Review of Arsenal “All Or Nothing” – Episode One

Review of “All Or Nothing Arsenal” Episode One by Dan

The problem with reviewing All Or Nothing is it’s like reading a book when you already know the ending.

The narrator asks will Arteta succeed in taking us back to our highest level.

Heck, the actual title says ‘the pressure on mounting on Arteta to get the club back into the top 4’.

We know the answer is no, because we finished 5th.

It would have been the perfect documentary if you knew this was leading to bare minimum a return to the Champions League.

Watching goals from Henry and Mr Wenger lifting the title reminds you how far we have regressed.

As entertainer Kiwi points out, ‘we used to always be in the CL, now we couldn’t manage even Europa League.’

‘Being an Arsenal fan sucks, nothing to cheer about so many lows. It’s tragic’.

Does he have an agenda?

What about a commentator who points out had fans been in stadiums in 2021 they would have let the players know how they felt?

The Kroenkes decision to record our lowest ebb for the world to see, for the sake of a few million divides the fan base. In a way it sums up our owners’ priorities.

We laughed at Spurs for signing up with Amazon to document their failure to make the top 4.

We did exactly the same.

We get the usual PR spin from Josh Kroenke, whose sole mission it seems is to remind fans the Kroenke’s should only be judged since the years they became official custodians and not the years they had majority shares.

Our manager says out of his own mouth that the target is Europe and to be winning trophies.

It’s strange to read how readers call me negative for not being happy about the worst period of our history in quarter of a century, yet the voice over for a project of the club is allowed to do exactly that, stating the last few years haven’t been good and reminding us that the season being covered is the first time in 25 years there is zero European Football in North London.

I will openly admit to being negative about the Gunners at the moment. Not just do I own that, but it’s kind of obvious.

If something that you love is failing, why would, I be positive?

What’s positive about 8th?

Yet, you never see me personally abuse one of my own players.

It’s crazy to read social media posts telling Ramsdale to ‘Burn in Hell’ and threats of ‘you will get daily abuse’ just because he dared sign for us.

Again, as viewers, we know how the movie ends, that the keeper turns out to be one of our players of the season.

Yet, that these messages would be included and it’s no longer shocking, is a scary reflection of the sport in 2022.

More refreshing is to see his parents watch his debut, their excitement to see their son starting and on the front of the programme.

The first time we see our coach at work is before kicking off against Chelsea the week after defeat at Brentford.

His approach is to create an ‘us against the world’ mentality, that it hurts him to hear critics because he sees how much his players care and try.

He strangely comes up with a theory that some in the media are enjoying ‘hammering us’, yet what was he expecting with three defeats, 9 goals conceded, 0 scored?

Fans are being interviewed outside the Etihad while goals are still being scored.

‘It’s the worst Arsenal team I have ever seen’ says one Gooner. 36 mins in it confirmed I’m not the only one who said this wasn’t good enough

It doesn’t help when your boss sits in a canteen and says, ‘I’m annoyed so many people are trying to fracture the group’ which the Spaniard hid behind, ‘we experience this a lot’..

Wouldn’t it be great for the employer to set some standards and point out that he won’t tolerate them not being met?

You know like Arteta won’t accept when his players didn’t meet his values?

Instead of hearing the American blame outsiders, take some accountability of how Arsenal ended up in this situation?

Consecutive 8th finishes and a worst start to the Prem season.

Saying anyone who critiques that are ‘fracturing the group’ shows a lack of understanding.

Unfortunately, by the end of the season Josh was successful in getting his customers to think that 5th is progress. It’s genius yet sick that he’s done that.

‘It’s the worst Arsenal team I have ever seen’ says one Gooner. Thierry Henry points out: ‘we are Arsenal, we have to be top 4’. Is he negative? Does he have an agenda? If you don’t listen to me, listen to our greatest ever goal scorer.

Never think I don’t like Arteta the person. He says the right things and maybe even believe them.

Before the Norwich game, in the dressing room he gives a personal story about heart surgery aged two.

He admits to his players how he was rock bottom after recent humiliations, yet he thanked the players for making a low week in his career a positive one by just being them.

Whether that speech should be credited for a scrappy 1-0 win against Norwich, I’m not sure.

You know what there trying to do in this first episode.

Arteta is the protective father of a young group and won’t let anyone question them?

He’s the genius who has the insight to help them prove their doubters wrong.

Josh Kroenke is putting an arm round his manager at a time he needs it because ‘sometimes you need stability’.

If you knew nothing about Arsenal and this series was your first learning of the club, you would think Arteta and Josh Kroenke had inherited the worst Arsenal team ever and were the ones rescuing it.

In the case of the Kroenke Family, that’s simply not true…

Dan Smith

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44 Comments

  1. “Yet you never see me personally abuse any player” speaks absolute volumes about some fans on JA!!!

    I would like to think that I have the same thoughts as you on that one sentence Dan…. I’m now going to read the article once again, but after reading the hysteria regarding Bellerin, Torreria and others, that really did catch my attention.

    1. Second point you make Dan “Arteta is the protective father of this young group and won’t let anyone question them”?

      Surely your describing EXACTLY the philosophy of Arsene Wenger, who protected his players no matter what?

      Do you see that as a good or bad thing, as you don’t seem to make that very clear?

      1. He comes across well to be fair in the 3 episodes
        I do believe he cares
        Only issue is we know there are players Arteta was happy to throw under the bus

        1. Thanks for the reply and, yes, he most definitely threw players under the bus…. but the chickens always come home to roost and this season will see if he has made the right decisions.

      2. Your penultimate paragraph regarding what he inherited, is sadly what some fans believe and yet will not recognise that that squad of players have, without any additions, won for him, the only two trophies to date…. he has dismantled that squad (as is his right) and we “progressed” from 5th, to 8th, to 8th, back to 5th, while spending over £300,000,000 – so there is every reason to be somewhat negative.

        The real problem you have though, is that you are not prepared to see how this season unfolds in my view.

        As this series unfolds, we will witness the debacle of the January window leaving us completely open to what transpired – letting go of players and not replacing them, leaving him with no options come the end of the season, but to rush back players who were not ready… and the rest is history.

        Arteta actually admits thus, when talking about Tierney etc.

        BUT and this is where I believe he has learnt from his mistakes, he has gone out an bought seasoned professionals (not players for the future BS) to address those weaknesses, with dunihds that there is still the possibility of more players coming in.

        The squad is most definitely stronger than last season and I think we will have a very successful season… what would be really interesting though, would be if Amazon stayed with us for this season and see what happens.

        Enjoyed the article, lift your chin up and let the season unfold, at least there can be no more excuses this time.

        1. Hi Ken…

          It’s always a pleasure to catch up with you! I looked over your replies and found them to be encouraging, noting that you believe we will have a “very successful season.” Despite being qualitative, I feel it must be quantified as being meant to be among the top four.

          I would want to emphasize once more that it is impossible for us to talk with absolute confidence about the future or any type of “missing facts.” The safest course of action is always to hide behind our various opinions, which provides a barrier against criticism and difficulties. However, I believe that anytime we express our opinions, we should be prepared to be questioned, although wisely and respectfully.

          In terms of advancement, Wenger finished his last season sixth, Unai took over and trended higher to fifth, but when he was ousted, he left us in eighth place. Freddie got us to tenth place before Arteta took over… True, we never got to where we would have liked, but there is no doubt that he inherited an unhealthy climate that would hinder any type of growth…

          Currently, my opinion is that we should let go of the past and turn to the future with newfound confidence. Rebuilding a decaying structure can never appeal to individuals who only remember the building’s former splendor. Nevertheless, as I would say, if the constructors have a solid and unchanging plan, then they have no choice but to move on…

          Arteta has now reached a point of no return, albeit successfully… Now he embarks on a quest that will culminate in either success (by all criteria) or failure. He would hold no one responsible for the latter. However, I would like the former.

          Ken, it is indeed great to chat with you again!

          Cheers!

          1. Thanks for your response and it’s also good to catch up.

            I believe that qualifying for the CL, either by a top four position or winning the EC, will be a very successful season and to continue with our FA cup record would also be very gratifiying.

