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November 2020
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What now for Arsenal? The 8 strategies Arsenal could use to get out of this mess.

By Tony Attwood

“One goal – a penalty – in their previous four Premier League matches paints a depressing picture.”

That is one of the miserable headlines from the media today.  So what can Arsenal do to put things right.  Here are some solutions:

1: Play Joe Willock

That comes from the Guardian who point out that he has “two man-of-the-match performances in as many Europa League starts, has not yet played a minute of league football this season.”

2.  Go back in time

Go back, and instead of giving Auba a new contract, sell him and use the money wisely.  This highly impractical suggestion (given that time travel does not exist) comes from the Untold Arsenal office rather than a newspaper or blog.  10 out of 10 for inventiveness, minus several million out of ten for practicality.

Silly though it is, however, it does raise the point that Aubameyang has scored just two Premier League goals this season.

3.  Let’s turn on the players

The blogs need no encouragement to do this as headlines such as “Get him out of my club – These Arsenal fans turn on summer signing” from CaughtOffside show.   Givemesport also have a “Get rid of Willian” piece.

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The unfortunate thing here is that simply getting rid of players doesn’t actually make anything good happen.  We have after all just got rid of Ozil, at least until January.

4.  How about a meaningless phrase?

Football.London are of course always ready to oblige in this regard, and this time they have “Time for excuses is over – National media react to Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa.”  But what does “time for excuses is over” actually mean in this context?

I don’t recall Arteta being a man of excuses, but even if he were, so what?  Excuses are explanations for things that have gone wrong.  Stop talking about them and… what?   Say nothing?  I can’t work out what they think is supposed to happen.   The phrase actually means “stop making excuses” but Arteta isn’t making excuses, so it is meaningless.

5.  Let’s make up a statistic that is wrong.

Give me sport are at the forefront once more saying, “For the first time in years, Arsenal are struggling to score goals.”  Not quite GMS.  Here is the number of goals scored by Arsenal season by season both for the club and the top scorer, throughout this century.

Season Goals scored Lge pos Top scorer Goals
1999–2000 73 2 Thierry Henry 26
2000–01 63 2 Thierry Henry 22
2001–02 79 1 Thierry Henry 32
2002–03 85 2 Thierry Henry 32
2003–04 73 1 Thierry Henry 39
2004–05 87 2 Thierry Henry 30
2005–06 68 4 Thierry Henry 33
2006–07 63 4 Robin van Persie 13
2007-08 74 3 Emmanuel Adebayor 30
2008–09 68 4 Robin van Persie 20
2009–10 83 3 Cesc Fàbregas 19
2010–11 72 4 Robin van Persie 22
2011–12 74 3 Robin van Persie 37
2012–13 72 4 Theo Walcott 21
2013–14 68 4 Olivier Giroud 22
2014–15 71 3 Alexis Sánchez 25
2015–16 65 2 Olivier Giroud 24
2016–17 77 5 Alexis Sánchez 30
2017–18 74 6 Alexandre Lacazette 17
2018-19 73 5 P-E Aubameyang 31
2019-20 56 8 P-E Aubameyang 29
2020-21 43* 11* ?Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 15*

*The figure for Auba this season is based on his scoring rate thus far this season.  But what can be seen is that the collapse is, on its present trajectory, going to give us our worst season since 1976.

6.  Let’s buy some more players

We used to have people writing into Untold all the time saying “The definition of madness is doing what has failed before over and over again in the hope it works this time.”  That is what they said about Mr Wenger as he went through his long and tedious 20 year period of taking us into the Champions League year after year.   But buying new players is what we have been doing.  Apart from whether there is more money to invest in the club, why does anyone thing it will happen next time when it hasn’t each time we’ve done it so far?

7.  Change manager

We’ve had three in three years and each has been doing worse than the one before season by season, so having another one each year until we hit on another Mr Wenger (3rd in 1996/7, his first season, double winner in 1997/8) is possible but a) expensive and b) liable to drag us ever lower if it takes time to find Wenger II.

8.  Bring back Ozil and apologise to him

That will have to wait until January but it could work.

Overall, we could try any or all of these, but unfortunately most of the strategies that don’t work (such as endlessly buying players and constantly changing managers) actually drag us down, lower and lower.

The sad truth is the club, allied to some of its supporters, has boxed itself into a position from which there is no way out.  What we need is a time machine to allow the club to go back and undo the mistakes of the last few years.

10 comments to What now for Arsenal? The 8 strategies Arsenal could use to get out of this mess.

  • Dublin Gooner

    Well, one strategy is to keep the faith and be patient.

    Didn’t Southampton lose 9-0 at home last season?

  • simpleDon

    The future depends more on the academy rather than on the transfer market. More so I think than any time in the past.

    There are reasons to be optimistic in this regard considering the quality we have there.

