sorry but if Arteta doesn’t win a trophy this season, it’s an abject failure and he should be sacked. We are 5 points off Liverpool and have already lost 4 games this season. Personally, I think the league is done, which is a terrible indictment of Arteta given we are in early January, and the man has spent £665m since being appointed. Like what more does he need to win? Another £150m, 2 transfer windows, and another season of going trophyless? It’s an absolute disgrace, and I think we are walking into another season without a trophy and Mikel… Read more »

Chrispy

MG42…..do I watch Arsenal games ? That’s what you come back with when I like an opinion of another poster that’s different to yours.

Watching since 72. Season ticket these days in block 128.

Invested enough for you?

MG42

For me the handwriting is on the wall for Arteta and if we modify the Aramaic phrase that appeared on the wall “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin” to Arteta it could read something like this:

The true Arsenal fans have numbered the days of your managerial reign and wish bringing it to an end. You have been weighed in the balances and found lacking. Your managerial reign will be given to an Arsenal worthy manager.

One has to start 2024 with a sense of humor because the situation at our beloved club is dire and not a laughing matter.

Guns of SF

I think Mr Declan needs the armband. Hell at this point what does it hurt? He might be able to get the lads a kick up the arse and firing again. I dont see that with Ode. Choir boy, nice guy but we need a yeller if Im honest. These fellas respond to that

MG42

@Chrispy Tip my hat to your patience and definitely you are invested enough. Though I hope you are not fully identifying with NJ Gooner’s comment: “Arteta has done pretty well, given where he started. We are now positioned as perennial contenders.” “He has done pretty well” Really 4 years, £665mill and still the rebuild is ongoing. He inherited Saka, Martinelli, Saliba players that could walk into any EPL club. He made us worst compared to last year and there were high hopes that after Rice joined, we finally had a squad to win the title. I am afraid not this… Read more »

Samesong

Hamza gets it.

Madhu

I think as some said that it’s not about whether Arteta stays or not. I don’t really care as long as the right questions are asked and course correction made. At the end of the day it’s AFC that matters and not the manager or the CEO. What are the targets of AFC and are we achieving it and what structures have to be tweaked to achieve it. This is the same thing that we’re asked off during Wenger’s reign. Evidently due to ownership struggles nobody bothered to fix it during that time. When KSE took full ownership from 2018… Read more »

Aasim

Very very sensible post Pedro. I love your commercial take on things. The point about the atmosphere in the stadium is too good. The nuance required to identify that as an issue and propose a solution, amazing. I honestly hope someone at Arsenal reads this. The points on the team rebuild, also good. However, I do have an issue with how late, someone as astute as you, took to identify this. Look, it was this blog, along with some key twitter accounts, which continuously used to hype up Eddie and Sambi. When it was clearly obvious that both these two… Read more »

Graham62

‘Arteta is a once-in-a-generation managerial talent’

Based on what I see, I do not agree with this statement.

On what grounds exactly can we say that Arteta is such a person?

Don’t embarrass yourself and us by constantly drumming home something that from my own perspective, is clearly not true.

Graham62

Would a once in a lifetime generational manager have given up so easily last season, when we lost Saliba to injury? Would a once in a lifetime generational manager ignore players and yet overplay others ? Would a once in a lifetime generational manager set up his team to play in a negative and predictable manner? Would a once in a lifetime generational manager be so tactically stubborn that opposing teams benefit from such rigidity? Would a once in a lifetime generational manager not see when players are fatigued and stale and in need of a rest, irrespective of what… Read more »

Graham62

There are loads more but I think you get the gist.

Mysticleaves

I think it was very insulting for Pedro to say that we’d have bitten our hands off if we were given “within spitting distance of the top by December” before the season started. This after we finished 2nd last season (having been top for a combined more than 70% of the season, we basically bottled the league!) And spending 200m more on “improving” the squad. I think it’s very insulting but that’s what’s Pedro’s write up has become lately. I’m also not fooled by all the “fixes” his blog posts propose as he side steps the main issues and still… Read more »

Thierry Martinelli

Arteta has done well give his experience or lack of. I believe most people will agree with that point. The issue here is the constant over the top praise he’s given; even when things are looking bad. Generational coach (1st read this title here) is not a title you associate with someone who’s not won a the EPL or CL while managing a club of Arsenal’s size. Pedro is alright with another 3yrs of zero trophies. 3yrs of convincing our star players that the club will come good and they’ll have a medal around their necks. Of course with money… Read more »

Thierry Martinelli

Arteta needs to finalize the project and he needs to bring us a big trophy in the next 3 years.

And sometimes I think Pedro writes controversial things so that he can generate traffic in this blog.

Thierry Martinelli

Or he’s being paid to push propaganda. 😂