Welcome Home, Mikel & Everton Preview

A grim period in the modern history of Arsenal Football Club ended yesterday with the appointment of Mikel Arteta as head coach. 

The arrival of Arteta immediately injected energy into the club. Whether that transmits to the players at Everton is another matter.

If they paid heed to his words, then most certainly it will. In Arteta’s Arsenal, there will be no room for shirkers and we certainly have a squad full of them.

“I don’t want people hiding. I want people taking responsibility for the job. Anybody that doesn’t buy into this is not good enough for this environment or culture.”

Radio Silence from the club in recent weeks meant stories of discontent leaked with the highest paid flops “deciding” their futures. Either that or their brother(s) were dismissing the new head coach. No experience apparently means a lack of ambition.

As is always the case, introspection about their own individual and collective performances is in short supply. Judgement Day is now upon them: they shape up or ship out. We’re going to see a huge turnover of staff in the coming months.

The contrast with Everton in that respect could not be starker. Duncan Ferguson hasn’t blinded anyone with science. It’s all about determination and energy. Ljungberg never got that response because our squad is too shallow mentally.

Arteta noted that last weekend, observing that the lack of energy and general malaise troubled him. From the outside, he caught a glimpse of the problems ahead. Disjointed tactics and players who don’t fit into any scheme.

The major task, he noted, was clarity, consistency and ruthlessness: the three c’s.

Mikel, Ma Belle

So, why the change in my views on Arteta as head coach? I only had one reservation which was experience or the lack of it as a head coach.

This is something he cannot overcome so has to work around. Being mentored by Pep, the outstanding coach of his generation, offsets that to a degree. And as I contemplated my naval this week, I wondered if experience is all it is cracked up to be.

Arteta isn’t a manager, he’s head coach. Two different roles and his experience as #2 at City is as good a fit as any. Equally, in football terms, experience means a track record of failure. Only the very elite coaches haven’t been axed at one point or another during their careers.

A lack of experience on this occasion also hides that we don’t know what to expect from him. No track record, you see, so no history and uncomfortable shuffling around.

A pointer: Unai Emery was experienced and created this sh*tshow. You don’t have to fear the unknown.

On the positive side, his embracing of data and analytics is refreshing given our half-arsed usage of them previously. Equally, he talked enthusiastically about every aspect of energy and dynamism at his press conference. That enthusiasm lifted my spirits more than any match has this season.

He talked the talk, having produced the one-hand in pocket confident walk previously. Power rested naturally on his shoulders.

There’s naturally caution to be worn on our sleeves. Anyone who thinks we’ll play like City in a matter of days is going to be disappointed. And clearly hasn’t watched Arsenal over the last three months. We’re in preseason training for next August; anything better than mid-table and we’re in dreamland.

Long live the king!

Now, You FECers Over There

Which celebratory mood is dampened by astonishingly poor performance of the club’s FEC in this whole matter. From taking a week to implement the decision to remove Emery from his post through leaving Freddie with two coaches to train a first-team, they have failed the club at every turn.

It’s not good enough and in all honesty, instead of patting themselves on the back, they should be questioning whether they are fit for the roles they supposedly fulfil.

Corporate governance has been weak at Arsenal for more than a decade and the lack of scrutiny manifested in their dumping Freddie out on a limb and hiding in the shadows as it all kicked off. 

The Arsenal Football Club deserves better than these charlatans.

Finally, a word on Freddie. RESPECT. Nothing more, nothing less. Crapped on, he maintained his dignity. Thank you.

Enjoy the inevitable defeat at Goodison Park wherever you are watching it.

116 thoughts on “Welcome Home, Mikel & Everton Preview

  1. SV says:

    Starting with Özil is like getting a red card in the first second.

    A burden for the rest of the team.

    Crossing and forward movement need more work.

  2. C says:

    Aubameyang doesn’t take that extra touch, or Lacazette put away his couple of chances and this match looks COMPLETELY different.

  3. C says:

    Interesting report stating that Xhaka’s agent has been talking and went on record to state:

    “We have reached an agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin.

    We have told Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi & technical director Edu Gaspar that he wants to leave the club, as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.

    Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear. It’s only about the transfer fee of the clubs.”

  4. Paulie Walnuts says:


    I hope it’s true & he leaves. Put the money towards a decent centre back.

  5. C says:

    Paulie Walnuts,

    At this point, I would agree even though he played well today. I know this may sound crazy, but if Napoli really do want Sead….I wouldn’t be opposed to Sead and cash for Kouliboly

  6. Bill says:


    You could say the same thing about missed chances in every game in history. No team will ever put away all of its chances.

  7. Bill says:

    Surprised Xhaka started if he is really going to be off during January.

  8. Bill says:

    Wenger, Emery, Freddie and Arteta all think Xhaka is one of our best 11.

  9. Paulie Walnuts says:


    I think that says more about our best 11 than it does about Xhaka’s qualities.

  10. C says:


    Your correct but the chances that we missed today, you fully expect Aubameyang and Lacazette to put away. Ozil plays Aubameyang through and instead of hitting it 1st time, he takes a touch and the GK saves it, Lacazette a bit rusty so his 1st touch pets him down allowing the defender to recover and blocks his shot.

    I know you dislike Ozil, but he played well today and created and I’m not the only one to notice it.

  11. Bill says:


    A bournemouth fan would argue the game would look totally different if the ball had not taken a couple of deflections and happened to fall for Auba on the play we scored.

    Ozil looked slightly better at times but we have seen that before. Why do you think Arteta subbed him off when we still had a chance to take all 3 points?

  12. Bill says:

    I agree that we actually looked like the better team for most of the game today and we actually looked dangerous at times.

  13. Mongolian Gooner says:

    It might be the surge of energy that comes with the new manager, which we missed when Freddie was appointed, or it could be the real thing. Either way, I am cautiously optimistic.

    But I have to say, I enjoyed the pressing high up the pitch and slightly disciplined play of our defensive midfielders. Can’t really blame the makeshift defensive unit.

  14. TH14 says:

    Merry Christmas all
    I am usually the glass half empty kind of guy but I already see the blueprint of How we are going to be playing in the future and its pleasing on the eye
    Our first choice wengers (Martinelli and Pepe) didn’t play , same with our left backs kolasinac and Tierney and bellerin were all missing through injury and yet we had 60 percent possession against a Bournemouth side that’s a complete possession team on their own turf is nothing to be sniffed at.
    I am being cautiously optimistic, but if we had any of our first choice left backs and one of Pepe or Martinelli we would have comfortably won the game.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the game, the high press, and general attitude of the team was impressive to watch, for crying out loud, when was the last time we outshot a team on their own turf?
    For all the hatred xhaka has been getting, I think he played very well, he and torriera were tidy in midfield and completely dominated the Bournemouth players. There is a reason why Wenger, Emery, Freddie and now Arteta and wanted him on the starting eleven, he might be lousy in possession sometimes like most players but he showed his quality today.
    Hope Martinelli and one kolasinac is fit for Sunday.
    I have full confidence in Arteta to take us to the top once again.
    Go Gunners

  15. C says:


    He took him off because he was visibly draining so he brought on fresh legs. Its interesting yet again your saying he was shit while most others are saying the complete opposite and that includes English media who, as we know, love having a go at Ozil.

  16. SV says:

    Thank you, Arsene Wenger, for losing twice to Liverpool (3:4 and 3:1), letting them into the top four with just a one point advantage and thus allowing Klopp.

Comments are closed.

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: