Matt Smith – The man with an FA Cup medal (replacing Mesut Ozil) but never played one minute for Arsenal

Arsenal announced on Friday that 10 Gunners will be released this summer, 2 of which leave with FA Cup winners medals.

Maitland Niles was man of the match when we last lifted a trophy. While his time in North London hasn’t ended how he would have liked, no one can ever take that afternoon at Wembley away from him. It will live forever!

The Gunners have won the famous tin pot 14 times in their history, he contributed to one of them.

Then there is a certain ……Matt Smith.

The midfielder was on the bench that day against Chelsea, 3 years later he departs having never played a senior game for the club.

I will admit I haven’t researched the squad of every winner of the competition, but there can’t be too many cases where someone can claim they lifted the FA Cup but never actually played for the first team?

It could be the answer in a pub quiz.

How exactly does the 22-year-old describe the occasion the day his children look at his collection of individual honours?

Is it an item he shows off to the grandchildren?

Do the parents proudly have it on show when hosting dinner parties?

Any family should be proud.

The odds of getting from the academy to being part of a winning squad are low.

It took sacrifice and hard work to get to that level.

So don’t think this is me mocking the achievement.

Since loaned out to League One sides, it could very well be the only winners medal he has.

Yet how does he view his medal?

Did he truly feel part of that team?

Is there an Asterisk? The need to give context.

An explanation how he won as much at the Emirates as a Fabregas and Van Persie?

Does he need to point out to his kids one day that the pandemic changed the rules of the sport, allowing managers to name 9 subs and make 5 changes?

Or does he address the elephant in the room. That while Arteta must have trusted his character to involve him at all, in reality Smith was a chess piece in a political game.

A prop to further humiliate a certain …. Mesut Ozil?

8 subs planned for the game, one the latest ploy to make an employee so miserable at work he would feel compelled to rip up his contract.

A deal the German’s employer openly offered, and he was simply respecting.

Remember that the next time the club leak how an individual is not being loyal because when they wanted to retract on an agreement, they tried every trick in the book.

Arteta maintained at the time that all his decisions were based purely on sporting merit, that Ozil was training well, was being a professional and that it ‘hurt him’ to leave him out. The Spaniard even claimed he felt he had failed him by not being able to offer more minutes.

There are many things our manager has got right since, but I wrote it then, and Smith being a free agent confirms my stance, Arteta was blatantly lying to us. To himself. To Ozil.

He was a ‘yes man’. The Kroenke’s wanted the wage bill reduced because of COVID and Ozil was a logical sacrifice. Especially after he openly questioned what our owners were doing to support the club during lockdown while they were asking players to take salary cuts, then sacking 55 staff regardless (they told players they would be protecting jobs by taking a pay cut).

You should be able to separate your opinion on Ozil the person, and answer this question with a balanced thought process.

Do you truly believe that a 19-year-old who had never played a second (still hasn’t) for us was picked ahead of a World Cup winner on sporting merit?

Ozil wasn’t banned, we were constantly told there had been zero issues in training. Yet if we had been losing and you needed some creativity, someone to pick out a pass, you truly think Arteta had more faith in a teenager then someone with a record for assists?

What no one has been able to answer is that Ozil’s final game as a Gunner was to create the winner for Lacazette.

No one knew that fixture against West Ham would be his last.

Very strange, isn’t it?

Your number 10 assists the winner and is then dropped, eventually from the entire squad, at a time when how many you have on the bench increases.

That doesn’t happen too many times, does it?

A player whose job is to create goals, creates a goal and then gets frozen out.

This is when we were finishing 8th, our lowest finish in quarter of a century!

So, it’s not like anyone else was doing better than him in his position.

Yet Ozil couldn’t get in a squad of 20, one of the worse in Arsenal’s Prem history.

Based on sporting merit?

It’s almost like something happened off the pitch between when football was paused and then returned after three months.

In that time the German refused to a salary cut because he correctly predicted the Kroenke Family were misleading the public over promises to protect nonplaying staff, and Arsenal had distanced themselves from comments the player had made regarding treatment of Uyghurs in China and Muslims failure to speak out. An Arsenal game was removed from Chinese TV as part of the backlash.

Coincidence? He makes a goal in the last game before the pandemic.

He publicly faces the backlash over refusing to take a pay cut and costing the club oversees TV revenue, and suddenly is ghosted?

China get the world seeing that Ozil is unofficially being punished, while a player never plays for us again after calling out Stan Kroenke for not telling the truth.

Sporting Merit?

Non-negotiable principles?

The argument at the time was I hadn’t watched Matt Smith in the youth set up.

How did I not know that he wasn’t the next big thing?

That this wasn’t simply part of his development?

Well Arteta never gave him a second on the pitch. Not in the League Cup, not in the Europa, not for the final minutes of a match we were 4-0 up in.

That’s Matt Smith’s legacy I’m afraid.

Ozil still got his medal, by the way, having played earlier in the competition.

Arsenal couldn’t prevent that.

They did ban him from the stadium so he couldn’t celebrate with his peers, hiding behind COVID restrictions.

Ozil, meanwhile, wished his team-mates good luck on social media and congratulated them at full time.

That’s class!

Matt Smith was at Colney since the age of 7.

If you said to him one day, he would lift the FA it would be a boyhood dream come true.

