Kicking Arteta before he’s even started

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by Bulldog Drummond

Thus we have kicked out the most successful Arsenal manager of all time, in terms of trophies and in terms of win percentage, and replaced his with the second most successful manager of all time in terms of win percentage, and replaced him with a man with no managerial experience.

Clearly a triumph of absolute proportions.

Here’s the league position as of Saturday evening.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 17 16 1 0 42 14 28 49
2 Leicester City 18 12 3 3 41 13 28 39
3 Manchester City 18 12 2 4 49 20 29 38
4 Chelsea 17 9 2 6 31 25 6 29
5 Sheffield United 18 7 7 4 22 16 6 28
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 6 9 3 26 22 4 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 7 5 5 32 24 8 26
8 Manchester United 17 6 7 4 26 20 6 25
9 Newcastle United 18 7 4 7 18 24 -6 25
10 Burnley 18 7 3 8 23 29 -6 24
11 Arsenal 18 5 8 5 24 27 -3 23

Six points off a Champions League place and four points off a Europa League place.

And so now we have Arteta as a manager.  And what is to be made of this by the media?  Well, the answer is obvious; yet another man to hit with their collective stick, yet another stick with which to beat the club while studiously avoiding the question of how come a terrific unbeaten run by Emery, was turned into the worst run with the 1970s.

And it is rather strange that this issue has not been addressed fully with a proper statistical analysis.   We know exactly why things went so wrong in the 70s: Bertie Mee had a vision of the future of 1st Division football which consisted of retrenchment, cutting out the youth squads, hiring just 18 full time professionals, and… well, and as a result dropping into the basement.

So what do the media think?

Where better to look than to the Guardian, which has won FSA newspaper of the year award for seventh time in a row.

What it says about Arteta being our new manager primarily promotes the fact that Arsenal previously overlooked Arteta, and now have turned to him.  Not really much of an insight.

“The man whom they did not fight hard enough to recruit as a coach and did not want badly enough a little over 18 months ago as the manager is set to be confirmed as the permanent successor to Emery. What has changed? Because one thing is plain: Arteta has still done nothing as a manager, even if he has had another season and a half to work under and learn from Pep Guardiola at City.”

Actually what else has changed is that Man City were not willing to let Arteta go 18 months ago, but we’ll let that pass perhaps just noting en route that this is not really that much of an analysis, as is revealed by their follow up comment,

“Just bump up the next guy,” is their comment.

Yet they were at the forefront of negative reporting of Wenger, and of Emery.   But now their commentary is “Arsenal are no strangers to decisions that do not bear scrutiny.”  Which shows us that the negativity towards Arsenal will continue and continue and continue.  Because Arsenal need to be scrutinised in the way Man U, Chelsea, Tottenham H et al do not.

And since Arteta hasn’t actually managed the club in any games yet, they don’t actually have anything to attack the club with in terms of Arteta and his activities.   So instead they attack the process.   “Arsenal’s route to Arteta has been circuitous, a little unwieldy, and it is hard to see his appointment as anything other than a gamble – given he has never been a manager before.

“And yet,” they say, amazed by current situation, “Arteta’s return has fired the imagination, bringing that most precious of commodities – hope. For many years, Arsenal’s biggest problem has been the collective mentality; the sense they are simply not tough enough to recapture past glories.”

A sense, we might add, Arsenal’s biggest problem is actually the way this theme is constantly promoted by the media.

As for Arteta whom the Guardian has already taken to calling “The Spaniard”, well, “The Spaniard has always been a leader and, crucially for his new role, a good communicator. When the chips were down at Arsenal, Arteta was invariably the player – together with Mertesacker – who fronted up to the press. A small detail, perhaps, but undoubtedly a sign of character.”

Then they get inside Arteta’s mind claiming that “he is acutely aware of what needs to change.”  That of course is very clever because if he fails, as the media undoubtedly want him to, then they can blame the owners, or the players.   What they will never do is blame the media, because in their eyes the media merely reflects what is out there, never putting any sort of spin on it by emphasising one issue, misleading us about another, and downright lying about the third.

In reality we are all of us facing the same test.   With Mr Wenger it was the disgusting and disgraceful onslaught onto his character and integrity.   With Mr Emery, it was the fact that his English was poor and he didn’t really know the English game or the Premier League.  Now with Arteta it is the case that he knows what needs changing – but may not be able to change it because the old ways are too entrenched at Arsenal.  Cue more Wenger bashing.

At least Arteta knows what the media and the anti-Arsenal Arsenal are about.  But can he beat their persistent unending criticism of all things Arsenal?   Let’s hope so.

