Arsenal now have a fresh start – Shall we try Victory Through Harmony?

Arsenal, you cannot paper over the cracks, now fix it.

Being an Arsenal fan has not been easy. For the past few seasons, my passion for the team has slowly started to fade. I am an Arsenal fan forever, but the relationship between the fans and the club has been worn down by poor performances, disappointing seasons and greedy, unmoved owners. However, we always have an FA cup or a top four finish that papers over the cracks. We make light of the horrendous state of the team because of silverware.

This season we truly see the team for what it is, MID-TABLE. No FA Cup, No European football and one of the worst league finishes in our history. It is sad to see how this season has turned out, but we saw this coming for a long time. Not addressing the true issues of the team for a long period has put us in this position. This is an unpopular opinion but, this is the break that Arsenal needed to better themselves.

This season has been disappointing, from one of our worst starts in almost 40 years to our terrible run from October to mid-December, we saw the club plummeting down the table towards relegation. We were able to correct, and, became the third highest in-form team since Boxing Day. That means nothing if the team are sitting at 9th. Arsenal’s poor start and our underperforming Aubameyang are the reason we are where we are.

It is not fair to blame Aubameyang for all of this, the rest of the team should have been able to carry the load while the talisman was in a rut but, the team is too dependent on him scoring all of the goals. The other players were finally able to start scoring, resulting in Lacazette being a key player for us this season. The team has performed of late but they are a team of two halves, in games and for the season.

Let’s not focus on the past, the season is almost done and now we can look at the new season as a fresh start. With the upcoming season we need to carry the form we have now into the next season. With the off time before the season starts, the team needs to sort out the starting 11, quality and depth, and consistency throughout the season. The Kroenke’s have no intention for selling the team, and Arteta does not seem to be leaving the team this season so there is no point in arguing about them, so let’s focus on how we can improve the team.

After 18 months, Arteta does not know his starting XI. There are players that he favours, but if it is impossible to predict the line-up for a match day. Some positions have been solidified but positions such as right back, right centre back and central midfield are still up in the air. Right back, Héctor Bellerín has been a great servant to the club but he is not what the club needs. Arsenal need an improvement on him, a defender that is physically imposing, good at crossing the ball into the box and defensively sound. Right centre back, with David Luiz leaving, Arsenal need a player that can lead and that does not need time to adjust to the league. The player has to be mobile, comfortable in a back four and experienced. Central midfield, Arsenal need to find the perfect partner for Thomas Partey. Granit Xhaka is a good partner, but he slows down the play too much and is inconsistent. Arsenal need a player that brings energy to the team, has the passing ability and does the defensive duties that allows Partey to be more offensive.

With the starting 11 sorted, the bench of the team needs attention. Certain positions have no depth, Left back, while other positions have depth but the players that are there are not at the standard of the players that are starting. Arsenal need to bring in quality players that help Arsenal compete for the league and Champions League. One of the areas that needs depth the most is the left back position. Arsenal need an experienced player to come into the team if Kieran Tierney and a young, promising player that can grow and, in the near future, compete with Tierney. Centre back has the most promise. Saliba is shining in Nice, proving that he is a future starter, Holding and Mari are solid squad players. Right back has adequate depth, with Chambers and Cedric Soares both being good players that offer different qualities.

Midfield is the position that needs real reinforcement. Dani Ceballos looks set to return to Real Madrid, Xhaka set to leave and the future of Guendouzi and Torreira look uncertain.  Arsenal need to make shrewd business, looking for young players that are already Premier league proven. Attacking midfield, Arsenal need a player that can compete with Smith Rowe, Odegaard is an option, if not there are a number of players that Arsenal can try to buy, from Michael Olise to Houssem Aouar. The winger and striker position could use reinforcement only after the midfield and defence have been attended to.

After all of the transfers, Arsenal need to work on their mentality. The players are slow and lethargic when the game starts and, only switch on when they have conceded. The players need to develop a killer instinct, taking the game to the opponent and kill the game off early. One way the club can improve as a whole is if we follow the club’s motto, Victory through harmony.

It is difficult to support the club when the owners do not care as much as the fans do. The fans must push the owners to show their support for the club, otherwise, the owners should just sell. Protests throughout the season will not solve our problems. We need to push the owners to support the manager.

