Criticism does not mean we love the Arsenal any less

The only reason we are so critical and down on Arsenal after a loss is because we know what they are capable of, and know that in the games against the top sides especially, they are not getting the results in which they rightly deserve.

Think of it as when you tell your family members the truth, it may hurt them but is true, you only do it because you care and you want them to succeed and do well. and that is why we criticise the Arsenal, because they deserve to see it from our point of view, because Arsenal is our family and we want them to succeed.

We criticise during the whole season on how we could have done better and had we had this player, or this formation, or used these tactics then maybe we would have finished higher or had a better performance than we did, but really all it is seen as is moaning, well no it isn’t, because a lot of Arsenal fans, although we sound like broken records at times are doing things and saying things for the betterment of our club.

Us fans see things from afar that maybe the club, players and manager cannot see from up close. Sometimes it takes people from the outside to give a straight and clear answer to make people stand up and realise they have a point. And I know people will talk saying we lost to Liverpool and Manchester City so far this season what has changed, again it is top teams we have failed to beat – believe me I am one of those people- but it has been years since we came away with a positive result from the top teams, so clearly something is not working.

And let’s put it this way, if we don’t tell them the truth then who will.

Arsenal is our team, our club, our life, our passion and our family through good and bad times, we have always stuck by them and always will no matter what, but every now and then we fans too deserve to have our say, whether it is criticising or praising, not everything is roses and I am sure it wont be the last bit of criticism we give our team this season but if it works and they listen then remember we do it because we care!


Shenel Osman


  1. It definitely won’t be the last criticism if, for example, we see Willian play CF at the expense of Lacazette, Nketiah or Auba, which is the same as Emery playing Torreira at number 10 or we park the the bus against Leicester next matchday.

  2. I like the constructive criticism towards Arteta. He is not infallible.
    So people should be allowed to criticise him if they feel it is deserved.

    1. Constructive criticism yes! Could not agree more. But the vast majority since our loss at City has been negative and anything but constructive. NOT ALL, BUT MOST!

      What has been sadly lacking is outright support or the realisation that this is a truly special manager who has already achieved a great deal – and much more than could be sensibly expected- in such a short time. That is called true perspective and THAT pespective has been almost completely absent, sadly!

      That lack of perspective, aka real thinking, is what I jump on from a great height and will continue to do, in my quest for FULL truth, always!

      1. Cheering and celebrate a defeat as you did that day sums up your thoughts of Mikel capabilities. Those who weren’t happy with the result sums up their thoughts of Mikel capabilities.

        1. @highbury hero …👍..well said that seems to be the case with our fans. They don’t want some of the fans to voice their concern about the poor display.

        2. HH, disappointed to read your deliberate distortionof my post saying that MA had done well and that our perf at City was heartening .

          IF you TRULY think that means celebrating a defeat- which I DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DO, NOT FOR A SINGLE MOMENT , HENCE MY CLAIM OF DELIBERATE DISTORTION – then I feel sorry for your intellect. But not, perhaps as much as I feel sorry for the sheer dishonesty of your post, since you do NOT believe I was cheering a defeat at all, in reality.

      2. Thanks Jon Fox…

        This is what I call an application of thought backed up by evidence! You have clearly outlined your opinion and supported it with clear reasoning and thoughts, which I am unreservedly forced to agree with! These are the kind of posts that keep attracting me to this site!

        1. Thank you Fire. Itis true that I always try to respond to those posts – which I read of course- where something of intellect and intelligence has been posted. I despair at the majority who post without any proper thought and they are not the ones I want to meet on here.

          Sometimes the sheer unthinkingness of a post will annoy me so much that I reply, to urge them to think. But even whenI do this I tell myself I am wasting my time trying to convince non thinkers to think. Many on social media generally have an urge to give their thoughts but sadly have no REAL thoughts to give. MERELY HASTY, UNTHINKING, HOTHEADED, RETORTS.

          It is of course those very people who are the victims of their own lack of intelligence . An inability to think is a great handicap in life but you see it in all walks of life and social media attracts it, unfortunately.

          1. Jon fox…

            I really do appreciate your posts and I admire the thoughts you have applied to your conclusions… I have always known that constructive criticisms are typically more difficult to comprehend and to express, and it is always easier to vent our emotions, which often end up in destructive criticisms, which is cheap!

