By Bulldog Drummond
If you have been reading all the bloggettas with their tattle and their tittle (that’s tittle tattle if you have only just woken up after a rather fulsome Christmas – but do try to keep up, there are likely to be 700 words or so in this piece) you will know that Mr Arteta has been giving the players what for and is indulging in a REALLY BIG clear out of all the rubbish that has been accumulated by his useless predecessors (who happened to have the best win percentages of any Arsenal managers).
But lo and behold verily this is not the case because it seems that, according to the actual Mr Arteta himself he values and likes Granit Xhaka. So no Hertha Berlin then (which is a club, not a player in the ladies side). And you may be wondering where these pesky stories come from. And of course the answer is The Toppled Bollard – watering hole of the elite journalists of Fo Lo, the Daily Excess, the Fail and various other “outlets”.
But worse worse and thrice worce it seems there was a bid for the Granit. Pep Guardiola expressed an interest. Or so we are told.
“When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list,” Mr Arteta is reported to have said, according to the Guardian. “This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.
“ He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded. But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him. Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him.”
Mr Arteta has hold Xhaka that “he can be a focal point as Arsenal look to haul themselves out of the bottom half, beginning at Bournemouth on Boxing Day,” again according to the Guardian, continuing,
“I told him how much I like him and what I expect from him. How important he is for the team. I am here to help him, I want him to feel that we are right behind him. Not just myself but the whole club. If we can get the people in the right way as well, the fans with him, I think it will be helpful for the team, which is where it matters.”
So the big bust up that was reported, and the immediate clear out of Xhaka were, well, not to put to fine a point on it, sort of, when it comes down to it, and not to beat about the bush, taking the rough with the wrong, totally made up.
Mr Arteta also said that he would change things slowly. It is also being reported by the more serious members of the press that there was no bust up, no shock horrors, and in fact just training sessions focussed on doing the simple things right.
The BBC quotes the boss as saying “The priority is what we are going to transmit on the team, is a reflection of the demands we are going to put on them every day in training.
“That’s commitment, accountability, aggression and passion to play this sport and to represent this football club. This is the basic I am going to demand from them, and from there we can start to build things.”
The Guardian has seemingly refrained from giving us any sort of line up, so here it is from the Standard:
Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Saka;
Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli;
But we really must finish with the Sun, whose journalists (I use the word in its vaguest form) seem to be keeping a bit of an eye on Untold of late, for they have now come up with two line ups for Arsenal. So here we go…
Line up 1
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Saka;
Guendouzi, Torreira, Xhaka;
Pepe, Lacazette Aubameyang.
And now since you have been waiting so patiently, here is line up number 2
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Xhaka,
Nelson, Willock, Ozil, Saka;
Yes pays yer money and, well, who knows…
- What every football club (and most certainly Arsenal) is aiming for.
- The apparent decline of Tottenham and the question of care for players elsewhere
- Positive injury news for Arsenal ahead Monday’s game with Sheffield United
- Arsenal’s finances stay secure but we can expect more price rises for fans
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk