Was this the best performance of Arteta’s career at Arsenal?

Tottenham were so bad in the NLD that they almost ruined what was my first Derby experience live in person …almost.

I assumed I would have the nerves that normally accompany this fixture, maybe Spurs take the lead before bottling it like they have done in recent years?

Instead Arsenal were 3-0 up at half time and the second period we went through the motions because (understandably) we protected what we had.

Even though I was sat near the away section I couldn’t even banter with them because after half an hour some were going home, after an hour we were singing ‘ is there a fire drill ‘ and by the time Gooners Ieft the stadium, the majority were already on the Tube.

I have been at the Emirates plenty of times and you can be assured travelling supporters will make a noise.

Not on Sunday, Spurs players gave their fans nothing to cheer for.

Many might have wanted Arteta to be less conservative in the second period but where his squad is, I think it was correct to protect what we had.

After a surreal 35 mins, I questioned was this the best 35 mins of his managerial career?

I’m not comparing it to the FA Cup Semi Final or Final in terms of magnitude, but easily it surpasses any performance under his reign?

The successes at Wembley in the past were due to being tactically smart. He would allow the opposition to have the ball and be clinical on the counter.

On those occasions only the result matters. Yet in truth, no one enjoyed watching Arsenal play that way.

That’s the question that hangs over the Spaniard, can he continue the proud ethos our club was known for of playing the game the right way?

On his first day as boss, he impressed gooners with how he spoke, talking of the Gunners having principles that he won’t tolerate not being met.

He immediately increased the intensity of training, wanting his players to press and win back the ball quickly.

When things went wrong though, it wasn’t easy to understand what our identity was.

For a coach who was taught by Pep Guardiola, Arteta seems at times more defensive then offensive.

He might argue that the first department to fix in any team should be the defence and you build from there.

That’s why this weekend was so refreshing.

Just for a moment we looked like the Arsenal of old. All three goals came on the break.

It won’t be a shock if we don’t show up at Brighton.

I can’t guarantee that we will play like this every week. Yet for one afternoon we got our Arsenal back.

For a fan base who haven’t had a lot to sing about, we deserve it.

Was this Arteta’s best performance as manager?


Be kind in the comments



  1. Getting “Our Arsenal back” is an oft heard refrain.
    But what exactly is “Our Arsenal”
    Is it the team? The fans? The stadium? Results?
    If it’s only about winning what about the 105 years Arsenal did not win the title?

    1. fairfan, we have won the title 13 times in 135 years. That leaves 122 years of not winning it , not a mere 105!
      I accept I am an irritating pedant but one who loves to write and see only truth written when factual accuracy is being claimed.

      I believe you MAY be including ALL our honours won in your post, but that is not what your post ACTUALLY said!

      1. Oh no I love Pedantic and keen eyed train spotting. The 17 years difference includes our years in Divison two, the years lost during WW1 +WW2 and the four years lost from 1964-1968 because of Beatle Mania 🙂

        1. “Trainspotting” and “Beatle mania”!?? Is this not an Arsenal site!!
          Told you I was a pedant, btw!

          And even pedants enjoy humour, though sometimes we pretend not to!

  2. My view is that this sort of forensic examination – as to was it or was it not “the best”, of what was undoubtedly a top performance is not helpful to bringing unity to our fanbase.

    And some sort of regular actual support- as opposed to a tidal wave of constant criticism is vitally neeeded to once again unite all Gooners in the common cause.

    I do not blame DAN for posing the question, as he has the same right as we all do to say what he wishes.

    But my own and PERSONAL view remains that this forensic examination of what is after all a SINGLE match, achieves nothing positive to our clubs future well being.

    I write the above, as I am firmly against instant – and also far too quick – reactions, of which there are far too many on this site, in all directions, in all aspects of team matters, in my PERSONAL opinion!
    I of course, see the constant fan need to post on JA, as doing so is clearly very important to many Gooners.

    But I also urge Gooners to post only when they have something actually to SAY,(that is not an instant judgement, btw) as I have done with this post.

    1. yes Jon, ithink the better questions are these:

      Is this the blueprint of how MA wants the team to play? – hope so, it looked very good imo

      If so, can the team do this consistently? – again, i hope so but 1 match is nothing to go by, we shall see over time if this is possible.

      Do we have a squad capable of sustaining this performance over the season? – not sure really, a few injuries and i think it will crumble as many of us see under Wenger, a few injuries after the resumption of ECL football compounded us to crumble at the worse point in the season many times.

      It was a great performance yesterday, i really did enjoy being at the ground for a long time, a long long time

  3. The first half was the best football I’ve seen Arsenal play in a few years now. The energy, desire and want! We hope and need it to continue.

  4. Arsenal 1:2 Chelsea , that’s the best match from Arteta , if you watched that match with reasoning , then you’d envision what Arteta wanted to build , however the players were exhausted at half time , that made Arteta realize he needed to rebuild. In that match Chelsea had about about 3 yellow cards in the first half alone. The most beautiful football of Arteta in Arsenal was that first half . Slick one touch , two touches passes. Much better than this Tottenham game. If you have the time go and rewatch that match . Kudos to lampard for outwitting Arteta with a genius substitution. The first Arteta loss at the Emirates .

