Arsenal defeat gives us a much needed reality check – There is a long way to go…

We Needed That Reality Check by Dan Smith

I saw Arsenal fans crying on Saturday after we beat Man City. Others have been making comparisons to the state Klopp found Liverpool in when he arrived in English Football.

Two tactical master classes have convinced some gooners that, if he’s financially backed, we have the manager to take us back to our previous levels (why the same rules didn’t apply to Mr Wenger I’m not sure). Which is why last night’s defeat might not be a bad thing, as we were in danger of going into the Cup Final thinking this team is a lot better than it is.

Suddenly I am reading how this version of David Luiz could be vital for us next season. That’s the same defender who some never wanted to play again after his Etihad display. Any centre back can have a couple of good games, but you need to do it consistently. Throughout his whole career that’s been the Brazilian’s problem.

Win or lose on August 1st, there is a lot wrong with this current squad, but it’s like some gooners want to convince themselves that Arteta is the answer. Maybe it’s to deflect from our League position?

Maybe some Youtubers can’t admit they were wrong; we have gone backwards since our greatest manager left. We have become a laughingstock within the game for how we flip flop between results.

Post lockdown we lost our first two games back and it was an Arsenal in crisis. We beat Man City and suddenly those who doubted the choice of manager are being told it’s been proven they were wrong. Why? Because he won a one-off match? The reality is it’s way too early to say if we have the answer.

As happy as I will be to win a trophy, I’m not going to judge the man’s work on a one-off game at an empty Wembley, that’s too short sighted.

After the Wolves game, I read he’s had an ‘amazing start’ at Arsenal. Of our 10 Prem defeats, he’s been in the dugout for half of them. He got us knocked out of Europe at home by Olympiakos. So, we can’t pretend everything is perfect.

A reader in the comments boasted at the weekend how we won without Ozil, yet at Villa Park when you’re not having a shot on target, I maintain I’d rather have him coming on to find a killer pass then a Willock.

Many applaud his stance of dropping Ozil and Guendouzi. Yet if we are finishing in our worst position in 25 years has that worked?

Should they not be being coached to get the very best out of them? They are still being paid so surely there are resources to use?

Yes, he needs backing but so did the previous regimes who were treated harshly for better results. Mr Wenger also knocked Pep Guardiola out in semi-final and beat Chelsea in a final. Unai Emery got to a final against Chelsea in his debut campaign.

So, let’s just calm down and take one step at a time.

Remember when we moaned about finishing ‘only top 4 and winning the cup’?

Dan Smith

38 Comments

  1. Top Gunner says:

    Arsenal took a gamble by appointing Arteta as Manager. The guy lacks experience to manage a team of Arsenal calibre. If you start from the top, the force of gravity will ultimately bring him to where he belong

    1. GunneRay says:

      Arsenal calibre? What is that exactly? You could have Pep himself managing but it won’t change a damn thing. The squad has weaknesses that no manager will change. Some of the players are just wrong. When you look back to the days of Vieira, Petit, Bergkamp, Overmars, Henry, ljungberg and co, then you have a calibre. As it it we have players who are no where near them in terms of quality accept one or two maybe? Arsenal have changed over the decades and are no where near the team they were. From top to bottom!

      Let’s not presume Arsenal have the right to be any higher than where they are now because there are teams with so called “lesser managers” that are above us and vice versa in terms of calibre. Give Arteta time to build his team and the judge him. He needs at least two years. But we need to see a marked improvement next season, I admit!

      1. Eddie says:

        Ray, that guy is among those who constantly says we have a good team, why are you surprised?

        1. GunneRay says:

          LOL 🤪

  2. Break-on-through says:

    I’ve sworn off MO, am not gonna use his name or knowingly click any link or article about the player. I can’t wait to see the back of him, I’m tired of his whole circus to be frank.

    This is probably why we’re making Liv comparisons, they were in a similar position and were losing enough points that the owners had to back Klopp with some finances. Hunger with and without the ball, having a real desire coming from the player, this will need to be a main attribute when we’re targeting players. If we can bring in those type of players I think things could go well for Arteta, without it there is only so much a manager can do. It would be a great start, a terrific achievement to get a bit of silverware in not even a full season, Arsene too arrived some time into the season.

  3. Robert Acedius says:

    The New Arteta Gunners – the Vincibles. If they can’t motivate themselves for this last two games, for a decent ending of this miserable EPL season, how the XXX shall they be able to face Chelsea in the FA-Cup final? Okey, three matches in a week, and two of them against the best teams in the league (and in Europe), but is that an excuse for yesterday evening?

    1. Eddie says:

      What happened yesterday evening?
      The best team yesterday won!! Get over it.
      Take your L and move on in peace, you sound as though we’re entitled to winning those games just because they’re small teams.
      I thought you watched your last game against Liverpool when we were 1 goal down.
      Weren’t you the one saying you ain’t watching or coming back?

      1. Robert Acedius says:

        You got memory as an elephant. That’s good. The capacity for memorizing is one of the qualities related to intelligence. And it’s you calling Aston Villa a small team. With your memory it means that you lack of education. Read your history. Villa is a team with a great story in the past. Greater than the Woolwich Warren (Asn’l). Villa was there (in the league) from the beginning in 1888.
        To make you happy, I promise here and now, to never watch this site (NewsNow) again. I don’t read “the articles” anyway, just “the headlines”. An occupation that’s depressing enough. Ajö.

        1. Eddie says:

          “Read your history. Villa is a team with a great story in the past. Greater than the Woolwich Warren (Asn’l). ”

          Impressive how with all your knowledge and “Education” as you call it, you expected Arsenal to walkover them and sounded as if there was no way we should’ve lost the game.
          We beat Liverpool and City, so hey how can we lose against Villa right?
          Wonderful education you have there

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            What do you make your replies so personal? Is it that hard to just reply without attacking the OP?

            I have seen this in most of your comments.

          2. Eddie says:

            Highbury, I guess you didn’t see what he wrote and how he made this personal first with my “Knowledge and education” claim

  4. Grandad says:

    The younger element of fans in every Club tend to get carried away by 2/3 good results .It’s quite natural for their enthusiasm in winning to take over their thought processes whilst the more elderly statesmen and ladies,think before they jump in and pontificate.Enthusiasm and adulation is all very well when your team is winning but when you are a middle of the road side,like we are I’m afraid,it becomes difficult to distinguish reality from perception.So, as you say Dan, we need to stay calm and examine closely what actually took place on the pitch before we dive in with views which are very soon proved to be wide of the mark.

  5. James Gunner says:

    During Wengers time his emphasis on ball retention and an eternity to shoot,played into the hands of the opposition. His game plan was predictable.
    Hopefully Arteta will make the gunners less predictable.If you keep passing all over the place infront of a packed defence,a sucker punch will result in a goal in Arsenal’s net.
    Better to mix it like some teams:fast and slow and sudden shot.I am no coach but just giving my opinion

    1. Dan says:

      Interesting points guys
      Yet I don’t remember any fan in the summer who.said we were so unbalanced we finish 10th ?

  6. Eddie says:

    Lol you always knew you’d come on here and read pieces like these after eveyw game we lose.
    Wake up, nobody’s saying we have the best players or that David Luiz is the answer to next season, at least I never saw that.
    People simply gave him credit for his performance against City.
    When he plays terribly, he gets criticised, isn’t it fair that he gets the credits when he plays well too.

    One thing keeps baffling me though, is the fact that a whole lot of you actually thought and expected us to be in top five just because we brought in a new coach.
    The annoying part is constantly reading some folks on here saying we have a good team and what we need is Allegri and we’ll be used properly.
    Yet same people fail to see that rebuilding means starting from setting up a proper structure before make changes in personnel.
    We’re no where up top the table, but you really ain’t gon tell me the structure of the team and the way we play isn’t changing yet will you?
    You ain’t gon tell me the coach ain’t actually setting up the structure to bring in his own players will you.
    Strikes me as though a lot of fans really know nothing about football other than watching and screaming goal.
    It’s become a cliché now, after every loss, let’s write articles that’ll allow is tear into the team all the time or the coach.
    How about articles to inform us things we don’t know about the club and the beautiful game? I’m not criticizing your article Dan, to me it’s become a norm, it’s not just you. Everyone must write a negative article after each loss.
    It’s like we’re bound to whining forever.
    I don’t fancy tearing into the team every single time so I don’t force myself writing articles every time, we all know the team is bad and we need new players, a lot of us do. What’s the point hitting our head over brick walls?
    Let the season be over and let’s see what the club wants to do before we resume moaning.
    I mean the season is over, what’s the point moaning and just creating a bad vibe

