Arsenal are proving we are not a soft touch any more (No free rides)

Arsenal are finally playing dirty…and I love it! by ThirdmanJW

There are multiple reasons why Arsenal became an absolute joke under stewardship of AW and IG (Wenger and Gazidis), and probably one of the biggest contributing factors was how soft we became, both on, and off the pitch. We essentially became a charity for crocked footballers, and under-performers were rewarded with riches wildly beyond their contributions to the club.

We now know that AW and IG were to blame, because look how much things have changed since their departures, whilst it’s still Kroenke in charge. If it was all Kroenke, then nothing would have changed. It’s not to say that Kroenke isn’t a terrible owner, because he is, and I hope he’s gone ASAP, but he wasn’t in charge of the day-to-day operational side of things. As long as AW and IG worked within the financial remit set out by Kroenke, they were given carte blanche, which turned out to be a disaster! As we also know, Wenger was 100% responsible for what we saw on the pitch.

So, what has changed?

We were told before under Wenger, that if a club doesn’t want to sell, then we cannot buy. Classic deflection tactic for Arsenal’s poor negotiation skills at the time, because EVERY player has a price. Now, we seem to be far more aggressive when chasing our targets, and seemingly happy going toe-to-toe with other clubs for a player. There were other clubs going for Pepe, so we just blew them away with better offer. Maybe we paid slightly over the odds, but at the end of the day, we got our man. Makes you wonder how many quality players we’ve missed out on down the years because of AW and IG lack of flexibility on their valuations.

Better still, look at what we did with the Partey signing. Atletico were playing hard-ball, which they had every right to do, so we sucker punched them hours before the window closing. Losing one of your star players like that, would have stung. It was great, because it even took Arsenal fans by surprise.

Another change of tact, is how we’re dealing with the deadwood. Instead of rewarding them with playing time, new contracts, and pay raises, which was the general policy under the previous regime, we’re actively trying to offload them asap. If that means banning them from the first team, then so be it. Sokratis, and Ozil refused to move on, so it looks as if they won’t kick a ball this season if they stay at Arsenal.

In regards to on the pitch, we’re a lot more competitive now, more aggressive (even more so now we have Partey), and a little more street wise. Whereas before playing Arsenal, it was effectively a training session for the big boys, now they have a game on their hands.

To Arsenal fans, it may look as if Arsenal are finally getting their hands dirty, but I think it just looks that way because we have been used to being a soft touch for so long. Arsenal are now just acting like any other club would do, and it’s already working wonders, because these decisions are finally being made for the betterment of the club, instead of the individual. This is so important because it’s set a precedent. No more free rides!



  1. Partey was a statement signing and now we have shown we can compete with the best. Aston Villa hammered Liverpool, Leicester City surprised Man City, so if these teams can beat the big boys, than why not Arsenal. Arteta will surely have a game plan for the next game to beat City, but at the same time we need to be careful because City will go all out for a win. We should be compact in our formation and hit on the counter. We have recently beaten them at Wembley and anything can happen on Saturday. We are now a different Arsenal. Up the Gunners!

  2. Very good article. Arsenal is moving in the right direction with Edu and Arteta.

    Looking forward to our return to the Champions league.

    1. I am not sure about ẹdu yet, but Arteta is doing well on the field.. We have become more competitive under him

  3. To me Cech’s brutal assessment of his life at Arsenal and how nobody really cared at the time was the most accurate summation of what the club had become under Wenger.

  4. Just another Article having a pop At Arsene once again from a known reader who can’t let go of the past .
    I’m sure he posted this Article last month just worded differently.

    1. truth hurts! a much better and sensible article unlike those articles on MO which have no meaning and serve no purpose at all.Worth every second spent reading! Keep them coming TMJW. Always a good read!

  5. So irritating can’t even read through…you can do better than compare arsene Wenger era to post arsene Wenger era either arteta or Emery..none of this managers have even measured up to arsene’s worst season.. And you come up here and post this shocker……SMH….SHAKING MY HEAD FOR YOU

    1. Hahaha! I guess you miss 14 years straight of not even being competitive in the league, 9 years straight of winning nothing, consistent humiliations, Sunday league defending, players running their contracts down, etc.

      Go follow Wenger at Fifa if you miss him so much!

