Why Arteta is totally correct about Arsenal’s awful start to the season

As we all know, the start of the season was Arsenal’s worst in half a century at least , and of course quite a lot of our reactionary fans simply thought that it was enough reason for Mikel Arteta to get the sack.

Some fans simply wouldn’t take any notice of the “excuses” of injuries, Covid and players having extended breaks because of the international tournaments, not to mention the fact that we played both Champions League finalists during that losing run!

Now we have done the opposite and WON three games in a row, Arteta explained how he persuaded his players to not get despondent with being bottom of the League.

The boss said on Arsenal.com: “What we did is try to explain to them what happened in the first three games, we missed nine, 10, 11 players that we could not select, they were out and the ones that were in had issues as well because they had Covid, they had injuries and we played the best two teams in the world, which you can see yesterday when they played each other.

“So we had to accept that we were bottom of the table, that was best to accept the reality, and go back to certain things we have to do better, believe in what we do, stick together and we were lucky because we had our people with us in a difficult moment, which in football is very rare to find. Then things started to get better.”

But we also lost to Brentford you say! Now that is where I am going to show you the massive difference between that opening game and yesterday’s North London Derby.

This was the team that kicked off against the Bees…..


Pablo Marí    White     Chambers  Tierney

Xhaka   Smith-Rowe   Lokonga

Pépé  Balogun


So how many of that XI started yesterday against Tottenham? 

FOUR of them, that’s how many. Only White, Tierney, Xhaka and Smith-Rowe survived.

So, I put to you that Arteta was completely right that were extremely weakened in those first few games,

I would even go so far as to say that if Arteta was forced to play the team that started against Brentford in every game, then we probably would have lost to Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham as well!

Hopefully, we can keep most of our top players fit all season and only bring in the understudies when there are injuries or suspensions come into play.

Arteta finally gets to pick his best team, and hopefully we’ll carry on winning and get back to where we should be….



  1. Let’s hope that now that we have what seems to be Ateta’s preferred line-up healthy that we can put many performances like this together one after the other. Not just occasionally.

    Let’s also hope Xhaka’s injury is not too bad. His experience is needed.

  2. The same way you are mentioning how MA was judged too quickly after the first game, you are doing the exact same after the Spurs win. Let’s wait and see if the fantastic performance against Spurs will be replicated against other “top 8” teams. Signs are promising.

    A football team is not 11 players only, there’s a reason it’s called a squad and it’s needs to function well when certain players’ aren’t available.

    Managers would love to play their strongest 11 every game, few can even do this for 3 games in a row.

    In fact, over the season we’ll be more likely to be able to play our “strongest 11” more often than all the teams we consider our rivals based on us being in the absolute minimum competitions a team can be in.

    1. @PJ-SA . Last time I checked, spurs was and still is a top 8 team. Let’s learn to give credit where it is due

      1. “Let’s wait and see if the fantastic performance against Spurs will be replicated against other “top 8” teams”

        Not sure if you even read my comment before replying??? Not sure what part is confusing?

    2. I 100% agree, MA could’ve done better in our first 3 matches. I mean we still have 11 players against 11!

      Team selection, formation and tactics were poor, MA was the major reason for those losses.

      Now, no more excuses, we want to be in the top 4 and have some titles as we aren’t there in Europe!

  3. AdPat- it was Brentford. A team who arrived in the Premiere League via the playoffs.
    Now look at the team Arteta selected for that game. Full of experienced internationals and promising youngsters. You would be very annoyed with that team getting knocked out of one of the two domestic cups to that Brentford team so why accept a EPL loss? And where was the intensity in that game that was obviously apparent yesterday? Is Arteta only able to motivate certain players? Or different players for different games?
    I just cannot accept any tradin for losing to Brentford. Chelsea and City? Ok, they are both obviously better than us, but where was the fight in those games? Again I question Arteta snd his ability to motivate.
    It seems you are hellbent on defending the indefensible here. Poor motivation and tactical options were our downfall against Brentford with very poor performance following. Norwich and Burnley saw us get the job done, that’s all. One de ent performance still had me questioning the manager and will until he is gone

    1. Well pal

      The gulf in quality between the Arsenal side v Brentford and the one that beat Spurs yesterday is MASSIVE it really is, there is no comparison its just not about anything motivational, it was just a personnel issue.

