Debunking the myth that Arteta has improved Arsenal

I started following Arsenal in the late 90s and from that day to this day I have known Arsenal to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. Arsenal features in the Top Ten of any list involving big clubs whether it be the richest clubs, the most valuable clubs, clubs with the most revenue, clubs with the most fans and even clubs with the highest wage bills, with the history and success to back it up.

Watching other members of those illustrious Top Tens winning their respective leagues, cups and champions league or at the very least have no trouble qualifying for the champions league, I and other fans who are not happy with our current state have every right to be displeased. And most importantly we have every right to say so without being called haters, deluded, moaners or having agendas.

What is the difference between the ‘Arteta in’ and ‘Arteta out’ brigades? Just a difference in opinions. There is no point in calling each other names as we are all as bad or as good as each other.

There are two conflicting views regarding where we were, where we are and where we are going with Mikel Arteta. Some believe he is the right man for the job and are satisfied with the progress he is making and call for the others to have patience and give him time to deliver. Some are in the view that he has failed to improve from his predecessors and that enough time has already passed for the club to go with a proven and more experienced manager if Arteta fail to deliver European League football.

Each side has compelling points in defense of their views. I am with the latter view (or shifted to as I was in support of Arteta until I realized we are going nowhere) and I believe it is the correct one.

While he had a promising start, Arteta is failing badly this season. In trying to defend him some myths have been built around him to justify or defend his lack of progress even though the truth is the table never lies.

MYTH 1: ARTETA IS STRUGGLING BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.

This in my opinion is not an excuse at all. The pandemic has affected all teams not only Arsenal I don’t see why it should be used as an excuse to accept failure.

MYTH 2: HE INHERITED A BAD SQUAD.

No he didn’t. The squad he inherited had no problem qualifying for Europe and until they downed tools on Emery were challenging for the title and probably were on course to lift the Europa League trophy. They have bad attitude as the sacking of Emery shows but they are not lacking in talent. They don’t suddenly become bad just because Arteta is failing to get the best out of them or not implementing tactics suited to their strengths.

He inherited a bad situation not a bad squad. Considering how we are told on a daily basis that Arteta have won the dressing room and players are playing for him the fact that we are in the mid table says a lot about the manager capabilities then. If players are playing for him the bad situation he inherited from Emery has been resolved.

MYTH 3: HE GOT RID OF DEADWOODS

No he didn’t. The so called deadwoods were paid to leave or terminated their contracts by mutual agreement. Arsenal did not recoup any of the money spent on those players. I don’t see how this can be attributed to Arteta and painted as an achievement. Terminating player’s contracts can be done even if the club does not have a manager.

Even if we give him that, what has he achieved by getting rid of the deadwoods? We are worse than we were and someone pointed out the deadwoods have not even played this season except for a couple of Mustafi appearances. So what has he achieved by getting rid of the deadwoods?

MYTH 4: HE HAS IMPROVED THE DEFENCE..

And killing the attack in the process, the so called improved defence is shipping goals and losing matches. Currently we are sixth in goals conceded and way below in clean sheets. Mourinho was famous for killing attacks in favour of defence and won all trophies to be won by his infamous defending tactic. What has our improved defence achieve? Remember we are worse than we were.

MYTH 5: THE REBUILDING PROCESS.

I hear a lot of rebuilding process but I still don’t understand what we are rebuilding for. It’s not like we have been relegated to start the rebuilding process. When Mr Arsene Wenger resigned it was because of failing to achieve top 4 in two consecutive seasons.

Failing to achieve top 4 and prior to that many had wanted Wenger out because we were not winning the league shows that Wenger was not considered a top coach anymore. In other words Wenger was the problem and not the players, the owner or the structure.

The owner, the structure and the players were good enough to win the league all that was needed was a new coach and few additional players to challenge for the title.

Unai Emery was on the right track until he lost the dressing room. Why then Arteta struggle should be masked as a rebuilding process? We were never in need of rebuilding. We were in need of capable manager to achieve something according to the capabilities of players we have (top 4 at least in my opinion).

 

I am not happy with where Arsenal are and going at the moment. Mikel lack of experience or lack of coaching talent is obvious for all to see. It was a gamble that is not paying off. I won’t have patience because Arsenal is too big and stable enough to ask for patience now. I will be patient when the time and circumstances call for patience and I don’t think now is that time.

We cannot say Ferguson was given time and look what he achieved. That was in 1986. A lot have changed now. The reality is that nowadays when you are left behind it is very difficult to catch up. We don’t have the luxury of waiting in the “hope” that Mikel will come good. By the time we grasp the reality it might already be too late.

There is still time for him to secure European football through the league or through the Europa League. If he fails to achieve that the club should go for the experienced and proven manager. Brendan Rodgers is my personal favourite if available but there are a lot of managers who can achieve something with the current squad or even more with a few additions.

 

Highbury Hero

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225 Comments

  1. Eddie says:

    Aha, another Golden generation of the AOB vs the AKB boys.
    Arteta Out boys definitely need to keep coming up with reasons to get rid of him constantly, but the Arteta Knows Best boys do know that he ain’t going anywhere so soon and the board buy into what he’s trying to do.
    Yesterday it was an article defending Arteta. Today it’s an article attacking his position.
    Ladies and Gents, Boys and Girls.
    AOB vs AKB season 2 premiere.
    Gotta say the pilot episode’s been interesting so far.
    Grabbing a beer and watching while I’m gonna be supporting my team and my manager

    1. Simon poole says:

      Well said that man. Just get behind the manager and team guys.

    2. mish says:

      shift a bit and pass me em Budweiser …..lets watch em

    3. RSH says:

      only if you want to frame it this way. It’s note even close to the levels of the Wenger days which festered for YEARS. believe it or not, even Liverpool fans had periods they were divided on Klopp.

  2. Wyoming says:

    What ever happens this season Arteta will be manager in August that is certain.
    I am prepared to give Arteta another transfer window and another full season.
    Things can only improve.

    1. Simon poole says:

      You are prepared to give him another season? Who are you, Chairman ?

    2. Sir Michael says:

      Or get worse

  3. Eddie says:

    “I won’t have patience because Arsenal is too big and stable enough to ask for patience now.”

    And that is the reason I don’t want to bother explaining or debating this.
    Thirdman, Jon and Co… Y’all better save your energy and keep supporting your team like you’ve been doing. Talking or debating this issue is clearly a waste of time as you’ll be trying to explain to folks who have their minds made up already that they ain’t supporting the manager and they want him out.

    Thirdman I read your two articles, but I chose not to comment as there was nothing I could add as you said it all.
    Articli like this one here are surely good when it welcomes debate and sense of reasoning but I ain’t gonna bother debating or explaining if the other parties have their minds made up already

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      You are right that it’s pointless to debate with a person who has made up their minds. But can you say you also have made up your mind?

      I have yet to see those in support of Arteta considering the other side opinions. I have one question for you Eddie does finishing 10th matter or not? If it does matter why should people support Arteta nonetheless?

      1. guy says:

        HH – I know that as an AKB I’m always arguing with you, but I just wanted you to know I thought that you wrote a really good piece, albeit from the opposite perspective to mine. If we all communicated with each other like that we may still agree to differ but in a much more tolerant way. Interesting article – kudos to you.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Thanks guy. We are all trying to debate respectfully even though it is very difficult.

          1. Sue says:

            Some more than others 😉

    2. SueP says:

      Eddie
      I’m with you .. there is no room to manoeuvre for some. So sad. SueP

  4. Paul says:

    While I agree with some of your comments, there is one big issue that I totally disagree with. The players we have are capable of top 4 or higher! Really? We have a squad of bang average players, players who are passing the peak of a career and some exceptional youngsters. We still lack leadersip and quality in the middle of the park.

    Keeper: Leno is a good keeper, but not top of the class…Tbh i never thought Emi was good enough but he proved me wrong. Leno has kept us in games though, however his distribution is poor.

    Defence: With the excpetion of Tierney (but mainly for getting forward and working his socks off) we are not great. All capable of making massive mistakes. The fact that Chambers walked in and looked good at the weekend shows that.

    Midfield. Take Saka and ESR out and what has xhaka done? Partey still to live up to the hype…Having Elneny looks like a bonus!!! Madness. The midfield is weak…The two loan boys….not our players….

    Up front: Auba misfiring atm…whats going on. Laca hit and mis. Martinelli..not enough time and injury prone…Nketiah….well should have been allowed to go on loan for the chnaces he has had…

    Now alot of these decisio are the Managers…but i think the chnage in structure at the club has not helped him…It seems to have retunred or returning to a Manger centric profile that the club thrived in under Wenger….it was only when the club moved to a distrubutive leadership modle did it all go wrong….

    Im not sure if MA is the right man….but i think the payers are certainly not top 4!!!

    1. Pepe says:

      Where is guendouzi,saliba they should be in the mix if we don’t have enough quality or backup
      What happened to Auba a golden boot striker suddenly turn bad….
      We added partey,mari,sourez,Willian,runarson,gabriel in or before the summer window how many players does he want 11 new players….
      The flops won an Fa cup after upgrading them there should be an upgrade in performance and result…
      Actually I am not for his sack but the one thing that I don’t like about Arteta is that our young players seems not to be in his agenda and he aslo failed to improve any of our youngsters
      If you are a
      Manager that wants a rebuild and needs time then why go for players like Willians,partey this signings signals that he is in business to have a go up the table

  5. Simon poole says:

    Other professionals are saying Arteta is doing a good job. Why are you not a football manager if you’re so good? Arsenal fans are way too quick to judge. We have no right to win anything. Emery was a big expensive mistake and has wasted a lot of money for Arsenal. Let’s get behind Arteta and support the team for a change.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      If we follow what professional think and say there is no need for us to have any opinion. We can use their experience to support or check our arguments but we should think on our own.

      Consider Granit Xhaka as an example. Majority of Arsenal fans say he is a substandard player yet he has nothing but respect and praise from his fellow professionals and is probably the first name on the sheet for Arsenal previous 3 managers and his national team.

      1. Simon Mark Poole says:

        Not saying we shouldn’t have an opinion. What I’m saying is we are far too quick to abuse our players and manager. We are not entitled to win anything. Time is needed to build on the already good start Arteta has made. Would you put a fan in charge of the team just because he agrees with you?

        1. SueP says:

          Dear Simon
          Please join the debates more often

          1. Simon Mark Poole says:

            Sue P
            Seriously or are you taking the micky?
            I’m never sure.

          2. SueP says:

            Not as far as I am concerned. Unless it is because I agree with you

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Simon, please give examples of the “lot of money Emery wasted for Arsenal”?

      1. R says:

        Pepe… Although it was Raul Sanlehi who bought it during Emeri time, 72 millions are far too many for what he had contributed up to this point.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    Myth 1: Pandemic obviously affects everyone, but not in equal measure. An experienced manager who has already honed his tactics, style, player management, and experienced an actual pre-season, is clearly in a stronger position compared to complete novice who’s spent his entire management career in pandemic.

    Myth 2: At best, he inherited the 6th best squad in the league, but that is pushing it.

    Myth 3: It’s irrelevant how it was done, but deadwood was shown the door asap under Arteta, and that is a positive. In regards to not recouping money, well it that has absolutely nothing to do with Arteta, and almost all to do with Wenger and Gazidis.

    Myth 4: The defense has improved, because we don’t get battered like we did regularly under Emery and Wenger.

    Myth 5: The fact you can’t even see what needs rebuilding, is so far removed from reality that I can’t even comment on that. All I will say, is that I’m struggling to think anything that DIDN’T need rebuilding!

    1. Simon poole says:

      I wouldn’t blame Wenger too much. He is the reason we all think we are entitled to win everything.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        He is also the reason a lot of fans think finishing 4th is like winning the league. That’s huge mentality issue that’s been a struggle to change since his departure.

        1. Simon Mark Poole says:

          And yet everyone is now saying top 4 is something we should be aiming for .

          1. SueP says:

            Fair point but it means we need it because we disappeared down the lavatory

      2. R says:

        Wenger like most of the great managers of their own time has failed to adapt to the ever evolving football environment and his latter years were full of bad decisions most of which haunted us until very recently. The attacking possession playstyle was a joy, but we all knew who was going to win when facing any of the top 4 teams 9 out of 10 times. The basically non existent defence was painful to watch every single time. Even against smaller teams. We were just lucky they weren’t as clinical as the bigger teams. Also we were fully incapable of taking anything out of set pieces and if we played good, even if we lost the game it looked like the team and the manager were satisfied to some extent, which for me is unacceptable.

        Arteta proved he can do the best with what he have. He came in the middle of what appeared to be a Zero season, and played very defensively, used every dirty trick like going in the corner to waste time, and won two trofies. Then he bought two players to level up team quality. One of them basically was injured half of the season, the other one started playing atrociously, but Arteta already had commited to playing again with 4 defenders because it was time to up our attacking game, and there was no turning back hence the bad start and the current position. But we also had gradually improved during the whole year. We already have a set pieces coach too and it can be easily seen during matches. All this means that Arteta can adapt and is not afraid to do what it takes to win short and long term. He can inspire his players, has a good grip on them and is not afraid to axe anyone, regardless who he is. He has plan for all of it. Just give the man some money and some time, and you will see in a few years, Arsenal and City will be the only two teams fighting for the title.

        1. Simon says:

          yes I agree.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      “An experienced manager who has already honed his tactics, style, player management, and experienced an actual pre-season, is clearly in a stronger position compared to complete novice who’s spent his entire management career in pandemic.”

      Why would one of the biggest clubs in the world go with a complete as you say it novice manager when there is need for rebuilding?

      “At best, he inherited the 6th best squad in the league, but that is pushing it.”

      Why are they now 10th with the added 7 players of Arteta’s choice?

      “The defense has improved, because we don’t get battered like we did regularly under Emery and Wenger.”

      I will take one or two batterings and finish in the top 4 than no battering and finish 10th. Finishing 10th is the biggest battering of all.

      1. mish says:

        I think …..you can stay off keypad HH……can you remind me Zidan’s resume before he took Madrid and won everything, while on that, what of Mourinho…..I mean your manager won the oldest cup competition in the world in his first 6 months,( some even believe he won via luck, against city and Chelsea….Lol) defying all….how is he to be blamed for players dip in form few months later, that is after our direct rivals reinforced their teams while we were picking up……….anyways its important to be very flexible with your logic, I do not claim loving the club more than you do…..but then I sure do know what Evaluation really is…….some will point to the ouster of lampard and tuchel’s result as proof of quality coach to a novice….Lol well if we all might remember, lampard defied logic, took a bunch of youngsters and qualified for Europe ……while churning very great entertaining football, tuchel’s tactic just like Conte’s…will soon be figured out, just one loss and the flood gates of losses will ensure.

        just be positive man, the negativity aint necessary…..

        cheers

        1. Simon Mark Poole says:

          Agreed

  7. Val says:

    Ok so as an ”older” person i will try and educate you a little so you understand a few things.

    1 – Experience does not mean success, not instantly like you are saying with MA’s lack of managerial experience.

    2 – You say he has killed our attack by improving our defence.
    No wins anything by being poor at the back, look at any champions of the past.
    If you looked at our overall defensive shape under UE it was just non existent, there was no structure, no discapline within the team and hi ethos was literally, we score more than you attitude – its not a game of ping pong mate!

    3 – We are in a rebuild phase, if you cant see that you need to go to specsavers my friend.
    Not all players can adjust to different styles of play different managers have, you need to have the right player for the job. and if you consider the last 3 managers ( AW, UE and MA ) all 3 have a different style and ethos to try and succeed. This means moving players on and bringing in players that suit that style of play, so if you take into account the sheers size of the Arsenal squad when MA took over and what we had to try move on in that time + a global pandemic, it was never going to be easy to do so, hence some contracts got terminated so we can just get shot of them, which brings me to the poor recruitment the club had prior to MA and Edu coming in – no one wanted them, they were not playing, they were training everyday for 90k-350k per week.
    However these guys got moved on does not matter, they are gone and that is all that matters.

    4 – The squad was poor, its not even slightly in the same league as our 2000 – 2006 squad or even the latter AW squads.
    We still need to move on another 5 or so players and get in maybe another 3-4 to truly see where we can go with MA and the squad.

    5 – Personally i think your views here are nothing more than a young guys rant, yes you have a right to an opinion, like we all do but in general its just waffle, maybe its because you are a highlight reel fan, well, as you say follower!

    Most of the goals we concede these days are down to individual error by a select few players, once we get shot of those and get in some players that work in the way MA wants and keep practising how he wants us to play, we will be a powerhouse but it takes time and money

    Dont try run before you can walk

    1. Simon poole says:

      Well said. I’ve followed Arsenal since 71 and seen them through very bad times. The modern supporters just can’t wait to call out players and think we should be winning everything. I for one think we may have a very good long term manager in the making.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Simon, Val and Grandad. I understand completely the point you are making about supporting in good and bad times but are we really in bad times now?

        We are the sixth most valuable and richest club in the world why are our fellow rich clubs not having bad time?

        Our problems are not caused by external factors out of our control but are our own making. Patience should be called when the club is in difficult times because of external factors out of club’s control but currently it is not so.

        1. Simon Mark Poole says:

          Yes your right, Arteta out give the next guy half a season if we’re not leading the Premier, sack him and try again. Then repeat the cycle and on and on. If we are really lucky we will end up with Mourinio

    2. Eddt says:

      👏👏👏👏
      Your last paragraph, I don’t get why they all constantly ignore that fact. We’re always solid as a unit and defensively until certain players go on and have their brain farts.
      Something the manager has pointed out lots of time that we can’t be doing.
      It’s not his fault if certain players can’t do simple and basic things properly.
      Now get rid of the Individual errors,add consistency and you’ll clearly see that we’re on the rise and we’re hard to beat when we choose to play.
      Pep once said we are actually playing better than most of opponents even when we lost and we were told he’s just fooling around and trying to defend his friend.
      Henry after the Spurs game, goes on ahead and said we can actually beat any team when we play and if we’re consistent.
      You’d have thought the likes of Wenger,Pep and Pochettino were all stupid when they kept saying how intelligent the manager is and how he’s definitely one of those who’d succeed

  8. Tim says:

    It has been a painful process, but I think the team has been playing some great football since the win over Chelsea. They are no longer just defensively sound, but have played some exciting free flowing football – feel like I can finally see what Arteta is trying to achieve and the identity he wants the team to play with.

    Pre-Christmas form was diabolical, form since would have us in the Champions League places. Right direction…

    1. Simon Poole says:

      Agreed, Arteta Knows what he’s doing

  9. Millie says:

    The owners of the club have set up what they want for the club as to who they sign up to manage the club and how much money they will have available to support him in the future.
    So after Emery who had a very good European track record. The owners went for a person with no track recorn. No management experience other than being second to Pep.
    What does that say to you ?
    Did the club have enough money ( or want to spend on the club) to spend on a top draw manager to take the club to the next level after Wenger ?
    Or are they are saying that they now are happy to take the club forward with a manager who is untested, learning on the job. But has potential and to realise that potential and the clubs potential together. If that is so, it can not be a quick fix, one season job.
    Unfortunately the new supporters like your self want instant success with who ever is at the helm regardless of his pedigree but that is not possible. You fail to see what is infront of you. Just look at how long it took Klopp to get liverpool to where they are now and he started with a better base team. But who looks at the trees if they are only looking at the forest.
    COYG and Arteta.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      If I recall correctly Klopp joined Liverpool mid season and finished 8th. He finished in the top 4 in all subsequent seasons.

      1. Simon Mark Poole says:

        All of a sudden top 4 is great. When Wenger had us top 4 for years that was a failure . Get a grip fans, we will be back.

  10. Jax says:

    Typical waggon jumpers rant against a team that was at it’s peak but took too long to make the obvious required changes at board & management level before slipping to more recent mediocrity. The manger coach we have is as good as it’s going to get for Arsenal for the foreseeable future and you’d better hope that he’ll prove his quite obvious worth within the next couple of seasons or we’re in for a disastrous few years of second rate replacements.

  11. Lord Denning says:

    Personally I think we have a chance to win the europa league,if we win an european title that would be the best season ever since the invincible season regardless of where we finish in the premier league.Having said that Arteta is a poor manager and will never come good,he has managed to drag a top four team to 10th,last season we again struggled in the epl under Arteta and I need no more evidence that he’s not the man.Savilla won the europa 3 times under Emery that didn’t make a top manager he failed at Arsenal and at psg big time,so cup competitions can not be used to guage the success of a manager.I say sack the man even if he wins all the remaining games as he has failed again and again.

    1. Simon poole says:

      Ridiculous

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Lord Denning Emery didn’t “fail big time” at PSG. He has the highest winning percentage of any recent manager at PSG and under his tenure PSG won the second highest number of trophies in the Club’s history.
      Carlos Ancellotti 77 games win% 63.64, 1 trophy;
      Laurent Blanc 173 games win% 72.83, 11 trophies;
      Unai Emery 114 games win% 76.32, 7 trophies;
      Thomas Tuchel 127 games win% 74.80, 6 trophies;
      Mauricio Ponchettino 19 games win% 73.68, 1 trophy.
      But Lord Denning, don’t let the truth get in the way of your agenda. By the way PSG has won no European trophies under the above managers. Unai Emery won 7 of the 8 domestic trophies PSG competed for and Thomas Tuchel won 6 of 8 domestic trophies.

  12. Armoury says:

    Atleast someone can see what I see. We can have patience if at all we know that Arteta is capable of turning the tables around. But the guy has never done it anywhere. So, how can we be sure that he’ll do it? Arsenal football is boring under the leadership of Arteta

    1. Simon Mark Poole says:

      Have you ever seen a game? Boring we are not.

  13. Nik says:

    1. a) The club is not in a good financial position at all. Especially considering the fact Kroenke and co do not put their own money into the club. We were making losses before COVID hit, and after match day revenue went out the door ( a big part of our cash flow) we were hit even harder.

    1. b) Getting rid of Arteta means terminating his contract (heaps more money), and then to attract a big name manager, signing a new even bigger contract, new play styles, new demands with no guarantee they’ll work out. Kroenke is a business man, and thats’s too much of a risk.

    2. We’re stuck with Arteta for the foreseeable future whether you like it or not, so have this debate when you clearly see the club completely in the mud with no possibility of light at the end of the tunnel. In my opinion, the FA cup gives him at least 1 more summer transfer window.

    1. Nik says:

      Oh and cup form does matter, because the only thing the Arsenal is missing in it’s trophy cabinet is a champions league, and looking at the Stevie G Liverpool squad that won it after THAT night in Istanbul, league form does not transfer to cup form. If Arteta gets the club a Europa league, then he at least deserves time to have a crack at the Champions league regardless if where we are in the prem.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      According to transfermarket website Arsenal is the third biggest spender behind Manchester City and Manchester United for the last 5 and 10 years. The club is spending on transfers only that they are not spending wisely and it has become rare for them to make any money on outgoing players.

      That problem is their own making and should not be defended.

      1. Simon Mark Poole says:

        Yes but Arteta should not get the blame for all that went before

      2. Nik says:

        Yes, all contributing factors to our negative balance sheet. Fact of the matter is, however it’s happened, Arsenal made a 40 million pound loss 2019-20 season, so until we balance that out, I doubt there’ll be much splurging of cash on anything. If there is an offload of players however, who knows? Patience is the best medicine.