Yet he can’t tell his story without saying: ‘So, you know Mesut Ozil? ‘


Tags Arteta Matt Smith Mesut Ozil


  1. DAN
    no one cares and we have all moved on. Thank goodness
    Ozil got his move to his boyhood club, Didn’t rip any trees and then called it a day
    Says it all
    As for matt
    We wish him all the best for future and hipe he finds a club worthy of his talent

    1. AB, while Mesut Ozil’s name is being paraded as the devil incarnate by some on JA, there are others who always want to see justice served.

      I think both Matt and Mesut came out of this blot on The Arsenal situation able to hold their heads up high.
      Something that those others involved in it mostly certainly cannot.

      Sweep it under the carpet if you want, but this would never have happened elsewhere.

      1. Ken
        I have swept it under the carpet as it is in the past and to be honest it is such a ong time ago
        We are living in past when it ones to these articles and we should be looking forward
        how did I know you were going to pipe up 🙄

        1. Pipe up ?
          What you mean buddy ,Ken gave a speech and I agreed with it ,surely I’m allowed to agree with him 🙄

    2. Well you care enough to have read article and then commented on it quite a bit ?
      If I didn’t care about a subject clear by the headline I wouldnt click to rest , yet alone comment on it
      Given how many comments and length of them obviously some do care ?

      1. Dan
        I try to read as many articles on here as possible
        I believe this a great site and whilst I don’t always agree on some comments but if constructively put together in a logical way then I will always appreciate the other persons thoughts and views
        Unfortunately some on here can’t do that and are extremely rude
        I just believe we should we should be talking about what we have now and what we might need rather then what we once had

        Like I said
        I wish matt Smith all the best for the future and I would take his winners medal all day long even if I didn’t play like he didn’t

        1. Extremely rude !
          “How did I know you was going to pipe up 🙄”
          Is not you being rude Alan ?
          Give your head a shake buddy ,and get your head out of clouds ,we all have our own opinions and we can all be rude ☝️

          1. No
            Agreed, We do have our own opinion but we are all not rude when replying like you
            Must have touched a raw nerve or seen something in the word rude
            I did Shake my head and still come to the same conclusion
            Your a rude person at times
            Saying that I said let’s.not engage again but that would be defeatist of me
            Deep down there is properly a nice person so I will keep digging 😃

            1. Yes he is rude sometimes but from what I have seen only to those who started it. He was very rude to me long time ago but guess what? I started it!

  2. Dan, I mentioned this the other day and agree with all you say.
    Add the fact that MO played in every game of the 12 unbeaten run before covid and it is impossible not to see the decision to ban him was NOT a footballing decision.

    Even when Matt went out on loan, it was to much lower league clubs like Swindon Town, hardly a sign of someone ready to become a world beater.

    I do not knock Matt Smith in any way, as he lived the dream all Arsenal fans have and I wish him well in the future.

    I agree 100% with this article and, for me, the treatment of Ozil ranks as one of the darkest days in our history and I would ask those who disagree to insert ANY other player’s name for both Matt and Mesut then re-read Dan’s factual article and say that this is how The Arsenal should treat the players of your choice.

    Brilliant, factual article Dan, well done and, once again, good luck Matt.

    1. The darkest moment in recent history was in Baku when we could have won a European Cup, this so called “assist” Hero did nothing and worse crawled off the pitch. Salute Iwobi for knocking a goal in. This player will be remembered only by Dan, Fil and you. The rest have moved on. Good luck Matt!

      1. So what happened to the other 10 players? they were obviously blameless ,atleast Emery got us to a European final something Arteta is yet to do ,and going by last seasons atrocious showing he won’t be doing it anytime yet .

        1. Well said DK!!
          If Ozil WAS this lazy, uninspired player, why did Emery select him for the final and why did it take so long to substitute him?

          Of course, Loose Cannon forgets there were others on the pitch, such is his fixation on Ozil.

          1. The others were not labeled “assist kings”, neither where they on 350K/week. And if your highest paid “maestro” is not selected, then whom to select ? A kid from the academy? Any sense in this question? It’s a good sign that Mikel has shown these mugs their rightful place – away from the first team

          2. As usual it was everyone’s fault except the innocent patron saint of the dens, fils and cans. Yes, next lets blame the janitor, the tea lady and the doorman.

            1. Who said that Ozil was blameless Loose Cannon?
              As DK pointed out, there were other players involved, so did THEY cover themselves in glory?
              They all had positions to play in, not just the “assist king” as you label him and none of them turned up on the night including UE it must be said.

        2. As you find second place “atrocious”, I guess you will have run out of horrible and untrue words to use for any team finishing below us. Man Utd came third, so I wonder how you would describe them. Probably better than for us but given your way of “supporting” which is very odd indeed, that would not be surprising.

        3. But weren’t you the same Ozilists that hounded Emery out for daring to challenge your Cult hero on his poor work ethic, poor attitude, poor mentality and egotism?
          And you have been trying to do the same with Arteta since 2020 but it’s not workedout yet.

  3. Some players just can’t make it. Remember about David Bentley, Jack Rodwell, Max Meyer and Carl Jenkinson

    In my opinion, Smith was lucky to find it out at such young age. He still has time to pursue another career

    Other players couldn’t do that due to their ages. Remember about Adriano who became a gang member in Brazil after becoming unfit to play

    1. Goi, if you follow the youth set up very well, you will understand matt smith is a very good player. He is capable of doing a better job than the 17million lokonga. I am not surprised though, the whole world knows balogun will become a superstar but arteta and some fans believe believe nketia is better. There is no logical reason on earth for arsenal selling balogun.