      And tbf to Brentford and you should aswel, they are a very good side, it really doesnt matter that they only got promoted this year.

      They have 1 defeat in 6 games and had a very good 3-3 draw with Liverpool.

      1. @Val- well PAL
        We are Arsenal. We are a Big Football Club. We are a far bigger football club than Brentford. You obviously have a bar set far far lower than mine and seem to feel that result was acceptable. I don’t. You seem to suggest that performance was acceptable. I don’t. We had players missing I agree. But with the size of our squad, and the quality of the players Arteta had available, we should still have won that game. And as for bigging up Brentford, they are a Championship level Club who will not survive too long in the Premiete league. If you feel Arsenal should accept losing to a club of that level then you have no ambition for what should be our future. And something else you should consider PAL is that far more“supporters” are realising that mediocrity is staring this club in the face, unless things change very very quickly. Yesterday’s performance and result proves that this squad is good enough to challenge for the top four. Anything less should not be acceptable. Accept of course for those like yourself who accept mediocrity and are happy to make up the numbers. I don’t. And most others don’t either

        1. honestly where have you got your head stuck??

          Yes we are Arsenal

          No i dont like losing to Brentford and wasnt acceptable.

          Brentford are not a championship level club, how the hell can they be when they are in the EPL?????

          What i can accept is that No Saka, No Auba, No Laca, No Partey, No Gabriel and with debuts for Sambi, and full debut for balogun with the covid stuff literally the day before the game = very tough game against a side who would always be mega up for that opening game – this i can accept.

          It’s not about me lacking ambition so PAL you can sod off there and ” supporters” ? ive been going to Highbury and now the Emirates for over 50 years.

          Bloody whinge bag

        2. also that performance and result does not mean we can challenge for top 4

          Spurs are not a top 4 team, if we play like that and win against CIty, Pool Chelsea and Man UTD then we can say that

          1. @Val- my head is certainly not stuck up your arse as yours appears to be.
            I do not accept the injuries and illnesses as an excuse. We had more than enough on that pitch to have won. You contradict yourself PAL. It’s pointless saying why we lost was because of the players out and Brentford were up for it.?So why were we not up for it? Because from what I saw, at the game and not on tv, was a side that produced a very typical Arteta uninspired, lethargic performance that was so typical of so many we witnessed last season.
            But you seem to just accept this. As I say PAL I set my bar a lot higher than this.
            And that performance yesterday proved in my mind we certainly do have the players to challenge for a Top 4 spot. No European football, a squad that has a number of very high quality young and experienced players. Why would I not expect this as a minimum. Actually achieving this is a different thing altogether but what should I expect? To allow a defeat to a tinpot club like Brentford to be acceptable as you do?
            And you have been going for 50 years PAL- so have I. Home, Away, Europe. So what. So so many thousands of others.
            Like I say, you contradict and embarrass yourself PAL. Just never expect me to believe Arsenal should ever be thought of as a club that feels losing to small irrelevant sides is acceptable

    2. @phil that same Brentford forced loserpool to a draw that’s something I don’t think we can archive yet

      1. Samson- I’m not concerned with others – only Arsenal. The fact is we list to a newly promoted team, who didn’t even qualify through their league position, but through the play-offs. They are a very very small club. We are not. We lost. The performance was abysmal. Are you suggesting that because they drew with Liverpool they were expected to beat us? How can this even make sense? We played very very poorly, we got beaten by a newly promoted side who do not possess one single player good enough to make our squad. That PAL is a fact. So there alone is the reason Arsenal should never consider losing to a side such as Brentford. No excuses are acceptable.

