Podcast: Yours truly and Blackburn George, the Arseblagger, lament the horrible football currently being played by Arsenal, who were thoroughly outplayed by Leeds, a newly promoted side from the Championship and warn it will get worse, not better, in the immediate future. Despite this bleak future, we are both convinced Arteta will get more time. Too many Arsenal fans are wedded to the narrative that Arteta can make us better despite every evidence to the contrary.
Important message: We are one of very few Arsenal pod-casters, if any, who are willing to take a critical view of some of the recent developments on- and off-the-field at Arsenal, which should be cause for concern to any honest, fair-minded fan of the football club. Show your support of our efforts by Liking and Subscribing to our podcast wherever you listen.
Your comments are always welcome.
I don’t know where these expectations came from considering he’d never managed a game. It was always going to be a risk. He *might* be a great coach but if you can’t man manage especially man manage multimillionaire man children then your footballing vision will never be transferred to the pitch however attritional and turgid.
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I seem to remember Harry Redknapp making similar comments about managing his group of millionaire players!
my worry over Arteta’s failure to get the team playing free flowing attacking football, is that we don’t even see any amount of it in games against the lowly teams in our EL group, even in those games its safety first stuff, paint by numbers football, or to use a wengerism the handbrake is on. We have 9 EPL goals in 9 games, Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton has 10 goals for them, by the way our Manager and the Everton coach took over at the same time.
We keep getting told that our defending has improved massively, has it really improved that much, I see us set up to defend better, we are set up like the underdog in a cup game, despite beating them West Ham had our defense in all sorts of trouble, Aston Villa tore us apart, and Leeds had us on toast but failed to put any of their great chances away, hitting the woodwork 3 times. Losing only 1-0 to City was celebrated by some as a kind of a moral victory for our defense, despite that city side being torn apart by LCFC a round earlier. We have been told by Arteta that now when we don’t have the ball all 11 players are defending, running their asses off for the cause, no room for football reasons Ozil, and our squad is of such quality that we did not register Sokratis, have not given a minute of playing time to £27M signing Saliba, and loaned out Mavropanos, Ballard, McGuinness, Clarke, Bola and Osei-Tutu, so why wouldn’t our defending be expected to be better.
As I said above, I have yet to see any sign that Arteta has a plan to play dominating free flowing attacking football, only on Sunday he batted down the notion that we should be having more shots in games, he says its not about getting lots of chances, but having a few good chances and taking one or two of them. Is he Jose lite, or is that an insult to Jose, after all Son has 9 EPL goals this season, and spurs have 21 EPL goals
Some of our fanbase act like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Saka, Willian, Nelson, Nketiah, are League One level players and our lack of goals is in no way Arteta’s fault, all he needs is to be given the money to bring in his own players and hey presto it will transform us into the second coming of prime Messi’s Barcelona. You know I could see some merit in that if we were seeing signs of Arteta actually setting us up to dominate with attacking play. I can not think of a single game where we have gone out from start to finish and gone for it, some suggest Fulham away first game of the season, but my recollection of that game was that we scored a scrappy early goal, did fuck all more in the first half, got an early second half goal from a corner and soon after scored a great team goal to make it 3-0 and didn’t really go for it after that.
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Smith Rowe, Azeez and Balogun all in the travelling party for our game on Thursday
Pepe in the squad too
Cottrell in squad too, as is Tierney, Xhaka, Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi
just to point out we are allowed to have a 23 man squad for EL games, 3 of whom must be goalies
Eduardo, what you say is 100% correct and yet that are many who will criticise you for doing so and will continue to say that Arteta has the defence under control and will soon move forward.
25 shots conceded does not bear that out.
What no one, even the most critical, wants is Arteta to be removed, but he must surely need to see what is happening and take evasive measures.
The ozil debacle is simply only one awful error of many that have been made. I bet he really wishes that he could bring him in as Emery was able to do and did, so that is one potential solution blocked.
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The Mesut thing is ridiculous but we all said that on here from the start. Despite the stats I do think most of Leeds chances were pot shots and actually Leno only had one real save to make and only the header from Banford came close to hitting the post and going in. One of the chances that hit the woodwork was closer to going out than going in, it was right on the outside of the post.
In most games we have looked quite good defensively but going forward is the most alarming problems.
We seem stale and where as in Arsene’s time even if we were playing badly there would still be parts of the game where we played excellent football, now games just fade away.