            I’m not sure that I would agree with your building analogy, perhaps we needed to do some repointing here and there, considering that we should have finished in a CL position last year anyway.

            There is certainly an optimistic air around the club, as I withessed at the Emirates Cup thrashing, so fingers crossed that Mikel will do the business this season.

            Cheers and good to chat again.

  2. Arsenal is the biggest spender in England since summer 2021, so I believe 2022 will be Arteta’s last chance. If he can’t show promising results in December, I bet Kroenke will look for his replacement

    Many fans have vented their frustrations, but I still see a huge potential in him. Arsenal will need their best supporters to win their first away match

  3. Personally I liked the first few episodes. It was pretty much what I expected and simular to the other all or nothing. Whe you actually look at arsenal and listen to some of the things they explain on all or nothing I think it can soften you a bit. But be opened.

    Youngest squad
    Youngest manager
    Rebuilding a broken arsenal
    Comparisons to wenger era

    All things considered I am happy to see how this seasons goes. If we get 4th or win europa and finish 5th or 6th I would be happy.

    8th to 5th is progress and I do believe injuries did not put us in good stead. Granted it was our own fault for not having the cover but we now how appropriate cover for all position. Bar maybe CM/CDM

    This year I am arteta in and think we can do well. Battle for 3rd, 4th, 5th is on.

  4. DAN ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL, PUTS and ONLY puts the case for the prosecution(of MA). iI have spent lots of wasted time attempting to ask Dan to be balenced but I LOST THAT BATTLE.
    Now my fellow Gooners, I feel nothing apart from pity for DANS TOTAL INABILITY TO SEE ANYTHING AT ALL POSITIVE ABOUT MA.
    My firm view is that dan is further andurthe risoplating himself from mainstreamn Gooners by his relentless negativity. But dan wil have to learn from experience that you reap what you sow inlife and he will become more and more isolated and divorced from normal Gooner opinion and will have to face the consequences of his quest to undermine and bring down MA.

    DAN, has failed and palpably so, therefore he gets my sympathy, as I NOW KNOW HE SIMPLY CANNOT HELP HIMSELF, SO DESERVES MY PITY!

      1. For now 5th is a progress with respect to the stage of the process provided you know what process means.

        1. Just caus owners say process doesn’t mean it’s real
          I remember a young Nasri , Fabregas , van Persie , Wilshire ….we were told to trust that process
          Two decades nearly since last title

  5. It’s staged to a point
    However
    I enjoyed- if that is the right word – certain aspects of the programme
    I haven’t taken it too seriously- certainly not seriously enough to get stressed. I do remember we lost the first 3 games so the fans that were interviewed were understandably peed off. I was as well
    Undeniably awful that Ramsdale was abused on social media.
    I saw Arteta as a man on a mission who also understands what it is like as a player
    Not an outstanding piece of tv but a reminder of what we don’t ordinarily see

  6. I agree about Josh Kroenke and the narrative he is trying to spin.

    1. Team against the world? As if the money spent isn’t generated from fans, without them what would he have?

    2. An owner with standards would be nice. “There there, now now” attitude compared to the rigid top 4 expected of Wenger and Emery.

    3. Hearing Henry speak and remembering the will and toughness of those sides seems far different to what is on display.

    Nice young lads we see, happy and excited full of youthful exuberance, but NOT A SINGLE KILLER AMONG THEM.

    Opponents had sleepless nights over Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, anyone in our team opponents dread? Maybe Jesus on current form.

    We see the “process” on display, because that’s what we are at present. Will we ever regain that presence opponents feared? Command the respect we used to command?

    I truly hope we are seeing the early days of that, I have to believe it’s only up from here.

    Nice lads the whole lot, but not a single killer. What I wouldn’t give for a player with an aura about him. Hopefully Jesus is a player to grab the game by the scruff, to will and drag the team to a victory.

    Sanchez is the last of that ilk at Arsenal, but I’m ever hopeful we will unearth more; we need them to push on.