  14. Cayba Little says:

    this is just a silly artical lol
    the squad is unbalanced with a absoultly awful midfield. yes we had to pay to get rid of the dead wood because no clubs wanted them and they were making the eviroment at the club stink so money well spent in my eyes. covid has stopped us revamping the sqoud quicker due to the financail impact. we need to improve still for sure but its clear what arteta is setting up and the players are buying into it. just have some patience

  15. jon fox says:

    Perhaps somewhat to his surprise I will praise HH for finally writing a long and well argued article. I like that he says it is a matter of opinions. I need not tell him that I disagree with almost all he says and I remain firmly in the Arteta camp.

    But that is not the point I wish to make. HH Can certainly write and – as it IS(as he rightly says) a matter of opinion – I propose to disagree, obviously, as he knows I will, but still praise a well constructed article, even though I believe he is completely wrong in almost all he says.

    All are entitled to our views and PROVIDED that thought and honesty, from whichever point of view, has gone into those articles or posts, I will respect them.
    I do however note that HH started supporting in the Wenger glory decade and I know full well that many others did too. It is bound to colour future expectations when you began supporting a team in its best times.

    I started attending in 1958 and was suporting while a very small lad even before coming to Highbury. It was 15 years from when I became a supporter til we won our first trophy in my time. Most of those 15 years we were also rans and mid table.

    No wonder that the expectations of my generation are not so coloured by self entitlement, to which I sincerely believe so many who started in the Wenger glory decade actually are.

    1. Simon Mark Poole says:

      Hear Hear well said that man. It makes me sad to hear all the negative stuff against our club from so called supporters. I remember the mid seventies when we were nearly relegated

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Thank you Jon it is truly a surprise. As I asked earlier to your fellow old fans, how do you compare those difficult times in your youth to the difficult time we are having now?

      Note that I don’t think I should have patience for difficulties caused by mismanagement compared to difficulties caused by external factors.

      1. Simon poole says:

        As an older fan. We’re not having bad times.

      2. jon fox says:

        HH Interesting question you ask about how the old times compare. This is a multi faceted comparison and the first thing to say is that supporting now and then are completely different concepts.
        I started learning as a 4 or 5 year old all about our days at Woolwich where my grandfather used to go on the tram. He and my Dad used to tell me all about the really old days when we got relegated and then voted back up to Div One in 1919 under Sir Henry Norris, our clever and dynamic owner but who fell foul of many other clubs.

        Before age 7 I was keeping scrapbooks of cuttings in black and white from various newspapers of games we played and I had a rattle and knitted woollen scarf, courtesy of Grannie and by aged 8 I was taken along regularly. I was taken a couple of years earlier just the once but Dad thought me too small , which I was of course.
        I learned of our tradition , of our greats of the 1930’s,of our great defence under Herbert Chapman, who was responsible for turning us from also rans into the best club side around anywhere and who will always be our greatest manager ever, as no other manager since has started from being also rans as a club.
        Back then we had no expectations of winning the title and top four meant nothing special, as only the league champions got into the old European cup. The team, when I began going was usually mid table 9th -13th of 22 clubs was the average, though we finished 3rd in , I think 57/58.

        We had no real expectations of a trophy at all and a good FA cup run was our best hope back then but it did not happen til the late 60s when we made two consecutive league cup finals, losing both.

        My first trophy as a supporter was the I970 Inter Cities Fairs Cup, a forerunner to what evolved into the Europa league, via the UEFA cup. The idea of wearing a club shirt was never thought of and thus no one did. It was the days before mass greed , huge commercial sponsorship and cheating by diving.
        Players did not, ever, feign injury ; it would have been ridiculed as cissy(which it still is IMO). All players worked hard, for normal money and the first £100 pw player was in 1961, Johnny Haynes, the Fulham captain and England star midfielder – they were inside forwards or wing halves back then, not midfielders, which did not exist.

        Nor did CB’s ; they were centre halves. It was a totally different world and game , more honest, much physically tougher and you could virtually “kill” an opponent before getting booked(a yellow card in todays game). Bookings were far fewer than today and sendings off rarer still. Those days were tough but largely honest and corruption was less possible. However, three or four famous names were outed as match fixers in 1962 but that was incredibly rare.

        Essentially, the game was mostly honest and far more honest then nowadays. Hooliganism did not start til at least the mid 60s and 70’s and 80s were the worst period. I was grown up long before we won the Double in1971(actually 21 thatyear) and I’d give my right arm to go back to those healthy, honest non corrupt and not self entitled days when I was a young person.
        No fault of young people today as no one can help their age but football was far more enjoyable back then, in almost every way.
        TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS LIVED THROUGH BOTH TIMES AND KNOWS THE HUGE DIFFERENCE.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Thanks Jon for the wonderful read. Never in my wildest dreams supporting Arsenal did I ever thought that one day I will be conversing with an English fan, who lives in London (or England), an old one and not only that but he is also telling me how it was like supporting Arsenal in his early years.

          Websites like JA really deserve all the appreciation in bringing fans together. Perhaps I should print your comment and frame it on my wall.

          1. jon fox says:

            HH what a charming and touching reply. Thank you so much for your graciousness. I will long treasure it! I do hope that despite our many Arsenal differences we can be better friends from now on.

            For what its worth, I do not blame anyone for being young, though I do give that impression, admittedly!
            Even I was young once, in fact when I used to sit next to Julius Caesar at school and we studied Latin together. He spoke it rather better than I did!

  16. Phil says:

    HH- it seems few agree with you and seem to side to the views put up by TMJW yesterday. Saying that, he was in the minority of his opinions so it’s probably fair to say most prefer to disagree with an article as opposed to agreeing. For what it’s worth I’m with you all day long.
    TMJW was unable to answer a very simple point. That is- exactly what has Arteta done to date that gives anyone confidence in this manager. He was thrilled with a 1-1 draw away to Burnley. A team we had never lost a single point to in the Premier League prior to this season. Take into account the 0-1 defeat at home earlier in the season and we have amassed the total of ONE SINGLE POINT from the mighty Burnley. But according to TMJW, we only conceded due to a mistake. By a player who is responsible for countless points and games lost over the years. And a player who was begged to stay by this manager. So that is ok then mate. Keep playing a player who is proven ribs a liability and be grateful for that precious point away at Burnley.
    And some still ask why we are NINTH in the EPL and are happy with the decline Arteta is overseeing

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I agree Phil and it would’ve been nice for all who call for patience to acknowledge performances and the league position. Of all the reasons we are given the league position is ignored while it should be the first thing to judge progress.

      Glad to see you are judging Arteta by the same criteria you judged Wenger and Emery and in my opinion that is the way it should be.

    2. guy says:

      Good points Phil – I will be honest and say there is very little tangible us AKB types can present you with. We feel performances are 2 forward 1 back trending upwards, even if results don’t say that. We like that some players have gone, and approve of those incoming. We like how Arteta talks, and read that 95% of neutrals, with no axe to grind, say he is doing good things. It’s a vibe. Perhaps we are optimists. But we know he will stay and believe that encouraging our team is likely to improve it than criticising it. But most importantly, as a group we tend to be older. We remember the bad days and believe quick fixes never work.

      1. SueP says:

        I’m with you , deluded or not

  17. Simon Mark Poole says:

    Why would a top manager come to Arsenal?
    Who is available .
    I say stick.

  18. Simon Mark Poole says:

    F A cup win against all odds not give you a glimmer of hope then?

  19. Mambo says:

    What a well thought out article.
    The writer put much thought into this and it shows, by being probably one of thr best articles recently.

    👍👍👍👍👍

    I agree with writer 100%

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      “I expect an article soon on why arteta should get the sack.

      Give it 24 hours nd im sure there wull be one.”

      🤣🤣🤣

      I read that comment yesterday while I was writing this one.

  20. Simon Mark Poole says:

    There is no hope for us then.

  21. A.N.S says:

    Never before have I read a more compelling assessment on this site. True. Objective. Concise. When you enter the”sack and hire league” be prepared to run the entire mile. Chelsea, psg, real, juve, bayern, man u, inter, AC, barca…city…all do that. Literally every ambitious team must fire and hire till they get something to settle on.
    As highbury hero has rightfully put it..those recently dissatisfied with arteta (mostly his greatest admirers based on false reports from his city stay) did not ask arsenal to fire wenger or Emery. In honesty, I personally would take either men over arteta. We/I was made to believe that arsenal had all of a sudden become’ambitious’ and would go to any length to get a winning manager. Since arteta isn’t the guy can we plis continue with the search.
    Furthermore, the decision to fire or extend artetas contract at arsenal shouldn’t be pegged on winning EL. He hasn’t played and won’t be playing atletico or harzard-led chelsea as did wenger and emery. Both men could have won it under existing circumstances (I mean, current opposition).

  22. Grandad says:

    Brilliant response Val.Very well said.Patience is a virtue which , sadly, is lacking in large swathes of Society today.

    1. Phil says:

      @Grandad- you do realise Arsenal is a business don’t you? It’s not like waiting for the next episode of Coronation Street. The Club needs revenue. Europa League gives added funds. Champions league gives vast sums. To be successfully consistent in getting Champions League Football allows better players to be brought to the club. That’s a very simple logic to follow.
      If, as could well happen, Arteta fails to get the Club into Europe from either finishing 7th or winning the Europa Cup, this season will be a mammoth failure. We know our owner will not put his hand in his own pockets. So where will funds be to get the new players that are desperately needed?
      Or shall we just continue to be patient with Arteta with the hope he eventually gets things right?
      How has Arteta failed with a squad of players more than good enough to qualify for a minimum of Europa League? And do we reward failure for gross incompetence? Because that is what it will be if we fail to t qualify for Europe

      1. Sean M says:

        Your assumption seems to be that a different manager would invariably produce better results, which is utterly baseless. The grass is not always greener. We all thought Wenger’s replacement would bring us back to the top three. We all underestimated how ill-prepared we were for the next few years.

        In some ways, it reminds me of how incumbent political leaders are blamed for economic success or take credit for gains when the reality is that changes in the wind are often decades in the making. There is still so much to be done to restore Arsenal to a top-four team. It will take impeccable recruitment on a small budget (yet to be judged), a cultural overhaul (so far so good) and tactical versatility (positive signs). Arteta is doing pretty well under the circumstances; I can’t see how it could be claimed with a straight face that another manager could do better.

        1. Phil says:

          So what do we do then Sean? Just let Arteta carry on with no accountability? Seriously?

          1. ThirdManJW says:

            Well some fans were willing to give Wenger 14 without any accountability, in fact, some still don’t hold him accountable in the slightest, so why can’t a new manager get at least one full season before being held accountable for his actions?

          2. ken1945 says:

            But that is where your argument fails completely TMJW… it was only the last season of AW that we failed to either finish 4th or win a FA cup and enjoy participation in the CL.

            That is what part of the excellent article by HH is pointing out.
            I would also add your article yesterday, was also well written and gave the opposing view with the same clarity and feeling as this one.

            I continue to argue that being a “younger fan” makes one’s views not as stable as an “older fan”, because whatever went on in the past (good post Jon) is irrelevant to today.
            What does HH care about the decades of under achievement?
            All he wants is our club to be successful today…. and harping back to ex managers (whoever they might be) is totally irrelevant.
            It’s fine if HH wants to know the history of our club, which I love by the way, but that’s not what this article – or TMJW’S one from yesterday-is all about.
            Let one of us “older fans” write an article about the goid/bad old days and I am certain us oldies will love it – but what relevance does that have to HH and TMJW ‘s differing opinions? DIDDLY SQUAT!!

            Just like EVERY manager before him, MA has/will make mistakes and it’s whether the fan base judge him by the same criteria all those previous managers have been held to.
            I don’t believe MA is… but neither do I think he should be given a free pass by blaming those before him.