Although I agree a manager has more influence than the individual players there are players that I think no longer fit in team building for the future. Personally I would get as much money as I could for Auba and Pepe and move the squad towards a homegrown core and young squad in general with a few old heads for guidance.
yes jigsol, sadly if you mention anything negative about Arteta you are accused of wanting him sacked, when all I think most of us want is for him to improve things more and to even show signs that he can unleash the attack, find the tactics to see the goals flow. We are told that the aim of the club is to get back into the CL for next season, in other words top 4, well a quick glance of previous seasons will show that you have to at the very least hit over 60 goals in the 38 games to get there, that means in our remaining 29 EPL games we will have to score close to an average of 2 goals a game, so that is basically double our current rate, and that is just to have a chance of being top 4. No one above us in the table has scored less than us, with only one side having scored the same, six sides have scored at least twice as many as us, 4 sides below us have scored more, so I think its obvious we need to sort out the attacking side of our game or we are in trouble.
I want him gone. The Ozil stuff is simply unforgivable. All trust is gone.
reports that Arteta wants us to sign another CB
Somehow I think such brave act of admitting one’s huge mistake through both words and real action won’t ever be finalised in this modern day of big business unless that mistake has caused massive legal damages or–in this case–some kind of “bankruptcy” of the club (!). So, although I don’t want him removed, he can’t reverse what he and the upstairs did. Hoping for him to truthfully confess his lie alone does already feel like me believing in fairy tale.
I do not really think arteta is the problem.
You must ask how the board /owner is deciding who should be running the football side of the club.
How can you go from the model under Wenger that detested super agents, integrated youth with experience and a philosophy and ethos of winning and achieving their goals in a way that was entertaining to their own fans and attracted new fans and had rivals praising us even though they hated us to super-agents, club spending big amounts, win at all costs, dour football, leaks to the press, otracising of players publicly, raul sanellhi etc.
How can you see a club that has an identity for playing attacking football with a highly technical squad for 22years and identify a defensive cup winning coach to take over, have it not work and then implement the same again only this time with a novice?
KSE is clueless and the major problems we see started with them fully owning the club.
Having not managed before nobody knew that Arteta would be defensive. Working under Pep and playing for Arsene I’m pretty sure literally everyone expected free flowing attacking football. You can’t blame KSE for appointing him when the majority of fans were more than happy with the appointment.
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At the interview all prospective candidates would lay out a vision of how they intended to play and take the club forward so while you can’t blame fans for wanting Mikel you certainly can blame Kse especially as they constructed the perimeters the coach would work within. The Mezut issue is totally down to them and so is the fact you have a valuable asset like papa unregistered as well
If fans managed the club there would be choas as there are many different views on what should be happening.
As owner of the club you are responsible for the direction of the club and should have long term strategy in mind. Fans only really see the short term as evidenced by the fact that some fans were happy with mourinho and win at all cost football even though we all know what happens in his 3rd season.
Sorry but KSE had to do more due diligence than just picking the manager because “majority of fans were more than happy with the appointment.”
What experience did he have? Style of play, philosophy, achievements, man management style, what was his 5 Yr plan, how was he to improve player, youth dev etc.
If after all those considerations Arteta was their best choice for the long term then yes we can ask questions about how they reached that decision.
Perhaps, when Arteta was appointed, he was instructed to sort out the defence first, or it was considered sensible to do that.
43 games later, are we any better off or is it now worse because we now have no midfield and a toothless attack?
I saw someone say on a blog just before that the 25 shots that Leeds had do not count, because they were mostly “potshots”.
Another example of the blindness that has affected so many fans who want Arteta to succeed so much that they are not prepared to believe what they see.
We all want him to succeed, but it is coming clearer to everyone, even the selectively blind, that the path we are going along now is leading us to Emeryland.
Buying more and more medium-priced foreign players is not likely to change things.
For a club that now specialises in throwing money down the drain, what chances are there that any new purchases in January will make the slightest difference?
I am afraid we are simply going to have to acce[pt mediocrity for the foreseeable future.
We have had it before, so it can happen again.
Were you all complaining when we won the FA cup a few months ago? I know I wasn’t.
“Were you all complaining when we won the FA cup a few months ago? I know I wasn’t”
Nah i was not complaining, I thought it was good and something to build on.
My main thing with Arteta is i cannot stand the lies over Ozil and he owned it and the football is crap to watch. This is one of the contributory factors to our lack of creativity.
Then to come out with i really tried with Ozil leaves a bad taste for me.
