Mutiny at 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.
  • Yours truly, Pete the Thirst

43 Responses to Mutiny at Arsenal

  1. LB says:

    What an incredibly original post, superbly written.

    To me Arteta is just trying to get to end of the season when so many of the problems you mention above simply disappear due to their contracts coming to an end and he can start bringing in more of his own signings.

  2. Aaron says:

    Oh, this post is right along my lines of thinking, but with much more clever banishments to go along with the culprits.

    LB, Mikel will not have that much time, if Arsenal keeps it’s current trajectory, and mismanage Partey, AFC could go down, and he will not have a team to manage.

    Does staN the man even care? He might save some $ if it happened.

    Integrate the youth or perish should be in Mikel’s forethoughts.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post PTT. I agree we should have paid off Ozil’s contract …. he has loomed as an elephant in the room. I believe Arteta will prove to be an excellent manager given time. The club has spent a large amount of money on average players. I suspect that the sudden departure of some key management personnel may have been the club’s way of avoiding some embarrassing revelations of dodgy deals. Mikel’s style of play requires a level of skill and close control that maybe only 5 or 6 of the current first team squad possess. He has the choice of being pragmatic and compromising his beliefs in search of short term gain, or, stick to the plan and build a squad that can deliver his style … he’s chosen the latter (rightly).

  4. LB says:

    I agree with a lot of that Aaron, I would say the first test of this is the possibility of playing Martinelli ahead of Aubamayang, will he do it if it is justified, I seriously doubt it.

    With or without a distant possibility of Arsenal being relegated Arteta looks like he is going to stick with experience.

  5. RockyLives says:

    What a great Post Pete.

    I agree that Ozil is our Fletcher Christian, although not as good looking as Marlon Brando.

    Like most of us I’m sure, I really want Arteta to make a success of this. The most encouraging sign has been the business we did in the last transfer window (Partey and Gabriel), although the Willian deal sticks in the craw.

    It sounds like we may be in the market for a creative player in Jan, which could make a big difference. Especially now that whatever shenanigans were going on with our previous transfer business appear to have been dealt with by the abrupt departure of certain executives.

    I think LB is right that Arteta is hoping he can just about keep the wheels on until the end of the season and then start with a semi clean slate, building a team round Saka, Partey, Tierney, Gabriel and one or two others.

  6. RC78 says:

    Well it is an excellent post and I agree that we should give Arteta more time to mould the team to his liking.

    That said, he has also inherited a squad with confirmed talent and experience:
    – AMN, Saka, Tierney, Pepe, Nelsson, Martinelli, Auba ;
    – Luiz, Ozil are major trophy winners ;
    – Holding, when fit, is not a bad player and neither is Mari

    Arteta then added steel to our squad this summer with Gabriel and Partey.

    So I think that although the team is not to the levels of City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Utd and sadly Tottenham, I am not sure that there are other teams that are much better than us on paper. Some may argue that Leicester, Everton, Wolves and Villa have very good teams too but I think that on paper we have more depth…

    So let us say for the sake of argument, that we should be at least in the Top 8 with Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Utd, Leicester and Everton. The issue this season is not even close to Top 8 yet and I would say that in terms of “style”, we are miles away from having a “team identity” or clear game plan under Arteta so far this year. At least last year, the plan was clear “Be hard to break down and counter-attack”. This year, it is all a bit muddy.

    So although some of the players clearly need to be sent packing, I also think that Arteta needs to either:
    – Play youth and hope for the best BUT he and Edu would need then to clearly say that building a “team identity and game plan” as his priority;
    – Steady the ship now and revert to last year’s tactics to rack some points quickly and the “team identity” creation will just start next summer.

    At the moment, it seems that he and the team are stuck in between. If he is going for Option 1 “team identity creation is our priority”, then he has to bring in Saliba, Balogun, ESR to the party on a very regularly basis as well.

    Option 1 Team:
    Leno – AMN, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney – Partey, Willock, Saka – Pepe, Auba, Martinelli

    Option 2 Team:
    Leno – Holding, Luiz, Gabriel – AMN, Partey, El Neny, Tierney – Saka, Auba, Martinelli

    In any case, the following players have to start:
    Leno, AMN, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Saka, Martinelli and I think Auba as well because he is still our best striker despite his awful form.

    So now there are 3 spts left and it is between:
    – Holding, Saliba, Luiz at the back
    – Willock, El Neny, Ceba (?) in midfield
    – Pepe, Nelson, ESR, Willian up front

    Also Runnarrson, Mari, Balogun need to be considered so they can be part of the 22 man-squad. What does that mean for the rest?

    Bellerin, Soares, Mustafi, Chambers, Xhaka, Ozil, Laca, Nketiah…

  7. RC78 says:

    Back to a 3-4-3 apparently:

    – Leno
    – Holding, Luiz, Tierney –
    – Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Ceballos, Saka –
    – Pepe, Willian, Nketiah

    Subs: Runarsson, Bellerin, Lacazette, Soares, Mustafi, Willock, Kolasinac, Smith Rowe, Martinelli

    Why isn’t Auba in the line-up?

  8. RC78 says:

    Apparently it is a calf injury for Auba

  9. RC78 says:

    Martinelli back in the squad. Mustafi there ahead of Mari and Chambers?

  10. LB says:

    3-4-3 got to be the right move and that bench looks exciting.

  11. RC78 says:

    LB – Martinelli is a big plus and I think Willock, ESR may see some game time. I am surprised that Nketiah starts ahead of Laca again. I think Laca needs to be sold in December, so we do not halt his career and he does not waste his time with us.

  12. RockyLives says:

    3-1 to the good guys

  13. RockyLives says:

    Today is when the dam starts to burst and the goals start to flow.

  14. RockyLives says:

    And someone in the next few weeks is going to get a proper 6-0 spanking.

  15. RC78 says:

    I would like to see an excellent game by AMN, Ceballos and Pepe as part of a well-rounded and convincing performance.

    So if I go by RockyLives’ wished result and my wishes, we would have:
    AMN – 1 goal, 1 assist
    Ceba – 1 assist
    Pepe – 1 goal, 1 assist
    Martinelli – 1 goal

  16. Aaron says:

    The positive, some youngsters in the squad, the bad Willian starts…

    Hopefully ESR and co. get some game time and we finish with 11 on the pitch..

    Here we go……

  17. fred1266 says:

    So iwobi scoring today grrr

  18. Aaron says:

    So AFC down, can we score from behind and get something?

    Have my doubts….

  19. RC78 says:

    So AMN gets the PK and Pepe scores…come on Rocky, let us hope your score prediction is our right and I am hoping that AMN, Pepe and Ceba put in a good shift today

  20. LBG says:

    What does Willian offer to the team?

  21. Aaron says:

    Positional marking, 1.75 guy at near post, half pressing up top,
    slow labored movement of the ball and half runs off it….

    I do not understand much of this of nothingness our club has become.

  22. LB says:

    That was exactly what I was thinking, what is Willian supposed to be doing?

  23. RC78 says:

    Pepe loses Mina and then Willian and Nketiah can’t get the ball…what a mess. I agree that Willian is relaly useless so far

  24. LBG says:

    Martinelli on for Willian and sorry, where is the end product up front from Pepe. Play Smith-Rowe in front of Elneny and Ceballos and two up front.

  25. RC78 says:

    How Willian stays on ahead of Pepe beats me

  26. LBG says:

    Two wide players up front does not work. Tierney and Saka can provide width if required. We need players centrally in the box and attacking the edge of the box aggressively. It is goals and only goals that will get us out of this slump.

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    We scored a goal and finished with 11 men. What’s not to love!?

  28. RC78 says:

    I think it was a positive performance but falling short again due to silly mistakes, unfortune and lack of cutting edge. Great to see Martinelli back.

    AMN had a good game going forward but his defense was suspicious at times. Willian was absolutely useless and Ceba was disappointing just like Pepe.

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    I have faith in Arteta and think it will turn around soon, but it’s going to be painful for a while. I don’t think changing the manager will help and I think one good result will see an upturn in form. At this stage the league position is irrelevant (assuming we don’t drop into the bottom 3…!). The manager and players just need to concentrate on performances and look at any positives they can find.

  30. RC78 says:

    LBG – Once Auba comes back, I think Martinelli should be paired up with him up front and then we have players that can play wide (AMN, Nelson, Tierney, Saka…) so maybe you are right?

  31. Gold says:

    I have seen the post, looked at the comments and watched the last 25 minutes of tonight’s game.

    I fear that you are all living a dream world and seem to be incapable of taking in the reality.

    I will take my leave of you for the time being.

    I wish you all well and a New Year of good health and happiness.

    Whether that happiness has anything to do with our beloved team, I have my grave doubts especially as things are at present.

    I hope you are correct but fear that you are not.

  32. jjgsol says:

    My last post went out before I could finish my name.

    It should have been jjgsol and not gold

  33. jjgsol says:

    My last post went out before I finished my name.

    It should have been jjgsol and not gold

  34. RockyLives says:

    We have been embarrassing in some recent games, but this was not one of them.

    A bit of rub of the green and we could be leaving Merseyside with a point or even three.

    Our defender’s instinctive touch steers the ball into our net, there’s (towards the end) dollies it into the ‘keeper’s arms.

