West Ham Review – Another poor showing from Arteta and Arsenal

When do Arsenal cut out the mistakes and become a solid team? by Konstantin Mitov

Well ladies and gentleman, we cannot string 2 decent performances in a row and that’s that. Our first 30 minutes against West Ham were utterly shocking. The first goal was a great strike with nobody opposing Lingard, then we fell asleep for their second, and their third was so easy for them, Antonio barely celebrated…

Our starting line up was poor. Why was Aubameyang playing? It was like we were playing with 10 men – and that’s our captain. This is Arteta being weak and circling towards certain players. He was shocking midweek and didn’t deserve to start. Arteta tried to make a statement by publicly declaring why Auba missed the Spurs game and now he’s spitting on his own words and playing him.

Willian is another player who’s gotten an enormous amount of chances, after being poor multiple games in a row. Why did we drop Smith-Rowe? Why does it take till minute 80 to put Martinelli on for a bang average Auba? It was like fate told him something, because we scored an equalizer the moment he was off.

That wasn’t the only mistake though. Mari was awful, but what I don’t get is why drop Gabriel when he picked up form? If you want to play Mari, play him against Olympiacos where the game is mostly done, why risk West Ham? Then again, when Mari and Luiz had a good run in the league and he was on form, we dropped him for Gabriel who had a stinker, because he was again out of form.

These rotations make players lose form, confidence and morale. Ever since we dropped Saka to give him a break, he’s not been up to his standards. I am sorry, but Arteta’s man management has been shocking. The way we started the game was so slow and poor.

It was great that we showed character to come back, but here’s the thing, we didn’t win. We’re 9th in the table. If we don’t win the Europa what are we doing next season? We again missed a lot of chances. Saka really should’ve scored his 1:1 with Fabianski. Pepe should’ve done better in the end. We had chances, but didn’t take them. We needed two own goals to level it.

Not that we didn’t pressure them though. I thought Chambers showed how it’s done with the crosses. They were sublime and often had nobody on their end. I was really happy with Lacazette. The difference between him and Aubameyang is that one works his socks off and the other scores tap ins. I feel bad for him, because since the start of the season, when he has 1 bad game, he’s dropped. Same with Pepe, but Willian and Auba are safe to go.

This kind of management is why we are 9th. I hear the constant talk of progress, of how good we play. Look at our squad, and compare it to West Ham. Is theirs better? No way! We have a squad good enough to compete for the top 4 and we’re languishing in 9th. We cannot play like Man City with Xhaka at the base of our midfield. He was atrocious again.

How are we buying Partey a new partner in midfield if we don’t get CL football? We loaned 120 million from the bank to cover Covid losses, I’m not sure Arteta realises that the league actually matters. I will reiterate the point that Chelsea were close to us in the table when Lampard packed his bags, and they are now in the top 4 while we are still mid-table.

I think we need a new keeper, because Leno should’ve done miles better on their second goal. How many more mistakes are we going to take from him? It’s clear that some of the players are not good enough for this club, but why are we giving them chance after chance? We were ruthless with Mustafi and Ozil, yet soft-hearted for Xhaka and Auba? Sure some of the players are not good enough, but mid-table?

Our squad with a decent manager is easily top 6 material. And before some people put their favourite “he’s always negative” jibe, I hope you enjoy following the results of Aston Villa and Leeds in the fight for 9th place, because we ain’t moving up the table even though we were given countless opportunities by the inconsistencies of other teams. We just refuse to take them.


Tags West Ham


  1. KONSTANTIN YOU PUT WORDS TOGETHER VERY SKILFULLY TO MAK EYOU CASE BUT YOU ALSO HAVE YOU OWN CLEAR AGENDA. This article was typical of your many articles, well argued but unbalanced witha total lack of even playing Devils Advocate for the othee rside of the argument.
    And there is almost always another side to most arguments. Try using somebalance is my advice. Put youR case but also put the other one. It will improve your aticles a great deal and earn you more respect on JA.

    1. I think it’s fair to question anyone who defend our current state what agenda they have. Because if anyone has an agenda is the one satisfied with us finishing 10th.

