Watching the Burnley game has seriously tested my belief in Arsenal

I’d say hello Arsenal fans, but I’m pretty sure you are tired of that. I’m an American Gooner for 20+ years, and will still be an American Gooner 20+ years from now, no matter how this season ends.

But… this season has seriously tested me. Everybody talks about tossing deadwood, and I’m OK with that. And everybody talks about loan deals, both in an out, and I’m Ok with that. And everybody talks about the 3 managers from the last four years, and I’m OK with that.

But, what I’m not OK with is Arsenal’s laissez-faire. How do we score in the 5th minute, and then miss 2 sitters? And even the announcers said… did Mikel just shudder… is he thinking Arsenal will rue missing those goals as their opponents score an easy goal? And, there it was, no easier goal ever for an opponent.

So yes, the game played out as I expected. A gift firmly unwrapped by the home team. Please, pass the ball a second time around and hit my hip. I’ll do the rest Elvis style. Oh, but passing player, please apologize afterwards, because that will make my Sunday morning better.

No. The apology didn’t help. But I’ll still buy Arsenal kit as an American. I’ll still use words like pitch, boots, and kit. But I’ll still not understand handball rules or VAR. I’ll still not understand offsides or tackles or Bellerin throw-ins for fouls.

I believe there will be no European football for Arsenal next year. Which kills the budget and the players. But… our future… can only be decided by those who wear the badge. And yeah, I trust half of them.

If I had 7 billion dollars… Arsenal would be King of the World. If only…

Mark Cooper


  1. Highbury Hero says:

    The only way I will trust the project or Mikel again he has to get European football next season either through the League or through the EL.

    Because I have seen nothing to show me we are going anywhere, if Mikel is still there without European football I am writing next season off to save myself this constant heartache.

    Better have expectations lower to save myself from like someone said yesterday professional disappointment.

    1. Davi says:

      2 transfer windows without much money and a bloated squad of unsellable players on crazy high wages. If you ever thought Arteta was going to be able to turn that squad into something successful in a year, I don’t know what to tell you – that would require a full on miracle. I’m sorry if you don’t see it, but progress is there. We’ve shed so much of the baggage that was holding us back, and there’s still more to get rid of, but it will enable us to bring in hungry players that will improve the side. Not saying Arteta hasn’t made plenty of mistakes, but he is pushing in the right direction.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        I don’t see it Davi no matter how much I try to. If I say I see any indication there is progress I will be lying. At least there should’ve been something in the way we are playing but we don’t even have identity of the way we play. It’s inconsistent every corner from the manager to the players bar few.

        I think the bloat was only on central defenders but we were thin on the rest. Mikel has signed I think 7 players of his choice and they haven’t done anything of note.

        Regardless of anything that was going on in the club in the end there are eleven players on the pitch in 90 minutes. What those players do in those 90 minutes after nearly a season and a half is why I don’t have confidence in the manager anymore. There should have been a clear picture of what football he is trying to implement by now.

        1. Ken says:

          In reply to highbury hero
          Well said
          I feel the same too.
          We are going nowhere. That’s it.
          No excuses, etc, not going anywhere with Arteta. He managed to sell Matinez to buy Partey and now we are worse. He is a rookie ,inexperienced manager with a too large ego for our good.

          1. Grandad says:

            I have just read your earlier responses Eddie and wholeheartedly concur with all you say.This being a free Country, fans are entitled to their own opinion on football and non football issues.A divergence of opinion concerning Arteta is not unexpected given our current mid table status, which certain fans consider to be totally unacceptable, words used by the Manager himself last week.So to that extent the irate section of our fan base are on the same wave length as our Manager.What they will never appreciate however,is the role played by the guys on the pitch who represent our Club.Non of the anti Arteta brigade on this site have played professional football to the best of my knowledge.They may well have successful careers and have educational qualifications which suggest a certain intelligence, but when it comes to apportion ing blame, they become blinkered and in some cases resort to cowardly vitriol from the ” safety” of their keyboard.Rarely are they prepared to consider the bigger picture or indeed the longer term.Like so many, they demand success now, and are not prepared to accept anything less.It’s very sad really but this is professional football today, a sad reflection on Society as a whole.Keep up the good work Eddie .

        2. Davi says:

          That’s fair enough HH – I certainly can’t defend everything Arteta has done, and maybe I’m wrong, but I just feel like this has to happen and even if Arteta fails, he will have done the club a service by getting rid of some off the hangers-on and will leave a better platform for the next guy. Someone had to take these tough decisions, and ultimately I think it was necessary

      2. jon fox says:

        DAVI good try in telling HH about realism. But you are wasting your time with him as he is a lost cause. I’ve wasted much time myself trying but its hopeless as he will not even try to see beyond first base and current Prem position when judging progress. Such types are not worth our efforts, so now, at long last, I have given up with him and will let him stew in his daft pessimism. Well done though for at least trying!

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Which is which Jon? You have accused me before of being deluded by seeing our squad as good than they are and called me delusional for confidence that we will finish in higher position. Now I have become pessimist. In your eyes I am damned if I am positive and damned if I am negative (not that I care what you think of me anyway)

          Your talk about realism and makes me wonder what is real to you? Is our position on the table not real enough for you? The fact that we have been knocked out early in the cups is not real enough to you? The fact that up to now the manager seem to not have a clear plan of how we play not real enough gor you?

          You are not realist don’t fool yourself, far from it actually. A realist ( for the sake of the correct usage of the word) would want Arteta out now! That would be a true realist. They will not wait for the end of the season neither next season or next.

          And a sneak way to try and recruit Davi in your personal banters. From the way I have seen his comments he is not like you and me so just stand on your own.

          1. Dennis Moriarty says:

            So right my friend. John Fox is many things but a realist he is not. Well said.

          2. jon fox says:

            I AM REFERRING TO YOUR ENDLESS GRIPES ABOUT OUR FINE MANAGER. No recognition of what he had to inherit or the handicap of working under this Scrooge owner. None at all from you ! Sigh!

    2. jon fox says:

      Or perhaps even REALISTIC expectations for ONCE, eh?

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    Cannot believe how many chances we missed, and of course VAR.

    Arteta was rightly criticized earlier in season for us not creating, but now we are, and he still gets the blame? We’ve been gifting goals and missing sitters of late, but these are individual mistakes, not tactical ones.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      If it was a once off gam where we missed a lot of sitters then thats just one of those days but…..

      I agree it’s a common trend now, surely then it’s something the manager should be addressing?

      At what stage do weekly individual mistakes become the managers problem? Or do we just say it’s individuals and move on to the next game with more potential mistakes?

    2. Phil says:

      TMJW- it was Arteta’s insistence on playing out from the back that cost us the equaliser. Especially with a goalkeeper who is poor with his feet and Xhaka who is just poor. Why use these tactics when we have players who are clearly incapable of playing this way?

      1. Eddie says:

        So Phil Arteta’s to be blamed for the goal we conceded yesterday? 😂😂

      2. jon fox says:

        Phil I agree with you but with THESE players only. I have long wished the woefully slow in thought and action XHAKA gone, as he is a constant timebomb primed to explode in our faces. Yes, he is playing better than before, in general, but is nowhere near the standard we need as a regular pick and never will be.

        Too immobile and ponderous and it makes me ache to have SANTI back when I watch him, by comparison.
        I would point out though that our goal came from playing out from the back and several other chances too, all wasted. Swings and roundabouts therefore!
        LENO should by now know when to lump it long and not slavishly follow managers instructions. THIS is one area where I envisage MA being less strict, WHEN we finally have more mobile, intelligent defenders than, esp Xhaka, in future. Both players were at fault IMO.

      3. guy says:

        Hi Phil – just wanted to say thanks for your excellent reply in the overhyped kids article. I wrote back but the whole article has now slid off the bottom of the postings list. Lets keep it going my friend!

      4. JJ Pawn says:

        This is key. Arteta cannot expect Citeh results on a budget. If Citeh play their Second 11 they would still beat Arsenal.

        The one player who could stand up to the top teams was Emiliano, and he was sold! What a shambles…

    3. Eddie says:

      Thirdman it’s ridiculous how he gets blamed for everything including individual errors. Anything to make him look bad. Even PEA himself admitted aside VAR they should’ve Won that game because they were wasteful but hey who cares, as long as it makes Mikel look bad then it doesn’t matter

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Settle down Eddie. We lack focus for periods of every game we play and this is what leads to our errors. The focus of a squad is a managers responsibility.

        MA is a micro manager, every little move made is over analysed and players are told what not and what not to do. This has been mentioned by a few players in interviews(worded in nice way) and other stakeholders that are involved. Our players lack freedom on the pitch.

        If I may ask what’s your view on solving the individual errors if the manager has nothing to do with them? Or do we just accept that this happens often, accept our league position and move on to the next game with individual mistakes?