      1. In all of those your supposed humiliation…. His worst finish in Arsenal is fifth …. Consecutively qualifying us for top four under shoe string budget and having to sell his best players mmm…. And you speak ill of such person in comparison to finishing 8 in the league.. Which is more humiliating… Tell me… delution is all I can say …. After Wenger has bin gone for over 3 years… Guess what…. His players are still the spine of the team…. Tell me one player post Wenger that has lived up to billing…. They are all lukeworm performers…. Inconsistency all around from guendousi to Sokratis,Luiz,torera,pepe,Willian,soures, Ceballos,even Leno…. They all give inconsistent performances…. And you come out and praise such businesses…. The spine of the team auba, laca,xhaka, belerin, are all Wenger’s players….as far as am concerned only Tierney has bin a success so far post Wenger…. And you come here to elevate such businesses because of partey who has barely touched the ball or Gabriel whose barely played 5 games…. Am not bin pessimistic here…. But your comparisons are way too shocking…. wake up to reality….we finished 8 in the league last season with our worst tally of point in decades… And you come here singing praises like we just won the champions league….under Wenger we complained of top four when he said it was like a trophy… Fast forward years later… Likes of man utd and Chelsea are celebrating it with you fans celebrating Europa league qualification….how that’s not mediocrity I don’t understand….Wenger is a legend of this club….put a respect to that name when you call him…. He deserves all our adulation…. Whatever we brag about as Arsenal fans today are all works of Arsene Wenger…. The invicibles, emirate stadium, most successful club in fa cup,….all Wenger’s work….put a respect to that name and stop all this rather shocking hating articles….

        1. Auba was not Wenger’s buy, it was Ivan and Sven; remember the photo by the plane? ESPN even had an article asking Wenger who was in charge of transfers.
          Wenger didn’t want to sell Giroud, but that transaction actually involved 3 clubs to pull off; Dortmund, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
          Probably Arsenal’s best transfer in the last decade. Where would we have been without Auba?

          1. So unless Wenger physically negotiates the deal himself, he doesn’t get credit for buying the player? Who then did Arteta buy, since Edu did all the negotiating for Arsenal?
            Your hatred for Wenger blurs your objectivity so glaringly.

        2. Thumps up to you Dammy,you absolutely right.Arteta is doing amazingly outstanding beyond our imagination but that doesn’t mean we as fans talk about about AW era is a not so dignifying way,we shouldn’t be found guilty of such.

    2. Dammy in all honesty Emery finished fifth, one out of the Champions League places and the Club made the Europa League final, in his first season. The previous season (his last) Wenger finished sixth and the Club made the semi final of the Europa League.

      1. I used to be a AKB until 2014. But now looking back he was so stagnant and stale but not willing to change in order to get into the modern times.

  6. What a waste of ink. A big club like Arsenal is not just AW and Gadizi. What about the board, the assistant coaches, the trainers, the administrators, the ground crew and so forth. Besides why would Kroekie be upset with the duo that build him a big stadium and made him a fortune?

  7. The past is gone. Observing and assessing the present happenings and the future, Edu and Arteta are doing well so far.

    The signings of Partey, Gabriel and Willian is a master stroke, strengthening the spine of the team.

    Edu and Arteta have a well structured plan and I believe if being backed by the board well, they will deliver positive results.

    They were able to convince the Kroenke for the major signing of Partey, so that is a huge statement of intent.

    I trust in Edu and Arteta to take us to the promise land.

  8. Facts are facts! If I have it so wrong, it should be easy for you pick apart my argument. Off you go then…

  9. I think it was Wenger/Gasidiz controlled Arsenal then that brought the top quality Gunners of Bellerin, Lacazette, Xhaka and Aubameyang including a host of others to Arsenal who are all still playing for the club and Arsenal are still proud of having them in their rank as of today. And let it also not be forgotten but be remembered that the quartet of the Arsenal youths top quality players of: Saka, AMN, Nketiah and Willock who are now playing in the club’s first team are all the products of Arsene Wenger Arsenal Hale End Academy School. Products.

    One thing that Venkatesham/Arteta/Edu did in the last summer transfer window that has me delighted in my heart and still delighting me and making me feel proud of Arsenal is their refusal to give in to the act of cowardice of Lyon’s player Houssem Aouer’s agent and Aouer’s brother Brahim attempts to financially rape Arsenal in open daylight with the bystanders watching. But how dare Brahim in collaboration with Houssem’s agent is he’s saying that he wants a financial commission payment from Arsenal before Houssem his brother will agree to transfer to Arsenal this summer. But by the way, is Brahim the one that brought up Houssem and trained him scholarly? Or he’s just an opportunist crook who took Arsenal for granted and tried to reap where he has not sowed?

  10. ThirdManJW, some people need to be careful, what they wish for regarding ownership of the Club. KS&E own the Club 100%, including the debt, which they consolidated and paid off, inclusive of penalties for early payment in an amount of £184 million. They have not taken any money from the Club since 2015, when £3 million per annum management fees ceased. By comparison the Glaziers have reportedly taken £1.5 billion.
    In addition Arsenal supporting lawyer Tim Lewis has been appointed to the Board by Kroenke to investigate administration and Raul Sanheili has gone.
    Ownership is something we can’t change unless we can stump up £2.0 billion plus.

    1. OZZIE, fair point on the money comments, obviously but when you say “we”, I hope you mean someone like DANGOTE WHO HAS PLEDGED INTEREST AND WHO IS A LONG TIME PROPER GOONER, IN STARK CONTRAST TO KROENKE

      1. For all your self proclaimed realism Jon, you should ask yourself if Dangote has ever been to the Emirates. The Arsenal take over by him are tall tales from bored sports journalists.

    2. Well said ozziegunner, and perhaps the biggest influence is when Josh Kronke got involved around 2 years ago. We are a different monster since Josh got involved, and he perhaps deserves more credit for the ruthless edge we are getting in terms of transfers and handling players.

  11. Third Man JW, firstly , HUGE CONGRATS for being such a realist. I could have written the exact same article word for word, as my thoughts and yours are so PRECISELY the same!

    As you have said so well, this new thinking is a thrilling new change after all the years of drift and backwards and plain unbusiness like thinking by AW and IG.

    I suggest that we NOW, at long last, have true PROFESSIONALS making key decisions and the progress has already been clear to all and will accelerate.

    I had been calling for AW and IG to leave for fully a decade. IT WAS A LONG PAINFUL WAIT BUT IS NOW OVER.

    1. Another one you can’t let go of the past ,strange it was you 2 who supported Emery well after he should’ve gone .
      If you’re trying to prove a point that Arsene should have left earlier it’s not working ,it just makes you both look rather bitter .

      1. DAN KIT your increasingly and predictably critical posts of both me and of TMJW are are more and more pathetic each time.
        What I have specifically notived about YOU, in stark contrast to other posts on here who from time to time citicise me and TMJW,are that the posts from those others do not hav an obvious agenda against me and TM as yours do.
        It is in the normal nature of posts that sometimes we will disagree and that on other times we agree. But YOURS are always only EVER negative to us personally. Noticeably so!


  12. No matter how mr.third man cries&whines about wenger,his iconic statue is well assured in the history of the club&there is nothing you can do about..i will advice you forget about wenger&focus on the future with arteta

  13. Least, we forget. In his first twenty years of being the manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, made the top four of the premier league,which, ensured that Arsenal played in the champions league for twenty consecutive years. Can someone name me another premier league team to achieve this? Thereafter, Wenger results in the last three years at the club were poor. Back then, even when Arsenal finished in the top four, he was criticized for not winning the league. Today, making the top four of the premier league, is seen by many as a bigger achievement, than winning silverware like the FA cup and the Community Shield. Times have changed. Modernization demands or probably the lack of appreciation. No man is perfect, but, Arsene Wenger, will forever be an Arsenal legend. Thanks for your service to Arsenal.

  14. We should be comparing Arsene Wenger’s achievement with that of other coaches in Arsenal either by comparing his average points or number of years in relation to that of the coach in question.

    For example, AW’s first year vs MA’s first year.

  15. The fruits that Unai and arteta is eating now,,, is the fruits Wenger planted for them in his Era. Arteta Nou must use it correctly,, Wenger went unbeaten in the league,,, No one will ever do that again at Arsenal

    Gunner for life!!!!

  16. @3manjw
    AW has been living rent free in your head for many years now. It’s quite sad and a bit disturbing, that you continue your Trump like babbling about him. You know there’s an app for that, right? 🤬

  17. Right on. Although I would argue that Pepe seems to be bad business. He’s shown signs of improvement and can become world class if he wants to. For now though, £72m could have gotten us better players. I mean, when you consider Mahrez was £60m or Ziyech £38m.

    However, the mindset has changed at Arsenal, and Arteta can only be lauded for that. People crying for Ozil fail to realise that a lack of discipline was the reason behind all those humiliating losses to City, Liverpool oe Bayern the previous years. While of course we are far from their level, under Arteta, we at least have hope we can come away with something from these matches.

    The lack of creativity is obvious, but I for one understand Arteta’s omission of Ozil.

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