Arteta is totally correct to loan out William Saliba again this season

William Saliba is a very talented young defender whose signing delighted me a lot, though it was expensive. He has the raw profile to be a massive success for Arsenal. But right now, in this moment, he is at best an OK defender. He is not yet a brilliant or assertive player.

 

People will point to Wesley Fofana as an example, but exceptions always exist, and so do circumstances. Only 4 defenders younger than Saliba played more than 1000 minutes in all of Europe’s top 5 leagues. Four.

 

Anyone who knows football will tell you that the most difficult part of being a young defender is getting consistent game minutes. It is absolutely essential to their development. Arsene Wenger famously said that playing a young player will cost you points (for a greater good down the line). How much more a young CB in the most unforgiving league?

 

One way or another, Saliba has been steadily acquiring minutes ever since he signed. In a non-Arsenal, player-centric view, that is absolutely great. He is basically one of the best nurtured young central defenders in Europe when you compare the minutes others at his age get.

 

The club has so much to do in the transfer window. One of the biggest priorities is adding more homegrown players to the senior roster. Some HG players like Bellerin, Nketiah etc are likely to leave on loan or permanently. We are stretched as it is with other non-HG additions.

 

That is why all of our transfer rumours have insisted on HG options taking precedence. And the more we buy non HG options like Lokonga and Nuno, the more desperate we get.

 

That explains Holding’s situation. Holding is a good lowblock defender but you really can’t pass with him.

 

However, players’ attitude in training and elsewhere is extremely important to any coach. Rob Holding has famously got a top class attitude. It shows in his improvement and utter professionalism. He may not be good enough but he is a manager’s dream otherwise. In a club with some attitude and commitment issues, you really need guys like him around for the atmosphere, unity and forward momentum. Club management is, according to Julian Nagelsmann who’s a coach himself, 70% managing people and just 30% about tactics, which is right, because at the top level, the difference in coaching knowledge is vanishingly small. If you can’t coach a thing, you can hire staff for it. It’s really not a big deal. It’s all about your chosen way of doing things, how it aligns with the club’s way and whatever else. Branding is also important to a top job.

 

There are trusted men and lieutenants in clubs. Even if you could get a better player, you don’t let these guys go easily. It’s not always about who can play this ball. If you have lead many people in a sensitive role, you will know what I’m talking about.

 

You can’t even begin to succeed when your followers don’t buy into what you are trying to do. Forget the coaching. This is why it’s hugely impressive that the entirety of Arsenal Football Club, from the executives to the players (at least the good ones) back 36-year-old Arteta.

 

So Holding, for the above reason and the HG issue, likely stays, at least for one more season. Replacing him would require too much specificity in scouting right now. (Also, Ben White, a quality young lad who has fantastic attitude and is already familiar with what Arteta wants).

 

There’s also the big issue of no European football. The 3rd choice CB behind White and Gabriel will only get scraps.

 

Remember that Gabriel is a physical phenom and Ben White played every single minute for Marco Bielsa. They are both extremely durable players.

 

There’s also the point of trust. A manager’s trust is an absolute big deal. If a manager doesn’t trust you, then your treatment will not positively correlate with the level of your talent (if you are talented). Holding is trusted to play in the biggest of games for Arsenal.

 

It is a bad thing, I know, as Holding is not just impressive enough for our level of ambition but don’t forget that he is actually a capable defender who has shown great improvement this season. He is an average 3rd option but he has the manager’s trust and that is important.

 

It simply won’t bode well for Saliba to stay behind Gabriel and White. He is unlikely, as it is, to displace either defender. So his development minutes will be affected. Don’t forget that the manager is under heavy pressure to produce results, too, plus he already plays plenty of kids in the new set up.

 

The best situation is for Saliba to extend his contract and go out on loan to a Premier League club where he can show that he can grab a spot for Arsenal. However, after talks, it seems the player has chosen to stay in France (makes sense personally for him). He still has 2 years left after this loan, however.

 

Clubs make hard choices, frequently, and at his age Saliba needs as many games as possible under his belt. You may not agree with the full extent of a decision made by the club but at least you can see some reason behind it.

 

All decisions in club football are projections and there are no full guarantees, so even the best decisions on paper may be a disaster while obvious, popular decisions may turn out utterly irrelevant.

 

You can bring up many examples of scenarios at so many clubs.

Imagine if Tottenham had sold Dele Alli for 80 million euros at the time. It would have been fairly unpopular with fans but they would have been better off in retrospect. Look at them spending close to Pepe money for Ndombele. Pepe himself was a financial travesty.