            If we have no European football at the end of the season, the first time in over two decades if it happens, then it has to be time for a change, because MA will have failed completely…. I hope he becomes THE most successful manager ever.

            Well done HH and TMJW for giving the fans the two opposite views of such a dividing topic.

          3. ThirdManJW says:

            So for you Ken, doing nothing in the league for 14 years straight wasn’t failure? Trophy less for 9 years straight wasn’t failure? Getting humiliated in Europe for his last 7 years wasn’t failure?

            In there lies the problem. Some think it was only right at the end when Wenger failed, but that simply isn’t true, as I have just pointed out. One didn’t expect success every season, especially as the league started to get more competitive and our stadium debt played a role, but 14, 9, 7, are big, big numbers! Unacceptable numbers.

            Realist fans like myself knew Wenger was finished so long ago, and 2016 completely vindicated that. All the other top 6 failed that season, and yet not only could we still not win the league, we didn’t even challenge for it!

            Wenger left Arsenal in a mess because there was no accountability during his time!

          4. ken1945 says:

            TMJW, what you judge as failure then is not winning either the PL or the CL then?

            So, let’s take the CL first and, of course, to be a failure in it, one has to qualify first of all – that’s pretty obvious.
            For twenty years AW achieved that initial task, according to you with no defence, dross players and way behind the times compared to other managers – actually he also got us to the knockout stages in all but one season, two semi finals and a final.
            The words “Getting humiliated” that you love to use, makes a mockery of what you think Arteta has done to date as being an improvement.
            Has losing four home games in a row, taking one point from Burnley, losing twice to Olympiacos in the Europa league (both at home by the way) not being seen by you as “humiliations?”

            I wonder how MA would have coped with the Arab and Russian money, while having to sell our best players to balance the books?

            Now the PL – never out of the top four, except for the last two seasons… where are we at present?
            Was there ever any thoughts regarding relegation, as there has been under both of your choices as replacements UE and MA?
            Is that not humiliation – being talked about as relegation contenders?
            As for poor old MA inheriting a mess – UE took us to fifth in the league and a European final – since then, MA has introduced new players, new ideas, new rules and regulations…. and we are out-of both domestic cups, out of any chance of being PL winners and in danger of not qualifying for ANY European football next season – that’s the kind of mediocrity that you want fans to accept, while claiming AW was a failure?!?!

            MA is all powerful now, as was his choice, so you keep talking about the 1%of games that we WERE humiliated in 22 years, while choosing of course to ignore the above mentioned ones under MA in just over eighteen months.

            I take solace in the fact that you believed UE was the answer and that MA learnt about being humiliated while playing for AW – both have been proved to be totally wrong and, while I hope MA succeeds, let’s see where we end up at the end of this season shall we?
            I sincerely hope YOU are not humiliated by the same support you gave to Unai Emery – support lacking for Arsene Wenger from 2008 onwards.

          5. ThirdManJW says:

            Ken you’re missing my point entirely. It’s not only about not winning the league or CL, we weren’t even challenging for them either. Where was the progress. With each passing year we could see we were getting further and further away from winning those. We were regressing.

            As I keep saying, Wenger had credit in the bank for that first decade, so I for one was happy to be patient during the dark days. But after seeing no progress for such a long time, one had to ask, why is he still our manager? He kept making the same mistakes over and over again.

            And here you again with your complete lies about humiliations. Arteta is not even on the same planet as Wenger in regards to those. Has Arteta lost 5-1 three times in a row to the same team? Has Arteta conceded 8 and 6 goals against Utd? Has Arteta consistently thrown away the first leg in European knockouts? Has Arteta conceded 5 to Spurs in one game? Or concede 6 against Chelsea? I could go on and start mentioning some shockers against the lesser teams as well, but I think my point is well made. Which also highlights my point about how much better we are defensively now.

      2. jon fox says:

        Phil I asked you last week who was the last manager we had who you have ever supported? Since I joined JA quite some years ago now I do not remember you ever praising any of our managers, so hence my curiosity. Just thought I’d try again, as I think you will at least read this thread.

        1. Phil says:

          Jon- I thought I did
          So starting with Bertie Mee. My first season ticket as a 12 year old was when Bertie had taken over. Long Story short- achieved success over a few years then completely lost his way.
          Terry Neil- instant Cup Final appearances from 1978-80 plus the final of the ECWC. Only one trophy from 4 finals when we should have won them all.
          What I learned quite quickly was a manager is only as good as his team are performing.
          Now Jon- the early eighties under Terry Neil. We were so poor. A 55,000 capacity Highbury was only full a few games a season.
          The manager lost his job and it went to Don Howe.
          Howe did well. We challenged briefly all season and he had some very good players at the Club. But how long did he last ? One season. The Ckub knew he was not the right man for the job. This was England’s Coach if you recall as well as Arsenals manager.
          The club were decisive. This has followed a pattern since then I believe.
          To recap to here. Did I support these managers. Simple. If we were winning then yes. If we were losing then no. As a manager, it’s there responsibility to run the team and get success. EVERY supporter at EVERY club wants the same. Perform and the fans support you. Underachieve and this is failure. And why should any professional expect to be rewarded for failing. And as a supporter why would I expect my club to keep employing a manager who fails.
          Graham was just what Arsenal needed after Howe. Great success that was built over just 3 seasons. Then he lost the plot and was sacked. Correct decision and not just for the fact he was caught thieving. The football was poor but he still kept winning cups.
          Then AW. I’m short cutting this. After 2012 it was obvious Wenger was not able to make Arsenal the competitive force we once were. Finance and the building of the Emirates were the reasons and he lasted longer than I thought he would. But eventually his failings cost him his job. Did I support this manager through the good times? Of course, but why would I support failure when it was obvious he was not up to the job.
          Emery- I wanted to like Emery. He was a poor choice to succeed Wenger. Simple fact.
          Arteta- simple fact again. I will not support failure. I never did in business and I will not in my lifelong passion of following Arsenal. We have a Top 6
          ( minimum squad) languishing in NINTH. If that does not improve then we end up out of Europe.
          That Jon is failure. Why would u seriously be expected to support a manager who has failed in his job?

          1. jon fox says:

            An interesting and enjoyable reply. Thanks Phil and I obviously missed your earlier reply. I do agree with a great deal of your post but do reflect that no club ever has a divine right to be top or even near top all the time and over the decades we have done rather well. (Our main disagreement is how soon is failure decided. Thats where we differ, chiefly.)
            After all, WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN SPUDS, GOD FORBID!

          2. Simon Mark Poole says:

            Because its not over yet ?

          3. John says:

            Phil we must be of a similar age .Do you think the Don Howe team and situation is similar to what is happening now? A very good coach who just couldn’t make it as a manager.We had an inconsistent team that contained journey men and big time players with big egos but had some very promising youngsters coming through that George benefited from. All of which could be said of today’s team and manager.A good coach doesn’t necessarily make a good manager.

  23. Davi says:

    On myth 3 there, which is called “he got rid of deadwoods” you say it’s untrue because we didn’t sell them – sorry but that’s absurd, he did get rid of them, so you didn’t debunk that one…
    Sorry but it’s hard to sell deadwoods, some clever people decided to give some of them massive contracts and they weren’t playing well, so selling was not a possibility. MA pulled the trigger; good on him for that.
    The rest is really just matter of opinion

    1. Phil says:

      Hi @John- I was really excited when Don Howe took over. We had a very decent team. Up top we had Mariner Nicholas and my favourite Tony Woodcock. Anderson and Samson as full backs
      O’Leary and Tommy Caton at CB. A midfield including Rox and Talbot. We had a bit of everything there. BUT. There is always a BUT as far as Arsenalmanagers and my thoughts are concerned. We under achieved badly I thought. Going out to the (Old) Second Division Oxford in the Lesgue Cup. A pathetic display. I recall beating a very strong Liverpool at Highbury 3-0 but slipping up against lesser teams. Should Howe have gone? You may remember he resigned when apparently the club were talking to both Bobby Robson AND Terry Venables. We ended up with either and GG took over. And what an uninspiring Manager he turned out to be. Until the seadon started. He sold Woodcock and mariner and relied on a mixture of experience and youth. But mainly youth. His only signing that season was Perry Groves for £60k. ( Alan Smith was signed after Xmas but stayed at Leicester until the following season. And to cap it off we won the Littlewoods Cup ( Now Carabao Cup) beating Liverpool 2-1 after going behind to. Rush first half goal. It was the first game Liverpool had lost a game that Rush had scored in. We had a young TA as a 21 year old Captain. An even younger Rocky Micky Thomas and Martin Hayes. What an impact in his first season. So Howe was never missed and GG took us to Two League Championships in his Third and Fifth seasons. We had pier, flair ((OMG just how good was Andwrs Limpar in 1990-91)?
      Great memories John

      1. John says:

        Phil you named two of my favourite players of the time in Woodcock and Limpar and I would add Steve Williams.A great book called All Guns Blazing by John Spurling describes what was going on in the mid eighties and portrays a divided dressing room that George had to sort out.

        1. Phul says:

          John- Tony Woodcock was such a great player. When we bought him from Cologne had also had Liverpool and Man Utd trying to sign him but he wanted to play for The Arsenal. Says everything about him. Limpar- what a player and Steve Williams was just so under rated. Why GG did not okay Williams at the back v Luton at Wembley in 1988 I will never understand.
          Good memories John

  24. AndersS says:

    I am sorry, but this is not just “for or against Arteta”.
    I think, we are some, that are a bit unsure.
    What I see is the following:
    We are in a very poor league position, which could suggest Arteta should be let go.
    On the other hand our league position is the consequence of how bad we were before Xmas, where we almost looked like relegation material. Since then we are greatly improved, which would suggest we are on the right track, and it would be a mistake to let Arteta go.
    So which is it?
    My position is, let’s keep going with Arteta, and see if the picture becomes clearer, when the season is over. I really don’t see it being a good idea to bring in a new manager right now.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      No one is calling for Arteta sack now AndersS. At the end of the season he should be judged if he is an improvement over Wenger and Emery.

      1. AndersS says:

        I think that is fair.
        But it seems to me several have made their minds up already 😉
        I wish we had some clear targets to judge a manager by.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍 Exactly, what are the performance criteria and targets to be achieved?

      2. jon fox says:

        HH, sadly, you first line is factually false, as there are a number of young fans who have said clearly they want him gone now. This foolish stance is why I am usually scornful of folk with little life experience, though that is not their fault But it still is true, nevertheless

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Jon and AndersS I have always taken their views to mean (and that is my view also) that if there is no European football for next season Arteta should go. And from what we’ve seen there is very slim chance that things will change.

          I have given up on the league and a very hard lesson learned never to have high expectations again. I have hope for Europa League and I will be very happy (as all will be obviously) if we win it but I do not put expectations on it.

          A new manager now will not change anything. If Arteta is sacked now by the time a new manager is appointed the Arsenal way, the season will be nearly finished.

          1. Mambo says:

            He has to deliver European football or this is a costly failure.

            Sacking him now might do more damage than good unless he loses the players.

        2. Phil says:

          Jon- just adding to the earlier managers discussion, I realised after writing I left out the single season of Bruce Rioch. As the only thing he did of note was being Dennis Bergkamp to the club, ( well managed a David Dein signing in reality ) shall we just leave that parked there?

          1. jon fox says:

            yes Phil, with Bruce” Sgnt Major” Rioch , it would be VERY wise to leave it there. I COULD NOT TAKE TO HIM AS HE WAS COLD AND HAUGHTY, not my sort of person.

