We Want Our Arsene Back….

About three years before finally being shuffled out of the club I implored Arsene Wenger to resign we had just won the FA Cup beating Hull unconvincingly, many took my post as intended a love letter to Arsene asking him to go to stop the noise destroying our club from outside and in, others didn’t see that and attacked me for being mad to ask him to leave after winning the cup final. I expect the same today for those who don’t read to the end.

There were issues with the fans already according to many we were not good enough, signings were average the squad was full of “dead wood” and Arsene just wouldn’t adapt to more defensive tactics or bring in the new Gilberto.

The refrain from the stands was often “we want our Arsenal back”, my question was always what Arsenal, the one of Arsene’s early seasons, the Arsenal of George Graham, or maybe the Arsenal of Terry Neil, I guess it depended how old as a fan you were to what Arsenal you were referring to.

The Arsenal I have always wanted back is the one run by a Board of Directors who had a long history with the club, but that is pure fantasy what top side is owned independently without foreign investment? I have to accept the game has changed in that respect.

In the early days of Emery’s first season we smashed a poor Fulham side who went on to be relegated 5-1 at the Cottage, Arsenal fans rejoiced and the sound of “we’ve got our Arsenal back” reverberated from the away end.

A mere two years later we sit in 15th place with more losses than wins after 12 games, our worst start since 1974, not sure that was the Arsenal any of us wanted back and it was before my time on this small blue dot commenced.

It was an awfully long way back to where we ended the 90’s and started the naughties courtesy of Graham and then Wenger.

Now we look back in hindsight I have to ask, was it that bad with Arsene? Ok we maybe weren’t title contenders but on the flip side the team still managed to give us some hope we were only ever one or two players away. Where are we now? Five, six, seven players away?

Ok it’s wishful thinking Arsene won’t want to interfere. Arsene wouldn’t want a second fiddle job and has moved on to pastures new, but I can’t help thinking Arteta needs help, and who better to give it than Arsene, the man that gave Arsenal players unbelievable belief gave young players opportunities, if you were good enough you were old enough. He was ruthless to players who were usurped, Debuchy signed to replace Sagna, got injured, Hector came in and made the place his own and Debuchy a decent player everyone expected to be first choice right back left the club soon after.

But if there’s one thing I want back from watching my club it’s freedom to play, playing with a smile and making me smile. Yes we didn’t always win but it was at least good to watch.

Come back Arsene all is forgiven make me smile again.

Gooner in Exile

86 Responses to We Want Our Arsene Back….

  1. Dan says:

    Wenger was past it long before 2014 but I agree it would have been for the best to leave on a high, he was too stubborn and was still delivering beyond the very limited ambitions from above.

    The real problem at Arsenal goes back to the Emirates, which attracted vultures (KSE) to the club and the rest, like Arsenal as a ‘force’ in football, is history, sadly.

    Drop dead Stan..

  2. TeeCee says:

    Jesus, if we were relegated to the 1st division it would still be too big a job for the dinosaur that is Wenger. He should have been sacked in 2008 but was given another 10 years to destroy Arsenal with his ‘dictator’ style and his outdated and stale ideas (several of which Arteta is already following)! There is no space for Wenger now, he killed his legend by staying way beyond his usefulness.

  3. sean vassallo says:

    Jesus Tee cee your an idiot.At what point do you start attacking the marketing side of the club??We expected miracles from a boatd who simply wouldn’t support any of they buys Arsene wnated.We wanted MAnolas we got Mustafi.We wanted both Ozil and Higuain and we got one only always the same with this team but the arrogant supporters kept on asking for more.The same supporters who enviously wacthed other clubs spend their sugar daddies money!!!.United got a sponsorship deal with adidas for 60mill and another 50 million with Chevrolet.Contrast that with VISIT RWANDA and a measly 10 million.Now you understand you muppets!!!

  4. RA says:

    GIE,

    It’s brilliant to see you back in full flow Arsenal mode recently, with so many of your comments hitting the nail on the head and eliciting really interesting responses.

    Today’s Post is bound to get mixed responses as, at the time, fans were very divided over the “Wenger Issue” and I do not suppose that will have changed much over recent years.

    It’s all history now, of course, but some of the best football I saw as an Arsenal supporter came in the early Wenger years after the Invinclbles started to show their brilliance.

    What happened in the years after the Invincibles were dismantled were very hard to take for many Arsenal fans.

