I’ve criticized Arteta before but Arsenal are proving they are the real deal this season

It’s a different Arsenal this season by Konstantin Mitov

Welcome lovely people, to a new Arsenal. It’s been a crazy PL weekend. Spurs lost 2:1 after being 1:0 till the 91st minute, then Chelsea and City produced a classic for the years with more atrocious VAR decisions. Honestly I’m not even bothered anymore, refereeing has become an absolute joke.

Now, if you told me 3 years ago, Arsenal will beat Burnley by crossing balls into the box and dominating the Clarets in the air, I’d be having a pure laugh. Saliba was an absolute king again. I think we’ve scored the most goals from set pieces this season so far. We’re also joint best defence with Liverpool conceding 10 goals so far.
I think it’s obvious our style has changed. We used to start games flying out of the traps, but so far we haven’t scored in the first 15 minutes this season in the league. I know there are some injuries. Jesus up top brings our attack to a new level, Odegaard, who I know is injured, hasn’t reached the levels of last year, Zinny had a good last game, but he hasn’t reached the levels of last season.
Partey I think is the biggest miss to our style of play though. We don’t have another player who can transition the ball like he does, but his injury record isn’t great and I expect him to be moved on to a slower league like Serie A where he might thrive if he can stay fit. I actually want to shout out Jorginho, who is doing a decent job even though he wouldn’t have played nearly as much games had certain other players be fit.
Another problem in our midfield is the fact that we haven’t really replaced Xhaka. Kai Havertz had another shocker. And it’s not even the misses that annoy me the most, it’s the lack of application. For example, I don’t think Eddie is good enough, but at least I see the effort. Havertz’s press seems half-hearted as well as his touches.
Unfortunately he’ll be back in the squad as Vieira who actually had some good appearances for us, got a stupid red card, and Smith-Rowe is injured again. I think he’s another player who we’ll look to move on soon. Up top Trossard did a good job and I definitely think he should be our choice if Jesus is missing, as he brings players into the game similarly to the Brazilian.
That said a new striker in January should be an absolute priority. But after all those points, there’s the school of thought we’ve been a more reserved side by design. Last season we went gung-ho and eventually tired out, now we try to control games more. There is some truth to this, but I do think we’re more so adapting to the previous points and we’re also trying to use more of the squad. Although we keep squeezing every drop out of Saka despite giving Reiss a new contract.
I must say, I enjoyed how we played more last season. It was exciting, it got me believing. I remembered why I liked Arsenal in the first place, the football was electric! Ultimately the verdict will come down to whether this new approach delivers a major trophy or not.

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  1. Spot on kostantinov.I think arteta to has seen the mistakes of last season of starting the games too fast and then tire out later. Probably the reason for bringing harvetz to slow the tempo down. But that has nullified our ability to spring a surprise on the opposition before the regain thier defensive shape. Harvetz has been a bad buyand there is nothing we can do about it. But after 10 games , his application is atrocious and I don’t see how arteta can improve him. Almost as if afraid to touch the ball. Doesn’t seem strong footed for an 8 . He is one of the reasons we play slower now.we won’t know if that proves to be positive or negative until the end of the season. Toney is a must in January for our crosses to be utilized. Can’t wait for timber to get back.

  2. Havertz isn’t as technical as Odegaard and Zinchenko, but his height allows us to make more lobs

    He hasn’t scored from an open play, but he’s been making us win aerial challenges

    1. He’s winning headers but the direction of his headers are abysmal.

      It’s sad when we hope the Chelsea flop we signed can eventually turned into a Marouane Fellaini because he can win headers

        1. Please stop the comparison with Fellaini. MF was a success at Everton 33 goals, 26 assist in 177 games, . Kai has 32 goals, 15 assists in a much better CFC team.
          MF tried hard for ManU but fell short, Kai hardly tries. Another player happy with the big money, has nothing to prove to anyone as he has got his bumper wages covered for the next few years. If money does not motivate him, nothing will. Our gaffer was stupid to dream of converting a Dacia into a Benz. It never happens in real life.

