Monday, July 15, 2024

Willock and Arteta admit things need to change quickly

It’s nearly 40 years since Arsenal amassed so few points after 10 games of a league season and it’s clear to everyone that there’s a lot wrong at the moment.

Struggling to create chances and now leaking goals at the back, Joe Willock admits the Gunners aren’t clicking at the moment.

“We’re not playing well enough as a team at the moment,” he said after last night’s 2-1 defeat to Wolves.

“It was very disappointing,” he added. “You never want to lose at the Emirates or in any game but I feel like in the first half it wasn’t good enough.

“We’re not playing well enough as a team at the moment and we need to stick together and bounce back from this very quickly.

“I don’t think it’s clicking enough and there’s not enough fluidity in the team.

“We need to sort this out as quickly as possible to fight for the position we want to fight for.”

Willock isn’t wrong about needing to find a fix as soon as possible. Arsenal are currently languishing in 14th place in the table and know further defeats before Christmas will pretty much kill off any lingering ambitions of finishing in the top four.

Given this season was supposed to be all about closing the gap on the sides who finished above us last time out, it’s a dispiriting state of affairs.

Mikel Arteta is under no illusions about the situation. “It’s very worrying,” he told his post-game press conference. “As you can imagine, you expect other things to happen.

“We’ve lost games in many different ways but in the end, we’ve lost them and that is our reality.

“After a few more games the table will tell you where you are and how much you deserve and clearly, we have to improve. It’s nowhere near good enough for this football club and we have to change things dramatically.”

The Gunners head to Sp*rs on Sunday. A win against a Mourinho side who are flying high would be just the confidence boost we need ahead of eight more fixtures in December. Another defeat and the Spaniard may find that he’s faced with fans losing patience when the Emirates welcomes them back.

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Viju Jacob

Probably the manager?!


Like the last manager I guess and the one before that and the one before that…..

Naija gooner

Nuno has better to work with

Heavenly Chapecoense

Exact, the problem is the players. Laca has lost form since the beginning of last season. Pépé hasn’t found the expected form since the beginning of last season. All of them are
weaklings. The only area Arteta is wrong is saying during transfer window: we know exactly what we want in players, we are careful about the quality and personality we need.


Why is Willock sent out to protect the senior players?


Exactly my thoughts


Part of his learning experience.

Alexis Cazorla

well… maybe.. just maybe… the seniors are losing faith in the project.. who knows.. I mean.. it is pretty reminiscent of the Emery era when we played really well in Europe with all the youngsters but started playing badly in the league with the seniors. I think, it might be that for a player to change his game completely at the age of 26-30 is too big an ask. So, instead of asking the players to buy the new philosophy, we should design the system to play to their strengths, or just change all the players to suit the new… Read more »


Who knows, indeed, but I don’t believe that the players or anyone at Arsenal is losing faith in Arteta so soon. We’re in a horrible place, and everyone is feeling it to the core, but I like to believe that everyone is still committed to improvement. I think the problem is that Arteta did find the system that worked best with these players (excluding Ozil), and it is chance-cancelling kind of game — the one that brought us a trophy — but that system isn’t very enjoyable to watch for an entire season and it isn’t a sustainable model for… Read more »


You’re making both sides of the argument.
I agree with “That system isn’t very enjoyable to watch for an entire season”, but “this is it isn’t a sustainable model for success” is just bonkers, even if it is a hypothetical Arsenal-specific argument. And yes, “Arteta is making changes” but the changes (more like tinkering) are with the team, and not with the process (system/playing style, take your pick).


I’m not sure I fully understand what you’re saying here, but I am saying that Arteta found a system that worked for this team (the “limit the opposition’s chances,” which also limit our own) and brought us an FA Cup and some big wins along the way, but that system is not highly entertaining nor does it guarantee long-term success in a season of 38 games — Arteta has said this himself, that he wants to play possession-based, dominant football that scores a-plenty. The changes from the wing-back 3-4-3 to a flat back four with an attacking midfielder are not… Read more »


We’ve discussed previously but the cup run was a bit of a fluke in that it required us to soak up massive amounts of pressure and convert at close to a 50% ratio in terms of shots we took (not shots on goal but shots). The major concern right now with Arteta is we’re saying the same things about this team that we did with Emery around this time last year. The midfield doesn’t work – Dani & Xhaka slowed everything down which allowed Wolves to reset. The offensive players look overcoached to the point where they seem scared to… Read more »


The big difference between Emery and Arteta is that Emery didn’t see anything wrong with his style of play or with his team’s performances (not happy with the results, of course); Arteta is the first to say how unhappy he is with all of this. This is not the Arsenal he wants, these are not the performances he wants, these are not the results he wants: none of this is OK to him, and his frustration is beginning to show a bit, which is normal. He sees the crisis, recognizes what it is — and knows he needs to change… Read more »


Emery did the exact same thing Arteta is doing – he constantly tinkered with personnel & formations. Arteta just gets a lot more credit as he’s fluent in English & a former captain. Even if you’re a huge Arteta backer you have to admit the results are no better than when Emery was in charge. Hopefully Arteta figures this out as this is truly awful to watch – there’s no obvious plan & we’re so inept on offense that mid table teams are more than happy to sit back and let us attack.


Emery faced the press after games we lost and he said we were good. Arteta doesn’t do that. Arteta is trying to find solutions to the problems, and Emery did that as well. Emery couldn’t find them; Arteta, I think, will.

We are struggling, and no one is happy about that, but I vehemently disagree with the suggestion that Arteta is no better than Emery or that he should be sacked.


We need to be pretty clear about where we are headed as a club and start to form a coherent plan/vision for that. Have we decided as a club that we’re all in on Arteta and are going to simply let him learn on the job? Then we’re going to have to look at this period as a learning experience for him and accept that there’s a very real possibility that we’re just going to continue to be a midtable club for a bit. BUT if that’s the case, then Arteta needs to show a real vision for how the… Read more »


Arteta and Edu have been lucid and clear from the moment we hired Arteta that there is a plan in place and there is a vision for the club, embodied by Mikel Arteta. I have not seen or read anything to make me believe that the club has not gone, as you say, “all in on Arteta.” So yes, we’re going to have to endure some horror shows as he learns on the job and rebuilds the squad in his image. No doubt about that. Every word coming out of Arsenal indicates that his vision is very clear to everyone… Read more »


This is one of it though. And a major point. How abysmal have we been in the transfer windows? Paying overpriced sums for what seems more like marketing deals for our sponsors, rather than finding true value. Look at Liverpool and all the value they can find, at the same time selling their players off for massive amounts. Wijnaldum, Jota, Salah, Robertson, it’s crazy. And the times they overspend also seem to be paying off, Allison and Van Dijk. For us, Martinelli, Gabriel, Partey (still early on these two) and Tierney aside I can’t say we’ve done good business. Pepé… Read more »


For sure. We’ve not been nearly good enough in the transfer windows, nor in academy promotion (aside from Saka), but we’re taking steps in the right direction — Gabriel, Partey, Nketiah, Willock. We need to be better, no doubt, and I’m sure Arteta is demanding that of upper management. Liverpool make everything look easy (well, except beating Brighton) because everyone at that club bought into Klopp’s vision, and met his demands of them — we’re still learning how to do that with Arteta, but we will.

Hank Scorpio

You can vehemently disagree all you like but if this trend continues then some difficult decisions will need to be made soon enough. I hope Arteta does find a way to resolve this mess but at this point there are no positive signs to suggest he will


By difficult decisions do you mean sacking the manager?


While “These are not the performances he wants. These are not the results he wants.” may be understatements of the year, I would say this is the Arsenal he wants. He chose to keep certain players out, chose to send some of those on loan. The decision to extend Luiz and Auba, and choosing the new signings be it Willian or Gabriel is ultimately his call. Like I said in another reply – Emery had more claim on time, on signings, the shape of the team. Not just because he had experience, but he had (and still has) a defined… Read more »


This isn’t the Arsenal that Arteta wants — he wants much better. He believes in a lot of these players, he has to make do with a lot of these players, but 2 seasons from now will have a very different starting lineup, I can assure you. Hence why her refers to needed a few transfer windows. At the end of the season, if we’re mired in the mid table, then you can champion Emery as a better manager and I’ll give you a big thumbs up. But I don’t think that’s where we’re going to be, and I have… Read more »


You just keep repeating over and over that Edu & Arteta have clearly stated there is a plan & thus everyone just needs to accept there is one. That just goes to my point that Arteta is getting a tremendous amount of credit for being well spoken post Emery (who was speaking a new language) & for being a well liked former player. The reality is the performances on the pitch are truly awful to the point where mid table clubs view us as so completely inept they are happy to sit back and let us attack. We didn’t have… Read more »