  5. RA says:

    TA,

    I just noticed that you responded to my rather cryptic comment yesterday, and on rereading my missive I think I have allowed a personal upset with you to cloud my blogging judgement.

    I have no authority concerning AA, so you do not need to worry about writing on here whenever you want.

    The cause of this unfortunate episode was a rather unpleasant comment from you calling me a name.

    So what you may ask? Well, I have known you for years and always liked you and thought we were friends, and that feeling seemed to be reciprocated.
    You know I have always supported you when you were on here, and I also supported and encouraged you when you were setting up your own excellent Blogsite, which I often visited.

    To be candid, I had forgotten what the offending name calling was, but looking back, it appears I took offensive at being called ‘a clown’.

    That is now a little awkward, as I do clown around, and I do enjoy getting humour from some dark days when, as an Arsenal fan down in the dumps I can exchange pleasantries with my fellow (and fellowess) bloggers. Being called a clown is not a bad thing,

    I apologise for being dismissive to you, as I was really only cross with myself for wrongly believing we had been friends for all those years.

    More fool me.

  6. Gööner In Exile says:

    If I’m honest this post was hastily written in the car park of a McDonald’s whilst I was on my way to actually work at a clients for the day.

    I don’t for one minute expect Wenger to come back and neither do I expect it to be a popular opinion amongst Arsenal fans.

    And I fully expected comments from people who hadn’t read the whole post.

    What I want is to enjoy watching football again and if that means we bring in a manager like Wenger or Martinez or anyone who prioritises expression and creativity over heavy tactics and caring about the opposition more then I’ll be behind that. I am surprised that Arteta has not brought those qualities to the Arsenal, I understood that last season he was working on a game plan to win the FA Cup and not necessarily one to win the league. I also felt that he was struggling to overturn 18 months of Emery‘s influence in the same way that some of Emery‘s early successes and high scoring matches were probably leftovers from Wengers era, however it now seems that there is more Emery in Arteta than Wenger and I I’m very surprised by that.

    I worry that. Mikel is lost, and needs some guidance, who better to ask for that help than Arsene?

  7. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Nicely put. I would be delighted to see AW brought back as Director of Football to take some of the load off Arteta and offer sage advice. Ain’t gonna happen though, sadly.

    Redders
    @2.14
    Well said Sir. It’s nice to see someone react to being attacked by attempting to burying the hatchet in the ground, rather than in the attacker’s head. You don’t see that happen very much in the blogosphere or in social media generally.
    You and TA are among the most intelligent bloggers on here so it would be bonkers for you to be at odds.

  8. LB says:

    Woooo, a rare treat from GIE.

    It’s the story of the three sided triangle: you can have any two sides you want but you can never have three.

    Free flowing football, that’s Ozil territory, in my opinion the Willock experiment has failed, yes he looks great running forward in oceans of space on a Thursday night but when space is at a premium as it is in the EPL he is out of his depth, maybe ERS is the answer but when we have a world class player on the books capable of operating in the tightest of spaces it makes no sense not to use him.

  9. LB says:

    Very dignified RA, classy in fact.

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB I agree on Ozil vs Willock. I mean it’s a no contest and as you say maybe ESR is the youth player with the creative touch, after all it is doubtful that two would emerge with similar attributes at the same time. Is Willock more a Ramsey style player? He was often good in those wide open spaces too with an eye for goal.

    I like Arteta’s press conference some good words, and he seemed to be accepting the responsibility whilsti demanding that the players have to also be brave and be counted.

    As I say I liked it, that was until I got to the part where I realised he is the first Arsenal manager to be younger than me. He looks a very old 38. I was surprised to see Emery was only 5 years older than me.

  11. RA says:

    LB, Rocky,

    Thank you for understanding, and my attempt to use my head rather than my ruffled feathers.

    I have always considered TA my friend, and I was a bit shocked when he was so annoyed with me when I had not opened my beak at the time.

    He is a good guy and I am a little stressed at the moment with Covid claiming people close to me, so I hope he understands too.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA

    Thank you for explaining your reaction and I am sorry to hear that I have upset you with calling you something like ‘a clown’. I probably did and it must have been in a bad spirit otherwise you, as a weathered blogger, would not have taken offence to it. I don’t like falling out with good people, especially not those who are 190cm or so tall! 🙂

    So please accept my apologies for upsetting you in the past and I hope we can continue blogging with each other in a respectful way from now on. 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Great post, GiE.