  • Nitram,

    ……….but unfortunately most of the strategies that don’t work such as endlessly buying players……..”

    That simply isn’t true, just ask Man City, Chelsea and Man utd who ‘endlessly’ spent money very successfully for nearly 20 years, and over that time between them won every League title baring 2, Leicester’s miracle, and Liverpool, who aren’t exactly paupers and have an enormous Gross spend, although managing to keep their net spend down on the back of a couple of remarkable sales. But to suggest they are not big spenders would be wrong.

    The 3 mega spenders also won a majority of the other 2 domestic cups.

    In Spain, Germany and France, the biggest spenders win the most trophies.

    The fact is, whether anyone likes it or not, winning trophies is inexorably linked to high spending.

    The problem we have now in the premier League is that so many are doing it. Now it’s not only Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd that are spending enormous amounts of money but also Arsenal, Liverpool (although as I said they have kept their Net spend down), Everton and Aston Villa.

    So where there used to be just the 3 clubs outspending everyone else by an enormous amount, that demographic has changed. Just simply spending big is no longer enough on it’s own to win the PL once every 3 years as it used to be. In fact it’s not enough to guarantee top 4 anymore. No, you need more than that. You need a Klopp, or the equivalent of for example. But lets not kid ourselves here, that’s not an ‘instead of’ that’s an as well as.

    In other words, I contest if we hadn’t spent what we have and still had the same squad we had 5 years ago we would be even worse off. I believe we spent very wisely this year, what we need now is for Arteta to show he is our Klopp, or as close to him as is possible, and we have a chance. If he isn’t we will be an also run.

    Either way, trying to suggest a genuine title winning team can be assembled without spending enormous amounts of money is pure fantasy, it’s just that the money has to be spent wisely, it needs to be spent in conjunction with a World class manager, a bit of patience and no small amount of luck.

    But I’m sorry, NOT spending money is not an option, as history has proven beyond doubt.

  • Porter

    Number 9 :- Pay Ozil off and get him out of the dressing room and start to heal the divisions there .
    Players talk , they have friends and they take sides .Ozil needs to go to give Arteta the space to get his message over to a receptive group.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    I think the best approach will be to bring Wenger back as Director of football or some capacity to bring the Arsenal culture back at the club.

  • K Fourie

    Not again, not again, not again are we supporters again start running (perhaps scatter is a better word) in all directions after this set-back. All the good work and positivity that the manager brought in the previous two monthes or so already forgotten! I think it is highly unrealistic to consider us already in champions mode while we are rather still in a rebuilding phase. That does not mean we didnt suspect high standerds and can suspect trophys even now. Also critisism where neaded. Just dont go overboard!

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Excuse me Sir, according to the above table for the past and current Arsenal seasonal top scorers of goals. The Aubameyang’s 29 goals he scored for Arsenal last season as put in the table chart is in all competitions I suppose?

    For, I think Aubameyang scored 22 goals in the PL last season for Arsenal which leave him short by one goal to get the PL golden boot award that Jamie Vardy the Leicester City ace PL top goals scorer beat him to the award with the 23 goals he scored for Leicester as us Gooners have all known.

    But this isn’t my main concern for Arsenal this season although it can be included to it. Mikel Arteta who steered the Gunners to the win of the FA Cup for Arsenal FC last season that is seeing the club now playing in the Europa League Cup Competition this season. And also guided the Gunners to win the Charity Shield for Arsenal in the season opener this season is now looking to be losing the plot that could see him successfully guide Arsenal to get the now elusive to get by them of a top-four place finish this season. Talkless of to see him to guide the Gunners to win the PL title for Arsenal FC this season.

    For, Mikel Arteta who has now confessed that he has in his responsibility to Arsenal FC as the senior team manager failed in his coaching the Gunners to bring the best out of them. Which has by implication culminated to seeing Arsenal this season losing at home in the PL to Aston Villa last Sunday and period to that to Leicester City a fortnight ago after they’ve lost at away to Liverpool and Man City in the big games all this season and in the process dropped 12 valuable points in the table so far this season’s campaign.

    The 12 points that Arteta coached Arsenal team has garnered in the 8 PL games the Gunners have played for the club so far this season has left Arsenal placed 12th, or is it 13th in the table? But this mid-table placing is making Arsenal to look as if it’s an average PL club side.

    Whereas Arsenal is a London giants top-six PL club who because of it’s big size should at least be finishing in the top-four places every season. And also be winning the PL title every two to three seasons.

    But what have us the Arsenal faithful been left with in our hands since Arsenal last won the PL title in 2003-2004 season and since 2016-2020 when the club last finished in the top-four places?