          1. Fellaini scored 12 goals from 119 EPL games for Man United, whereas Havertz scored 19 goals from 91 EPL games for Chelsea

            If Havertz didn’t put an extra effort, he wouldn’t have made the hard tackles and been fully committed in aerial duels

            Lazy midfielders usually avoid tackles and hard challenges

            1. My POV is that MF was a respected member of the Everton team, the pressure of being at ManU was too much for the lad to handle. Kai was a reject/flop at Chelsea and he moved to a club at par, still the end result remains the same. Trossad , Rice, White, Ramsdale all made the jump from smaller clubs to AFC and have hit the ground running. Kids like Martinelli, Saka, Salliba play without fear. Admit some players are just not good enough for Arsenal (don’t want to go into detail) and Kai is just one of them. The earlier Mikel admits this mistake, it will benefit him, the club, the fans and the owners. Any defense of Kai is just gibberish and garbage talk. If he cannot perform against the Sheffs and the Burnleys of the EPL, wait for the Barcas and the Bayers of the UCL. A player relying on the graciousness of his colleagues for a penalty, that sums it.
              OT : are you related to Kai?

              1. I disagree.
                You are entitled to your view on Havertz just as others are entitled to theirs.
                There is clearly room for improvement but there have been signs that Havertz could still eventually become an important member of the team.

                1. Whatever our views on Havertz are and whether he will eventually become an important member of the team, it is indisputable that we overpaid for him at 65M after his 3 year struggle at Chelsea. If another EPL club paid us close to what we paid for Pepe after watching him flop for 3 years, no one would dispute that they overpaid for him.

                  A player who has flopped at another EPL club is certainly worth less and not almost the same as what was previously paid to sign him. We absolutely overpaid silly money to sign Havertz. We have to accept that this is gross negligence on our part

                  1. I disagree with some of your points.
                    There may well be a view that we overpaid for him. However, this is not indisputable. The weight of evidence is currently against him based on performances to date. However, in my view he should be given more time to see if he can integrate effectively with the rest of the team.
                    A lot of ranting and raving by fans is not going improve his confidence or performances.
                    I also disagree with the idea of “gross negligence” which is meaningless at this point.

                    1. I disagree. He is not new face in the EPL, not a new face in London, he is not at a club like City or Real Madrid where there are huge expectations (anything and everything is forgiven by the owners and fans – or else the EPL drought would not be 19 years and counting). If Trossad can shine in the limited opportunities, then so can Kai. If Rice can excel from day one, so can Kai. The difference is that the drive and the passion is missing since he has hoodwinked the management to his wages and no one on earth can do anything about it. Another mercenary on our rolls from the same country.
                      There is “room for improvement” for everyone, including Burnley, and “eventually ” could be EPL champs – the question is when. Same applies to Kai

                    2. It is just simple reasoning that we overpaid for him. If it is public knowledge that someone bought something which performed worse than expected, it is only logical for the next buyer to put up a substantially lower offer than the original price the owner paid for it. Given that the quality of the item is in doubt and the owner is remorseful, why would the next buyer pay nearly the same price as what the owner initially paid for it, unless it is for charity?

                      The gross negligence simply highlights the severity of the situation and that the person who made the mistake has to be responsible for it

                    3. Anyway David, so if another EPL club paid us close to what we paid for Pepe after watching him flop for 3 years, would you honestly not think that they overpaid?

    2. Giroud did all that with his head with ease and still pop up with 15 goals and couple of assists a season.
      Infact take any of the ever bullish and
      strong Giroud’s below-average season as a yardstick and its still several times better than anything the scared and effeminate Havertz has done in the last 4 seasons. He is an unmitigated disaster as far as I am concerned.

      Makes you wonder what our so called expert scouts are thinking when they mak a case for a buy like this. You have tons of footages of players like Girouds and other decent squad members to watch and develop and derived an informed, empirical-based decisions from, and yet you come up with instant deadwood like this??

      Some high ranking club officials presented with cold hard facts must be given the authority to veto foolish waste of money buys like this if everyone else in the club wants to pretend to be blind as desperate bats!

      My wife who can barely be bothered with football observed me and my son’s frequent groans in frustration at Haverts’ plays and had to ask me if I was pretty sure he is actually German??
      From all parameters, he is an anti-thesis of a German and should be shipped back to Germany at the next opportunity.