    Arteta, like any young and upcoming professional, could indeed do with a good mentor. I am not sure whether Wenger would be right to mentor Arteta, though. His heart is still bleeding after the painful ‘divorce’ from the club, and I am not sure Wenger would not want to be managing himself too much to be a good mentor for Mikel.

    The Kroenkes have clearly said goodbye to Wenger and it would not surprise me if it all did not go that well between them in the end. It is all quite sad, reading between the lines of Arsene’s recent interviews.

    Wenger had David Dein and Arteta has Edu at the start of their Arsenal careers, and the Basque could really do with a David Dein right now (no disrespect to Edu but he has not got the (life) experience of Dein).

    I like that Arteta has a vision of how we should play but it is tough at the moment both for the eye and the heart. I think he is following Churchill’s advise of “If you are going through hell, keep going”. I kind of respect that too and want to support him whatever choice he makes. I am sure his aim is to make us play both attractive and winning football going forward. But it is hard to see how he is going to achieve this anytime soon… Here is hoping for a bit more luck, return of form of the key attackers, some more involvement of our youth players, a few wins in a row, a good January transfer window, and good momentum and better football in the new year.

  14. Pete the Thirst says:

    What did they put in your burger GIE? 😉

    The Wenger boat sailed a long time ago, a bit too late for my liking, but I still have huge respect for his Wenger Arsenal 1.0 (1996-2000) & Arsenal 1.1 (2001-2006), but what followed wasn’t great. That he survived for 9 years without a trophy is some achievement.

    I wouldn’t object to him sitting on the Board, because for most of his tenure he treated the Club’s funds like a hoard of treasure. If he had over-sight on the Raul era we would not have done those deals, but then any sane director wouldn’t have allowed that sh!t to go down.

    The football is an issue. It’s turgid at the moment. Arteta has a style he wants and the players are currently either not up to it or unwilling to make it work. I get the feeling a number of the players are not giving anything like 100%, but the tactics need to be altered. Let us not forget just 4 months ago we won the FA Cup.

    Patience is needed at present.

  15. Pete the Thirst says:

    A story broke yesterday that the TV deal for French football has gone caput. That could lead to some real problems in Ligue 1. There could be some bankruptcies, but there will definitely be players being sold to get rid of salaries that cannot be afforded.

    This obviously won’t affect PSG who are run and owned by fossil fuel rich state (who openly sponsor terrorism btw), but the rest are in big trouble.

    This is an opportunity to pick up some talented players at decent prices. Expect Arsenal to be back in for Aouar and more creative types next month.

  16. RA says:

    TA,

    We are all good — I over-reacted in a rather stupid fashion, and look forward to chatting to you as we always have done. 😁

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Great RA, thanks. 🙂

  18. jjgsol says:

    Very good post, thanks.

    I have felt for a while that Arteta needed help and that Wenger was the ideal person.

    However, I also feel that Arteta’s style, where he controls everything from the sidelines, without allowing the players any independent thought, is doomed to failure.

    If it were to succeed, we would continue to see turgid uninspiring football, because that is what his system produces.

    It is the skill and the unexpected that makes Wenger’s years so interesting.

    Take the creativity and the independence of thought away and you have automatons playing automatic football.

  19. Gööner In Exile says:

    Jigsol absolutely spot on.

    I have two young boys who are trying to learn the game. I am trying to make them understand after games and training that they need to move the ball fast either with it or passing it otherwise they will get tackled, I also tell them they need to hunt the ball when it is near them otherwise the other team just get to keep it. And I say you need to watch more football to understand. And we put on the PL and the players stand off while one team passes from side to side, and then the ball changes possession after a misplaced pass or lo and behold an interception but all that happens is the same in reverse.

    Pete will PL clubs fear the bubble will burst here too? With next to no gate revenues presently and TV companies hard pressed to charge viewers at home I can see something going belly up. Maybe it will just lead to more games on Amazon Prime, they have the money to do it.

  20. magic hat (Jeanette Kliger) says:

    I really don’t understand how Arteta got this job.
    I am convinced he has power problems. Anyone who questions him is out – Freddie, Guendouzi, Torreira. At the same time, he is weak.
    People, Griezmann and the Chief Rabbi, for example, are now starting to talk about the plight of the uighur Muslims in China. The Kroenkes can’t shut everyone up, even if Özil has been sidelined.
    I have been going to and supporting Arsenal since 1957, but I have had enough. I am ashamed of what this club currently represents and Arteta is part of it.
    Bring in David Dein and Usmanov. They love the club.