Huh? Emery was backed all the way through his first season, and was going to be given a new contract by Raul, according to reports. Arteta is just approaching one calendar year at the club, and the guy brought a trophy to add to our historic haul in that competition. Why does any of the support we’re giving to him seem at all unwarranted or unfair? Give the guy till the end of the season before you call for his sacking. What you are implying is that another manager would have Arsenal purring in the top four right now. Really?… Read more »


Then I strongly suggest you read Ambrose’s tactics column on here. We are the most passive team in the league both in terms of offense & defense. We’re not going to improve unless Arteta fundamentally changes his approach. The cup run increasingly just looks like a new manager bounce (similar to Emery’s unbeaten run) with a massive amount of luck. & yes it’s completely reasonable to believe another manager would have us pushing for the top 4 at this point – that is literally the entire point of bringing in an experienced manager. Mourihno & Ancelloti were both appointed roughly… Read more »


The rigid organization and sense of resiliency Arteta brought to the team won us the FA Cup — that, and belief. If you want to dismiss it as lucky, not warranted or earned by the manger or players, then I have no counter argument as that isn’t an argument. We won those matches and we deserved to win those matches. Arsenal will finish above Everton in the table by season’s end, and hopefully above Spurs. We are underperforming right now. That won’t last, and when we take the next step forward, I think it will feel like two as a… Read more »


There was a huge element of luck involved in those wins as well – we literally just sat back and let teams outshoot us 5 or 6 to 1 and had to convert 50% of our shots in some of those games. The structure is great but that’s not really a template for winning a lot of games. I hope Arteta figures it out, but we’re coming up on a year in charge for him with no meaningful improvement in results or performances. He is going to have to fundamentally shift the way he wants the team to play for… Read more »


Isn’t that Mourinho’s playbook, one of the managers you’d rather than Arteta?

We’re bad right now. Uh huh. Yes, We get that, we know that, we all acknowledge it from Arteta through Willock to everyone on and at Arseblog. You don’t think Arteta is capable of turning it around and deserving of his position; I do. End.


Fair enough with the Man Utd example. But FYI, they had a GD of +2 and were 7th at that point of time and fell to 10th after losing the next match.
More importantly, they improved at the start of 2020 because…?


You asked, I delivered.

The season is not over — a lot can and will change by reckoning time in May.

Be critical, for sure, but let’s pull up short from suggesting that the manager should be fired.

Artetas Assistant

If you shout and yell, it’s negative energy and it doesn’t take you as the subject of the shouting to get pissed off at yourself and later on your pissed off at the person projecting the negative energy at you. Because they’re ultimately the one with the most problem


If you think Klopp didn’t shout a lot at his players in those building years, you weren’t watching or listening. If you think Pep didn’t shout a lot at his players as they set records, you weren’t watching or listening. If you think Fergie didn’t blast his players for not following his instructions … Wenger was a quiet gentlemen on the touchline, and in that sense he transcended the game and I love him for it — but Arteta needs to yell and coach, because we aren’t playing well. Does he overdo it? Probably, but we’d be crucifying him utterly… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Sometimes you have to talk at a high pitched tone..


What philosophy?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Gilberto used to invite all the players at his house in bad times. I hope Auba is doing this. Those talking about players demotivated because of Ozil, do you know you are less rational than conspiracy theorists?


I think the issue is that the players have widely different strengths and do not compliment eachother. Auba is good on the counter but Xhaka and Ceballos are incredibly slow. The defenders cannot defend a high line but if we don’t hold a high line than we can’t maintain any offensive pressure. I think any manager would struggle. We have needed better midfielders for years and the haphazard buying is finally catching up with us.


It’s crazy. Funny how he came to life playing with Saka and Nelson flanking him. They showed more energy and intent.

Another Paul

Nelson crossing was very poor yesterday. Saka much better but at no stage did either try to go past a player with any intent. At one stage it showed the top 3 dribblers with 5 dribblers each, all from Wolves while our team had a combined total of 2.
So no intent to take players on from wide positions and really poor crossing is easy to defend….


Pretty shameful isn’t it but maybe he spoke up because he’s an Arsenal boy and an Arsenal fan…


The fuck is Joe Willock being sent out to dress this up and shield the first team. Where are the senior players? The captain or former captain?

Really inexcusable and beyond comprehension, like letting a concussed head-bleeder who can’t hit the target on a good day take a free kick.


