What’s going on with Arteta’s substitutions?

Awful substitutions are costing us the game! by Shenel

Arteta was quoted after the Spurs game as saying “I’m sure we will get there… I am proud because I have never seen them play like the way they have done today in this ground. That’s really positive” – but seeing positives won’t get us the 3 points, seeing positives won’t win us trophies and seeing positives definitely won’t attract key players to our club. They have to turn those positives into results, but if you pull the team apart and exchange the wrong players at the wrong times, then you definitely won’t achieve anything!

I really do like Arteta, as a player and captain I loved him. He went to Manchester City to become assistant to Pep and I had no issue with that, but what does bother me is his clear lack of tactics and a sense of misreading the game at wrong times with regards to the substitutions he makes. If they are forced, then he has no choice but recently they haven’t been forced.

I’m not really a big fan of Pepe, he has a lot more work to do to impress me and I know he needs time but seeing as he wasn’t out injured for the last game, why did Arteta take him off in a big game that needed a goal or two to get the three points. Despite him losing the ball quite a bit against Spurs, I felt we were stronger with him in the team. I fail to see how any of Arteta’s substitutions of late have actually worked in our favour! Barring the Lacazette one against Wolves being one positive change, the Nketiah one against Leicester clearly wasn’t!

Back in the Arsene Wenger days fans used to moan he never made substitutions until around the 80-minute mark if that. Fast forward to the Arteta era and even though he has 5 substitutions at his disposal, he doesn’t necessarily have to make them if they won’t impact us and will be our downfall! The substitutions he has been making – barring a few – are changing the game negatively for us, and I don’t see how they can get any better!

For me, Ceballos kept losing the ball in key moments against Spurs, and I felt he should have come off for Torreira, who would have given us a chance to move forward and maybe even create a few chances. We lacked creativity in the second half and just couldn’t find the back of the net. Regardless of the issues Arteta or the club has with Ozil, would having a World Cup winner and assist maker/goal-getter on the bench really be a bad option? Let’s put it this way, it can’t be any worse than some of the players he has on the bench and uses anyway!

Gooners what do you make of Arteta’s tactics when it comes to substitutions?

Shenel Osman


  1. This post, like many others lately, lack awareness of how the game is played and seem to be written by someone that is not familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Is this site just for sharing opinions as supporters or is the understanding of the game no longer a factor for someone to prepare and post an article? The article doesn’t seem to consider aspects like player fatigue, the 3 month break which caused fitness issues to all players (which is the reason for the 5 changes rule) and just assumes that the coach makes unnecessary changes when he has the option not to make them. Well, it’s common sense, he doesn’t have that option, all players are tired after 60-70 minutes and they play every 3 days, which is the reason for the rotation of starting players. Also, everyone was praising when Nketiah came as a sub and scored in other games, but in the article the writer criticizes Arteta for bringing in that same player. As if Arteta knew that Nketiah would get a red card 4 mins after entering. Also, the joke about Torreira being brought on in the place of Ceballos so that we create chances was a good one. Swap the most dangerous player in the team for a defensive midfielder in hope of becoming more dangerous. Before writing the post you need to consider the pool of players in our squad. We do not have quality of depth, but changes need to be made in order to rest players. Arteta’s job is a very hard one and one needs to be able to understand the difficulties he faces every day before writing in a simplistic manner (after the games are played) that the changes were flawed (he has a bench of 8 players and can bring in 5, he can’t do many things differently). Also, the sooner you realize Ozil has no future here and the reason he isn’t playing is that he realizes it as well, the better. I apologise if my response seems harsh, I assure you that it is out of frustration from our results. The results though are mainly caused by the lack of quality of our squad, the lack of ambition of our owners and have nothing to do with Arteta’s managerial skills.

    1. If you guys are still frustrated about the substitutions made by arteta during lechest and man city game…u wait for man city FA cup,he will start with his favorite kids like willock, Nelson,Nketia and wonder how willock can win a ball from KDB,D.silver ,..how Nelson can overtake K.walker….at the end of the day, you will realize that we have a lot of average players which just fill in the gaps on the pitch without any Level of significance.

      1. And let us not forget the older gems – Socrates, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, (all eager for an assist, any assist will do, even if it means putting the ball in the back of our own net!) Xhaka who cannot turn around, Torrera – waiting to kiss the turf at small touch, wish to include Ozil in the party, unfortunately the lad is injured. In-fact we have a wealth of costly gems getting us nowhere. Kids or grown ups, we have become a laughing stock and some petty unwitty jokes. Burnley, we are warning you, don’t mess around, the 9th spot is ours. Beware Burnley!!

    2. Well said chris, lack of quality of our squad brought about by lack of ambition by our club owner is the cause of everything we are currently experiencing at arsenal. Stingy kroenker must leave our cub ASAP!!

      1. Robert, take a look at the spending over the past say 5 seasons by Arsenal compared to the rest of the EPL. Arsenal’s spend and nett spend in the transfer market are consistently in the top 3-5 clubs, yet Arsenal sits equal 9th with Burnley.
        Kroenke’s failure has been to put his faith in a Board and senior executive, which has mismanaged Arsenal’s player and financial assets. Who does Arsenal have to sell, who will bring sufficient funds to upgrade the squad? Too many players are on wages, such that no club can attract them to leave.