        1. Sampson! Loserpool? Really? Last I heard they won Champions League and an EPL title and have been making Arsenal look like dog shit over the past five seasons. Phil is right, Arteta was underprepared against Brentford. He may not have had all his best players available, but he had enough to beat a mish mash team no matter how well they are organised. Coodos to the Bees, although I don’t think they have the squad depth to sustain their current intensity. Arsenal will beat them easily next time around.

    3. @Phil, did you watch the same Brentford against Liverpool? They’re no pushovers (at the moment at least).
      We had a weakened team, that’s it. Now that we have our full team, NO MORE EXCUSES!.
      I’ll take five One.nil wins, over one Five nil win.
      We’ve thrashed Spurs, let’s see if we can get some consistency. That’s the most important thing right now.
      Next stop is Brighton.
      Onwards and upwards!

      1. @Namo- it does not get over the fact we lost to Brentford though does it? I’m not bothered about how anyone else performs. There is no rational excuse for Arsenal to lose to a team like Brentford. Full stop.

        1. I watched the Brentford and Liverpool game ,Liverpool pretty much smashed them ,just one of those games that didn’t go their way ,to suggest that Brentford matched Liverpool is bull crap ,.
          Brentford will be bottom 5at the end of the season ,Liverpool gave them to much space and got punished,Klopp will not let that happen again .

    4. Phil, apparently you missed the part where he said the players who did play against Brentford were not in proper shape and not feeling 100%

      1. Obviously I missed that. My question is WHY were they not 100% ready and prepared? Surely that’s a managers job is it not? Or are you now suggesting the squad all had COVID? Pretty tame excuse AFTER the game don’t you think?

        1. @Phil you are acting like Arsenal was never ever before battered by weaker teams and even with less or no complications before the match. You are delusional mate, your opinion is not objective to the context, you simply dislike Arteta so much, that you want him to make miracles and even then you will be in the lines of – “Ahh he did Ok, but he could have done better.”

          1. @R- delusional ? Really PAL.
            I make a very simple point. Arsenal should NEVER lose to newly promoted tinpot clubs such as Brentford. We are a big football club. They are not. Name me one of their players you had ever heard of before this season, I bet your struggling with that. Now name me their side that played us. I bet you can’t PAL can you?
            Why? Because they are a totally irrelevant side that “might” hang around for a season or two then that is that for them. Arteta fielded a side that should have had no trouble winning that game. No player that was in that side was affected with COVID. No player was played with an injury. It was full of internationals and highly promising youth players.
            The reason we lost was because Arteta sent out a side that was not prepared and had zero intensity in their play.
            And you cannot see that for yourself PAL? And you call me delusional!!!
            I would say your head is stuck up the same arse as @Val.

          2. @phil

            OK pal, if you say so…

            Never ever in the football history before, big teams were beaten by small teams. So it is just Arsenal and it’s Arteta’s fault. We get it.

    5. We are not a perfect club. but we are a club that has regressed and now is on another course.
      Every team has lost to a team they should not have, Arsenal is now 3-3, with only one lose that they should not have. But we are rebuilding, not all things go perfect, but 5 games have gone as we expected. to rag on Arsenal because of one game is ridiculous.

  4. When Nasri left our camp,I was hurt but I knew it was the end of his career. The guy was good at Arsenal but leaving was his big mistake. I am sorry that he is now retiring so early

  5. Arsenal have got to help their manager and team by implementing stricter measures and punishments to the ill-disciplined ones

    I don’t think other big EPL team lost that many of key players in their opening games. Our backup players’ price tags aren’t even comparable to the other big teams’

    Leniency has been our biggest problem since Kroenke came. We shouldn’t have lost anyone to illness and unfitness, just because of the young millionaires’ bad lifestyles and disciplines

    1. GAI- I’m not sure you can say catching COVID is being indisciplined and blame Kronke for this.?The Club have never once suggested any one player has refused to be inoculated. And was not Arteta himself not the first victim when catching the virus when we played Olympiakos? Blame him as much as the players. We had players out through injury (Partey & Gabriel). Tommy was yet to join the club, as was Tamsdell and Odegaard. It was only Aubamayang, White and Lacazette who were ill, not the whole squad.