            I do agree with you that many posts are often products of anger and false expectations as to why we can’t always beat every single team every single time… I struggle to see through such blind posts of pure emotions (which is permitted if guided by deeper thoughts) and I have learnt that controlling my responses is also a demonstration of deep thoughts…

            Your posts are not only characterised by clear thinking, reasoning, and facts, but they are also entertaining!

            Let’s keep it up while we make effort to accommodate other thoughts from our free family of Arsenal fans, particularly knowing which posts deserve a response or not!

            I hope to read more posts from you!

      3. I’d mostly agree with your post Jon.
        I have been a big fan of Arteta and still continue to be so but I’m not putting him in the special bracket just yet. He still needs to get the club to the next level for me to be bowing down at his feet, but I am at least hopeful that he has the intelligence to get there

        For me it is far too early to be throwing the book at him considering what has been achieved in quick time. It is easy to forget that a decisions he makes won’t always work as they haven’t with all managers.

        The criticism-cum-disappointment shown from a couple of average performances is acceptable but a few of the opinions were way overboard and I have total agreement with you on that. It isn’t in any way helpful if the tide of support ebbs away so soon

        If Arteta falls down in the future that is another matter but for now he has my unswerving support

        1. SUE P, A typically thoughtful reply with perspective. I big MA up, firstly because I am convinced he will prove a great manager and secondly to combat the tide of hotheaded, unthinking criticism he unfairly gets from mainly younger fans who havelittle patience and that lack is so dismal to see. How I wish only thinkers could come on here. HAVING TO WADE THROUGH ALL THE HOTHEADS IS DEPRESSINGLY MISERABLE

      4. @jon and ppl who agree with his post by logic Mateo or what ever his name was the Chelsea manager who won the champions League was the best. He took over in almost same circumstances and then won champions League. Not only that his league record in first season was good as well. I support MA but not blindly, the dreadful style of football we are playing, unrest in dressing room with more then 2 players and same result against so called big six…can some one please explain where the improvement has been. How does it matter if you see players running around more and we conceding less goals when we keep on dropping points against same teams. Actually if we lose by attacking more at least fans will enjoy the game…instead of this awful boring football.

        1. Mohsan

          I have one key question for you and your other disciples that believe Arteta is playing a dreadful style of football, an opinion we could discuss more intellectually if it pleases you:

          Can you tell me what you feel/predict the score line of the Mancity vs Arsenal game would have been assuming Unai Emery was in charge?
          At least note that this was the head coaches whose team Arteta had to inherit.

          Your response to the above question (that is, if you do answer) will reveal how much further we need to go with this discussion about style of play and about the improvement-or-not debate, if there is a debate in the first place.

          1. Fire another impressive post from you. I have not seen much of you on here to my regret and hope that you will become a true regular, as I am and have been for ages past. We thinking and analytical fans need all the support from each other that we can muster to combat the many hotheads.

            I never mind disagreeing with anyone who has thought through the post they make and that is much of the fun to be had on here in discussing differing viewpoints when both are intelligently reached. But the true battle is always between the thinkers and non thinkers. It should not have to be this way but some cannot and will not think first!

            1. Jon Fox…

              Thanks for the complement. I do intend to be steadier, particularly with people like you around to read from.

              In my short experience studying how things work in general on earth, I have come to note that the weakest and often cheapest responses/opinions come from people who can only answer or respond to the “what”-happened question… However, it becomes more difficult to respond to the “why” question at deeper levels, which often requires deeper thoughts, reading, and collating facts, and producing new insightful thoughts…

              So in my opinion, one should respond to those who seem to answer “why” they have come to such conclusions. Then, we can always reason together to readjust our thoughts and reasoning towards arriving at better conclusions…

              Nevertheless, we must always create some space for those who can only answer the “what” question… For example, Question: what happened?
              Response: Arsenal lost to Mancity! *fuming*
              Question: Why did Arsenal lose?
              Response: Arteta played a dreadful tactic?
              Question: why did Arteta play such a dreadful tactic?
              Response: I don’t know! He just played a dreadful tactics and I hate it!

              People who can’t go deeper than the first level of thoughts are often better left alone because such persons are typically not disposed to learning!

              Once again, cheers Jon!

              1. Fire it may not surprise you to know that I am a lifelongkeen and quite able chess player who always needs to think several moves ahead. I realise deep intellect is not given to that many but fan site social media DOES seem to attract the dunderheads in more than our fair share. I also think I know “why” but perhaps we can leave this debatable question here for the moment!
                I presume you are in education at a senior level of either study or teaching and would love to know what is your specialist subject, IF you are teaching/ studying!