It’s the least of the problems really, but does anyone know the date Luiz last scored a free kick? Surely Ceballos or Auba would have a better technique?

Tankard Gooner

As much as I slate Luiz, I think he’s still better at FKs than Ceballos for one.

Bleeding gums murphy

If you judge better by missing the target by less distance, then you could be right.


Or even Xhaka’s leftie.


Ceballos took a free kick against Molde…it was mouldy!

A Voice in the Noise

I know it’s been more than 5 years.. When the balls were different and you could get the kind of dip and swerve on them that his style needs.
Auba, Xhaka, Partey would be my preferred takers.

A Voice in the Noise

Oh, and Pepe, once he’s back..

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

David Luiz last scored a direct free-kick goal on the 31st of January 2017. It was in the 2016-17 season against Liverpool in the Premier League.

A 24th minute opener but the score finished 1-1

Rambling Mind

Don’t be ridiculous. A win against Spurs????? We’d take the draw right this instant. Be lucky if Spurs don’t humiliate us.


No point turning up if that’s going to be the attitude.


Arteta has only managed a few cup games and a few league games well. I understand the defence was a shambles, but the players themselves need to take a look at each other and think that they too are equally culpable. They let Emery down as well. I don’t think Bellerin is good enough, Mustafi and Sokratis clearly weren’t, neither is Luiz and Chambers and Holding are ok. Tierney started off well, but has badly regressed and seems very reluctant to play forwards and can get rinsed quite easily by fast wingers. Gabriel looks the part and Tierney has time,… Read more »


Bellerin is one of our only players to draw real interest from top clubs the past few years – he’s been linked repeatedly with Juventus, PSG and Barcelona. He’s one of the better right backs in Europe. I really don’t get why so many Arsenal fans don’t rate him. If he leaves it will almost assuredly be for a much bigger club.


I disagree. Being linked to the clubs you mention has never amounted to anything. I believe it to be typical newspaper rumours. If any club was serious Arsenal would have sold him. Other than Iwobi, which was hilarious, we’ve struggled to offload any players for any serious money. We got good money for Martinez, but Villa needed a good keeper and good keepers are in demand. Other than those, we cant shift anyone. They are not good enough to progress Arsenal to challenge amongst the top teams. The table, form and statistics cannot lie.


The clubs you are linked with often says a lot about how other teams/clubs view player & we’ve had some players over the past few years who were seriously underrated by fans & managers alike. Szczensy was shipped off to start for Juventus while Gnabry was only viewed as worth a new contract & an opportunity to play here after he lit up the Olympics. He’s currently one of the best wingers in the world. Yunus Musah is very promising at Valencia after leaving Arsenal due to better opportunities to play abroad etc. We have a couple of players who… Read more »


Hleb and Song went to Barca, not sure that’s the best baromoter.

Hector has lost the one thing that gave him a real edge since the injuries, he is fairly average overall. These clubs are likely banking on him returning to that potential, as are we.


He had plenty of speed to race back 50 yards yesterday to make a sliding block. He’s also playing well enough to have made the Spain squad recently. Stick him in a good team and he’ll look much better. If he looks “average” it’s largely down to what a mess of a team Arsenal has been for 3-4 years now


Well I hope you’re right as he is one of ours and I’d love for him to rediscover that form but I just don’t see it at the moment overall.

It’s not that he can’t run back it’s that it isn’t quite as electric as before and constant.


For much of Wenger’s later years our fullbacks both just bombed forward and didn’t really worry about defense. It made for some great viewing – especially against smaller sides where we would win 4-2, but didn’t really work against larger teams. Bellerin’s primary asset was he was a converted winger with electric pace playing almost like an extra winger. We ditched the free flowing football Wenger’s last year and actually looked pretty similar style wise to what we saw under Emery & Arteta. Bellerin is being asked to do a lot more actual defending under Emery & Arteta and that… Read more »


I love Hector…he provides attacking threat when he gets forward but sadly he’s not a very good defender.


In other words, he’s a crap right back.
Agree with you on that one.

Am a fan of Bellerin, but we should’ve sold him when the money was on the table. Cash in on one of the few valuable assets the club still has and then buy a bloody midfielder.

Another Paul

Linked to top clubs by agents and click bait. Who has made an offer for him ?