    Us the Arsenals have been left in our hands with is mediocre finishing in the PL that have seen the club qualifying to be playing in the Europa League Cup competition to contend with as Arsenal have only failed to four seasons running to make the top-four place finish and also failed to win the Europa League Cup even when the Gunners played in the final match. Which if they had won it for Arsenal FC will definitely have put some smiles and joy on us Gooners faces and in our hearts to celebrate victory.

    Going into this current international break, Arteta coached Arsenal team having garnered 12 Premier League game points out the 24 that were on offer to them to collect in the 8 matches that the Gunners have played so far for the club this season. But nevertheless, there are still 90 PL points that are still available to Arsenal in their campaign this season in the PL for the Gunners to collect them all but if they can. But if they do could see Arsenal finish their PL campaign this season on a new record breaking 102 points PL title win.

    Collecting more 90 PL points this season by Arsenal is not a mission that is impossible to accomplished. For, if it is impossible to collect them, the 90 points will have been set aside from collecting them by the Premier League.

    However, I personally as a visionary hard die Gooner to the core can’t see Arteta coached Gunners in the on going season’s campaign collecting enough points that will make Arsenal get a top-four place finish this season. Or even to talk of him guiding the Gunners to win the PL title for the club this season too.

    Therefore, I am imploring the Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and his son Josh to instruct the Venkatesham controlled Arsenal Board to employ Mauricio Pochettino as the Arsenal FC new first team manager to replace Mikel Arteta (no disrespect) to stop Man Utd from hiring Pochettino to replace their Ole Gunnar S manager, no disrespecting him by me.

    Going by Arteta’s media statement after Arsenal match home lose to Aston Villa in the PL, it has become clearer that Arteta is a novice coach who is coaching the Gunners at Arsenal by the try and error coaching method. But this can not be accepted. Arsenal FC is too much a big PL club side to be allowed for Arteta to be practicing his try and error coaching at the club.

    I know it will cost Arsenal board to financially payoff Arteta of his severance money payment after releaving him of his top coaching job at the club. But releaving Arteta of his top coaching job at the club by the Arsenal board could turnout to be for Arsenal getting a greater value for their money at the end.

  • Excuse me, but where are these good deeds and positive things that we are supposed to have seen in recent months.

    Yes we won the cup and the community shield, but did we do so with great attacking football and entertaining style?

    I think not.

    In recent months we have been recording minimum shots especially on target and have no creativity.

    2 shots on target at home on Sunday. Is that positive?

    Our main striker is now virtually redundant during games and now our defence, supposedly improved has been shown to be anything but.

    We have deliberately and cynically ostracized our only creative midfielder and have a manager who talks rubbish at his press conferences.

    Not only is there no improvement or signs of any all we seem to be able to look forward to is beating teams who are even worse than us and losing to the rest.

    The rose-tinted glasses allied to hefty wishful thinking is blinding so many people to the truth that we are in a downward spiral with a manager who can only sing from one hymn sheet.

    We have no grounds for optimism. I really wish he had

  • Nitram,

    Porter

    “Number 9 :- Pay Ozil off and get him out of the dressing room and start to heal the divisions there” .

    1 – How do you know there is a division in the dressing room ?

    2 – Even if there is a division (I’ve seen no evidence of one) how do you know it has anything to do with Ozil ?

    3 – How do you know Ozil is anywhere near the dressing room in any case?

    Those seem to be 3 massive assumptions on your part.

    On the flipside maybe some of the players think the exact opposite and that he should in fact be in the squad ? Especially the likes of Auba and Laca who after all are being asked to feed on scraps due to an utter lack of creativity from midfield ?

    Look, I’m not saying that is true, but I’m just making the point that making such unsubstantiated assertions can work both ways. Maybe I’m wrong and you’ve spoken to the players, sat in the dressing room and heard first hand how Ozil has caused this ‘division’ of which you speak? Tell me who you’ve spoken to or when you sat in the dressing room and I’ll apologise, but until then I’ll take it that what you claim is just a wild unsubstantiated assertion on your part.

    As for Ozil, as far as I can see all he is to blame for is signing a contract in good faith that Arsenal now don’t seem to want to honour, for whatever reason ?

    Every one has the right to think what they want, but to be laying the blame for Arsenals poor performance on Sunday at Ozils feet seems a bit un fair to me, unless of course, as I say, you have the evidence to substantiate your claim.

  • Seeing as we can see him participating in the training from the videos on the Arsenal.com website, it seemed likely that he is also in the dressing room, at least at the training ground.

    Nitram, I agree with you, that it is more likely that, if there is a division in the dressing room, it is in his support.

    We saw this happening with Emery, and I fear we are now seeing it with Arteta. We are seeing a breakdown in the defensive cohesion, possibly due to the players finding it hard to continue the rigid format that they are being asked to keep to keep to.

    In truth, only the players could tell us, and they are, correctly, and advisably, keeping shtum.

    What a mess.

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