Once the season starts we need to support the players that are on the pitch. Fans need to be behind the players no matter what. Constructive criticism is fair but abuse is not something anyone should deal with, the players have their own problems to deal with. Certain YouTube channels should be cautious with the content they post, the opinions they share have an effect on the fanbase as a whole.

With the coming seasons, the club needs our full support. This is a long term plan that needs everyone, from the owners to the fans, to play their part. It will take time for Arsenal to be the success we all want it to be, and when the club is able to achieve our goals through harmony, it will truly make our success all the more worthwhile.

Vuyo Mataka

56 Comments

  1. A J says:

    Probably THE most inappropriate motto in world football.

    Place an Arsenal fan in a telephone box (remember them), and he/she would start an argument with themselves !

    1. Dan kit says:

      😂😂
      That is legit spot on

    2. Angus says:

      This made me laugh.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Because Arteta would likely stay, we’ll need an overhaul. Vinai, Edu and Garlick will have a Herculean task in the summer

    Ideally, Aubameyang leaves and Lacazette stays. Starting both of them will lead to another series of inconsistent results

    1. Stephanie says:

      Our Midfield needs work
      Our defence is pretty good
      It’s difficult to have both Lacazette and Aubameyang together. I think one needs to leave or both and get another CF

      1. gotanidea says:

        Yeah. We definitely need a new CF, but it’ll depend on our sales

      2. Rashid80 says:

        Difficult? Not so long ago they were great together!

  3. A J says:

    AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH

    OH THE IRONY.

    Even this headline !

    By the 3rd comment – we’re into “Arteta” territory !

    By the way BREAKING NEWS !

    On the concourse next season, all sales of hot dogs and other consumables are to be replaced by Tapas & Estrella.

    BLOODY ARTETA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Grantygooner says:

      Bi-lingual match programmes perhaps?

      1. A J says:

        Another change – BLOODY ARTETA !

        * Bull fight at half time !

        * Probably offended someone there !

        1. Grantygooner says:

          AJ don’t worry about it. A lot of our fellow contributors want to be offended, yearn for it! Bottom line Stan needs to put his hand in his pocket and Mikel needs to start showing some of what Pep was trying to teach him! Like you I don’t see any improvement any time soon.

          1. A J says:

            Agreed Grantygooner.

            The only reason Stan will be putting his hand in his pocket is for a ’round of “Pocket Billiards” !

    2. Sue says:

      Tapas and Estrella 😂😂

  4. Wyoming says:

    Victory through harmony sounds like some 1950’s communist brain washing slogan 🙂.
    Venting and ranting is an integral part of football culture.
    Harmony has no part in the die hard football fans mind.
    Hating on opponents is compulsory hating on ones own team is exceedingly popular as well.
    Football’s popularity was originally as an opiate for the vast poverty stricken under classes world wide.
    Even in post gentrification digitally wired 21st century Europe football for the fan Is not a game but a battle with all the color the pageantry as two warrior tribes go at each other with club pride at stake.
    Harmony not on your life 😊

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I believed and loved the motto during the great Arsene prosperous and peaceful reign. I think he actually lived the motto when managing the club.

      1. A J says:

        Hi H H

        If you haven’t yet got ’round to reading Arsene’s book “My Life in Red & White” give it a read.

        Great insight into the man’s philosophy on many things.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Thank you very much AJ I will at a convenient time.

        2. Grantygooner says:

          Loved Stan comment above. No reply button so you’ve been censored my friend heh heh heh!

          1. A J says:

            Knew I’d get ’round to offending someone !

    2. jon fox says:

      Wyoming, Given your view that football is never harmonious – with which I completely disagree btw – what does the happy emoji mean? Could it mean you are happy that it is not harmonious, albeit only from your own view?

      I always feel that you and I do not inhabit the same planet. I am on Planet Earth. Is that also your planet? I maintain that rivalry can still be playedout in a friendly spirit and for the health of our game and our human race, indeed must be harmonious, in general.

      I accept that it is not ALWAYS so but the aim SHOULD be harmony. AS WAS AMPLY PROVEN A FORTNIGHT AGO WHEN FOOTBALL UNITED TO DEFEAT THE WICKED ESL PROPOSED BY NON REAL FOOTBALL PEOPLE.

      Hence our clubs true motto. Otherwise, hatred wins. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT !

      OF COURSE IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER ONE SEEKS HARMONY OR SEEKS ENMITY, AS TO HOW ONE SEES THINGS!

    3. ozziegunner says:

      No longer “an opiate for the vast poverty stricken under classes world wide”, because in many countries the poverty stricken under classes can’t afford to attend.
      The disparity between rich and poor becomes greater by the day, so much for the “trickle down effect”.

  5. RSH says:

    yeah yeah yeah, we need MONEY to spend this summer and actual decent scouts and people who can make good decisions. With the Ryan Bertrand rumors going on that seems unlikely. We are very far from any sort of harmony.

  6. A J says:

    Keep going guys – we’ll get to a full blown argument by mid thread !

  7. Dan says:

    Disagree that we are only where we are because of first half of season and if we can take this form into new campaign ?
    What form ?
    In second half of season we lost to Villa , Wolves and City
    Liverpool destroyed us at Emiraites , Everton won their for first time .
    We were seconds away from losing to Fulham at home !
    So no , I havn’t seen an improvement

    1. Grantygooner says:

      Yes I agree no overall improvement, some of the youngsters give me a glimmer of hope. Then lego head selects the same duds who cost Emery his job and despair sets in again. Think of the Arsenal related tragedies Shakespeare could have written if he was still about.

      1. jon fox says:

        Plenty of his plays fit us right now! COMEDY OF ERRORS seems most suitable, LOVES LABOURS LOST also! We can hope too that such as ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, applies soon.

  8. Highbury Hero says:

    We can’t stop supporting the club no matter what happens because that comes naturally. Even though he will stay against many wishes he has to give us something to support him for.

    Personally no less than top 4 finish.

    Wenger- top 4 is not good enough he had to win the title.

    Emery- top 5 is not good enough he had to return us to top 4.

    Arteta- took us from 5th to 8th and then from 8th to 9th bloody hell!!!

    If he finish in top 6 next season there is no way it should be classed as an achievement because he is the one who took us out of there in the first place.

    1. Sean M says:

      Check the table when MA took over.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        What about this season? With 7 additions and deadwood clearance?

  9. Semaj says:

    Did I miss it? I believe we also need a good ‘keeper as Leno is not a #1 but a back-up keeper

  10. Sean says:

    Stan make a deal with Arteta & Edu to get rid of 6 or 7 players, add 100m to those funds recieved from sales from the likes of Lucas, Hector, Mo, Xhaka, Willian, Eddie and possibly one of the big two in Auba or Laca.

    Luiz, Cabellos & Ødegaard will be leaving so nothing comes from them disappearing bar a space in the squad.

    Returns of Saliba, Dino, Willock & AMN to think about! If done correctly this summer we could have a decent squad to actually male a push for that Top4 but is Mikel the man to do it is the main question and we all have doubts!

    1. A J says:

      @Sean.

      Agreed, and the way to go ….. bar AMN being moved to your opening paragraph in my opinion.

      As for the last line – M A will be managing these players come August.

  11. LIAM says:

    WHY DOES PARTEY NEED TO BE MORE OFFENSIVE? HE IS POOR OFFENSIVELY AND WAS SIGNED AS A DM?

  12. hans andersson says:

    I saw a headline here claiming Kronk have four main reasons for supporting Arteta. It sounds absolutely surrealistic. FOUR?! I don’t want to read the article, but is there someone who knows these FOUR reasons?
    I wonder: Is Kronk mad, or just mean? He maybe want to punish all disloyal fans who doesn’t love him. And he definitely have the means to do so. Arteta is a perfect whipping boy.

  13. Wolf says:

    Far as I’m conccerned Arsenal’s season started 2 games bk after limping out of the Europe. Arteta is already on notice (to me). We two unbeaten….more I look at it that Chealsea performance took some graft and good defending. We need much more of that stubborness

  14. MJ says:

    If we’re gonna keep Arteta then Edu Gaspar has to go. Call me a pessimist but i have zero faith in Edu doing the right thing. Edu worked with Raul, hw was part of the team that negotiated the Pepe deal that couldve easily attracted criminal investigation. Edu didnt stop there, as the man incharge of recruitment he sanctioned another crazy three year deal worth 250k/w. The same guy gave cedric a lucrative long term contract. Cedric is fourth choice RB behind a left footed 19 yr old. How could a TD get things so wrong in quick succesion? Whose interests is he advancing? Not the club’s if you asked me! Yet here we are, a tiny section of the fanbase and the ownership still trust these two to oversee thw most important phase in our club’s history!
    The club should sack Edu and bring in a man with a clear footballing vision. Think overmars, ragnick, Sartori etc. Overmas has done well at Ajax despite losing top talent evey season. He will be leaving ajax after a decent decade at ajax. Twchnical directors dont rely on managers for footvalling direction yet thats exactly what Edu is doing:relying on a rookie manager on eveything related to foorball.