He has the time if the Board and the fans give him the time…the most successful manager in this country was on the verge of getting sacked but he won a cup final and went on to dominate the League for over a decade with United. I’m not saying Arteta is Alex Ferguson or Pep but the Board decided to take a punt on him and relegation aside it would be remiss for them to abandon what he’s trying to do which is overhaul this appalling squad which has deteriorated for years now. The FA Cup was brilliant and it… Read more »


People forget though that SAF wasn’t a new manager at that point. He had managed for 12 years prior to joining Man U and had won a major European trophy with Aberdeen.


I am sure I was not the only Gooner screaming at the TV last night last. I mean the amount of times Ceballos or Xakha had the ball, I was thinking just pass it to the full back for fucks sake they’re not tightly marked, but over and over again the passes were going back to the CBacks. It really started to grate on me last night. WTF has happened to that once promising pairing of Xakha Ceballos, they looked pretty decent during project restart but they increasingly look like the worst MF pairing in the league! I too think… Read more »

Press Box Gooner

Agree totally with the micro-management aspect. It must be like having a nagging wife, husband or parent – in the end it becomes totally demoralising. Emery was the same, but I don’t see the best managers – Klopp, Fergie et al – always on their players’ cases.


Perhaps that’s because they actually have the players that can do what’s being asked of them?


I have to say I wasn’t shouting at the TV. I have become resigned to how bad we have become and I found it sadly predictable. Spurs should batter us at the weekend , and the only way we can avoid that is to play so far above our current ability or be blessed with good fortune. But I have comes to terms with us being terrible. Acceptance is the path to peace!! 🙂


I hear you but I have been bottling this up and last night I had to let rip for my own sanity.


I turned off the TV at 1-2, and decided to check the result this morning, simply to not ruin my mood for another evening. It’s rare for me to think “we can actually get back in this game, but even if we did, it probably won’t be worth watching for another hour to find out” – it’s horrid. I found my evening less of a waste having done laundry, and cleaned some wine glasses left over from Saturday evening. I’m fed up torturing or boring myself to agony because I keep hoping it might be even remotely entertaining to watch… Read more »


I’m on your bus…I worked out that we’re probably going to finish 12th this season and anything above that will be a bonus. Being resigned to the fact that we aren’t very good doesn’t mean that you love the club any less it’s just like accepting your child isn’t going to become a concert pianist or a brain surgeon lol


Right with you on the screaming at the TV. But to repeat what I said last night, Xhaka – Ceballos isn’t the best pairing when next to each other. Someone else has to partner Xhaka (Partey or Elneny, as the other options are out on loan) and Ceballos can play slightly more upfront.

Press Box Gooner

The ‘senior players’ are probably otherwise engaged counting their money. The quartet of 30-somethings – Messrs Auba, Willian, Ozil and Luiz – collectively trouser more than £1m a week. IMO, given the return on ‘investment’, that’s mismanagement on an industrial scale.


What is Özil doing here? You know he isn’t registered because he is not good enough, right? lol Not good enough to play but good enough to be the scapeogat again? lol


exactly, yeh we that amazing as a team because we have players who run and run with great body language and who are not just walking around.
shame they dont know what to do when they actually get the ball at their feet

the whole management team with whoever called it at the top to ostracise a player should be held responsible for the shit show that we have become

Press Box Gooner

He’s there because his £350k a week pay packet is the worst example of ‘mismanagement on an industrial scale’.


Paying a world class player £350k a week and playing him.

Paying a world class player £350k a week and deliberately not playing him.

Now – you tell me which example is the worst example of mismanagement.

Take your time, mate…….


I don’t know any club who has a world class player under contract getting paid 350k and doesn’t play him.
Not sure how this is related to the topic.
Arsenal pays a has been pensioner 350k per week, but I am not sure what the connection to world class players is here.


Give us your blame-list in a ‘Fortnite’, although I have a feeling Arteta still won’t be on there!

Auba Auba Laca partey

what strikes me the most is again the lack of hunger in the first half, we were not at the races and lost the game there and then. The midfield is a real struggle for us, which is funny as Arteta was a total midfield AM to relay to DM. I really like him but something is obviously not working. On the blog today you mentioned the lack of personel, I don’t think Aston Villa, Brighton or Wolves or even Leicester has a better personel but they just are better drilled, they always seem to have an option for a… Read more »


The difference between Willian and Nelson is that Nelson is desperate to impress. He presses the issue when he comes on so he’ll always be prone to mistakes, bad crosses, etc. I’ll take that any day, even if we were playing 2013 Barcelona, over Willian’s disinterested trundling around. He played 2 good crosses yesterday, that was the sum total of his contribution. I’d literally rather have Gervinho than Willian.


