Redemption Songs: Which Arsenal write-offs will be rescued by Arteta?

Hate to say I told you so, but during some of the darker days in recent times when many supporters were happy to write off most of our first team squad as not good enough, I repeatedly maintained that they weren’t as bad as they looked.

When a team is lacking in confidence and badly managed it’s easy for just about any player to look distinctly average.

Before Unai Emery was shown the door (and then invited to use it) I saw people on social media saying we should even get rid of Aubameyang and Lacazette.

And of course Luiz was a has-been, Xhaka a disaster, Torreira a lightweight, Mustafi a clown, Sokratis a liability etc etc.

So it’s interesting to see at least some of these players starting to find redemption under the new improved regime of Mikel Arteta.

Luiz looked like a world class centre half in our last two games against Chelsea and Manchester United. Torreira has been a mini man mountain. Xhaka suddenly looks like he belongs in an Arsenal shirt. Sokratis scored with a volley, for heaven’s sake.

So… which players who formerly failed to convince us fans do you think are most likely to be rehabilitated under Arteta and become fan favourites?

Cast your vote below and give your reasons in comments.



25 Responses to Redemption Songs: Which Arsenal write-offs will be rescued by Arteta?

  1. Great idea Rocky ……….. I voted for Ozil. It was delight to watch him against Man U the other night. I’m sure he loves it that Mikel is setting up the team in order to get the best out of him and the other creative players.

    OMG …….. football was so boring before Mikel came ………. it’s gonna be some ride, let’s hope the players can stay tuned because I’m sure there’ll be hiccups.

    Not sure what Mikel can do about Mustafi 😉

  2. LB says:

    What, Eboue has got more votes than Socratis lol
    Another superb read.

  3. Rasp says:

    Nice little friday teaser Rocky,

    I wanted to place multiple votes for Ozil, Xhaka and Luiz as Mikel has already improved those players to a level where they wouldn’t have been considered as dispensable had they always performed as well.

    I place my trust in Mikel. If he says Xhaka is a great player and he wants to keep him then that’s fine by me. The way Ozil has played recently he’d now be my first name on ther team sheet … and Luiz showed true leadership qualities in the last game so I’m happy to keep him too.

  4. VP says:

    Totally Agree Rocky, well said.
    I never lost faith in Xhaka and was happy for his speedy return after his catharsis. Thank god Arteta does not heed the twitter bubble. And there’s only one Mesut Özil!

  5. LBG says:

    Voted only for Mesut ( and his brilliance was never in doubt, Emery had no “understanding”) and Daviid ( and I will still qualify that with the belief he should play not as a CB, in my ideal team, but in front of a defence including two of Saliba/Holding/ Koulibaly/ Um….Leipzig.

    On the topic of Mesut, and on my Birthday when I have been remembering and talking about my Dad to a few friends, I oft recall a piece of advice from him as a heavyweight boxer. ” Jon, if you are being hassled/bullied/ strongly upset by someone who wont get out of your face, a straight right onto the nose usually stops them. The nose is a very sensitive part of the face, son!”
    Sorry for the implication of violence, but that’s how
    I felt about John Collins’ comments at the weekend on Mesut! After working like a demon against Manure and winning back possession 10 times, he said “the 31 year old is lazy and a liability.” “Arteta did get Ozil working harder than he’s ever worked, but leopards never change their spots.” That will be a short term thing for Ozil because his natural instinct is to be lazy, it’s not to have an instant spring back, chasing back – it not in his DNA”

    Well you Scottish, very average, ex professional footballer TWAT, whilst you are entitled to your view, you deserve a punch on the nose!

  6. RC78 says:

    I voted for Xhaka because I think that Arteta, having played as a DM/CM, can really get the most out of him. Also, if Xhaka improves, our team will be more balanced so that s a big plus for us…

  7. Sue says:

    Mesut Ozil, baby!
    When he’s on it, he’s mesmerising!! So, needless to say, I’ve really loved these last few games!!

  8. LBG says:

    Best of Bench Cam on Arsenal website for Manure game, gives that warm feeling again.
    Mikel is the man. COYG.

  9. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for playing, everyone.

    I voted for Mustafi.

    No, wait, hear me out.

    I figured that Ozil having a resurgence is not really a surprise – we now he can be amazing. Voting for Ozil is too easy an option.

