68 Comments

Is This Your Arsenal?

Good morning all.

You might normally expect this to be the match preview, what with it being matchday and all. However, as I don’t know who we are playing, where and with which players, that’s not the case. Now, a fair question might be “Why don’t you know George, wtf is going on?” Let me try to explain where I am.

I don’t know these things because as things stand, I don’t care. I know we are playing in the Europa League, so it’s somewhere in Europe, it will be against a 3rd rate team and we will be putting out a 2nd string team to play them.

Still, this is nothing new, it happens most years in most qualifying groups, so why today do I have zero interest?

Well basically I am so disappointed in KSE, Arteta and the fan base that it’s drained my enthusiasm almost completely.

My mood hasn’t been lifted by the arrival of Arsene’s book and him popping up all over everywhere, full of class and insight, reminding me of what used to be.

Now we are stuck with KSE, who are prepared to do any scummy things to protect their bottom line. But hey, this also is not brand new, it has gotten worse though, since they acquired 100% of the club. There is no longer even a pretence to be custodians, it’s all in as a business venture.

Now we get to my big problem, namely Mikel Arteta. This is horrible for me personally, because as most people know, I was his biggest and earliest advocate. I wanted him as Arsene’s assistant while he was still playing. I wanted him to replace Arsene when the great man left and I was desperate for him to replace Emery. I was over the moon happy when he was appointed and really believed he was the best possible answer. How wrong was I?

It’s bad enough that he has the team so rigidly structured to defend that by half-time my eyes start to bleed, that he stands for 90+ minutes barking micro-instructions to every player as if he’s playing FIFA20 with real players, that there seems to be zero intention to play attractive football, but I’m being asked to see some sort of improvement. A plan even.

I’m being asked to accept that all will be well, that this depressingly mundane football is going to morph into a team that will entertain AND win stuff. Well I don’t see it and I can’t see it coming.

Now we get to the Ozil fiasco. We find ourselves in the crazy situation where our best player isn’t registered to play, and we are expected to believe it’s for “football reasons” ?!?!?!

Right, that leaves me to conclude that Arteta is lying and is a puppet for KSE, or he is an idiot and such a poor manager that he can’t coach the most talented player at the club. There is no other option.

Now I, and many more, are put in the situation that we follow a club that is acting without a shred of class, a manager that thinks he can talk any old bollocks and we will believe it while disrespecting a player that has been a joy to watch and given us so much.

It’s possible to want the team to succeed, the players that turn out, to do well AND be disgusted in the way that KSE and Arteta are behaving.

Is this what we want? Is this what we hoped for when Arteta came in? Is this the club you fell in love with? Well I can tell you now, it’s NO from me.

Anyway, I hope we win tonight and I might even watch the game.

See you all soon.

Pedantic George.

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68 comments on “Is This Your Arsenal?

  1. Ozil’s agent hits back at Arsenal and Arteta

    Sogut told ESPN: “Arsenal fans deserve an honest explanation, not [Arteta] saying, ‘I failed Ozil.’ You didn’t fail Ozil. You failed to be fair, honest and transparent and treat someone with respect who has a contract and was loyal all the time.

    “Every single person outside knows he hasn’t treated him fairly. He didn’t give him a chance to show himself this season. If he is still under contract, the player should have the option to stay and fight for his place. Mesut hasn’t been given that. Why would you put a player on the bench twice for 90 minutes [against Brighton and Crystal Palace in June] if he wasn’t fit or committed?

    “Everyone says he’s training well. Per Mertesacker [Arsenal defender, 2011-18 and now a coach at the club’s academy] said this publicly. I spoke with at least five teammates who say he is training great. They say Mesut is one of their best players, and they cannot understand why he is left out. So it can’t be the training. If it is not the pitch, what are the footballing reasons? If you talk, you should tell the truth that the Arsenal fans deserve, otherwise don’t talk at all.”

    Arsenal declined to comment when contacted by ESPN, in light of both Arteta and Edu already stating the club’s position on the record.

    Last December, Ozil took to social media to highlight and condemn the treatment of around 10 million Uighurs living in Xinjiang after reports emerged suggesting over a million people had been held in detention camps, and he accused other Muslims of staying quiet on the issue. Arsenal, who have numerous commercial interests in China, including owning a chain of restaurants, later took the unusual step of releasing a statement distancing themselves from Ozil’s Instagram post, adding, “Arsenal have always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”

    Ozil was deleted from a computer game in China for his actions, and the Gunners’ game against Manchester City in mid-December was dropped by state TV.

    In April, he refused to join his teammates in taking an initial 12.5% pay cut because of a perceived lack of clarity in how the money would be spent, along with the manner of the conversations between the first-team squad and senior club officials.

    “You have to understand the bigger picture,” Sogut said. “The [Uighur situation] created problems for the whole Premier League, not just Arsenal. He expected to get more support from the club. It is not talking about politics, it is about human rights, putting people in detention centres. Imagine a football player comes out and says, ‘This is inhumane.’ Is that politics or empathy?”

    Ozil remains on cordial terms with Arteta, but Sogut contrasted Ozil’s treatment with that of Arteta, who Sogut feels is responsible for the midfielder’s exile.
    Ozil and his representatives believe Mikel Arteta is not being forthcoming about the reasons for Ozil’s absence from Arsenal’s first-team plans

    Arteta joined the Gunners from Everton in 2011, becoming club captain in 2014. However, he made just 11 appearances in the 2014-15 season due to injury but signed a one-year extension, only to suffer further fitness problems, making just one league appearance in his final six months, on the last day of the season as an 88th-minute substitute against Aston Villa.

    “He started zero games in the Premier League in his last season,” Sogut said of Arteta. “He wasn’t there in the last six months at all, busy doing his coaching badges and meeting coaches for his future. Mesut plays for one English team and that’s it because he feels he can only play for that team. He is a Gunner in the end.

    “Mesut is not a player who is yesterday a Toffee and today a Gunner. Arteta didn’t play at all in the final two years, but they still registered him because he was given a contract. [Then-manager] Arsene Wenger put him on the field for the final two minutes of his last game just to give him a nice moment, even though he wasn’t fit for months. Look at how [Arteta] was treated in his final two years, and how Mesut is getting treated in his final year.”

    Sogut insisted Ozil would remain committed to fighting to regain his place in January, when Premier League sides can resubmit their squads for the second half of the campaign, pointing to the revival he enjoyed in the latter part of Emery’s tenure. Ozil played just 71 minutes in the first 10 league games of 2019-20, a consequence in part of persistent back problems and a delayed start to the season following a carjacking incident in which he was approached by an armed gang while travelling through London with teammate Sead Kolasinac.

    “Maybe [Arsenal’s] goal was to wait until the end and Mesut would say, ‘I want to leave,'” Sogut said.

    “If Mesut would have done that, the club can say he wants to go, and if they can’t find him a club, they have an excuse and can say, ‘We can’t register you because you wanted to leave.’ But they knew for a long time that Mesut wanted to stay. He made it very clear. Maybe they wanted him to feel unwanted and unwelcome, but he wants to play for the badge.

    “Mesut is 32 years old. He has a few more years in his career, but it is more about the way of treatment. Mesut is someone who fights for his rights. The contract was a big commitment for him. He could have left for another club like Alexis Sanchez [who left Arsenal to join Manchester United in 2018] did. He could have left [Arsenal] and got a £30 million signing-on fee [somewhere else] as a free agent at the peak of his career. But he stayed loyal.

    “Maybe the club will change their position in January and register him. You never know what will happen.”

    Sogut finished our conversation by revealing the German Football Federation have sent Ozil an official apology for a lack of protection he cited when retiring from international duty amid criticism of pictures taken while meeting controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ozil grew up in Germany but has Turkish ancestry and released a statement at the time claiming, “I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

    Sogut said: “Three weeks ago, the German Football Federation apologised for the treatment of Mesut.”

    The financial impact of COVID-19 has been felt sharply across the Premier League, with several clubs announcing pay freezes or cutbacks as a result of the loss of revenue from being denied fans in stadiums on matchdays. The Gunners cut members of their scouting team from across Europe and a variety of staff (reportedly 55 non-playing jobs) across various departments including hospitality and commercial. Arsenal subsequently announced that Jerry Quy, the man who has played the role of club mascot Gunnersaurus since its introduction in 1993, would be made redundant. Ozil offered to pay Quy’s salary for as long as Ozil remained a player at the club.