 

I expect William Saliba to have a very fine career, either here or somewhere else, but it is insanity, real insanity, to think that we would not survive or even thrive as a club without him. He needs to become a T3 defender in the world for 3-5 years for big regrets. Unlikely.

 

Admit it to yourself. You are in love with the idea of Saliba as the Saviour not Saliba the Absolutely Normal Defender.

 

Saliba Saviour mentality is the grasping hope that Saliba will turn into a fan fetish of a player who will be a world class talent we can enjoy for 7 years and then sell to PSG or Barcelona when he’s 28 and declining in his old age. Basically, another Saka. Basically, another Henry. Basically, another Lionel Messi. Basically, another wunderkid.

 

Cue the disappointment and abuse when he turns out absolutely normal, making normal errors.

 

Saliba is someone I expect to be capable of doing well enough in the Premier League. I rate him a lot. However, I am not going to worship his false image as some purported saviour of the club, whether he becomes a success here or elsewhere. We will be alright.

 

If Saliba had less hype and was bought for way cheaper but was still the same player, we would not have this fan situation. That is the truth. Blame Sanlllehi for wasting so much needed money at the time on an 18-year-old and making you all feel he’s the best thing since Van Dijk.

 

Please note that I’ve not made conclusions at all. All I’ve done is provide tools for you to navigate the decisions behind his loans. There still isn’t enough information on his situation to make conclusions at all.

 

Also note that he will be going on loan at Marseille.

 

Marseille are to be coached by Jorge Sampaoli, who has a roughly similar approach to Arteta. It’s not all bad. Saliba at Newcastle will not reveal much else to his football. At Sampaoli’s, we’ll see more of his capacities.

 

Agboola Israel

Tags Wilian Saliba

77 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Arsenal need to find a balance and get more talents and few leaders/character. Luiz, xhaka, holding and Bellerin are all known more for their character and influence in the dressing room and not for their talents.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Yes, Wenger said young CBs tend to make more mistakes than the senior ones. But he had to play them in some games, to give them some experience

    You’re also absolutely correct about the importance of attitude. Imagine having a highly skilled soldier like Rambo in a squad, but the talented guy can’t cooperate with his team-leader and other team members

    Thierry Henry also said some of his young trainees liked to oppose his ideas, when he was interviewed by Carragher. No team can survive without cohesiveness from all team members and Arsenal have to help their managers in instilling discipline into the players

    1. Adiva says:

      Al, what has players age have to do with their quality and by extension their experience. At what age did Cesc start playing for us. One genius of a man said and I quote “ if you are good enough, you are old enough” By your logic, if we buy Camavingha now we should loan him out because he is 18 and not epl proven ( this has to be the dumbest excuse not to buy a player) Chelsea bought Kurt Zouma at the same age as Saliba from St Etiene on similar arrangement in 13/14. He played with them from 14/15 to 16/17 playing 47 league matches and won some trophies along the way before he was loaned to Stoke and Everton the following 2 season at the time when they are pursuing the league again. Why can we have similar development path for the boy and in the process show him he is wanted. At least Chelsea did it when they were winning everything why can’t we do it now that we are mid table team with no expectations of winning the league soon or qualifying for cl. From your reason above, the reason we are getting White is because he qualifies as an HG player not because he is better than Saliba and I ask you is that worth paying £50m? You can put Ben White in this statement and it will more send than having Saliba’s name there because he is already our player……I expect William Saliba to have a very fine career, either here or somewhere else, but it is insanity, real insanity, to think that we would not survive or even thrive as a club without him. It takes only a badly run club to pay £27m for a player from any Europe top 5 league and loan out for 3 consecutive season without giving him a chance to prove himself.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        Tony Adams, Martin Keown anybody?

    2. Adiva says:

      It is not a response to Got, I don’t know why it appears here.

  3. Emmanuel Moses says:

    This is the best article I have ever read in a while. Well articulated, concise, precise, no sentiments

    1. Jay says:

      On point. The manager really doesn’t have the luxury of time to be experimenting with players he doesn’t have total trust in yet. The arrangements will help bring him up to speed. I’m always curious to know the meaning of ‘bad man management’? So if a manager believes that a player is not ready to fit into his plan or idea and he sends him out on loan, it’s ‘bad man management’? The same manager that has managed, Saka, Emile S.Row, K. Thierry, Martinelli and has constantly played them when Injury free? The manager is not hired to make people happy on sentiments. If you’re good, enough fit and ready the manager will play you. Arteta still believes Saliba will come good that is why they have not included the option to buy in his loan contract, meaning Saliba is not for sale and means the manager still has hope that he will perform. William is not the first and won’t be the last expensive flop in the Premiership and many top managers and clubs have had their shares. Chelsea, Man United liverpool etc with their great managers have got it wrong it the past.
      Let’s allow the manager do his job, the buck stops at his table.
      Good perspective Israel

      1. SueP says:

        Great analysis in my view

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          you’ve really lowered your standards….I guess supporting Arteta supersedes even the truth now…first the above author postulates the far-fetched notion that Saliba is being considered as some sort of a bloody “saviour”, then the poster you’re propping up had the unmitigated gall to suggest that Arteta has properly featured our more youthful prospects, including Marts, which was a bone of contention for entire 2nd half of the season and ESR, who actually saw feathers until injuries/covid took hold and Arteta’s hand was forced…even after our new #10 provided some revelatory moments, he was quickly shoehorned out wide as soon as MA’s preferred loanee arrived on the scene…I get that you dislike the vitriol being directed at the manager, but the bar has to be a little higher than that, don’t you think?

        2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          I apologize if you felt that this critique was too harsh SueP…I was just trying to suggest that some of the comments that both the author and the above poster expressed might have been a bridge too far for even someone, like yourself, who’s clearly hoping to change the largely negative MA narrative…take care

  4. Ayan says:

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Time shall tell whether Arteta has made the right decision or not! But I’m worried!

    1. Sylva says:

      @Ayan, don’t worry let’s give Arteta a season more to see if he is really good.. He has not done badly as a coach last season considering the team and players Arteta inherited; most players over the years have been usede to lazy training by previous managers. The board have also been stingy buying quality players.. Last season the top 7 were all coached by elite coaches but he still managed to be above Carlos Anceloti and Macelo Biesta and others who have been into coaching ahead of him. And we narrowly missed Europe bcos of Leceister who succumb under pressure to Tottenham defeat. Now that he is buying some players, let see what Arteta can achieve and where Arsenal would be this coming season.. We shall all judge him after 6 games.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Sylva, you don’t win cups, finish in the top four, reach the knock out stages of the CL by having lazy training sessions – for heaven’s sake, what will be the next gem aimed at AW and UE?

        As our worst position in the last two decades was 8th, what kind of training sessions were those teams who finished below us having?
        KEEPY UPPY!!!!!!!!

        1. Sylva says:

          Ken1945
          We are on the same page.
          That’s why I want to see what Arteta has to offer this coming season. I want to see his first six games. Over the years before Wenger left Arsenal have become soft in training and the board seem unambitious. But have seen some firmness in Arteta.

          1. ken1945 says:

            No, we’re not on the same page – how did we keep finishing in the top four/five, if we were “soft in training”?

            The PL is the most competitive league in the world and to think that players could perform to the level of the last two decades, if we were being soft in training, is quite frankly, laughable.
            Don’t blame the board either, kronkie was the man in charge.

  5. VasC says:

    Just another “pro” management article, as expected. Putting the blame on people who are not here at Arsenal right now for splashing big on a prospect and justifying the failure of the current management to get anything productive from that investment through their mismanagement.

    Clearly trying to cover the current management’s ineptitude, by bringing up the names of Pepe, Ndombele, Henry, Van Dijk, Alli, Messi and Saka, yet not mentioning once in any of the articles in the past few days about the abject failure Willian, signed by the current management.

    1. guy says:

      Cmon Vasc – does the fact that it is in favour of Arteta make it untrue? I don’t think thats how you judge every event.
      Arteta didn’t sign Saliba and didnt spend £28m (ie too much). Is that a smokescreen to protect Arteta? No, its a fact. Does the price paid mean this 20 year old should start? That’s no way to run a team.
      Willian was a huge error by Arteta. There you go, it’s been mentioned. Because he has made errors does not preclude him from also getting it right.
      If we who want Arteta to get a chance are willing to admit his MANY errors, why are those who oppose him unwilling to admit that he could do ANYTHING right?
      It’s like a bad marriage where a husband made a big mistake years ago, and despite trying to make amends for years, the wife refers on a daily basis to that historical mistake. The husband has learned from his error, but will never be forgiven, and this will be the case until the marriage ends, because the trust will never return. That’s kind of how it feels here.
      A sizeable minority of fans were in favour of Arsenal signing Willian on a free, as were the media, so the decision was not an aberration until it didn’t work out, at which time it became solely Arteta’s error. I get the 3 year mistake, but did any of us expect his form to fall off a cliff, and that this “model pro” would just give up? I know I didn’t.

      1. VasC says:

        If you didn’t expect Willian to fail last season, why do you expect Saliba’s loan deal to be the right decision this season? Is this based on facts and figures or purely hope and speculation?