His man management style is being called into question and now i must consider what his man management style is due to how he has treated various players recently
I had doubts when arteta was appointed mainly no experience and track record. all i keep hearing about how he is a top coach but what reference have i got of him as manager to even contrast and compare him now to then? emery flopped but you could at least point to a track record at Seville. Right now, no one knows if he will turn anything around as this is the first time, he is going through it. But everyone believes that he will be successful like Wenger and Pep based on………?
All i am saying is he could be just as good as David Moyes than Arsene and Pep that everyone already decided that he will be.
I agree he’s a bit of a twat seems like he’s out of his depth with the man management
jules of course no one was upset at us winning the FA Cup, but some were voicing their concerns at undebuted Matt Smith being in the squad ahead of Ozil, and we had many already pointing out that our set up was all well and good v big teams, so that we could counter attack, but this negative style was not working well against lesser sides. we were relying on individual brilliance to get us goals and I remember Geroge, just like he did during the 22 game unbeaten run under Emery, predict that the goals would dry up once the conversion rate went back to normal levels(remember PEA with 7 goals from 7 shots in that run), and it is exactly because of that so many are worried about what we are seeing now. there is no sign of us looking to be an attacking side. Many will say the win at Man Utd was our best performance so far this season, and we did play well, but just how many chances did we create, how many shots extended their keeper, in fact how many shots did we actually have in what was our best performance – 2 shots on target, and a total of 6 shots – what does that suggest
Maradona has died, he was one hell of a player, and also a headcase
Well. Looks like Arsenal lost a famous fan and one of the greatest players in history today.
Mikel Arteta faced the media in Norway on Wednesday as he previewed our Europa League group-stage match against Molde.
Our manager discussed Nicolas Pepe, the latest on Bukayo Saka’s fitness, the need to score more goals and much more.
Read on for a full transcript:
on what he expects from this game…
They will be tough. It’s a different competition that we’ve been really excited about playing, against a team who we know are good and tough. They made it difficult for us in the first leg and tomorrow on an artificial pitch, it becomes different. We need to get used to it and today’s a good day to practice.
We are getting used to it unfortunately. We have some news now in England with the Premier League that fans are going to be allowed in the stadium, which is great news. Everybody’s been waiting for them so let’s see now how the clubs cope with the final detail to provide a safe environment for them and the best possible conditions so everybody’s safe, and they can support us.
on what he expects from Molde…
A really organised team. They are very dominant in the league obviously and are so used to winning football matches. I expect them to have a real go tomorrow. They were aggressive when they played against us in certain phases of our play. They were organised and good on the the counter-attack and set-pieces as well. We want to be there, win the game and we know that will give us the qualification.
on whether this is the perfect time for Pepe to get straight back into the team…
Yes, absolutely. We’ve all had disappointing reactions in our playing careers and obviously we were frustrated because when you play against a team like Leeds for a long time with 10 men, it makes a huge difference. Even more with the way they play. He had a really good reaction, the way he apologised, the way he understood his responsibility and hopefully tomorrow we can see the player that we want to see, and have a good reaction to help his team.
on Pepe’s future…
No, it’s absolutely not [the end of his Arsenal career after the red card]. It’s not about that and I don’t like that type of statement. I will give Nico my full support all the time. He knows where he has to improve and we all know his qualities. He has some responsibility, I have a lot of responsibility, which is to get the best out of him and get the best position for him, the best areas where he can do what he can do with the ball. I cannot fault his effort at all. You see the way he strives for the team, the way he’s working, it’s been the best since he’s been at the club. But there have been some aspects he can do better in because he has the ability. That’s where I’m going to put the pressure on him to deliver what he can do. To say it’s a threat for him to finish his [Arsenal] career… it’s not at all like that.
on getting the best out of Pepe…
Absolutely [it’s a joint-responsibility to get the best out of Pepe as a player]. The club made a huge investment on him and people expect a lot from him because he has this quality. I said many times with the strikers and attacking players, it’s the most difficult thing to be consistent when you have to create, when you have to unlock the door, when you have to score goals or get assists. This is why he’s here and he needs to embrace this challenge, and go for it. We have to provide the best possible and ideal scenarios for him to be able to do that.
on whether Pepe apologised to his team-mates…
Absolutely right, he did it. He did it personally and he did it publicly. That’s done. Let’s move on. We all make mistakes, we all make decisions when we are in the middle of the heat. It’s about the reaction, what we learn from it individually and as a team, and moving on. That’s it, we need to focus on the next game.