25 Replies to “Kicking Arteta before he’s even started”

  1. I sincerely hope Arteta, does well for the club. But would have liked Freddie given time as I don’t see Arteta to peform better than Freddie. And I think everyone here will agree both of them are no upgrade on Wenger. The big man will be missed for a longer time than anybody can think of. With Emery gone and Arsenal sitting
    11th on the points table a historical low the WOBS at AFTV Gumner blog Talksport LT Arsenal. Legroan etc can they come forward and say sorry to us and Wenger. As time has proven the pro Wenger fans knew that Arsenal are in safe hand under Arsene Wenger and wishing Wenger out was a big mistake.

    Proud to say
    PA has been vindicated.
    Untold Arsenal has been vindicated


  2. Not so Arsene was undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the world, he in the last years of his reign had lost his edge tactically .
    Pep will find the same pattern emerges if he stays at city too long.
    Arteta has all the attributes of both managers having learnt from both.
    Arsene is only a phone call away for advise if needed.Arteta will get the best out of these players individually working on their faults and improving their performance and confidence.

  3. Why do anyone sound surprised with the media’s antics? All media owners became moguls once their enterprise goes mainstream and live off of others’ misery and problems. For them, chaos and scandals sells like hot coffee at a snow mountain. I’m a Donald Trump supporter but I’ve lost all my friends because the constant barrage and lies my friends listen to from the media. In football, it’s worse because of favouritism by the so-called pundits, even former Arsenal players. Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham are left off the hook because they always have Arsenal FC, the manager and its players to burn and bury. Now, I know the absolute hate and fury they have towards the club is because of Arsene Wenger. He’s the perfect specimen for bull’s eye because he is French, polite and patient. And he outsmarted and outfoxed them all. AFTV soon-to-demised status will offer some hope but I believe Mikel Arteta got much work to do.

  4. Neil Fitt

    “he (Wenger)in the last years of his reign had lost his edge tactically.

    Depends what you mean by the last YEARS doesn’t it?

    So what do you mean? The last 10 years? The last 5 years? The last 2 years? the last year?

    Lets have a look at the last 10 years shall we, 10 that we can conveniently split in half, 2008-2009 to 20012-2013 and 10013-2014 to 2017-2018

    2008/09 to 2012/13

    League finishes: 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th.

    Trophies: Nil

    Over this period Wengers nett spend was a PROFIT of £7.2 Million per season.

    Compared to these annual Nett spends:

    Man City: £48 Million.
    Chelsea: £44 Million.
    Man Utd: £14 Million.

    So given Wenger was working on bellow a zero Nett spend against those enormous figures, hanging on in there in the PL was a pretty good effort if you ask me.

    So surely you cant be talking about those years.

    2013/14 to 2017/18

    League finishes: 4th, 3rd 2nd, 5th, 6th.

    Trophies: 3 FA Cups

    Over this period Wengers Nett spend was £37 Million per season.

    Compared to these annual Nett spends:

    Man City: £77 Million.
    Chelsea: £39 Million.
    Man Utd: £87 Million.

    So even though Wengers Nett spend had increased Cities had almost doubled and Uniteds had more than quadrupled. Chelseas were spending about what they always were.

    Against that we have to take in to account that despite Wengers big increase in spending he was still playing catch up were as the likes of chelsea already had large value assets (as did City and United) to trade against their spend so their Nett spend should of been at least kept in check to a degree where as Arsenal, without high value assets to trade in were always going to have a high Nett spend in order to at least try to catch up.

    So in conclusion, although still missing out on a Premier League trophy we did win 3 FA Cups and maintained an almost identical Nett PL finish.

    So are you saying against that kind of opposition, those finishes and 3 FA Cups are indicative of a man who’s lost it tactically? If so I beg to differ.

    So in reality when you are talking about Wenger losing his tactical edge in the “last years of his reign” you can only be talking about the last 2 at most because I fail to see how under any circumstances anything Wenger did up to and including 2016/2017 can be called a failure, or of been done without have maintained his tactical edge.

    Ok I know his last season was very disappointing, and at a push you could say 5th and an FA Cup in 2016/17 was disappointing (but oh what would Spurs give for a season with a trophy, even a not a trophy trophy), but given everything the grace Wenger was given at the end was disgraceful.

    So you tell me what “later YEARS” are you are talking about?

    2015/16 when we finished PL runners up?


    2016/17 when we finished 5th (by 1 point) and won an FA Cup ?

    or 2017/18 ?

    Because for the life of me apart from his final season I fail to see how the accusation of
    losing it tactically stacks up one little bit.

  5. can dress it up all you like.But wenger DID lose his edge.hes openly admitted it himself already.No disgrace.happens to all the greats eventually with the possible exception of old red nose.But he wisely delegated with diff coaches over the years.easing the burden of the constant pressure to deliver for trotting out the net spend figures.This was was often wingers own choice.gone on record as saying didn’t want/ need the money at the time.

  6. Tks Nitram
    You are always brilliant.
    The idiot Wobs can say whatever they like but Wenger was a manager Par Excellence. Keeping Arsenal in top4 for 2 decades. Had it not been for the Pigmob we would have won the league in 2015/16 and would also among top4 in 2016/17.
    Today Arsenal at 11th place is a big slap on the face of these idiots who preached Wenger was keeping us back.

  7. My perception is that something changed with the game yesterday, vis a vis the medja.

    Normally, you can find news about Arsenal. But even searching for news 5 or 6 hours after the game ended yesterday, the only news article I was finding were about preparations for the game.

    Now it may be that the medja finally decided that if it can’t say something nice, to say nothing at all. And since the medja almost never has anything nice to say about Arsenal, they just didn’t say anything.

    Even this morning, by far most of the Arsenal news is about things that happened before yesterday’s game. this is restricting myself to news in the last 24 hours.

  8. OT: Watford 2 0 ManU

    Slightly less than 20m left. Watford have about twice the fouls and do have twice the cards. Mason is pretending to be Sargent Schultz with the one treatment Watford required in the first half. Some how VAR didn’t intervene and take away a penalty to Watford (Deeeeeeeeeneeeeey having the honours).

  9. OT: Spuds 0 1 Chel$ea

    15 minutes into the game, and no fouls yet. Really? At 16m, the spuds finally (get caught) fouling. Only 1 shot on target (to Chel$ea), and it is a goal.

  10. Chavs v Spuds – Alli kicking and pushing all game and eventually gets a yellow but so does his victim. Kane also does his fair share of fouling (unseen off course).

    Isn’t it good to seeMaureen upset!! 😉

  11. Rosicky@Arsenal

    Thanks yourself.

    As opposed to what accusations get thrown at me about being obsessed, or words to that effect, with ‘Lord’ Wenger, I am far from it. I backed Emery, nobody will find a single word against him from me. I backed Freddie and I will back Arteta.

    It is Arsenal I love and always will.

    But never the less I do and always will defend Wenger whenever and wherever I feel it necessary, but as you can see no matter what evidence you put in font of people some will just not have it.

  12. I dont think i ever come across the English media refer to English players or manager as The Englishman rather than their name.

  13. OT: Spuds 0 1 Chel$ea

    Who would have thunk, that a game which had no fouls for the first 15 minutes, would end with home team getting 4 yellows and 1 straight red from 7 fouls, and the away team getting 3 yellows from 10 fouls?

    Chel$ea needed a treatment on 40m. Taylor being the one doing the Sargent Schultz impressions (I see NOTHING!).

    8 minutes of injury time in the second half? The spuds needed a treatment at 83m. Did that generate 8m of stoppage? Player in question was off the field for 4m.

  14. OT: Spuds 0 2 Chel$ea

    Oops, Chel$ea was given a penalty as well, so I guess that was scored by Taylor.

  15. @Gord,

    well good to see that some true fans – I mean they travel with the club, so I guess they ought to be called that – are aknowledging the fact this negativity is part of the problem and that some people are very active at propagating it.

    Then again, there is the issue of freedom of opinion…. wait…. in the PL this is not a rule apparently as criticism is not allowed. Now would turning the table on them negativists be right ?!?! Furthermore, making martyrs out of them will not help, I believe.

  16. Perhaps something has changed with the appointment of Arteta as Arsenal head coach.
    Maybe it is now our turn to enjoy all the cosy treatment from PIGMO and the media, after all Arteta is the mixed blood of Wenger and Pep to unite us with the enemies. Only time will tell.

  17. @Gilly,

    I believe the media had other subjects to cover…they will come back with a vengeance.

    One thing is sure, if Arsenal had played a like Spurs (I know, not possible), and lost, it would be pure bedlam… which at present does not seem like it is…

  18. All us generation of Gooners old, young and the youth ones can not say us don’t remember the reason behind Arsene Wenger unceremonious departure from Arsenal with a full season to run on his contract left at the club. And also us should remember what gave rise to the sharp division amongst the teeming Arsenal supporters that in world football became known in one hand as the Arsene Knows 8est, the AKBs. And in the other hand as the Arsene Out Best, the AOBs. A sharp division that occurred during Wenger’s reign at Arsenal between the older fans of the club who backed Arsene Wenger to the core in all he did at the club to not seeing anything wrong in his doings whenever he does them. And the younger and youthful generation of the Arsenal supporters who felt they’ve had enough of seeing the club missing out on the Premier League title win for 14 consecutive seasons after the club’s 2003-2004 success in lifting the PL title trophy when Arsene Wenger was at the helm of control at the Emirates Stadium handling the Gunners. An unpleasant situation these younger and youthful generation of Arsenal supporters derided to considered it in appropriate and unbefitting a top Premier League club side of Arsenal stature of fabulous high profile caliber giantry size.

