Arteta should be angry with himself after Newcastle defeat, not VAR

Anyone old enough to remember witnessing at the time Kevin Keegan’s ‘I’d love it if we beat them’ rant?

What about Rafa Benitez’s famous ‘facts’ tirade.

Both moments that Sir Alex Ferguson claimed he knew another title had been won.

Pep Guardiola will be smiling when watching Mikel Arteta’s outburst yesterday after a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

Considering it was our first League defeat of the season, a complete overreaction and lack of composure.

Desperation to try and create an ‘us against the world  complex to disguise a disappointing performance.

Diversion tactics to disguise the mistakes he made and continues to make.

Sulking because he has to now swallow his pride and admit he was wrong, or surrender the title race.

Were we let down at Saint James Park by the officials and VAR? Possibly.

Yet the way our manager spoke you would think we had been robbed by the worse decision in the sport’s history.

This wasn’t Lampard’s chip crossing the line against Germany but no one seeing it, this can’t be compared to Rashford’s offside goal in the Manchester Derby, this isn’t on the scale of Liverpool not being awarded a goal because of a breakdown in communication.

In the Spaniard’s own words last month regarding officials, ‘They are trying to make the best decisions. We need to understand that mistakes happen.’

Even if you think the Toons goal should have been disallowed it doesn’t explain how we only managed one shot on target in 90 minutes.

The fear is our boss believes his words and actually thinks this was an acceptable standard.

I’m hoping it’s a strategy to take the pressure off his squad. If not, we are in trouble.

Because he wants to empathize the word ‘Embarrassment’ to the press?

Spending 60 million on Kai Havertz is an embarrassment.

He wants to repeat the word, Disgrace?

I’ll tell you what’s a disgrace…. how you have treated Ramsdale and lied ever since.

After another Raya error, let’s see if you put your ego to one side and base your choice of keeper in midweek on form?

You say you will do what’s right and fight for our club?

You pay Eddie Nketiah 100,000 pound a week when he wouldn’t start for the majority of the clubs in this division.

He scored 19 league goals after 100 appearances and yet you pretend he can fire us to a championship.

You talk about values.

Yet you pay Reiss Nelson 100,000 grand a week to play a couple of cup ties once a year.


Even my biggest critics will say I’m not being wise after the event. Most Gooners have years of evidence to know that Havertz, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are not winning you the Prem.

We are watching Raya pass the ball to opponents, punch the ball back into the middle in the NLD, flap at a cross last night and yet you do nothing.


So, Arteta Is angry?

He should be ….

Not with VAR…

Not with the ref ….

He should be angry with himself!


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Tags Arteta Newcastle VAR


  1. Yes VAR was rubbish….but let’s not let it hide the facts.

    The facts that we were poor, running around with no plan again and that our squad is now weaker with some of the additions we’ve had.

    People can try and twist it any way they want to avoid the truth that we’ve been pretty poor this season in many games despite picking up points.

    1. No mate , the games gone so they can’t make me eat my words
      And that’s the point isn’t it … many chances you want to give Eddie she Reiss to male me eat my words
      How many errors do you accept from Raya till he proves me wrong ?
      How many years has Havertz had to prove doubters wrong in English football?

      1. All of this point you made is all over the social media man, and one can clearly see all of them.

        One of my major point on Twitter X was the fact that I blame Raya for not catching up with the ball that led to goal.

        And of course, Raya can’t be blamed if Arteta did bring him to replace Aaron Ramsdale who was a better player around this time last season.

        Raya’s error this season is maybe more than the total error made by Ramsdale last season.

  2. I might pick on some of the specifics but firmly agree with the overall point. We don’t look as good as last season, and while I think injuries have played a big part in that, we’ve spent a lot of money, and yet don’t seem able to cope.
    Blaming decisions rarely gets you anywhere – mourinho skilfully and famously used it to develop a siege mentality in his Chelsea side, but i believe it more often furthers a negative victim mentality, which simply excuses the defeats and poor performances, without creating the galvanising effect you’d really want to see. Perhaps it was because mourinho could use it in narrow defeats when his side genuinely played well? I don’t think we played well yesterday, so I don’t think we’ll see anything positive from it, unfortunately.