      1. I actually liked Lokonga’s performance in Xhaka’s position. If we can’t sign Havertz, I’d like to see him play that role again

        As for Nketiah and Balogun, their abilities looked similar to me. I hope Balogun’s physicality has improved

        1. Gai,
          The challenge in my opinion with some of elite coaches in top4 or aspiring to be in top4 in Epl like Arteta is the pressure they face to perform. They don’t really have the luxury of time at times to wait for a developing potential players. Hence they tend to buy ready made performing players. Some of this coaches are sacked by their employers unannounced. The tragedy of giving coaches limited contract time to deliver makes talented youths players to suffers. Buying players in the market in itself is a game of risk as some players don’t fit into some league.

      2. And this is where arteta will fail I’ve been supporting him once he came but to give …sambi, patino and ethan more mins than Matt smith is sackable.. and shows nothing really has changed at our club.

        Smith deserved some mins at our club..

  4. Thanks so much DAN for bringing up this Matt Smith article, for me the real issue is not even about Matt or Mesut, it is about a coach who has no plan for the youth system as has not brought any youth player through for over 3years. Make no mistake, arteta does not have any arsenal DNA. Last season we kept shouting we had the youngest squad in the league, but the likes of Saka, smith row, Willock, martinelli were brought through by emery who gave them a chance, arteta almost side tracked smith row and martinelli completely but eventually he hands were forced. Balogun is leaving, patino is on his way, the TRUTH is that arteta has no plan whatsoever for our academy players and they will eventually leave. He is a proper cheque book coach, would patino have fared worse than Viera last season?. Over three years he hasn’t brought through a single youth player and I am still counting. He didn’t even give them any chance in the club completions Last season and we still crashed out early woefully.

  5. “Matt Smith- The man with an FA Cup medal ( replacing Mesut Ozil but never played one minute for Arsenal ”

    What an outrageous headline.

  6. The club need to do better with outgoings that is plain to see and even from normal folk like myself .
    Last 3 seasons
    22/23 outgoings -€23 million
    Spending -€193 million
    21/22 outgoings -€31 million
    Spending -€167 million
    20/21 outgoings -€19 million
    Spending -€86 million
    Net spend of -€ 373 million ,and this is a club that has not even been in the CL for the past 5 seasons ,hopefully the club can sell some players for an actual transfer fee this summer because we can’t keep given away players or paying them off .

    1. Mr DK

      cant agree or disagree on the figures you have stated but have to trust your good judgement on what you have stated is fact unless proven otherwise which i dont care to do
      the difference is we have to understand that these people who run our football club are allegedly highly intelligent people who have employed top people to find the best way to write off debt
      the club not SK probably hold the debt and neither me or you no matter how much we disagree with the situation have no power to stop it
      is it MA who gets us in to debt or the owners who sanctioned it.
      we either stand still as we did for the past 10 years and watch the money being poured in to another sport that they own or feel slightly satisfied that at least it is going in to our club
      the whole set up of how clubs are run has moved on since the days of the local millionaire who came good and took over a club.
      if we want to go back further in time when all the local people sold up for a quick buck then we should have taken the moral high ground first with them.
      we live in a world of get it now rather then work for it so lets enjoy the ride.

      1. Oh sorry buddy I thought I wasn’t allowed to pipe up ,would have replied to you’re head in the cloud post but after that reply uptop I won’t bother 🫡 good day .

        1. DK
          you reply to what you want but as you can see from my post to you I wasn’t derogatory to your views.
          Was pretty pleasant on my comment’s back to your post but you just can’t help your self.
          Head in the clouds says everything about you
          I will promise not to make any comments on your post
          Do the same buddy

    2. How can money get in when all the players Arsenal don’t want are known to everyone even with passing football knowledge?

      A good example mentioned above we paid Aubameyang to play for Barcelona yet they pocketed the transfer fee. Moronic business if we are to be honest.

      What’s worse than that is some people actually defending it! If I were to shake my head I wouldn’t stop until the neck break.

      1. What would you have the club do, pay him to sit at home ? Barca couldn’t afford to buy him and no other club were interested.

        1. Agree HD, but Barca were shrewd enough to get a transfer fee for the player, while we it is said, were paying his salary, or part of it.

          1. We tried to get a fee from Barca, but iirc, they refused. The club wanted rid of him and so they just let him go. They didn’t even know he was already in Barcelona when they decided to off him.

  7. Wow, an article about a player (who has one more medal than Harry Kane) being released turns into slagging off the club regarding a player that cost every PL millions of £s.

    Ozil got his wish to play for his boyhood club Fenerbahce, but ended up being dropped from the squad and then had his contract ripped up. Sound familiar ?

    1. Not the point being made though is it Herr Drier?.

      Deflection doesn’t change the point Dan is raising in his article and bringing Harry Kane into the discussion supports what?

      1. Pretty sure DS has previously written an article about Ozil and the way he left the club Ken, so there was no reason to repeat it, unless it was to have another dig at the club.

        As for my reference to Matt Smith winning more than Harry Kane, well the media do like to big Kane up and he’s won nothing.

        1. But this article was about Matt Smith and I don’t recall an article about him from anyone in JA.
          The fact that he walked away with a fa cup winners medal, without playing a single minute of first team action, is worth mentioning?

          As I said, I’d love to swap places with him and fulfill my dream and it’s nothing personal on my part, I wish him well.