    Kola has never really been in the doghouse even though his defensive work has been criticized at times.

    Luiz has had a pretty good career and we all know he can be good in a good system. Sokratis is a solid if unspectacular CB and uniquely to improve.

    Assuming that a vote for EE is effectively a spoilt ballot, I was left with a toss up between Xhaka and Mustafi. We have already seen evidence of Xhaka improving under Arteta and the new boss has made positive noises about him.

    So I’m sticking my neck out and saying that I’m backing Mikel to turn Mustafi into a reliable back-up (not first choice) CB.

    Which probably means he’ll be sold tomorrow…

  10. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky

    Despite always humming the tune that our squad has always been much better than it was playing, I must admit to being drawn into the player A and player B not being good enough, or in some cases not being right for us in the EPL.

    Probably the two that I have focused on mostly have been Mustaffi and Xhaka. Right now I am looking at all players with a clean sheet and am happy to let Mikel decide. As such I didn’t vote for any individual in the squad, as they might all potentially be valuable players with better coaching and tactics, so I went for Eboue.

    The smiles are back on the faces of the players and no-one flashed the pearly whites in a more endearing way than our Emanuel so lets get him back just for the smile.

    On another note, being one that loves a bit of tactical bolleux, that AMN article was very interesting, and I hope the lad makes that position his own. We probably haven’t had that kind of tactical focus in our teams for well over 10 years.

  11. LB says:

    I just watched bench cam with Arteta, it must be such a relief for him to be able to get up and walk about after being told at City that he must sit still without a hair on his head moving, OK, his hair still doesn’t move but at least now he can get up.

  12. VP says:

    from ESPN:

    LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal make move for Bayern defender Boateng
    Arsenal needed to improve their defence even before the season-ending injury to Calum Chambers, and Sky Sports Germany claims that Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is of interest.

    Boateng, 31, has slipped down the pecking order in Munich with the club happy to sell for around €15m. The Germany international already has experience of playing in the Premier League, having been on Manchester City’s books from 2010-11.

  13. RockyLives says:

    As someone who doesn’t watch much European footy, can someone tell me whether Boateng would be a good move?

  14. LBG says:

    Experienced, lost a bit of his pace, getting older, Rio Ferdinand type player. Would prefer Um…from Leipzig or Koulibaly myself or even Brighton or Burnley CBs…… in not convinced myself might be a typical cut priced January buy!!

  15. Rasp says:

    It could be a case of selling Mustafi and buying Boateng I guess?

  16. RockyLives says:

    Hmmm… “lost a bit of pace” worries me.

  17. RC78 says:

    Rocky – I am hoping we don’t make a move for Boateng. He is not the player he used to be. Slower and more error-prone. We can do better than him. Ruben Dias from Benfica would be a good move or Koulibaly from Napoli or even Upamecano would be better in my view.

  18. allezkev says:

    Lewis Dunk? Ben Mee? Conor Coady?

    Probably too expensive, so Boateng it is…

  19. oz gunner says:

    Great idea. I voted for Xhaka. The Arteta we had playing is exactly what we need from Xhaka. We need a tidy midfielder that is good on the ball, focused, has good tactical nous, and a leader. That was Arteta. Couldn’t find a more suitable mentor for him.

    2nd would be mustafi. He has the tools to be a great defender. It’s just all in his head. K.I.S.S principle needs to be in full effect with him. Arteta needs to give him the Marty mcfly knock on the head treatment to see if there is anything in there. We need a CB with his age profile and to get some worth for what we paid. He made the German team for crying out loud. There has to be a good CB in there!

  20. LBG says:

    Conor Coady…..good call, sir.

  21. RockyLives says:

    We’ll probably sign someone who’s not on our radar, which is what we normally do.

  22. RC78 says:

    I hope it is Inigo Martinez

  23. allezkev says:

    I think we have space for two non English signings in our squad and two English developed players over 21 ( I think?)

    I’m not sure but Nketiah might have to be registered as a squad player next season, so that could come into the equation…

    Yeah LBG, Coady always looks very accomplished when I’ve seen him on TV.

  24. RockyLives says:

    New Post with an FA Cup flavour…

  25. Tom Enias says:

    Nelson and Pepe

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