ARSLEI: When David Luis left the field it ended Arsenal’s “creativity” but where is….?

My headline is no mistake. It is not a joke. I will explain the mystery later down.

There is nothing amusing to a genuine Arsenal fan when we lose a football match, although the Wenger-Out brigade made it a point of duty to revel in every defeat in the old boss’ latter years as they figured every adverse result would bring closer the end of his reign.

But I don’t count them as genuine fans.

Too many of these so-called gooners were using negativity and pouring salt in the wound after every defeat or draw as a way of growing their popularity on social media (“misery loves company”) which they have now leveraged into earning money from online advertising and their Patreon accounts. Go check the biggest Arsenal bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers to see how they are milking thousands of gooners who stupidly believe these accounts care about the traditional values and principles of the club.

Arsenal was always the pioneer in playing the most progressive brand of football in the English top flight; from the era of Herbert Chapman to Arsene Wenger. Having helped in hounding Wenger out of the club these accounts are now willfully blind and in some cases cheerleading Mikel Arteta for his brand of regimented, defensive-minded football. Worse of all they endorse Arteta’s treacherous role, on behalf of the Kroenkes, in outrightly banning and excluding Mesut Ozil from the Arsenal Europa League and EPL claiming it is all his personal decision for “footballing reasons.”

In response to such a clear a clear falsehood, given that the Kroenkes, starting with Emery, have sought to ease Ozil out of the squad for over a year, did most of these big accounts raise a finger in protest? Did they come on Twitter and offer their support to @AFC_Mac_2’s petition demanding that Ozil be reinstated in the squad?

Of course they did fack all. Instead all they offer their followers, readers, listeners and viewer are platitudes along the lines of “trust the process”. Give Arteta time to fix the defense and attacking football will follow. It will be a never-ending wait I can promise you.

Wheels already coming off the bus

At home to Leicester and the wheels are already coming off the deceptively, shiny new bus that Mikel Arteta has been driving since he took over the club last December. Nobody can deny he righted the old vehicle and gave it a new paint job after the disastrous reign of Emery. We were already 14th in the league and heading downward so the bar was already woefully low. Initially he focused on a better defending and gave a chance to all the Emery rejects and in his first 10 games suffered only one defeat as the club climbed its way up the table.

But after Project Restart, Arteta clearly abandoned any pretensions of attacking football as Ozil began to be sidelined with the manager refusing to give straight answers when asked why by journos at his pressers. Instead we saw a return to the dreaded low block of Emery, emphasis on attacking down the flanks and long balls to Auba, cutting-in from the left as the main source of goals. It served Arteta well in the FA cup run beating the likes of Liverpool and eventually Chelsea in the finals. But his defense-first, Emeryesque tactics offered little threat to mid and lower level PL teams like Aston Villa and and Brighton who took all three points in the crucial run-in. As a result an outside chance of top-4 petered out to a struggle for 6th.

Some of us warned that nothing has really changed with this new season (check the Positively Uncensored Arsenal podcasts).  Despite victories over Fulham, Sheffield and West Ham, the lack of creativity was glaring as well as the over-dependence on Auba for goals. Blackburn George (@arseblagger) and yours truly warned repeatedly this dependence would come back to haunt us once Auba returned to the 15% mean strike rate of the very best strikers.

Brendan Rogers is no idiot. From his days at Liverpool and, prior to that, at Swansea, he is well known as a flexible tactician. Absent Vardy, Ndidi and Soyoncu, his best striker, defensive midfielder and central defender respectively, he initially decided to flood the middle with six midfielders with the aim of forcing Arsenal to play down the flanks but to deny Auba the ball and force him away from the penalty area. It was a risky strategy as David Luis managed 5 or 6 long crossfield passes in the 1st half, most of which eventually led to goalscoring chances. By half-time Arsenal had 11 goal-scoring attempts versus one to Leicester but critically Auba had only one shot. Mission accomplished.

By half-time it was crystal clear that Arsenal had run out of alternative ideas for breaking down Leicester. At the 43rd minute, according to Andy Townsend, the comments man on my feed “Arsenal need a little bit more magic, a bit more creative” Hang on there I thought, soon he will comment on the exclusion of Mesut Ozil. But naught.

