Arsenal need to change our new culture of rewarding failure

Arsenal’s structure is set up to fail by Konstantin Mitov

Arsenal sit rock bottom of the premier league with a goal difference of -9. Football is a result-based business, but also how you play is important. We certainly don’t win, and there’s hardly anything positive about the way we play.

Last season we got beaten by a Sterling header from a cross. This season we again are dominated in the air by one of the shortest teams in the league. Gundogan beating Chambers to a header. If you can’t do the basics right, any sort of tactical game plan afterwards is doomed.

I feel sorry for the players who play up front, because we actually started lively and could’ve done something, but when inside 15 minutes you are 2-0 down with the first 2 chances City had, it’s difficult to find a motivation anymore.

A lot has been said about the how bad our squad is, and I agree City are a miles better team, but in football it’s not always only about the quality or even quantity. Chelsea played the second half at Anfield with 10 men, but they dug deep and saved a draw.

Our heads drop immediately if we concede. Our behavior on the pitch is a reflection of how the club is ran. Our defending is shocking, but then again who picked Kolasinac? A player whose contract we’ve been trying to terminate all season?

We had Pablo Mari available. He hasn’t been great lately, but he is a CB. An Edu – Arteta signing, not a Wenger leftover. Remember Mikel tried to blame what’s been happening in the past 10 years for our state, but 18 months after his arrival it’s gotten worse.

He picked Xhaka as captain. A player who wanted to leave all summer. It’s honestly inexplicable why this person plays for Arsenal. It’s like we forgot how he flipped the fans off. The way he repaid the manager’s and the owner’s faith for backing him with a new deal and picking him as captain is by leaving the team down to 10 men with a reckless and unnecessary challenge.

This decision though is very similar to how the owners back Arteta, even though he is pushing us hard towards relegation. This culture of rewarding failure is only going one way and it’s evident on the pitch.

In business as well as life there is a hierarchy for a reason. If the players don’t play well, it’s the manager’s job to fix it. If that doesn’t happen, the people above, which should be Edu and Vinai, need to make the decision.

But when the owner comes out to ask you to trust the process, I wonder are Edu and Vinai the ones who tell the owner to trust Arteta? Or are they just meaningless puppets put there to pretend we have a structure?

Back in the day, all the power was with Wenger. If he got it wrong, we were screwed. Then Ivan G tried to strip some of his power by introducing the triangle of him, Raul and Sven. That didn’t last long with Ivan leaving 6 months into his project, than Sanllehi pushing Diamond Eye out, and later he went out as well.

In the meantime we had Vinai promoted to CEO. He is a marketing person, and I agree we have a good looking kit, but our football is horrible. Why don’t we have a footballing person running the club, with ideas of how to make the football as good as the kit?

Then there’s Edu. I remember Wenger questioning what a director of football actually does, and with Edu I also don’t get it. The guy is posting on social media barbecue pictures with agents in a summer which our manager described as “unprecedented” for this football club.

I look at Chelsea and I don’t know who does the transfers there, but they needed a striker and got Lukaku in very quickly. That’s not Tuchel’s problem. He has to make sure they win games on the football pitch, and if he doesn’t do that he’ll be replaced.

The structure doesn’t depend on 1 man and it won’t break if he has to be replaced. Neither will Arsenal become worse than they are now if Arteta is gone, but then who comes in?

You think Conte will come to this mess? We will never meet his demands. We took Arteta, partly because he’s cheap. Now we’re paying over 130 million to repair the squad, but we changed a lot of players recently and I don’t see the improvement.

Even if we sign a good player, he is setup to fail, rather than push us in a forward direction. So if we want to make sure that the next guy has any chances of success, we need to move Edu out immediately, move Vinai back to marketing and hire a CEO who has a footballing background and a desire to succeed.

Remember that we tried to get Overmars? Why couldn’t we sell him the project? Edu was the last resort, cheap option. With that sort of “leadership” no player or manager will get us up and running. We lack ambition. Van Persie said it 10 years ago and it still stands today.

The situation around Arsenal is so negative. This is where a new manager can help a lot. The players need an idea to rally behind. Artetas constant changes in every department of the pitch make even players like Tierney look bad.

At this point I am so desperate for a new manager I’d take anything. I’d bite your had off for Sean Dyche even. But sacking Arteta and hiring a new boss isn’t just about the change. It would send a message that this kind of humiliation is unacceptable at Arsenal football club.

Sadly, we’re encouraging it and that’s why it keeps happening. Arteta knows he won’t be sacked so he just sulks in his chair when we lose. He should be fighting with all he has to manage Arsenal, but I see defeat in his face. He may be the nicest fella ever, but that’s not the quality you need to successfully manage a football club.

