Arteta is following in Fergie’s footsteps with Arsenal fall-outs

Date published: Friday 4th February 2022 8:50 - Editor F365

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Some of the greatest managers in the history of the game have fallen out with their players. Plus, more Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Mikel Arteta, Raith Rovers, investment managers, World Cup and more.

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Aubameyang vs Arteta
Arteta is the problem
, hmmmm. Quite simply no

Let’s look at the list of players Arteta has ‘fallen out’ with alphabetically. Aubameyang, the issue here is that Arteta wants to change Arsenal’s culture and Aubameyang did not fully buy into that. Clearly there is more to it than being late to training and not coming back at an agreed time after a visit to see his mother. However it is clear that Aubameyang broke the rules repeatedly when that happens you can either indulge a player a la PSG or get rid of the player. Looking at how the team reacted following the removal of Aubameyang and his form, I support Arteta. If Auba had been producing, there is an argument for indulging him, but he was not. I hope he does well at Barcelona but not too well!

Guendouzi, well let’s be honest he has a big chip on his shoulder which could be an asset if it is harnessed correctly but he had a disagreement with Arteta and then refused to apologise. No manager with any desire for a future needs the player to go after that and considering Arsenal have improved since he left, I believe Arteta was correct. Let’s be honest do you think Guendouzi would last 5 minutes with Pep or Klopp? I also suspect Tuchel would also give him the boot. I believe that if Guendouzi was right he would be flourishing away from Arsenal, and he has done ok.

Ozil, this is one where I think his decline began the moment Alexis Sanchez left. I think the splitting up of their partnership was terrible for both of their careers. Ozil was indulged by Wenger and produced which justified his special treatment. However by the time Arteta arrived Ozil was obviously in decline and not performing. He just had to go. The issue for me regarding Ozil and Aubameyang is the judgement of offering them bumper contracts. This goes back to the structural decline of Arsenal since David Dein’s departure. Arsenal felt the need to offer these contracts due to a lack of succession planning which meant we had to for fear of the consequences of letting them go. After Sanchez left, we needed Ozil to prevent losing the teams two best players and arguably only world class players. If we had let Auba go without renewing his contract, we did not have the money available for a replacement striker and (as now sadly) we did not have the status to attract a striker/forward of the quality needed for team wanting to challenge for league titles. There was an argument for letting them both leave but for declining club it was not an option. Letting Auba go, particularly without a replacement, is a gamble but after last summer’s quality player purchases one, we can take. Last summer has earned Arteta and Edu my trust.

Saliba according to reports is coming back to Arsenal next summer and will be our 3rd choice centre back initially. I believe that it is Arteta’s aim to rotate centre backs just like Man City to retain player freshness, allow tactical flexibility and mitigate against the impact of injuries.

When it comes to Torreira, he struggled to adapt to London’s culture which led to a decline of form and ultimately a desire to leave. Some people don’t like living in London and prefer a hotter climate. Clearly madness!

Finally, I agree that Arteta was not a great midfielder for Arsenal. For me he was when I knew Arsenal were in decline. He would have been a great squad player for Arsenal but him being first choice considering the players before him and the other big teams’ midfields at that time said a lot.
Croydon Gooner


Andrew Diacopoulos in the morning mailbox choses to take Aubameyang’s side over Arteta’s.  The same Aubameyang who has fallen out with pretty much every coach he’s played under and has had discipline issues at virtually every club he’s played for including his national team in the first few weeks of AFCON when he was already in exile from Arsenal for yet another breach of discipline.  Aubameyang has hardly been pulling up any trees recently, his form tailed off massively after his bumper contract and if he isn’t scoring goals he offers virtually nothing to the team.  I also have no idea why any Arsenal fan or otherwise still tries to bring Ozil in to any debate, the guy is totally finished – he even fell out with the Fenerbache coach who dropped him but some Arsenal fans think he’d be our saviour right now?  I don’t think there is too much point going in to detail over the Guendouzi and Vieira comparisons!

Arteta may not get it all right but hes establishing and demanding a culture of ultra professionalism, discipline, respect, commitment and work ethic.  Surely that is the minimum everyone should be demanding of their teams.  Arsenal have had players riding over these standards for far too long so I’m more than happy to back the manager on this one.

Arsenal have been a mess for too long, recruitment was a shambles and performances on the pitch substandard.  Come this summer with another set of certain departures Arsenal would have turned over virtually an entire playing squad of 25 odd players in under 3 years, that is simply unprecedented for any team.  How many of those players can we genuinely say are better than the player currently in that position? Willock? Kolasinac? Iwobi? Mustafi? Luiz? Willian? Ozil? Sokratis? Bellerin? Chambers? Nelson? Mkhitaryan? Martinez? Koscielny? Ospina? jenkinson? AMN? Mari? Torreira? Guendouzi? Aubameyang!  Not one of those players is better than the Arsenal’s best 11 we put on the pitch.

Is Arteta the saviour? who knows, but he inherited an awful squad that was overpaid and underperforming and unbalanced.  In the last 3 years Arsenal have cut their wage bill in half and reduced the playing squad to the youngest in the league.  Of course the snipers will say so what, you don’t win trophies for cutting wages and playing youngsters but that massively misses the point that Arsenal had to hit the rest button, stop trying to chase top 4 with quick fixes of expensive and experienced player purchases and build a plan for longer term success.

And going back to manager’s falling out with players rather than ‘managing’ difficult players, it isn’t as though there is any precedent of one of the most successful managers in British history regularly falling out with and getting rid of players even when they were seemingly high profile and at their peak, Stam, Beckham, Van Nistlerooy, Keane.  On top of that we have the most successful current Prem manager who also demands this elite mentality and discipline from his players, banishing Foden and Grealish to the bench for a recent breach, and swiftly moving on players who don’t fit the quality and expectations on or off the pitch.