          But can you imagine this happening anywhere else?
          To be honest, let’s forget it was Ozil who was left out, does it make any sense whatsoever?

          As for Kane it looks as if he’s staying put, so Matt will end up with more silverware than him.

          1. Yes Ken, the article is about MS but as I’ve said previously, he had to bring Ozil into it. Instead of Ozil he could have used Guendouzi, as Smith and Guendouzi are both central midfielders, but that wouldn’t have suited his agenda.

            1. Take your point regarding Guendouzi, but he was a player who had a history with MA regarding a disciplinary record.
              He also didn’t have the pre covid PL record that MO had.

              As I asked though, could you imagine the Matt Smith scenario happening at another top club? Let’s forget Ozil and discuss this issue.

              1. I can’t remember that happening at any other club, so another first for The Arsenal then 😁

    2. Ozil also contributed to 4 fa cups , ending our trophy drought
      Played in two other finals and was instrumental in the team that finished 2nd , often mocked but something we now celebrate

      1. While he did have a big part in winning 3 of the FA Cups, he hardly made much of a contribution to the 4th.

          1. Hardly surprising, considering Matt Smith was only 13 when Ozil won his first FA Cup in 2014 lol

            1. Referring to his 4th one
              If your arguing he shouldn’t get a medal because he only played in earlier round then surely Smith shouldn’t get one for not playing a second in his whole arsenal career

              1. No, what I’m referring to is that Matt Smith was to young to appear in 3 of the 4 squads that won those FA Cups 🙄

                1. But Dan’s point is he never played a single minute for the first team squad, yet still got a cup winners medal.
                  Forget anyone else, that’s what happened and, after that, he still didn’t play a single minute for the first team squad.

                    1. Nobody’s disputing that fact – the question being asked is why would MA put a player who had not played a single minute of first team football on the bench for such an important game?
                      Was it for footballing reasons or something else?
                      If it was for footballing reasons, why has he still not played a single minute of first team football and now been let go, for free?

                    2. And Ozil played 90 mins in an earlier round so why wouldn’t he deserve his medal if that’s what rules say ?
                      You can’t say Ozil didnt contribute because he only played in earlier rounds but Smith deserved medal because he sat on bench ?

                      My stance is they both deserve medal as simply that’s the rules

                    3. Both Ozil and Guendouzi had fallen out with the hierarchy at the club and were told they weren’t wanted for the Cup Final. Iirc, Ozil only featured once in the squad after the restart from covid, I think it was Southampton away. He didn’t even train with the 1st team squad, he was with the younger players.

      2. I think you are being deliberately Dishonest.

        Who is celebrating 2nd place? Most if not all Arsenal fans have been somber about how the team collapsed at the finish line this season. Nearly every Arsenal fan I have met in person or interacted with online has been very broken and p!ssed off with the way we finished the season. Most have just accepted the outcome and are trying to stay positive. But no one is out there jumping up and down celebrating collapsing into 2nd. Honesty does not cost a thing.🤦‍♂️

        About the 2015/16 second place finish.
        We 2nd on 71 points behind Leicester City who won the league with 81 points.
        In the 2015/16 season we never competed with Leicester. They maintained a 8-10 point lead for the majority of the second part of that season. Spurs are the ones that had a chance that season but collapsed in the last 4-5 games. We just ended up in 2nd but had absolutely no chance for about 80% of that season. Did you ever feel like we were in the title race in 2015/2016?

        But 2022/23 we led the EPL for about 90% of the way and collapsed at the last huddle. It sucks to be honest. But did that 2015/16 team give you any positive vibes for the title or the future like this recent team?

        In 2015/16
        , Leicester scored 68 goals and we scored 65 goals.

        In 2022/23, City won the league with 89 points while we finished second with 84 points.. City scored 94 goals and we scored 88 goals.

        Can’t you see a massive difference between that 2nd place finish in 2016 and the 2nd place finish in 2023? This team does seem to have a high ceiling while I never felt that that 2015/16 had a high ceiling. It might all turn out to be an anomaly but the majority of our fanbase seem to have high positive expectations for this team as compared to that 2015/16 team.

        1. I read earlier Arteta is close to being an elite manager ?
          I assumed that was based on 2nd
          Saying that Vini called 5th sucess !

  8. Aww, I see, some Ozilites are still bitter because their weasel of a cult hero was exposed for the little trouble maker he really is.

    It seems like their emotions / feeling are still hurting about the way he was binned / forced out. The club called his bluff. He thought that he could play his slimy manipulative social media games and get away with it. Glad the many Arsenal fans finally acknowledged what some of us had been pointing out about the guys poor work ethic, manipulative / victimhood nature for seasons.

    You just have to look at his history.

    Madrid got rid of him.

    Germany forced him out.

    Arsenal forced him out.

    Fenerbache forced him out.

    Istanbul Basaksehir terminated his contract and forced him out.

    There is a clear visible pattern here. He seems to fallout with his employers due to his poor work ethic, Victimhood, entitled attitude, poor mentality, narcissism and egotism. The little princess is not a victim. He is the culprit..

    Glad our club did it’s best to get rid of him. The club seems to be at peace and harmony without such mayhem manufacturers…

      1. DK, one of those fans I refuse to get involved with, as he gets so personal it’s embarrassing for him.
        I find it so revealing that Dan’s article regarding Matt Smith is ignored by this type of post.

    1. Never read a TRUER post. Imo, that shirker and fraud was the single most club damaging player we have had in all my time as a Gooner since 1958.

      No one else comes close, not even Auba.

      Ozil represents everything I despise in a very few players.
      What sheer joy I felt when he FINALLY, years too late, WENT!

    2. I am waiting for an apology when you accused of being anti Emery on this site when I didn’t even have an account.

      You disappeared without a trace that day even though I know you read my reply.

      Even though I was told I misunderstand your “that group” posts, why am I not surprised all of you have come together again in unison to offer your baseless, factless, logicless defense as usual?

      1. What are you talking about? What comment of yours did I not reply to? Sorry but I don’t have the time to go back to each and every comment I make. I have a life. On what article was it on?
        And haven’t you been here from at least 2020?

        And didn’t you go by “Highbury Hero” before you abbreviated it to “HH”.?

        If that’s you then you have been and still are part of the “Anti Arteta” crowd going back 2020/2021 season. The evidence is there for all to see.

        Lets be honest here. One can guess with 90% predictability where most poster on here will likely fall on assessing Arteta. There is a spectrum. The likes of @Ken, @Dan Kit, @Highbury Hero (HH), @Sue, @Dan smith etc will normally be on the Negative, sneaky backhanded comment side of the story.

        And you can predict where @GAI, @Jon Fox, @Goonster, @SueP, @Anders, @ Herr Drier etc will fall on the spectrum. Those will be the ones offering encouragement and positivity towards the manager. But will criticise the manager where warranted.

        Am I wrong in my assessment?

        For example you and Dan Kit have been on the anti Arteta train from the 2020/21 season, and if i can remember right you went as far as claiming that if BRENDON RODGERS was given that team that Arteta had in 2021 he would have been challenging for the title blah blah.. Like how he turns mediocre players into competitive ones.


        1. “And you can predict where @Jon Fox, @Goonster, @SueP, @Anders, @ David, @LC
          will defend Arteta against warranted criticism for no reason whatsoever.

          What do you lose when the manager is criticized? Why do you all take it so personal? I don’t understand it!

          You have been accused of lying against other posters and here you have accused Ken of being anti Arteta but I don’t recollect any such post from him.

          You think he is against the manager because your group can’t differentiate between a sound criticism and dislike of the man.

      2. @HH
        And if I said you were an anti Emery poster then I am sorry, I generalised you with the anti Emery usual suspects on here.

        But do you acknowledge that you have been a long term Anti Arteta poster together with the usual suspects?

        You have been so nasty towards him since 2020/21 season at least. Isn’t it?

        1. I haven’t been against Arteta for a long time now and I don’t think anyone was, just for the sake of it. Everyone has their expectations of him. For me I wanted to see him challenging for the title and he has delivered.

          I think he is going to create a squad and tactics that many will find very hard to cope for years to come. He is the key to Arsenal dominance in the future unless he keeps mismanaging players value.

          There will come a point when Kroenke won’t approve the current spending without major trophies.

          The problem with “that group” is that I don’t think you really love Arteta that much you just like to be one up against other supporters because now we are doing really well.

          If things go south you will be the first ones to turn against him and find all justifications in the world, I predict that.

          1. @HH
            You have been against Arteta for the same period as “the group”. You all started this over the top anti Arteta crusade during the Covid / Ozil saga. And from your comments going back to the 2020/21 season to today there is no denying.
            You saying how “BRENDON RODGERS would have turned that group of player Arteta had in 2020 into Title challengers. How Rodgers turns mediocre players into competitive ones.

            That one did not age well. Did it?

            That’s why I can’t stand the sensationalism from both sides. People make ridiculous sensationalistic statements like the one you made about Rodgers for the sake of piling on with their agendas or just plain point scoring.

            And I don’t love Arteta like you said. I just feel like he has been doing a decent job since joining us. And that’s what matters to me. Results and a clear sense of progress / improvement is all I have wanted after the shambles of mess he had inherited from the previous managers.

            And if I the time come when I do feel that he is not taking us any farther then I will criticise him. But I am very sure that my criticism will never be like yours and tje normal myopic and sensationalists on here. My criticism for any individual is grounded on their performances, attitude and mentality. As long as I can see that a player / or manager is giving their best but it’s not good enough then you will never see me go on these agenda driven vitriol that some of you are stooped in regularly.

            Trust me I have been an Arsenal fan for a few decades now and I know that if Arteta does not work out I will not be the first one to start over the top sensationalistic criticism like you guys have been on for the majority of his time here.

            I did not do it against Wenger, did not do it against Emery and will not do it against Arteta.

            Trust me. That’s not my style or personality.

            And I have made it clear why I act the way I ask towards you guys. I think you have let your dislike and negative emotions towards Arteta cloud your objective judgement. I think Arteta has been doing a decent job while some of you had failed to get your anti Arteta blinders of for once and accepting it. And even when the anti crowd do try to be a bit balanced their posts / comments have this backhanded feel to them.

            They make a balanced comment but in the same comment they have to include defeaters.

            Anyways. I will leave it at that. Been going back and forth enough now.

            1. You are forcing I am still against Arteta even though my post that you are replying to I have said the exact opposite. Did you even read it?

              What have I said in my first two paragraphs?