The international break was something I used to hate, but now I actually enjoy having a break from Arsenal and we desperately need this one. Sadly we’re just delaying the inevitable. We are 9 points off Tottenham, with 3 games played. I said Arteta would be sacked before Christmas, but I’d be amazed if he’s here when November starts.

I hate Arsenal losing, but I’m afraid that beating Norwich means trusting Arteta with 6 more months and the January transfer window. At some point the bleeding has to stop, before you die.

What scares me more is that when Arteta is finally out of his misery, we will appoint another ‘es man’ on the cheap and 2 years later, we’ll be here again. It took us a lot of time to hire Arteta. A rookie manager. If we opt to sack him, do you think we will have a replacement ready immediately? Do you trust Edu and Vinai to pick him?

Unless the Kroenkes rethink in general how they are running this football club we will repeat the exact same mistakes just like we do on the pitch.


Tags Arteta Granit Xhaka Kroenkes


    1. Just like Wenger and UE were sacked.
      Let’s sack Arteta then and get him, Big Sam, because am sure though most fans have been calling Conte name, he will not come, at least now.

      1. why theres no red card for Pogba for his tackle yesterday?

        its not Pogba first time that he got away…

      2. so instead of eliminating the problem, we should double-down…come on, that’s ridiculous

  1. I also suspect there’s a leniency or complacency culture at Arsenal, stem from the top of the hierarchy

    Kroenke has been trying to get more involved by delegating the tasks to his son, so hopefully it won’t be too late to get everybody out of their comfort zones

    Unfortunately, I heard Arsenal will only be looking at loan signings, unless “an amazing opportunity” for a permanent transfer arises over the coming days

    1. I do think they can solve most of their problems, at least for the short term, by getting a Conte, who is aggressive but knows what he’s doing, but they’d have to listen to him. The first part seems far-fetched (how could we convince him to come now?), but the second is the part I’d be worried about. Edu would need to be replaced by someone who shares that manager’s vision.
      If we got this appointment right, the culture on the playing side would change, and probably quite quickly.

      1. I think Conte needs a strong dominant CF at Arsenal, just like Arteta and Tuchel. Conte always relies heavily on that CF type:

        – Mirko Vucinic at Juventus
        – Diego Costa at Chelsea
        – Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan

        The closest version of that CF type at Arsenal is Lacazette and I don’t think we have transfer budget left to buy a new one

        1. I don’t think that’s the issue so much – you can formulate an effective playing style that doesn’t require a classic CF (playing 2 up front for example), it’s more that we need a robust system and players that understand and buy into that system. It would help, but if that’s what we needed, we had all summer to sort that out, so it comes down to the management again.
          I know a it’s been said a lot but for the way we’re playing now, it would have been much more worthwhile spending the time and money on getting a dominant CF than chasing after a 50m ball playing CB.

    2. Gai, coming days? Transfer window will end tentatively tomorrow.
      All players bought are meant for the future. Too bad we didn’t even buy at least 2 who can help in the present.
      So much lack of footballing ideas from the hierarchy. Yet underperforming employees seem comfortable.
      How much can Arteta bring out of a group of players beyond their capabilities? A team is down with 2-0 still G. Xhaka has no brain but to get a red card and put his already failing team mates in a dare situation. How unfortunate. I hope Auba’s call for a change of players attitude and performances on the pitch will help lift their spirits. I remain hopeful till after 6 games.

      1. West Ham show what high confidence can do to their players, so we need to fix that aspect first. The next EPL game at the Emirates will be perfect to boost it

      2. I am praying That Party is fitAnd stays fit)and that he and loco can start a fresh dynamic partnership in midfield when the international break is over or we will have to wait for Xhaka the managets pets next suspension to give it a try.any odds on when that could be???

