Has Mikel Arteta put our doubts to rest after Tottenham win?

Arteta versus Conte? What a NLD victory! by AndersS

Signs were there in the preseason. Our first 7 games in the league also indicated big improvements. But the nagging doubts were there, especially among the Arteta sceptics.

Didn’t we just have an easy opening schedule?

Didn’t we falter at the first real test, Man Utd?

How those doubts were put to rest. Our all-dominating performance against the Spuds was nearly as good as it gets, and certainly up there with the best of times under Wenger.

The Spuds, who pipped us to CL football last season, and who supposedly in Conte have a far superior manager, and a much more improved team than we have, were quite simply at least one level below us in the NLD.

 Before the season started, I had an article on here, suggesting we are following a plan, which in 2-3 years could give us a team able to contend for the title. It provoked many opinions, and the vast majority were saying I was being too optimistic.

Maybe I was too pessimistic?

We are leading the league after 8 games, and in the last couple of days, I have remembered, something said by Wenger quite a few years ago. If I remember correctly, it was around the halfway mark in the season, and we were leading the league. It was at a time, when doubts had set in on our ability to cope with pressure and the other big teams, and Wenger was asked, if he thought, we could win the title. His response was something along the lines: “As long as we are leading, you can’t rule us out”.

 Despite the fact, we did falter, I still think it was an absolutely brilliant response. It is short and precise, and says it all. At the same time it in theory avoided putting too much pressure on himself and the team. It also avoided being too negative and doubting the team.

 In the aftermath of our victory, I have enjoyed Arteta’s response to the press, when they want to draw him on being title contenders. The quotes indicate, he and the team are focused on further improving and nothing else. A promising prospect, if they can keep that focus.

 There is of course a long way to go, before the final conclusions can be drawn. Personally, I still think, we don’t have enough to sustain an actual title challenge this year. And much can still go wrong. But for the moment, I think the NLD not only gave us the bragging rights, it also showed, this could very well be the year we finally get above the Spuds again in the league, after 6 years of finishing behind them.

 As for Conte versus the Arteta project, Conte undoubtedly deserves respect for the results on his CV. But in my opinion, he is a manager with a short term focus, and normally short term staying power. If you add his trademark “negative” football tactics, I am happy to be on the boat captained by the less experienced Arteta with a much more positive football philosophy, and a promising project.

I hope, he can take us all the way. If not this season, then certainly within a foreseeable future.

 Which boat would you prefer?



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    1. I agree with “so far, so good” but boy has it been good! 1st 8 I said aim for the top, we got unlucky with the postponements City played Spurs whilst we played Everton and yet here we are. Most importantly against Palace and Brentford, we put 6 more on the board than last year. Despite the contrasting reactions we lost to United and beat Spurs in the same fixtures last year. Will admit this victory against Spurs felt different (last year it was over at HT) that is because of the performance that has been before the Spurs game and the way that carried on through the game even at 1-1. Last year was an easier victory, funny and equally 1st tough test since we’d lost others as I remember. Unfortunately, City were a joke before Haaland, now it’s like they can play awful and Haaland will stick the 1st chance he gets so no title excitement yet. If we keep them behind us long enough, Leicester showed things happen, nobody was dominant then and Mahrez was the closest to Haaland and he’s benched so yeah. Dream big but 2nd would be massive. The team is young, who knows maybe in 5 years Ode can convince Haaland to jump 🙂 Wishful thinking.

  1. 10 games in Oct, since the fixtures came out I said by the end of October we’ll know but looking good so far. I am still concerned about the fringe player fitness and experience level with their lack of game time. We can’t run our first team into the ground, we are 3 injuries away from disaster…that is my concern now.