          2. There is very little to add on the Arteta front.
            I and some others did stick with him through the bumpier times. It had a lot to do with:

            a). The state the club was in having missed CL football again
            b) The undue influence of senior players
            c). The general acceptance that there was no quick fix as we hoped/expected as shown under Emery due in part to said senior players
            d). No elite manager appeared interested in a rebuild.
            e). Covid intervening during the beginning of Arteta’s tenure.
            f). He was learning on the job and had difficult calls to make

            I wrote an article for JA on who should get the job if Arteta got the sack. I had a lot of responses and out of a list of maybe 10 names, only Ten Hag has improved the team he is managing. Potter, Rodgers, Ancelotti at Everton, Conte at Spurs, Nagelsman at Munich have all either got the chop or jumped ship.

            From my perspective too many on JA we’re not prepared to be patient. It was my mantra. Arteta was signed with a board prepared to back him financially as well as with patience

            Fortunately and with some sticky moments Arteta has grown into the job. If in the fullness of time results go the wrong way, he’ll be shown the door. I’ll be sad to see that happen as he has shown himself to be capable but it is in most cases the lot of a football manager to get the sack

            HH. It’s the manner in which opposing views are written that are finger pointing. Shame really

            1. You are absolutely correct and I agree with everything you have said and I applaud all who stick with Arteta through his bad times. I remember that article and it was well received by all who participated in the debate.

              My point against the ones who I have listed are if they really believe in the process what is the need to go against other fans who do not? The results speak for everyone. In the end it is all that matters. Anti Arteta were absolutely right during the 8th, 8th, 5th and pro Arteta have been proven right for their patience.

              We nearly won the title last season and when Arteta completes his squad and his tactics he surely will win the league and CL because I see he is still not there yet in both yet what stood in front of him and the title is City’s unfair squad depth.

              And to add to that why the need to constantly defend Arteta when his mistakes are pointed? The mistakes are obvious and unquestionable why trying to point them as something else?

              I don’t get the point of that at all!

      3. HH, he does lie to get his agenda over. He lies, adds words not said and twists to make up stories. Not nice.

        1. @Reggie
          So how are the of likes of Saka, Saliba, Gabriel, Martinelli, Odegaard etc all going to cope under our dictator of a manager?
          You literally wrote a full article on here talking about how you got some very credible inside / In the Know info about Juventus being confident of signing Gabriel for less than half our evaluation. How the player was up for it and not that happy working under Arteta like most of the squad. 😊

          Going on twitter / facebook and reading rumours / gossip posted by random individuals on there does not mean you have found credible / In the Know info.

          And to this day, instead of acknowledging you wrote that gossip article for the sole purpose of advancing your normal agenda you instead just keep doubling down on it.😊

          1. No i did not, you lie. The words you use are yours. I wont converse with anymore because you are devious, lie and just get personal. Bye bye.

            1. @Reggie
              So you expected me to use your exact words, the same sentences, exact arrangement etc for you to accept my contention? Is that how humans or you yourself converse? You always write exact words from others or do you paraphrase / try to get the Gist right?

              So you do acknowledge that you wrote an ridiculous article about how Juventus were confident of getting Gabriel for cheap? And you do accept that the Gist of what I am saying is in line with your overall propaganda push againt the manager. Right.

              I won’t be losing any sleep just because @Reggie threatened not to converse with me, all because I keep pointing our the ridiculousness of the unsubstantiated propaganda hit pieces about Gabriel and other arsenal players not being happy with Arteta’s style of management blah blah.

              I do think that is very healthy for all of us to be called out on our ridiculous statements. If I make any ridiculous statements then I should be called out. That will help us all improve our conversational skills.
              Everyone seems to do it. No need to get all defensive.
              Bye Bye.

    1. Relevant Sue as Smith was released and some readers were adament at the time he was picked for footballing reasons

      1. Really? Tongue in cheek? Give the lad a bit of experience? Or give an un subtle hint?
        Whichever it was, this article has stirred up old divisions

        1. I’m sure grown adults on a football site can simply not read article if it stirs up things ?

          1. They could but the majority have responded as they did 2 years ago. I’m afraid Dan this piece by you looks for all the world to be designed to stoke up bad feeling between the posters and has virtually nil to do with Matt Smith but gave you a golden opportunity to regurgitate the Ozil story all over again

            1. Designed to stoke up bad feelings ?

              This is football lol
              Too deep
              If grown adults have bad feelings regarding Ozil don’t read the article ?
              Seems to me a few on here agree with me and don’t mind it being written

              1. Look at the responses to your piece and you can see how polarising the comments are particularly as it should be consigned to the past. That’s where it belongs and you only have to read David’s post below with attached response to see what I mean. It certainly triggered Goonster.

                I deliberately chose not to discuss Ozil as it’s all been said before. Matt Smith didn’t make it at Arsenal and was let go. Of course, if he had then you wouldn’t have had any material. Lots of players are let go. It’s a shame for them but football is full of talented but not quite good enough youngsters not getting their dream job.

                I, like David feel sorry for Matt Smith that he has been singled out in an article which purports to be about a young man and his medal but in reality is another opportunity that has been taken to criticise Kroenke and his yes man.

                1. Judging by the comment it’s a topic people are interested in
                  What your saying is , it’s a topic you don’t want to read about
                  So instead of simply not reading it too demand Ozil not to be written about because you don’t want to read about him
                  See how arrogant that is ?
                  You feel sorry for Matt Smith ?
                  First of all , I’m sure he will get over it
                  Second , if it wasn’t for Ozil Matt Smith would never be mentioned by any fan

                  That’s kind of the point

                  1. Yes I do feel sorry for him. He was used as a pawn in your article

                    And the topic of Ozil was done to death at the time

                    People were just interested in having a row with each other which as I have repeated over and over again has open old sores.