        1. Eddie says:

          I agree he needs to sort this individual error, it’s his responsibility but if you followed our games this season you’d know yesterday’s like the sixth or seventh time individual errors cost us this season, I think the figures are higher than that but you seriously can’t tell even the worst of worst managers wouldn’t have spoken and tried to help the players stop it.
          Hey I mean its a different thing to tell people what to do and help them but it’s another thing for the personnel involved to listen, do it correctly and stop embarrassing themselves, soon as they get on the pitch every decisions they make within a split second is theirs, it has nothing to do with the manager or thir partners at home.. The manager isn’t the one who screamed at Pepe to get a red, he wasn’t the one who asked Gabriel to get a silly red, the manager wasn’t the one who asked Ceballos to nod the ball to Benfica player. The manager isn’t the one who instructed Xhaka to ask for the ball under pressure and attempt playing it with his weak foot.
          At what point do y’all hold these guys responsible for their own actions?
          Last season I was too harsh on Emery even though I was right, I was too harsh and failed to see those players booted him out and could’ve actually done better in certain games.
          The manager can be Klopp, Fergie or Pep, it won’t stop him from losing if th players are not disciplined and if they fail to concentrate on the pitch.
          Do you blame the manager for that? But I do agree he should do something about it, if it means booting out these players and bringing in responsible players like Wenger and Fergie had, I don’t care, he needs to something about it bit I ain’t gon blame him for the constant lack of concentration of senior players at the club

          1. jon fox says:

            Great post Eddie and all makes lots of sense. MA though has not the luxury of bringing in better players by buying them , not with the appalling Kroenke who is,IMO, the single person most responsible for our long term regression ever since 2007, when Dein was forced out and Kroenke came in.

            Too much of a coincidence Id say, why it all stems back to 2007/8, the last time we made a proper title challenge and since Wenger changed utterly his type of player brought in, from strong, powerful ones previously to 9 stone dripping wet dwarfs and el cheapo ones, of necessity too, esp in midfield. KROENKE IS THE CHIEF VILLIAN AND REASON WHY OUR CLUB IS IN THE STATE ITS IN.

            I totally support MA but can see how his hands are tied, as were Emerys too.

  3. Declan says:

    Next season, in Europe or not, is a huge season for our club. Unless big money is spent on a few decent players rather than on just one player it could be a similar struggle to this season.
    OT… anyone else watching AMN v Willock at midday on Amazon Prime?

    1. jon fox says:

      Anyone Declan? Only everyone surely! Not impressed with either that much, as at 50 mins gone.

      1. Declan says:

        No not very impressive. Willock started off ok and was involved but faded and didn’t see much of AMN at all.

  4. gotanidea says:

    We had at least four sitters. We can’t waste more money to replace the manager, so we need to support him till December

    1. Phil says:

      Why December? Why not the end of this season if we fail (which we will) to get European Football? What if we finish 17th? Why is Arteta being given time when Emery clearly want?
      GOT- look at the table. Look at the Goals scored column. Do you really see progress here?
      Just how long is long enough?

      1. gotanidea says:

        Replacing Arteta now would be very costly due to his contract length, so better wait until December and use the money for player transfer in the summer 2022. Our goal difference is similar to Everton’s and West Ham’s, the teams that sit at the fifth and the sixth positions respectively

        Our improvements, as compared to our performance under Wenger and Emery:
        – Our defense is better
        – We produced more well-crafted and clear-cut chances from open play
        – We won FA Cup within a short period of time

        1. JJ Pawn says:

          You have no idea… FA Cup was thanks to the keeper, who is now in the top five in the EPL.

        2. Logic says:

          Gotanidea! What you said is not logical in terms of overall improvement n not according to stats..

          We have become better at defence but have become twice as bad in offence.

          We don’t craft more clear cut opportunities, go ahead check stats. We are one of the least creative teams in in EPL.

          Yeah and now we are out of two competitions. Don’t look in good in third judging by what we saw against Benfica. Also we sit 10th in league with 11 defeats.

          So how are we improving overall? Getting rid of players from team is not an achievement of a manager and should not be on his CV to advertise. It has been the club and Edu who managed to get rid of players not Arteta. I read your posts and I see when we do good then you give all credit to Arteta but when we do bad you just point finger at club n others. Can you stop with crediting Arteta with anything good that happens at the club.

  5. jon fox says:

    A disappointingly brief article lacking in anything of detail or real solid personal opinion(beyond the moan!). I get the writers frustation, as I guess we all must do but surely he could have gone into more depth than this shallow article?

    I much suspect MARK that you are well capable of giving us something more substantial and worthwhile than this brief moan next time.

    So I applaud your urge to contribute but can I plead for something REAL and more MEANINGFUL for you next contribution, please? Otherwise why bother at all !