on how we’re going to get out of ‘bad form’…
If you see the results that have happened in the Premier League and why teams win or lose games, the margins are minimal. Teams are winning with one shot on target or with two shots on target. We want to improve that, of course we do. But as well there are many aspects that I am really happy with, enthusiastic and optimistic about. When I see the young talents we got here and the future that we can produce for them, it’s things that get me really excited. We know that we are going to go through difficult periods because you don’t change issues that have been going on for years in a small amount of time, it’s all about the context and how we are working. It makes it harder but we know that we are Arsenal and our aim is to be the best all the time.
on whether Christian Eriksen could solve our creativity issues…
There are a lot of players out there that could improve any team. But obviously we are not going to discuss any individuals.
on international breaks causing a lot of issues…
The challenges that we are facing is that every government, every league, has different rules and different guidelines as well. I will use the word ‘unpredictability’ because we let a few players go to their national teams and two of them are still away. Imagine how hard this affects training. Some of them played three times for a full 90 minutes which is insane with the number of fixtures we are playing. At the moment as managers and clubs, there is very little that we can do and the governments don’t support you in certain matches. I’m assuming that for Molde their issues are different ones to ours, but I think we have all suffered for these circumstances.
on George Lewis…
He’s a player with huge potential. Norway are developing a lot of talent in recent years and it’s the fact that you’re doing a lot of things right from the academy, probably the government, with developing the programmes over the years. Now you can see some results and I’m pleased to see that because that means that these leagues are getting more and more competitive, and things are getting done better around Europe as well.
on Sander Berge…
That’s probably why [there are links] because Albert knows him really well. He’s a player he liked but we haven’t shown any interest in the player. He’s a Sheffield United player and we haven’t done anything at all.
on fans maybe returning next week…
It would depend where we are in terms of the infections but it looks like we’re going to be able to host some of our fans in the stadium which is fantastic news. We have been working really hard as a club, the club has a really good project and everything is almost ready to try to accommodate everybody in a safe way. There are still some details that are not confirmed that makes next week a challenge but the club is trying its best because myself, the players and the staff are all desperate to have them back watching the games.
on the schedule…
Absolutely. We can give a few hours at least. It makes a huge difference in this schedule when you are playing twice away around Europe, it makes the recovery time incredibly difficult. So yeah, if they take that on board, then I think it’s beneficial for all parties because at the end [of the day] it’s an entertainment business and we have to provide the best possible outcome for that. That only happens when the players are in the best condition to perform and are physically ready to go.
on if we’ve become too reliant on goals from Aubameyang…
When you have a player like him, you have to rely on him. It’s not something that has happened this year, it’s something that has happened in previous seasons. That we have relied too much on him in recent years to score the goals, we need other people to step in and to take more responsibility. We need goals from midfield, and defenders [to score] from set-pieces to contribute. All players go through these periods, I know Auba will be back and scoring goals again very soon.
on if Jack Wilshere could return…
We haven’t analysed that situation. What I can tell you about Jack is what I’ve said in the past, as a player, as a teammate and as a person I rate him really really highly. Unfortunately, at the moment we haven’t looked at that. We are focused on the players we have and we’re trying to do the best we can with them.
on if he might be invited to train with the squad…
Again, we have no request on that. We haven’t been approached, I haven’t been approached. It’s just a question that you are throwing at me at the moment, I can’t tell you much more than that.
on if he wants Folarin Balogun to sign a new deal…
Yes, he is a player that I want. He is a player that I want to stay at the club. I love working with young players. You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our stricture and progress in the future. He’s part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract. We’re trying to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him, and trying to convince him that this is the right place for him.
on what has changed to prompt the club to try to keep him..
