Hopefully Arsenal fans will calm expectations after the Man United defeat

Leadership, mentality, character.. by Dan

Last weekend Mikel Arteta asked fans to be humble.

As someone who interacts with Gooners daily through my writing, I can account that lots of my peers haven’t been humble this season.

Why can’t we win the title? Leicester did?

Our recruitment strategy is better than Wenger at his strongest!

How our manager has proved his doubters wrong!

A comparison between Gabriel and VVD!

We should be grateful to the Kroenke Family?

I even found myself having to propose bets that Aubameyang would score more goals then Eddie Nketiah.

Not just is a section of our fanbase not being humble, they are being arrogant.

Wins over Leicester, Palace, Villa, Fulham and the Cherries, and apparently that’s enough evidence that we have closed this 20 plus point gap?

Be honest if Spurs fans said that we call out their arrogance and laugh when they fall flat on their face.

In reality we beat the teams we should have, but lost in our first tricky away fixture.

Yes, we played well. That’s okay if it’s a one-off, but how many times in recent years do, we almost celebrate losing with honour?

Man City at home? Liverpool at home?

In Amazon’s All Or Nothing series, our manager commented that between the two boxes we had been the better side, yet reminded the dressing room that sport is decided in the two penalty areas.

In the two boxes Man United were superior to us, more clinical in one, more organised in the other.

They controlled the match more than you think.

Realising how high our line was, they simply allowed us to have the ball and were ruthless when they won back possession.

We didn’t have the leaders on the pitch or on the touchline to change our system.

There’s that word again, leadership, mentality, character.

The words that cost us the top 4, problems that some naively thought had improved because we won 5 games.

That includes the dugout.

The opposition saw how open we were, and our manager never changed anything.

Tactically we were out-thought.

Our manager can make as many excuses he wants, but his decision-making was as bad as his players.

If we learn from this weekend, it’s a defeat that won’t be that harmful.

Yet I hope it just calms down a few of my fellow Gooners.

Dan Smith


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  1. Yes

    Even if we won at Old Trafford, I would’ve still had the same expectation. A top four finish or EL trophy

  2. You mentioned that Arteta said that matches are won in the penalty box so he knew that – even if he failed to get the message across due to his tactical naivety, I presume
    I think it’s so early in the season to draw too many conclusions so perhaps we should all just be grateful we got the ‘easier’ fixtures when we had injuries. Will we slump while Liverpool get better? Will we surprise ourselves and stay reasonably constant regardless of the opposition?

  3. I don’t believe many fans on here think the win the title. We are a long way behind city and poll when they get going.
    What most of us believe is we are better mentally and squad wise to nail 4 th or higher.
    Last season we would have failed at Palace, dropped points against Fulham and villa
    We are not delusional fans on here, you need to give us more credit then that
    As GOI said a cup and 4th is a good season

  4. Hi Dan…

    I appreciate your point of view. And you are absolutely right; maintaining a modest attitude is the way to go!

    On the other hand, the vast majority of people, including myself and maybe yourself, prefer to view things in either a black or white light (binary 0 or 1). For instance (and only as an example), “Arsenal will defeat Manchester United” or, “Arsenal will not win the league”. These are examples of statements in which an unequivocal conclusion has been reached (there is no gray area)! However, if you are correct in our need for humility, the most effective strategy would be to communicate in terms of probability. This requires an acceptance of the fact that the dichotomy of “black or white” only exists in the past; nevertheless, the events of the future exist as shades of gray, which are always a combination of the two in varied degrees.

    As a result, we should not regard our disagreements and arguments (or opinions, as we commonly like to assert to) to be unmovable truths. Even the forecasts made during Premier League games are presented in the form of win/loss probability; might we model our future conversations after this format? It will solve a lot of our problems, including many of our arguments that may often blow up in our faces and further exacerbate our arrogance.

    As for our defeat against Manchester United, if we argue based on the result and fail to see the inputs and processes that took place during the game, such as the manner of play, ability on the ball, and work rate, then it will be probable to certainly say with arrogance: “Arsenal will not finish in the top 4” or “Arsenal will not win the league.”…

    However, if you take into account the inputs, which I can now claim the club has improved upon for the very first time since a long time now, then I can say with a very strong chance (70% probability) that Arsenal will finish in the top 4! It is important to remember that the future and its outcomes will always be subject to the laws of probability, and we should always work to ensure that this remains the case.

    Remain safe, and always keep in mind that there is so much more to life! Keep an optimistic attitude!


    1. Now that is a comforting way of looking at the probability % of our destiny at the end of the season, Fire
      I’m feeling more relaxed after reading that

      1. Yes SueP…

        In order to avoid been naive as well, I agree and recognize that the probability rates will fluctuate throughout the season. Nonetheless, I am currently seeing so much improvement in our players’ fundamentals and understanding of the game, and time can only yield highly positive results…

        It is always gladdening to perceive your calm demeanor! *smiles*


    2. But if Mars is over Saturn and Orion is in close proximity to Sagittarius, we stand no chance.
      Not forgetting how many black cats you see in 24 hours. 🙂

      1. Reggie…

        Now that got me truly laughing! 😂

        If we need to cure arrogance, then probability may be the pill!