  21. RA says:

    GIE

    After the red card rightly dished out to Xhaka, (coming so soon after the red car previously given to Pepe, and the “almost” red card for Elneney) I listened to a very angryArteta after the match and he sounded really upset with all of the above, but particularly Xhaka whose antics almost certainly helped lose the game, and he then said that what had happened was ‘unacceptable’.

    Today he said that “X” was spoken to within the [privacy] of the club and “X” understood what was the best way to avoid incurring such penalties, and I have to agree that was certainly the correct way for a manager to deal with such things.

    Now, this is just my opinion — something that worries me about how Xhaka gets red or yellow cards seems to be self-evident to me, (I am open to other opinions) and that is that Mikel does not seem to understand there are certain physical attributes that just cannot be changed, and that means “X” will never be able to avoid similar problems.

    What is this dodgy attribute, you might query.

    Well, “X” has a rather volatile persona that leads to opposition throats being grabbed, and giving the ref a good reason to award a card — but volatility “leading to opposition throats being grabbed” is not the main problem — it is the by-product of “X” being far too slow

    Look at the Burnley game again, if you can.
    What started off the confrontation? It happened because “X” lost control of the ball to a Burnley player who brought it under control and immediately set off like a whippet to counter attack.

    Realising he could not catch the Burnley player, “X” did what he often does in games, he clumsily hacked him down.

    The outcome is that the ref blows for a foul; the Burnley players get cross over the nature of the foul; there is some rough-housing; “X” loses his cool. and off he goes for an early bath when the ref decides he was a naughty boy.

    None of the above would have happened if “X” had more pace, and had the possibility of catching the opposition player and recovering the ball — without giving away a clumsy foul.

    You cannot train or confer adequate pace to a professional athlete or football player who has never had it in the first place.
    Mikel saying Xhaka had good qualities, and had been OK in previous games, and could not now be ‘abandoned’, and it is true that “X” can produce good cross field balls and er umm — well, Mikel seems to be living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks he can help “X” magically conjure up some desperately needed pace.

    I really believe that Mikel does understand the problem — it is more man management to say positive things — he cannot bug “X” until Partey has fully recovered from injury, or he has made AMN the new midfield replacement for Xhaka, or bought an upgrade in the upcoming Transfer market.

    That means Xhaka will be on his bike in January, and a new midfield team will be giving help to the hard pressed defence by putting AMN or Partey in front of them and having the pace that is so necessary to do so — something which Xhaka does not have.

    I hope I am correct about what will be happening behind the scenes. We will see.

    My money is on Arsenal tonight, mainly because neither Bellerin or Xhaka will be playing. 😳

    (I know some of you will have different opinions — so let’s hear them,) 🤪

  22. LB says:

    Sad state of affairs really, we think we will win because we have players out on bans.

    And that is the royal WE

  23. LB says:

    Arsenal
    1Leno
    15Maitland-Niles
    16Holding
    6Gabriel
    3Tierney
    25Elneny
    8Ceballos
    19Pépé
    30Nketiah
    7Saka
    14Aubameyang

    Substitutes
    9Lacazette
    12Willian
    13Rúnarsson
    17Cédric Soares
    20Mustafi
    23David Luiz
    28Willock

  24. LB says:

    There is a change up there, who is playing behind the front 3?

  25. LB says:

    Bizarre

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    RA that sir is very much in line with my thinking, something else that surprised me when they were in the tunnel prior to the Spurs game was that Saka seemed to be taller than Xhaka, and in fact Xhaka seemed to be more squat than I remember, maybe it is the fact that we have a history of midgets, whilst there is not much difference int heir quoted heights (Xhaka 6ft1 and Saka 5’10) I would say one may be over egging it.

    I am not actually sure how volatile Xhaka is, and how mucho if it is an act, to borrow from Alan Davies on this weeks Yellow Boots podcast he said something along the lines of Xhaka knowing it won’t be allowed to go too far on a football pitch but he would be the first to run without someone to “hold him back” if the same meeting occurred in the car park.

    Although as you rightly say he wouldn’t be able ti run that fast and probably wouldn’t happen anyway as most of his spats come from his lack of pace and badly timed tackles. That said even when his lack of pace isn’t exposed his ability to tackle is dreadful.

    Magic Hat I am not so sure about Usmanov’s love for the club but I do appreciate losing Dein all those years ago was an issue, but that said the likes of the Hill Woods, Ken Friar, all had Arsenal in their veins more so than any foreign investor could possibly understand, someone like Fiszman a boyhood fan, self made and hungry to have some say in the club he loved rather than it be an asset in a portfolio.