                1. Jon Fox…

                  I am really so glad to know you are a keen chess player! Now I see why you desire the need for the application of thoughts. I conform to the same belief system since I have played chess as well for over 15 years, although at club level. I would prescribe that all Arsenal fans play chess! *just joking though*… Above all, we should always disagree or agree with clarity of thoughts and reasoning, while always respecting our diverse views.

                  You guessed so right too, I am in education/research with a PhD in Telecommunications Engineering. My training requires that people should provide reasons for their conclusions. I feel if we all strive to achieve this, we would have a better community, including the Arsenal Fan base. It isn’t about gaining a certificate, but simply our quest to always ask the “why” question at deeper levels….

                  Its always a pleasure being here!

      5. No!no!no!no! Its because they dont play ozil thats y they deserve that;i believe if they”we not going to play ozil the classic man they”ll end up loosing

  3. Shenel on the spot as far as I am concerned. We are not managers but many of us have watched the Arsenal for way over 50 years. To see Willian at CF in a match of this importance shows me that Arteta has a lot to learn. He will I am sure but at the moment he is going to make some poor decisions. I am NOT an Ozil fan, but he has many skills and creativity that nobody in our squad has. Over a year, in a few home matches, he could get us a point or two that could mean Champions League as opposed to Europa League. He needs to be in the EPL squad. Arteta’s clear out is a year too early. Just IMHO.

  4. There is one thing to be disappointed with a loss and to say the side could of played better or a player could have done this or that. But to moan and whine about player selection and formation with no knowledge of what is happening in training, in the dressing room, or more relevent no real knowledge of football is infuriating and when it gets to be the main topic of conservation on every post then the post just becomes irrevelant.

    1. OZGooner
      Why shouldn’t people be surprised at player choices. Many including me though that playing Willian at the centre of the attack did not make sense……and we were right. Are we just supposed to agree with Arteta and £$£$ our opinions?

    2. Ozgooner, so by your logic no fans in the world should complain?? It’s the fans who demand results, push the board/management to do better and achieve results. Why do you think managers get the sack?. Players and managers earn their salary from fans and fans have full right to demand better achievements. It’s the fans who make team and club great…why do you think Real Madrid, Barcelona and Man United are biggest and most successful clubs in world? It’s bec the their fans are not happy with below standard performances and force the club to try to reach the top where they belong. These fans are called big club fans not like some of arsenal fans who have mentality of mid table team and celebrate narrow defeat to big teams as some sort of achievement. You want to reach the top then you need to aim higher my friend then be satisfied with these poor performances. By the way we lost to city 1-0 but we were thrashed and humiliated by Liverpool. So the gap is their to be seen, I don’t see that gap has been narrowed since MA took over so why are fans singing his praise so much for winning FA cup and a friendly trophy?. We have become like mid table team who are happy to finish in top half of the tabel and then win FA to celebrate as we have won champioms league. We won way more FA cup before this one even when Wenger was at his lowest so how is MA an upgrade. I was a bigger supporter of MA and wanted him to be given job before UE but what I have seen so far he is another poor Morinhio in disguise. So if we don’t make too 4 this season then he needs to go even if we win Arsenal fan favourite FA cup.

  5. At the moment it’s difficult to give an opinion on Arsenal without sounding over critical. Folk are showing their dissappointment in understandably negative ways and are then subjected to abuse by accusing commenters who troll them for their pessimistic attitude.
    I’m sure nobody who ventures onto this blog wants Arsenal to fail, but please people show some consideration for sometimes quite knowledgeable input.

  6. It would be nice if we can be fed with intelligent and lovely articles, many of which have attracted us to this site. This piece is skewed in support of a fan base that typically enjoy criticism without clear thoughts of analysis and the rationale for the piece is not clear. And that is my opinion, which I feel is in line with the thoughts of this article, and i.e. free will to criticise. Just as @Goonster noted in his post, within the Arsenal fan base, we should aim at “constructive criticism” because many of our criticisms are “destructive”, and serve very little to spur further intelligent conversations.

