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A little glimpse, but not enough – Arsenal’s future, and Arteta’s role in it…

A little glimpse, but not enough

POSITIVES,NEEDS and HOPES

There was so much about yesterday that could’ve been better. Happier. Perhaps, hopeful.

I was trying to feel more excited but couldn’t fake it.

All 3 goals were ordinarily seat jumpers but my son and I only managed a token fist pump. Perhaps like you, I feel stuck in a football tornado. My head and body feel like they are spinning and spinning out of control. There is normally hope to hold on to but quite honestly I’d put my hope in Arteta and if all else was burning then he was the one that knew where the fire extinguisher was. I haven’t given up on him but I’m coming to realize that he is also one of those guilty for lighting the flame and this has left me somewhat dejected.

At 1pm E.S.T. I was not expecting to see what I didn’t see so wasn’t angry but I really don’t get how Azeez and Balogun couldn’t be involved. This feeling is not borne out of impatience as I know that they will get a chance, but more fear. I fear that they will get discouraged when they are the future that we want to encourage. I fear that Arteta is encouraging those that want to leave or he wants to sell. He used the word ‘ruthless’ when he arrived and has started to use it again. I wish he would be ruthless with his line ups and more pointedly, his squad selections. Both Azeez and Balogun could save us purchases this summer or simply allow us to sell and make much needed cash if they can prove that they can be better back ups than Nketiah and ElNeny. It feels like we are wasting this opportunity.

Azeez 1

Needs to be included

We did however get a glimpse of Martinelli at CF, but he strangely lacked confidence and the decisiveness he normally plays with. Should we appreciate the glimpse or should we ask what the benefit of giving Lacazette 30 minutes was when Martinelli could’ve played 90?

We also got a glimpse of Saka at LB. Again, I was encouraged, not by the choice this time, but by his performance. I wish the emotions could’ve felt cleaner but I/we were getting flashback fevers from the direct comparison with what was absent on the left side a few days ago. Arteta has an uncanny knack of changing what’s working and did it again when moving Saka to left wing. On paper it doesn’t seem so maddening but Arsenal’s left winger is a back to goal connector between the lines rather than the accelerator on and off the ball that Saka does better.

Pepe gave us a glimpse of what he can do when he runs at just one defender and does it directly.

Smith-Rowe gave us a glimpse too. A glimpse into his goal scoring potential with the blessing of a goal from an active player in the box. Not only is this an encouragement for him to repeat this but we desperately need an attacker who is harder to pick up in the box. Lacazette marks himself, Auba pitched his tent at the back post years ago and refuses to move it, Pepe cuts across to the penalty spot but lacks the balance to adjust his body in the box and the midfielders have an allergy to the penalty area.

My annoyed and sarcastic tone today is borne out of Arteta’s inability to understand how to change the narrative. That victory did almost nothing for the feeling amongst the fanbase. It was blah, even though the goals were not. The hope at Arsenal can’t currently be found anywhere off the field and not with the majority on the field. The big positive storyline of 20/21 is the younger players. The fans love them and rightly so. Why not give them more? Why not show them a midfielder in Azeez who has a more rounded midfield game than Elneny and Ceballos’ skillset combined? Why not give them a glimpse of the dynamic Balogun? An electric striker who plays as if wearing a cape.

Maybe I should just enjoy the win. Maybe I should simply marvel at the goals as they were 3 goals we never score.

Just seems like the timing was wrong. It felt like walking into the Haagen Dazs store after eating too much pizza.

POSITIVES:

-That Willian’s only goal was live on the most popular US network. Hoping all of the not so smart MLS owners were watching his free kick and haven’t paid attention to the other 98% of his season.

-If I was Southgate I’d take Saka to the Euros and play him at left back. He is levels higher than Shaw and Chilwell offensively and there will be many games where England will be on the front foot.

1416EBB5-083A-46F3-A744-FC4333C57FA1

 

NEEDS:

-Arteta has been pining for the fans. He talks of how the players miss and need them. I think the absolute truth is that if the fans were there he may not survive the summer. He might do well to consider not only how frustrated they will be with the risk averse football at home but also with how his quotes are taken on social media. His insistence that Xhaka was missed more than Saka at LB on Thursday is throwing more darts at the hearts of already wounded fans. It also shows what I think is his greatest weakness…… lack of humility.

-We don’t often get to see the attacking runs on the TV screen but they are there. They are also largely ignored. I have a theory that the players don’t play the ball over the top as it’s not one of Arteta’s patterns and they are fearful of repercussions either in words or lower passing stats.

-Even a Ceballos/Elneny pivot looked better than the ‘Partey on an island’ that left us exposed on Thursday. Why didn’t he play 4-2-3-1 when it’s what fits the players best? I’m hoping that one day (preferably very soon) that Arteta will understand that however perfect an idea looks on paper, it’s rare that it is a better idea than players with automatics.

 

HOPES: 

-If it were me I’d give Xhaka, Saka and Tierney the rest of the season off. They will likely play in the Euro’s and we will need them to be as fresh as possible next season. Three weeks off is a far better idea than exhausting our starting LB, RW and CM.

 

FINAL THOUGHT:

I’ve never liked Sam Allardyce. He’s always come across to me as the type who would walk into a chip shop and call the chippie an idiot for running out of vinegar.

allardyce-WBA

Doesn’t care

His team were about to be relegated and he sat down the entire game on row 2 of the sub’s bench abusing their decisions and then exited to the tunnel at the end whilst his players broke down on the field. If ever there was a manager that was waiting outside the chairman’s office this morning with a sign saying, ‘Sack me and pay me off,’ it’s him.