Its because the players don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Too many tedious instructions. too much micromanaging from MA. Looking at them, its all hesitation.

And during the game it looks like a lack of application/energy.

Of course, it could be the latter, as well!


Where is our captain?


Counting his £400 000 per week.


Off topic. Could it be as bad as Emery was he was subbotaged by the hierarchy. He wanted zaha over Pepe. Wanted Partey as first choice signing. Got neither of them. The club reeks of a decade rot of mismanagement which essentially boils back to the owners and their attention as to what is happening. We could be staring at years of rot. It could get worse. Think we all need to readjust expectations. I am trying but it ain’t easy when you can see what different things might help in the short term future. MA played auba centrally after… Read more »


I think we will be lucky to finish mid table this season. Maybe a few transfer windows and some joined up thinking could help us push above that , but anyone expecting us to challenge for the PL will be waiting a long time, possibly another 16 years.


It comes to a point where you have to ask, is it really just about not getting the players certain manager want? I’ve seen better coached teams with players that certainly “wouldn’t make it” at Arsenal. Take a look at Leeds for example, very exciting team to watch, and they have a fantastic coach on Bielsa, and name by name we’re better than them, we just aren’t as organized and well coached as them, as they play with a structure, something we’re severely lacking in the last years. Maybe, just maybe, we appointed managers who weren’t up to the task.… Read more »


I believed that Arteta was not the man for this club at this time, because we had gone very long without winning the league, and that is a lot to put on a thirty eight year old manager. Ancelotti, Allegri or similar was what I thought was required. Now that we have appointed him, I think we might as give him a proper chance (which we didn’t really give Emery, but the standard for a 45 year old manager is just higher, fairly or unfairly). I would suggest the time to review proper is May 2022 (maybe even 2023). After… Read more »


Are you high? If we had a distinct playing style under Arteta, I’d agree with the May 2022 point. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that Arteta’s just making it up as he goes along. Let’s not even mention Ozil. Consider what else has happened in the past year – AMN, Guendouzi, Willian over Pepe, Auba at 9, waiting last minute to sign Partey (which indicates a preference for Aouar), selling Emi and then signing Runnarson as 2nd keeper in a condensed season, not rating Torreira and Martinelli at all. Don’t even start with the FA Cup win. If it was… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

It’s all very well blaming the manager but that’s a vicious cycle that can last for decades. I (maybe naively) have faith in Arteta but a couple of the senior players are now pulling the same stunt as they did under Emery, basically downing tools. I was hoping for a top-six finish which is still attainable if we’re able to turn things around and that’s not going to happen without a lot of blood on the tracks… Let the carnage begin.


The best change that we should have is a tea that doesn’t have Xhaka, Willian, Lacazette, even Auba as he was yesterday. Would rather see Willock, ESR, Nelson (I know he didn’t work out yesterday), and the like. These players need a serious degree of motivation (both sets).


Arteta is not the right man for Arsenal. He does not believe in attacking
play. Look at what he has done to attack minded players like TIERNEY
Each ball he gets he thinks of defence, kick back instead of carrying the ball forward. He has killed the form of all our strikers


The thing is – the managers we are facing have done 10 years+ of Management the hard way. They’ve had the boos, the egos, the politics. Many or most of them have been fired, changed jobs and started again.

Nuno Espirito is included in that. I like Arteta and think he will do well, in time, but I’m not convinced you can replace or replicate all that experience that his counterparts have. We’re paying for that in points, which may very well be intentional, expected or even acceptable to some.

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

I think Nuno is a fantastic coach and a very charismatic person. However his loyalty to shady Jorge Mendes is what has cost him in his previous jobs.

The Valencia fans hated Nino because of it. Nuno and Mendes have an unwritten agreement agreement that Gestifute players are always priority signings even they might not be as good as Jota etc. The motivation for Wolves, the owners, coaches, players, is financial gain not success.

I do agree with the points you made regarding experience. The lack of it is really showing

David J M

Joe Willock talks about fluidity. Fluidity is certainly what is absent at the moment. To rigid, inflexible, and s l o w.