    If this piece encourages criticism of the coach, players, and the club by the fan base without the use of clear and insightful thoughts, then it should be noted that it also encourages cross-fire between fans…. Therefore, it implies that fans should also be free to criticise other fans when they get their analysis wrong… And if this is done without thoughts, then it will surely breed bad blood amongst the fan base, which shouldn’t be…

    Consequently, the message if it must be preached via an article as this one, should be about applying intelligent thoughts to our opinions whether in criticisms or in praises… I feel that was the missing context of this piece, which simply promotes the need for criticism without clear application of thoughts of analysis.

    1. Fire, succinctly put and well said.
      Constructive criticism we can all agree with, but some of the words and thoughts used after the game on Saturday were totally unjustified with regards to Mikel Arteta… as I highlighted in my answer to Andrew.

      1. Ken1945

        You are totally correct! And response was apt! And sadly so, the use of such words and thoughts by many is currently classified as an expression of criticism (at least, following the thoughts of the present article).

        I always agree that everyone is free to express his/herself, nevertheless, I am convinced that “destructive” criticism is cheap and often arises from an inflamed mind. On the other hand, constructive criticism is harder to construct and express because it relies on a true application of correct thoughts and deep reasoning… I have followed so many posts and I am compelled to simply admire the depth and application of thoughts of the mind behind the post…

        I avoid responding to many others, because I do understand that their minds are inflamed at the moment following the outcome of the game…

        We could express our thoughts concerning the outcome of a game but our conclusions should always be premised on facts, deep thoughts, and accurate analysis… Any post characterised by such qualities will almost always be undeniably correct…

  7. Shenel, this time a more sensible article with much truth about a family and being able to be honest, as one is in family. That is self evidently true.

    The ONLY real quibble I have is with your odd and wrong point about “fans see things from afar which the club, players and manager do not see from up close”! That is nonsense!

    How can fans, who have little idea of what goes on each day at training, ever expect to know better than the professionals whose job is at the club and is their whole life in many ways? Or for we fans to see things they miss? That silly sentence really let down an article that, overall, had a lot to recommend it.

    I will say, to your credit, that you do construct your articles an a good way, even though I, usually, much disagree with a majority of your contentions, most of which are not backed up by actual evidence but are merely, once again, trite phrases made up in your inventive head.

    You don’t actually say WHAT we fans CAN see from afar which the club insiders fail to see and that is, in my CONSIDERED opinion, just a plainly wrong theory based on nothing but a “trite phrase from your own inventive head.”

    I admire your obvious passion to write and you have many natural writing gifts but true and deep analysis before writing is often sadly lacking.

    Work on that my friend and you may become a writer of substance. And finally, don’t write an interesting sounding phrase, UINLESS the facts fit that theory. Good journalists always know their best friends are facts and not theories!

  8. We’ve clearly made significant strides when it comes to our defensive zone structure, which is great but not saying much considering how piss poor we were for several years prior…that said, we still continue to make the same mistakes we made under Wenger in his latter years…I can’t remember the last time we played our best 11, maybe going all the way back to when Wenger used to shoehorn Ramsey into a wide side position just so he could get him into the lineup with Sanchez and Ozil…with this in mind, the fact that we continue to play people out of their natural position means that either we have a serious problem committing to a base formation and/or a systemic recruitment problem…as such I’m reserving my opinion on Arteta as a manager until he learns how to chew gum and run at the same time…fixing some of the defensive issues but making us a neutered offensive squad solves very little, especially with the money we’ve invested in our offensive players over the next 3 years…if this is a long-term rebuild, fine, but let us know so that we can tamper expectations…if, on the other hand, Arteta truly believes we’re competing for a top 4 spot, he needs to commit to a formation that works for our specific personnel, so that our best players are on the pitch game in and game out…then all of our recruitment and acquisitions personnel should be squarely focused on bringing in only those players who best fit our specific schematic structure…let’s hope Partey’s arrival will help solve some of these longstanding issues(only reposting this statement because it took 24 hours for you to post it last time)

  9. We go way beyond constructive all the time. The Arteta out crowd has started.

    A debate on a loss is fine, we should have done this or that, x, y, z. Fully understand, but let it go and get ready for the next one.

    We seem to have a cohort who are absolutely obsessed with proving that they are right with their ideas and theories. This is especially annoying when they have absolutely no way of testing their theories (unless Arteta is secretly one of these people). Two examples, one old and one new:

    1. Arsenal lacks creativity = he who must not be named must play.

    2. Arsenal is not perfect and Aston Villa is = Martinez (soon to be he who must not be named junior) should never have left.