  7. Turning things on it’s head i see,dan.You are not called negative for being unhappy with our present state but to think we are not getting any better and will not is why i and fellow supporters call you and folks with similar agenda PESSIMISTS.so be the change you lot want to see and play ur part.

    1. When did I say we are not getting better ?
      I have praised the signings and said there were improvements last season but ultimately we lack the mentality to get over the line and that 5th can’t be called progress
      Henry says in episode 2 Arsenal DNA is top 4
      Is he negative and with an agenda ?

  8. Currently watching part 2
    Agree with guy from an earlier thread about the photographer
    Awesome pep talk

    1. @Sue P
      I watched all 3 eps and found Artetas pep talks very emotional and uplifting. Here you get to see first hand what goes on, not second hand accounts or speculations surround how me treats the players, tactics etc. The photographer’s pre match pep talk before the NLD was very moving. The win had him in years…

      1. Yes NY_Gunner
        Arteta also wears his heart on his sleeve
        I really warmed to Ramsdale.
        Interestingly, Auba’s profile with fancy car, matching clobber and earphones in was in contrast to his younger team mates who were enthused and full of enjoyment Laca was also up for fun. I liked that.

  9. This was a depressing piece to read largely because there seems to be no-one who understands a simple fact about life: things change…

    The influx of money into the game from just before the 2004 season is THE change that has blown up the status quo of two decades ago.

    Those people saying “we are Arsenal, we have to be top4” are simply blind to these facts – and on this subject I don’t care if Henry was a great player – it’s as if anything off-field, anything financial is beyond their ability to comprehend.

    If the billionaires had stayed out of football, then Arsenal would still be at the top of the game based on building on success over many years. But they didn’t. They are here. Live with it. Denial is pointless.

    Wenger called it financial doping, that’s a good phrase. Others have leapfrogged Arsenal via “equity injections” and loans (which they will struggle to pay back). Arsenal has some way to go to catch up – like or not, whether you see it as fair or not, that’s just how it is.

    I’ve posted details on the finances here before quite recently so I won’t repeat them here, but I strongly recommend people mug up what’s happening there because these articles full of entitlement and bile are just wasting everyone’s time by ignoring these realities.

    1. It is an episode about a club who finished 8th and 8th
      An episode where we lost 2-0 Brentford
      2-0 Chelsea
      And 5-0 to City
      So yes this was going to be depressing lol

      1. There was more to episode one than that though, Dan
        We can all look at re-runs – or not as our league position showed at the time
        I liked seeing behind the scenes
        I also liked to see the camaraderie and the joy on Saka’s face at being part of the Arsenal – along with ESR

        1. Don’t worry sue
          Lots of positives for episode 2 and 3
          My article does also
          Just find it weird that a reader expects me to be positive about our worst ever start to a season in the Prem
          If he doesn’t like it, blame Arsenal and Amazon for recording it

      2. I wasn’t referring to the episode, but to your article – and the blinkered sense of entitlement some “supporters” have who simply will not understand the changes big money has made in the last two decades..

        1. Yes but the article is about episode 1 which largely documents our worst start to the season ?
          If we had won all three and then I was negative fair enough

          1. You’re missing the point. Your article went well beyond the content of episode 1 of this TV show. You express a number of personal opinions which are not, to my mind, reasonable if one understands the *context* of modern football.

            You can’t say “what’s progress about 8th?” unless you can establish that better was to be expected. And before you grab your keyboard…

            If you look at the money being poured into City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Man Utd, others over a long period of time – *and* you understand the difference between a loan and an equity injection, then you would realise why that statement/question is, no offence, somewhat naive *in that context*.

            Expectation based on a sense of entitlement isn’t really helpful here.

            1. When Arteta was brought in better then 8th was expected
              His own words ,its unacceptable for Arsenal not to be in Europe

              1. You’re still missing the point.

                Expected by whom, exactly? And on what basis would they expect that *in the context of modern football finances*?

                Any such quotes, if they were said, are just people saying the things they’re supposed to say. It’s meaningless wordage for mass consumption – as useful as saying “game of two ‘alves innit”.