The moment of truth

Second half began much as the first but with Leicester seemingly more confident in their tactics. Both sides traded punches until David Luis, who until then was Arsenal’s most dangerous player, flopped down on the pitch evidently done for the game. Then Ian Darke, the play-by-play man, lamenting Arsenal’s loss or lack of creativity burst out with this plea: “Where Is Cesc Fabregas when you need him?”

My jaw fell to the floor in amazement because in in one single moment the English mainstream media, whom Darke is very much a part of, finally revealed its dirty censorious hand. By this comment Darke revealed there was to be absolutely no mention of Mesut Ozil’s exclusion from the Arsenal squad by the broadcasters.

It all began to make sense. The NBC-Peacock online channel, which has the American rights to the PL and depends primarily on Sky and BT feed, was also fully into the conspiracy of silence. The two in-studio pundits Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe and anchor Rebecca Lowe, who by the way are all English, did their ultimate best to never mention Mesut Ozil by name in the build-up, half-time review and post game summation even though they spent time shedding crocodile tears about Arsenal’s lack of creativity.

Well at the 60th minute Brendan Rogers was able to bring on Vardy for Praet and as they say that was “all she wrote” as 10 minutes later his shot did not only score a goal but started the destruction of the mainstream narrative that Arteta is the big savior of Arsenal who will take the club to the top-4.

Narrative of lies and dishonesty

It is all a narrative of lies and dishonesty in which the mainstream media and the big social media accounts are all complicit. We have seen this movie before. Emery had his 22-game unbeaten run until PL teams figured out Arsenal had a big name but played small ball.

Once Leicester scored and Rodgers dropped them into a 5-4-1 formation it was all over bar the shouting. Our only threat to them was scoring from set pieces. That is now the template for all the lower and mid-table teams in the PL. They will further expose Arteta’s bus as weak and powerless.

I see absolutely no prospect of top-4 playing this kind of ball.

For there to be any change only we the fans will be able to force the hands of the Kroenkes. Put no trust in mainstream media or our big social media accounts. They are all lying and covering up.

Welcome to another winter of discontent at the Arsenal.

@shotta_gooner from The Uncensored Arsenal Blog


  1. just about the most honest account i have read on Arteta and Arsenal’s situation. seven blessings.


  2. I fear that we will soon see the 2 camps setting up their battle lines, the “AKB” one, the Arteta knows best, and the others who question what the hell is going on, maybe one can call them the “WTHIGO” group.

    Just as the WKB group lost their battle, perhaps the AKB ones will do so as well, as results start to go against us, if we continue to play like we are at present.

    The obvious difference is that Wenger had 20 years of experience with a full trophy cabinet behind him.

    Arteta has Edu and the Kroenkes.

    I dare say it will not be pleasant for anyone and it remains to be seen as to how bad it can get,

    Please be rest assured that I want us to win every game, but simply cannot see it happening.


  3. “It is all a narrative of lies and dishonesty in which the mainstream media and the big social media accounts are all complicit”

    100% agreed.

    The Arsenal Bloggers that have made money on highlighting negativity and broadcasting their own agendas need to be exposed as they are a cancer to the fans as they just regurgitate what pundits in the mainstream or super agents are saying without thought.
    These are the same folks that believed the mainstream and turned on Arsene Wenger.

    I do not relate to Troopz, DT Robbie and them and they are the biggest culprits. They and and all the big Arsenal bloggers need to be called out for what the are Parasites that have helped to establish the current toxicity around the Arsenal world.


  4. Gee-@3:37

    Fully agree with you and Shottas write up. We need to expose these Anti Arsenal bloggers. A list of such blogger be published here for all the PA , Uncensored and Untold Arsenal readers to boycott such click bait sites.


  5. Yes sir!

    The irony of hounding Arsene out of the club to not be better off is something. I hope for the best but…so far not so good.
    Arteta needs to get this thing turned around quick, fast and in a hurry. Or else there is going to be a backlash regarding Ozil. I took a look on Arsenal’s facebook page (regarding this loss) and just about every comment was talking about how the team lacked creativity and of the need for Ozil. We don’t need another situation like Emery, so I am hoping we can get a few wins and with some style.

    On a positive note, I do think both of our signings are real quality.


  6. I am going to nail my colours to the mast as an AKB.
    Nothing I can do to change the owner or the owners policy, even less so than I can change the people in charge of the country I happen to have been born or live in. I am uneasy and unimpressed with them and the government as it happens, but can’t stop loving either club or country, even if at times players, populace, owners or MPs ragne from frustratng to open loathsome.
    I suspect (and of course I don’t know) that MA has been put under all sorts of pressure to side line Ozil, not just by KSE but also by the Premier League. If the latter, which I think he hinted at, then as the saying goes, shit kinda got real.
    And as an interestng diversion, how much did the other players incorporate TP into the team last night? There’s an interesting passage in Sebastian Faulks’ novel, A Week in December, where a new signing is deliberately made to feel surplus to requirements by some of the old lags. Few outside the actual team will understand the various tensions and power plays in a dressing room – sometimes not even the manager.


  7. you have to laugh, loads of bloggers and twitteratti losing their shit cos its reported that Mustafi has turned down a new contract and intends to leave AFC next summer. Same idiots who have hounded Mustafi for a few seasons. In fact the same idiots who somehow blame him for the goal yesterday, as they can’t bring themselves to blame our latest savior, Gabriel, who actually was touch tight on Vardy at the start of the build up but ran away from him to leave himself in no mans lands unable to affect either the assister or the scorer. But hey Mustafi was ten yards away so lets blame him.


  8. an article on Ozil from the New York Times that puts UK media to shame

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Seems like Arsenal are trying to cancel Ozil.


  10. That’s a terric article: thanks Ed for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Heady, By that logic, if you were in America you would be Trump Knows Best, or in the UK . Boris Knows Best, because they are in charge .

    Liked by 2 people

  12. this line form the article stood out for me

    Özil’s mistake, then, appears to be less that he had made a political statement and more that he had picked the wrong issue


  13. Funnily enough George I thought I was saying something rather different, but maybe more nuanced than that.


  14. Let me try again. Hate the PM, his cast of crook and tarts, and Brexit Britain. Love the country and most of its people and will not stop doing that. Loathe Trump and all he stands for: love Kelly Wood and countless like her and what I still want to believe USA is and could be.
    Am I disappointed in the Arsenal owners right now. Too right I am. Do I still love the club and what I hope it still can be. Of course.
    Class is permanent, form temporary as they say.


  15. Amused by this take lifted from a Spurs fan on the BBC.

    Burnley seem to suck the life out of any football match in which they play but they’ve actually had three times the amount of shots as Spurs tonight with half the ball. Mourinho has got this one horribly wrong – simple as that. Unless he thinks 0-0 is a good result?


  16. It has been my great good fortune to meet up with a few PA regulars in North London pubs before matches. I am sad that I have not met more, and sadder stlll that the current situation means more pre-match drinks are unlikely for the forseeable future.

    However, I do hope that it might be possible to meet up with you, George. It is something I would like to do: you have been more important to me over the last several years than you might imagine, just as Zim Paul and Kelly and Stewart Black have been.


  17. I would like nothing more Tim, but I rarely venture out of my familiar patch.


  18. Still waiting for one of the big Arsenal Bullshitters to pick up on this (will not hold my breath) Mainstream seem to be airing this out tho.

    Arteta vs Emery after 26 Premier League games

    Wins | Arteta (12) | Emery (15)

    Draws | Arteta (6) | Emery (5)

    Losses | Arteta (8) | Emery (6)

    Win % | Arteta (46%) | Emery (58%)

    Goals scored | Arteta (43) | Emery (53)

    Goals conceded | Arteta (28) | Emery (37)

    Shots | Arteta (247) | Emery (317)

    Possession % | Arteta (52.1%) | Emery (57.6%)
    Arteta vs Emery after 38 games in all competitions

    Wins | Arteta (21) | Emery (23)

    Draws | Arteta (8) | Emery (6)

    Losses | Arteta (9) | Emery (9)

    Win % | Arteta (55%) | Emery (61%)

    Goals scored | Arteta (58) | Emery (74)

    Goals conceded | Arteta (35) | Emery (47)

    Shots | Arteta (376) | Emery (481)

    Possession % | Arteta (51.88%) | Emery (59.21%)

    Would be interesting to know the difference between emerys last 26 games and Artetas first 26.


  19. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll continue to back Arteta. I do that for the simple reason that he is the man in the hot seat and no amount of whinging from my seat in the peanut gallery will change that. And chosing to back him and by extension the players does not equate to backing KSE, despite how that hv been interpreted.

    I also don’t agree with those that think dropping Özil from our registered squads was down to him. Dr Sogut has hinted that there might have been pressure from both the club and the Premier League. Also, that NYT article hinted that Chinese broadcaster threatened to pull PL games from their tv. There’s a lot more to that saga than the narrow-minded views of some.

    I’ve been critical of him on twatter re his style, so don’t see need to repeat myself on here. I’ll just keep hoping he turn things around sooner or later before we see a repeat of the toxicity that made Wenger’s job very tough in the end, despite his wealth of experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. some reports that Mike Dean has been picked as PGMOL Game Manager for our game at Old Trafford on Sunday


  21. Agree, there are things going on with Ozil we don’t know about, Arteta picked him until lockdown.
    If the prem league have put pressure on Arsenal to oblige with Ozil to save their brand in China, you would think the least they could do would be to send us fair referees, unlike that thing against Leicester and the Riley messenger we will get at Utd.


  22. the thing for me with Arteta is that he is coming across as a weak man never mind manager.

    If you take what he said about it being his responsibility for Ozil and failing him etc and all being for footballing reasons (not tracking back, training properly, defending etc) and that being contradicted by other coaches, team mates and stats, then he must be thinking the fan base are fools and he is a Kronke apologist \puppet.

    You cant go from a giant of a man with ethics, integrity and intelligence in Wenger to mice and not notice the difference.


  23. Dear Labo,

    I know that you think that I am only negative, but please forgive me if I comment on your recent post.

    You say that you “support Arteta”. Can you clarify what you mean?

    Do you mean that you hope that he will be successful in improving our style of play and league position? If so, then I am with you there.

    If you mean that you agree with his style of management and current playing style, then I am not with you.

    If you mean that you are happy with his conduct in respect of the “Ozil affair”, then I am also not with you.

    I agree with your second paragraph.

    I am satisfied that the order to exclude Ozil came from on high in the club and that Arteta has been required to carry the can for it, which he has been rather unsuccessful at doing, in my view.

    The rubbish he spouts in his press conferences should embarrass him, but I think that having decided to allow himself to be used and abused in this way, he feels he has no choice but to obscure the picture as much as he can, which he has tried to do, but to his own detriment.

    I suspect an older manager would have resigned by now, but they are taking advantage of his lack of experience and desperation to stay, come what may,

    Whether the pressure has come from the club or the EPL of both, the situation is that the pressure is there and will eventually backfire, either when Arteta has had enough or, possible someone spills the beans.

    I also agree with your final paragraph.

    It may that we are not a million miles apart in reality.

    The statistics from Gee are very telling.

    Do we know how many of the shots numbered were on target?


  24. Oh my! the stats the gee posted though.


  25. Guys – I hope people can see the agenda of most of these so called Arsenal fan blogs.

    The narrative that Arteta is making progress and is better than emery and the process is working is challenged by the stats that i have posted but i doubt you will see these big Arsenal bloggers even mention a hint of those stats.

    Ozil has been in the news for charity and some good works – see the same blogs ignore those stories as it does not fit the mercenary who does not love the club robbing the club blind.

    But they all picked up the story that Mustafi had the nerve to reject us.

    Arsenal agendas and narratives are mainly set by Mainstream media and the blogs re-enforce these ideas but when it does not fit the blogs narratives they leave it out.


  26. Mark McGuiness starts for Ipswich tonight v Gillingham, think its his debut, Zech Medley starts for the Gills, Trae Coyle a sub


  27. Southend v Oldham sees two more of our loanees on opposing sides James Oliyanka v Harrison Clarke


  28. Rik Sharma
    Bartomeu: “I can announce that yesterday we approved participation in a European Super League.”


  29. Ozil didn’t play for Arsenal for 6 months, and before that he hasn’t performed for almost three years. I can see why he’s easy to forget.
    Even Arsene couldn’t make him perform consistently, so while it’s a shame to lose such a brilliant player there is no blame on Arteta.


  30. OlegYch, the idea that Ozil has not performed for 3 years is utter none sense.
    Had to say that.
    Take care!


  31. pauln71, he had 6 motm performances in 2016/2017 season alone, and 5 in the subsequent three seasons


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