      1. Havertz must’ve had some great non-goal and non-assist stats to convince Kroenke, Arteta and Arsenal scouts

        I believe Arsenal also have some performance-based clauses on his contract as a failsafe. The performance doesn’t always have to be measured from the number of goals and assists

        If he could make his teammates score or assist with the flicks from his head, that would be good

        He isn’t a deadwood yet, if we compare him with Odegaard in his loan period

        1. I bet he will float if we chucked him into the Thames.

          Elnenny came in from the cold and flicked on Tomiyasu to score.
          MinusOne couldn’t even manage that in 10 starts.

          Hope Arsenal has learned their lessons that an 8game tournament is not a great yardstick to measure the potentials of anyone to make it in one of world’s toughest league. Moreso when that person has made it clear he couldn’t make it for 3 prior seasons in said league.

          His smug no-smile, man-of-the-match award photos must have made someone at Arsenal to look and think: “ooof, blimey! right there is a man with an ax to grind, let’s get him unleash him anew!”

          1. I’m sure Havertz hasn’t met Arteta’s expectation yet. Maybe Arsenal can swap him with Koopmeiners, whose abilities look akin to Xhaka’s

        2. Odegaard showed glimpses and was a success at Sociedad. Havertz didn’t light up the world at Chelsea and has done nothing to compare with Odegaard in those loan months.

          1. Odegaard did very little in his first loan and showed a few positive signs in his second, but just going off his loans, I wouldn’t have made the move permanent. Obviously through working with him closely arteta et al knew better.
            Going back to sociedad for Ode is not unlike going back to havertz’s time at leverkusen, really. The only difference between the two is the fact havertz played in this league already, for a relatively strong side, and largely failed.

    3. He’s a back pass specialist. He’ll receive the ball with no opposition within 10 yards of him but he won’t turn he just passes back.

      GAI you can go on and on and on about his aerial ability but it’s bang average, look at his attempt on an open goal from 1-2 yards!!! I know evidence won’t change your mind but the reality is he’s average in the air.

      1. He didn’t dare to turn in tight spaces and usually chose to quickly release the ball, because he isn’t as skilled as Odegaard/ Zinchenko, has very tall stature and has low confidence. I notice Smith-Rowe has also not had the confidence to turn in tight spaces as well

        However, Havertz’s height allows Arsenal to play with a lot of lobs and he just needs to improve his heading ability. The stats show that he is very dominant aerially

        1. It’s not tight spaces, that’s what you are missing! Lot’s of room to turn and still doesn’t.

          You do know winning a header means nothing if it doesn’t go to one of our players or scores a goal right? Your stats won’t tell you that will they, nope! Rarely do his headers go to one of our players, maybe you aren’t watching all the games because if you were it’s very clear.

        2. I think you got it wrong with the SmithRowe comparison. ESR is far more technical than anything Havertz is and does well in tight spaces.
          I saw a glimpse of that against Sheffield and in his brief cameo against Bournemouth.

  3. The gaffer wants his Arsenal players to be flexible and be friends this campaign, a dog name WIN was also brought in maybe to make the outfit gets a homely feeling.

    He seems to have a clear mission statement to change his starting line ups, tactics and formation on a frequent basis, in the last campaign a bold bid was made with a settled line up which carried us through most of the campaign with a 4 : 2 ; 3 ; 1 which severs us well.

    The only tweak in the last campaign was an inverted full back, but last summer the gaffer has deliberately signed more versatile players in Rice baby and the big German who can play different roles.
    But there is a clear aim to keep opponents guessing, use different formation for specific games and play to his team strengths and opponents weaknesses.

    We started the season experimenting with three at the back as the world class Partey moved in midfield from right back against lesser opposition, injury to the versatile Timber has put a spoke in the wheels of the gaffer plan, but if Arsenal can stay within striking distance until key players return, yes the gaffer
    could prove to be the real deal when the dust settles in May.

  4. The real deal this season?
    Give me this time last season with Rice, Xhaka, Timber and Havertz in the squad, along with a fit Saliba and city wouldn’t have had a sniff at the title… in my opinion.

  5. We are proving this season that we are less fluid than last season. If this is the real deal then last season was more real. Get real guys

  6. I am now fully convinced that we are stronger this season than last, for the very simple fact that we have been playing with 10men all season long.