    3. To have CH,Kol and CS all starting at the back + Xhaka as cpt with Lenny next to him is not going to get you far in the English prem.maybe in the championship but these players would probably struggle there to.They cant cope with the pace of the league and none add any ariel ability and in fact struggle with this essential part of the game. I dont understand without any inside info why these players are being selected.I know Xhaka can be a decent player when he has time and space like he showed in the euros but that’s a completely different game from the English prem.He wanted to go!Roma offered money for him!we had money to spend!Fix the midfield!No….He gets new contract…made captain.we buy a Centre back for 50m…we loan a centre back we bought for £27 who had a decent loan spell last season BACKOUT on loan….We lack goals in the team.The only Attacking player we buy is one that scored two goals and how many assists??MO might prove to be a great player but he isnt right now.stick him in Arsenals team atm and he looks light weight no physical presence no defensive capability if the Attacking part of his game isnt happening.City and Chelsea are both excellent sides and we havnt got our best players errr well Party….Gab??(struggled a bit last year)errrrrrrr!!!well our foward-attacking midfield-wingers combo is still not set which is worrying.the manager has had enough time to see the Abo-Lac with pepe dosent work in anyway whatsoever.i think a new foward would have been great this summer, some1 with ariel presence preferably.i agree the club have been run so poorly the last 10 years and the money has been wasted so many times but at the end of the day there has been money and the manager has some say if not the final word??on who he gets in.The buck in the short-mid term stops with him. Arteta picks the team and if you pick the poor players you will get poor results

      1. I was shocked when watching Chambers and Soares unable to deal with simple long crosses, but we had no better options on the bench

  2. Definition of complacency;

    “A feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc

    Not a recent malaise, but a “low setting of the bar” that has been at the heart of the club for many years.

    1. It is shear lunacy to be complacent when the EPL table reads:
      Arsenal P3 W0 D0 L3 GF0 GA9 GD-9 Pt0
      League Position 20

  3. Easy to put the boot in when we have played two of the best sides in the world with half our side out with Covid and injury.
    Arsenal are nine points off Spurs that is true.
    Yet in 3 games time we could be on 9 points
    the same as Spurs could still be.
    Norwich (H) Win. Burnley (A) Win. Spurs (H) Win.
    Palace (A) Loss Chelsea (H) Loss Arsenal (A) Loss
    This is my prediction for the rest of the first round.
    Norwich Win
    Burnley Win
    Tottenham Win
    Brighton Win
    Palace Win
    Villa Win
    Leicester Draw
    Watford Win
    Liverpool Loss
    Newcastle Win
    Man U Loss
    Everton Draw
    Southampton Win
    Westham Win
    Leeds Draw
    Norwich Win
    36 points by the end of the first round.
    I anticipate 39 points in the second round.
    75 points and probable 5th place
    behind City Utd Liverpool Chelsea

    1. We are probably the worst team in the league at the moment, so how on earth we should get the results you fantasize about is beyond me, unless we get a manager, who can transform our organization, motivation and something as simple as the mood of the players.

    2. Fairfan.

      Not “putting the boot in”, but anyone who cannot see that for many years now we have been “SLEEPWALKING” into the inevitably of falling behind ( in simple terms) is with all due respect not looking at the bigger picture.

      1. AJ
        This is my point entirely! I wrote a reply to Phil about how Kroenke has allowed mediocrity to flourish.

      2. AJ
        This is my point entirely! I wrote a reply to Phil about how Kroenke has allowed mediocrity to flourish.
        I somehow believed for far too long that top4 was a ‘trophy’.

        1. Hi SueP.

          Spot on.

          And therein lies the problem.

          The “top four trophy” yielded the FINANCIAL rewards of CL group stage (in our case) football.

          We got FAR too content and comfortable as a club (top to bottom) seeing 4th as our ceiling, and a acceptable achievement each year.

          Actually build a side to WIN something of note – don’t be silly.

          Look where we are today !

          Beyond Arteta in isolation. This disaster has been many years in the making.

    3. This is pure fantasy. I have supported Arsenal for over fifty years and seen worse football but never this lax, care not attitude of everyone involved with the club. You talk about 5th place as if this is some sort of triumph. Let me remind you, we are Arsenal, we demand the best, deserve the best. Too many fans going along with this farce, MA will be sacked soon enough and I for one would take Sean Dyke in an instant. Someone to kick these pampered over indulged fairies where it hurts.

    4. I agree with you, we have three points less than I expected after three games. I read a lot of comments about Arsenal every day and most of them are lacking perspective. As an Arsenal fan I can wish lot, but most of it is totally unrealistic at the moment.

      We started our preseason preparations with a Covid-19 outbreak in our club, which changed our preseason schedule. From the start of the season we have had many players out with Covid-19 and injuries, not particularly beneficial for Arsenal.

      There are still 35 games left to play and 105 points at stake. Our performances from Christmas to May last season, and our new players makes me optimistic about our season, in spite our bad start 🔴⚪️

      1. Didrik, I agree that Mikel Arteta has been dealt a tough hand and Arsenal is currently only 3 points behind expectations; however he is not helping himself with choices he has made in loaning players, transfers, selections, formations, tactics and failure to get the most from the player resources he has available to him.

        1. I agree, but we judge him without knowing anything about his reasons. Until I know more I’m curious and fascinated 😂

  4. This isn’t a new thing, it goes back over a decade, when relatively big contacts for players like Walcott and Denilson before they’d achieved anything; this and concepts like the fourth place trophy encourages a culture of just doing enough to keep your head above water – this is most of the senior playing staff now and it’s led to our current position.
    I had backed Arteta before because I believed he would fight against this culture, but he’s only gone after certain players, while treating Xhaka, Bellerin and Leno as though they’re indispensable warriors for the cause who are so committed. He doesn’t understand the roots of the culture problem in Arsenal’s squad are deep, and almost every senior player from when he started probably needed to be moved on, not just Ozil. Understood that he couldn’t do it all last summer, but giving Xhaka a new contract just shows he really doesn’t get it.

  5. Kroenke is there to make money off AFC and while he still does he will be linger like a bad smell. Irony is by his stewardship he will eventually lower his assets value so he will have to be careful here. But the price at which he bought and can sell will no doubt have a healthy profit margin of that we can be sure.

    As for Arteta he is unlikely to walk out since he is paid handsomely to deliver little and he isn’t going to give that up. Only if the Kroenkes sack him will he leave. Same with Edu.

    And that my friend has long been the problem at Arsenal Foortball Club. Contentment with mediocrity (and now lower than that) that spreader from the top like a disease to all facets of the club.

    Many many years in the making. Someone should make a documentary of that since it would be an interesting view. They can keep their ‘all or nothing’ documentary (which needs a re-brand to just ‘nothing’) because that’s what we are now.

    Aside from history we have nothing. No europe, no chance of being competitive to win the PL, no chance of getting to Europe, an owner who is apathetic, a manager who cannot manage, players and a transfer system not worthy of Arsenal with Edu chief bellend operating it.

    We are a absolute laughing stock across the footballing world where rival supporters pray Arteta will stay in the hot seat (it’s more a refrigerated seat at AFC) because they can see from an unbiased viewpoint how he is taking us down and backwards..

    Only fools raised and conditioned on lies and empty promises and the a complete spectrum of excuses for failure will still believe that we are a great club and will
    Be ‘ok’.

    Head out of the sand time . Wakey Wakey!

    Nothing we can do about it beside vote with our feet and stay away, show out discontent with protest and to not pay a red cent, yen, pound, euro etc into the club until they start running the club in a proper way. But again this may be when Kroenke and Co are long gone and a tidal wave of change has finally hit the emirates..

    1. From my point of view we have got what our pathetic fan-base have asked for #wenger out 🤣🤣🤣

  6. Nice article btw Konstantin!
    Agree with mostly all.

    AFC now stands for Apathetic Football Club and what we see is analogous to a flower not cared for ( watered or pruned and protecting against parasites) . It does at the roots eventually..

    I’ll leave everybody to make their minds up on who the parasite is in this analogy;)

    Thanks Stan!

  7. The entire Xhaka affair this Summer has been a story of bizarre decision making and crazy logic. OK, nobody wanted to pay more than 20 million for him, so give him four more years, a slight pay rise and make him captain. The warped logic defies Monty Python. Even more warped is the number of so called fans who were happy with this state of affairs. Then there is Fanfan and his prediction that Arsenal will finish fifth. Where do you keep your good stuff lad?

    1. If Xhaka’s comments after his sending off have been accurately reported by Alan Shearer, then he should never be selected to play for Arsenal again, let alone captain the Club.

      1. Ozzie I understood that Shearer meant Granit’s reckless tackle was equal to saying those words. I maybe wrong though.

      2. Yeah, I think HH is right Ozzie. It was an equation he made between his tackle and those words, anyway he won’t be able to get ahold of players conversation in the field. But then again, Granit might have such sentiment after his failed move, so you never know…

  8. I wonder how many of our fans would have taken the abuse and threats that Xhaka received, without reacting at some point?
    I don’t blame him one little bit – but this opinion has nothing to do with his playing and disciplinary record, so why keep using this to judge the player?

    I find it incredible that managers of the calibra of Wenger, Mourinho, Emery and whoever is his international manager, have continued to show faith in him, to the extent that, even MA has made him captain and first choice – we fans must be missing something very basic.

    1. I can’t think what Ken;)

      Isn’t it apparent. His and our record for red cards, his snail like pace and sideways passing.

      Arteta probably sees himself in him if you know what I mean;)

      Fact is on disciplinary record alone and how his hasty actions alone costs us he should not be in the team.

      We didn’t get what we thought we could get for him so he stayed but on top of that a new contract, rise and captaincy. As someone else put it for someone who wanted to leave and was flirting with mourinho all summer it is a VERY, VERY strange decision.