    We hit the crossbar and we had several decent half chances.

    We looked more threatening than we have done in a good while in the league. AMN, Tierney, Saka all good. Pepe not bad.

    The one player stinking the place out is Willian (although he had his usual lively 10 minutes towards the end). And he stinks the place out game after game after game.

    I really do now wonder if it’s some contractual thing that he has to be a starter if fit. I can’t think of any other reason why Arteta would be letting him anywhere near the team otherwise.

  35. VP says:

    this made my morning –
    fatgingergooner says:
    We scored a goal and finished with 11 men. What’s not to love!?

    Onwards and surely we can only go upwards

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    Since the United game, we’ve gone behind in every game except at Leeds where it was 0-0. The results will come when we start scoring first. We don’t have the fluidity or confidence at the moment to break down teams with numbers behind the ball. We have players who can counter, but we can’t use them if we are chasing games.

  37. Aaron says:

    No, no VP, we can go Down!

    If Mikel keeps playing Willian, and we do not increase our scoring, we WILL go down.

    FGG we were playing with 10 men from minute one.

    This is very easy to see: Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi, Kola, and Luiz playing was like watching a team playing in quicksand. Slow, slow, slow, and waiting to get run down by any team with physicality and pace in their squad. This was a squad that played together for months, maybe not all at once every time, but in different combinations which left huge holes on the pitch that no coach can cover up.

    There are squads in the Championship that play with more teeth.

    In the three games coming up with West Brom, Brighton and Newcastle we shall see how strong this club in mentally!

  38. 1979Gunner says:

    No doubt we can go down. Remember Leeds, semi final of EUFA CL then one crisis after another and the rest is history.

    There are others too, Blackburn?

    Don’t think for one minute we’re too big to go down. Don’t think we’re better than they were when they went down. We’re not. The mismanagement of the club in the past while has eradicated all the great work that was done to re-establish the Club at the top table.

    We’ve been in decline for more than10 years.

    Yes, we have a top stadium. But on the playing side of things all we have is memories. Great memories which will not be forgotten.

    BUT, the club didn’t consolidate its position when it was top of the pile. As I’ve said before, we lay on our laurels and the big clubs gave got bigger, and the ‘smaller’ clubs caught us up.

    Time for Arsenal to wake up. This is real.

    Remember Leeds?

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    If you listen to the pundits and the media then we could go down. If you watch the games, look at the squad. and analyse the positives of the performances, then we won’t be going down…..

  40. Aaron says:

    FGG,

    I hear ya, but with my eyes and facts, we still are not scoring from open play. Our scoring and strikers are flatlining (xG), and if it continues then we ARE going down.

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    We have to try as supporters not to listen to the noise sometimes. There are things we can see then there is the noise that follows.

    I had to do some last minute Christmas shopping so had the unfortunate need to listen to the first twenty minutes with TalkShite commentary, first time I’d listened to them in years. They were extolling the virtues of Mourinho’s “we don’t need to be in possession to win”, then lambasting Arsenal for sitting back and trying to play on the counter. It’s just verbal diarrhoea and those who sit in commentary box or pundit on TV are paid to come up with issues or something to talk about.

    I arrived home having switched off the noise to see AMN picking himself up of the turf and us having a penalty, according to TS we had shown no attacking intent so how had we managed to be there. Pepe scored and Sky commentary team said we had had the better of the match leading to the penalty. And then obviously Everton came back.

    Half time was all critic and shouting particularly from Redknapp who we all know hates Arsenal.

    Then I watch us camp out their box for the second half throwing bodies forward and even Willian playing some nice combinations with Saka and Tierney but the ball won’t fall for us, Luiz hits the cross bar, crosses whipped with no one on the end half chances maybe against a packed Everton box but tell me the players were not trying to get an equaliser.

    Post match I switched off. They like to think that they can influence the game from their executive box, most are charlatans who have never coached or never been good at coaching, to here Jamie playboy Redknapp talk about players work rate on the pitch is a joke.

    Don’t get me wrong I know there are weaknesses in the side, but against Southampton and yesterday I saw more positives than negatives. The goals need to come soon, and scoring first may allow us to open the floodgates. Emery used to be happy with a 1-0 from scoring first and that would lead us to draws or defeats. We will know things are different when we take the lead in a game, so we go defensive or do we push on.

  42. RC78 says:

    So many analysis on Arsenal’s season so far under Arteta. How we are easy to play, how we are inoffensive…The points’ tally seems to confirm the pundits’ analysis. However, I have to say that yesterday’s game was not awful from our side.

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    The Tiny Totts were beaten by Leicester….Christmas is saved 🙂

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