    1. Major injuries are exactly to same players as last season: Jesus, ESR, Partey. Its not a surprise to anyone except maybe Arteta

      1. Agree, but I was thinking of timber as well – wouldn’t surprise me if his impact would have been similar to rice by this point, but can’t know

    2. Davi, while I agree with your general points regarding Arsenal’s current form and lack of attacking fluidity this season, I respect Arteta for forthrightly expressing the frustrations of himself (and probably other similarly affected managers) on the substandard, at times incompetent officiating in the EPL. For the supposed top professional league, the officiating is beyond an absolute joke. Unless clubs put in official complaints nothing will change.
      Why does the English FA continue to apply VAR differently from other competitions? Why is the quality of referees so low, such that they are not good enough to be selected to officiate at international competitions?

  3. I totally agree with Dan here. The starting line up did not fill me with confidence yesterday. I knew nketiah’s heroics against Sheffield was a mirage. Jorginho was so nervous he could not carry the ball forward leaving rice to do the work of 2 men. He kept passing sideways irritatingly. Arteta is looking berift of ideas. I would have expected him to have nullified the threat of opponents doubling up on saka and martinelli by now but no. He plays them the same way. Every team now knows how to nullify saka and martinelli and it’s arteta’s job to nullify it. Yes the VAR decision was criminal but our performance was abject as well. Need a towering CF asap. Crosses are wasted with nketiah . The team has regressed. The less said about hervtz the better. He brings only flick on arieL duels and that is a disgrace for 65million

  4. In midweek Arteta said had VAR bn present westharm 1st goal would have bn overturned a game we were poor also.Now that the said VAR goes against us he is also ranting when we have also bn poor.He didnt really improve the squad in the summer coz is like Rice replaced Xhaka and Partey instead of complementing them.

  5. I don’t blame Arteta one bit for being upfront with his criticism of the referee & VAR, and I hope he continues to do it each time we’re fcuked over by PGMOL.

  6. Those toon are in for some disastrous sinking, Got away feuding with Ten haag and Klopp, but this time around Howe has picked on the wrong person to toy with. i’ve not even mentioned their ridiculous decision to keep the away fans at the far top of their f?@ked up stadium. cringe!!! One thing i know they can’t become a top outfit being an embodiment of their current identity.

  7. Saka and martinelli are being doubled up on in every game now, becoming boring and predictable. They receive pass on the wing, throw couple of shapes then pass backwards!

    Entire front line has not looked good this season

  8. Your assessment is really poor…. Was Newcastle better than Arsenal yesterday? You need a chance or two to win games against teams like this. How many did we create against city? The spaces are not there to explore and u can only have an edge against teams like this when the scoreline is still 0-0 or U score first.
    For U to blame the manager on this result is very ilogical…..yes some players weren’t at their best but to single out havertz being poor yesterday was unfair.
    How many shot on target did Newcastle create yesterday?
    People forget U can’t win all games neither can U be 100% in every game. How many times has decisions gone against City?
    Three to four infringement to a goal, and u said he should blame himself and not officials.
    Dont you think what if the goal did not stand, Arsenal can still win the game?

  9. I think we need to look at the way we play. We are too concerned about keeping possession and recycling the ball at the expense of being brave and pushing forwards. The amount of times i sit there and we miss a ball forwards early that is on because we didn’t/dont see it because its easier to pass back or sideways. We had more possession than Newcastle at Newcastle and never made their keeper burn his hands. We had 11 corners last night 0 to Newcastle and we didn’t do one decent corner. Our crosses were toonobody. There are too many games where for whatever reason, we look stale in attack. This is the 3rd defeat of our season and all 3 we have not looked threatening. You cant win them all but we have to look truthfully at why we get beat, or, it will be more often.

  10. I won’t even bother explaining if i were you, The post is obviously agenda ridden. i can see he’s trying to play things safe with his reply to me above but the truth remains he’s not a fan of Mikel Arteta and will always slate him even if out of context,balance and perspective.