    I was lucky enough to meet Ken Friar at a very young age as he was trying to sell a box in the redeveloped Clock End to my Dad’s bank, my Dad used that to get us tickets to the Littlewoods Cup Final…..against Luton 😦 (bloody Andy Dibble!) and also before a home match when my Dads bank was giving a sponsored award to a young Junior Gunner pre match. He was brilliant to me and my brother on both occasions talking about the team and his love for the club was laid bare for anyone to see, we were quite young at the time, we stood on the old cinder next to the green grass of Highbury and he pushed us on to the grass seeing how in awe we were of being that close to the pitch and looking a bit jealous of my Dad as he stood on the pitch handing out the award. We Turned round and he just grinned and said “you never know …. one day”

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB Bizarre indeed!

    AMN in for suspended Hector, why not Soares? Although maybe there is reluctance to change too many at once? he has already changed four (two forced)

    Pepe or Saka to play behind the three? My guess would be Pepe he is probably best suited to that role as he is undeniably good in tight spaces with the ball at his feet and is somewhat limited by a touchline when playing on the wing as he can’t make the opposition guess.

    From that line up the only tweak I would possibly make is Soares at right back and AMN instead of Elneny.

  28. LB says:

    Pepe behind the front 3, I am amazed.

  29. LB says:

    I have just realised that it is simply 3 at the back Doh.

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    You may well be right LB, a back 3 with Saka and AMN providing width in attack and defence?

  31. Rasp says:

    Evening all, that is a disappointingly conservative line up … which will be fine if they perform for 90 minutes and we win … if we don’t I think the pressure on the manager will begin to grow. I look at that bench and ask who can come on and change the game … answer … none of them

  32. RA says:

    Two excellent comments, GIE!! 😁

    Loved these two quotes, especially;

    1. Xhaka knowing it won’t be allowed to go too far on a football pitch but he would be the first to run without someone to “hold him back” if the same meeting occurred in the car park.

    2. Xhaka seemed to be more squat than I remember, maybe it is the fact that we have a history of midgets, whilst there is not much difference int heir quoted heights (Xhaka 6ft1 and Saka 5’10) I would say one may be over egging it.

    And your recall of your dad and Ken Friar, from the perspective of you and your brother …… wow!!! 😁

    ——- Like you, I thought Saka was about 5′ 2″ — but he is a lot taller than I thought.

    As forth team tonight it seems to be a 4 : 2 : 1 : 3 set up.

    I was hoping for a 5 : 2 : 2 : 1

    I am rubbish at that — but I was rather hoping we would have a 5 man defence just to get a draw as a minimum, and a sneaky win as a possibility. 😜

    And – damn it – no Balogun, again. He is a hungry forward and scores instinctively — better than Laca and Willan for goodness sake.🙄

    I’ve known you on the blog for years, and had no idea of your high level contact thru your dad — superb. 👍

  33. RA says:

    Hiya, Rasper,

    Your comment on the bench subs matches my own disappointment — hence my reference to young Balogun.

    Oh, dear — is Mikel is not impressing pre-match.

    (Luckily I know nuzzing.) 😜

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders …. maybe we’re just dreamers. Balogun doesn’t seem in awe of whoever he’s playing against. He has a swagger about him that tells me he relishes the opportunity to show what he can do.

  35. Gööner In Exile says:

    Think high level contact may be overstepping it, but I guess that shows the measure of the man that he left such an imprint over a couple of meetings, Dads bank went for a box at Wembley instead (more “big” events for the clients who maybe were not just Arsenal fans like my Dad) the sponsorship of the JG award was as a result of my Dad feeling a little bad about not taking the Box, they only did it for a few seasons from memory. This was pre the days that every bank, hedge fund and insurance company wanted a piece of PL football.

  36. LB says:

    Can it get anymore embarrassing?

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    Depressingly expected

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    Elneny starting for Arsenal is a clear example of how we’ve fallen. Denilson was hammered by Arsenal fans because he was bang average, but he was playing next to Fabregas. Elneny looks bang average playing in our worst side in however many years. He should be nowhere near this team yet he starts most weeks….

