My views on the highs and lows from Wenger to present-day Arteta

Hey there Gooners,

My name is Max, and I’m a long time Arsenal fan since 1999 and started watching televised from 2001 onwards. Since the early 2000’s watching the highs of the Invincibles  to the lows of being knocked out of the Europa league in the final to Chelsea which still annoys me to this day. 🙄

This is the First time in a long time that I can see the direction we are going, which, if we are being honest, was a problem with our identity, especially during the Arsene Wenger period. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him as a manager and there is not a bad word I can say about him. He was an iconic man that changed the landscape of football  in England. You only need to look at the teams he managed from the start till the end. He managed to consistently finish in the top 4. I understand we should challenging for titles and other major honour’s, but to finish in the Top 4 for years with the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham,  and you can certainly throw Leicester into that equation, it’s by far no mean feat.

Moving on though, Arteta has given me a lot of belief again, especially as I mentioned a disappointing European experience with Unai Emery, who I felt he had his positives. I never really felt confident or connected with the team or him under his leadership, and I think as fans if we don’t  feel connected or understand him, how we expect the players to. Even though in saying that, he did take us to the European final which needs to be commended, and he did introduce  Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka to us which shouldn’t be ignored, and not only that took us on a 22 unbeatable run of games which again deserves its praise.

As you know Arteta started off with rough treatment after a legendary manager moving on, to Unai then Freddie, he needed to make an impression quick. After successfully navigating past Manchester City in the FA cup he had one final hurdle – Chelsea football club. Ahh yes, the blue team from London. The one team that has given me nightmares as a child from the 2000s.  Drogba, Lampard, Hazard to name but a few. Would Mikel be able to navigate a final cup win like back in 2016 when Arsene navigated the same tie. Would history repeat itself – or would it be another Baku? FA CUP FINAL DAY  was here. After an opening 20 minutes a goal from Pulisic slipping past Emi Martinez, Aubameyang found the net from a penalty decision, then later on flicking one over Willy Caballero’s head after turning away from Kurt Zouma. Arteta went on to win the Community Shield on penalties over a strong Liverpool side, which again I personally believe that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

Moving on to the present after having two 8th place finishes, he needed to get the season off to a great start and get his signings bang on the money. After a disappointing 3 opening games a lot of us were scratching and chins and chewing our nails with worry about how the season was going to take shape. Ramsdale slotted in after a promising debut against West Bromwich Albion. A lot of us were not filled with confidence over the signing of Ramsdale, myself included. A lot of us were saying “Why are we signing a keeper that had been relegated twice once with Sheffield United and again with Bournemouth”. So I felt that Aaron had the weight of the Arsenal world on his shoulders, but he seemed to thrive under the pressure, willing to stick his head on the chopping block and fight for his place.

The results picked up pace and now we move onto that fantastic Leicester win wowww 😍😍. Talk about a turning point for Aaron to get the fans on point and on your side. After conceding a free kick on the outside of the box James Maddison had one thought on his mind. He managed to loop it over the wall spinning into the top right hand corner Aaron lept off his feet throwing his body at the ball. Having the ball drop down in front of him, he was then there to try and smother the 2nd chance from Johnny Evans, with Thomas Partey following up to clear it off the line.


I think it was this point Ramsdale had silenced the Haters and Doubters. Listening to the Ben Foster Podcast and to pundits and journalists after the game Aaron Ramsdale arguably got a lot of the praise, but he was not the only one. Arteta and Edu Gasper was also getting a lot of credit which was fully deserved.

After a satisfactory win over Watford 3-2, I think Mikel Arteta has definitely won a lot of fans over. However, I want to stress there is a long way to go yet. Top 4 is certainly  attainable this season which after some good wins looks like Arsenal are in the driving seat. We as fans want these results to keep on ticking over and to finish the season strongly and to reinforce our gaps in the summer with some quality additions.


Anyway,  I just thought I’d post my thoughts here.

Max Australian Arsenal  Fan

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Mikel Arteta’s not as happy as usual after Watford win –

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  1. Ramsdale has been doing great. But I believe Leno could’ve produced similar performance, if he was allowed to make plenty of long distributions

    1. Yes but Leno’s “long distributions” were not very good whereas Ramsdale can plant the ball on a sixpence 60 yards away.

      1. I think Leno’s long goal kick is pretty good, since he was Leverkusen’s main GK and a Germany national team player

        I agree that Ramsdale’s long passes are mostly accurate though, as seen in his distributions to Saka and Tomiyasu

    2. I love Leno, I’ve always backed him up even when fans turned against him.
      I think he’ll be a great cup GK. Like Ramsdale for League, and Leno for UCL(If we qualify). I doubt he’ll stay though. The issue with him I will boldly link to lack of luck on his side.
      He had the worst set of defenders I’m front of him. A midfield that was full of errors and was always exposed. He’s no doubt the best GK of the Emirates era so far (my opinion btw). That’s not me exaggerating. Yes WS, DO, PC, but BL was fantastic and is an amazing GK. Only part I’ll fault him with is his inability to use his feet confidently.
      He struggles with short passes and you think long distributions will be easy for him. Booting the ball up field isnt distribution.
      Leno boots it up field, Ramsdale, most of the time distributes it up field and usually finds his man.
      I never believed all of that Leno couldn’t control his box and defenders crap. Hell we had pundits and fans raving about how those defenders were uncoachable, and folks think it should’ve been easy for Leno to keep those defenders in check.
      His inability with the ball and lapses in concentration let him down.
      Martinez got lucky, while pulling amazing saves, he also had Arteta’s low block and overly defensive set up helped him. (By the way over the past year, Arteta’s low block seems to be one of the hardest to break down. Evidence has been in the fact that whenever he needs to switch and he brings on Holding to set up a low block. Then the opponents can kiss scoring goodbye. We’ve mostly walked out with the results after he switched to low block).

      All in all I’m just going to say Leno’s similar to De Gea. Fantastic GKs, but just like us, United fans will never see beyond De Gea’s flaws if they don’t get another GK like we got Ramsdale. If United fans were to have a Ball playing GK like Ederson, Alisson or Ramsdale, I bet most of them will prefer De Gea on the bench.

      1. Thanks for that very good piece. I’ve always defended Leno. Not that Ramsdale should be benched, but that Leno is still a very good goalkeeper. Many forget the kind of defense he had in front of him. Many also forget that two seasons ago, Leno practically singlehandedly kept us in matches throughout the season while Aubameyang was winning games up ahead. When your highest goalscorer(and second highest in the entire premier league by just is e goal) is competing with his goalkeeper for player of the season, that tell you what you need to know about the quality of said keeper. Like I said, Ramsdale should not be benched as he’s currently the better keeper for how the coach wants to play. But we should not consider Leno a flop as he will certainly do much better than last season if he goes to a club with better defense than he’s had at the Emirates

      2. Poor Leno played for us at the wrong time, when Arsenal were in turmoil with Wenger’s/ Emery’s problems and when Arteta hadn’t figured out about the long distribution strategy

        I agree that Leno would likely be a great GK for our cup games next season, but he’d likely be sold to give some chance to Okonkwo and Hein. Hopefully we can use his sale money to invest in a CF

      3. Eddie, I only rarely see things very differently from you. On Leno and “him being our best Emirates keeper”! I find that view astonishing, when you recall that Lehmann kept our goal. No comparison in real top quality at all IMO.

        I agree Leno is a top shot stopper but I cannot agree, not even a bit, on the other matters you praise about him.

        I think him a dangerously inept ball distributor and not fit to lace the boots of either Lehmann or Ramsdale, both of whom are far FAR better all round and also more effective keepers.

        1. Jon Fox, I had him above Lehman for the Emirates era as Lehman only had 2 seasons at the Emirates, and by then he was already a declining Goalkeeper who had to leave for Almunia and Fabianski.

          Ramsdale is an amazing GK, but he’s yet to do half of what Leno has done in an Arsenal shirt. It’s his first season, so I think you’re just being unfair to Leno.

  2. Not having Europe has helped a lot. We could get by with the same 14 man squad. But in Jauary when we had two Carabao Cup semis, an away FA Cup game, Man City, a resiliant Burnley and red card suspensions we suffeed terribly. Since January we have had sometimes 7-9 days between games which meant we could field virtually the same starting 11 and the same 3 subs the same 14 man squad. The results reflect the change. So while CL or EL has it’s attractions it means next season we will have a January schedule most of the season. So we will need to add another 6-7 quality players to cope with the extra fixtures. With the world cup window in Nov/Dec next season promises to be even more complex and intriguing. May 2023 is when I will fully judge Arteta MK2. Like this season my expectations will be the same. Top 6 will be fine. Top 4 a bonus. 7th unacceptable.

  3. Imaging Ramsdale playing with Bellerín, Mustafi. Luiz and Kolasnic at back 4

    Bellerín – Always overlap
    Mustafi – Lack confidence and always forgot his position
    Luiz – Doesn’t know he’s a center back
    Kolasnic – Lack pace for recovery

    All this Leno still manage to make saves in Top matches
    For me, Leno is the best because Ramsdale just inherit a careful defense

      1. what does that even mean?? you obviously didn’t get my point, what a shocker?!?

    1. TRVL CARE TO EXPLAIN WHY YOU WERE SO EASILY LOST? I WAS NOT AND UNDERSTOOD ALL HE SAID, even though I do not agree with 100% of it.

      But his thoughts were clear to all normal people, I suggest to you, Mr. Hyper and constantly critical!

      1. as to your question JF, the answer is an unequivocal NO!!
        btw the internet isn’t your personal front porch, so stop incessantly yelling and waving your fist at anyone and anything that rubs you the wrong way…do us all a favour, relax your sauce box and stop being a gentlemen usher 24/7

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