    “You wouldn’t expect a club with class to make 55 people redundant just after winning the FA Cup or sacking a mascot after 27 years of service, just before making a £45 million signing [of Thomas Partey],” Sogut said. “And it doesn’t help if people from outside the club speak on their behalf. It unfortunately gives a very bad picture of the club which we are not used to having at a team like Arsenal.

    “I would be very concerned for any club if someone repeatedly spoke on their behalf and clearly had a significant influence on and off the pitch.

    “Mesut cannot speak now because of confidentiality, but one day he will, and we’ll see what people think.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for being so honest. I have been an Arsenal supporter for 63 years and I am ashamed of what is happening. I have serious doubts about Arteta and have come to the conclusion that he is weak. It’s all well and good being second in command to Pep, quite something else when you’re in charge.

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  3. The Kronke’s hand on one shoulder, Kia’s upon the other.

    If the K’s treated AW like shite then the danger of Arteta flailing like a rag doll was always there.

    The same crowd who downplayed the elevation of Guendouzi over Elneny never mind Ramsey will dig out Ozil with sarcasm. Completely ignoring the role of the agents in these calls. And the consistent actions which reveal an intent to ensure that all top players at the club only have certain agents. Watch this Saka.

    There’ll be at least some trouble in the camp and a miasma following the squad as a result of this and it will negatively affect morale and momentum this season, same as before!

    Arteta’s nailed the season upon this mast. I do hope he can survive the storms ahead and to see him find a more fluid form. With Luiz slowing I think Mustafi will be back soon with Holding also out in an effort to be higher up the pitch more often.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think George and Shotta’s musings on the topic were as sensible an assessment of the situation that I’ve heard as to the why’s and how’s. Beyond that we’ll have our subjective reactions.

    Wanting more attacking intent is a topic covered by others too not only Shotta and George:

    Leeds playing away with 27 shots to Villa’s 12
    Good game!

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  5. “And it doesn’t help if people from outside the club speak on their behalf. It unfortunately gives a very bad picture of the club which we are not used to having at a team like Arsenal.

    “I would be very concerned for any club if someone repeatedly spoke on their behalf and clearly had
    a
    significant
    influence
    on
    and
    off
    the
    pitch.”

    If I took bets on how many of the blaggers commenting on this statement will ignore the way it ends…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I repeat that this will be totally corrosive until the powers that be are honest.
    The club need to take a long look at themselves beyond the bank balance or they risk becoming the club with the poison chalice that is unmanageable.
    It did for AW and I fear it will do for MA.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I posted yesterday thanking you for your honesty and other points relating to Arteta. There was no abusive language or anything provocative, but it was never published.
    Could you please explain?

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  8. Doesn’t look like Utd have got a penalty yet

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Daniel Ballard named man of the match for the second time in his two games for Blackpool, an impressive start from the lad

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  10. I suspect that Ozil’s agent has hit the nail on the head.

    There is an interesting article in today’s Times, sport section, by James Gheerbrant, in which he explains, in nutshell, that Ozil is an artist and that in football today, no one wants artists.

    Having someone of his calibre no longer fits into the high pressing style that all teams play nowadays.

    As I have said before, the main thrust of the game now is to stop the opponents playing, rather than to play yourself, and that applies from the top to the bottom of the league.

    This idea sounds plausible on first look but then, if one really thinks about it, it is pretty flawed.

    So Ozil’s skilful play does not suit the way Arteta would like his teams to play. There are still 32 games left in the season, together with cup games, so please don’t tell me that there will never be scope for a skilful player to play, even as a sub when we are in the need of a breakthrough, or against a weaker team, or a team that cannot master the pressing game. What happens if some of our midfielders get injured or suspended?

    What is the logic of including less skilled players, who are injured and unlikely to play much of a role until January and to omit Ozil?

    What is the financial wisdom in paying Ozil’s wages, that is millions, and not to even use him as a substitute?

    Could it be that the powers that be in the club are frightened to play him and discover that he is very beneficial?

    So they have decided it is safer to leave him out.

    I suspect that this article is a plant and a pretty transparent one at that.