    Fingers crossed for the second half. Right now I’d just take a goal in the right net.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    We are supposed to be doing our homework, but surely anyone involved at the club from tea lady to chairman during Theo’s time would say two things:

    1) he is fast
    2) he is better when rushed

    We gift possession and an easy through all that even at 31 Theo will love and then Leon rushed out making Theo’s mind up for him. We all know given too much time was when Theo lost his shooting prowess he always finished on instinct.

    That said there have been some better passages of play but, there is one overriding difference, when we get the ball to a front man a Saints player is sprinting to get tight and not allow us to turn, when they have the ball we are lucky if our defenders are goal side and can only dream of them being touch tight when they are goal side.

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    Just won’t drop in the box for us. Feel we’ll need to score a belter just to get one at the moment.

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    The amount of passes we try but we don’t make between 5-10 yards is astounding.

    Then we do that!!!!!

    Saka 😍

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    That was all Saka

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    Why is it every time Southampton appeal they get the decision!?

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Wow. You just can’t write it. 10 men again!

  45. Gooner in exile says:

    Self destruct!!! Gabriel has been poor tonight.

  46. fatgingergooner says:

    We aren’t going to finish games with 3 points until we start finishing games with 11 players on the fucking field!!!

    3 of our last 5 games with 10. Stupidity

  47. RA says:

    I cannot believe that those commentators who put all the blame on Gabriel, and somehow did not see Walcott with both hands behind his back holding onto Gabriel’s shorts.

  48. Last change has to be Soares for Pepe and push AMN forward

  49. Gööner In Exile says:

    Artery’s is reading the blog 🙂

  50. RA says:

    Perspicacity, GIE.

    Cedric for Pepe! 😁

  51. LBG says:

    MOM Holding.

  52. LB says:

    Well, we are getting better at playing with 10 men.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Well, I missed the first half hour but we were OK for the 60 mins that I saw.

    Perhaps a little unlucky not to nick all three points despite being down to 10 men

  54. RockyLives says:

    LB 😀

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Feel sorry for Saka, he was really starting to tick when Gab got the second yellow.

    I know what you are saying RA about Theo backing in but we are talking about a centre back who has played at a high level for many years. You’ve got to know it was coming. He did look out of sorts tonight in a three and maybe it is not a favoured role for him and may be the reason we are playing 4?

    I spent the start of the second half counting touches before passes, Elneny and Ceballios were both guilty of three or four touches going nowhere before a pass. If you are taking more than one touch before a pass for me you have to be moving at pace. Otherwise you are slowing down, play the first forward pass you see when facing the press to get the opposition moving.

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    Despite the red card, it wasn’t a step backwards from the team. Showed fight and scored a fantastic goal. I hope Arteta can hang in there whilst Partey recovers because I genuinely believe we will pick up big time when he is fit.

  57. LB says:

    I thought Ceballos was the best player on the field before he was subbed; he was the one driving things forward.

    Elneny next to him does a different job, both should score more.

  58. LB says:

    Yeah, I don’t think anyone can say that Arteta has lost the dressing room, that was a group fighting like crazy, no heads went down and the relief when they scored — woooo, you would have thought we had won the game.

  59. jjgsol says:

    I think you will find that, although when he first came, Xhaka was sent off a couple of times, he has not been sent off for quite some time.

    I suspect that he also has not had so many bookings either.

    He may have misunderstood the reason why he fell down and thought he was deliberately tried and reacted.

    Perhaps, something was said.

  60. RA says:

    Good point, GIE,

    I am also not keen on Plan A and playing the ball out from the back. It usually means we eventually fluff it and lose the ball — and that does not help the forwards to attack.

    But Plan B is to let the GK kick the ball long instead, and it invariably goes to the opposition –and that does not help the forwards to attack either.

    Now I am not against either — but I haven’t got a Plan C, so I am no help to anyone. 😳

  61. Mike M says:

    Happy with a point. Saw 2nd half, convinced we were going to win even before the RC. Then not so much but still thought we might. Overall (after watching a bit of Scousers vs Spuds), our passing, dribbling, control and movement seems to be a good deal less technically sound than probably 60% of the rest of the PL. Just my opinion on what appears to be our biggest issue going forward and in possession.
    Saka beats 3 men, goal !!! Go figure.

  62. LB says:

    Your point makes sense to me, we are worse moving forward with the ball than 60% of the rest of the EPL — Saka can’t do it all himself.

    Aubamayang took his goal well, but he was bang average for the rest of the game and running with the ball, he is dire.

  63. LB says:

    jj

    I would say it is a racing certainty that something was said; he is an idiot any way you look at it.