    1. I don’t think he’s good enough to win us a title mate
      Been very open about that
      Doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s good , he’s just not great
      If he had not said anything yesterday I would write it off as a game you can lose , no harm
      But it was his press conference where he shows zero accountability and insults our intelligence by trying to say we played well

      1. “he’s just not great”. Alright. You also expect him to “say nothing” to the question asked of him of the blantly obvious ref/VAR blunders? Okay, we’ll see how a bright thinker you are regarding Mikel’s project at our club.

          1. No way he leaves tomorrow cos he’s doing a great job towards achieving his laid out plans. The fact he won’t leave tomorrow anyway sums it up for me as you don’t take away the job from a contractor doing a great job so far in a project.

      2. It gives me great hope, you don’t think Arteta can win us the title. Last season, you didn’t believe he could get us top 4.
        Maybe you will be wrong again.

        1. Maybe mate
          That though was also your thought process when I worried that mentally last season’s title race was too big a step for our young team …..I was spot on
          So let’s hope your not wrong again

          1. Never expected us to win the tittle last season as that’s against the laid out plan and no, mentality had nothing to do with our tittle collapse but as it is to ordinary fans, you can call it whatever you think was what went wrong but fact remains with Mikel,his crew and the board.

            1. Aimed at Anders mate

              Mentality had nothing to do it ,?
              You felt second half at West Ham , home to Saints and Brighton , away at City and Forest we were mentally strong ?

            2. What absolute rubbish!!!! Wether you expected it or not, we blew it from a position of strength. It wasn’t about expectations but about not finishing the job.

              1. If that’s what you believed then so be it. You will always find it difficult to understand us given you’ve got no idea of what Mikel’s philosophy is and how he goes about his things. We were’nt in to win it last season, we finished our job of finishing three places higher as usual.

          2. Well, it is easy to be right, when you conclude the reason yourself.
            That we didn’t win the title last season comes down to a number of reasons:
            – We had started the season in a way nobody could expect and built up a lead, which in reality was something we were never strong enough to keep up
            – Injuries to key players
            – Fatigue because of a thin squad
            – Man C finishing the season in an unbelievable fashion (they were simply better)
            – And possibly also mental reasons

      3. Hi Dan
        You may be right about the title even though you think Arteta is good.
        I’d suggest to you that apart from Pep and Klopp there are no standout current candidates. Ange MAY get there as Arteta MAY do the same. The list isn’t exhaustive and the names I put forward will be unlikely to manage another EPL club. Such has been their success at City and Liverpool

        I remember putting it out there before Arteta got the job who the JA posters fancied out of the available candidates. Ten Hag was one and Nagelsman too. Neither have done brilliantly since moving on. Obvious names such as Ancelotti, Conte and Potter all had a tough time.

        1. Agree Sue
          I’m not saying Arteta needs to go
          Can see the progress
          He just needs to admit he made errors

          First things first , start Ramsdale midweek , play Martinelli or Trossard up front

          I fear his ego won’t do that

      1. What I dont get mate is why it seems to have to be one or the other ?
        You can be a fan of him but say when he’s wrong
        Raya ? Havertz? Nketiah ?
        He’s wrong

        1. Won the FA Cup with Emerys team that he openly slated and got rid of ASAP! This was before he got the team playing “his” way which he said only started in his second season 🤣

          Sorry about the truth…..vamos!

          1. The team playing his way comfortably got us second last season, a feat the inherited ones could’nt achieve and we are very much at it again this season, your type can even dare to dream.

      2. If not anything he has won an Fa cup and improved your expectations from top four to tittle challengers while building a healthier culture behind the scences. you can even dream of the tittle lol.

  11. I absolutely agree with the assessment of Nketiah by Dan. The guy do not look good for any club with ambition, because, he is less than erratic he is consistently ineffective. Arsenal needs to get me a more reliable forward that spends less time on the treatment table unlike Gabriel Jesus.

  12. Dan,
    I’ve always had a lot of reservations about Arteta and have often been slagged off for expressing then, even when we were riding high last season.
    I don’t mind Arteta fuming about a truly cr*p VAR decision, but he needs to look at himself as well.
    I 100% agree with you about Raya and Havertz, both bad, bad buys, and although I’m happy to keep Nketiah as a squad player, we desperately need a striker who can score 20+ goals a season.
    And call me old-fashioned, but I like defenders who can defend – Zinchenko can’t (although he’s a good midfielder).
    And hands up anyone who thinks an aged Jorginho and Havertz are an upgrade on Torreira, Willock & Guendouzi?

