Review of ‘Arsenal All or Nothing – Episode 2’ The North London Derby

All Or Nothing – Episode 2> by Dan Smith

The 2nd episode focuses on the NLD. Fittingly its main subjects are Academy graduates Smith Rowe and Saka.

Edited beautifully as both would score and play a major part in the 3-1 win over Spurs.

I wrote an article why Odegaard being named captain highlighted a lack of leaders at the club.

Thierry Henry said it best, though, when he said Arsenal have a DNA the club are trying to get back to. When he sees Smith Rowe and Saka, they ‘run like Arsenal’.

We learn how shy Smith Rowe is, when on a 1-1 analysis with a coach he’s asked to speak louder. Which again is about taking out talent and making them mentally stronger.

Even non Gooners might be wanting to watch Arteta offer the tactical insight that got him such a high reputation as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

For the second episode running we don’t watch our manager write down any clever formation or system but how he cleverly deals with his players emotions.

With questionable drawings, he draws an image of a heart, brain and fans.

The message is if his squad uses their heart and brains, the supporters will offer passion which will translate to energy.

Similar methods are to try and get players to memorise positions on screen.

The Spaniard stresses it’s not a test and points out Pepe looks worried.

Even then was he kind of targeting Pepe?

As someone in attendance in September, I can say it was one of the best atmospheres in years at the Emirates with the players and fans coming together.

We are watching with the benefit of hindsight, so we know Aubameyang won’t be captain for too many games after the one covered here.

It’s still emotional to hear him for the first time talk about the significance of having a star shaved into his head. The day his grandad died Auba scored twice against Spurs so every time he played them; he would do something to remember his grandfather.

A feel-good episode but you can’t help but wonder where this was in May at the Lane?

A certain Henry says about our DNA, ‘Arsenal have to be top 4’.

Well done Amazon for including that. I guess Henry hasn’t got an agenda or is negative?

If you don’t listen to me, listen to Thierry Henry….

Dan Smith


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  1. I agree Arsenal should be in top four, but winning EL after decades without any major European trophy will be good too

  2. There is only one problem with reality TV.
    There is never any reality.
    No one acts naturally when they know they are being filmed (except when they are playing) but even then they play up to the camera’s a lot.
    These programmes are designed, scripted and choreographed months even years before any filming. Then everything is edited, packaged promoted, pemiered and on sold to fans many of whom actually believe the programme is real.

      1. Pat, I feel like I must be missing something? I haven’t watched this particular show but what FF says about reality TV is largely accurate, so my assumption would be that FF is probably correct at least to assume extent (I guess they can’t predict the outcomes of individual matches, so there’s that) – this is miles away from FF’s most ridiculous!

        1. @davi
          It’s not a comedy lol. It’s a fly on the wall and everyone’s reactions are spontaneous to results conflicts etc as they happen…. Not possible to choreograph in the slightest mate

          1. PAT you are SO right! FF and DAVI are SO wrong. As a stage perfomer , professionally for half my adult life, I KNOW HOW TRUE it is that peole become natural in front of cameras very qauickly.


        2. Yeah maybe you’re right – I mainly wanted to say the last sentence, though it was meant in jest.

    1. @fairfan
      This is more a “docuseries” than a “reality tv series”. Because it’s documenting past events, not real-time staged events…IJS

  3. Nice reflection on the episode Dan. Good to see Arteta open up to the players about his serious heart condition growing up (Same here so I can empathise). Coming back to the present, I think that Arteta, when he treated Saliba so badly lost my support, but bringing Saliba back seems to me,have redeemed Arteta in my eyes. Something in Arteta has grown, a human thing, humility, and I hope now they all, as a group, go out and, like Thierry Henry, dance for us, the dance of victory.

  4. Still taking every media soundbite as Gospel truth then Dan?

    Henry, great player… but I don’t need to believe his every utterance as an ex-player. Nor should you.

    Too many people are living in the past, refusing to understand how the landscape of football has changed since Henry’s time.

    Big money changes things – I keep pointing it out, you keep ignoring it. There are none so blind…

    1. @IDontKnowWhyICare
      It’s a very common trait in us humans, this over glorification / worship of fellow humans that we like. It’s idolisation.. That’s why religion / Celebrity culture will never go away..

      For example, if Wenger, Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira etc make a statement/ opinion etc you have a very large section of our fanbase that take those words as some sort of gospel or objective FACT. Anyone that tries to have an opposing view is labelled as ungrateful or disrespectful to a legend..

      Whatever the invincible era legends say shouldn’t be challenged. Their personal opinion carries more weight on current matters.. And as long as that legend’s opinion confirms my already preconceived bias then even better.

      1. Exactly Goonster, like when they elected Arnie as Governor of California (when I heard that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry).

        1. It’s cultism, idolisation etc.. And its unhealthy.
          That’s why you will always find me pushing back hard on such people.. They have their personal favourite (players or managers) that you are not allowed to question or have any rational opinion on..

      2. Goonster. An excellent and wise post!

        Possibly, if you read my regular posts, you will by now know how very much I PRIZE PERSONAL HONESTY AND I APPLAUD YOU FOR DOING SO. I am in effect saying that we all have biases and that often leads to double standards, which is effectively, hypocrisy!

        I have, for mostof my long life, been telling anyone who wants to listen that we are ALL hypocrites and I don’t mean that in any critical way at all. It is simply a wry observation on our normal human condition that we all share.

        That does not make us bad people, not at all. It simply makes us human and to admit to being human and therefore, by definition, having faults as well as good qualities, is a sign of personal honesty , which is of VITAL importance , imo.

        It is also a wise and mature attitude toward life and our human race. It keeps us, in the main, balanced.

        End of sermon and now I NEED A DRINK!

    2. If that’s what Henry says who are we to say he doesn’t mean it
      In other words , he’s said something you don’t like so it’s a sound bite ?
      Maybe it’s what he means ?

      1. You do a great line in finding increasingly convoluted and desperate ways of avoiding the point.

        It’s a soundbite whether he means it or not, just as it’s also nonsense, whether he means it or not.

        Being a former top footballer doesn’t mean he’s necessarily qualified to comment on the changing and complex world of football finance…

        When someone makes a statement that says basically “We must have X because of who we are”… you really should realise how illogical that is – as if the world never changes. I dare say there were Roman patricians saying the same 2,000 years ago and French aristocrats in the 19th century.

        Henry was simply making a tribal utterance to connect with the average Arsenal supporter. It’s kind of expected of him. No-one is looking for an in-depth analysis from him on the state of football, they just want to hear a pro-Arsenal noise.

        When you start quoting this stuff as if it’s fact instead of presenting a logical argument of your own, then I’m afraid you’re not really making much of a case for your views.

        1. I simply said thats what Henry said mate
          That’s a factual statement
          Never said it was truth or reality
          Just his opinion
          What you have failed to provide is anyone at Arsenal saying 8th should be expected or accepted

          1. Sigh. More illogical squirming? What you actually said *in full* was:

            “A certain Henry says about our DNA, ‘Arsenal have to be top 4’.

            Well done Amazon for including that. I guess Henry hasn’t got an agenda or is negative?

            If you don’t listen to me, listen to Thierry Henry….”

            Which is you trying to push the idea that an Henry soundbite, which happens to agree with your opinion, somehow makes you right… just because one of your idols says so.

            The last sentence of the full quote above makes your motivation as clear as day.

            There’s a simple fact at play here: no club has a right to anything. Disbelieve anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

            1. IDKWIC – I agree with your point very much, but i just wanted to comment that every time a lesser footballer or celebrity criticises arsenal, most of the responses are something to the effect of “who is this failure of a human to say this?”. It seems quite a common issue for people to assess/attack the person rather than the argument they’re making, unfortunately.
              I’m not accusing you of the above behaviour btw – I don’t think that’s in your way of thinking at all

        2. @IDon’tKnowWhyIcare
          He is engaged in fallacious reasoning..
          “Argument from Authority Fallacy”.
          Just because a current / former footballer / manager says So, then it must be so.


          1. Not really
            He asked the question
            Who exspected Arsenal to finsih higher then 8th
            And yes if some one says something it’s real that they said it ? Lol

  5. This was the game that begun my “love hate relationship” with Mikel.
    I compared the performance to those of the Invincibles, such was the commitment, attack minded, skill and team spirit shown…. so much so, I sent in an article claiming such!!!

    The atmosphere was electric and the spuds were beaten before a ball was kicked.

    My frustration with Mikel was after this game though, when he couldn’t get the same consistency and commitment, as the Invincibles were able to do.
    Now I’m not comparing managers or the players, just the ability of Mikel last season, to do what he was being paid to do and THAT’S I guess, why I have this lingering doubt in my head – please prove me wrong this season Mikel!!!

    1. @Ken
      Doesn’t your dislike for Arteta go back well before that NLD game last season?
      I stand to be corrected but doesn’t your “Love Hate relationship” with Mikel go as far back as end of 2020 / early 2021?

      1. No, why should it?
        Mikel was brought in to help rescue the club from UE’s final three months, where chaos ruled the roost.
        I certainly didn’t like the way he went about things post covid, but that was his decision and why he earns over £8,000,000 a year I guess.

        Last season was when he should have built on his decisions, but a crazy January window, where no senior players were recruited, while players were loaned out or let go, showed me (in my opinion) that he was not ready for such a club as The Arsenal and our end of season results proved just that.