        Nowhere in my comments, I made a point about starting a 20 year old. I pointed about the lack of WILLIANs in the articles and not in the comments. It doesn’t matter if a sizable minority of fans favours a player or not. Only the player’s contribution to the team’s cause matters. Plus, a team doesn’t get league points, if their manager learns from his faults.

        I don’t get what you mean by this: “If we who want Arteta to get a chance are willing to admit his MANY errors, why are those who oppose him unwilling to admit that he could do ANYTHING right?”

        If you mistook that I’m against Arteta, it ain’t my fault. In all my comments in JA, I’ve expressed my desire to have Arteta with us for at least the duration of his current contract, no matter how the results go. I’m just having a different opinion about his player management skills.

        If you find the article true in every sense, hypothetically, after spending about 100+ million quids on transfer this season and if we end up 8th in the league table at the end of this season, will you be throwing your weight behind to retain Arteta as our manager for the next season or will you be willing to sack him?

      2. jon fox says:

        Excellent post guy and I simply loved the bad marriage analogy, which I found spot on. (Not from personal experience I hasten to add, as my lovely Sue and I are like two cooing doves, even after all this time!).

        1. ken1945 says:

          What everyone forgets as well, is the FACT that Chelsea were prepared to offer him a two year contract anyway, but Willian wanted three.

          No one on this earth is perfect, we have all made mistakes.

          It’s a new season, let’s get behind the club manager and players.

      3. Sagooner says:

        Saliba spent 6 months on loan in France and got into team of the season. I don’t get this his not ready story because I guarantee you none of our back 4 apart from maybe Tierney would make team of the season

  6. Dan kit says:

    Not sure how the manager couldn’t have found a place in the 25 man squad if I’m honest .
    When he his giving squad numbers to the likes of Mari (probably be injured for 6months when season starts )and chambers who will not be getting any starts and probably very few minutes you have to question what harm it would have done to have him around the team for the season .
    I would imagine that we never see him line up for our team again and will be offloaded next season for a massive loss .

    1. Sean M says:

      The question was pretty clearly answered in the article.

      Having him around the squad and offering him limited minutes is far less preferable to giving him a full season of first team action elsewhere.

      Which of these two option you prefer determines where you stand in the debate.

      1. Dan kit says:

        Answered by the Article writer ,which being his opinion
        This being my opinion,big difference .

      2. guy says:

        I get it entirely. Imagine he flops and we won’t risk playing him again. He sits on the bench, uses a slot, loses all confidence and plays no games. Mari and Gabriel are IMO currently better bets at CB, despite Dan Kit saying he thinks Mari will be injured (a crystal ball is hardly a valid reason to drop a player DK). And its unfair to imply Chambers has no use

      3. Tom says:

        Lovely!! Saliba is better off where he can play more minutes than being stuck on the bench at arsenal….. He still has alot of learning to do, the coach believes he has a big future but just isn’t ready yet!!

    2. speedy says:

      mari is 26 so much more experienced.

      1. Dan kit says:

        And much more injury prone

        1. guy says:

          Martinelli has a similar injury record to Mari since January 2020. Perhaps we should leave him out of the squad too?

          1. Dan kit says:

            Not sure why you have bought up Martinelli .
            One being a potentially world class youngster the other being a journeyman CB ,2 completely different subjects .
            Regarding your crystal ball statement I’ll go off past experiences of what’s gone on before and not blind faith which a few readers seem to go by .
            I get that you have a raging wide on for the manager but peddle your wares somewhere else buddy because I’ve heard it all before ,like I’ve said countless times if your happy with 2 8th places finishes that’s great, me I would rather not bury my head in the sand and hope for the best .

  7. Grantygooner says:

    How much are the Kronkes paying you for your articles Agboola?

    1. guy says:

      Cmon Granty – who cares? He writes well and the quality and numbers of civilised responses means its encouraging reasoned debate. Surely that’s a good thing? And we are (mostly) being polite to each other, too!

  8. Adajim says:

    Holding repaid management trust of new contract with a solid performance last season, it will be unreasonable to jettison warriors that achieve 3rd best defensive record last season and very foolish to rely on 20yo all season since it’s clear Holding isn’t good enough as starter but back up.
    Overall a reliable defence and DM means we can give freedom to the likes of Partey to join the attack giving us more attacking options, this was our major let down last season, because we do not have reliable defence and DM we sacrifice an extra midfielder to remain defensive. During preaseason I have seen Partey taking more attacking roles which is very encouraging

    1. Sean M says:

      I noticed that too (re Partey), Adam. New boy Sambi has played many games for Anderlecht at the base of a middle 3, which could give Thomas the freedom to roam more.