  13. its only one football game, but it showed our thin squad
    in some areas, and it exposed Mikael´s stubborn vanity..
    Maybe he should look to Roy Hodgson rather the the
    arrogant Pep..

  14. I’m glad others are looking past var call. We created nothing from this game at all. There are many better things to discuss. Our next game is a must win if we want to finish top of ucl group. I’m not sure where the goals will come from with no creativity in midfielder and this form Saka and marintlli are in.

  15. This makes the idea of giving away the chance of winning a silverware through the Carabao Cup (as we did in Midweak) even more stupid.
    This team isn’t winning the league nor the UCL. Only maybe the FA cup now.

    Some have said it before now that’s it’s just a matter of time before the ‘wheels start to come come off’. We’ve gotten away with poor displays so far this season (against Chelsea and Fulham as examples).
    This is a far cry from how we played last season. Now we struggle to do even the most basic.
    I agree Arteta is good but far from being great.

  16. Dan seems to relish selling stories about the downfall of the team he professes to support. Such narratives garner attention, and he is always eager to capitalize on them. It’s been a while, Dan, but it seems you are back to your usual antics of claiming to be an Arsenal fan when all you seek is to gain patronage of your articles particular when emotions are high. Great tactics!

    Your assumption that we will go to Newcastle and outplay them demonstrates a lack of respect for the opposition. You failed to acknowledge the game’s competitive nature and the evident impact of questionable officiating decisions. It is clear you are detached from any professional work-of-life that involves fierce competition.

    The incident in the game isn’t solely about Arsenal, it concerns the broader state of football. When officials fall short in their duties, it casts doubt on the game’s integrity and that means nothing to you.

    Arteta’s passionate response was justified. Asking him to remain silent as a precondition for respect is unreasonable. While the team’s performance will be addressed internally, the external matter of officiating needs public attention, which Arteta highlighted.

    Yet, without hesitation, you rushed to publish your perspective. Your bias is evident in every piece you write. Even when you claim to write anything purportedly positive about the team, it always carries a negative undertone.

    What a writer.

    1. I write on what I see
      Go look back , when we beat Man City and United your find a positive article

      I don’t wait for negativity mate
      I wrote at the time the Raya decision would cost Arteta everything , it was a step too far
      I wrote for years Eddie was Championship level quality

      Here’s the issue though … write that when teams win your negative
      You write it when we lose your accused of being wise after the event

      What fans like you want ( and society) is only nice things written

      Sorry mate , when you spend 65 million on Havertz and pay Eddie 100 million and don’t create anything , fans will comment

      If you treat Ramsdale the way you have and Raya then makes errors , it will be pointed out

      1. Manchester City’s three consecutive losses during Rodri’s absence showcased the significance of an individual player, even within a team of City’s caliber. In contrast, Arsenal’s lack of four key players was notably overlooked in your recent piece. Moreover, your analysis failed to address the evident officiating errors from yesterday’s match, choosing instead to heavily critique the coach, whom you clearly dislike ever since he banished your favourite player, Ozil.

        While you claim to write positive articles, yet the frequency of which during Arsenal’s successful spells, particularly under Arteta, suggests otherwise. A singular loss this Premier League season, and you are so quick to voice your concerns, largely sidelining the officiating issue which compromised the game’s integrity. Most likely, we will soon see quick successive articles from you reawakening the bias you so strongly hold against Arteta (we wait and look out for those articles).

        To suggest that the coach ought to remain silent on such matters to merit your respect is perplexing.

        Addressing the evident flaws in officiating would have been a balanced approach, followed by comments on the team’s performance. In that case, probably that would have seemed transparent, but that may not have gained too many reads and clicks for your article, and for that reason, I commend your tactics.

        1. Again mate would make sense if you hadn’t made up allot
          I don’t claims factually I have wrote lots of positive articles
          Lots of Gooners havnt waited for this loss , they been vocal about Havertz and Raya
          Finally , who said Arteta should remain silent ?
          You literally made that up lol
          The point is he should also take responsibility for what he got wrong

          1. @Dan: “If he had not said anything yesterday I would write it off as a game you can lose , no harm”. But you said this,didnt you? You seem to have forgotten what you wrote in your response to Vamos. Does it not imply keeping silent?