    2. SueP says:

      Sound thinking

  25. ahmad73 says:

    The table does not lie. We finished eighth last season, and this season seems to be similar. I want Arsenal to be successful, therefore I would for Arteta to do well. However, the facts seem to suggest we are stagnating in mid-table mediocrity. Some like to point out that our defense has improved. If we look at goals conceded per game, there appears to be some improvement. That said, we are still shipping silly goals frequently. This was an issue before, and yet after heavily investing on the defense, we don’t seem to have been able to eliminate this from our game. We are perhaps conceding fewer goals because we adopt a more defensive minded approach. This has stifled our creativity. Our style is dour at best. We have a poor return on goals per game, we create few chances and the fact that our strikers are misfiring badly this year has exacerbated the problem. As I have no power to influence the fate of Arteta, I will rather hope that he comes good eventually. It’s more hope than expectation though.

  26. Goonster says:

    Since when did the team that Arteta inherited Challenge for The Title?

    And to me Arteta has improved us. It might not show in the STATS column but I feel like it only needs a few tweakings here and there then boom..

    What’s clear is that we all have all different criteria / methods we perceive football.

    There are those people that mostly look out for STATS. They just go by what The Big Bold Healdline says.. “What does this Stat column say?”.

    Some go by what each performance says rather than what the “post match stats” say.

    So basically we are all arguing completely different arguments.

    It’s kinda like a Messi vs Ronaldo thing. Who is better? Etc.

    1. Phil says:

      @Goonster- at the moment I’m looking at the Premiere League table. That PAL is a Fact, not a Stat, and it is clearly showing NINTH.
      If we stay there and do not win the Europa Cup with the squad we have, that is failure, not progress.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Higher in the league doesn’t always mean better, unless you’re winning it of course. Wenger consistently finished higher in 4th and that led to 9 years without a trophy.

        Personally, I’d rather finish lower and win trophies, I mean, who wants to be a Spurs fan!

        1. ken1945 says:

          But TMJW, you have constantly ridiculed Wenger for his FA cup wins…. while also finishing 4th 3rd and 2nd.

          So would you say that when we beat Chelsea at Wembley, but finished outside of the CL places, that was a good season for The Arsenal?

          1. ThirdManJW says:

            Yes Ken, and I will always call out 14 years straight of league failure, as what it is, failure. One can forgive a few poor years here and there, but not 14!

            I never ridiculed Wenger for FA Cups, yet more lies and spin from, what you do best. Like many others, I just stated that they would not lead anywhere, it would just paper over the cracks. As we all now know, I, and many others, were proven 100% correct on that.

            Arteta has a huge challenge on his hands changing that kind of mentality, especially in such a short time frame, that some fans are giving him.

          2. ThirdManJW says:

            In answer to your question, yes! I would prefer winning than barely competing, but there has to come a time when one looks at the bigger prizes, and asks the question: Can we win those with Wenger, and answer had been obvious for a good 8 years or so…no!

          3. ken1945 says:

            Then TMJW, you are NOT a supporter of the club, but a trophy hunting fan.
            You seem to have no idea what qualifying for the CL year after year brought to the club… both financially and in prestige / world wide acknowledgement of The Arsenal.
            You keep trophy hunting – I’ll keep supporting through thick and thin… something you seem incapable of doing.

          4. ThirdManJW says:

            And you can’t be a supporter of Arsenal even more than me Ken if you think a club the size of Arsenal shouldn’t be winning trophies anymore and only be content on finishing 4th all the time.

          5. ken1945 says:

            Let’s put it another way then – if you think MA winning the fa cup and the Community shield (suddenly promoted to a trophy under MA) was as important to our club’s future as failing to qualify for the CL, then you have no idea what the latter tournament brings to a club.
            That’s why it’s regarded as the ultimate European club tournament and why EVERY single major club’s first priority is to ensure qualification… and why AW failed in his penultimate season by one point and despite winning the fa cup… you deem it as a successful season!!!
            By the way, losing at home twice to a club from the “inferior league” as you described both the Greek and Turkish leagues, is not an humiliation!?!?!?
            Here’s an article for you TMJW – from the 1,235 games under Wenger, 253 were defeats.
            So, as you go on and on about the “numerous humiliations, why don’t you enlighten everyone, by listing them and work out the percentage…against total games and against lost games?
            I’ve done the first sum and it works out at less than 1%…but of course, your definition of humiliation differs from mine it seems… so if you can’t be bothered to back up your claim, give me your definition of “a humiliation” and I will do it for you.
            If you want, I’ll also work out, using your definition, how many clubs WE humiliated during Wenger’s time… over to you.

        2. RSH says:

          yes, but as phil said, that ALL depends on winning a cup competition. Are you certain we will win Europa League, because I am not even certain we can get past Slavia Prague right now.

      2. Goonster says:

        @Phil
        You are just reiterating my point.
        You are in the category of “Stats say this and that. The league position says this and that. This Stat column says this and that etc..”.

        And there is nothing wrong with the way you discern football. We just have different perspectives when it comes to analysing football.

        I am more about the whole picture. More about the foundations being solid
        How are defending as a whole?
        How disciplined are we?
        How hardworking are we?
        How are we attacking as a team?
        Does the team seem to be united and respect their manager? Etc.

        Those are the sorts of things that I look for first before caring about league position, Chances created, . Not too much

        How confident does the team make feel as compared to the later wenger days and Emery days. I feel like we are getting a more defined and stronger identity under Arteta. I can see massive glimpses of a real team in there.
        It’s just up to Arteta to turn those positive glimpses I can see into something real and tangible.

        I don’t care about finishing 4th and thinking “How the fck did we even finish 4th with such a shaky defence, average midfield, weak / brittle mentality etc..?” It will only keep us delusional and continually embarrassed / humiliated by the other Top teams like it was before..

        I am hardly ever attracted by shiny objects. “But look at this Stat and that stat. Look at the table etc.”.
        I am more into the nitty gritty. Out of context Stats or talking points never work for me..

        So since wenger I care more about stability and a manager that is able to notice problem areas and willing to strengthen them..

        Like I keep saying, even if Arteta does not make it here he will have left a very very solid foundation for the next manager to build upon.

        1. Simon Mark Poole says:

          Football is evolving all the time. I’d rather have a young manager with new fresh ideas rather than a dinosaur . Get behind the team and manager and stop sounding like petulant kids who want a bigger ice cream. If you wait and be good you will get your ice cream. If not you might get José Mourinho instead

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      It’s Ronaldo for me only because I don’t like Messi not because of talent. Some might say the defense of Arteta is based more on liking him than his ability.

      I beg to differ on stats. The league table is the grandad of all stats and everything else is revolving around it. It cannot be taken lightly just to defend poor results.

  27. Matthew says:

    Have you ever wondered why the manager keeps on selecting this same players that commits costly mistakes game after game?…i believe arteta has a huge chunk of the blame for our current position

    1. Simon Mark Poole says:

      He selects the players that commit errors because that’s the players he has . Use your Brain

      1. ken1945 says:

        So, we don’t have players who MA hasn’t chosen and who don’t keep making mistakes then?

        1. Simon says:

          No, that’s why he picks him. He’s the best we have in that position.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Absolute rubbish – Willian better than Martinelli?
            Have you ever watched our club?

        2. Simon says:

          KEN
          Have you been to the training sessions and watched. Are you well advised with Arteta’s game plans? Are you fully aware of all the players fitness. Would you put a young player who has been out with a long term injury in the side straight away week in week out ?
          Lets leave it to a man who has spent a good few years in or around football. If you can’t back the manager, take your negativity and go watch something else

  28. SueP says:

    Higbury Hero,

    It was interesting that Phil posted what I was going to do, insofar as those who want Arteta out pilloried TMJW’s views and you have had to take it from the Arteta in/give him more time brigade on your article.

    You know my views as I very much want Arteta to have more time.

    It is not surprising to me that some have mentioned the amount of time you have followed Arsenal. Those of us, like JF and Val are senior in years. I started going with my parents in the late 60’s. We didn’t have mobile phones, or the internet to instantly comment on what went right or wrong. It might be comments between supporters as we left the ground or got on the tube home, followed by highlights of the game on tv on BBC Match of the Day. It wasn’t wall to wall football, Twitter, Instagram and sites like Just Arsenal where every little detail is mulled over

    Without doubt the emergence of the Premier League and Sky completely and utterly changed the face of football. We were in the right place at the right time under Wenger. Seeing the likes of Vieira, Pires, Petit and the rest of the French league ply their trade was to watch football at its best. This is where you come in, seeing years and years of top4 and CL football. I watched a mixture of success and mediocrity prior to that and I never expected Arsenal to win all the time. Success was cyclical and we took the rough with the smooth. It is not your fault that you had those years of success. My two grown up sons feel like you do sometimes as well.

    This brings me back to patience. I am prepared to wait a bit longer to see if Arteta can kick on further.

    Also, the Ferguson situation at ManU is very relevant. I don’t think it matters at all that he was given time by the board in the old days. The set up post Fergie hasn’t had the success that he built on, and some pretty famous managers followed in his footsteps. I felt really sorry for David Moyes who was shown the door and berated for bringing in only Fellaini. It didn’t work out too well for the club and Fellaini was there doing his thing for years, so Moyes got something right.

    1. jon fox says:

      Such bliss and such a blessing to read the wisdom born of real experience, Sue P! Those of us who are born long enough ago to have been around theblock and back a number of times have thr gret advantage that young people do not have of PERSPECTIVE. We ALL only ever get true PERSPECTIVE by living it.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Sue regarding the matter of patience I understand what you and others especially old fans mean and I completely agree.

      But my thinking is that patience should be observed when things are truly hard for instance if we have been relegated or we have financial difficulties or for reasons outside our control we can no longer compete.

      From what I see the club is in very good and stable condition to have results we are seeing now. There have been bad recruitment from management positions, players and even the managers.

      Everything is in the club control now to improve results. If there are no improvements we really are going where patience is going to be required. Please see Jax’s comment above.

      1. SueP says:

        HH
        It is never straightforward. Years of cumulative failures have brought Arsenal to where it is today and that was never going to be fixed with a click of the fingers. I am patient because it was never going to be a quick fix
        Did you call me old?😱

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          I have always understood you are above 50 am I wrong? It’s not only old fans who call for patience even young ones but it is more understood coming from older fans because they have experienced something similar.

          1. jon fox says:

            HH, Slightly tongue in cheek, admittedly, but when I meet lots of people as I do when out walking the dog, I ROUTINELY tell anyone at all of either sex who is under 60 that they are a mere foetus. So far no one has been remotely offended and I consider myself still young, as I am so fit and still run each day. When you are aged 8, someone of 15 is old, so it is all relative, tbh!
            I do tell young people that I am old, which in reality of course I am , as it gives me an excuse to preach to them. I have to be honest!

          2. SueP says:

            Of course I’m old. Just having fun on a Friday night

        2. Highbury Hero says:

          Regarding the point you are making there is a weight to it and I am still digesting it. What I can say is it surely has given food for thought and it’s one of those points that make one think a bit different.

        3. guy says:

          Lol SueP he meant to call us oldER, not old, I’m sure! Now where’s my chicken soup…? Kind of ironic though that we with the least time to spare to witness a new era are the ones most likely to be pleading for patience.

          1. jon fox says:

            “Ironic” guy OR the patience we older ones have through sheer life experience, where we learn that all we might want – we leave the EXPECTING to the young ones who know no better- does not mean it will happen very soon.

            I’d suggest it IS the patience of having life experience, though it is also ironic in its way, as we older ones have less time left on this planet.
            PS. IM AFRAID I HAVEJUST EATEN YOUR CHICKEN SOUP!