  2. Shenel said it all. Truth is bitter. The mid field is still very much struggling. Lac. had to most often play deep to move out the ball. Whatever problems Arteta is having with Ozil should be sorted out. We need a natural & talented creative player in the mold of Ozil on that field. Although, we could see some improvement in their attacking machinery, the distribution of balls into the 18 is still, most often less than desirable. I often wonder whether Arteta’s views & reflect the reality of what transpired on the the field. His substitutions are really quetionable.

    1. In your post are saying that you want the manager and a player to sort things out. When the player has this issue with all the managers (and his lack of effort is also evident in my eyes every time he plays), then they have nothing to sort out. He just needs to change his attitude, which he doesn’t seem to want/be able to do. So we are just waiting for him to leave. Hope you understand that this is a player that will get more than 60mil euros in total for the 4 year contract he signed. And he is playing fortnite instead of working his ass off in training. Let that sink in for a moment. We do need a talented and creative player in midfield (but one that also tracks back, helps the team and has tactical awareness). So we do not need a player like Ozil, but to find our own Kevin de Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva etc.

    1. Yes, Arsenal needs better CB’s; however the midfield has been a bigger problem for years. It is much harder for defenders if the midfield is being over powered and over run.

  3. Typical !I didn’t see Lampard being blamed for Chelsea losses to West Ham or Sheffield nor any of his players,or Solkjaer who has played the same team for a 5th game in a row conceding a goal in the 96th may be had he had fresher players on the pitch they might not have conceded or Luke Shaw wouldn’t have injured himself or Pobga whose mistake lead to a goal yesterday,they didn’t get blamed,what about Leicester loss to Bournemouth red card,penalty conceded by Ndidi…palace’s Shako who gifted a goal …check other sites ,we seem to be the only ones to always trying to blame our players, manager after our first of loss in a while and the opposite is also true,when we win or draw and put decent performances the team and MA never get the credits,it,s always because the opponent was only Sheffield who by the way did beat Chelsea, spurs…or we were lucky…. also there are reasons why 5 substitutions are allowed,do we have to explain them?or why a player who is back from injury and played a lot of football needs to substituted,or after a 3months of near complete inactivity and having to play every 3 days,rotation is needed?how can people criticise or give advise when they don’t even grasp, understand the basics?and lastly,we must have watched a different game because Ceballos after his performance against Wolves,he once again was one of our most solid players against spurs, defensive work,tackles, putting constant pressure on their midfield,the reason why the spurs defenders were playing long balls to their fowards bypassing their own midfield,in the 2nd half spurs had 24% possession and you wanted to take Ceballos off for Torreira a DM really?or to play Ozil who has 4 assists and one goal in the last 2 seasons, unbelievable!

  4. I seems to be the only one noticing lacca hardly play full time since his arrival, this is also evident in his drop in performance from 60min upward, am sure he only finished spurs game because of absence of Eddie, we are not the coach, only him has First Class info on the fitness /readiness of each player, so let’s keep quiet and enjoy the game

  5. Who cares, we’re playing the team on 93 points next. The team whose Islington is better than ours! And thus we’ll be outmatched man for man. Heaviest home defeat incoming.

  6. Not just the subs, but Arteta’s has shown thus far to quite inflexible during matches in regards to tactics. E.g. Why did he stick with 3 CB’s after Spur’s winner? What is the point of extra defenders when you need in a goal in the last 15 minutes?

    To be fair, Arteta is working with absolute trash though.

  7. It looks like a lot of our so called supporters should be great managers. I have never read so much crap.

  8. Arteta made a big mistake of taking off pepe against spurs,,,pepe was taking the ball forward using his skills and everything,,and the game changed when pepe was taken off,,,,,Arteta need to think twice before making a substitution,,,,,,,,,,

  9. I agree with the article, if you look at Leicester city game, we were leading before the unfortunate red card, I don’t blame for Eddie for it, wanted to win the ball, but why was he brought in, in the first place we were leading, why not bring in defensive player to protect the lead when only 10 or so minutes left, anyway we still had Auba in as a striker, so lack of in the game management skills or plainly put, lack of experience, if it was Jose you would have seen a different tac. In spuds game, the second tototo were targeting our right side of pepe and Bellerin and ultimately mustafi, so instead of bringing in Niles or Cedric to give defensive strength there he brings Saka, when spuds grabbed the lead he now brings Cedric, for what

  10. Arteta is still learning his trade. Its sad because he is doing it at Arsenal, a team that has been struggling for years. There’s no time to learn. Arteta could have done that in lower leagues. Its either he shape up or ship out

  11. Yes! sometimes i am forced to think arteta got his subs wrong but to be frnk the fall of this club started some years back. We had Arsene Wenger as the coach, Kroenke the owner, Gazzidis Raul and the others but none of them has that eye to see into the future even when the warning signs of bad future (lossing 8-2 united, 5-1 to liverpool, 6-0 to chelsea and recently 10-2 to bayern munich) keeps coming. To make things worst, a coach that wenger seems better than was his replacement and though mr wenger and emery are both gone, kroenke, raul and others still in. Sven Mislintat on an enterview revield arsenal has no clear vision.

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