    1. Liverpool play without a no.10/playmaker. I watched Bayern demolish Barca without no.10. I watch Real Madrid play without a no.10. You don’t necessarily need a no.10 to be creative. The most creative players in Liverpool are the fullbacks. All you need is for every player to be positive with his play/passes/thinking.
      Who remembers Tierney’s first games? How he was terrorizing fullbacks and creating chances via dangerous crosses? I remember his assist to Martinelli’s goal. What has happened to him? The negative/back passing virus has caught up with him too? This is a new season, we can’t keep making excuses for Arteta. Mind you this negative approach didn’t start with Liverpool away, we played like that against Fulham, Westham & Sheffield.
      A midfield of Ceballos/Xhaka/Partey is good enough to create chances for attackers but Arteta sets the team up to recycle passes inside our goal post.

  10. Watching Shefield vs Fulham, I just realised how poor our manager and players are. Fulham are a clear reflection of Arsenal’s approach to games. How does passing backwards and sideways especially amongst defenders and keeper without clear plan translate to goal?
    Apart from Saka & maybe Ceballos, none of our players has confidence and belief to run with the ball, pass forward, dribble and attempt to create a goal scoring chance. To think that Auba once played as a winger yet he couldn’t make a simple pass or beat his marker against City.
    Watching Arsenal recycle the ball between Leno, Luiz,Gabriel, Tierney & Bellerin oland eventually lose it to opponents is torture.

  11. “Put it this way, if we don’t tell them the truth then who will?”

    Who’s truth Shenel?

    With respect, you (along with virtually everyone else in this site, present company included), is offering an opinion not the truth. Nothing wrong with that but to dress up your opinion as “the truth” is slightly egotistical. Just my opinion of course.

  12. I agree with Mohsan. We as loyal Arsenal fans should push our Club higher and higher and voice out our opinions to take our Club to a higher level. We are a CL quality Club and not a EUL quality. By playing Willian as CF against City, instead of the inform Laca, MA slightly overthought, I suppose and was over excited to get one over his master. Also, I agree fully that MA has certainly improved our defensive formation in that we concede very few goals, but it is the midfield and the transition from defence to attack that I am worried. We cant continue like this by being over cautious at every game, or else top 4 will soon be out of sight, especially considering the way Everton and Villa are playing. Hope MA is more attacking in his formations in future, not compromising on the defensive formation, so that we can be really competitive and take on opposition teams with the talent we have at our disposal.

    1. Gunnerforlife

      I remain worried about how we are responding to the current situation… Wouldn’t you agree that in the same Man city vs Arsenal game, we had about 3 clear cut chances that should have been taken. Please tell me, assuming they were taken and we won the game, wouldn’t you be praising Arteta for such a master class tactics? I am not saying we shouldn’t express our frustrations at losing the game, but we shouldn’t demand changes that clearly are destined to undo the progress made thus far. We need to give Arteta some time to build the team that will challenge for titles, but that must begin with a stout defence. Furthermore, we praised Arteta for a similar approach when we sat back, counter attacked and defeated Man City and Chelsea to lift the FA Cup. We all agreed that he has improved our defence, but that’s very fundamental to any title winning side, that is, you must have the shrewdest defence to lift any trophy, that’s a fact. Now, he has identified the problem with the midfield towards supporting the attack, and he has brought in Partey. Please, we could give him time, at least a full season to blend his team together and then we can critic or praise him afterwards, even though I feel he needs two full seasons. Let’s learn to build, because the Arsenal decline took about 5 years to occur, and we can’t rebuild in just 9 months. It is a process and all we need to observe is if we are making progress, which we are doing. We shouldn’t feel the worst about our dear team and coach yet… They are making progress, growing in confidence starting from a balanced defence, and slowly they will become a conquering team… We grinded a win against Westham, we comfortably defeated Fulham, outwitted Sheffield United… We only lost to a better team in Liverpool, which could have gone our way assuming Lacazette buried his chance, and same with Man City assuming Auba and Saka took their chances… I see progress and I desire you do… Nevertheless there will be bumps along the way, but don’t lose hope so quickly…

      1. Fire, one of the more thoughtful and sensibly analytical posts I have ever read on this site. Deep thinking gets at the truth, maybe not always, but quite often. I think as you do on MA and on our clear progress but from a low base when he first came.

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