    1. GunnerJack says:

      “Everyone must write a negative article after each loss.”

      Just substitute the word ‘truthful’ for ‘negative’ and you’ll have a more balanced view of Dan’s excellent article.

      For some people, writing anything even slightly negative is some sort of crime – and they’re quickly out of the blocks to tell you so!

      It seems you must, by some sort of newly invented ‘Just Arsenal’ law, only write positively on here – well, according to the ‘heads in the clouds’ crew that is.

      If reality is too much for you please get back to your knitting.

      1. Eddie says:

        If the shoe fits, mate feel free to wear it.
        It ain’t my business what you choose to tell yourself or feed yourself.
        Nobody’s pretending the squad is good or the squad is in a good position, I’ve never said that.
        By all means do carry on moaning, moaning, more moaning and whining like a cry baby over something you and I already know.
        It ain’t my own sanity you’re messing with.
        There’s a difference between knowing/acknowledging a problem, fighting to solve that problem and knowing there’s a problem and sitting your áss down in one spot crying and crying and crying over it.
        That’s your headache mate, not mine.
        There’s a big difference between reality and living being a pessimist who constantly cries like the kid who threw away the candy and ate the wrapper.
        Like I said, if the shoe fits, it fits you perfectly, I ain’t gon tell you not to wear it.
        You glow in it, I suppose I should write down your moaning schedule for next season already?
        You must’ve had it all sorted out innit? I mean you expect instant success so definitely, you have a lovely schedule to complain and whine for next season don’t you??

        1. GunnerJack says:

          Eddie – I’m happy for you to stick to wearing your rose-tinted glasses with your feet firmly planted in the clouds. ‘Everything in the garden’s lovely’ isn’t it?

          Unfortunately for you the Prem is a rough, tough world and is guided by the law of the jungle with casualties inevitable. It’s a results-oriented business – the strong will always rise to the top and the weak will be relegated. That’s just how it is. Hope that’s not too much of a reality check for you.

          Me – I’ll stick to having my feet firmly planted on the ground. I’ll then make comments from that position, irrespective of the views of the candy floss ‘All is sweetness and light’ brigade.

      2. Eddie says:

        If the shoe fits, mate feel free to wear it.
        It ain’t my business what you choose to tell yourself or feed yourself.
        Nobody’s pretending the squad is good or the squad is in a good position, I’ve never said that.
        By all means do carry on moaning, more moaning and whining like a cry baby over something you and I already know.
        It ain’t my own sanity you’re messing with.
        There’s a difference between knowing/acknowledging a problem, fighting to solve that problem and knowing there’s a problem and sitting your áss down in one spot crying and crying and crying over it.
        That’s your headache mate, not mine.
        There’s a big difference between reality and living being a pessimist who constantly cries like the kid who threw away the candy and ate the wrapper.
        Like I said, if the shoe fits, put the f**king shoes on and you mate, it fits you perfectly, I ain’t gon tell you not to wear it.
        You glow in it, I suppose I should write down your moaning schedule for next season already?
        You must’ve had it all sorted out innit? I mean you expect instant success so definitely, you have a lovely schedule to complain and whine during next season.
        Telling me about how constantly complaining and being negative should be reality.
        Keep your reality to yourself.
        Not all of us see doom and gloom

  7. Top Gunner says:

    Whoever chooses the starting line-up has weaknesses

  8. Top Gunner says:

    Take a look at the current squad and compare it to teams that are above us on the log and justify your arguments. Besides that, we spent £100million. Do we still want to spend another £100million?

