Arteta outsmarted and the Arsenal players self-destruct yet again

Typical Arsenal blow it, just when you start to get excited. by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. I warn you, it’s a long read, but there is a lot to discuss. The team managed to hit the self-destruct button, again. Honestly it really hurt this time, because under the previous 2 managers, I just accepted that we are weak and nothing will change until they are gone, but under Arteta I was seeing some improvements, but I was reluctant to post them here, to avoid having an egg on my face when we capitulate and that’s exactly what we did.

Arteta got outsmarted yesterday. Olympiacos were sitting deep hoping to catch us on the break or get a set piece and it worked. We left their player completely unmarked and we conceded another corner. We’ve been having regular problems defending set-pieces since at least 2010.

The collapse itself is typical for Arsenal of the past decade. We played too many balls sideway rather than having a direct threat. We lacked players who could dribble past someone and take an opponent 1:1. Pepe made a good direct run in the first half and I’m thinking OK, we have the pace to scare them, then this didn’t happen once more till the end. A lot of twists and turns and no end product.

Another typical problem were the late subs. Martinelli had immediate impact, because he was the only player past Aubameyang in their box, but it was enough to cause a confusion and to score a goal. His energy could’ve surely gone in sooner? Then there is the question of why isn’t there 1 senior player on the bench who can cause an attacking threat? But we will get to that in a second.

To finish the topic, this game so badly resembled Arsenal of the latter parts of Wenger’s tenure because of the fact we kept Ozil on the pitch for some reason. I can’t see how this man stays past this season. Surely we will free those 350k a week, to ease the burden of the fact we’re most likely not playing Champions league football again.

There are too many players that need to be replaced and no money to do even half of it. If I had to keep players from the side, right now it’s only Saka, Aubameyang and Martinelli. You could make a case for Leno, but look, we need to hold on for 5 minutes until the end of the game, and you try to control a back pass which you can easily kick away. Then we’re immediately under pressure and we concede from the cross.

Not that they couldn’t have scored from another chance, but there are times where you just need to avoid being stupid. He also doesn’t command the box from set pieces and I remember his mistake against Chelsea. This was another game that could’ve given us a glimmer of hope to reach the champions league, but I just can’t see it happening.

Not because the 7 point gap to 4th can’t be undone, but because there is a lack of mentality and quality in the side. We surrendered a lot of leads this season. Remember Watford away? We could’ve cruised it. Crystal Palace at home, a 2 goal lead surrendered again. Sheffield at home, where we were missing chances to score a second only to concede a sloppy goal. Then Brighton where they reversed us at home, with like 10 minutes left. Just the same as the Chelsea game. Those are like 10 or 12 points, which would put us in a delicious position to get the holy 4th spot.

I watched Man City at the Bernabeu and I look at De Bruyne dominating play, controlling the game, by direct passes, running past players, taking the responsibility when he has to, putting in free-kicks, corners and so on. Then Sterling comes on and you get energy and the ability of a man to dribble past someone and create something on his own. And then you remember we paid over 110 million for Ozil and Pepe combined. City paid probably twice or more less for their two players. Even if their money comes from Petrol and all the the FFP story, the moral here is that money alone doesn’t do it. You need to buy quality.

We’re in desperate need for a new midfield. Three different managers don’t drop Xhaka even though he flipped off the fans, which indicates he is supposedly our best midfielder, and that alone tells something, when you compare us to the monster midfields of Man City and Liverpool and even Leicester if we have to be brutally honest.

Finally, I’d like to finish with the whole “vision”, “project” and “style of play” thing. Arsenal football club should have abandoned the tiki-taka style after 2010, when we had a lot more players capable of playing. Football now is a lot more direct and Liverpool are a prime example. We’ve failed to make the best out of the squad we have. We lack wingers, so we put our top striker there. We don’t have a good number 10, yet we play Ozil. Under Emery, and even now, we sometimes try playing from the back with players not capable of doing it.

If we have a grand idea of how we want to play, we need to buy the players who would fit it, if not we should sacrifice some parts of that, in order to get the best of what is available right now. Unfortunately we blew the budget on Pepe and next year, we’ll suffer, because Aubameyang will leave and I just don’t want to know where we would be without him.



  1. Your article seems right only because we couldn’t replaced carzola and rosicky. They are the only central midfield players that I could remember who could dribble past opposition’s midfield players with ease and break lines

    1. Even with Cazorla and Rosicky we could not challenge for EPL. Arsenal need to really look at this side and see what positions are working and what are not. I look at our defense and say we are only okay in LB. I look at our midfield and dont see anyone good enough to start. I look at our attack and it is just Auba and Martinelli who I am satisfied with, one of which will likely leave this summer. Arsenal need to get real and need to desperately improve their scouting. We’ve been buying the wrong players for too many seasons.

  2. I dont think that Xhaka is our best midfielder and i do think all three managers have made a massive blunder playing Xhaka. None of the managers have tried a youthfull full blooded midfield that includes, AMN, Gouendouzi, Torriera, Willock or Chambers. We should be playing 3 in midfield and because we persist with Ozil, we can only fit 2 and Ozil. It doesn’t work at all, no power, no speed, no ball carrying and no penetration. I have said for year a team that has Ozil and Xhaka in will be week and easily dominated in the middle of the park. They both stand of players and cant play without the ball, when they dont do much with it, they are next to useless.

  3. True that. I see light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still way to far. I feel next season will be the building period then the season after maybe we will be competing. If MA bottles it and he is fired, then we start all over again. the way things are going, we might need another 6 yrs to stop this rot.

  4. Spot on Reggie. We need pace and energy in the engine room allied to a physical presence to assist at set pieces.To me neither Xhaka nor Torreria fit the bill and I doubt if Chambers will ever be given the opportunity to play as a DM.

    1. Im adamant Grandad that we need a three man midfield, either 433, 352 or 4123. It protects the defence and allows the forwards to do their bit.

  5. When we get relegated, this guy will write his most disparaging article yet on this club, and the mask will fall. We only ever pretend to support a club if we only hear of them through their successes.

  6. Some of you guys are really over reacting did you think after we took on a new coach we would just start winning, no it doesn’t work that way it takes time to mould and build a truly competitive team period, we are on the right tract we have a quality coach who will only get better with time we have alot of quality youngsters but we also have players that needs to be moved on and we need to bring in more quality but all the above takes time.

  7. What gets me is the fa t that so many games this season we have not managed to have any shots. People talk about our front line being so dangerous and yet we can go 70 minutes in a game without a single shot on goal.
    Watching Arsenal now is often boring to watch and that is the really dissapointing thing.
    Abu has to play through the middle and the only way to accomadate that is to play the following formation.
    Saka cb cb Belarin
    Pepe cm cm martinelli

    Only problem I.see with this at the minute is pepe as he is often lazy to get back and help the defence. He seems a bit entitled a little bit how ozil seems reluctant to get back and help out.
    Laca would have to assume that link role. If he couldnt cebellos could or ozil if necessary.
    But the most important thing is to shoot. Yes it may not always work but it does 2 things. 1 it always gives you a chance, a deflection, a rebound, a corner something. 2nd and most important it gives excitment, hope and belief for fans. This can become contagious and spur on support and belief. Something we all need at the minute.
    I think we are all tired of watching us pass it from side to side for 10 minutes only to go back to the keeper. 1 shot in 70mins just cannot carry on please.

  8. I hope arteta stops playing
    Bellerin, Luiz,xakai,ozil, Pepe. Lacca.
    Play some of the kids with older players…
    Amn. Mustafi mari tierney
    Gundenz. Cabbello martinelle. Auba. Saka

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