I hope he gets sunburnt this summer and that the chippie has extra vinegar and douses him in it.

Sign Bissouma and Buendia and I’ll cheer up 🙂

 

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5 Responses to A little glimpse, but not enough – Arsenal’s future, and Arteta’s role in it…

  1. hans andersson May 10, 2021 at 9:36 am #

    Some say kronk is in no hurry selling AFC – but in fact he is. The man is 73 and looks like ten years older. He’s aging very fast. He look as old as Joe Biden, who hardly can walk. If old kronk is acting smart and care about his reputation after The D-Day, he sell the club now. He will make millions of gooners all over the world happy – what’s wrong with that? – and at the same time he earn some nice hard spotify cash. To me it sounds like a clear win-win. Then maybe some day this unfortunate man will be remembered as Good Old Stan instead of being talked about as something disgusting the cat dragged in. With a new owner who cares and understand football (played with the feet) we can get a REAL coach (manager) like Ralf Rangnick or Diego Simeone – and that’s a beginning. Arteta was Peps handyman, not more than so, and there is in sports nothing like “great by association”.

  2. allezkev May 10, 2021 at 11:14 am #

    Yeah, it was difficult to get too excited despite the quality of the goals, it’s was all stable door/horse bolted stuff really.

    Saka and Smith Rowe have been the two shining lights from this season, along with the Balogun cameos and his two goals. Martinelli seems to have lost his va va voom and I have no idea why? Is it a hangover from his horrible injury, has Arteta changed his game, or is it just growing pains?

    Willian had a good game, he was involved in most of our good attacking phases and he scored a scorcher of a free kick it’s just a shame he didn’t do that in August and September rather than May. Let’s see how he does against Chelsea on Wednesday before we reframe our general view on him?

    I’m with you totally Mike on Bissouma, he’s exactly what we need, he’s what Partey needs and he’s what Xhaka needs and it’ll allow Arteta to rotate in centre midfield without any drop in the level of performance.

    I’m not sure about Buendia, Norwich are back in the EPL money and have no need to sell, it would take a major fee to get him and would it have the kind of negative effect that Odegaard has had on ESR?
    We have, as you rightly say, Azeez coming through and a few more at the same stage as him or 6/12 months behind but coming up fast on the rails. I’d rather pin my hopes on our academy boys if I’m honest.

    It difficult to disagree with many of your observations on Arteta and he certainly has it seems the same stubborn streak as Wenger but then maybe that’s a prerequisite for the job at the top?

    Thanks for your work

  3. Alex May 10, 2021 at 1:01 pm #

    We need a better balance between
    Hale End Boys (bring back Joe Willock who might have won the match for us on Thursday with just one of his late runs and Ainsley Maitland-Niles now that he has maybe learned that the person who picks the team has to be obeyed) and
    Imports [who should ALWAYS be the luxury addition of a truly internationally great player (Dennis), or one who promises to be such(Le Sulk)].
    This is how Wenger built his brilliant, double winning sides. He knew that for every PV4 and EP you needed a Ray Parlour, for every Manu Petit you need a Stephen Hughes.

  4. earlset May 10, 2021 at 7:26 pm #

    Mike
    Agree that the 4 games(including yesterday) is the perfect opportunity to include new players in the squad.Apart from pride at Stamford Bridge ,there are few games in a season where the result is not the priority,however we could be pleasantly surprised if Arteta was more bold.
    Martinelli had little opportunity to shine yesterday but his movement does at least give others space to work in.
    No Europa next season means that the club can take all domestic competitions seriously unlike the FA cup surrender this year.Also any excuses about fixture congestion don’t stand up.If we are recruiting the right players the lack of European competition is unlikely to deter them from signing for The Arsenal.
    Watching Leeds take apart Spurs at the weekend was a breath of fresh air and a blueprint of how the team needs to play in the future to get out of this slump.Apart from Saka and Tierney(when fit) I struggle to include any other players if I was to pick a combined team at the moment.

  5. Francis Martinos May 11, 2021 at 5:46 pm #

    This

    “Lacazette marks himself, Auba pitched his tent at the back post years ago and refuses to move it, Pepe cuts across to the penalty spot but lacks the balance to adjust his body in the box and the midfielders have an allergy to the penalty area.”

    and

    “It also shows what I think is his greatest weakness…… lack of humility.”

    The above quotes from your piece is what I have maintained.

    The positional play of Auba and Laca has been like that since the past 18months and our coach is more concerned with playing 10 systems in a game.

    With Pepe, apart from when he’s around the penalty box, whenever he’s on the pitch, it’s like he’s a player who’s physically challenged.

    His balance on and off the ball is wrong. One feet is flat on the turf and the other is suspended between himself and the ball.

    I’ve never seen any sports man or woman with that posture.

    And for Arteta’s use of the kids, trust me what we saw happening to Martinelli against West Brom is probably what will befall the other young players next season. They will be exhausted from impressing a coach who isn’t interested in them. It will similar to pouring water in a basket. It will crush their mentality and complemented by the comment from our coach about Smith Rowe’s goal with a shocking comparison to Willian’s past that has no benefit for the club.

    My concern is the damage Arteta is going to cause if he’s allowed to continue with his coaching style.

    He has done enough for us to question his ability. His bias and arrogance is simply a disgrace to any institution and organisation.

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