    1. Blaze, you are actually right. I am still unable to forget in a hurry how we outplayed chelsea at the EMIRATES. I believe that was ARTETA’s first match upon appointment as our coach. I enjoyed every moment of the game until Tammy Abraham came on to score the winner for chelsea. I also recall how Ozil played so well, the match was reminiscent of our old ARSENAL under WENGER.
      I Believe with time, we’ll get to love what ARTETA is trying to do. The future looks really very promising particularly considering the enormity of young talents at our disposal.
      Up Gunners

      1. Good afternoon Jon
        I me mentioned earlier that an old saying
        1 swallow does not make a summer
        Winning has a feel good factor
        Winning against that lot from down the road and in the manner we did no matter how poor the spuds were is even a bigger high
        See where we are after 10 games
        Lost the first 3, won the last 3 and 4 to.go
        Onwards and upwards

      2. We fans rate performances based on result and not about the style of play , I long dream for such type of football once again . Many took that game as a loss , but that match made me have believe in Arteta’s philosophy, which I still believe will be the zenith of arsenal fc style of play . Transitioning is not all about spending (Man Utd)but spending on what will last a long time and yield results (Man City).
        You’re a true gunner for having the eyes to see the difference between brass and gold .

  5. The FA Cup win and the Community shield win are surely more significant than yesterdays win.
    But kudos to Arteta for staying strong after the two 8th placed finishes and this seasons 0-3 PL start.
    20th just a month ago was a result of injuries, covid and a tough opening schedule. Similarly 10th now is great but is as much an indicitive of a softer schedule of games and the availability of all key players. I still feel patience and courage are necessary through to Xmas in fact through to May.
    6th place by seasons end is my hope for our team this term.

  6. I think the obvious points yet to be highlighted is the one that will help determine how our season will go.

    Burnley match Tierney was down with cramp, against Spurs it was Saka. Even Ramsdale had to take some pills to help with his cramps.. ESR was another who kept sitting down, and with his energy output – he will not last 90 mins weekly.

    Then you consider the arguement of standards falling and hitting the red zone and getting injuries.
    Saka, as good as a game he had against Spurs, he has looked tired after the euro’s.

    My point being, along with Tierney having injured periods since joining and Gabriel also not playing a full season yet, added the fact that Saka, ESR, MØ have shown they tire out of the game – we have the concern that these boys Still need to show they can play 70 mins of 27-30 games in our season.

    Only truly seasoned pro’s can do this. Our boys need to work towards this. .
    The season needs them to aim for this so that next season they truly can be fully seasoned premier league players. Then the true excitement can occur of what this squad (with additions) can do!

    This is our current limitations. The need for Pepe, Martinelli, Laca to come to the fold will be key. Also when called upon, Holding, M.N…

    This is where I am now looking. Nothing wrong with the work the manager, players, club is aiming to do. I been saying this for the last 18 months. Let them get on with it and Stop moaning.. i hope we can just focus on improving our performances – both as a fanbase and as a club.

    Well done for the Win. Big statement, but only a statement if we go and do something more… expecting something from Brighton game next week…

  7. One game does not a statement make but this was a really strong performance – if it is followed up for a few games then maybe it is a statement. If we revert to some of our recent play then it was a happy blip.

    Regardless what future holds, this was so so nice to see.

    I am very much an Arteta skeptic but if this is actually what he was talking about then I am happy to eat my words! Maybe he has been right all along and he needed to get his people together and he did have a plan. The key will be putting this together on a regular basis and if he manages to keep them humming along then hats off I say!

  8. NO! The win against Man utd with Partey and Elnenny was a far better performance than Sunday. I did only see sunday highlights but my Son concured with me. Utd were a better team and in better form.

    1. Reggie, So you saw only highlights but were sure the United win was a FAR better perf?

      1. No jon fox, you failed to read the post properly. I saw the highlights yesterday but the whole utd game. My son saw both full, we were discussing the performances of utd and spurs and he agreed with me, the utd game was a better performance. If you are going to post, please read properly or you look a fool.

        1. Mate ,I wouldn’t even respond to his constant put downs ,you waste your typing fingers buddy ,he changes his opinion more than he changes his underwear ,he wanted Arteta out In The summer ,now we have a few wins he’s jumped on the bandwagon once again, and anyone you disagrees isn’t a Arsenal surporter.
          You have been on here long enough Reggie to not fall for the bait .

  9. the best first-half, by a fairly decent margin, and the only other match even in the running would be our victory over Chelski, last season, prior to Lampard’s dismissal…it’s sad to think that I can only think of a handful of games, at most, that could even be considered top-notch performances since MA”s arrival in North London…we’re the functional team equivalent of Xhaka, as he likewise puts in a “real” performance every year or two when he’s donning his Swiss kit and we all know why that happens, as very few teams, if any, press to the same extent as what has become commonplace for most squads in the PL

  10. By a mile the best football we have played. We all know that this needs to be repeated week after week with the odd bleep acceptable. As always ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’…..but it was a great, natural, intense, skilful, dance like performance…..well done you Gunners!

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs