3 defeats in 4 fixtures have put the spotlight on some of Mikel Arteta’s decisions.
I like the Spaniard and want him to succeed, but for too long he has gotten away with the amount of talent he simply has given up on.
As a rookie manager he has been taught that it’s okay to wash his hands on a player if they don’t suit his ethos.
An employer with ambition would insist that part of his job criteria should be to get the best out of the resources he has.
The irony being that at Man City his strength was supposed to be his ability on the training field to improve individuals.
That’s not to say our boss is always wrong.
There are some names on this list who need to take accountability but the fact I can make nearly an entire 11 out of players he’s frozen out/mismanaged means it can’t be a coincidence.
Leno – GK
Don’t get me wrong Leno was making too many errors to remain our number 1.
Yet with the German media he’s adamant that his boss is yet to give any kind of indication why he’s been dropped.
I should stress that on international duty it’s common for players to be misquoted. I also think our keeper should have the mentality to see for himself he hasn’t been performing at the required levels.
Yet if the player’s version is true, working with the same person every day without a conversation as to why you have been benched must be an awkward working environment?
This mystifies me.
Saliba was signed in 2019 for 30 million yet is still to kick a ball for us.
There’s even talk that all parties are open to a permanent transfer in the summer which would cement the defender as the biggest waste of money in our history.
Surely in the interview process Arteta didn’t claim he intended to pour a 30-million-pound asset down the drain?
While we market the Prem as the best in the world it would be arrogant to say that years performing in Ligue 1 isn’t enough for a chance in the worst Arsenal squad in 25 years?
That’s the point. If we were challenging for the title, it would make sense, but two 8th place finishes make it hard to believe that Saliba doesn’t deserve a chance.
All the more bizarre when we are playing Kolasinac in a back three at the Etihad?
At first it seemed the club were trying to protect the youngster.
Losing both his parents as a teenager led Arsenal to believe the defender to would be more settled in his own country.
Yet subsequent interviews indicate that the defender doesn’t agree with the assessment that he’s not ready for English Football and that he’s not really been part of those discussions..
In his first season as a manager, Sokratis was the exception to Arteta’s rule.
The Spaniard quickly had a shortlist of players he simply didn’t feel suited his ethos.
He quickly decided that the Greek defender didn’t have the attributes to do what he required in his centre backs to do.
The few times he did play him was actually at right back.
Unlike a Guendouzi or Ozil, the manager had told Sokratis’s agent he could leave, but was happy to keep him in the squad because he trusted him as a professional.
The opposite happened that summer when Arsenal didn’t register the player in either their domestic or European squads because they thought he had arranged a transfer.
If nothing else, he was an experienced body who could do a job in the Europa League group stages.
It essentially meant they were paying someone 100,000+ pounds a week to sit at home from August – January, at which point they mutually ripped up his contract.
Imagine going into work every day knowing full well that if your employers had their way, they would have got you off the wage bill years ago.
I guess a 100,000 pounds a week salary helps you get over it.
After a failed attempt to teach the full back how to play in a three, based on it working for Tierney, Kolasinac was loaned to Schalke.
The deal pretty much was the German club could keep him for nothing, they simply had to take over his contract. This suited the player fine.
Relegation from the Bundesliga meant that Schalke were in no position to pay that kind of earnings. A feeling shared around the world.
Kolasinac is an Arsenal player in 2021 because no one else will pay him what we will.
He will be aware of that fact.
So why Arteta thought he would have the confidence to suddenly start in a back 3 at Man City remains unanswered.
Maitland Niles (RB)
The player himself doesn’t see full back as his position but for 5 years and under 3 managers, that’s the role he’s been trusted with.
Given that this has been the worst Arsenal squad in decades, if you can’t break into our midfield now, then you never will.
Why then did Arteta personally ask the board not to sanction a 20-million-pound move to Wolves?
With zero Match Day revenue, we were not in a position to not be refusing such a sum for a makeshift left or right back.
It’s like the Spaniard doesn’t quite trust him but doesn’t want him elsewhere just in case he fulfils his potential.
12 months later Everton are only now prepared to ask for a loan.
The player wanted the move because he realises, he’s not (at the Emirates) going to be the midfielder that only exists in his own mind.
Arteta made him train with the kids for venting his frustration before clear the air talks …. for now.
Having warned the youngster about his attitude already, Arteta lost patience with Guendouzi when his response to losing at Brighton was to boast about his salary.
A refusal to say sorry means the midfielder hasn’t played for us since.
Our manager would lie in press conferences, saying in the two preseasons since that the player would be given a fresh start and judged on footballing merit.
Will not play for us again unless we change managers in the near future.
While subsequent loans have equally seen managers and owners question the players behaviour, he’s playing better than any of our CM’s.
Arsenal were put in an awkward PR position when Torreira’s father went to the South American press and pleaded with the Gunners to allow his son to return home to grieve with his family after the death of his mother.
For that to happen Arsenal would have to agree to a reduced transfer fee.
It was naive to expect any business to just write off money, but this was at a time the club were trying to take the moral high ground on how the likes of Ozil were prioritising cash over playing.
The fact the midfielder accepted loans to Spain and now Italy highlights better management could have kept him in England.
He’s indicated that in interviews that he was not happy that Arteta tried to play him as an attacking midfielder when it was obvious he was a DM.
He feels this cost him his place with Uruguay.
Wherever it was purely a footballing decision why Ozil for 9 months was paid to sit at home is debatable to this very day.
What we know is that Ozil assisted our winner against West Ham in March 2020, but little did he know would never pull on an Arsenal shirt again. He wouldn’t even make the bench again.
Even when Arteta could name 9 subs in the FA Cup Final, he insisted that it was a footballing decision to name a young Matt Smith ahead of a World Cup winner.
The players agent always insisted his client would honour his contract no matter the methods Arsenal tried to force the player to quit.
These included banning him from Wembley to celebrate the Cup Final win and leaking out his refusal to accept a 12.5 pay cut.
Ozil correctly predicted his employers were lying and would make staff redundant regardless.
While Ozil has suggested his stance, as well as his political comments towards China’s treatment of Muslims, was the reason he wasn’t registered in any Arsenal’s squads, Arteta maintained it was his choice.
He even said he failed his ex-teammate.
If true, it doesn’t reflect well on his judgement.
Arsenal haven’t replaced the German’s creativity and are no longer entertaining to watch.
When you’re losing three of your last 4 games and someone who cost 72 million is sat on the bench, our owners have every right to ask why.
Especially given our overall failure to make that many chances in games.
Luckily for our manager, the Kroenke Family wouldn’t have known we were playing Monday, let alone were they watching it.
While the player has to take ownership for never justifying his record fee, this could be one player too far in who Arteta simply gives up on.
There’s talent in the winger and a coach’s job is to get that out of a player, not freeze him out.
The latest theory is that while Arteta and Edu consider if they want to transfer the Ivorian, they don’t see the point in triggering a clause that would mean they owe Lille more money.
It’s believed they were happy to buy Pepe due to Lille’s generous repayment plan.
Each scheduled payment is based apparently on the number of games played.
Arsenal making a decision where saving money is prioritised over what’s best for the team wouldn’t be a shock in 2021.
Started recently but long overdue. It took a stunning volley at home to Newcastle for Arteta to be pressured into starting him.
Has been so overlooked there’s a genuine fear we might lose this talent to another club.
When we needed a goal at Brighton and Anfield, Gabi was left on the bench.
It took Palace to go 2-1 up for the Brazilian to be brought on.
It goes back further though. Many Gooners questioned why he didn’t start in the Europa League Semi-Finals having been in good form.
In theory our manager should be in love with the player.
The attacker plays in a manner that seems perfect for Arteta’s style.
He works hard, presses, never stops running, etc
Striker – Eddie Nketiah
Sky Sports have reported that Eddie Nketiah has refused to extend a contract that expires this summer.
If the reason was motivated by money, you might understand the standoff but apparently the striker’s frustration is lack of opportunities.
I agree with the assertion that the 20-year-old isn’t quite at the level required, yet Arteta’s handling of the situation is puzzling.
Since being appointed as manager, the Spaniard plays Eddie in the occasional cup tie but rarely starts him in the Prem.
It’s common for him not to even make the bench.
Yet the player refuses to sign a new contract and suddenly his manager is picking him ahead of Aubameyang?
It’s almost like someone has pointed out that Eddie meets the home-grown quota so it’s worth keeping him.
Why not do this months ago?
Why wait till the player, within weeks, can sign with a club abroad to now try and massage his ego?
A lot of these decisions have often been followed by a lack of transparency.
While I don’t feel comfortable questioning anyone’s legacy, I find it hard to believe Arteta believes everything he says.
For example, as a former player himself, he knew we didn’t have a more creative player then Ozil.
As recently as Monday he was trying to keep a straight face when trying to convince the media that he genuinely thought Eddie was a better source to goal than Auba or a Pepe.
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