    I see that there is no sign of Ozil in the training pictures on the Arsenal.com website.

    Could it be that the club are daring Ozil not to turn up for meaningless training, so that they can sack him for breach of contract?

    The agent’s comments are incendiary and without an adequate response will cause great harm to the club’s reputation which has already been badly tarnished about this already.

    It was really foolish to leave him out and they will be reaping what they have sown because of it.

    It is even more foolish to think that the real reasons for this disgrace will not come out at some time, maybe sooner rather than later.

    The club’s PR is atrocious whilst they are being destroyed by Ozil’s.

    Having got Arteta to “take the blame”, which may very well have made things worse, who is the next to fall on his sword?

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  11. Unfortunately until the k’s go and while there is easy money in the PL it’s unlikely we will have to put up with shit like this.
    When the situation is this bad fans have to protest by not going in to the stadium and as they did with Billy Wright and indeed Arsene or we have to sit and wait until something changes.

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  12. jj Everton sit top of the league with an old fashioned no.10 James at the hub of their play, someone for me who is not near as good as Ozil

    Liked by 1 person

  13. also JJ, Ozil was in training today, which again poses the question – why if Ozil is not putting in enough effort to make our 25 man squad, is Arteta still allowing him to train with those players who are. Surely anyone who is not meeting the “non negotiables” should not be anywhere near first team training. Its almost as if “football reasons” is a whole load of tosh

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wonder what happened that our U23’s had only 3 subs today, and no sub goalie, meaning that when Hein got sent off we had to play an outfield player in goal, we went from 1 up to losing 4-1, we had our keeper sent off 8 minutes in, Moller had given us the lead on his debut

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  15. He is not in the 23 pictures on the .com website, whilst he was in a few in the last set that I saw.

    I think that interview by his agent will have “got the wind up them” and I await their reaction.

    Those supporters, who are happy to take what is given, possibly for a simple life, may be annoyed at people like us for continuing to make an issue of this.

    The principle is important here. The very soul of our beloved club is being destroyed from within and some of us are not allowed it to go down without a fight.

    I have no doubt that the club follow all the blogs and know exactly what is being said.

    I wonder how this business is affecting the value of the club.

    The “footballing reasons” are as much of a mirage as the effectiveness of Arteta’s tactics, and the 22 matches unbeaten run at the beginning of Emery’s stint as coach.

    Tomorrow’s game may be the litmus test.

    Perhaps Partey is really the missing part to Arteta’s jigsaw.

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  16. “It was really foolish to leave him out and they will be reaping what they have sown because of it.

    It is even more foolish to think that the real reasons for this disgrace will not come out at some time, maybe sooner rather than later.

    The club’s PR is atrocious whilst they are being destroyed by Ozil’s.

    Having got Arteta to “take the blame”, which may very well have made things worse, who is the next to fall on his sword?”

    It’s clear now that the “Arsenal values” were really the “Arsene values”. This whole situation is an embarrassing mess, but it has helped me to disinvest emotionally, which is probably better for my physical and mental health. I still hope the team win games, but beyond that I’ve checked out.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I am just about where you are as well.

    As long as they keep winning, a large majority of the fans will be happy to tag along.

    However, unless there is an improvement in creativity and the number of shots on or off target, how much longer do you think the goods times will continue.

    The article I referred to has some interesting statistics.

    In Wenger’s last 3 years the open play chances varied between 10.2 to 10.7 per game.

    The next season after he left it was 8.6.

    Last season it was 6.5 and since January it is 5.6.

    You do not win games unless you make chances, and Artetaball is not doing that.

    That we have scored as many as we have is due to very high goals per chance rate, but how long can that continue?

    Interestingly enough, on the same page, in an article about manure, we see that in their last 20 games, they have scored 50 goals.

    At our current rate, of 8 goals in 6 league games, it would take us 36 + games.

    Remembering that we scored 3 against Fulham, and we have not scored 3 before then for a long time, the chances are it would take even longer.

    How is that going to get us to 4th in the league?

    By contrast, Leeds had 27 shots against Aston Villa, the team that wiped the for with Liverpool, away from home.

    Sorry Laba, but I would love to be positive, but the circumstances simply don’t call for it.

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