        Quite simple really, if one looks at it without any bias for or against…. or as I said a love hate relationship (probably shouldn’t have used those words).

        Just as one should look at individual players and their situations with the club wouldn’t you say?

          1. No Goonster – it’s what I believe.

            Now you may think your clever enough to read my mind, but you are not and the more you try to do it, the more you make yourself look like a pompous ass.

            If you know what I think, why keep asking me my thoughts?

            1. @Ken
              I am not trying to read your mind, be clever or a pompous ass..
              I am just saying it like it is.. I am going by your own history and your 100’s of comments on here since the tail end of 2020, the evidence says otherwise.. Yourself and others that I will not mention have been some of the most consistent Arteta doomers / bashers on here for ages. Lets be honest..

              You can’t say it’s a Hate / Love relationship when more than 90% of your comments on Arteta continue to be of a negative nature since the business end of 2020.

              That’s like @gotanidea or @FK etc saying that they have a Love / Hate relationship with Arteta.. I would not buy that too because their comments on here have been at least 90% positive towards Arteta..

              I go by objective FACTS. The evidence on here clearly suggests you continue to have a Dislike / Hate relationship towards Arteta.. And I am not saying that you have to Love or Like Arteta. I just appreciate honesty.. You might believe that you have a Love / hate relationship with Arteta but your comments on here say otherwise.. The receipts are there for all to see. So there is clearly a contradiction here too..

              And you know what I said to you, “I am just allergic to contradictory BS”.

              That’s all. 😊

              1. @goonster
                I read EVERY COMMENT on here. And my view is that Ken is really keen to see Arteta succeed but his OPINION so far is that has not proved he is right for the job. Hate is going a bit far…

                1. I have only doubted Arteta simply because of his nievity when handling the job after the post covid situation.
                  But that hasn’t stopped me praising him when he has done well, or question him when he has made mistakes.

                  The problem that you fail to understand and see, is that he’s made more mistakes than he has nadegood decisions…. in my opinion.

                  Not 90% of course, that’s just more BS plucked out of the air from you, but I don’t really care what you think anyway, so I’ll just let it slide by.

                  Some may want to follow like sheep, but there are many on JA who will compare situations, remember quotes and comment when goalposts are moved in order to change or bolster a wrong decision.

                  It’s called accountability and MA should be scrutinised in exactly the same way as previous encombants… if the situation merits it.

                  I am now going to watch my club, who have spent over £300,000,000 in the last two seasons and still counting, play a side with five first team players sidelined versus one of ours, or so the media is reporting.

                  If we don’t get three points and a desisive victory, questions need to be asked.
                  If we win, there will be no one happier than me.

                  So don’t trip over yourself, if I come on later having a go, or praising the boss and accuse me of contradicting myself – you’ll end up with egg on your face again.

                  Of course, that was to Goonster, the telepathetic fan and not Pat, the person who reads every single comment.

                  1. @Ken
                    Okay 🤣🤣

                    And @Admin Pat
                    I don’t just say things that I have not followed.. The vast majority of Kens comment regarding Arteta have been of a negative nature, snarky or backhanded..

                    If you want you can look back on most Article since end of 2020 and tell me how many comments have been positive vs negative from @Ken and his crew.

                    And it’s not me who introduced the term “HATE” in this conversation, @Ken himself is the one that said he has a “Love / Hate” relationship when it comes to Arteta..

                    I never like using that term, I like using “Dislike” as it makes more sense that “Hate”. Ken confessed that he has a Hate / Love relationship when it comes to Arteta. No my words..

                    Just sayin

        1. I read the January situation as a decision taken at a club level, based on only being in one competition at that time (the PL), 17 games to play in the season – and fully aware of the risks of that decision.

          All decisions have risk – the future is uncertain – but when your priority is a clear-out of the wage bill (as it was in that period) then the decision looks sensible.

          My understanding (and I have no inside knowledge) is that with the squad as it was, they felt that they had a very good chance of European football, expecting 5th or 6th rather than CL. This would avoid a “desperation buy” in a January window that might only add to the clear-out issues.

          Then Aubameyang threw his little hissy fit – hard to foresee. Injuries were a problem..

          When it turned out to be as close to top 4 as we were, despite these problems, people then questioned the decision with the benefit of hindsight and largely forgot the original parameters in which the decision was framed.

          In a sense, the club were lambasted for exceeding their own expectations and goals for the season!

          I hope the experience and disappointment has forged mentally stronger players in the squad ready for the coming season. What’s the old saying – character is forged in the fires of adversity?

          But hey, what do I know? 😉 I just get behind every manager who’s appointed – Wenger The Great, Emery or Arteta… and hope for the best 🙂

          1. But when one cuts the playing staff down to the bone, while having players injured and, also players with histories of being injured, hindsight doesn’t come into it surely?