I have decided that I want to keep the player. The moment that I started to see more of the player and change certain things that I didn’t agree with, we decided to give it a go, tried to convince the player, try to show him what we want to do with him, why he fits in with what we are trying to do at the club. The young talent and the top talent that we produce at the academy is with the final aim to put them in the first team. When I signed for this club it was one of the things that excited me the most because I love to work with them and it’s part of our DNA and the history of the club. When we have them, let’s keep them and we really think they are players that can take us to the next level.
on Bukayo Saka…
It’s very doubtful [that he’ll be back for the weekend]. We have a few players in contention. He’s been in a lot of pain for the last few days so I cannot say today that he’s going to be fit. We’ll have to assess what happens the day before the game against Wolves. But we have other players fit and whether he’s fit or not, we’ll try to find the right solutions for our attacking players to prepare for the game against Wolves.
on not being able to use extra subs in the Premier League…
I hope [they change the rule] because in the second halves, at the moment you make two substitutions and you’re just praying and waiting. You know that in any moment a player’s going to go down with a muscle injury, with soreness, with some discomfort and you make the three substitutions so you are exposed in the last 15 or 20 minutes. I think most of the managers are feeling that way so hopefully we will change the rule to adapt. Let’s hope we are able to do that soon because the moment we start to play in December as well, with the fixtures we have, it’s going to be pretty dramatic.
on how that influences his decision for selection in the UEL…
At the moment we cannot really pick and go here. We have some really serious injuries in recent months with some players out for long periods. We had some injuries, we now have a suspension, we have issues with COVID as well, so we haven’t really been in a position where we can say, ‘OK, he plays this game, he plays this game’ because we have to accommodate with the amount of injuries and circumstances that we have. Hopefully that will change in a positive way in the next few months.
on whether Pepe felt under pressure as he was in and out of the team…
We just need to try to support him and he needs to feel that myself and the club are going to protect him. We are giving him time and he needed some time last year to adapt to the Premier League, to a new city, to a new language, to a new environment. You could see at the end of the season the way that he started to play. The demands with him, with his ability, I am going to be very demanding because I know what he can do. He needs to deal with that. I think he’s dealing with it the right way. The other day he had a reaction and when you are on that pitch, it’s completely different to trying to understand it outside. He has reacted the right way after that and hopefully I can see a player that shows that every week. It’s in his hands. He’s a player I really like, that I know what he can give, and it’s completely up to him.
on how beneficial it would be to secure qualification tomorrow…
For the squad management, in football when you have the chance to grab something you have to do it in that moment. You don’t know what’s going to happen in a week’s time, two weeks’ time, in any game. There are a lot of things that can happen. I always tell the players, ‘When you have it, you can do it today, then do it and then forget about it, then let’s move on’.
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.
This week in my earnest efforts to IGNORE OZIL I found my self listening to Troy Deeny & Darren Bent talking about the madness of Ozil not playing in this Arsenal team.
In two weeks George Graham, Tony Adams, Troy Deeny, and Darren Bent all getting their tuppance worth from the broadcasters. And their pound of flesh from Arteta and the arsenal.
the owners were trying to force the coaches/managers to drop this player for now THREE seasons. OK, two and a half seasons.
the click baiting blaggers trying to stay close to the clubs PR machine by ignoring the story, for three seasons. That is: mad! Or an agreement.
I upset some friends here by pointing this out last season, but: After a decade spent watching these ****s in action how could I support such a bunch of ****s like the K*nting K’s? Not least as the old gaffer called them out as a bunch of ****s when they took over the club and he thought of quitting.
How can any **** defend these ****s?
Make no mistake this comes directly from the owners as last January everyone saw an Arsenal team play against Utd with great promise? What happened inbetween? Ask Darren Bent!
I ducking well should of gone down the bookies and put a punt on Troy Deeny pontificating on the stupidity of the Arsenal by December. FML.
I speculate the club will spend on attacking players in the next transfer window.
But as George and Shotta ask, will that help this team in the final third?
Arteta’s stoic style in midfield was offset and complemented by the players around him. I hope that with better footballers if that’s how it all turns out he’ll produce some better football as a coach, for purely selfish reasons of course!
But there are signs on and off the pitch that unfortunately some of the mistakes made in the squad management are having the feared impact already and it’s a question now if Arteta will regain some momentum?
Losing Saka & Pepe the two most productive forward players for a few games will not help in the short term, nope, it’s going to be turgid for a few games there is no doubt about that. Who knows a Europa cup victory could happen this season but the league is looking tough.
Rest in peace Maradonna.
With Pepe & Saka out for the league game I’m looking forward to watching some of the highly rated young attacking players in the squad playing probably alongside or coming on for Lacazette and Pepe tomorrow.
Shotta is correct there is a bogus defensive football narrative out there, bogus as everyone knows that everyone loves goals and skills in football, no amount of running can replace that, it’s why football is more popular then rugby or athletics! COYG.
once again in his presser today Arteta came out with this shit
“We know that we are going to go through difficult periods because you don’t change issues that have been going on for years in a small amount of time,”
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