  15. Sean Williams says:

    Would we support a totalitarian dictator….no…never! Kroenke is our totalitarian leader and I will, personally, never support him, I’ll stay in the resistance thank you and retain the right to criticize him. Nice fantasy, but not part of the real world. There are things wrong at the club and burying our heads in the sand will not help.

  16. Stewart Macintosh says:

    I am at the point now where I have to turn the page on the manager debate (please continue on by all means :-)).

    I am not an Arteta fan and I don’t buy the story that we are an awesome team if you subtract out parts of the year – we are mid table and reliant on a lot of luck to be in Europe next year.

    But he isn’t going anywhere, at least through first half of next season, and I really hope that by Christmas we are not thinking about changing a manager. I would be thrilled if people were pulling up old posts and calling me an idiot for doubting.

    I have to have hope:

    1. That management is not seduced by more old and worn down players to fill our spots;

    2. That we buy quality and if we choose to take a bit of a risk go with youth and potential, maybe look at players who can survive in English football;

    3. That whatever is left from the current team meshes with whatever is brought in;

    4. That Partey and Pepe really hit their strides and play like they did in Europe (plus Arteta gives Partey some shooting drills in practice);

    5. That Arteta’s tactical awareness improves;

    6. That Arteta recognizes that we are in a rebuilding mode and that we truly give our younger players a chance to prove themselves or fail;

    6b. That if we qualify for the new European league we use it as a training ground for young players only;

    7. That Leno regains his much stronger pre-injury form.

    Whether I agree or disagree with what is being posted I enjoy the commentary and opinions.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Nice Post Stewart. Agree with all your points. I am starting to forget (at least online) how it is like to be in celebratory and agreeable mode week in week out. Hope those days will come again.

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        that was my thinking too. Can be accused of putting on the rose-coloured glasses but it is summer!

    2. jon fox says:

      Stewart How good to read a post from a glass half full, NOT a glass half empty man. We all know our club has problems but wehave to have hope and belief that things will, in time, come right. Retaining hope is of vital importance in life, no matter what befalls us.

      After all , if we dont have hope, we become bitter and angry, as so many posts constantly show us on this very site. And those who post in that vein hurt mainly themselves, as hatred always harms the one who feels it, more than anyone else.

      That is a life lesson that most senior age people have long known through sheer experience.

      My late father who fought against the Japanese in world war two, hated ALL Japanese til he died. They never knew that but he harmed himself only, by hatred! I learned that lesson while still in my early teens by watching my Dad, sadly. In a way, I was fortunate to learn so early on in life.

      1. gerry burke says:

        JON FOX, what an amazing comment, and, i thank you for sharing that very personal observation.in all walks of life we all have to have hope, if we dont have hope then we have nothing.as i said in a previous post some days ago hate only hurts the person doing the hating from the inside out. no good ever comes of any type of hatred.unfortunately, it is in all of our makeup to hate , especially when we are younger, only with age does one realise what hate does.and to make matters worse, on here, for example, it is all football related hate. it is only a game , after all. i am not saying everybody spouts hatred on here, no , far from it in fact, we all have our differences, and thats where it should stop.i was dumbfounded when one regular commentator asked of me in my recent post “what has hatred got to do with racism and bigotry” . i was so shocked that i could not reply.

        1. ArseOverTit says:

          Forgetting and moving on is in principle a good thing..however in reality sometimes it is counter productive.

          Imagine a gold fish with its 2 second memory or whatever swimming in its tank where at one end of this tank is a water circulating fan that has had the guard break and fall off…

          Now imagine this fish was reborn everytime only to fall again by the same fate: dying at the hands of the exposed and unprotected blades that decaptiate it in some ground hog day fashion…

          If only the fish remembered the reality of the situation and took evasive action to stop the same thing repeating over and over!

