Sunday, May 19, 2024

Round: Arsenal can become a real force

Steve Round believes Arsenal have put in place the foundations to become a ‘real force’ with Mikel Arteta building a young squad imbued with ‘togetherness and spirit’.

The 51-year-old assistant coach was the Spaniard’s first appointment when he returned to Emirates Stadium in December 2019 and he’s witnessed first-hand the raft of changes that have been implemented behind the scenes during testing times for the club.

While it remains to be seen if Arsenal can cap off a season of encouraging improvement with qualification for the Champions League, Round, who tends to shy away from the limelight, is certain that the club is heading in the right direction.

“In Mikel Arteta, we’ve got an exceptional manager – there’s no doubt about that,” Round told the official matchday programme ahead of the win over Manchester United.

“And an incredible person too, the sky’s the limit for him.

“The job he’s done over the past couple of years is amazing – the changes he’s made and how he’s started to develop this exciting, fresh new team.

“He’s building a real togetherness and spirit, not only with the players but within the whole club.”

He continued: “There’s been huge change at the club and we’ve now got a really fresh and exciting team.

“When you are developing like this, you know there are going to be bumps in the road, of course there are. But they are starting to build a resilience, a robustness, a spirt and a cohesive togetherness which is really exciting.

“They have gelled. When they lose they are devastated – devastated for each other, the team and the fans. And when they win they are so together and spirited. The connection is definitely there and it’s a joy to be a part of.

“Yes we need to improve, yes we need to be better and more consistent, but when you realise the average age of this squad – the next three or four years look very exciting.

“There’s something here we can get behind and if we keep developing we can become a real, real force for years to come, I’m sure.”

Round also paid tribute to the contribution of his fellow coaches, which, in addition to the experienced Albert Stuivenberg, includes two twenty-somethings in Miguel Molina and Carlos Cuesta and new set piece coach Nicolas Jover.

“At the club right now, we’ve got a lot of talented colleagues behind the scenes,” he explained.

“We’ve all got different roles to look at within the game, and Mikel takes all that information, processes it and then uses it with his own perspective.

“I’ve got to say we’ve got an exceptional coaching team around us, and although some of them are young, their knowledge is just amazing.

“They are incredibly good communicators and very forward-thinking in the way they use technology and get their message across. That’s very applicable to the new modern player.

“It’s important to have a lot of communication throughout the coaching group, we have diverse thinkers but everybody is on the same page and has the same aligned culture. We want to develop every day and everyone within the club and Mikel is very big on this. We share everything, we’re very open-minded.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

Andrew M – Hey Andrew, we spoke about you putting a post up today but I’m yet to see any evidence of it.

Andrew A – (Boilk) (Leans out of bed and grabs a match day programme from the previous weekend) Yeah, just proof reading it boss. Will have it up ASAP.

To himself – How do you cut and paste a physical copy?


All Arsenal innit?


When are you getting your own blog?


I wonder if he will call it “Hatsblog” or “Arsehats”…


Les chapeaux anglais…


What the fuck was that post about? Attempt at comedy? Criticising the article? Just being a wanker? Must be a cultural difference and/or my weak English – I do not understand the intent (or point).


Am I understanding this correctly?
“Hey Andrew, we spoke about you putting a post up today”… you were asking for a piece to be published on the site? You are trying to be a part of the Arseblog team?

If that’s the case it seems to me making snarky comments about other writers isn’t going to serve you well…


Not your finest moment, Johnny.

Also, not even close to how this works.

As Andrews, we communicate telepathically.

Johnny 4 Hats

Sorry Blogs. Sometimes they work and sometimes you read them back and go, “Ah, yeah, that doesn’t read great”.

But it is touching to see so many rush to yours and Andrew’s defence.

Well done all. I feel very much like Declan Rice on Sunday, being quickly surrounded by irate red shirts. And I feel like a bit of a cunt too. So yeah, feeling very Declan.


All good man


Don’t be too hard on yourself, Johnny. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. For me, the only negative side to your post was that it deflected from the fact that it was actually a well-Rounded piece.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

That must be h-andy.

DB10s Air miles

I thought it was quite funny. I don’t think any offence was intended, just a bit of banter because you seem like funny dudes who would take it in the spirit it was intended. Top reply by Andrew A BTW.


I thought it was funny, light hearted ribbing.

If you look at all J4H’s posts he’s clearly someone who uses humour to mask some deep-seated pain (Brooking header in ‘80?).


Hope we keep Arteta, Saka, ESR, Martinelli, Odegaard, Gabriel, White, Saliba, Tierney, Tomi, Partey, Ramsdale, Rob for many years to come. Plus we add one or two others of similar quality.

Looking so much better than the previous few years….

Nainsley Aitland Miles

So pretty much everyone except Eddie and anyone 29 or over (Leno, Elneny, Xhaka, Laca, Cedric). I don’t think we will shed that much experience this summer.

I reckon Arteta and the club would ideally like to keep Xhaka, Elneny, and Nketiah for next season if they can.

A Different George

The set-piece coach thing looks pretty good after scoring twice against a David Moyes-led West Ham. David was not happy. Argued with the reporter interviewing him that the (old and discontinued) interpretation should have ruled out our second goal because it inadvertently glanced off Holding’s arm before eventually being recovered by Martinelli and crossed to Gabriel. Wouldn’t listen when the reporter explained it. Very sour. I laughed.


Hahaha we just lucky but not yet a champions league team.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m hoping for the perfect scenario to what would a very good, some might say unexpected season.

Just imagine they lose to Liverpool.
We beat Leeds.
We go there with a 5 point gap, and beat them to seal our spot and end their hopes.

Please let it happen that way.
1 game at a time though.

Cosby white

No doubt that’s how’s gonna play out


Fingers crossed. I’m nervous of an improved Leeds side fighting for their survival. Equally nervous that we’ll rested Spuds will do something against Liverpool. Mostly I’m nervous all the time these days. James said watching Utd after the result was relaxing… can I go into hibernation until June?


*well rested. Grr

How about an Edit button Mr Mangan? I hear they are all the rage these days…

That’s a whole lot of pieces to all fall into place.

There will be another twist yet. There always is.

Sp*ds final two fixtures (Burnley (H), Norwich (A)) are much kinder than ours (Newcastle (A), Everton (H)).

So we will need them to drop points at Anfield for us to claim 4th but they have rode their luck all season and even with a two-man-team you just never know. We have to go to Newcastle who are unpredictable but have won 10 out of their last 15 since the January transfer window


It would be a Happy St Totteringham’s Day at the Armitage Shanks.

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