Arteta’s Arsenal Defies The Odds.


They say that one Swallow does not a summer make, well ok, but that was a golden eagle sized swallow we saw last night. Some of us have believed in Arteta for a while, this particular someone was advocating for him to be our next manager while he was still playing for the club, but the tide of opinion must now be firmly on his side? Surely?

We started the game off being battered and giving the ball up for fun, 17% possession in the first 10 minutes and it was looking ominous. Then Luiz played a through ball from midfield to Aubameyang, he took it under control and a goal looked certain, only for him to fire it straight at the goalkeeper. Although he should have scored, it was a turning point. Suddenly we were more composed on the ball. Soon after, Emi had the ball and after passing it around the back for a while we broke out, 17 passes later Auba scored about the best team goal we have seen from any team, this season. It really was a work of art.  City continued to dominate the ball, but we pressed and defended magnificently.  Auba got gifted the ball in the box and fluffed an easy lay-off which should have been 2 nil.  But we looked the most dangerous side of the rest of the half,  despite having much less of the ball.

City came out for the second half , with a flea in their ears, started moving the ball quicker and turned up the heat. It was almost one-way traffic for the entire half, but once again some neat decisive play saw Tierney set Auba free and he finished with the aplomb of the great finisher he is.

Every single Arsenal player excelled. It was a phenomenal defensive display. Not the desperate stuff we saw against Liverpool, this was organised hard work, planning and execution. David Luiz turned up with a performance that I have not seen bettered by any Arsenal centre-back in a very long time. Despite the magnificent of his performance, for me, Xhaka excelled even that. We have not witnessed a centre-mid play that well since the days of Vieira.  I kid you not.  Xhaka is our leader and heartbeat, his critics should “F*CK OFF” as he might say to them.

What a night, what a result, what a future we might have if Arteta gets the support he deserves.

One swallow? Perhaps, but perhaps not.

Pedantic George.

30 comments on “Arteta’s Arsenal Defies The Odds.

  1. Good morning.
    No really, it’s a gooooooooooooooooooood morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I woke up feeling all was well in the state of Arsenal, well there’s a novelty. I totally believe in the Arteta project but I didn’t actually expect the total transformation to show itself on the pitch last night.
    Manager and all players were on top of their game and they were all playing as one right through the team.
    It made me wonder where we might have been had the lockdown not happened or did the extra time coaching time accelerate the process?
    We must however stay patient and it’s good to hear Arteta say that there is a long way to go.
    Hopefully the last two performances may convince some players to stay and encourage others to join as they see the beginnings of the Phoenix rising from the fire.
    Maitland-Niles on the transfer list mmm not so sure?
    Today’s gonna be a good day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a game that was. I wanted the whistle to blow for us to get the result, but I also wanted it going on and on because that was how special that performance was.

    David Luiz and Mustafi were exceptional. Xhaka was doing Xhaka tings. But how about AM-fuckin-N. I’m not even gonna lie, it’s going to break my heart if we lose him. The boy grafts and just want to belong. I was so happy to see the huge embrace he got from Mikel. It’s his spot to lose now in the starting XI.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. its reported that Arteta during games shouts out instructions to players in their own first language, be it English, Spanish, or French

    Mustafi was great again and it was a worry to see him hobble off holding his buttocks, might be a hamstring, if so he would likely miss rest of the season.

    In a week that there was much talk about AMN leaving for first team football, he was a surprise selection, and he was like so many others, outstanding.

    Now for the bad news, a squad shorn of the suspended Nketiah and the cup tied Cedric, still found no room for Mesut Ozil, but had Matt Smith who has yet to debut for us, that makes me worry that we might not see Ozil play for us again this season, maybe never again, now that would be a real pity.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ΜċGεε
    David Luiz & Skhodran Mustafi

    – 11 + 8 Clearances
    – 4 + 1 Interceptions
    – 4/4 + 2/3 Aerials Won
    – 1 + 4 Tackles
    – 69% & 75 % Successful passes
    – 1 + 0 blocks
    – 0 Dispossessed

    – Luiz: 1 Big chance created
    – Mustafi: 1 Shot on target


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Good goodly morning.

    Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
    Make you want to move your dancing feet

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Villarreal announced that Santi Cazorla will play his final match for the club today

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved it. First ten iffy, started playing well just before goal, very good and looked threatening after it till half time.

    Felt pretty ominous how 2nd half playing out but we worked nuts off, were very disciplined, scored that crucial 2nd.

    Was still nervous they’d pinch one and then who knows until very late in proceedings, but we saw it out well. Not bad for uncoachable defenders eh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thought Sterling meant that on Mustafi by way. First the studs then the knee with lot of force into his leg. He’s had a few moments like that through career of leaving things on defenders when frustrated. Never saw it but think he was player involved in Mari injury. Was that another accidental fall into player or no opponent involved on that occasion?

    Hopefully be ok but imagine that’ll cause some monster bruising. Guessing it might be worse if muscle tensed/stretched rather than relaxed but that’s a pure guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Way Santi’s played this year, if he were to come back in coaching role, as mooted, be rude not to have dual role as player for first year of it. How nice would that be! Bit simplistic but I’d feel less stress about cloggers getting to him if his time on pitch was a sort of bonus anyway.

    Though I can see big appeal for player who made miraculous comeback to leave on high while fit and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rich there are some reports that Santi is joining up with Xavi at Al-Sadd


  12. Top work everybody, and isn’t it good to see the confidence returning to the team. That first goal, which I only saw this morning,was ridiculously good. Can somone tell me how we actaully lined up as Ive read a lot of praise for Bellerin, Maitland-Niles and Tierney but don’t quite see how they all fit together.
    I also saw a little compilation of Pepe’s contributions and it struck me that he was playing in a sort of Ozil type way and taking more care with his passes than I’d come to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Sterling step on Mustafi which trapped his leg in place and obviously undeniably caused him to over tense/stretch & caused the injury was probably borne of frustration but possibly also a retort for Mustafi’s step on Silva’s Ankle early in the match, which possibly hobbled Silva for a time/period in that first half.

    I don’t care why the blinkin’ weird pgMOB have different football codes for the FA Cup and then league, but in the spirit of objective speculation: maybe it’s because each official only ever gets one final, maybe maybe they just hate City more then Arsenal (for playing proper footy), but with this objectively identifiable variation (compare the lack of a yellow for Mustafi’s deliberate playing the man foul compared to Eddie’s accidental hack whilst playing the ball) there is no denying that this variation allowed the club to win three cups whilst being denied a title or two.

    should i put money on Utd making it to the final?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good write up PG and some typically excellent points in the Comments.

    I was going to try to pick out one or two outstanding players from yesterday but I just can’t.

    In one of the most intense matches in many years, we saw probably the most complete team performance it’s possible to get from a team and club in transition. The WHOLE team played their part with passion and unrelenting commitment. Citeh had no answer to it, and nowhere to go.

    I would go as far to say that Arteta’s team is barely recognisable from the one Emery used to confuse us all with.

    One or two stellar signings in the summer will put the cat among the pigeons, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. reports from Spain that Arsenal are trying to get Ceballos from Real Madrid on another years loan with us then signing him for €20M next summer

    Liked by 1 person

  16. well we finish the season in a cup final, would be a quirk of faith if its CFC, Emery lost to them in our last game of last season in the EL final. Facing them under Arteta might show us how far both clubs have progressed in a year


  17. I think that Tierney was essentially playing the Xhaka pre-lockdown role. Where they’d start with a nominal four but have a fluid back three when on the ball.

    As his time on the training ground with the players has increased and with the second pre-season, and the problems after the restart, with other players returning from injury, the coaches have evolved and or found a fluid 343 that can switch to a more defensive posture without, and this is the important bit as you don’t see this from coaches who aren’t as good at the old footy, or from utter frauds like Emery

    Having the players and coaching them to make changes without having to make substitutions!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. With Tierney finding match fitness it frees up Xhaka to return to CM, this means the Gunners have more then one player playmaking from the back. add in Arteta’s ability to sort out players with poor temperaments (which everyone previously saw in 2014) and bring the best out of Mustafi and with Luiz now in form and fitness having needed a few weeks after the restart to get his legs backs, took him months at the start of the season but by the time Mikel replaced the Fraud he was also playing very well, then: Arteta’s team were able to play their best footy with such top level passing out from the back and with xhaka controlling the midfield.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. reports from Spain claim Barcelona have put in a bid for Guendouzi, with Coutinho part of the offer