  9. Sean M says:

    Strongly agree with the article.

    My only fear is how unattached to the club Saliba may be feeling. We know he was a bit miffed last season (although I hear Rennes suddenly pulled out of their loan deal, which is why he stayed (unwanted) for the first half), but I hope that is not the case now.

    Marseille are a step up from Nice and are putting together a pretty impressive team this summer. Let’s see how the boy kicks on.

    1. speedy says:

      cant believe they let thauvin leave for free. But i see them making the top4 next season.

    2. guy says:

      Agree Sean. All players get miffed when left out and so they should. Miffed enough to leave? Marseille was his choice not Arsenal’s and unlike us he gets to play in Europe. We can only hope it makes him more determined to make it here – it worked fur ESR at a similar age. if he has a character anything like Guendouzi though (French players can always be more volatile – Nasri, Adebayor who came through the French system for example) we will never keep him happy!

  10. guy says:

    Well done again Agboola – another very well argued artice. You can call these pieces “pro Kroenke” or “pro Arteta” if you like, but does that in itself make them wrong?
    Is the case that a fan’s dislike of these two means every well thought out piece based on sound arguments is instantly dismissed unless it critises these two? Are they considered incapable of going anything at all right?
    Loved the article and although of course we don’t know enough facts to determine the truth of some background events, or what will happen in future. But for me it hung together well and is very feasible.
    Of course it helps that it echoes my own sentiments – that we have been dazzled by the price tag, which was too high, into believing a) this 20 year old is ready and b) we must play him immediately, and we conveniently ignore all the factors (well documented by Agboola) that indicate we shouldnt yet put him into our first team.

  11. Reggie says:

    The article is about the person’s opinion not any fact. I personally think Saliba is not fancied by Arteta because he didnt buy him. Saliba is being treated far differently than any other player. It would be good if we knew REALLY why?

    1. guy says:

      True Reggie but aren’t almost all articles here largely opinion. IMO it was well argued and laid out – Agboola’s pieces are the ones we are all responding to, which I reckon is a good thing.
      Not sure we will ever know why ie if there really is a why or its a defect within Arteta.

      1. guy says:

        ps I understand that it must be irksome that all of his pieces are fundamentally in support of the status quo. Still getting a lot of elequent and reasoned responses though, so its having a good effect in galvanising the readers.

        1. Reggie says:

          Guy, that is why he is getting responses because it is usually against the reality.

          1. speedy says:

            so reggie what is the reality since you are now a self proclaimed arsenal correspondent.

          2. guy says:

            Lol Reggie can’t argue with that!

          3. ken1945 says:

            RVL,
            Once again, how’s the promised Wenger article coming along?
            Can’t think of anything more to say really.

            Hang on though, ever heard of full stops and capital letters when finishing and starting a sentence?
            It makes trying to get to what it is that you are saying much easier to read and digest… just my personal thoughts of course🤔🤔🤔

            Also, don’t forget we are all Arsenal supporters on here, with differing views and trying to be the biggest @ss in town is not becoming of you👌👌👌

            Having to apologise for your own post, should tell you something, surely?

            Hope you take this in the spirit it is intended of course.

          4. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            Nice try Ken…congrats on your semi-retirement though…I’ll never forget the time you

        2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          be careful Guy, clapping so vigorously for oneself while sitting on such a high horse could be detrimental to your health…your passive aggressive disarming techniques are akin to a friend putting their arm around you, drawing you closer, then summarily punching you in the crotch when you least expected it…I, for one, won’t get fooled again, which is why I’m wearing my most protective codpiece while writing this response…all aboard the excuse train, next stop the corner of Fox Lane & SP Avenue

          1. guy says:

            Not clapping for myself RVL – I’m not sure where you get that one from. Like you I express my opinions, but unlike you I try not to personally insult those who happen to disagree with me. I find your invective too often excessive and unnecessary considering we are merely discussing our mutual football club. Perhaps you are not the only person who writes so caustically on a personal level here, but your language is frequently chosen simply to insult or upset the recipient. That is why I replied to you as I did.

            I note with interest your comment that my health may be at risk (presumably for criticising how you talk to people?). Your use of “…” after the phrase adds a certain menace, presumably as intended. If I were a nervous person, I could well be concerned after reading this. .

            I highlight that particular sentence to try to show you how intimidatory your language can appear when directed on such a personal level to people of various ages, sexes and sensibilities (none of which you know beforehand), who just want to chat about football.

            Although admin may find them acceptible, I will contunue to comment on your more extreme diatribes against writers who have said nothing bad to you.

            Even if as suggested it proves detrimental to my health…

          2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            once again you’ve tried to greatly exaggerate and twist my words so they fit within your particular narrative…how anyone so cerebral, as yourself, could possibly purposely misrepresent my obvious “play on words” for the sole purpose of trying to raise some farcical red flag, is both ridiculous and clearly disingenuous…my statement merely suggested, in jest, that if one were to be literally clapping vigorously while sitting on a large horse they could accidentally fall, thus harming themselves…I guess I gave you too much credit…duly noted

            the fact that you decided to take this to another, unwarranted level under the guise that you might actually be in danger in this totally anonymous world, just suggests that you see this as a cheap opening to try and unnecessarily get me in hot water…real low blow…I was simply remarking about your propensity to loll someone into a false sense of security by using complementary language, at first, only to flip the switch part way through your response, which is incredibly passive aggressive…playing the victim card in such an seemingly innocuous situation is certainly uncalled for, especially for someone who literally responded to almost every person who posted a contrary opinion to your own…please don’t respond again to any of my posts and I will do likewise

  12. gooner1578 says:

    Well my friend, your article may look very logical but then when I look at us buying lokonga for around 20 Million and sending out a capable Midfielder (not exact same skill set of course), the midfielder who has a significant amount of first team experience in the league already.
    Talking about Matteo Guendozi- Arteta is not accepting any responsibility for players bought by people before him, and in that case he is looking for changing 80% of his squad, and if that was the case, I question the decision to hire arteta in the first place and not some pedigree manager, since we are going to Invest a lot of money in changing the squad as arteta likes and then if arteta is fired for some reason, the new manager wont take the responsibility for arteta’s signings? I dont think this is how it should work.

    My opinion is that arteta makes decision about players too quickly whether the guy is good or not, examples : Mkhitaryan wasnt even looked at by arteta and had a decent season in Rome, mavropanos has been on constant loan even though he is a better ball player than holding, similarly, he shunted ozil all of a sudden even though the last game ozil played under arteta, he provided an assist for laca in a stale mate against west ham, similarly he re-signed ceballos and couldnt get him up to speed for the whole season? he has basically killed reiss nelson since he bought willian, he has basically killed nketiah by keeping him in the squad as a bench option, a lot of other examples as well….
    So dont tell me that the decision to send Saliba on loan was well planned, if it was well planned, he wouldnt have been an unregistered player for 6 months last season, and arteta wouldnt have said publically that every player will have a chance in preseason to prove himself….
    So a clearly Pro-Arteta article this one.
    PS another decision I hate is the Big contract given to auba, i dont have issues with the money but since arteta as is claimed is a genius at work, he should have known better that auba is not a striker who likes to play with the back to the opp goal and is poor at holding the ball and poor at linkup play? and if his plan was to instill a 4-3-3 in the longterm why did he give auba a contract extension when he was best performing in a back five formation with auba playing centrally as the most advanced player? such indecision will keep hurting us.

    1. Ogaraku Ben says:

      Lol. Going by your logic, Arteta should have gotten rid of xhaka, tierney, holding, chambers, aubamayang, lacazette, leno, martinelli etc.

  13. speedy says:

    please read your own comments before posting. So any player that leaves is bcos arteta did not buy them, where did you get that from. He did not buy xhaka , and ceballos was emery doing but arteta called him back. Yaya was a seasoned pro but his attitude got him in problem with pep he did not play until he had apologised . So you belieive that MA could freeze out ozil on his own, (shallow thinking i think thats your thing) the arsenal board did that. So gets your fact right before churning out tr**h.

  14. Grandad says:

    One aspect of the article I would take issue on is the assumption that Gabriel will partner White at CB if indeed the latter is signed.From what I saw last year I would rather have Holding or Chambers at CB rather than Gabriel or Mari neither of whom impressed me.And before anyone suggests we need a right and left footer to form a successful partnership, I would remind you that Liverpool did very well with Gomez and DVD whilst Stones and Diaz have eclipsed LaPorte for Man City.

  15. Durand says:

    Curious why the author has such a different opinion when it comes to Arteta.

    2 8th place finishes, numerous negative records set last year, and STILL no clear style or philosophy.

    But hey, Arteta is fine and we should blindly trust and follow the “process”

    Good author, writes well, but the “Pro Kronke” and “Pro Arteta” stances are merely opinion like all the comments on JA.

    Arteta was hired to develop youth as was talked about upon his hiring by Josh and even Arteta himself.

    Yet so far he is showing himself to be a checkbook manager.