            If cutting wages was the reason, why award Aubameyang a reported £300,000 a week rise (especially after the Ozil situation) and why give Arteta a reported eye watering £8,000,000 plus new contract?

            I should also add, that giving Nketiah a reported £100,000 a week new contract begs the question – with our new signings, are we any better off with salaries today?

            1. Keeping the squad that size was the risk. They achieved their objective – or what I understood to be their objective of European football so the decision was probably right.

              Since this was about avoiding another problem contract on the books, the Aubameyang situation would be viewed differently (he was someone they wanted to keep).

              At the time I admit that I didn’t like it at all – not because I never really liked Aubameyang as a person but because those contracts with enormous wages never seem to work out for any club (Ozil, Sanchez, Pogba etc).

              So I don’t see the two situations as comparable – the decision not to expand the squad I think was right and I believe it succeeded (too well – no-one would be complaining if we finished 6th with a win on the last day) whereas the Aubameyang decision was wrong not only because it worked out badly but because I think people should have seen that.

              I think there are underlying reasons though – what I detect is that Arsenal have been suffering from the perception in players across the world that they lose good players to other clubs for more money, therefore those other clubs must be “bigger” clubs.

              This started in the stadium rebuild years with the RVP, Sanga, Sanchez etc departures, so a lot of this is spending money to reverse that mindset. That’s understandable – if you want to be a big club then you have to act like one and you have be seen to be one. Aubameyang did a lot of harm in that respect. I dislike the little rat intensely for his effective walk-out.

              I feel the same way about Ozil, but at least now he’s done it in other places it’s now “an Ozil thing” rather than “an Arsenal thing”.

              Now they have to do something about the perception that you can just get your contract with Arsenal cancelled and walk out a free agent on higher wages. An example will have to be made – and it will cost the club a few quid to do it.

              1. But surely, if the club awards ANYONE with a new contract, it’s because they want to keep said player?
                As was the case with Ozil, the situation was handled in a terrible way by the club – leaks, innuendos and crass communications via the media.

                The club should have come out and said quite plainly that there was to be a concerted effort to cut back on players earning extortionate salaries, while also trimming the playing staff, ready for the manager to start signing his preferred players.

                That would have been the honest way to do it, rather than naming individual players who were, seemingly, undermining the manager.
                Is it coincidence that both Ozil and Aubemeyang were given away?

                Did we ever learn who the other two players were that questioned the reasoning behind the pay cuts?

                Look, it’s all in the past now, but this prime documentary is going to bring it all back again and I fear we will get yet another split in the fanbase.

    2. KEN ALLL FAITH BEGINS WITH A DESIRE TO HAVE FAITH , whether religIous, in humans or even in fooTball managers of our club

      The faith needs to come before the proof and by doing so it helps speed the actual proof. ONLY WHEN IT IS TOTALLY PROVEN THEY ARE NOT UP TO THE JOB SHOULD WE LOSE FAITH.

      People always perform better when trusted and supported rather than criticised or questioned.

      Is not that the REASON why home teams have an advantage over away teams!! ” I think so anyway and I see no advantage to our club in the relentless negativity by the same old names on JA. We ALL know who they are.

      But how can it possibly help the team we ALL love? I SUGGEST IT DOES NOT AND NEVER CAN, NEVER WILL.

      Faith can move mountains but lack of it can destroy what we love. Worth thinking about I RECKON!

      1. First observation – faith cannot move mountains. Period :

        Second observation – if people perform better when trusted and supported, why on earth does one keep criticising Xhaka, Bellerin and Elneny for example?

        1. Have faith @ken 1945.with this uncertain mindset of ur’s you would have fired arteta if you were the board cos you are not sure of him which might turn out the wrong decision.

  6. @ IDontKnowWhyIcare I agree with you and I like to add this; the major reason most people don’t and won’t go forward in life, is because they keep going back to the past. The past is what it is, the past. Let’s take the present and look to the future.

    Some people are so obsessed with the top 4, I say we win the league.

    Leister came from wherever to win the league.
    Chelsea came from wherever to win the league.
    Arsenal can come from anywhere and win the league my goal is to win, to be the champion not to be runner-up.

    Arteta said something which most people didn’t comment on, he said to be at the top of the table is the target and I love that.

  7. Yes Henry said Arsenal has to be top4.

    Didn’t he also say in the documentary that you can’t compare this team to it’s predecessors?

    Anyway I enjoyed watching it yesterday.
    You can get some insight into players and staff personalities as well as the training ground and sort of back office.

    1. That wasn’t the question though
      I was asked to find anyone who expects Arsenal to be doing better then 8th

  8. But that was the major condition for 4th being overachievement as the quality can’t match that of it’s predecesors,mr.editor!!!

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