          Attachment is human nature (unless you practice zazen like a zen monk daily throughout your life) the rift emotional investment to events, places and people is natural and ergo so is bitterness and resentment as much as happiness and positivity.

      2. Stewart Macintosh says:

        That is really interesting Jon. When I worked for the Canadian Dep’t of Veterans Affairs I had the honour to meet and work for a few Hong Kong Vets over the years. These guys were POWs who endured absolutely awful conditions. There were some who couldn’t forget or forgive, and I can get that.

        What was really impressive though were some of the people who were able to forgive and move forward, they tended to be the ones who lived longer and healthier lives.

  17. ArseOverTit says:

    How about we change it to:

    ‘Mid table through owner permeated apathy’

    To better reflect the reality..?

  18. Joe. S says:

    Yeh, sure! ” From the owners to the fans”, Reality please. The fans care the owners vile. They definitely have no interest in the sport. Knee jerk stuff. Lay off Arsenal Fan TV. It’s not there fault Arsenal are where they are. They just care more than others. There will be no fresh start while the Kroenkes are in control. You will be depressed for a long time.

  19. JW says:

    Hmm, touchy-feely football. That is what I want to watch.
    Arteta and Edu can have a Kiss a Kroenke week.
    After the match, Arteta can say: sorry Bert, I am sure you did not mean to punch the ball into the net!
    Now who’s a naughty boy Xhaxa for getting a red card.
    I love it.
    They can all go to Chucky-Cheese after the match and hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
    Oh this is going to be great. Maybe it will spread to the supporters. Instead of moaning after losing to Crystal Palace, all us supporters can sing “Don’t worry, be Happy”
    The big upside is we can do all this with the current set of happy Arsenal players. We don’t want to bring in any expensive outsiders who might rock our happy boat, do we!!!

  20. Joe. S says:

    So true JW and tell those meanies at AFT to lay off. What’s wrong with then? Accountability and responsible management? What cheek!

  21. ozziegunner says:

    After following the Arsenal for 59 years, though ups and down, the Kroenke years have worn me down.
    It is not the position in the table that upsets me, as Arsenal has been there and worse in my time. However it is the realization that the owners, the Board, the management and the players either don’t care for success on the field, by their statements and/or actions.
    The fans are the only ones who care and while they continue to spend their hard earnt coin, that is all the others need to be satisfied.

    1. Sue says:

      👍👍

  22. Joe.S says:

    I think anyone who grew up caring about Arsenal would be in a similar position og. Speaking for myself all those years ago, running to the newsagents to get three months old copies of Shoot and Goal magazines just fresh from England and trembling over the Monday newspaper to get the UK football results, followed by Match of the Day with Brian Moore and Jimmy Hill. We never expected a lot from Arsenal but it was sweet and hard earned when it came. This lot in charge now inspire nothing but contempt.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Joe S, you were just like me with the joys of the long distance fan. Shoot and Goal were bought as soon as they arrived at the newsagent, as you said with info 3 months old. For the weekend results or cup competitions you had to listen to BBC radio or ABC TV news and read Monday’s papers. Match of the Day once a week on ABC, especially good was an Arsenal appearance. The pundits/commentators today could learn so much from Brian Moore and Jimmy Hill.

  23. Joe. S says:

    👍👍👍 We were a minority in a sea of Liverpool fans as well.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Joe. S even worse when I moved to Lake Macquarie and my children went to the primary school that Craig Johnston had attended years earlier, with his signed Liverpool shirt on display!

  24. FingersFurnell says:

    Jumpers for Goalposts, three and in

    I have also watched Arsenal since the 60s, we were an average first division team and that lot down the road had just done the double, no logic to why I followed the Arsenal at all, my Dad had taken me to watch Tottenham reserves (who were probably better than our first team at the time), we walked across the marshes from Walthamstow, a Spurs stronghold, school was fun!

    But it made it that much sweeter when we clinched the double at WHL in 71

    We did that with a Manager who had been promoted from being the team Physio, the original “Rookie Manager” and I didn’t know or care who the rich suits upstairs were

  25. ozziegunner says:

    I recommend the YouTube video
    HITC Sevens “English Football is on the Verge of Collapse” by a Hull City Supporter.
    Really worth watching if you care about the future of football.
    “Remember Bury FC!”

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