      Ask any Spurs fan if they are happy with Arteta as our manager and their answer should be telling. Since we don’t have Spurs fan in my area the Man utd fans (our fiercest rivals) are very happy with Arteta and wish him a long career as our manager so they can have a laugh nearly every week.

  2. Arteta is a novice with no idea about managing a team, he should be nowhere near Arsenal, if the fans were able to attend, he would be out of a job as the Emirates would be so toxic, selling Martinez and keeping a poor keeper in Leno sums him up, Luis is a shocker, Willian another Ozil contract situation, one step forward, two steps back with Novice Arteta.His tactics are suspect, he has killed the Arsenal DNA of attacking forward, instead we are stuck with negative backwards football, absolutely shocking football to watch. The board have to take the blame and sticking Edu in was another poor decision, another novice

    1. You sound almost proud of the toxicity of the Emirates. While i’m not an Arteta’s fan at the moment, your arguements are very debatable. Keeping Leno was the safe choice, how many times do we have to go over this? He is not in charge of transfers so why would you blame him for bringing in Luiz (who was here before arteta) or Willian or any other flop we have brought in the last 2 years. Emery killed our attacking football, not Arteta, he has not done much to restore it but we certainly play better football than under Emery.

  3. “And before some people put their favourite “he’s always negative” jibe”

    Dude there’s nothing you’d say that’ll speak otherwise, you’ve always been a pessimist, expertat moaning and attacking our managers no matter who it is. Everyone knew you as the one who takes it to himself to never write anything positive about Wenger.
    When Wenger left, iat least thought okay maybe he’d stop with the constant complaining and negativity, but nah it’s etched deep in your articles.
    Dan Smith and I don’t agree on certain discussions buthe at least writes to be fair and is not a serial pessimist.

    Are fans happy with our position on the table? No we’re not, not a single fan is.. Are we certain things will get better? Some of us are certain it will while some are certain it won’t, but the one big thing we all have in commy is we want to swey our club win and we enjoy winning with our club.
    Youa say another poor showing from Arteta and the boys and rightfully criticized the slow first 30 minutes but the remaining 60 minutes means nothing to you. To you and a few others, you saw nothing to write home about during the last one hour.
    Anybody who watched the game would tell you we should’ve won the game going by our 60 minutes performance but you’ll never see that fact.
    West Ham played for 30 minutes, gave up a solid position they were in and shared the points. Does that make them terrible?
    If we had won the game, no doubts we’d have seen the usual we were lucky to win crap, the usual when we lose we were crap, when we fought from 3 goals down to get a point away to a tough team this season we were crap, but the day we win, it’ll be because our opponents were crap.

    All you and the likes of you do is just drain people’s energy with your constant negative vibes. All you guys is spread it amongst the fanbase claiming you want the best for the club. If you want the best for the club you’d also know that nobody deserves shît in this life or league, we are not entitled to anything in this life or entitled to winning games in this life. Whatever you get you work for it, Just because “we are Arsenal, we should be getting 3 points, regardless if we worked for it or not”. Wake up, we are not entitled to three points in every games. We’ll take it a game a time and fight for the points, and some of us will be here supporting the team rather than draining the kitty energy others have with our negativity

    1. Thanks man. Couldn’t have responded any better.

      Man’s always bitter and whining like a ******
      The only reason anyone, and I mean anyone would watch the last 60mins of the game and find nothing positive; is because of nothing but bitterness and and deep seated, irredeemable pessimism.

      The earlier we understand that we’re not entitled 3 points, the better.

      Even man city have to work their asses out to put in those sterling performances. That they make it look easy doesn’t take away the place of hard work and getting their hands dirty for their 3 points.

      We’re are not at that level yet, and while I believe there’s a process in place, regardless of the manager, we should learn to encourage.

      The invincibles have made a huge chunk of the fan base become “entitled” to 3points and master classes.

      We won’t be getting 3points because we are arsenal. We will get 3points because we worked for it. And that 1point against west ham was well earned, even though it could’ve been more.

    2. Eddie Bravo for making the central point which is that its only some people – almost all being “know nothing kids” with little life experience but with an ENORMOUS sense of life entitlement – who constantly demand instant success.

      These foolish types are incapable of seeing further in the future than the end of their nose and are relentlessly pessimistic. All big clubs attract them and we have our fair share. They get off on moaning and boy do they get off!

      But let them moan uselessly, as the club will be backing the fine and dynamic Arteta for the long and forseeable future, despite these kids bitching at every opportunity. They all grow up and learn lifes lessons, EVENTUALLY!

    3. Great respense Ed.
      As much as i find konstan’s articles over time interesting, i disagree with his opinions this time.
      U spoke my my already… kudos to u

  4. Konstatjn, you ll be attaked by the MA defenders and apologists. He is a really poor at 3 things , man managemt, strategy and team selection but the apologists will present 100 s of reasons why heis better than AW and UE together, how he is our saviour in the making and his FA Cup is unprecedented. The man has turned Arsenal into an absolute mess but hey 1 or 2 victories and they ll be asking for him to stay for 15 years.

    1. No need for us who support him to ASK. He will be staying for the long term, despite you and your pessimistic fellow doomsayers constant bitching.

      Just grow up, as it is your only escape from self induced misery!

        1. HH you overlook the fact that I would only ever be concerned that I was wrong, in the unlikely event of you ever agreeing with me. As you rarely, if ever do, I remain content and unconcerned. At least for myself.

          You have still not learned what free speech entails and to confuse it with bitching is a bit rich from someone such as you, who has never once stopped bitching about our manager!

          But you are right in one respect; bitching does not suit me which is why I do not do so. I merely state my considered opinion, fearlessly, freely and always without favour.

          Unlike you HH, I do not bitch about our manager on every thread that allows an opportunity.

          1. I meant the usage of the word “bitching”. If my understanding is correct it is not a word used by respectable people (which I believe at your age you are).

            It is not kind of a language I have seen you used before sir.

          2. HH I still do not know- as you prefer not to tell me- whether or not English is your first language, because your spelling and punctuation is generally good.

            But by assuming that a harmless word such as “BITCHING”, which is common slang but not a swear word is out of order ,indictates to me that English is perhaps a second language.
            Either way, your attempt to teach me my own language is something of an insult, especially as I am highly educated in English. If you assume, as you appear to do that I never use slang or forceful words, then you are mistaken, young sir!
            You seem to have a mistaken impression of the sort of language your idea of “respectable ” people use. Perhaps you will enlighten me EXACTLY what your idea of a “respectable” person is?

          3. English is my second language. I speak only two languages. My mother tongue which is… and English.

            My English is good but not that good and most of the time I use dictionary to understand some of the words. Just today in an another article Sue sent me to the dictionary to check the word capitulation.

            Bitching from my limited understanding of your language is kinda of a swear word. When you say it’s not then I have learnt something.

            I hope you understand when I thought you are not a type to use swear words even though you are good at saying unpleasant things using a respectable language.

      1. @ Another foolish, ill advised reply. Pull yourself together and behave with a little dignity as befits a man of your(supposed) experience.

  5. Arteta still tinkers too much, and perhaps it is being a new coach and trying to prove himself every week.

    Why play Saka and Auba in the wrong wing positions, what was the point in that?

    Gabriel was in great form, it was stupid to drop him for Mari in such an important game.

    Arteta really needs to improve in his man management area, the selections and positions have been poor on his part, and it’s not putting players in positions to succeed and play their best.

    1. just what you needed Durand, answers to rhetorical questions by someone who holds a predominantly clueless presence on this site…the absolute irony of their namesake, “gotanidea”, never fails to amuse

  6. Gonna answer some of your questions, since you’re so whiny:

    – Aubameyang played because he’s our captain, our most pacey forward, our tallest striker, our most experienced attacker and his shooting skill is better than anyone at Arsenal, despite his latest atrocious misses

    – Smith-Rowe is dropped because he just worked very hard as a starter in the EL game and maybe a bit injured, so we need to make sure he wouldn’t end up to be another injury-prone player

    – Magalhaes might be unfit as well and we’ll never know what Arsenal medical team thought about Magalhaes’/ Martinelli’s/ Smith-Rowe’s fitness

    – West Ham players aren’t better technically, but some of them are definitely better in aerial duels and more energetic than ours. Arsenal are famous for collecting fancy playmakers like Fabregas, Nasri, Rosicky Cazorla, Ozil, Ceballos and Odegaard, instead of getting more physical players like Vieira, Gilberto, Cole and Giroud

    – Partey was signed to upgrade our midfield, which turns out to be not meeting the fans’ expectation yet. I preferred to get a more impactful player like a towering target man, but Arsenal employees surely know better than the fans

    – I predict Leno would get a strong competition next season, but we can’t gamble on Matt Ryan this season

    – Xhaka never hides from any physical challenges, always does the dirty work for the team and his forward passes are essential for our passing flow, whereas Aubameyang was one of the main reasons we can participate in EL this season

    1. ahh… dont usually agree with you on most of your opinion but you make some pretty valid points and arguments at present.

      1. Is This a joke just cause some fans see the truth it’s doom and gloom it’s like fans can’t have their own opinions about our team. How can u beat all top six teams and still struggling. Let’s be real must of us only take interest in europa cause that’s the only thing left to win. And if he F**** that up too you all be calling for his head too. So be real give a top coach this job and see different results. I want Arsenal to win most titles but I cant see us doing it with Arteta.

    2. Yes there can always be 1001 reasons for every action taken by a manager
      I can go on from where you stopped but all that is a mere assumption only manufactured in your brain as there are no facts to back them up…

  7. As fans we have hopes about the team we support and my hope at the start of the season was a top4 finish and the europa league trophy and halfway through the season getting somehow into europe was enough for me.As there is no FA cup,a top 6 finish or the europa leafue trophy is all i am wishing for.Still a possibility ….

    And about MA i think he has great potential and will be a great manager, i have always said it and i am judging him at the end of the season and until that i will give him my full support.he has shown improvements some massive ones as well but i think he needs europe to get a majority of gooners to give them their support and the league ppsition is going to be a big case on him 😐.Hope we can finsh the season strongly💯.COYG

  8. After 14 games we had 14 points. That’s an average of one point a game. 15th place (I think) and weighed down by bloated contracts to underperforming senior players.

    After 29 games we have 42 points. 15 games, 28 points. An average of 1.9 points per game. 9th place and winning primarily on the back of young, hungry players who, unfortunately Odegaard aside, will hopefully be with us for awhile. Not as many bloated contracts.

    Feels like progress to me – at least in season progress. A long way from where we should be and where we all want to be but still progress.

    Let’s see how the season finishes up. A similar or better return from the last ten games as the previous 14 is a marker for me I.e. 18-20 points- yesterday’s dropped points already make that a harder target.

  9. The article title should have read “Another poor showing from Arteta”. Period. For further confirmation of this fact, we just need to replay the comments form Lacazette’s post-game interview, “We did not respect the game plan from the coach.” I’m not agitating, but feel there could me more to come.

    1. You understand that by saying “we didn’t respect the game plan from the coach..”Laca meant that the players didn’t follow/execute MA game plan/instructions and was putting the blame on the players and not the coach!

      1. Not only the players, but the entire fanbase too did not respect the plan. The entire plan, including Auba on the right was rubbish. We were just lucky they made changes at half-time to plug the leak. At one stage I though WH was on track for a 6-0 victory..

        1. Even i couldn’t understand a couple of MA decisions like Auba not playing Gabriel but i disagree we weren’t lucky and if we were we made our own luck and you should at least give MA credit for not panicking &making the right substitutions and to the players too for not giving up no?

  10. Hear we go blah, BLAH, BLAH….. ARTETA OUT. Change the record folks, it’s ground hog day. He virtually has the same squad that were rolling over under Emery. These constant attacks are getting tiresome.

    1. Not same squad, he has a better team. 7 quality players OF HIS CHOICE were added to improve the team.

      1. I think arteta tinker too much with the team. every week different 11, different set up. Where is the consistency to build on?

  11. Before the Liverpool match I would hope Arteta and his coaching team will focus on the basics of defending, as clearly our players are at present incapable of keeping a clean sheet but are culpable of giving away “soft” goals in virtually every match.Basically we have players who are not only slow but are totally vulnerable in a one against one situation and are unable to concentrate hard when the opposition are in possession.The second West Ham goal was a classic example of a team completely switching off culminating in a very poor effort to save by Leno. Our lack of organization beggars belief and the Manager has to accept his failure to bring about a semblance of order in so far as the lack of leadership on the pitch is concerned.Can you imagine Tony Adams accepting such indiscipline from his teammates?I have raised the matter of the lack of pace at the back and in midfield on numerous occasions, and I am absolutely certain that this side will not improve with the likes of Luis, Mari and Xhaka playing on a regular basis.Holding and Chambers may have their limitations but they have the right attitude and are vocal enough to bring some organization to our defencive set up.I hope they and Martinelli and ESR start against Liverpool.When Xhaka was replaced yesterday we effectively reverted to a 4-3-3 system with ESR and the impressive Odegaard operating as old fashioned ” inside forwards”We had the Hammers on the rack but unfortunately ran out of time to produce a winner.To be fair, our players deserve credit for their fight back but they all have to find a way to improve their defensive contributions to stop shipping goals.

    1. I hope Holding regains his place versus Liverpool. He seems to love the battles with Mane.

      It would be really interesting to see a full game of Partey, Odegaard and ESR in midfield. Dont think Arteta will do it against Liverpool but maybe a few games down the road. Loved the way ESR backtracked on that amazing run by Rice late in the game.

  12. I align with those who criticise you for a whinge. ESR was not dropped he was rotated . Auba bailed us out against Benfica and won us the Cup almost single-handedly. He was disciplined and he returned . And to say we were saved by two own goals . Those were own goals forced by great attacking play .
    Our first thirty minutes were rubbish but we had the spirit and quality to recover at a side who are fifth in the table

    1. ‘I’m not sure that Arteta realises that the league really matters’

      For a man who has probably spent as many years in the UK as he has in Spain, I’d be gobsmacked if Arteta didn’t realise the significance of winning it.

      I’m with Eddie
      It was a diatribe of complaints

      1. Oops Bertie Mee. I meant that not to be a reply to you
        I got your autograph when I was a young girl

    2. Bertie.. thanks for your Auba comments. Lots of short memories on here – whatever happened to supporting hey?!!

  13. Judging from the reality , it is obvious that the contract MA signed with Arsenal is low budget over a long duration before glories because its untypical of his mentor Pep Guardiola . MA knows the best players likewise the awful ones as well. If you don’t shuffle the awful with the brilliant , how are you going to create a market value for the awful ones during the summer market?
    MA is doing the shuffle for good sale value of the awful players , so you should expect mixed results.
    For you to know that MA is a brilliant manager , he got rid of the toxic group, He uses the best players in the star matches , then switch to the regular after that.
    Auba is not playing his best for the fact that he has gotten what he wanted which is the contract and also retains the captaincy. If the squad is competing for laurels that’s only when he’ll shift in efforts , now is his time for rest.
    willian is a failing gamble.
    Judge MA by this season europa then the league next season

  14. Interesting to read that the author believes we have a squad good enough to challenge for the top 4, but also seems to believe that some of our players are not good enough for us. Is achieving top 4 such an easy task it can be done with players who are not good enough? He then states that our squad with a decent manager is easily a top 6 team. Our Main rivals all have top proven mangers with the exception of Manu. Why do fans think that if we had decent manager such as Rodgers or Tuchel, Klopp, Guardiola, Mourinho etc as a manager we would be top 4, but whilst they are managing our rivals they still expect Arteta to easily manage us to beat them. Do they only become a decent manager if managing us?

    1. Jimmy Rather “unfair” for you to use your ability to think clearly and to use these “unfair” facts against these pathetic whiners who claim to be real suporters.
      Please don’t forget that – unlike you and those who can and DO see further than the end of your nose -these poor creatures are intellectually disadvantaged.

      It must be a terrible handicap to have to go through life with the automatic sense of self entitlememnt which many of these unthinking kids have had to suffer, being the generation they are. They need pity and help!

      And lets not forget that Covid, the awful weather and global warming are also Artetas fault. In SOME eyes!

        1. This comment makes no sense and means nothing except perhaps- I must presume- to you. The rest of us are not mind readers. If he HAS warmed Arsenal that would seem to contradict your oft expressed view that he should go.

          1. If he doesn’t win the Europa League then he should. It’s not his fault we have global warming but surely it is his fault the current Arsenal climate is unpleasant to say the least.

          2. HH Simply put, the above is your opinion but many of us do not accept your premise that the Arsenal climate is unpleasant. Many of us believe that the climate under MA is much healthier than for years past.

  15. OUR SQUAD IS A MIDDLE OF THE TABLE SQUAD!! As for Chelsea, they spent $250 million in the summer, while selling off some of their unwanted players (which is why Tuchal has them moving up the table). We had to give our unwanted players “free transfers” to get them off the payroll. Worse, we then took one of Chelsea’s deadbeats, will we never learn? Speaking of our defense, where is Rob Holding? Has he been sent to the naughty step? Our defense seemed to be much tighter when he was playing. I do agree that we need to nail down our defense, and then play those guys through to the end of the season, then reappraise in the summer. My defense would be Leno, Bellerin (or Chambes), Holding, Gabriel and Tierney, with Partey and Xhaka in front of them. Arteta can chop and change the forwards, but I agree, we should keep the defense the same through the remaining EPL games.

  16. I’m not sure what’s so hard to grasp from the headline ,it does not matter if you are Arteta in or Arteta out ,it was a bloody poor showing ,pathetic actually ,it does not take a football expert to come to this conclusion.
    But I suppose I’m not a Realist so what do I know .

  17. Interesting comparison with Chelsea JW in that whilst we have only one natural LB in Tierney, who must be close to the dreaded “red zone” , Chelsea have 3 experienced alternatives. Money does talk in the EPL I’m afraid.

  18. The manager has to think of player fatigues too. If a player gets injured overplayed, u will blame the manager. The only reason Arsenal is in this mess, is because 80% of our players are bang avg. Player like Luiz plays constantly at back, pepe a bad buy, bellerin finished, partey may flop, loanee as number 10, elneny as mid, ceballos is also avg. Our strength is our GK, Tierney (but he is young), Gabriel (young CB), saka, gabi, smith (young attackers) auba, laca. Young attackers lack experienced. So you see either we filed a team with avg ability with experience or flair youngsters with low experience. In the end, we fall behind.

  19. Mr. Fox, you must have woken up on the wrong side of bed this morning, last night? If you were really satisfied with the Arteta’s management, you wouldn’t be so vitriolic in defending him. The results would speak for themselves. Like most of us you wouldn’t be on this site if there weren’t something bugging you. It’s not a church where believers go in solely to praise the Lord. After yesterday, I promised myself that I wouldn’t look for a at least a week but what’s the first thing I did when having my morning coffee? Here I am. Sad I know.

  20. Lola was one of my favourite songs of the sixties by the Kinks.As to your thoughts on our players Lola, I share most of your views apart from the reference to Partey.Just give him a few more weeks and he will prove you wrong.

  21. This is what we call building a team. Problem with our player is their not consistent. After all there is only handful of players who can perform consistently every game in the world of football.
    I agree Auba and Willian is worse case at the moment. Especially Auba, he is our main man and captain. He clearly have no heart. Busy buying new cars. Arteta need to clear dressing room. I still stand for what I have said start of the season. As long as we win Europa League Trophy, Arteta stay.

  22. In defense of Arteta, Lacazette did say in his post match interview, that the players had not carried out the Manager’s instructions.
    Mikel Arteta clearly was displeased after the game. Judging by the change in the second half the players got what for at half time. The interesting thing will be what the disciplinary ramifications will be for the players not following the Manager’s instructions? If nothing then it will happen again.

  23. @ozziegunner.

    Re’ your first line above.

    You are absolutely correct.

    Lacca’ stating that the players “did not respect” the managers game plan CLEARLY meant they had not carried out the instructions M A laid out for the West Ham game.

    Some on here, and elsewhere, are misreading (at best) stirring (at worse) saying there is discontent in the camp at Artetas tactics.

    100% wrong.

    Lacazette used language that was open to being taken the wrong way, but what he actually said and the meaning behind it was PAINFULLY CLEAR.

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