    Imagine a scenario where we actually have 11 men on the field?? 😶

    1. Lupe_Nets really that means arsenal would be in the bottom half if you think we are weaker than last season playing with 10 men means we would currently be having more losses and draws that wins they always say ( the table never lie) arsenal have lost once draw twice and won nine times that doesn’t look like a team playing with 10 players maybe the correct way to say is arsenal have been playing against teams with 12 players and the twelfth player i am talking about are the refs

      1. Naftali,

        You miss the point and the sarcasm in in Lupe-Nets comment. Did you do literature or prose in one of your grades?

  7. I don’t know how many games Kai needs to be part of the well-oiled squad, for now, he’s a miss and an annoyance to look at him missing all those opportunities.

  8. Agree with most points in the articles
    but let us make most of what we got now, and think of the solutions rather than the problems, and try to give Kai some space and confidence so we can dismantle most of the remaining teams at least until the January window, because without confidence we are doomed unless we get psychology and motivation lessons. Even Xhaka didn’t excel without motivational therapy.
    I still want more from our full backs with fluid, forward movement , speed, crosses interchanging play with the young guns Saka Martinally and shot from out side the box.

  9. Imo partey is the missing piece. We won’t be the “real deal” until we have him back, or a truly comparable replacement (which could even be jurrien Timber, who knows) to take up the role jorginho is currently occupying.
    Even then we might still be a little short up front, though I think our attack would perform a lot better with a fit Thomas partey in the team.
    Rice and partey in CM is elite; rice and jorginho is strong enough for most games but will struggle against the top sides.

  10. Let him bring in a good left sided midfielder and a striker and all will be well, and target realistic players not those that clubs us to buy time so that the transfer window end and later say we tried to bring this and that but the club’s refused to sell.

  11. This Kai Havertz hate gotta stop. He is our player and he had contributed so much in our defensive play. His height had allowed us to score many important goals this season. He has improved and will improve more. He just transferred to us this season and need to adapt. His presence had allowed Odegaard to take rest. If the manager sees it, then any haters words are just useless. Don’t parrot what the media says and start watching the match in detail. Observe his movement and his gameplay.

  12. Whatever your views on Harverts ,fans who suggest he does not work hard for the team are way off the mark.Part of his problem is he has never before been given a central midfield role having been used in Germany as a number ten and on occasion as a central striker.Why Arteta decided to buy him when we already had a quality AM in Odegaard is beyond me but unless he is played in the Odegaard role, I very much doubt if he will become a key player for Arsenal.However as an Arsenal fan I will not be hurling abuse at the man who ,contrary to some subscribers on JA is not lazy but is trying his hardest to justify the faith shown in him by our Manager.Some of the vitriol being directed towards him is way over the top and displays an attitude which I find hard to be associated with as a fellow Gunner.If you feel obliged to vent your frustrations towards Havertz, you should be equally damming in your condemnation of the man who signed him.All this at a time when we sit in second place in the most demanding League in Europe.Do Havertz and with him, Arteta deserve this abuse?

    1. “Abuse” Grandad?

      Or, as the non woke interpretors of ordinary plain speaking non “abusive”, but to the point language would maintain, simply justifiable criticism of BOTH a player and the manager who bought him.

      I had not had YOU down as a woke apologist. Now I KNOW DIFFERENTLY!

  13. It is certainly a new Arsenal. Point is we do need a new striker, someone like Toney or Watkins who can score consistently. I think the Havertz money could have been well utilised in the striker department. I dont know how much longer Arteta will have patience with him and I hope for the sake of Arsenal Havertz improves in his performances.

  14. The top headline threw me I expected to hear something along the lines of our defending ability being better this season around as we look more controlled in games and that helps to make us a superior team to last season’s outfit. But the article itself suggests that we have a ways to go to match last season’s output and he just mentions a different tact. The comments section throws you further as you’d be forgiven for believing it’s another piece about you know who

    1. Good points.
      The author’s piece isn’t really about deep analysis of our play.
      We are clearly attempting to control games much better and we are currently probably amongst the best in the world; even ahead of City.
      This seems to have come (to an extent)at a price of creativity and chances at the other end. There are some factors that have contributed to our limitations up front however which if resolved may make us an even more formidable team.

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