38 Comments

The Long Winter Is Here For Arsenal.

In today’s podcast @shotta_gooner and me take a look at the recent games and look for a way out from the vortex we are in. It’s grim stuff.

Pedantic George

38 comments on “The Long Winter Is Here For Arsenal.

  1. If you are truly Positively Arsenal then it is critical to quickly come to terms with the current crisis that Arsenal is in, recognize that there were fatal blunders and mistakes committed by Kroenkes and the board as they eased Wenger out without a proper transition and “accept” that it is a long way back, if the Kroenkes make the right choices. Just saying..

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  2. A stick that the media and blogs used to try and beat Arsene Wenger with was that we had not won the league in so many years, even after all the FA cup wins that replaced the narrative of ‘not won a trophy in so many years’.
    I remember how quick the narrative changed and when we came 2nd against leicester in the premier league, Arsenal were the only club that were made to feel like an embarrassment out of the so called top 6 at the time.

    To think their were Black scarf movements, AST statements, AFTV and all the WOB blogs planes with banners, marches, face to face abuse of the manager and for what?

    decades of beautiful football, trophies, memories, some of the greatest ever players to wear the shirt, class, intelligence a footballing ethos and philosophy that was admired and respect by rivals and peers.

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  3. good man gee for mentioned the statements from the likes of the AST, isn’t it so odd that Tim dim but not so nice Payton and his AST cohorts have not uttered a word about the current situation the club finds itself in, they must, like they normally do, be waiting for their cue from the mainstream media before they decide what they need to say.

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  4. don’t be surprised if Arsenal swap Xhaka for ex spurs man Eriksen of Inter milan, could be a loan or permanent, for me its the sort of thing we would do, and I really get the feeling that Arteta no longer sees Xhaka as first choice

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  5. you know what really worries me, if we do sack Arteta the most likely replacement is Thierry Henry, it was reported that Josh Kroenke wanted him before Emery and Arteta

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  6. well all results today went Arsenal’s way, our rivals near the bottom all dropped points and spurs lost too

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  7. today its a year since Arteta got appointed AFC head coach,

    in our 38 league games last season we lost 10 games,(5 under Arteta) in our 14 league games this season we have lost 8
    this despite Arteta getting rid of unneeded players Martinez, Guendouzi and Torreira, plus not registering Ozil and Sokratis. He has brought in Gabriel, Partey, Cedric, Mari, Runarsson and not forgetting Ceballos on loan, oh and of course Saliba has finally joined.
    the club in that year has also seen board members, execs, almost all our entire scouting network and the original gunnarsauras leave.
    And Arteta after winning the FA Cup and the CS was promoted from first team coach to Manager.

    would point out that we lost just the five league games under Arteta, only the one of which came before lockdown, but we lost 4 of the 10 EPL games after lockdown.
    So that is 12 losses from 24 league games since we returned from lockdown, now can anyone else remember what else happened to the team after lockdown, was there any pivotal change to the team, or team selection, I feel there was but for footballing reasons I just can’t think what it might have been.

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  8. with Ozil in the team we took 17pts from an available 30pts in those ten games
    since banishing Ozil we have taken 30pts from an available 72pts

    in the 10 games we scored 16 goals and let in 9
    in the 24 games we have scored 30 goals and let in 30 goals

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  9. Gee at 446
    Exactly Gee.You raised a valid point.
    Why on earth nobody acknowledges Arsenal finished runners up in 2015 .
    Is 2nd place not worthy enough to be applauded? Arsene Wenger was not given the slightest of credit for being runners up.We could have won the league had it not been for the Pigmob favouring Leicester, giving record number of penalties even for fouls outside the box.
    Where are those idiot fans and media accounts who were critical of Arsene Wenger for the slightest of error now have there mouths shut as we face relegation.

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  10. The moment they started taking decision making away from Arsene was the moment of our decline. There in no coincidence his last two seasons was his worst and they were the seasons of his least control.
    When he went it’s been fuck up after fuck up but you have to credit Mikel with getting the F.A. cup especially considering the sides we were playing.
    Unfortunately there is nothing else in the plus box and that’s why he is being talked among those due for the sack. Fortunately there are still many sides worse than us in the league and a mid table finish is probable.
    As for when Mikel lost faith in Granit well I don’t think he ever rated him but he needed him to fill a gap. Partey never played his way into the side he came straight in for Xhaka and if he had been fit every game I don’t think we would of seen much of Granit at all.

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  11. yeah ian and that is why I think the reports from Italy that a deal is likely for Granit to go to Inter in some sort of swap for Eriksen is true, and it might also point to why Granit has not seemed himself in his recent games, he knows his time here is up.

    As for Partey, I do wonder if everyone at the club wanted him signed, we could have met his release clause any time during the summer and actually had him with us for the start of the season, but instead we waited till transfer deadline day, which came after several EPL games had been played. At best his signing was a cock up, and at worst it was a divided one or a last case scenario

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  12. Arteta on… Man City, Auba and handling pressure
    21 Dec 2020

    Mikel Arteta faced the media on Monday morning as he looked ahead to our Carabao Cup quarter-final against Man City.

    Our manager discussed the pressure on him and his players due to recent results, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and more.

    This is what he said:

    on a result in the Carabao Cup being a distraction from the league…
    This is what we want to use it for, as well it’s a competition we want to try to win. We have two difficult opponents before in Leicester and Liverpool, we managed to beat them both and now we are playing at home and we are one step closer to Wembley. So it is a really nice game to play, as this is the type of game we are looking for through the season.

    on if the job is tougher than he thought when he took it…
    Well, I could not think about some of the challenges we have been through this year for many different reasons, some internal at the club and some external with the pandemic. Then as well with some results that we have picked up in the last few months in the Premier League, but probably as well I could not imagine some of the nice moments we had when I stepped in. I knew the challenges that we were facing, that we had been going through for a couple of years or more already, so some really positive highlights and obviously now everything is looking a bit more negative because of our form in the Premier League.

    on whether he is feeling any pressure from within…
    No, from within the club everything I am feeling is just support, encouragement, and total confidence that we will get through this together. Externally I never read what is happening, I know more or less what is happening but I never read it: in beautiful moments I don’t read it, in difficult moments I don’t read it, I just try to focus on the job and what I have to do. But obviously a club of this stature deserves the best and when it is not happening, everyone is going to question what is happening. I am the most responsible one in terms of results, so I have to accept that.

    on whether he is worried about relegation…
    Well, when you are in this position and you have the points that we have at the moment, you have to look and be careful because we haven’t been a lot of times in this position. I think last year when I came in we were in a very similar position and the same talk was around the place, it is normal because we need to start picking up points and then forget about it and start to look up the table much further. But it is a normal thing to do when you just look at the table and get the conclusions pretty quickly.

    on the atmosphere in the dressing room at the moment…
    I didn’t say that I don’t pay attention, I said I don’t read. I do pay attention and I have to be aware, and I am aware of what is happening and that s part of my job. What I am saying is that I don’t read, if I started to read all the comments whether they are positive or negative, it would drive me mad and my suggestion to every player is exactly the same, all the time it happens with social media as well because you cannot control who is writing or what their intentions are so it is a very dangerous thing to do. When you talk about the dressing room and the atmosphere at the club, the atmosphere is good, as good as it can be when we are all hurting because results in the Premier League are hurting us. Everyone is worried and everybody is suffering because we want much more. We are working to get much more. In the dressing room when you are losing football matches it is difficult because they suffer as well because they care, because they want more, because the confidence level starts to go, but the unity is there. Is there 100 per cent unity around the club? It is impossible in any club even when you win because when players are not participating, it is more difficult but when you look at the perspective about how we are losing football matches and how we are where we are, it is pretty incredible. Last year we won the game against Everton with a 25 per cent chance of winning, you win 3-2. Last weekend, it was a 67 per cent chance of winning, any Premier League game in history, and a nine per cent chance of losing, and you lose. Three per cent against Burnley and you lose, seven per cent against Spurs, and you lose. There is something else apart from that it is not just the performance on the pitch, it is something else that needs to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t. Saying that, it doesn’t care and you lose, and the only thing that anyone cares is that you lose a football match and this what he hear.

    on whether he has any good news on Aubameyang’s injury…
    Auba is feeling much better and he was more positive yesterday than in the previous two days. He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team. But we know how important he is for us and he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be back fit as quickly as possible. For the rest, I don’t think we’re going to have any news today before training.

    on why possession isn’t converting itself into chances…
    I’m zero interested in ball possession. I’m interested in what we do with that ball and how efficient we are. Our conversion rate and our finishing quality is that is letting us down at the moment because with the rest it’s what it should be to win many, many football matches. And it worked there before and we were winning because our finishing quality was through the roof and we were winning these football matches. At the end of the day in football, both boxes make the difference and if you don’t make it right in your own one and when you get into your opponent’s box you don’t put it in the net, that’s what makes results go one way or the other.