      1. Phil, after the Brentford match, I highlighted the fact that they would upset a number of very good sides on their tight pitch, which, with respect, is a great leveller.They took a point from a virtually full strength Liverpool side, and indeed, they could well have won the match.With their adrenalin high on their promotion to the EPL they will be difficult to beat at home, until their energy drops, which it will in the second half of the season.

        1. Grandad I remember the comment. I just do not accept we should ever lose to clubs such as Brentford. Our squad is big enough and with experienced internationals not to be intimidated by sides such as Brentford. A very poor performance with no intensity to our game whatsoever. Look at our side that evening and it is full of internationals who were experienced enough to guide the likes of Balogun and Martinelli through the match. We were rudderless and just an extension of the side and performances of ladt season

      2. Phil, we’ve been having severe match fitness, motivation, work rate and injury problems since Kroenke came, as compared to other big EPL teams. I don’t think it’s a coincidence

        As far as I know, the vaccinated people can still be infected if they don’t follow the health protocols. Anyone who breaches the rules at Arsenal must take the blame

        1. Nope- sorry GAI. Kronke is not there to motivate and babysit the players. He employs managers and coaches for that and sacks then when they don’t perform. Ask Wenger snd Emery

  6. Also I believe the delays in our transfer dealings was significant. The club wanted to add Ramsdale Odegaard and Tomiyasu.
    But because of covid so many of our players were too expensive for the market. So we had the Willock to Newcastle Saga the Xhaka to Roma saga Saliba + Guendouzie sagas. Leno Bellarin Holding Chambers Cedric Niles Nketiah Torreira Willian Runarrson Lacazette Aubameyang Elneny and Kolasinac all had their own individual transfer saga arc. The club was forced to play transfer poker right down till the last hours there by robbing the team of several key players who had to be moth balled in case a deal was struck.

    1. It was and still the incompetence of the board in not being proactive towards transfer period. Their strange leftist stand in paying fat wages to average and less average players making it very difficult to sale them coupled with their inability of quickly putting 2 & 2 together and come up with the right and real best option when it comes selling buying of players. Refusing to accept Roma’s offer for Xhaka and add a little to pay for Aouar or this other player is a very wrong one, they went ahead extend his contract with increased pay and restoration of captainship. 1st, 2nd, 3rd match red card and loses, the club started winning in his absence. Why did the club almost switch off after 1st half? they ought to have pummeled Spurs mercilessly.

  7. Speaking of reactionary, I think one outstanding performance does not wash away two 8th place finish in a row endorsed by ugliest football ever seen in recent memory. You are too quick there Pat let’s see if there will be consistency in the following games first.

    Injuries were stories of Wenger’s life and yet he achieved more with less resources. Injuries cannot be an excuse to the sixth most expensive squad in the world.

    1. Coo-rr-ect! Let’s see – 1. consistency in this kind of performance, 2. recalling of our players like William Saliba, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi and stop the hating and killing of their morale, give them chance as he is always giving the ready to happen roaming yellow and red card Xhaka. He produced spineless and disenchanted team that lacked positive cohesion, coming 8th position in seccession with drab and souless brand of football. Let him take the club back to top 4 because he has the players that can do that then we can agree.

  8. Let’s not get carried away by NLD performance, am hoping we are on a run, at least 10epl games unbeaten then we can talk about MA.
    Just like he said some weeks back “negativity will leave the walls of our club with good results “ , now it’s all happening and am happy

  9. I wonder how many of our fans watched the Brentford vs Liverpool match yesterday. Those who did know what Brentford is like. Brentford came from behind twice to draw with Liverpool. Is that the team you call a pushover? There are no easy games in EPL. So those of you who had judged our boys harshly against Brentford had better revise their attitudes towards Brentford.