    1. Danny says:

      Why don’t you take control of all the articles and just have your own views on here after all in your mind there the only ones that count and always right even though you continue to stand up for a novice manager with a awful record has taken the club even further backwards has no idea after a over a year in charge what his best team is clueless on using the correct subs at the right time and at end of the day the stats and league table doesn’t lie!!

      1. jon fox says:

        So then in your opinion , I am not entitled to mine. Huge irony there, son!

        1. Danny says:

          I’m not your son thank God!!

          1. jon fox says:

            YES, Thank God!

    2. ObjectiveSubjective says:

      Hello Jon

      I’d just like to bring to your attention that everything you believe as fact is anecdotal. I understand that you genuinely believe you are smarter than everyone and you are more than welcome to that belief, but the way you try and constantly put people down is quite pathetic.

      Share your opinion by all means but please understand that just because you believe you are always right does not make it so. Have a nice Sunday.

      1. jon fox says:

        OS, You are putting your OWN words into my mouth, which is a typical cheap trick of those who have lost the argument and is common on most social media sites. not merely footbalL ones.
        I make no apology for using my right – which we all HAVE – to challenge others views, when I wish and though it seems to upset you (for mysterious reasons) I will , as do others , continue to use my democratic freedom to speak openly when I wish.

        Is that now clear? I fervently hope so!
        I am happy to allow your opinion and though I do not agree with it , as you unjustly and inaccuratly attacked me I have made my position clear. By all means come back with your rebuttal, if you wish, as that is YOUR right too.

        But do me a favour and do not ever ask me not to give my own opinion, as you will lose that battle ever time.


        1. Highbury Hero says:

          “OS, You are putting your OWN words into my mouth” -it is your tendency to put words into others mouths and you go as far as giving them completely different meanings to suit your agendas. I can testify to that.

          1. jon fox says:

            HH What you constantly demonstrate is that its YOUR perception that is faulty and inaccurate, You do not like me, so miss no chance to attack me Go ahead son if it floats your boat,as its water off a ducks back to this mature worldly wise fan and far better people than you have tried but failed to prevent me speaking out. Doomed to fail, HH!

  6. Twig says:

    The annoying thing with yesterday’s game was that we lost when it looked like Arteta’s decision to stick with Auba as CF was beginning to click. Twice, Auba was found by our midfielders by a pass over the Burnley. Our attacking players need to be more ruthless and our passing needs to be a lot faster.

  7. guy says:

    Hi all, Just an observation in an attempt to heal the Arteta rift that threatens to make this site an unpleasant place to visit. By necessity I generalise, and there are notable exceptions on each side of the divide. From what I have observed we have many things in common, and three areas of disagreement. This may be a little biased as I guess I side mostly with the MA supporters.
    1. MA supporters do not hold him solely responsible for all of the clubs failings, feeling blame should also be apportioned to others. However, possibly unbeknownst to Outers, they DO hold him responsible for a good proportion of the failures, and should admit this more often
    2. MA supporters do not offer unconditional support, but certainly do not think that MA should be sacked immediately. That is not the same as saying he should never be sacked if the team does not develop. They merely want him to be given more time as they see the size of the task. In 6-8 months if there is not a tangible improvement their patience may also run out.
    3. This is linked to 2: MA supporters believe we HAVE made progress under him, and outers don’t, with perhaps their main argument being our results.
    I would ask that the MA camp admit to MA’s mistakes here rather than blindly defend his every action, and would also ask that outers at least give him credit for things he has done well rather than blindly critiscise his every action.
    In that way we may heal the breach and be a little more civil with each other. Its fun to debate football – let’s respect others and their opinions as Arsenal fans.
    Thanks for reading.

  8. Logic says:

    What I have learnt so far from our fan base, if we like a manager then he can get away with murder but if we turn against some one then we raise the bar so high n blame the manager for not reaching it. When Wenger was inchrage we cursed him n booed him for finishing in champions League year after year but now with Arteta same standards have gone for a walk. Fans are blaming players, Owner even though we spent like £300m if not more in last two summers, blaming Wenger who has left the club three years ago and some say EPL become more tough as if in 3 years it has jumped exponentially. All I see are excuses from fans who favour one and don’t like the other one. What I fail to understand is with less budget, worse squad (so called Wenger flops) and lacking tactics how come Wenger managed to win so many FA cups in later stage of his career and lowest finish in league we achieved under him was 6th. Where as Arteta with better tactics, less Wenger’s so called flop players in the current team and more net spent is only managing 10th position?. I do not believe Arteta is so special as some fans are making out him to be and they are blaming club culture n what not. Anchelotti and Morinhio faced same or worse situation when they picked up the job. Now see where they are. Even with such a dip in form spurs are above us and Everton well they are going to finish in champions League spot. So how is Arteta special???

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