    on if he is concerned about the negative impact of current form on younger players…
    It’s part of what they have to do and what they have to go through to become really important players for this football club. You have to see how people react in difficult moments and they have to experience it themselves, to get through these difficult moments and how they’re going to handle that pressure. If they are able to do that, they have to handle good moments and how they handle that to continue performing at the level that is required here. So it’s another experience for them and I must say that they have been much more mature, responsible and efficient than I was expecting. So in my opinion, they are doing really well.

    on how the pressure compares to being the assistant at a club like Manchester City…
    Well, it’s different because at the end of the day the decision making is completely down to you. You are in the spotlight when things are going well and when things are not going well. That’s the biggest difference. There are a lot of similarities in certain areas but it’s not like being the main man and the decision maker and that changes it all.

    on whether winning the Carabao Cup would be good enough for the club this season…
    It’s not enough, isolating just one competition. We have to play every competition to try to win it. Last season, we managed to win two of those and we have a really nice opportunity because we’ve done really well in the competition this year and tomorrow’s game is another step forward to be closer to winning another trophy and this is what we are going to try to do. But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to reflect on the rest or it’s going to look better because at the moment – whatever happens in any other competition – in the Premier League we’re nowhere near where we should be.

    on whether he would consider walking away from the job…
    I don’t like to think about those steps because then I will be thinking in a negative way and I cannot do that. At the moment, I have to try to be as positive as I can, believe in what we’re doing, try to modify things to make it work better, and stay strong. We’re going through a lot of difficulties, the last thing we want to be thinking of is more problems coming up in the next few months. I’m not in that state of mind. I know the responsibility that I have and why I am here. Everybody knows that from a few months ago, this wasn’t going to be resolved really quickly. I think that’s the consciousness of everybody at the club.

    on being patient with Gabriel Martinelli…
    We cannot put that pressure [of being the club’s ‘saviour] on his shoulders. It’s not fair for him. He brings that enthusiasm that the fans can see because he’s got something special, a special energy every time he steps on that field. But remember that Gabi, what he’s done in the Premier League the time that he’s been with us is very limited. Let him develop, like we are doing with many other young kids that we have here.

    on pressure for Martinelli to deliver quickly…
    Yes [there is] but it’s the same with many other young players that are probably taking more responsibility than perhaps they should do in this moment. It’s the squad that we have at the moment and what we have to manage. They have to try to do their best but I don’t think it’s fair to put all the pressure on them now as well.

    on whether he would play his UEL team on Tuesday…
    Let’s see how the boys are today. Auba is not fit for tomorrow, that’s for sure. He won’t be playing tomorrow so we will see who is available because we have a few doubts as well in other positions. We want to get together a very competitive team because we know the level of City and we want to win the game tomorrow.

    on Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun’s availability…
    They’re a possibility.

    on what he was like as a player when things weren’t going his way…
    I liked to look around me, whether it’s the staff, coaches, players and I wanted to see fighters. Normally when that happens, you have two types of people: fighters and victims. You need fighters and you don’t want any victims. Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity and they start to blame anything that is happening around them or is not going their way. You need people who fight, people who contribute and people who are ready to give everything to the club in this moment.

    on which of his three assistant managers he turns to…
    I have a lot of different people with different backgrounds. Some of them with huge experience, more than 25 years in this league with different managers who have been through almost everything in football. I think it’s very important to compliment my skills and the things that I haven’t been through. It’s very much needed. I believe that even though they’ve been here in this Premier League for 25 years, some of the things we’ve experienced in the last year they’ve never been through still. It’s the most weird and uncommon year in history. But they are really useful and really important for me.

    on the dynamic between them…
    I am very hard on myself, believe me. We have a really open relationship and discussions to evaluate everything that we are doing constantly. What can we change? What can we alter? What’s working? How can we maintain them? How can we give players a lift? How can we be more stable in the club? It’s a lot of things being discussed all the time, not only with them. It’s the same relationship I have with Edu, with the board and the members of staff here. This is not about a man making all the decisions, it’s about how we can make this function better.

    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.

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  13. Ed – was it likely the case that Arsenal considered Aour (sp) ahead of any other player? It was only after that possibility was ended that the Partey party started?

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  14. Arteta seems to be saying that all we need to start winning is a bid of good luck, that there is some great footballing reasons

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  15. Andrew the two don’t play in same position so either we wanted partey or we did not. Now maybe when we missed out on the attacking midfielder we decided that we better get a big signing in to placate the fans, and so went for Partey, but seeing as it was muted for months that we wanted both, I don’t know why we fucked about waiting till the last day.

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  16. What are those percentage numbers Arteta threw around? Nine percent chance of losing against Everton, three percent chance of losing against Burnley? It’s either a meaningless use of statistical regression or deliberate misdirection.

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  17. 900 its his maths nonsense again

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  18. Eds, it seems the players are doing exactly what Arteta wants, for him to say that. The less shots you have at goal the less chance you are going to score and win. So we unlucky not to be getting shots on goal? or is his set up the reason?

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  19. for me paul its all down to Arteta micro managing everything, its his tactics, do you actually think that players are just ignoring the area 20 yards directly in front of the opposing penalty area, not passing to it, not taking up spaces in it, of course not, its instructions.
    Arteta keeps saying that the players are doing what they are told, and that its a lack of practice that its not been done better. He has explained that when they can do these moves quicker and as second nature, then they will work great for us, even Edu has come out with something similar and has basically said if you seen what they are doing in training you would be convinced we are on the right track. Of course both Artea and Edu may very well be right, and its only a matter of time before we burst into life. I believe it explains why Willian plays every game, and every 90 minutes he can. He is doing exactly what Arteta is asking him to do. Willian himself has said that he is being asked to do things he has never been asked to do before, that its a new way of playing for him and others. He actually said he was told to not go searching for the ball, not to go into certain areas of the pitch, but to take up particular positions and wait to be found by his team mates.
    Again I suggest this is why Arteta is being 100% honest when he says Ozil is out of the squad for footballing reasons. Ozil will not pass the ball to predetermined places, he passes the ball to where he sees it should be played to, this is an affront to Arteta and his process. I also say its why we see so little movement up front, they are going to the positions they have been told to go to, problem is that the timing is off, its still not second nature so either they have got there too soon, or the pass has not been played in time, meaning it looks like they are not moving enough, not making runs. Yes they are not making runs as we and Ozil would know it, as those are not the balls that are to be played in Artetaball.
    Would also say that Pepe is like Ozil, he does not play Artetaball, he is a free spirit who only thrives if he has freedom to make decision off the cuff.
    Elneny is back in the team cos he will do exactly what is asked of him.

    it is no lack of effort or downing of tools that is seeing so many players off form, it is the tactics they are being asked to play, it has some confused, it has some unhappy, it may even have some unable to do them, or at least do them as Arteta says, as second nature. Again I say Arteta might very well be 100% right in what he is trying to do and in his belief that once it becomes second nature to the players, or when he has players who do it much better, that we will be challenging and winning leagues and champion leagues etc etc. Will he get the time to be proven right, will it improve enough soon so that he gets the time, now that is the six million dollar question

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  20. afcstuff
    @afcstuff
    ·
    17m
    Arsenal have opened talks with defender Rob Holding over a new contract. Arsenal are keen to tie down the player rated highly by Mikel Arteta before he enters the final two years of his current agreement. [@footyinsider247
    exclusive] #afc

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  21. afcstuff
    @afcstuff
    Arsenal have officially promoted 18-year-old midfielder Catalin Cirjan to the first-team squad. [@CatalinSarmasan
    ]

    Congratulations @CirjanCatalin1
    , we’re so proud of you!
    Red heart
    #afc

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  22. seemingly no progress in contract talks with Balogun

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  23. Burnely 2-1 Wolves

    means we are now just 4pts above the relegation places

    Fulham 10pts
    WBA 7pts
    Sheffield Utd 2pts

    only 3 teams, Burnley who have a game in hand, WBA and Sheffield Utd, have scored less goals than us

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  24. Good stuff Eds. Yes, maybe Arteta is right in his assessment, I fear he is not. It is not just about results, for you can play poorly and still win. The problem for me is that I seen a sign of what he wants actually working. Why is he going into a team with an established style and trying to change it entirely? So the academy and all are going to have to reset to learn this way of playing? That’s not wise. We needed a manager that would tweak a bit but not change the whole thing. Like Emery, I am sure Arteta is a nice guy, but from where I stand he needs to hit the bricks.

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  25. is there another suspension of football coming, the Carabao cup final has been today moved from February to April, no explanation given.

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  26. Over the last five years the Kronke’s have abandoned a good working model that was developed over decades, many decades if we can appreciate that Pat Rice and Arsene Wenger worked together, one that has been copied by the likes of Leipzig.