    1. Recall what happened when Brighton visited them, were they able to come back? No. When Chelsea were pumeling Arsenal in Emirate what stopped them from coming back. When a manager chooses to play a patternless football, playing from the back and keep the ball in your own when your defence and midfield players lacks the skill and confidence to hold ball, he opted to not taking the fight to the opponents in the name of having the least conceding team yet you can’t make even top six. Brentford have the right attitude, a fearless fighting spirit that makes them believe that every team is beatable if only you have the guts. Mikel over respects top teams and most times comes up with formations, tactics and attitudes that easily hands victory to the opponents before the is played. Please enough of the cowardice and timidity, Brentford game was already lost before it was played, Arteta neither have confidence in his ability to make the players available to him win the match nor in the players.

    2. Spurs beat Man City. Man city beat us by 5 goals. We beat Spurs by 3. Southampton drew against both Manchester clubs and yet they are expected to fight relegation. Aston Villa won at old Trafford. By that logic should we expect defeats from Southampton and Aston Villa?

      I mean no offense but since when are we judging losses by how the concerned team performed in another game?

      This is very weak argument to be honest.

      When are we all just going to let results on the pitch judge the manager? Looking at yesterday performance the signs are looking good so can we just stop with the forced excuses and let results speak for him?

      Doesn’t the fact that some find the need to invent any kind of excuse say something in itself?

  10. There was no reactionary BS from me, i dont make my decisions over short periods, i make them over longer ones. When we are back challenging for top 4, which is where we should be, i will accept that whoever is manager is doing the job required. I have said it more than once, i hope that is Arteta, my problem is i am still waiting for performances that suit what we have been primed for. There are shoots appearing and we have now won 50% of our games in the league, that HAS to be improved greatly on. Nothing reactionary either way for me!!!!!!

  11. Well I think even last season the turned up against Spurs.

    Lets hope this team turns up against Brighton next Saturday because they are no pushovers.

  12. just once I would like to see us get our house in order early in the summer window, so that we could start a season on the front foot, instead of always having a built-in excuse for stumbling out of the blocks…the last time this occurred was the year we mistakenly only acquired the underwhelming Cech in the off-season and we finished 2nd

  13. It was a great victory, the team played with intensity, skill and motivation. Let’s hope they carry that on. There is a long way to go to be a top team.
    as Aristotle said:-
    “One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”
    One loss or one win doesn’t make the flavour of the season and we have been poor for a long time. If Sunday’s victory over the imposters carries us forwards then I will be joyful, but there is a long way to go.

    1. Yes we are 50% winners and 50% losers, thats not good enough for Europa qualification, let alone CL. A massive improvement still needed but we have a platform to build on.

  14. MA has stopped the rot but can he motivate and organise the team enough to have the consistency required to do anything else but make up the numbers.

    It was a top win against a poor Spuds but there will be tougher tests ahead.

  15. We beat the Spuds, no doubt, but consistency is the key now. Hope everything jells well and we continue our winning run. Another important point is the bench strength. Considering injuries and suspensions and the length of the season, Arsenal cannot be expected to play the same XI over and over again, so our bench should be equally capable of delivering good performances when called upon. I would include Laca, ASL, Tavares and too some extent Pepe in our good bench strength but not sure about the others. All the others should also train and equip themselves equally well to go firing when called upon.

  16. A lot of fans on this site should be ashamed calling auba finished and wanting laca to take his spot, the same lacazette who’s leaving. Auba showed his quality against spurs a proper strikers and more importantly captains performance. Let’s hope he kicks on coz if he starts scoring for fun again then we’re gonna he a different beast

    1. 👍 He had an excellent game (that flick 😍). Really pleased he got his goal and what a celebration – Captain fantastic!!

  17. I don’t subscribe to such excuses. we have a squad of about 28 players. what is lacking in those matches was belief. our players played against Chelsea and man city with a lot of respect. arteta need to work on that aspect of making our players believe they can beat any team. again, any player that wears our shirt should be ready to reciprocate the honor done him.

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