  64. jjgsol says:

    I did not see the game, but could it be that Arteta realising that he needs to release the control he has over the players and allowed them to express themselves a bit more, hence Saka actually dribbled past players, something we have not seen for ages?

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB I honestly think PEA was even lucky to find himself with the ball for the equaliser, running past the pass of Saka thankfully that also confused the defence with the best will in the world Saka wasn’t trying to pick out Eddie. Thankfully Eddie got that won’t right compared to the one in the first half when he should have played Saka in.

    Just watch Liverpool v Spurs. Would have been a great game if Mourinho had actually let his side attack more rather than the last ten minutes.

    I was really interested to see how Liverpool went about it, there strength lies in a one for all mentality from keeper to forward line, multiple times Salah and Firminio recovered the ball in their own half alongside centre backs.

    Second is their midfield it’s very very mobile and fit. That allows them to mix it up, they constantly change how they attack it’s either out from the back but if there isn’t a pass they aren’t frightened to lift it high to a wing, and whilst Salah, Firmino and Mane are not going to win many aerial contests they nearly always compete, then Liverpool’s mobile midfield were picking up the knockdowns and building from there.

    Then there is the final third, again they have three ways of killing you and all again assisted by one and two above, they go on the ground push and run, they get fulll backs up and cross high, they get full backs up and cross low or cut back. Those high crosses are competed for regardless of whether they will win the ball or not but so often Liverpool were first to the knockdowns on the edge of the box because the midfield had followed in behind and were busting a gut to get there.

  66. VP says:

    great post GIE and some excellent comments on here.

    I recently fantasised that Mikel was sacked and Arsene was asked to come back and coach through the remaining season. At the press announcement with Ozil by his side, Arsene advised the media what he was planning to do for the remaining season and then announces that he will then hand over to Rafael Benitez for 21/22

    that was just fantasy, still support Arteta to come good, GOYG!

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cracking article on Craig Johnston (for those of you who remember him as a player) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-55220140 there is hunger and desire.

  68. Pete the Thirst says:

    @VP I think you’ll find that was a nightmare you had!

  69. Pete the Thirst says:

    @GIE great story about Ken Friar. When I first saw him I was amazed at how short he is. 5′ at a stretch.

    I got on the pitch at Highbury years ago at Paul Davis’ testimonial v Celtic. What a great night. Celtic fans everywhere and generally well behaved unlike their rivals from Glasgow who behaved appallingly when they have been in London.

    Anyway we were on the North Bank and loads invaded the pitch at the end of the game. We followed. Got a handful of grass from the penalty box. Kept it in a plastic bag for a while, until it died so I threw it in the garden. Maybe there’s a piece of Highbury growing in my Mum’s old garden?

  70. Pete the Thirst says:

    I was relatively happy with the result last night, especially after the sending off (2 yellows were harsh imo)

    Back 3/5 was the right thing to do. AMN was far more disciplined than Bellerin at right back. He actually defended! Bellerin completely unbalances our defence by doing the exciting attacking stuff. The more I think about it I think he’s not following orders.

    Saka was the most creative player once again with a great wriggle for the goal. PEA did what he needed to do.

    Seems some people were expecting a 5-0 win. We are where we are. Baby steps. Keep a solid formation and build. Moaners gonna moan.

    Top-knot Walcott put more effort in last night than he did in a season for us. Over-rated since the day Sven brought him to the world cup as a 16 year old.

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    That Saka run for the goal was one of the first things that got me off my seat watching Arsenal this season.

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    PS I am eternally jealous of my brother who got to be mascot one day being the lucky one pulled from the JG hat.

    It was against Coventry at home, I also constantly remind him that he only scored past Lilia when he turned his back to retrieve another ball. 🙂

    Got to go into players lounge after the game to get autographs, never forget Rocky’s welcoming smile as we stood in awe of our heroes.

  73. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    The Saka run gave me flashbacks of Micky Thomas in his pomp.

  74. Sue says:

    As of last night, we’ve now played more games at the Emirates….273 – 272 Highbury…

    Not sure if I’m happy with the result or not 😄 It’d be nice if we turned up for both halves and not just the 2nd!!
    Have to take my hat off to Ralph though, what an incredible job he’s done! Hope to be saying that about MA in a year’s time! And I just knew Theo would score 😄
    Really chuffed Auba ended his drought, the relief was etched on his face… And Saka, wow, he really is becoming Mr Reliable!
    Been really tough lately and unfortunately I don’t see it letting up….

  75. Pete the Thirst says:

    Football began long before the Premier League, Sue. Over 2000 at Highbury

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thats a good call Rocky on the Mickey comparison, it certainly had that energy.

  77. LB says:

    I do like that Mickey comparison.

  78. RC78 says:

    M really annoyed that Mkhitaryan is killing it in Italy. Why couldn’t he make it in the EPL? He already has 9 goals, 6 assists in 17 games (14 starts, 3 subs) and he plays as an attacking midfielder. It is ridiculous that such a talented player would struggle so much in the EPL.

    On another note, Arteta keen to bring in (Fantast) Isco from Real to Arsenal according to reports in France. I like the player but why shall we fork out 30 Mln for him as we have Ceballos/Willok/ESR and could reinstate Ozil for free?

  79. LB says:

    We are linked with Isco every transfer window. I suppose one day it could happen.

    And to answer the question, Ceballos is off at the end of the season as is Ozil as his contract ends and Willock simply does not have the close control to be effective, great at running through oceans of space on a Thursday night but ineffective on the weekend.

    I am not sure we know enough about ESR to comment but Arteta is not busting a gut to get him involved.

  80. Pete the Thirst says:

    I’ve emailed a post in. Feel free to use it.

    Who is admin in this site now? Haven’t heard from Peaches for a while. Is she ok?

  81. RC78 says:

    Hi Pete – I am also hoping that Peaches is well. Long time, no hear…
    Can you please copy and paste your post in your response to this comment and I will put it up shortly. Cheers

    @LB – good points but still, do you think Isco is worth the gamble?

  82. Pete the Thirst says:

    Here you go RC78:

    Mutiny at the Arsenal

    230 years ago Fletcher Christian seized control of a ship from Captain Bligh. This has passed into history as ‘The Mutiny on the Bounty’.

    Watching Arsenal for the past few seasons reminds me of this woeful tale. To me it appears there are a number of players that aren’t giving 100% and more that are pursuing a mutiny for their own ends.

    Unai Emery was the fall guy after Arsene Wenger ended his tour of duty. Initially he performed pretty well. We should have got into the Champions League then there was the disaster in Baku against Chelsea. From that point his days were numbered.

    There were problems on Emery’s ship. He cast aside players then brought them back. This inspired revenge. It was clear players wanted him out. There were stories of players taking the Michael out of Emery’s accent. Childish at best. The end came against Southampton at home, where the players accidentally got a draw, but hardly celebrated. They wanted Emery gone.

    Freddie came in as a stop gap and again the players could hardly be bothered. He ended up playing a number of the younger players to make clear what he thought of the effort of some of the ‘pros’.

    Fast forward to Arteta. It started well with some blips along the way. The FA Cup win was a huge over-achievement, beating Man City & Chelsea on the way to our record 14th trophy. But come the new season and the grumbling started again. Wins turned to draws, draws to losses. The players looked like they were low on confidence, even sabotaging games.

    In my opinion there is a Mutiny underway on the Good Ship Arsenal. The only way to stop it is by casting the villains adrift.

    The culprits:

    Mesut Ozil – The leader of the mutiny. He should have been paid off in the summer. He’s hanging around like a virus infecting the rest of the team. Cast him adrift on Pitcairn Island!

    Granit Xhaka – Only Wenger knows what he saw in Granit. All I can see is a player who isn’t at Premier League level and got sent off on purpose against Burnley to get Christmas off. To the stocks!

    Alex Lacazette – I used to rate this guy. Since his contract negotiations have halted he has been hiding on the pitch. I swear he has missed a few chances on purpose. He has become the Union man that has downed tools for the cause. The guillotine is calling!

    Hector Bellerin – He’s got some nice tattoos, an exciting vegan philosophy, but he can’t defend for toffee. Send for the Spanish Inquisition!

    David Luiz – Plays when he has his ego massaged. When he’s not happy – red card. Banish him to the Amazon jungle!

    Willian – Well he ain’t is he? 4 more years of this cowboy. Private jet to the Sargasso sea!

    Ably supported by minor crew members Mustafi, Kolasinac & Sokratis. Lock them up on the Rock!

    The only solution to the Mutiny is to dump these muppets from the Good Ship Arsenal. It was never going to be easy for Mik, but these guys are making his job near impossible.

  83. LB says:

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssss

    RC

    We are crying out for close control and creativity.

  84. RC78 says:

    New post everyone – courtesy of Pete the Thirst

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