      #artetaball #thanksStan

    2. This Kane. I still can’t see what he brings to the team no matter how hard I try but all those managers can’t be wrong.

      I admire Xhaka for being a strong person. It might even be the reason why most dislike him.

      “I wonder how many of our fans would have taken the abuse and threats that Xhaka received, without reacting at some point?”

      Very few. If some refuse to engage or hold grudge simply because someone doesn’t share their opinion in an online blog I don’t think they are capable of handling such abuses directed at Xhaka (without doing anything wrong at that)

    3. I agree with you, I’m not a fan of him, but he’s our player and we should start to behave. Our main focus should be supporting the lads in good and bad 🔴⚪️

    4. Xhaka was garbage under Wenger and Emery as well, though. Maybe all these managers are right and there’s a brilliant player in there but he hasn’t shown it at arsenal. At some point you have to cut your losses and move him on – this should have happened while Wenger was still here.
      Had Xhaka been signed at the end of the Invincibles era he would have been shuffled on after a season because the competition in the squad would have shown very clearly how far off the pace he was. Alex Song was 10x the player he was, let alone greats like Vieira and Gilberto. Lassana Diarra couldn’t even get a game for us after Vieira left – how are people looking at Xhaka still and thinking he’s worth backing?

    5. Keeping himself available for selection to play 90+ minutes, whenever the coach wishes to have him in the starting XI. Coaches always rate players much higher, if they are available for selection on a consistent basis.

      Xhaka’s longest streak for playing the entire 90 minutes in the league is 18 games. And he has played 10+ games on a few occasions too.

      Unlike him, the longest streak of the player who our fans wish to see in the heart of our midfield, Partey, is just 5, throughout his entire professional career in first tier football.

      1. the best ability on a team with a ridiculous history of injuries is availability…sad but true in this regards…unfortunately at some point this no longer serves a logical purpose, footballing-wise, except for the obvious path of least resistance option it provides for a manager willing to settle

  9. I said it at the time, whoever sanctioned xhaka a new contract and giving him the captains armband wanted to be instantly dismissed. It is decision making of Monty Python proportions and why are we the biggest laughing stock in the world of football.

    1. Why do people keep saying Xhaka was assigned the captain handband?
      Auba was our captain in the Man city game.
      When Auba came in against Chelsea, Xhaka gave him the handband straight away, which means he wasn’t the captain. Even Laca captain Xhaka on the same pitch. So did Bellerin.
      Without those 3, that is when Xhaka deputize for them, so why all this Xhaka was given a contract and made Captain?

    1. Sorry to say Sur but as an Arsenal supporter you and I are fair game. I mean the whole situation at our club is comical! There is so much material to play with.

      I’m baited daily by friends and family who are West Ham fans and just read a spuds fan commenting on a post about Kroenke and the fact he will probably keep Arteta saying ‘I think Arteta is doing a great job and think he should stay’…

      That’s what we have become – a laughing stock

    2. Just let them laugh, we are The Arsenal ❤️
      Been with this club since 1971 in good and bad, don’t lose your faith 🔴⚪️

    3. You can always say that at least Arsenal has a successful past even if the present isn’t crash hot. Also ask them to come back to talk to you when they win something.

  10. The Kroenkes are not involved deeply in the club like the other billionaires such as Roman. They hire qualified people hoping that they will do what is necessary to take the club forward.

    The problem is the hired people seem to put their interests first and don’t care at all about the club. The love and devotion such as that of the great Arsene Wenger comes only once in a lifetime.

    Eventually the Kroenkes are going to realise they are in the wrong business and sell or keep a close eye on the people they employ.

    1. Merci Wenger, I went to the game against Burnley 6. May 2018. It was payback time, will never forget it.

  11. seems to me that arsenal have been rewarding failure and mediocrity since 2006. nothing has changed since then, 15 years of the same old same old.many players come to arsenal for the “cushy” life, no panic, we dont have to win the premier league , type of player, and manager, it must be until all these lazy gits are weeded out ,from management right down through the playing staff, i see us continuing on as we are.but, the good news is that one day, all those phoney players and staff will go , thats a given.

  12. Vinai out; Martin O’Leary in
    Edu out; Marc Overmaars in
    Qatari shieks to buy out KS&E, if you can’t beat Manchester City and Chelsea join them, because having principles isn’t working.

  13. I recall Mikel was the second name on the list of potential managers after Unai. I really hate to think what will happen if w Mikel gets the sack….it definitely gon be the third choice from the list 😪😢😢

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