    1. No team can survive 3 injuries like that even ManC. So everybody will have the share of the cake at some points.
      Remember,everybody will eat breakfast

  2. We’ve always won this fixture, maybe beating out of form Liverpool will somehow show we are ready for big things.

  3. Our team seems to play well against defensive teams like Leicester and Spurs, except when we played against Man United. That was understandable though, because Arsenal have the worst record at Old Trafford as compared to other EPL teams and Man United supporters were highly intimidating

    I’d like to see how we fare against a title challenger and ball-hogging team like Liverpool first, before laying my doubts to rest. I don’t think Klopp will instruct his team to park the bus as Conte and Rodgers did, so I want to see how we keep up with Liverpool’s intensity and quality

    Maybe we’ll lose at Anfield, Etihad and Spurs stadiums. But we shouldn’t lose at home, if we want to finish in top four

    1. Didn’t we win the league at Old Trafford?PREMIER LEAGUE DEFEATS AT UNITED
      21 – Tottenham

      19 – Everton & Aston Villa

      18 – West Ham

      16 – Arsenal & Liverpool

      14 – Newcastle & Southampton

      13 – Blackburn & Sunderland

      1. Arsenal have now lost more Premier League games against Man Utd (26 games) than any other team in the competition’s history

        Man Utd’s last six Premier League wins against Arsenal at Old Trafford have all come under different managers: Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho, Michael Carrick, Erik ten Hag

  4. Ok so far..but Dan never admit he don’t trust the process..Brentford he predict us to lost to toney…the feeling is estacy..🤣

    1. No I didn’t trust the process …… Under these owners
      I didn’t think we would finish in top 4 under Arteta last season and was proven ……correct
      I also dont trust the process in terms of we won’t win title
      Can make top 4 …..same thing we hounded Wenger out for lol

      1. Ok mate.. I look forward to the next game. Next game means someone need to slowly accept the process..so how mate..trust the process

  5. Lovely article this!

    I agree with the writer that we don’t have enough resources to really compete yet.
    In my opinion, we need a bullish, robust and a traditional number 9, a Partey replacement and Saka upgrade.

    For example, a front three of Gabriel Jesus, (Left wing) Osimen (The Nigerian striker) and Saka looks more dangerous and strong.

    Getting a player like Partey is difficult but not impossible, we just need an aggressive scouting.

    All in all, I am sure no Arsenal fan has anything to moan about at the moment. We deserve all the happiness in the world and long may it continue. COYG!

  6. There’ still a long ways to go. Another achievement ticked off the list though. We’ve got more big games coming up shortly and need to stay grounded and realistic. Oh boy, is beating Spurs cathartic though. I despise them more and more every year and this was a great victory.

  7. Yes the gaffer has calm a lot of nerves, and I will tell you why.

    The gaffer has quietly justified his contract renewal, that had cost much ranting.
    He had a convincing win in North London derby classic.
    The gaffer had made Arsenal one of the most attractive team in the league
    He has made Arsenal one of the hardest team to beat this season.
    Today Arsenal not just beat teams but beat them in style.
    When you have a world class manager turn up parking the bus and making defensive change with lots of time left, then you must be doing something good.
    He has demonstrated his attitude towards youth by playing the youngest kid in the league.

    Early days yet but a win against Pool on Sunday will go a long way in eliminating all doubts and put Arsenal firmly in the conversation with the big boys.

  8. I think it’s all about psychology.

    The way teams setup to play against Man City is different from the way they’ll setup to play say Everton.

    I think Arsenal this season is sending out a message to the rest of the league, I expect more teams to park the bus like Tottenham when we play them because they already know we’re going to dominate the game.

    I say we beat Liverpool come Sunday and strike fear in the heart of the Premier league.


  9. No doubt our ‘first’ team is as good as any. If we get injuries to Jesus, Partey, or Saliba our squad depth is not as deep as it should be. We should have signed another midfielder in the window. If we don’t get injuries we can challenge for the big one, but we will get injuries and we’ll rue not having made another couple of signings during the last window. If we can get to the January window still near the top, with another couple of players we could cause a major surprise.

  10. Team has done very well so far and probably very good start in recent times. But does team have strength in depth in key positions? I feel one more body in the front who is bit more physical and can score regularly and a good cover in the MF will make Arsenal better. Probably management knows this and hence were trying to add a goal scoring winger & a MF? Smith R is also injured now for some time.

  11. The seasons still very young ,ATM he’s got a tune out of the players and it seems they are on board ,but Artetas tenure so far it’s been a complete mixed bag .
    Not getting CL football last season in the position we were in was nothing short of an embarrassment,something Emery was sacked for ,he’s been given so much leeway in his time here but obviously this season it’s paying off so all is good ATM .

    1. Emery was possibly sacked for not looking like beeing able to bring CL after two seasons in charge. One and half year in, we were much further away, than when he took over.
      Arsenal clearly changed their outlook after that to focus on a long term project, which can bring us more permanently back in the top 1-4.
      Arteta seem to be delivering on that project so far.
      It is only some fans, who think top 4 was crucial last season.

  12. I’ve often said we aren’t as bad as most people think we are in tough times and we aren’t as good as most people think we are in the purple patches.

    But gosh darn it, this team is bloody good! Not expecting to win the title (ManC are a breed above) but I’ĺl be gutted if we aren’t in the mix. Second or third with long term contracts for Saliba, Saka and Martinelli and I’m a happy camper and feel we’ll be well placed for a title run next year.

  13. To many on here waiting for the bubble to burst so they can say what they feel… told you so
    They half heartedly respond by trying to be positive but if a crack appears they will dig it out…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE 😉
    why shouldn’t we be positive
    Why shouldn’t we believe
    Let’s shoot for the stars and if we fall a bit short then it won’t be for the want of trying
    Yes a long way to go and we will incur injuries, loss of form ect but the team has character, a back bone and a damn good coach learning his trade and turning in to a good manager

    1. Too may on here waiting for the bubble to burst !
      Not at all Alan ,some fans will always be sceptical about Arteta because of his first 2 and a half years which in that time he managed to brake quite a few negative records ,football was poor and the excuses were endless ,he’s been backed more than any manager in our clubs history while at the same time not delivering,maybe if you take off those blinkers you can see where a good amount of fans come from 😉

    2. @Alanball08
      Some interesting points. Most of the naysayers have avoided saying much on the back of what have been some very good performance.
      The little they do say is often a grudging acceptance of the result and/or a pretty spiteful reference to the latter part of last season or some other set back.
      It has been clear for some time that the club has been gradually been rebuilding the squad, bringing in young talented players and altering the ethos of the team. Sensible fans could see what was being developed and understood that given prevailing circumstances it was bound to take time and that the team would stumble from time to time.
      At the moment, Arsenal look like one of the most interesting and exciting PL teams. According to the cynical and negative pessimists we should have abandoned this process.
      And the alternative? For the most part it seems to be a fixation on some manager or the other. Some keep harking back to managers who were clearly taking us nowhere and making ridiculous comparisons.
      What is clear now is that most fans support the manager and are really enjoying the football. Which is more important than a few persistently bitchy individuals.

  14. So far, so good.

    BUT, we still have no back-up for Partey.

    Again I do not see Lokonga being that back yet.

    I keep reading about us being in the market in January for the same old retreads.

    The only one that sounded reasonable was the Juve player Locatelli (who is actually on Loan from Sassuolo).

    I suspect the World Cup will have a huge impact on who might still be fit and available in January,

    Fingers crossed that Partey stays fit until at least November.

    1. JW
      Yep agree Partey is hard to replace, Jesus too. If Partey can stay uninjured till the next window and we bring in a quality strong midfield player then the sky is the limit. How could we replace Gabriel Jesus if he gets injured?

  15. This article seems like a coffee for those who never believed in the Arteta project at the first place. You know how it sounds like to us, those who believe and supported him from the very beginning? Sound worse than a crying crocodile.

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