Artetas Assistant

Warning , read at your own risk of incomprehension Being fluid comes with (being comfortable in your own skin) not being PTSDd. Arsenal players look PTSDd . In my third eye view Mikel is leaning into his negative habits . Mikel is a hybrid, closer to the Mou than the Wenger (Cr7 than the Messi). From the energy around his subjects He’s calling too much on his Mourinho and less on his Wenger and if he doesn’t mature quickly and wean himself of that behavior , it’ll end in a load more toxicity. It’s an energy where they expect too… Read more »


Top 4? Bahahahahaha! Blogs you can’t be serious. We’re headed in the complete opposite direction. This squad is a dumpster fire, and nobody should be shocked at the results.


Well, that’s half the battle I guess. Doing something that actually works is the far harder half though. Whatever the “plan” has been this season (in the PL at least) hasn’t worked and obviously isn’t working. Relying on strengthening the defence at the expense of the attack has failed and we have neither now. The crucial question is: is there a workable Plan B? Arsenal are in trouble and we have to rely upon the most inexperienced manager of any of the so called PL “Big Clubs” to get us out of it. I do feel sympathy for Arteta because… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

Arsenal too painful a team to watch during a pandemic. Arteta has one pathway forward now given the senior players apathy towards winning as demonstrated by the captains weak attempt at a header, he has to lean into the youth. Same senior squad that downed tools for Emery. The youth will fight for the badge, that’s all I want now. I don’t care if its pretty football, I want to see players emotionally invested in the outcome of the game. We don’t have that again and it has to be fixed asap. Blow it up and start over. Arsene’s rule… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

That Arsene was an extreme of something . Mikel seems to be leaning into the other extreme now. Extremes aren’t good


Playing Spuds right now might actually be a good thing. Arteta can concentrate on playing his tried-and-tested rigid, defensive formation and try to nick a 1-0 win or a draw. Even a narrow defeat against Maureen’s boys wouldn’t look too bad.

But a massive defeat could spell the end for him.


I was personally happy with him playing that system. Very hard to watch but at least with a sense that you won’t concede twice I had a little hope going into games. My only wish was us moving the ball forward faster in that system New system and less security at the back, no improvement in attack and now his captain being played out of position into a position where he’s lost and almost useless due to pressure to find a quick fix, all hope is gone. If we try out what we did last night against spurs, I fear… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

If you stay under guidance and yelling for extended periods , your muscles are actually sickened . PTSD .
It’s not as easy as a system now


I just checked and the last time David Luiz scored from a free kick was the 16/17 season. Why is he still stepping up to waste them?


Look at the reaction from Aubameyang when it skied over. You are the captain man, have a word, don’t just suffer silently like the rest of us.

At least some of us scream at the TV when he steps up to boot them over


Lingering ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League – is this some kind of joke ? We are a long way off that,we will be lucky to avoid a relegation battle.I don’t think we will go down,we will probably finish around when we are now, best we can hope for is a cup run.

Ambazonian Gunner

Clearly and understandably, our players have lost respect for Arteta and they do not trust “the process” (whatever that is). 1. Arteta was never a great player. He was an average midfielder at best who was never selected to play for his country at the seniour level. Most of our players have had (are having) much better player playing career than he ever had. So he cannot earn their respect in that regard. He is no Zidane or Pirlo nor Wenger or Mourinho 2. Arteta came in with ZERO managerial experience at any level. And that inexperience is clearly showing… Read more »


non negotiable fatwas made me laugh out loud.
Arteta is a spontaneity killer. From Wenger, to these types (Emery, Arteta). How the Arsenal suffers.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Now don’t get me wrong, the Lego haired gaffer is still a mighty improvement on the other Spaniard but did we lose three home games in row under him? And did we ever fear a hiding against those scumbags up the road as we’re feeling now?


Real question : if you were not performing in your own job by the most obvious parameters , what would happen ? At my place , after a sustained period of obvious failings, you would be placed on performance improvement plan with a view to get better at your job. Given Edu’s business background before he worked for the Brazil national team , do you think Arteta will be set short term targets to hit ?

Bodie CI5

While he keeps picking xhaka and bellerin week in week out we will continue to play very bad
and probably continue to lose or draw games,

Benjamin Stokes

Why is everyone saying arteta has fixed the defence. Rubbish, I never seen arsenal play this bad, we all thought arteta would make us champions again, wrong at least under emery we was scoring. Auba is a bad captain, we pay 27m for saliba and he’s not even named in the team. Arteta should of helped guendozi and torreria, and what a shambles with ozil and socratas, how come party joins then becomes a arsenal player, always injured. As for belerin and holding both can’t defend then there’s leno, he should of been sold not martinez. Under martinez we looked… Read more »

Teryima Adi

We trust the Manager and players to fix this mess.