            The point which you fail to recognise is that the issue that warranted more immediate treatment was the clear and sickening case of the blattant poor officiating presently infecting the game. And Arteta took the moment to address it as quickly as he could, taking advantage of when the emotions were high. Your demand that he admits his mistakes can be treated afterwards as an internal issue within the group.

            Now, can you atleast acknowledge you made the above statement and I didn’t make it up. If you do, then I will agree that Arteta needs to inform the public that he got it wrong.

    2. Couldn’t have said it better @ INDEED!
      Think we need to get @ JUST ARSENAL to give you a slot at writing these articles for the site.

  17. We went on an extremely difficult away game without 4 starting players. Yet we were a tad better than our rivals, who created nothing and did not have any prolonged moments of putting us under pressure. We lacked on end product mostly because of the quality of Eddie and Kai. I don’t know what else Arteta could do with our current squad to better prepare for the game, as it seemed we were very much prepared but lacking in quality.

    1. It’s the same issue as last season. Injuries to the same set of individuals if you can remember.
      I don’t want to talk about what has changed or what has not or even what could’ve changed.

    2. They had more shots on target mate
      So defensively restricted us
      That means Eddie Howe tactics were better

  18. I totally agree with this narrative. Arrogance and bloated egos always pinch when they catch up with you.
    On a deeper human functionality level, I would like to say: no one respects a fool. You can’t like a buffoon, and expect people to show any respect for you; standing out like a sore thumb, Arsenal has developed a bad reputation of flushing hundreds of millions in terminated contracts. Ozil, Aubameyang, Bellerin, Willian, Guendouzi, Pepe and in their stead, spending even more hundreds of millions purchasing players worse than them. A rookie, zero experience, promising egomaniac comes in and tells a whole board to throw away money out with players, buy rejects from Chelsea specifically and offer them more than they were earning at Chelsea.!! He sabotages some of the best talent he finds in the establishment. (Explain what’s happening to Partey, Maghaeles, Balogun, Pacino, Smith-Rowe, Academy players). Who in his right mind is going to respect such an institution? Why are we acting surprised how referees show contempt and disrespect to Arsenal. We represent bad judgement, inflated egos not backed up by proper human conduct.

  19. At the end of the day, a weak referee, poor VAR (Yet Again) has cost us the game. It’s not as if Newcastle (home) played us out the park or anything even tho we weren’t at our best, we were cheated out of a draw at best.

    -The Bruno elbow
    -The foul on Eddie in the box
    -The clear gap between the ball and line
    -The foul on Gabriel(clear push with two hands)
    -Possible control with hands and offside


    This nonsense been going on for way too long and sadly I don’t see it changing anytime soon. It also gets me questioning the Intergity of the officials (like why isn’t HAWKEYE used in the leauge) when it takes seconds to delebrate such controversial situations like we witnessed last yesterday 🤔

      1. You left out the challenge by Havertz that should have been a red card – you left out the fact that we had one shot on target – you left out the fact that Odegaard was brought on in a game that was already lost, only to be then injured for the Newcastle game – you left out the fact that Raya should have played to the whistle… apart from those, a reasoned and unbiased post from both Shak and Vamos.

        1. One of the effects of wrong decisions by refs, it change the games complexion. Had those penalty been given and hopefully converted the game would’ve been of a different scenario. Havertz challenge was’nt a red as he does’nt have his studs up neither did he catch the guy with it, it was a yellow and was rightfully awarded.

        2. The type of challenge by Havertz is very rarely given as a red card. A yellow is standard.
          Much is being made of the 10 minute runout for Odegaard which in my view is simply looking for things to blame the manager for. He could just as easily get injured in training.
          Newcastle defended aggressively and got away with a few things.
          We certainly struggled with our creativity and their physicality even though we had most of the possession.