    1. Eddie says:

      Going by your logic. Everton are the better team because they spent millions over Chelsea and wolves right?
      I had no idea the ability of a team depends on how much you spend now rather than how wisely you spend

  9. Grandad says:

    Top Gunner, what exactly are you inferring by your latest comment?You clearly have some sort of witch hunt against Arteta, but the vast majority of rational fans, accept that he inherited an unbalanced squad of in many cases mediocre players.There is not a Manager on the Planet who could transform this squad into a team which could win the Premier League.Why don’t you get off the Man’s back.

    1. Top Gunner says:

      Arsenal has a good squad as compared to teams above us on the log. You cannot compare Arsenal squad to thr squad of either Chelsea, Sheffield United, Wolves, Leicester, and Burney. But all of those teams are above us on the log. Its clear that the bug stops with the Manager

  10. GunnerJack says:

    Good article Dan. Glad to see someone else doesn’t have his head planted firmly in the clouds after a couple of lucky wins.

    The good thing is that Arteta also realises our limitations so there is still hope, especially as he seems to have magically transformed Xhaka into a decent player – a minor miracle in itself.

    Still – a short prayer to Lady Luck on August 1st wouldn’t go amiss.

    I now await a few comments from those who’ve had an accident with super glue and can’t remove their rose-tinted glasses, telling me I shouldn’t be so negative. 🙂

    1. Dan kit says:

      Nothing negative about you’re post ,you have the same worries as most ,it’s the small number of fans calling for Artetas head that are the negative bunch .
      Arteta as a mountain to climb with the team that was left him but with the right investment he could do wonders for us .
      I wouldn’t call beating Man City lucky BTW

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Hi Dan – do you think Arteta knows who his best team is? The team selection, let alone the actual match, is going to make it a very interesting day come Aug 1st. Surely he will pick what he considers to be his very best players to start that game, assuming injuries allow that.
        I know I couldn’t predict who will be in that starting lineup but what about you Dan – any thoughts on who Arteta will pick? Any preferences yourself – positive or negative?
        For me, I hope Kola doesn’t make it onto the pitch and if AMN isn’t a starter I hope he comes on instead of Willock.

        1. Dan says:

          Hey buddy
          I think he will stick with his back 3/ 5
          But no idea if you will be more positive as on their day Chelsea ‘s defence can have a wobble so might be a mistake to let them have all the ball
          Think his only dilemma would be who left/wing back
          Niles or Saka
          If Mustafi is fit id play him , luiz and holding as three centre backs
          Tierney left , Hector right
          Xakha , Ceballos midfield
          Pepe , Lacca , Auba
          That’s me …….

          1. Dan says:

            If your asking what I think he will do……
            Tierney, luiz Holding ( if mustafi not fit )
            Wing back Niles and Hector
            Ceballos , xakha
            Pepe, auba , Lacca

          2. GunnerJack says:

            Thanks for that Dan.
            With Zouma and Rudriger both being 6′ 2″ I’m hoping we don’t play so many high balls.
            Whoever he picks on the wings I hope Arteta instructs them to try to find someone in the area with the ball on the ground.
            Failing that then just blast the ball hard across the area – the edge of the goal area being a good target as it’s a bit far for the keeper to come out for it.
            Both the Chelsea pair can be clumsy at times so who knows what might happen.

  11. mogunna says:

    hell of a long way; luckily we sure to not finish bellow 10th but not above 8th which is not enough for EL.

    We have nothing to gain but Watford has much as Villa had. I will suggest to not play players as Tierny Laca Auba Bellerin, Holding, Saka…

    Rest them and not risk them for FA Cup final; only hope to EL.

    We cant predict sheffield & Burnley who will stay above with a win. We dont deserve better this worst ever season in our history combining 3 coaches & captains in a year, total mismanagement at all levels and a middle table position we sliding 2 years time in result.

    Before to look into this debacle, lets hope we get team ready and fit to walk in wembley and win this game.

    Chelsea has no issue to stack a trophee, they used to that, not into chasing EL, we are desperatly and why this can be a plus for us.

  12. ken1945 says:

    There is a difference in being optimistic and expecting miracles.
    I firmly believe that Mikel Arteta, given the financial support from kronkie, will take our club back to the top.

    Our tactics and play was superb against both pool and city – injury and player rotation saw a change against villa – so why does it seem that the doom and gloom merchants ALWAYS feel the need to use a loss as the way to judge both MA and the players?

    We took on and beat the top two clubs in the space of four days and then, just three days after that, faced a side battling to stay in the premiership.

    All this talk about having mediocre players and needing five or six players before we challenge again, is just a load of codswollop.

    Leno/Martinez – Tierney – Saliba – Xhaka – Mustafi – Saka – Martinelli – AMN – Auba – Lacs – Holding – Chambers – Torreira – Chambers – Pepe – Nelson – Mavropanos – Willock – Guendouzi – EMN – Nketiah are all players, who on current form, would interest most other clubs, so why on earth do we keep decrying our own players as if they were the most talentless, dross bunch of useless individuals in the world?
    MA is weaving together a group of players that need just two or three stellar signings this summer window and THEN watch Arteta go!!!

    What on earth his status as a player has to do with his managerial skills is anyones guess, just another example of doom and gloom running riot.

    We need to stop running down our players and manager after every defeat and wait to see how kronkie and Arteta see things in the summer transfer window – no wonder the media select our club as the whipping boys, they know we have “fans” who just can’t wait to pile into the team they profess to “support”.

    As for Mikel Arteta, who cares that this is his first position in charge of a big club, he had his learning curve at city, coaching some of the finest players in the world.

    He has transformed our club in seven months and during the pandemic, from relegation bets, with toxicity running rife in the club (both players and fans) and installed a mentality that saw us into yet another fa cup final.

    If he decided to leave us tomorrow, it’s my opinion that every club in europe would be willing to “take a gamble” on this man – he is, without doubt, the future for our club and if some of our grim reapers of so called fans don’t get off his back, it will be a short term, rather than long term, future.

    I don’t compare him to anyone, Arteta has qualities that are all his own…and I listen to what the players say about him and what he says himself – including the fact that kronkie supports him and he has direct access to the owner.

    It’s not too early to judge him Dan, just go back seven months and tell me if we have progressed or not.

    1. Eddie says:

      Ken be careful before they say you’re living in denial.
      It does seems the doom and gloom merchants will never stop.
      We’re stuck with them.
      After every single game, we must all complain, moan and wallow in negativity and call it our reality.
      At least that’s what the doom and gloom merchants expects from us

      1. ken1945 says:

        Eddie, I’ve been accused of more than “living in denial” my friend.

        I always try and look at what fans say before, during and after a game and living in denial of what one says in that time span is amazing – hindsight is wonderful.

        There is only one subject that seems to have no change in the views expressed – I’ll leave that to others to decide what that is.

    2. Dan says:

      Ken we normally agree mate but it’s too early to.say if we progressed
      He’s lost more Leauge games then Emery did
      For every Liverpool city there is an Olympiakos , Brighton ,
      Like Emery he’s given up on ozil when our midfield lacks creativity
      I like Arteta but too early to speak of progress

      1. ken1945 says:

        Dan, all I ask you to do mate, is compare where we are today, versus the day Unai Emery was fired – how the players described as dross and mentally frail are playing today and, while we lost at home to Olympiakos, let’s not forget we beat them away…if only Auba had scored in the last few seconds.
        I suggest if MA resigned today, there would be a clamour for his services, based on how he has turned the club round in just seven short months.

        As for Ozil, it does seem that is the case, but Dan, either one has to be with him 100% or one becomes another “grim reaper, full of doom and gloom”.
        I haven’t changed my views on Ozil one little bit, but if, as you say, he’s made his mind up, then so be it – club before player.

  13. Top Gunner says:

    As long as Arteta does not find a way to remove all deadwòods from Arsenal books, then I won’t rate him that high

  14. Highbury Hero says:

    The JA legend Sue yesterday mentioned something about the illusory truth effect. I haven’t heard the term before but I am having fun learning it in bits and pieces since last night.

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