    And they have chose to bin this successful copied model for the *coughs* “model” we can see over at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Save they will not do it as well as Wolves. Evidentially!

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  27. You have to wonder and ask at the silence of the blaggers on this specific topic:

    The model the owners have abandoned and the one they have unsuccessfully adopted.

    a clear and identifiable process, the only ‘process’ from which we can all see the results over the last four five league seasons.

    Shotts is optimistic. This sorry mob’s next move will be to leave Per as an interim coach without any assistants. We’ve seen such incompetence before, is there any indication to suggest otherwise? Dropping Ozil for three years from the squad because he has the Wrong Agent (same as Rambo and others) & letting Kia do your PR direct suggests not.

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  28. the Caraboa cup final has been moved “to allow more fans to attend the final”, its been moved to April 25th, this is just 2 days before a CL Semi final second leg, it had been due on the 28th of February,

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  29. < Correction: The successful model the owners have chosen to abandon and the alternative that they have unsuccessfully adopted.

    It’s a simple enough topic when you realise that it’s possible to summarise it all so simply.
    Too simple for all those many blaggers and podcasters?

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  30. reports that Arsenal have opened talks with Rob Holding over a new long term contract

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  31. Am I correct on understanding that arteta is saying that the current situation is the fault of the players’ in that they are not trying hard enough? I assume that that Is what he means by saying they have to fighters.

    Is he so bound into his vision of how we should play that he cannot see what is in front of his eyes?

    So now it is that of these players cannot fit into vision then he will have to get a whole load of new ones who can?

    He is not at fault in any way?

    Oh dear where are we going?

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  32. Fair to say Bellerin and Holding still finding their top form after those big injuries, with both being in need of a short break? With Chambers also in the mend & Mustafi looking like an emergency player only (otherwise he’d be starting!?) with his contract situation, Papa, then Saliba might’ve proven useful over this fixture crunch.

    Auba with his minutes including internationals was odds on an injury, hoping it’s a light one but he’ll need games to find form on his return.
    The deck is falling on top of Arteta at the moment.
    Will Edu and Kia jettison him sooner rather then later to save their own skins with their mate Josh or are they too invested to discard him so soon? Like Raul will they eventually, inadvertently and unintentionally go down caught by a slithering line tied to their sunken ship? There’s more drama there then on the pitch at the moment…

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  33. jjgsol, what you have is a person that thinks way too much of themselves. I am not sure what he is expecting from the players when he wants to shoe horn them into something that is not natural to them. Pep went to Bayern with his Barca style and the players wanted him out. He managed the creativity out of the players and this is exactly what is going on at Arsenal.

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  34. …it’s not that entertaining.

    They will try to Stick with Arteta. IMO.

    This mob without the scouts who spotted martinelli will look to conjure some quality attacking players
    many arsenal fans will be looking forward to the window not in rage at the lack of signings but in trepidation over the value and quality over the inevitable signings (look at the churn in the squad!). Hope I am very wrong here.

    Arteta was always a conservative passer of the ball from CM for me especially for a footballer who’d played up the park when younger but that was his game and it worked in a team with Cazorla Ramsey and Ozil. A great example was the 2014 cup final when he basically played as a sweeper ahead of the CBs and the rest of the team played in attack after going two down early on as many will recall! I had hoped for him to have at least some more flair as a coach.

    George’s concern over no more league wins in 2020 is probably shared by more then a few.

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  35. Arteta says the planning is done for the next two transfer windows

    “The planning is done, what we want to do in January and in the summer,” said Arteta.

    “Sometimes you can do it, sometimes not depending on a lot of factors. Edu is dealing with that at the moment and I’m focused with all the games, we don’t have much time to spend energy now on that because it’s very clear what we want to do.

    “My job is to make the most out of this squad, the players that we have. We know what we want to do and we will try to execute it knowing that the actual context, market and what we’ve been through makes it’s difficult.”

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  36. fins the laughable thing is that when it comes to Arteta signings the bloggers and big twitter accounts only ever talk about how good Gabriel and Partey are, and despite being very critical of Willian, they never count him as an Arteta signing, just how they ignore that Cedric, Mari, Runarsson and of course Ceballos on loan, are all Arteta signings. But they persist with the narrative that Arteta has made two signings, and not the actual 7 signings he has brought in in two transfer windows, again something they like to ignore, they talk like its only been one window.

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