                BTW when I searched this I found no hits:

                Arteta “unacceptable for Arsenal not to be in Europe”

                1. Go to his first press conference and show me where anyone at Arsenal was targeting top 8 ?
                  Can’t believe in 2022 a fan thinks Arsenal finishing 8th is acceptable
                  The Koronke’s Love you mate

                  1. In fact he says
                    ‘ the ambitions of this club are very clear ….you have to fight for trophies…you have to be in Europe and the rest is not good enough it’s as simple as that ‘ Arteta

                    ‘ Arsenal.DNA is top 4 ‘ Henry

                    ‘ asrsenal.should exspect the best caus that’s what they had in their history
                    We should be in the.top.4 and won’t be happy till that’s done regauly ‘

                    1. That’s Josh Koronke

                      Can you now find me quotes where anyone at arsenal say 8th is acceptable

                    2. Still missing the point in spades Dan.

                      These are media soundbites. I’ve already said that *very* clearly, but you insist on plucking supposed quotes out of thin air, usually out of context, because…

                      Even the quotes don’t say what you are pretending they mean. “Won’t be happy until that’s done regularly” doesn’t mean that it must happen that season or even the next – in case you hadn’t noticed it’s delibertaely left vague, there is no defined target, just a nebulous future aim saying the right things for mass consumption.

                      Why do you not get that? Learn to judge people on their actions, not their words…

                      The *actions* of the Kroenkes are to back Arteta with hundreds of million of pounds after finishing 8th.

                      And if you think I’m a fan of the Kroenkes – or any other billionaires in football – then you’re missing more than one point.

                    3. No you asked expected by whom
                      Our manager and owner are telling us the bare minimum for Arsenal is Europe
                      I agree with you on Mr Wenger though

                    4. For the umpteenth time, as I already covered – they’re saying that in media interviews, that’s just media training at work, all for public consumption. No-one is asking for their real plan or expectation, do you really not get that? Seriously???

                      What do you think the reaction would be if they said “Yes, that’s ok, we’ll probably finish out of Europe and maybe next season too”. People like you would be out in the streets howling with indignation.

                      Seriously, this is going round in ever-decreasing circles – you refuse to understand the basics of life. The site has stopped offering a Reply button to your latest post so this is coming to an end one way or another – thankfully, before I lose the will to live.

                      Have the last word if you wish, it won’t make you right.

    2. Such a refreshing look back at what Wenger had to contend with and those of us who actually recognise those problems, are the ones who defend the “top four trophy” statement.

      1. Yes, I genuinely felt for Wenger in those post 2004 years.

        He was so right about “4th place being a trophy” but was villified and derided when he said it. Now… all you hear is “must make top 4”, so how is that anything but “a trophy” if it’s your season’s key objective?

        If you watch the Arsene Wenger documentary he says this very clearly – when he says “I think I did my best work in the stadium rebuild years”. I think he’s absolutely right.

        So many football fans only look at the football, they don’t, won’t, or can’t understand the money and its true impact.

  10. Best part for me was how the team and management stuck with each other when no fan was on their side,…it’s almost like the “fans” only want a successful team and will abandon them when they don’t get it and post all kinds of negative stuff from the comfort of their keyboards,such negativity,….sack the manager, sell this player this ,that,…well I say sack the fans for being so pathetic …they are our players ,he is our manager…let’s get their back when they need it…stop being negative when we lose a couple of games…fickle football fans as ramsdale says…

  11. @IDontKnowWhyIcare, If I were you, i won’t care about the judges. let the type what they want.

    They’re just been the typical humans who sing your praise when the going gets good but switch on you the moment the going gets rough.

    We Know them, they constantly ask for more regardless, what the club has done. Even if Arsenal signs all the players these people suggested they will still be negative. I think after all, it is not only arsenal players who need to develop winning mentality. Arsenal fans need a winning mentality for a change. Because, at the end of the day your mentality as fans encourage or discourage the team.

    Finally, let me point this out, if we don’t change the way we judge and castigate our players; no matter what, most players might not want to come to arsenal because of the way we treat our players as fans.

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