                    1. Open old sores ?
                      Anyone who can’t handle a article about football needs to go to see someone

                      But people have a choice
                      You must have seen from headline what article was going to mention ?
                      Why click and read ?
                      Why comment ?

                      I never got this notion
                      I for example hate gardening right ?
                      So if there was an article on gardening I wouldn’t click and read the article ?
                      I certainly wouldn’t ask for gardening to not be written about because I don’t like it
                      Not when there’s so many other articles to read

        2. The article was written to stir up old divisions. It’s got little to do with Matt Smith who was considered a talent but never fully reached the potential expected of him . So poor Matt’s story has become another tool for certain contributors to use in their regular tirades against Arteta and the club.
          The article also lacks candour. The author claims he is not mocking Matt. Yet, put yourself in this player’s position and read this article.
          Unsurprisingly this cynical, manipulative piece is lapped up by those who continue to have a grudge against the manager or for some reason hold up Ozil as some kind of hero.

          1. Good old David ,never posts about anything Arsenal just fans that have a negative view point regarding Arteta ,would love to be In Pats shoes regarding his posts just to prove my point .
            I would imagine it would go something like this ….
            David 500 posts
            498 – slagging off either article writers or fans that don’t agree with Arteta
            2- still moaning about the above .

      2. Or may be Arteta wanted to give as many players a chance to prove themselves? He gave Ozil more than enough games as compared to Matt Smith and still people think that was too much. How many minutes did Matt Smith get under Arteta as compared to Ozil? And haven’t the anti Arteta bashment crew been whining about him not giving our youngsters a chance? He did try to give the likes of Willock, Nketia, Matt Smith etc a chance and even that got the usual suspects unhappy. They absolutely went for Willock calling him all sorts of names. Statements like “You want to tell me that Willock deserves to start ahead of World cup winner, former Madrid superstar, The Assists king, The guy that creates the most chances. Willock does not have even 1% of Özil’s talent blah blah”. ?😊

        Willock became the enemy of the Ozil cult. To them he was not worthy of playing for Arsenal ahead of dear leader Ozil.

        Now Matt Smith shouldn’t have been anywhere near the team without permission from dear leader ozil? 🤭

        I have said this before and let me say it again. To all those that are still so emotionally attached to Ozil, The world does not revolve around him..

        1. It seems to revolve around you though Goonster ,or Ozil does, maybe take your own advice buddy .
          How many long winded needless posts have you posted on here buddy .
          We all know that you have a massive wide on for Ozil ,but you seem to have turned it around for fans against Arteta ,when it was all about Matt smith .

          1. @Dan Kit
            You don’t have to read these long winded needless posts. Just ignore them.

            And this article was about Matt Smith? or may be Matt Smith was another avenue used to smuggle in The good old “Ozil The biggest victim in history that the world has ever known” grievance politics?
            Lets all feel sorry and pitty for this misunderstood / mistreated Philanthropist. Lol

            The name “Matt smith” is the trojan horse used this time by the usual suspects: The “Ozil Grievance” lobbyists. They are still bitter hence why they will never accept Arteta. He committed the ultimate sin (Calling out our Dear leader’s bluff). The same happened with Emery. As long as you kiss dear leader ring then the his cult following will tolerate you. But try to criticise him and that’s it for you.

            If you think that this article was about Matt Smith and not “The Shirt Selling Genius” then I have some Dust to sell to you.
            The article mentioned the name “Ozil” more than the supposed subject (Matt Smith) that it was meant for. How many times did the name Matt smith get mentioned as compared to Ozil?

  9. And how come that all of a sudden a section of our fanbase is so outraged about the club releasing some youth players deemed to be surplus to requirement ?

    Isn’t this how it’s always been? We have been releasing the “Next Big Thing youth players” for decades. Under wenger we released 100’s. Under Emery we released some too.
    Every summer we have been releasing young players and I have never seen such outrage.

    Does anyone remember J.E.T, Frimpong, Akpom, Zalelem, Afobe, Asano, Bielik, The Hoyte brothers, Romeo and brooklyn beckham (if I can remember correctly), Craig Eastmond, Wellignton Silva, Nacar Barazite, Henri Lansbury, Fran Merida, Kyle Bartley, Nico Yennaris, Ignasi miquel, Ryo Miyaichi, Thomas Eisfeld, Matt Macey etc..
    Never seen such outrage about released youth players until this season. Some people would lead one to believe that all youth players from our academy that we had high hopes for all made it under the Wenger, Emery, Ljumberg eras but undee Arteta’s tenure things have suddenly gone wrong.

    Apart from Saka, ESR, Wilshere, Nketia and Nelson how many the Next Big Thing youth players have come through our Arsenal academy, gotten into our first teams and locked down a permanent squad position in this Emirate Stadium era?

    We release more than 90% of our youth / academy players as compared to those the ones that make it into the first team. From the 100’s that have come through our youth / academy system in the last 20 years, what percentage has made it in our team or other EPL clubs?

      1. Exactly Dan the only fan who’s outraged is mr Goonster once again because it was about Ozil (shirt selling genius ),2 long winded posts that hes been selling for the last 5 years .
        Come on goonster come up with its some new material buddy ,it’s stale now .

        1. Plus THE FACT that The Arsenal have never let ANY player leave who has a cup winners medal, but never played a minute of first team football – a completely unique situation (forget Ozil) that is bizarre in it’s said uniqueness.