          1. Oh yes Reggie! 😀

            And thanks for beaming up a soul located somewhere far across the globe!! It was a beautiful tonic!


  5. I know it’s only our first defeat but I hope I’m wrong.i already said it but yesterday reminded me of last season,when MA went all Pep on us playing Xhaka as LB,waiting 3 games before playing Mo.i have nothing against Lokonga but we have 2 players who could do a better job as DM than young Sambi,MA could have played White in midfield and brought back Tomi as RB.even when we were winning,I had doubts concerning our manager team/players management, substitutions.he should learn from his past mistakes and right now I’m not sure he has.

  6. is the glass half full? Our youngsters are a year more experienced and better. We played well enough to win and our starting 11 are better than last year with the addition of Jesus, Shevchenko and Saliba

    or is the glass half empty:
    Arteta still makes strange calls in big games (his subs were dubious), we did not address the main reason for last year’s missed top 4 ie proper back-up for Partey who will miss many games and we knew he would miss many games (Lokonga might be promising but is not yet the player who can lead us to top 4), we are still naive defensively and have been carved open since the Wenger days by Man U’s counter-attacks.

    who knows? Maybe a bit of both. We are or might be helped by potential difficult years for Chelsea and Pool.

    Time will tell but our squad is light in terms of depth IMO.

  7. Expectations are managed as the season goes on. When I look at the situation of City, Liverpool and Spurs this season we can gain early advantage over them. The EPL title is a real possibility if we can best those teams at least once. Man Utd were in our grasp till we let them out of it. It was a disappointing result for me.

  8. I dont always agree with you Dan but exactly right and we should learn not find scapegoats. It was a poor performance from our manager but what he must do and quickly is LEARN.!!!!!!!

  9. Most of the more mature contributors to this site are sensible enough to realise that we have a long way to go before we can seriously threaten the likes of Man City, and Liverpool over the course of a season. I don,t think our regulars have displayed arrogance with regard to our good start to the season, nor do I feel it necessary to adopt a humble attitude in a sport where money talks, and probably always will do..I think most of our rational fan base realise the progress being made and while we are all probably frustrated by the nature of our loss on Sunday and the naivety in our tactics having squared the game ,the feeling of disappointment at our first loss should not be confused with utter dismay.Our run had to end at some stage, and in some ways the loss has taken pressure off the players and Management team.The concern for me is not the lack of quality in our squad, but the lack of depth to cover a run of injuries.As we are finding out from Liverpool and Chelsea we are not the only major Club facing this problem, and this could lead to a levelling off in the positions of the hierarchy this season. As an example , how would Man City cope with injuries to Cancello, or KDB?In terms of depth, I hate to bring this up, but another North London Club probably has the depth which we currently lack, and because of the defensive way they are set up and the fact that they do not bust a gut to win the possession game, their likelihood of incurring injuries is less than ours in my estimation.Not being a medical man, I may be completely wrong, but, in any event, our lack of depth concerns me more than our ability to play good football.Let’s hope our players stay fit and well in which case I would be confident of a top four position at the end of the season.

    1. Exactly my feeling Grandad,with approximately 24 games to be played before the ” next window” to get reinforcement and with our style of play will need a very careful management as we have already 4 players out.If we still maintain a good position by then I will be very optimistic.

  10. If there is ever going to be a season that will share a lot of similarities with the 15/16, this is it. But will Arsenal grab the opportunity?
    Frankly, our recruitment has been relatively better in the last 2 years but we still lack that ambition to to go that little extra. For example, after our good start to the season and the faltering seen from the rivals at the beginning, I find it strange that the Club failed to see that this could actually be our year and add that little extra to add quality to our squad depth when the handwriting as been so clear even to the fans.
    Perhaps they also got carried away in the bubble of winning 5 matches which should be winnable for any tram aspiring to make top 4. Imagine if we had got quality DM and winger!
    Arteta and the players showed tactical naivety and the way united handled the game showed the acknowledge our quality and decided to play counterattack. I hope Arteta will learn from this. The result has also removed a lot of pressure from the team and hopefully they bounce back from in the next match.

    P.S. I still don’t understand the significance of signing Fabio Vieira over a top quality DM for a team that planned to play 433 this season knowing that most technical DMs (and Partey) can play 8.

  11. You’re spot on about the arrogance. I told some fellow gooners before the game that i was pessimistic especially because of our injuries I was told crystal palace is easier than united and this will be a walk in the park. Even on twitter you’ll see gooners talking about us with a lot of put out chest. We need to humble and take one game at a time. And the not signing a midfielder will surely haunt us. I read Lokonga didn’t have a tackle in 75 minutes!

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