  29. Reggie says:

    Excellent article that actually states facts and says it how it actually is. People can have opinions and thats what these sites are for but facts are fact and that can not be disputed. I have already written a lot that is in this article and some may not like it but the facts are there. Supporting Arteta because they have a hunch or a dream he will sort his mess out is all well and good and admirable but when the shit finally hits the fan, what good will patience have done. We want progress not patience or hopes, please this is our club that has been dropped into midtable. We need action not promises.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Perhaps I should’ve have mentioned in the article that what I have written is not my original thoughts rather accumulation of what you, Phil and others have been saying in the comments regarding the progress under Arteta.

      1. jon fox says:

        What a disappointing, even though honest, admission to have to read. Are you honestly just writing the thoughts of others , not of yourself? That is a terrible admission to have to read!

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          All the points I have written have already been argued countless times in the comments. There is nothing new there.

          Its like what I say to the Real Vieira. He has thought provoking arguments in his comments and I wish he could put them into articles.

          An article is better for wider discussion.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Sorry Jon, I disagree with your comments about HH.
            What he has done, is read, digested, discussed and THEN reviewed his original thoughts.
            Isn’t that what any mature, intelligent person does when debating?… Otherwise what’s the point of this, or any other, website.
            Power to your maturity HH!!!

          2. Dan kit says:

            Agreed Ken
            Quite a clever way to write up an Article,and it was very well written .
            My view is he should have till the end of the season ,if he does not get us EL trophy or a top 6 he has to go .

          3. jon fox says:

            HH Thats all fair comment. Esp your last line, which is spot on! But I cannot see , despite what you admittted, that you are not writing your own thoughts in this well constructed article of yours.
            If I really thought you were only parroting the thoughts of others and not yourself, then I would be sad, as we all have a perfect right to give our own thoughts and I do so always without giving any consideration at all to who else might agree or disagree.
            Thoughts should always be personal ones or else why bother. Just my take HH, my new chum!!

          4. jon fox says:

            Ken having reviewed his many comments prior to writinghis article I DO AGREE WITH YOU. i was merely taking him at his word, (above this).

          5. Highbury Hero says:

            Thank you Ken and Dan it means a lot. I really appreciate it. Jon liked the article before and I was surprised by his compliment.

            Friendship in the comments never last Jon. It is only a matter of time before the disagreement in opinions go further than merely disagreement.

            Maybe it’s just the nature of online interactions.

          6. ken1945 says:

            HH, one of my closest Arsenal friends, is someone who I argued with (and still do) regarding Arsene Wenger.
            Phil (you know PAL!!) and I have met up at The Emirates and also travelled to Olympiacos last season.
            He has been up to my home in Scotland and we are both s/t holders – we will NEVER agree on the legacy of AW, but that doesn’t stop us from being friends, simply because we both want the same thing-The Arsenal to be the top club in the world.
            So friendships can be formed through disagreements… as long as one respects each other.
            I have a suspicion that your first article on JA has given many of us an insight into your passion, thoughts and values… well done HH, you should be proud of how this article has been received by the Just Arsenal fan base.

          7. Sue says:

            Well said, Ken..

  30. Matthew says:

    I don’t want arteta to be sacked,i just want him to cut out the silly mistakes he makes like asking players to play out from the back even when they know it isn’t safe&also the selection of underperforming players over&over again with no positive outcome

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 If he doesn’t it will be a self fulfilling profysy.

    2. Simon says:

      I agree completely cut out the mistakes but surely its the players to judge at that time. Sometimes we have looked great playing out that way and its worked. What the players them selves need to do is recognise when to play and when to hoof it. He plays who he thinks earns it in training. Thats the part we don’t see.

  31. Ackshay says:

    You think we have a squad capable of challenging for 4 LOL thank for the laugh. On talent alone we are barely the 6th best squad in the league. Then if you breakdown the squad with who is suited to what playstyle or what is their best position then we have midtable squad. We are like the kid trying to arrange a puzzle but doesn’t realise he is using parts from different puzzles, it just won’t fit together.

    Now to the financial part we are no longer in the top richest club in the world in case you haven’t realised it. dropped out of top 10 in the last deloitte money league even spurs have passed us. Given that unlike the other top clubs our matchday revenue is a big part of our total revenue things are about to get even worse for us financially.

    The fact that you think we deserve titles or challenging top 4 is laughable. WE DESERVE NOTHING, we have a rookie coach, an unbalanced/weak squad and an owner who isn’t there to win titles. Remove the coach and you are still left with the others deadweights.

    Also in the last few years we have had numerous coaches and squad overhauls and not only have things not improved they have worsen. Only 1 thing has remained constant during our decline and until that stain is remove we will still be handicapped.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      “On talent alone we are barely the 6th best squad in the league”

      Before we move on to your other points I would like you to explain that. How did you come to that number that we are 6th talent wise.

      I am going to hold on the laugh and if you give good explanation I will swallow that laugh if you don’t I am going to laugh straight for the next 24 hours.

      1. Ackshay says:

        City united chelsea Liverpool tottenham all have better squad than us.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          It can be debated that we can compete with them with our current squad seeing that except City the rest are not having a good season either but I will give you that and swallow my laugh.

        2. jon fox says:

          Of course all of them have Also Leicester. HH is simply vastly overstating our squad and with such as BELLERIN AND XHAKA WE ARE NOWHERE NEAR THOSE OTHERS.

  32. Grandad says:

    Phil, as a retired Banker, who has lent millions to businesses throughout the UK for over 30 years I don’t need you to remind me that Arsenal is a business .I know more about finance than you ever will and I have never watched Coronation Street.Keep your cynicism to yourself please and show some respect to others who happen to disagree with your opinion.

    1. guy says:

      Agree Grandad well said – I too found that comment condascending and unnecessary. I would add that although football is a business, clubs themselves are part of the community, albeit many are now bankrolled for PR purposes by multinationals or even national governments, so the usual “going concern” considerations do not always apply to them. Whilst working in Government I myself witnessed cases at two fairly large clubs where bankuptcy proceedings for unpaid tax were not pursued solely because of the detrimental affect it would have on the local community. So they are a business, but not in the normal sense of the word. Do any of us think that Barca or Real would still be afloat if they were anything other than a football team?

  33. Phil says:

    @Grandad- so you would have lent millions to somebody on a whim would you? Taking this into the same context as Arteta, you would just allow someone to borrow as much as he liked because why??????
    Of course you wouldn’t: Yet you seem happy to let Arteta have the keys to the safe and help himself. Poor judgement that. Cynicism? Not in my mind. Simply relevant to what you wrote

    1. RSH says:

      Well said. Abramovich splashed the cash with Lampard and look what has happened. He’s lucky that Tuchel is as good at squad management as he has been. And Tuchel at least has credentials. And even Lampard had more credentials before he got hired than Arteta did. Why do people think Kroenke should throw wads of money on an amateur manager? The fact we have gotten Partey, Gabriel, and signed Auba to a megadeal is more than most amateurs would get.

      1. SueP says:

        Did MK have the same squad, the same backing as Chelsea

        1. RSH says:

          No, and I literally just explained why….

          1. SueP says:

            Do you expect Arsenal to match it then?

      2. guy says:

        RSH – Cruyff started in senior management at Ajax, Zidane at Real, Guardiola at Barcelona. Get realistic – it happens.

  34. Jimmy James says:

    The squad thatArteta inherited was not the same squad as the one Emery took to 5th and the Europa finals. Many players left in the summer of 2019 and in my opinion the squad was weakened. It didn’t surprise me in the slightest that we struggled last season or this. All of the teams that finished top 6 last season had and still have better squads than us. Other teams around us now have similar strength squads. Arteta has brought in a few players to replace many that have gone but on a limited budget it’s difficult to bring in better players. The one player he spent good money on has been injured and struggling for fitness all season. on a small budget it will be very difficult to improve our position. Hopefully we will know by Christmas if we have reached the bottom of the downward spiral. Signs over the past few months suggest we have. Hopefully Arteta will be given until Christmas to start the upward journey.

    1. SueP says:

      Excellent and realistic approach to the current situation. However, I am not sure at all that Arteta would take us lower It might not be a whoosh up the league, but I would definitely be expecting more

      1. Jimmy James says:

        Thank you. I think Arteta will take us forward, but it will take time and definitely won’t be easy.

        1. guy says:

          well said JJ

  35. Grandad says:

    Phil, please grow up.

    1. Phil says:

      Really? What’s that about? Because of the ridiculous comment you made ?
      Think before you write PAL.

  36. Sid says:

    This is an article, on which, just like with TMJW’s article, I am on the fence. The current situation is such that I cannot decisively put my foot in either the AOB or the AKB camp, but just go along with the club, 1 game at a time. HH, I have seen your demeanour throughout the season and your support for the club and MA, so I dont understand when people berate you for having an agenda against MA. It is, as you said, just a matter of opinion. Having been very close to adopting your viewpoint myself, I would like to discuss your points and then state why I believe that MA needs more time.
    Point 1- Covid 19 hit all clubs equally. I agree on that. But I feel the impact of the pandemic was not felt equally everywhere. At first, we were unfortunately the first PL club whose manager was affected. That did take atleast sometime away from the valuable research and preparation that MA might have had undertaken in the normal circumstances. Then we were the only club to announce redundancies and enforce paycuts. So I guess we were quite badly hit financially.
    2. Also I agree with your second point. But I think the squad that he inherited, while not bad in the literal sense, was maybe unfit for his tactics or vision? We have seen him continously repurpose the squad ever since he arrived, so maybe the players are not suitable for his vision. At first, they could not sustain a whole match pressing the opposition, so maybe the previous tactics implemented by the previous manager might have had a hand in the decline. Also while not bad talent wise, some have been proved to cause trouble inside the organisation and that definitely is a cause for underperformance.
    3. This is something which I dont agree with. Even if the players were paid off, I think ultimately the manager is the one responsible for identifying the underperforming players, making the squad decisions without involving those players, making the point to the management to cancel the contracts inspite of the costs. Also as mentioned previously, some of those who are classified as deadwood have also been known to cause trouble, so inspite of them not playing they can still affect an organisation.
    4. This is a point I do agree with. The improvement in defence has come at the cost of fluency in attack somewhat. This I attribute to the near robotic way of settingup that MA preffered during the early part of the campaign. The creativity was almost non existent, and whatever clear cut chances we managed to manufacture, our forwards missed them. At that time I completely defended MA, because it seemed every match players missed sitters and our efficiency was hovering around zero. I would say that he is now trying to establish an offensive system, compliant with modern footballing systems and we have seen flashes of that, though inconsistent. So although I do agree with this point, in recent times we have seen a departure from it.
    5. This is also another point that I would like to disagree with. Unless two successive managers are carbon copies in tactics, the second manager does undertake a rebuild from what the first manager left. In our case I would say that it is compounded because of a failed first rebuild (Unai Emery) and then some subsequent questionable decisions by MA during his own rebuild (as mentioned by TRVL, the acquisition of Willian and the deadline day scramble for Partey), but that is something which I have come to realise later and it is just a benefit of hindsight. At the time those decisions were taken I was overjoyed just like other Arsenal fans. Also I feel you are ignoring the reshuffling of the board that we have seen this season. It seems as if Mr. Kroenke or his son Josh have finally paid a little more attention(not financially but managerial) and sacked the supposed bad eggs like Raul. All this points to a club that is anything but stable, going towards a route of stability backing the vision of Mr. Mikel Arteta.
    Now on the points where I do feel MA has not done a good job-
    1. Not addressing our setpiece offensive capability
    2. Playing underperforming players for so long.
    3. Maybe not allowing certain partnerships and player profiles enough time to flourish like Pepe-Cedric, Holding-Gabriel, Mari-Holding, Partey-Mo etc (but I cant complain much on this topic as I dont know more about the squad and am only going because of my frustration here)
    4. This is something which I shouldnt say at all, as it is hardly his fault but under his reign, the concentration of mistakes over time period is really high. It might be because players are adopting to new systems throughout the season maybe but it has cost us a lot.
    So in conclusion, I do feel that MA needs time (atleast one full season more) but cant be definitely sure about it as I also agree with some points of AOB camp. In the defence of my point, I would say a change in managerial position at this time might be a detrimental factor, what with COVID uncertainities, the 120 million bank loan, the new, yet to be stable board and the players adopting to a system. Please forgive me if I sound naive in my post, becasue I have only followed Arsenal since 2010 and also have not watched all their matches since that period. But I am a Gooner at heart and do wish my club all the success in the world, as I believe all of us do here, inspite of our differences.
    COYG!

    1. Sid says:

      Really sorry for the long post.

      1. SueP says:

        Sid you are a star and politeness personified

        1. Sid says:

          Thank you SueP. I still am unsure to completely throw my support behind either camp, partly due to lack of information and partly due to lack of experience. But he always has my support when he marshalls the gunners in the field.

          1. SueP says:

            You should go with how you feel and no one else

      2. jon fox says:

        SID for what its worth, I am always sorry to read posts that say nothing whatever of substance, so your welcome post saying much of substance was a treat!

        PLEASE SID, NEVER APLOGISE FOR HAVING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE TO SAY. Some of us on JA have attention spans far longer than goldfish, though I realise all do not!

        1. Sid says:

          Thank you so much for your kind words, Jon. And yeah, I will take heed of your advice.

      3. Highbury Hero says:

        Long post but worth every word.

        1. Sid says:

          Thank you so much for your kind words, HH.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Well Sid I apologize for late reply but wow man you have made very strong points! Of all the reasons given to give Arteta more time yours are the most persuasive I have seen yet.

      It’s not a must to be on any camp I think neutral fans complete the balance. We all want the same thing in the end. If Arteta is going to stay certainly I will remember this comment and start next season with a positive outlook.

      1. Sid says:

        No need for an apology, as I do believe that football is but a part of people’s lives. After more thought, I believe both AKB and AOB have strong points. The most positive point for MA in my opinion is that he has improved our general defensive play, while the most negative point would be that our attacking play and attractive playstyle has suffered. Also incidents of indiscipline are really high this season, and more or less that is under his watch even though it is not his fault.
        Please dont leave your positive outlook, because it is really inspiring. And yeah, I hope Arsenal gives us more reasons to celebrate than to discuss disagreements next season.
        COYG!!

    3. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

      Sid, just a few comments regarding your points…

      (1) covid didn’t hit us harder, the “redundancies” were clearly as a result of our newfound policy of allowing “super” agents and analytics to assume a much more prominent role in our recruitment process…sadly this did likewise help our fiscal bottom-line, as it’s clear that the Emirates “ruse” was largely predicated on deceiving the fanbase into believing that if we were willing to pay the highest ticket prices in Europe, once WE had paid off the stadium, we would reap the rewards of OUR investment tenfold…whereas the real premise behind this bit of trickery was that this was the only viable plan considering our absentee landlord wanted the portfolio benefit of a new stadium, yet he didn’t want to pay a damn cent for anything…so without fans in the stands, cuts were invariably coming…just wait until we find out the “catch” that comes with the whole Kroenke covid loan gig

      (2)our squad overachieved with Emery, utilizing eerily similar tactics, just with more emphasis on the offensive end of the pitch because our defensive group was a tire fire for much of his tenure…it was only a matter of time before things imploded, especially with the administrative turnover that set a really bad tone, which ultimately bled into the locker room…nobody in their right mind felt that Arteta was coming into a good situation…that’s why our form in the “bubble” was such an unexpected bonus

      some, like myself, saw the whole Emery situation as more of a lamb to the slaughter scenario, especially without final say on personnel…on the other hand, Arteta was presented with a totally different proposition…he was afforded certain luxuries that Emery never enjoyed, like final say and a seemingly longer leash…once we won the FA it was up to him, as OUR manager to decide what to do with these Wenger-like powers….instead of properly testing his mettle by embarking on the “rebuild” that’s been a long time coming, he instead chose the same short-sighted “retool” that Wenger had tried on 3 separate occasions

      so when you suggest that my comments regarding Willian and the circumstances surrounding Partey’s acquisition are moot, due to the luxury of hindsight, you’re incorrect…it doesn’t matter what the fans thought upon hearing about our move for Willian, as we aren’t the manager of a club that desperately needed a reset for the better part of a decade…so our feelings, albeit important in theory, are of no consequence, in the grand scheme of things, whereas we needed our young manager to venture down the road less travelled for the betterment of the club as a whole

      (3) finally, and I’ll keep this brief, it would be next to impossible for us to have the same or worse defensive stats under Arteta considering the amount of focus he’s placed on our defensive zone coverage…to me this isn’t an actual improvement, but more of a Paper Tiger gig, as we’ve seen whenever we’ve been put to the sword by the opposition, like the end of the Spurs game, our first game against VIlla and our first-half against West Ham, among others of course

      this “system” which relies upon several of our weakest links, who are the very individuals who actually stop us from pursuing far more progressive tactics, will in fact stunt our growth since he’s not even letting our future defensive prospects, like Gab, Saliba, Mavro and even Holding, to develop a rapport with one another inside this very protective defensive shell

      1. SueP says:

        Dear TRVL
        Try bog standard English for thickos like me. Emery was a lamb to the slaughter!!?? Your opinion but not mine. How on earth did a Europa league winner multiple times over and former PSG manager make such a mess? By all means criticise our rookie manager but please don’t suggest that a highly experienced manager was hung out to dry following on from Wenger. He was in charge at a club that dissolved at the end of his first year and embarrassed itself in Baku. You give Arteta no quarter but defend that record

        1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

          He was maybe an unintentional “lamb” like Moyes at United, but a “lamb” nonetheless…SueP, do you think anybody could come into the Emirates, after a 20 year reign, without final say on personnel and succeed??? I feel for Unai, as I really do rate him and I think he went from the proverbial frying pan, at PSG with the rampant player ego issues, into the fire, at Arsenal…the fact that the person who hired him announced his departure for AC before the start of his first season was indicative of the uphill battle he was going to face…Unai’s whole gig is about having players with particular traits that make systematic sense for his brand of football and our club had very few of these types of individuals, which is why his presence here was always going to be short-lived, especially if he wasn’t functionally part of the recruitment process

          1. SueP says:

            I do then have to presume that Emery was happy to take the job with the restrictions that you believe he was working under? I can only counter your argument by saying that a top bloke should have done better. By that I mean, Pep or Klopp could have walzed into Arsenal and made us world beaters. I have no idea if Arteta is the real deal but I certainly don’t place him any lower down the ladder than I did yesterday. I think he will do better than you believe he will, but as I am not a betting girl, I will leave it to others to go down that route.

            Some think Arteta has been given an easier ride. I think that the last couple of AW years and the Emery year left the club weaker as a whole,not just on the pitch. It is never about my penchant for Arteta, as I put Arsenal above the manager, but in this instance I do not see a better situation for the here and now or the next 9 months. After that, I am very much up for a review

          2. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

            Keeping in mind that neither Klopp nor Pep would have come to Arsenal without “final say”…as for the whole Arteta gig, I was a lukewarm supporter of his hiring from the offing, as I would have rather of pursued Nagglesman if we were looking for a younger, up-and-coming manager-type, but a supporter nonetheless…that said, my support was predicated on the notion that he was coming in with a rebuild NOT a retool mandate, which appeared even more likely when they changed his official title from coach to manager…problem with this scenario is that without a Dein-type to provide the appropriate checks and balances, I feared that he would become a poor man’s Wenger, which was highly problematic, in my estimation, considering how a much more prolific and experienced Wenger failed when left to his own devices

            so when it came time for Arteta to show his resolve and put the long-term vision of the club ahead of any short-term vanity pursuits, he chose the latter…pursuing Willian was a clear indication that he was going to foolishly double-down on his fortuitous FA victory, instead of staying the course…once this happened, my skepticism rose considerably…now I analyze everything he does through that lens, which is fair because his own actions created that dynamic

          3. SueP says:

            Dear TRVL
            Fair enough. Too late in the day for further debate.

          4. jon fox says:

            TRVL I see Emerys time with us much as you see it . He WAS “a lamb to the slaughter,” in that he did not have power to bring in his own choices. It was well known that he did not fancy Pepe preferring Zaka instead, which I use only as an example of his lack of say so.

            I do not see why an educated person, as Sue P undoubtedly is, should claim not to understand your own language style , which to me was perfectly clear, but let that relatively unimportant matter pass for now.

            I think that Emerys language difficulties were at the heart of many of his problems and proper communication, with fans as well as players, is a vital matter in todays world too.

            I am unconcerned where any manager hails from BUT speaking and fully understanding English, like a native, IS a vital tool and his slow learning was a problem of his own creation. To that extent he was not helping himself.

            But I have always felt that he remains, and was when here, a fine manager who came aboard at an inopportune time, with the wrong owner and a far too impatient fanbase.

            Arteta is finding that horrible impatience a similar problem, though his English is fine.
            In my firm opinion, his managership will prove in time to be exceptional and I also believe that he WILL get that time, despite the self entitled impatience of so many younger fans.

      2. Sid says:

        Thanks for your valuable insight sir! My intention was not to suggest that your point was moot on the basis of hindsight, it was just to show my own position on that matter. But it is really great to know your perspective and be educated by your valuable experience.

        1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

          Cheers Sid…I hope you didn’t think I was acting in a disparaging manner…I simply read your post and felt the urge to comment on a couple of things that caught my eye

          1. Sid says:

            No not at all. On the contrary, I am really thankful that you shared your views. This helps me know contrasting view points regarding what I wrote, and helps me to write more assuredly the next time having known more facts and opinions then I know now.

      3. ozziegunner says:

        TRVL, I agree with your take on Unai Emery. People do fail to remember that he did improve on Arsene Wenger’s last season position of 6th and improved in getting Arsenal to the Europa League final, before the players decided not to turn up in Baku. He was employed as head coach and was expected to coach the players transferred in by others. He was given minimal support by the Board to get the players he wanted to play for him.
        I also take SueP’s point that Emery took the job knowing the constraints he was expected to work under. It was well known at the time that other managers would not consider the Arsenal position given the conditions lack of control, financials including transfer budget. He was naive to take it on, following Arsene Wenger.
        Personally I wanted Carlo Ancellotti; however I believe Unai Emery was “hung out to dry”, by the Arsenal Board, but well compensated by his remuneration.
        At the time Emery was sacked, I was concerned about Arsenal joining the “manager hire and fire roundabout”.

        1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

          OG…I likewise respect Ancelotti’s footballing acumen, but wasn’t impressed by what transpired at Napoli, as there was a lot of division within the ranks by the time he departed…not to mention, Emery has got a lot more out of a lot less during his managerial career than Carlos, which seemed more apropos considering our business model…to me Tuchel’s understudy, Nagglesman, was the best fit considering his ability to get the most out of his players and the fact he didn’t have the same baggage as the other two aforementioned candidates

          although I agree with you regarding the fact that Emery appeared to have known the specific circumstances regarding his employ at the time of his signing, please keep in mind two crucial things; firstly the particulars surrounding his mandate may have changed rather quickly and drastically since the person who functionally hired him was gone within just a few months and secondly, the ongoing societal issues that most western nations were facing regarding immigration policies, nationalistic identity and the like, certainly didn’t help the situation…for me, besides the somewhat awkwardness of his delivery, some were quick to make a mountain out a mole hill, as numerous managers, with far greater language barriers, have mitigated their way through this potential complication with great success

    4. guy says:

      Astute and balanced article Sid – I agree with both your endorsements and criticisms, and most importantly about the time scale. Well written.