    1. guy says:

      True Agboola’s articles are all a tad obsequious Durand – even to me! Gets us talking though!
      All your points are at least partly true my friend. But this is actually the longest period since Arteta started available to work with players, Covid and the fixture congestion that was last season meant isolation game recovery game. So interested to see if it looks better in a few weeks. I would argue that there have been some improvements amongst some of the kids, but not enough tbh. Or you may be of the opinion that any improvement are purely down to the player, whereas any retrogade steps are purely Arteta’s fault? If so I can never win that argument! lol

      1. Durand says:

        Guy
        Arteta has improved our defense and he deserves credit for that. However he also eviscerated our attacking prowess in the process.

        For example; Auba had a down year obviously and a good portion down to his efforts. Also, Arteta bears some blame for his 11 men behind the ball organization; combined with slow static buildup it killed Auba’s traits that made him deadly.

        Most would agree the Willian selections were disastrous, especially in the Spring when it was clear Willian wasn’t working.

        I’m with Arteta and hoping we see improvement in December. Saka, ESR, and Tierney have flourished under him, Martinelli we will see.

        By then 2 years and over 10 players he handpicked should be bearing fruit.

        A philosophy, a style of play, and within touching distance of top 6. IMHO these are realistic goals and excuses should not be accepted.

        1. guy says:

          Agree again – I may be clutching at straws but I maintain the hope that suddenly it will all just click – hence I keep my powder dry for now.
          Martinelli will be a key sign for me. I saw he was off form post injury so didn’t mind the benching. But if he doesnt get some proper game time in a few weeks I will be furious as the kid is a huge talent.
          I echo your requirements btw – top 6, recognisable, attacking style and some good football, within the first 3 months or he loses my vote

          1. Durand says:

            Guy
            Nice reasoned arguement, can’t disagree with your comments.

            I think most would agree that 2 years with the board and owners support should bear fruit with results.

            I don’t expect miracles from Arteta or the players, and we will definitely have a few slips along the way.

            I would like an end to the negative football we have seen under Arteta. With only domestic football he has plenty of training time and to set up with his best 11; no excuse to cut and chop lineup every week.

            Hopefully with his players coming in we’ll see bravery and creativity in our play. Playing on the front foot and being aggressive for a change.

            The chemistry and fluidity make take a couple months to set in, so I’ll try not to get too high or too low.

            I’ll also keep my powder dry until the December fixtures.

  16. jon fox says:

    Wow Agboola! A top article and I am happy to praise it. This time you have packed your piece with reasoned arguments , not merely your opinions, which makes such a huge difference!
    I have both praised and criticised your many previous articles but if you can write regulary to THIS standard, you will be a shining star on JA. GO FOR IT AL!
    Added to this you have a rare way with words and are very literate – it is all in your favour now!

    1. Bobs says:

      Cos the article support your view?

      So any article that is against your view deserves criticism?

      I think you need to check yourself out.

      1. guy says:

        Bobs – I think most of us say when we disagree with the content of an article and praise when we agree – check out all the other comments.
        Not sure why you take umbrage with Jon Fox for doing so.
        But to give you perspective I too happen to think that its a very well put together piece, and has encouraged a useful debate, agree with it or not.

      2. jon fox says:

        I think you need to get an intellect ! Your post is simply your own bias and makes no sense. As your first two sentences contained a question mark, I will treat them as questions. And the answer to both is NO!

  17. gerry burke says:

    i still think this author, although well versed in how to write an article, treats his articles as though they were an edict or a matter of life or death article. i dont understand this style at all. surely the author is merely expressingh his opinion, which we all all allowed to do on here.i have decided, that, from now on, i will be bypassing this persons articles, because, as ,ive said previously, it seems to me that he is writing orders for others to follow, no thanks for me.

  18. RSH says:

    There’s always justification for the things Arteta does that makes no sense. Even have former players like Wilshere not understanding why Arteta almost never used Martinelli, espescially the many times when we were chasing a game and looked dead. When we sell Saliba for pennies I hope people remember his treatment.

    1. Sue says:

      Don’t hold your breath, RSH..

      1. RSH says:

        i said i would try to be a more positive person sue. how am i doing 😂

        1. Sue says:

          Keep at it 😂

    2. guy says:

      Im not always a big fan of Wilshere’s views. IMO Martinelli wasn’t the same player coming back from injury. Firstly he had lots of niggles, and later I thought he had the enthusiasm but was trying TOO hard and the skills had gone. I too would have rested him or I could see the injury recurring. New season though he HAS to get good game time.
      Doesnt mean Arteta hasn’t made a ton of other bad decisions though!

  19. Bobs says:

    I know I do support many of your article but I’m against this.

    I’m of the opinion on “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”.

    You said in one of your write up that, some fans talk about Saliba as if he will be the saviour of our club.
    Have you see the way Fans and Pundit talk about White? Tell me who was hyped more btw White and Saliba?
    Does that mean White is our saviour?

    That people talk much about players doesn’t mean they believe he’s going to be our saviour. I’m among the fans who boast so much about Cazorla when we signed him but I know he won’t come here to be our saviour but so happy to have him in the squad.

    Guy say something about people criticizing Arteta’s signings but couldn’t talk about the one he get right. It makes me wonder which manager was praised so much on a player than what the club achieved.
    Nobody will talk about Arteta getting the best out of Sterling if Man City achieved nothing.
    If Mourinho achieve nothing, nobody will attach him with Drogba and Co
    .
    We came 8th for 2 consecutive seasons and you suddenly want the fans to trust Arteta.
    What I see in Arteta is that, he’s actually trying to follow Pep’s footsteps. Pep signed almost 8 defenders and the most cheapest is Ake which is 46M.
    I don’t see other big club spend so much on defender like Pep yet they bring results than him.
    Chelsea Rudiger and mixture of Christensen and Zouma
    Liverpool Van Dirk and mixture of Gomez, Matip and Lovren
    Bayern Boateng and mixture of Alabama and Sule
    Madrid Ramos, Pepe and Varane

    None of those defenders combined worth more than Man City, yet they delivered.

    So Arteta prioritising CB more than our midfielder is Pep’s traits, so I don’t blame him.

    Our needs which is obvious is yet to be attended to except if Arteta believes Lonkonga, Willock and ESR is the real deal which I will agree with and wait and see how it pans out

    1. Bobs says:

      My reply is to Jon fox.
      Don’t know why it appears here.

      1. Bobs says:

        Jeez!!!
        I meant Guy and AI

        Sorry Jon fox

    2. guy says:

      Hi Bobs – appreciate the thorough reply. I’m not sure which points were for me so I will give my take on each!
      If Saliba was in ony other position I would agree – if youre good enough you play. There are ALWAYS exceptions but generally at CB part of being good enough for me means the experience of age and mistakes learned from. A few genius defenders made it at the top clubs young, but I don’t think Saliba is quite in that class.
      I said that because we paid big money fans expect instant results. White is older and can provide them, but Saliba is a prospect, so the price tag alone should not force us to push him into the first team before he’s ready. No – neither player alone is our saviour, but either/both can help guarantee us a sound yet ball playing defense for the next 10 years.
      I wasn’t referring to transfers when I said Arteta gets criticism but not one word of praise from some writers – I referred to his total role as manager/trainer.
      Personally I don’t ask people to trust Arteta – heck I don’t trust him myself. Many say he’s had nearly 2 years so he should go now. Normally I’d agree but this is not a normal 2 years. Lockdown, isolation, no fans, no income, no time to train, huge pile of useless deadwood we cant even give away, almost no time to train, fixture congestion, poor squad. Not a normal 18 months. I plead for more time, not blind trust. Until this December.
      Agree we need CM and AM. The window hasn’t closed yet. Is the order in which we buy players that important as long as we get them?

  20. Ozziegunner says:

    Pointless article, as the decision has been made by the powers that be to loan William Saliba to Marseille. Nothing anyone writes here will change a thing.
    Best to move on to more pressing issues, like upgrading midfield and improving Arsenal’s goal scoring ability. The effacy of the decision to loan William Saliba can be revisited at the end of the season.

    1. guy says:

      You’re rigt Oz – but this topic was too juicy not to join in!
      We need a nice controversial piece on which players we want and can realistically get in midfield. And then “do we actually need another striker?” And if so who? Would Abraham by worth trying if we got him on loan to buy, or do we not even rate him on that basis?
      C’mon feature writers there’s a big hole in the “things to argue about” itinerary!

  21. Logic says:

    An the author is obsessed with Arteta which does not fail to show with his each article. Just because some one is good with words does not make things right. Saliba has been mistreated I mean such a known talent and you don’t even include him in the squad for a single game last season and this season as well when we have some defenders who left us. How is Ben White better? He played one year in EPL for Brighton not Liverpool, city or Chelsea and he was not out standing player in Brighton as well. Coming back to other English CB we have holding, at best he would be a bench player in any top 4 team. He is poor with ball, slow and struggles against quality offence. It’s funny how we have one pro Arteta guy write an article and all of a sudden all usual Arteta support cast is out again in numbers to support and priase articles about our saviour manager. How naive are we that people are celebrating and being optimistic for next season based on the two players we have signed and third Ben White who is coming in. The bar has really been set low in the name of managing expectation.

  22. James says:

    How do you know when you’ve never given him a chance? Fofana???

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