          1. To be honest, when it comes to Ozil or Wenger topics there is no point with engaging @Ken.
            It reminds me of a Jordan Peterson fan. You can show him / her JP on tape saying or doing something and they will tell you it’s not what you think he is saying / doing. He did not say it. You are misinterpreting him etc..

            You have that spin doctor / politician style of obfuscation. It’s always Ozil / Wenger are under appreciated, the victims or misunderstood.

            I love wenger but even you make me come off as someone that dislikes the man just for trying to be objective toward him. All because with you wenger was only responsible for about 10% of the poor showing in the Emirates era.

            Anyways, each to their own.

        2. @Dan Kit
          The 3 Ozil Musketeers
          @Dan Kit

          I will never forget that “Ozil Sells the most Merchandise. He sells more shirts than any other player” talking point. It was so cringeworthy but one of you brought it up back in 2020.

          Once the recycled The : Assist King, Chances Created King, See passes that no one can (king), Covers more distance according to Stats, played at Madrid with C.Ronaldo, World cup winner, Won 5 online German player of the year awards etc talking points / excuses had lost their gravitas,


          The “But he is still popular and loved, thats why he sells more shirts as compared to any other player in the team” catchphrase was introduced by someone I will not name here.

          And why should I come up with some new material when the old one is still relevant and gold? The Ozil material will never get old to me. It was the most cringeworthy stuff ever.

          And @Dan Kit. How come you want me to come up with new material on Ozil but you never bring up anything new about Arteta. You have been crying about him being the worst manager ever known to man. And you still keep going on about it. You yourself have not introduced any new nuanced analysis of Arteta. It’s the same old we have been served since 2020/2021. 😊

          But with my general take on Ozil I have been proven right. Madrid, Germany, Arsenal, Fenerbache, Istandbul. He was forced out of all those places. Can’t be a coincidence. May be it’s to do with him as an individual, being a little weasel / trouble stirrer.

          Yes / No 🤞

  10. I’ve revisited the responses and the article and this article is not about Matt Smith. He provides the for and against arguments this time around that have lurked since Arteta got the job and decided to leave Ozil out.

  11. So another article about Ozil disguised as a piece about a player being released intended to blame Arteta from the Lieutenant Dan.. Whats new?

    1. When was my last Ozil article ?
      I wrote one last season when he retired ?
      Why not just read the non Ozil articles if you don’t like them ?

    2. No, has Ozil ever received a fa cup winners medal, while not playing one minute of first team football during his career at The Arsenal?
      If that wasn’t Dan’s point, it’s mine and, to date, I haven’t seen one sensible answer, so of course the scenario was about the player who did fit the picture, Matt Smith wasn’t it Dan?

  12. “Arsenal had distanced themselves from comments the player had made regarding treatment of Uyghurs in China”
    There could be a lot more to this than is really talked about. As much as I’ve made my opinion on Ozil clear (not a fan – came here for an easy ride imo), I don’t discount the idea he might have been treated unfairly because of this. American businessmen and the ccp…

    1. Is that why Madrid also got rid og him?
      Is that why Germany forced him out?
      Is that why Fenerbache also forced him out?
      Is that why Istandbul also terminated his contract?

      Surely those 2 turkish clubs weren’t scared of upsetting China that was oppressing the muslims.

      Erdogan has been oppressing the Kurdish Muslims. Ozil never opened his mouth to stand up for them. But instead he just buried his heag under Erdogan, armpit.

      The oppressed Chinese Muslims are real muslims but the Kurdish muslims being oppressed by ozil’s wedding best man.

      1. I doubt it’s why Madrid sold him, but I’m not convinced about the others either way. Money/politics vs religion – who knows. Corruption is corruption.
        I don’t know enough about the situation in Turkey if I’m being very honest (maybe they don’t see kurdish Muslims as ‘real’ – it’s all awful, not defending it and not defending Ozil), but i don’t put much past ccp. They do care a great deal about controlling opinion inside and outside their country.
        To be clear – I’m not saying you’re wrong here, the article just made me wonder.

  13. One thing we can all agree on Saka is a magnificent player… watching him score a hat trick at the moment.
    Well done MA for getting him tied down to our club!!

      1. Snide? WHEN SAYING WELL DONE? Hard to understand why ANYONE could think that Ken. What a perf he put in tonight!

        1. Jon, I I’ve been accused of saying I wanted MA gone by one poster on here, who seems to think he knows what everyone has said over the last few years.
          I asked Pat to check if I had said I wanted MA gone and he, of course, confirmed that after checking, that I hadn’t.
          That’s why I refuse to debate with him, as I don’t trust any claims he makes, along with the fact that he gets too personal and vindictive.
          That’s why I used the word “snide” as that’s what he’s further accused me and others of doing.

          Saka and Martinelli? Two wonderful players, who have bought into MA’s vision and I couldn’t be happier.
          What a performance tonight by Saka, his smile and attitude reminds me of Wrighty at his best.

  14. I quite liked the article and found it very interesting but people are twisting it into something it isnt and i find that sad. Good interesting article Dan.

    1. I might add, the article is about Matt Smith and i dont presume we have a photo to put in the article. Did Admin put Ozil in for devilment?

  15. Not surprised this article still has legs even though the two players involved are ancient history. The key point remains Arteta’s decision making and whether or not he has grown up, become more of a man and come to realize that it takes all sorts of personalities to make a winning team.

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