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What a wonderful team performance that was . And good to see Pepe doing well, should hopefully give him confidence to become part of an awesome attack.
    I know Leno, Auba and others will have their backers, but despite the games he was criminally left out of under Emery, I have Xhaka down as our player of the season. Ability, character, leadership, he has everything .Making him skipper was one of the few things Emery did right, even if it was by popular vote. But just a shame that having made him captain, Emery chose not to back him, I have despised the sight of our ex manager ever since ,in a way pretty much unique amongst those associated with the club in my time. Whether Emery was bowing to the noisy, to those above him, or trying to hound Xhaka out to bring in some unmentionable player, will forever see him as beyond spineless, pathetic. Still, he’s gone now, sorry for the rant after such a performance, but just in the context of how much I rate Xhaka. And yesterday was surely up with his finest games for us, he is now getting praise in some unlikely sources, and rightly so.
    I hope we keep Auba, but if he does leave, Arteta should right a wrong over the captaincy,I suspect he might.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Fins @ 1:06pm

    It’s quite something that will our initial issues following the restart and whatnot, that Liverpool (3) is the only premier league side with less defeats Arsenal’s (4) since Mikel’s appointment as head-coach.

    We really found someone special in Mikel. If he goes on to win the FA Cup it will be fairytale ending, considering all the crap we went through this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Mandy… just like you, the last bit of goodwill went out the window when Emery threw Xhaka to the wolves by not only stripping him of the captaincy, but also being too willing to let him just leave. Then some of our ex players just piled on.

    At the start of the season Emery told in a presser that he told Mustafi to leave because we enough defenders and he wasn’t needed. And look who has been our stand-out defender in the era of Arteta. This season has really been one hell of a rollercoaster.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Yes, definitely a season of two halves. Three halves if you include the restart.

    Such a pity we didn’t go straight to Arteta from Arsene Wenger. If only SOMEONE had thought of that, and mentioned it?


    Liked by 2 people

  24. A famous victory. It will validate Arteta’s approach among the players and executives.

    Meanwhile, the league is setting up for a classic St. Totteringham’s Day.


  25. Yep, Emery got so much wrong, as you mention, Mustafi was yet another one. How amazing has he been under MA!
    A real shame Arteta wasn’t wengers replacement, by all accounts that’s what Gazidis was pushing for and nearly got, until the last minute when Senor Canales bent Rauls ear.
    Whatever happens in the remainder of this season, I hope the owners are mindful of those still at and around the club who not only kept Emery on far longer than they should have, and that could yet be at the expense of a place in Europe next season, but wanted to give Emery a three year deal last summer, even after his disaster seasons end.
    Raul is lucky to be still in post, if he is not on the naughty step at the very least, I fear some above him haven’t been paying sufficiently close attention, which would be unusual for billionaires with their prime assets?

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Not over yet, but Giroud does score some important goals!
    Think I would narrowly prefer Chelsea in the final, despite some research by Untold suggesting refs are not under agenda orders in the FA Cup, I just don’t trust any combination of the PGMOL and Utd

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Really wanted Mikel A after AW, so annoying that didn’t work out!

    Would be great to see Ramsey and Carzola Back! What of Rosicky as a coaching staff, WOW

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Nigel Pearson at Watford gone, all I can say to that is to thank him for helping initially make sure The Invincibles stayed just that this season, despite the considerable assistance Liverpool were getting from refs In the ground and VAR, not that there was any doubt of course as Liverpool still had to play us at The Emirates
    Sometimes , one has to be thankful to unlikely types, remember similar when Liverpool prevented something extremely distasteful happening in Madrid at the end of last season

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Arteta on new signings “I don’t think we should bring players that need a lot of convincing,”

    Liked by 2 people

  30. ESPN is reporting that Emery will take over at Villarreal, so it is no surprise that Santi is making tracks.

    Liked by 2 people

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