  20. If memory serves me correctly, Timber looked the real deal and is ruled out for the season. One man down from the off. Partey, ESR and Jesus often out. These players if fit would form part of the first team. Odegaard being out as well yesterday highlighted to me that the squad depth is not as good as I had expected.
    Not wishing to sound as though I am scapegoating anybody, but there are players at Arsenal who are not good enough, but have been given extended contracts. The younger academy players have been given salaries above their abilities and as yet Havertz hasn’t clicked. Time will tell if he will fit in but by now having had the youngsters on the payroll for years, it should be obvious by now that for the most part they do not have the ability to be Saka or Martinellis. Jorghino was a stop gap signing and we are still paying Cedric to sit it out having been given a permanent contract years ago by Sanhelli. He was never good enough to be more than the loan signing that January. And so it goes on.

    Arteta has done extraordinarily well in his first managerial role to get Arsenal to where it is now. The results against West Ham and Newcastle yesterday are not the beginning of the club’s or Arteta’s demise imo. I haven’t forgotten how well we did against City. But, as I have mentioned above, he should be held accountable for some of the players who are on the bench that are still not good enough. There are a few and none are obvious game changers apart from maybe Trossard.

    Overall, I wasn’t dissatisfied by the performance yesterday as 3 important players were missing with not much to show as their temporary replacements

    1. Exactly.
      The performance was actually not bad at all.
      We were by no means the underdog in a very fierce game and in a tough atmosphere.
      In years gone by, we would have folded big time, but we stood our ground and took their dirty game to them.
      Arteta has every righ to express his anger at the VAR decisions. I have never seen anything like it.

    2. It clearly wasn’t as bad a performance as some have been making out as Newcastle are a pretty good team on the rise. They are aggressive and defensively sound; although they got away with quite a bit yesterday.
      It was always going to be challenging to cope with the prolonged absences of several first team players especially away at tough teams.
      The issue of extended contracts to academy players has been addressed before but certain fans refuse to engage with reality. It is easy to sit in an armchair and say this and that player should be sold or is being overpaid. Most of those who criticise do not provide viable alternatives.
      Arsenal have been in rebuilding mode for the past few years and have to be mindful of FFP. This inevitably restricts the options available.
      There are a limited number of top strikers that would guarantee top performances and a regular supply of goals. The costs will be tremendous unless you are in a particularly favourable situation such as MC had with Harland.
      The club also has to take into account the number of home grown players that must be included in the squad.
      Etc. etc.
      The current questions around Havertz certainly have some merit as he is an expensive buy and has yet to demonstrate value at his transfer fee.
      Yesterday was a setback which the team have to learn from. There remains much to play for this season.

    3. Ah bliss Sue! Your usual considered post with context and sensible points made . I am well known on JA as an MA supporter and I STAND BY THAT . But, as with you too, I easily see his mistakes in buying; namely Havertz, Viera, Raya, who though a decent keeper before he came, has looked as nervous as a kitten confronted by a fierce dog in our goal and has made several costly errors.

      RAYA has talent but he was not needed and has just made things worse.

      A poor loan and hopefully it will not become permanent.

      I only worry that we may well lose RAMSDALE now, after his bad treatment by MA. In fact Rice apart and also Timber, who we can see has real class even though sadly injured, the other summer buys or loans have made things worse , not better.

      That is on MA, however much we wish to support him And I DO WISH!

      I agree about Cedric, Elneny, Nketiah and also Jorginho who cost us two points at home to Spuds, while losing at Newcastle REALLY only cost us a single point, as we never looked like scoring anyway.
      Things are not going as MA must have hoped and he HAS made mistakes.
      BUT he has also massively improved us from the bad old days of Mustafi, Sokratis and the rotting team left behind for Emery, then MA, to inherit. We now, AT LONG LONG LAST have a proper top class defence and depth of support there and to me, for that, I am thrilled, as the last time we had an equal defence was the INVINCIBLES, ALMOST TWENTY YEARS AGO.


  21. On the other hand tho, knowing good teams are having to resort to all sorts to get a win/draw over a (not yet at our best) Arsenal team makes me think, maybe it’s not as bad as we perceiving it to be. I feared Newcastle more last season than I do this year tbh and after watching the game last night I can comfortably say they not title contenders!
    It’s gonna be a shoot out with Liverpool nd City(maybe sp*rs) in my opinion.


  22. I don’t always agree with Dan but he’s spot on with this post. Okay, possibly VAR could have ruled the goal out but we shouldn’t be worried about losing every time we let in a goal, problem is we never really looked like scoring and I’m afraid that despite Eddie scoring 3 against a woeful Sheffield he is not the answer and knowing Jesus injury problems Arteta should have addressed the situation.

  23. Arteta is to blame he had the resources but he went ahead and bought us deadwood,Nketiah aint winning us any software let’s not live in denial

  24. Arsenal fans often believe they are entitled to three points before our squad has even kicked a ball. We all know that Newscastle is a difficult team to play on their home turf.In terms of yesterday’s game, aside from the goal, I enjoyed it. Our lads refused to be bullied, even though it was a physical one. I am quite proud of them.And no one player should be blamed. We should move forward and have faith in the coach.The EPL is a marathon; this time last year, we were flying high only to tumble like a pack of cards later in the season. Take it one game at a time and support this team.

    Let’s look at the remaining first-half EPL games compared to our rivals:

    Arsenal: Nov – Burnley(H), Brentford(A); Dec – Wolves(H), Luton(A), A.Villa(A), Brighton(H), Liverpool(A), West Ham(H), Fulham(A)
    Man City: Nov – Chelsea(A), Liverpool(H); Dec – Spurs(H), A.Villa(A), Luton(A), C.Palace(H), Everton(A), Sheffield(H)
    Tottenham: Nov – Chelsea(H), Wolves(A), A. Villa(A); Dec – Man City(A), West Ham(H), Newcastle(H), Nottingham(A), Everton(H), Brighton(A)
    Liverpool: Nov – Luton(A), Brentford(H), Man. City(A); Dec – Fulham(H), Sheffield(A), Crystal Palace(A), Man U(H), Arsenal(H), Burnley(A)

    We’re not doing poorly. We’ll get better as the season goes on, and we’ll catch up. I believe we will be at the top of the standings by February.

    In order for my prediction to come true, we would need to handle the following:

    1) Forward – We must keep Gabriel Jesus in shape. Nketiah should serve as a backup.
    2) Midfield – We need more creativity. Additionally, Partey needs to stay healthy for the December run-in (AFCON begins on January 13, 2024).
    3) Defence – We’re doing well in this area. Gabriel, too, should keep his emotions in check.
    4) Goalkeeping – We require clarification from the coach. Determine and proclaim the number one position. If this is done, it will help to relax nerves.
    5) January Transfer Window – We’ll need to strengthen the squad. Replace underforming backup players.

    1. Well written! I always admire posts that say something of depth and fine detail as your post CERTAINLY DOES!

  25. I know it looks easy watching on tv but…
    At one point in the game Rice was asking for the ball, being in line with Newcastle defenders. All needed was the ball to be thrown in his direction past their back line and… who knows?
    Yet Arsenal’s defenders carried on passing the ball sideways.
    I rarely saw Arsenal finding a decisive, vertical pass. And if they find it and it falls on Eddie, many times he will fall as well.
    We relied a lot on Martinelli and Saka and now we are too predictable.
    Arteta is responsible for the tactics and the players he’s buying, keeping. And I don’t see the improvement we all expected from last year.

  26. I agree with Dan regarding Nketiah and Nelson, some of us have been saying this for ages – good back up players, but we need a top striker.

    Where I disagree with you, Dan, is your view that MA should be angry with himself and not var.
    He was contracted to come out and give his view on the game, minutes after seeing one of the worst refereeing /var examples to date…. not only against The Arsenal, but Newcastle as well.

    His team, without four first team players, comfortably held Newcastle and I believe that was his plan, with those players out.

    I read that Saka and Martinelli are now ineffective, having been sussed out – wasn’t we congratulating Saliba for sussing out Haaland recently?

    That’s what professional managers and players do and Pep and Haaland couldn’t change that situation either.

    What is the most annoying part, however, is that we didn’t have the players good enough to expose the spaces that two defenders marking Saka and Martinelli created.
    That’s where the weakness of Nketiah, the absence of Odegaard and the ineffectiveness of Havertz came into play.

    We coped without Partey once again, yet Jorginho is being slaughtered… WHY?

    Finally, on the goalkeeping situation – Again I agree that Ramsdale should be brought back in, but let’s not run away with the idea that he won’t make mistakes either.

  27. Spot on,,,Eddie won’t win us anything. Bologun was better than him but our ego blinded us. Harvetz was a poor buy. Granted injuries are sometimes unavoidable but we hv had players faking them on account of unfavourable treatments at the club. sell the dead woods and buy top class players like Ivan. Jorghino doesn;t carry the ball forward as expected. Drop him. hv Martinelli or Saka run from the middle they are becoming too predictable.

  28. Ken…

    I couldn’t have read a more balanced view and response. Thank you for such a balanced perspective.

    Beyond the intricacies of Arsenal’s performance, there is an overarching issue that requires collective attention, and that is, the decline in football officiating standards. This deterioration threatens the very essence of the sport we cherish. It is crucial for prominent voices, including Dan’s, whom I respect as a writer, to address this pressing concern.

    It is so heartening to see Arteta speak out against the poor officiating albeit after being a victim once again.This sentiment resonates with the evident frustration observed in Klopp under similar circumstances, though with little support from the footballing community since they were not direct victims.

    The decline in officiating quality (VAR use) warrants further comprehensive coverage to elevate its significance in public discourse.

    As for Arsenal’s performance, I do understand the anger and pain felt by fellow gooners and justifiably so. Nevertheless, I must agree with you that the lack of 4 top players in the team was greatly felt, and I was truly impressed with the fight the backup players put in. I always expected some drop in quality because it is difficult to have backups being at the same level as the first team players, for many reasons, including a lack of game time, which is required to improve confidence and performance.

    Having been involved in competitive chess, I relate to the challenges faced when top players are unavailable for the team. Clearly, everyone cannot be at the same level in the team, thus we need our best players in the Arsenal team to be fit again.

    The true mettle of the Premier League’s top teams will be tested when they grapple with the absence of their elite players. Such scenarios will offer a more balanced analysis regarding how much Arsenal has strived in the absence of its top players.

    I commend Newcastle on their impressive defense and believe it is essential to maintain grace in the face of defeat.

    Looking ahead, I anticipate an enhanced performance from Arsenal, especially knowing the onus will squarely be on the players to elevate their game.

    We keep positivity and hope alive!


    1. Fire.
      It seems that there are two camps forming amongst the fanbase, just as it was in the Wenger days.
      There was so much to admire in our performance yesterday, just as there was certainly room for criticism.
      Sadly, it seems that var and the referees hold centre stage once again.
      Thanks for your comments

  29. Ken…

    I agree totally with you! As with many areas of life where opinions dominate, it is natural for differing camps to emerge.

    However, my concern lies in issues that go beyond personal opinions, and the poor officiating in many EPL matches stands as a prime example.While it is easy to point fingers at Arteta for the team’s poor performance, we must uphold the integrity of the game. And gifted writers like you, Dan and many others on JA can leverage our gifts to defend the integrity of the game via our articles. A fair discussion on the performance of the team is only possible when matches are played under unbiased conditions. I am glad the club stands with Arteta following the statement released today. I think all clubs must follow accordingly, including writers, youtubers and all mediums of influence. This is required at this point, particularly before the emotions fiddle out once again.

    In yesterday’s game, I saw a team that despite it’s weaknesses, yet fought hard against a strong opponent albeit falling at the hands of poor offciating. I believe it was sad and frustrating.

    Furthermore, while we might have missed that spark in the final third , I believe it is premature to create divisive camps at the moment. We must all realize that the team was evidently dejected after the match, which signifies their shared disappointment, echoing the sentiments of the fans. I view this shared sentiment as a promising sign for a potential comeback.

    It is always a pleasure discussing these matters with you, Ken!


    1. Fire such a joy and an uplifting experience to read your all too rare but always magnetic comments.

      I too play chess to a decent standard and see many parallels between tactics in high level chess and in top level managers.

      1. Always a pleasure Jon!

        Indeed, I am glad to know you play chess… I would always recommend chess to anyone who aims to be in any position of management, as well as fields of decision-making and general human-interaction… It has been immensely useful in my life *smiles*

        I am also looking forward to the release of another captivating article of yours!

        Wishing you and all a blessed week ahead!


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