The team seems to be stuck in the same stagnate pattern as during the last Wenger years and under Emery. Arteta wants to play possession football, but his players are lousy without the ball. They don’t make themselves visible and available. I think this play-out-from-behind thing is hard to learn mid-career. It has to be drilled in the academy years. Forward, tactics have actually improved since Emery, who did not want to attack under any circumstances. They obviously have permission to attempt to go forward cuickly after winning the ball. But again, the mojo is lacking. We have good players,… Read more »


A lot of good points. I think it is important to recognise that we’ve been in decline on the pitch for quite a while now. It did start with Wenger and we haven’t managed to break out of it (for several reasons) since. The odd cup win or final merely mask the problems in the PL, which is the bread and butter – literally. On paper, we certainly do have good players – how can, for example, Auba go from golden boot hero is almost zero within a few months? The change needs to come – can only come –… Read more »


Someone mentioned it yesterday and Ambrose also pointed out some salient facts today in Tactics. But I feel we need to get back to basics. Without Partey, I don’t think we can transition to a back 4 just yet and we may be better off next weekend in a back 3 particularly given pace of opponents on the break. Its still lobsided skewered towards our left (as our right side options are not great) but at very least we may enjoy a bit more security 3-4-3 : …………..Auba…………Laca……………..Willian………… Saka………..Granit………………Ceballos……….Bellerin ………..Tierney………..Luiz……….Maghalaes…………… …………………………..Leno…………………………………… This was what worked previously and I expect it… Read more »


Surely, AMN may as well get given his chance to play in the Midfield ???

What is Arteta seeing, that is preventing him from being given a chance in the Midfield over the current Ceballos/Xhaka midfield ?

I’d rather give him a shot, surely for gods sake it would be better than our current mis-firing midfield.


I miss Santi Cazorla. I like that Partey seems to have an idea of what he wants to do when he’s out there. I don’t get that feeling with the rest of the midfield setup though.


If Cazorla was still with us, do you honestly believe that he would have been allowed to enjoy the freedom of expression that he (quite rightly) had with Wenger at the helm?

What’s more likely is that old Lego Head would have omitted him from the squad – along with Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, even himself – and anyone else not prepared to keep the passing from being restricted to sideways and backwards.

It’s a wonder the lads can fart out on the pitch without being shouted a compass direction to aim the wind.


Currently playing safe whilst being overcoached into pretty formations Sorry but !!!! Football is about desire it’s about skill and pace It’s about wanting to win not wanting not to lose ! We have got some class players but they are playing with the handbrake on Can we not get back to a bit of creativity a bit of desire and a will to win for the players themselves and for the fans who crave some positivity around the club ! Said it for years I’ve got a Blue Peter badge but it doesn’t make me a telly presenter same… Read more »

Dave Roberts

On the attack, we play just two tactical options; out to the wing for a cross, or a pass from around midfield to catch a forward breaking through. It’s simply not enough. We need to have multiple players attempting to dribble the ball through the middle, regardless of the defenders. A midfield attack will at least draw defenders to the ball, thereby freeing up other attackers.

Dave Roberts

On the defense, we need to immediately switch back to a 3 man line. We’re giving up too many goals since we changed to 2 defenders + 2 wing backs.


This fan base makes it so easy to be an Arsenal player. Whenever they don’t preform, it’s the manager. It’s never the fan bases favorite players not performing or showing leadership on the pitch. It’s always the manager. No wonder even the captains hide during rough periods, they know the fan base will make excuses for them and point the finger at the manager. These players are not good enough. Kroenke needs to give this club a Chelsea style summer or as a fan base we have to accept that this club is a mid table side now, filled with… Read more »

The optimist who endures Arsenal

Whenever I look at our fixture list, I wince. Shows how much we’ve fallen over these last few years. This is what happens when you persevere with players like Xhaka in midfield. Most of us could see after a year that he was the wrong fit, yet for years we’ve continued playing him for some unknown reason and here we are. I name him as our midfield creativity has declined the most in those years. We pin our hopes on players like Ceballos for brief flashes of creativity now. We have to beat teams like Burnley as we run up… Read more »

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