      1. Sid says:

        Thank you Guy. The time of atleast one season more is appropriate enough for judging MA in my opinion, mainly because of the ongoing situation in world football and from what the club hierarchy have said about him. But I also agree that the end of this season can be a good time to judge him because as Sue said, I never expected us to be so poor in this season. Lets see what happens in the future, and hope that Arsenal football club is the beneficiary.

    5. ozziegunner says:

      Sid, with reference to your point 5, can you please explain the part that Unai Emery had in the “first failed rebuild”, given that he was employed as head coach, expected to successfully coach players transferred in by others?

      1. Sid says:

        Sorry I didn’t clarify my point. What I meant was that the Arsenal- Unai Emery project was a failed rebuild in itself, not putting blame on Unai. For me he was a great coach, but an undertaking such as a rebuild is not on a single individual, so I take the failure of the first rebuild as an indication of the failure of the Arsenal Board as a whole. That said, there were mistakes that could have been avoided in his first season, particularly the end of the season run-in. Why suddenly the results were hard to come by? Why do all players say that their time under Unai was hard? I know that he was not supported by the players and the board, but I feel that he could have tried to take a stand. Results were still coming until the final stretch of the first season and I believe that the lack of support would not have been sudden, so why the sudden collapse? Some of Unai’s mistakes (there were not many) were similar to what MA is making now but the atmosphere is different. That is the reason I feel that MA deserves more time and that Unai Emery, even if the majority was not his fault, did not have a productive time here, even with his wonderful (except the last few games) first season.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Sid, thank you for your response. The bad ending came because of the players throwing their toys out of the pram and downing tools. Emery always conducted himself professionally. The same can’t be said of many Arsenal players.

  37. Grandad says:

    Great stuff Sid.No need to apologise.At the end of the day ,regardless of our views on the Manager, who does not hold the keys to the safe, we all want Arsenal to be successful.

    1. Sid says:

      Thank you Grandad. I do hope at the end of the day, it is our beloved club which benefits.

    2. SueP says:

      Grandad
      I’ve always read your views, regardless of my own and have always respected your intelligent approach to the subject
      May you carry on doing so

      1. jon fox says:

        Hear, hear too that Sue P and very well said too!

  38. RSH says:

    Is the football good, no. Are we in a good spot in the table, no. Has Arteta been given funds, yes. Is the squad showing signs of potential, no…. I’m very lost here as to why people are bending over backwards for Arteta. The blinders people have on are pretty thick. The only way he can turn this season around is to win Europa League. That would be two major trophies in two seasons. Right now, let’s be honest. We stink, and Arteta isn’t making this team better. But in football, you can still turn things around with a few good games. I would love to see this happen but truth is that is unlikely and things are not going well for Mikel right now. He should be very happy the media is treating him with kid gloves.

    1. Simon Mark Poole says:

      I think if we won every game until the end of the season its not going to be enough for the likes of you. I can see you’ve already judged and hanged the man

      1. RSH says:

        Have I? When i just said it can be a successful season if he wins the Europa League? If you like low expectations, you’re allowed to have them, but I don’t.

        1. Simon Mark Poole says:

          How long have you followed Arsenal just out of interest?

      2. RSH says:

        *expectations, rather

  39. durand says:

    One major criteria of Arteta’s hiring was his work with the youth at City, and sharpening players, like Sterling.

    Has he done that with our youth? I would argue no. Willock, Saliba, Guendouzi are gone on loan. Nketiah looks the same mess, Nelson shown no signs of improvement, Saka was dazzling before Arteta, and he stumbled upon ESR due to injuries.

    14 months in and we still struggle to play out from the back, 14 months! How much blame goes to the manager for not correcting that? Seems Arteta’s solution is to buy more players.

    I mean how many players in all has Arteta sharpened since his arrival? Auba and Laca both underperforming for months, Xhaka still the same hot mess of good and nightmare games, Over a year working with Pepe and still I would consider unreliable.

    I believe if we are not top 6 in December of next season, then Arteta has to go.

    What is our style of play, can anyone explain our philosophy and approach? Is 14 months enough time to show this on the pitch?

    Do the players even know, is that why we appear so discombobulated?

    The slow start to games, certainly Arteta shares in part for this continuing right?

    With the ball we look virtually unrecognizable; rarely any quick 1-2 passing, static most times, unmoving and waiting on a pass, sideways and backpassing for the sake of possession without purpose, slow plodding buildup allowing defenders to set.

    Is this on the players or is this how they are instructed to play; Luiz hovering with the ball, Xhaka slow of thought and action, Bellerin backpass is his first choice, endless crosses into the box.

    What happened to standards at the club? Wenger sacked for finishing 5th and 6th, Emery sacked for being in 8th, Arteta in 9th and suddenly people are understanding and ok with things?

    1. Simon Mark Poole says:

      Utter rubbish. Would you have him play the entire under 23 squad? The thing missing is consistency .

      1. Durand says:

        All you got from my comment was youth? Why not debate the other points I made, we could have an interesting debate.

        14 months without an identifiable style of play or philosophy, or do you disagree and can articulate his “style” of play.

        Or perhaps how in 14 months he has improved the likes of Pepe or Xhaka? Helped Bellerin defend like a FB? Or how he still hasn’t found an answer to put teeth into our attack, rather than hot & cold inconsistency?

        How about 14 months in charge & we still play out from the back like Sunday rubes?

        Maybe how 5th and 6th place got Wenger sacked and 5th and 8th in December got Emery the sack?

        I feel I’m consistent with product and performance from managers, and hold Arteta to the same.

        I’ve stated 2 years is enough time to show progress, philosophy, some development and direction. Why should Arteta be given what was refused to Wenger or Emery? If so, based on what?

        Club should be re-evaluated from top to bottom next year; players up to Edu and Vanai. Goals set and evaluated in December before January window.

        1. Simon says:

          You don’t think our style of play has not improved under Arteta, or the players know what they are doing? As for Pepe you don’t think he has got better over the last month or so? Xhaka is prone to horrendous mistakes and has cost us how many points? Sadly He’s probably the best we have in that position to partner Partey. We don’t see training every day so we don’t know any better. Bellerin seems always on the back foot these days, probably want to move on somewhere now he’s not auto first choice. All players at some point have a dip in form, bad luck if its both forwards at the same time. Question is, would you rather play out of form star or put the kids in to try them out. I’d probably go for the former. The main point for most of my grumbles is that we, as Arsenal fans are not getting behind the manager and players. This has been the case for many years. Remember the berating of Sagna? He left the field in tears. How does this help? I can only feel ashamed at how we all react and get on the back of players. How do we expect them to give their all for the club if after a dip in performance has them slated and maligned? Same goes for Arteta. Get behind him, He will be our future like it or not. So many would be managers saying hes not the man for the job. Look at yourselves, there is a reason your’re not at the helm.

        2. ozziegunner says:

          👍 Exactly Durand, what are the performance criteria and targets to be achieved, set for an Arsenal Manager by the Board?

  40. Sue says:

    Great article, HH. 100+ comments – the boy did well 😉 And nice to see it isn’t as toxic as yesterday!! It’s your calming influence 😊
    I’m undecided. I never expected miracles overnight, to do so would be ridiculous, but on the other hand I never expected us to be so poor (at times) or to have lost so many!
    Having said that though our season isn’t over yet. We still have one chance of finishing it successfully. MA has to deliver, no two ways about it. And I hope he does!

    Nice to see you didn’t lose your rag once while responding to everyone (see it can be done 😄) Most of us could learn a thing or two from you haha!!

    1. Phil says:

      YeahSue- good points. But the boy definitely done well that’s for sure.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Thank you very much Sue. I really appreciate your good words. I am hoping for a good ending of the season too. To win the Europa League would be something and if he does it he will go into the next season with full support from every gooner thats for sure!

  41. Herb of the Earth says:

    At one end we have those Wengerians who are still hurting from the fact that our best manager was replaced by A. A communication challenged manager; and B. An inexperienced manager. We cannot deny this group their space of lamentation and impatience – as the run of events have been self-injurious. We could not run a business like that. Imagine if you had a business and changed your product suddenly without a study on the new product – which turns out to be inferior.

    At the other end are those who got bored with just Champion’s league presence. They assessed the power of Wenger at Arsenal and concluded that he was to blame for the lack of investment that was needed to make Arsenal do better. They concluded that someone else would demand this from the owners – and take Arsenal forward. When Wenger failed to make the Champions League this group smelled blood. It was the minimum they expected from him.

    The situation was not well thought out. It had become more emotional than cognitive.

    Certainly, Arsenal have spent more money per season (even if inflation adjusted) since Wenger – and the results have been disastrous. This single finding shows that Wenger was underrated by group 2; but too that Wenger could have done us a favour had he demanded more investment.

    Having watched the soap opera from these two groups, I am very hesitant to fire MA. I conclude therefore that he is given a bit more time. Even this position is a gamble. The good news is that he has shown positive glimpses.

    1. SueP says:

      Well that is a positive

    2. guy says:

      The trouble is Herb that being a football supporter has always been more emotional than cognative. Even worse atm that we can’t vent our spleens at games or in pubs so we have to do it here. If it didn’t have that emotion I’m pretty sure many of us wouldnt be addicted to it. We have a lot of articulate, intelligent people on this sight and we regularly rant in a way we probably never would anywhere also. I often view my comments next day and wish I hadn’t written them! But at least it shows we all care about this club…

      1. jon fox says:

        guy, What a mature and sensible post! I concur wholeheartedly with all you write. We should never be afraid of passion, which is life bringing, but we should always be afraid of passion WITHOUT thought behind it; in life, not merely in football.

  42. Greco says:

    the truth is that football has become very complex nowdays (not only tactics) but you have to be a simpleton if you dont understand that Arteta is taking us forward.

    1. Armoury says:

      29 points adrift of the log leaders, and some supporters still fight for Arteta to keep his job? I don’t defend mediocrity

      1. guy says:

        Man Utd 14 points, Chelsea 20, Liverpool 25. Probably Solskjaer, Tuchel and Klopp need to go too Armoury?

        1. Dan kit says:

          Problem is
          We support Arsenal not Liverpool ,Chelsea or Utd ,what should we worry about them teams for?
          ATM things are not all Rosie here
          No matter what some fans want you to believe ,I suggest we get our own house in order before we start
          Talking about other teams and their managers.

          1. Sue says:

            Exactly, Dan!!

      2. jon fox says:

        Armoury, By replying to Greco and apeearing directly underneath his true post, you fell directly into his trap. A trap that only “a simpleton” would fall into!

    2. Simon says:

      Well said. Best football for some time on occasions. Just need consistency .

  43. apangu iddi amin says:

    Mna City and chelsea were no where but new ownership made them become giants known all over the world and this is where we lag behind.

  44. Azeez says:

    I agree with all your comments. Beside that where are our promising kids Nketiah, Willock, Reiss Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Mavropanos and Saliba.. all not good enough to make to first team and regressed under Arteta

  45. ginibeagha says:

    Klopp with the Liverpool team of last year may not make top 4! Let that sink in. Mournin-ho, the “winning is everything” manager is “struggling” (to put it mildly). My point is there are no guarantees in this league, Brendan was in top 3 last season till the last 10 games. I bet if the same thing happened at Arsenal there would be an article that BR needs to be fired. The game is far more complex than binary thinking. ManU went through what we went through remember….. yeah they were 6th, they are also bigger as a club, but they did not pull the trigger…… yet! I hope I dont have to spell out my point further. Be patient, there are no guarantees that MA will work out, but we have played better football and bar the obvious individual mistakes (and missed chances) we seem to be heading somewhere. No coach can guarantee us top 4 with our team, so why fire MA now? We are not Chels….

  46. Simon says:

    Maybe they aint good enough, Have you thought of that?

  47. Simon says:

    Agreed

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