    While these younger and youthful generation of Arsenal fans were putting up with the consistent 14 seasons failure of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal failings to win the PL title which was the crust of the matter at stake. But even then they were consoling themselves with the consistent 12 unbroken seasons of Champions League football spot attainment that followed after the club’s 2003-2004 unbeaten to the season PL title win before the club started missing out on the CL spot place. But the older generation of the Arsenal supporters seemed to have accepted the status quo order that was reigning at the club under Wenger’s watch. But this undesired situation at Arsenal which had the club fans support polarized within the generality of the Arsenal fan base support which subsequently saw the club owner became sensitive to the anti-Wenger protests by the agitated AOBs of the Arsenal supporters Camp who turned their backs against him ostensibly protesting that saw Stan Kroenke yielded to their demands seemingly but which saw Wenger left the club after 22 service years reign as Arsenal manager.

    But let us try to keep aside of the Wenger past at the club and focus now on the present and future of the club in terms of projected remarkable success for the club that saw the club owner, Stan Kroenke gave his listening ear to the Gooners and listened to their cries in their agitation which saw Unai Emery, the former underperforming Arsenal head coach fired and has approved his firing by the Arsenal board who have had the former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta installed as Arsenal head coach at the Ems to replace Emery. As a result of this forward move by the club owner who authorised this change, us Gooners in the Goonership will hope to see a remarkable turnaround from Arsenal ill fortune in the PL campaign so far this season to a sustained upsurge in points collection in the club’s 20 remaining PL matches that will see the club eventually placed in one of the top-four places in the PL Standings at the end of this current season’s campaign. And also us will cherish seeing Arsenal win the Europa League Cup too. A big European football competition title that Arsenal should win at the end of the ELC campaign’s season irrespective of whether Arsenal finish in one the PL top-four places which in anyway they should finish in it.

    So, the media sticking a hardened stick to Arteta or whip him with horse whip will not arisen, but if only Arteta can resist vehemently the media and some of the football pundits sticking outbursts of barrage of attacks in condemnation to him but neutralise their hostile activities to him by guiding the Gunners to one of the PL top-four places finish and also coach and manage them to a ELC win for Arsenal this season. And I hope Arteta will convince his senior in football playing in the successful player in big and bigger title win of the FA Cup and of the PL title wins at Arsenal in the person of coach Freddie Ljungberg to work with him as his assistant head coach at the club. And I hope Ljungberg will not feel somehow belittle but accept the offer in good faith if he is offered to work with Mikel Arteta. And work with him to turnaround the ill fortune that’s currently plaguing the club’s first team squad to a standstill to a PL top-four place finish and ELC win for the club this season. And if peradventure, Arsenal become the FA Cup winners along the line winning the Cup again, it will be highly appreciated and valued by us Gooners.

  19. Gord

    Part of the reason for the added time was a VAR check and the fact the match was interrupted due to both objects being thrown at Chelsea players as well as racist abuse in the shape of monkey chants aimed at a Chelsea player being reported to the referee.

    Regarding the racist abuse I must give credit to Gary Neville as he at least tried to emphasise how serious it was given the level of criticism we dispense (rightly so), and punishment we expect, when others do it.

    Unfortunately Martin Tyler seemed keen to make as little of it as he possibly could and swiftly moved on.

    It will be interesting to see what action the FA take? Given as it’s the tiny tots, very little I suspect.

    I hope they prove me wrong but somehow I doubt it.

  20. Why did Anthony Taylor the referee in the S###s v Chavs game need confirmation from VAR to give a penalty and send Son off .
    Both of those decision were so straight forward and yet he hid behind VAR surely this shows how bad a referee he is with no confidence .
    The referees are not making decisions anymore they are waiting for somebody else to do it in a studio

  21. @Ben – the media reference The Frenchman; The Portuguese is a primary seed to racism. It’s highlighting the difference. It grows from there with an adjective, …… and an adverb, ……… and then a critical narrative.

    @Steve Vallins – Taylor initially gave the ‘penalty’ as a foul against the Chavs!! His decision was reversed. The Son icident was another farce considering it was so clear. The free kick awarded to Alli (*also checked by VAR for position in/out of the box) was another farce as he was offside prior to his attempt to play the ball.

    Beglin said that the offside only came into play if the incident was in the box!! Another special Law of the PGMOL jungle.

  22. Good one, Nitram.

    Yes, Wenger admitted that he lost his edge in the last 2 years of his watch over Arsenal but remember this, it was against his own standards.

    Wenger off his game is a giant comparatively.

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