I’m quite happy to back Arteta in the Arteta v Aubameyang argument.
Rich, AFC


I sort of get the criticism of Arteta.

But my only gripe is that he tends to completely oust players while not offering them a way back into the fold rather than benching them.

But when you look at the two most high profile examples, while I don’t completely agree with how they were treated, the end result is right for Arsenal.

I’d much rather have Odegaard over Ozil and Auba just doesn’t fit into how we play anymore.

The big regret are the pair at Marseille – I don’t understand why Saliba isn’t playing for us this season and I do see the comparisons between Guendouzi and Vieira.

However, does Klopp or Guardiola tolerate poor time keeping or players who turn up when they like?

Arsenal’s biggest player right now is Saka and I like that as he’s the embodiment of where we want to take this club and I’d much rather we sign Sakas over Aubas.

PS on a completely different point, if footballers don’t want to be role models – it’s simple – don’t take the advertising and sponsorship money.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Has Andrew Diacopoulos ever actually watched Arsenal? Nay, has he ever watched football? What a ridiculous take on the Arsenal situation. Now, of course not everything is rosy at Arsenal, but at least we have a manager in place who will actually manage the players. People who claim that Auba deserved a second chance forget that he was already on his third. He was given plenty of opportunities to act more professionally and he didn’t. Same goes for Guendouzi, who by the way is absolutely not comparable to Vieira!!!

I don’t know if Arteta will be a success but at the moment I think it’s our best option. Calling him Pep’s pet just shows you are bitter and not actually interested in any success that Arsenal might achieve. All of those players needed to go, for too long Arsenal have been a soft touch in terms of giving players want they want and not having that generosity returned. Remember when Walcott mugged us off to get a massive contract? Remember when Ozil did the same? The latter was dreadful after signing that and he actually played the majority of Mikel’s first few games.

I don’t know any Arsenal fan who uses the term ‘trust the process.’ Honestly, the only time I’ve seen that has been on ‘football Twitter’ where it seems you get all your opinions from. Cheer up Andy, it’s just a game.
Andrew (not that one)

Mo Salah waits for play to resume

World Cup players from the top four…
Maybe a bit premature, but the slightly annoying sight for Liverpool fans of seeing Salah play yet another 120 minute game to reach the final against Mane’s Senegal made me think about the disruption next year’s World Cup will cause, sitting in a 6 week mid-season break as it does. Assuming a club would rather its players had a nice rest than sweating their way around Qatar and risking injury, it does appear Liverpool will go from the most affected by Afcon to the least affected by the World Cup (of the top 4 I mean – but maybe even the top 7 or 8). There are a lot of permutations still to come from play-offs, but in terms of forwards, Senegal and Egypt play each other, so only one of Salah and Mane will go. Diaz’s Columbia look like they will miss out and Firmino (if he’s still a Liverpool player) may not make the Brazil squad. Jota has to get past Italy in the playoffs. In contrast, all of City and Chelsea’s current forward lines look certain to go, with the exception of Mahrez and Ziyech, who have the African playoffs to negotiate too (and B Silva, if he’s a forward).

If you’ll humour me and agree that the World Cup could have a bearing on next season, these playoff outcomes could be crucial – will Portugal overcome Italy and see Ronaldo, Fernandes, Jota, Dias, Bernardo Silva and Cancelao go to Qatar (and won’t somebody think of Wolves!)? Or will it be Jorginho and Chiesa, assuming someone buys him in the summer? Which pasty LB out of Robertson and Zinchenko will be returning with severe sunburn? Maybe it’s neither if Wales or Austria prevail in that play off section.

And back to Liverpool – of the midfield, only Fabinho and Henderson look certain to go (and the latter maybe not). The rest are either too old, too young or the wrong nationality. Again, substantially all of City and Chelsea’s midfielders will go. As for the defence, apart from Robertson’s play-off and VVD and Allison definitely going – we all know about TAA’s relationship with England, Konate is uncapped, Matip retired and Gomez an outside bet at best. Tsimikas’s Greece did not qualify. Who knows what Chelsea’s defence will look like next season, but all of the current first choice defence will go, even Thiago Silva is still first choice for Brazil. Ditto City if Portugal qualify, except for the aforementioned Zinchenko. I haven’t mentioned Utd, but they look likely to be sending quite a few, again especially if Portugal make it (but in any case de Gea, Varane, Telles, Matic, Fred and the English contingent, possibly McT and whoever they splash the cash on in the summer).

Anyway, something for Liverpool fans to cling to when Mane and Salah inevitably both get soft tissue injuries in the next 3 weeks. But also quite unusual that the team currently second in the Premier League and third favourites for the Champions League look likely to have only six or seven going to a 32 team World Cup in ten months, while their rivals will each potentially be sending double or triple that number.


Investment managers
Seems incredible looking back at both Old Firm clubs being in World Top 20 richest when I was a kid. Celtic have done well in recent years accepting their much reduced place in world football finances by adopting the same transfer strategy Leicester have used so ably – promising players bought cheap, sold for big profit, and replaced well.

Since 2018 Moussa Dembele, Stuart Armstrong, Kieren Tierney, Jerome Frimpong, Odsonne Edouard & Kristoffer Ajer have all been sold for a total profit of about £75m.

In Wednesday’s Old Firm match, the impact of Ange Postecoglou as manager was emphatically demonstrated. 9 of Celtic’s starting 11 vs Rangers were players Ange has signed over last 5 months – who were collectively bought for less than Celtic earned from the recent sales of Ajer+Eduoard & who (exc a rejuvenated Joe Hart) have an average age of just over 24.

5 of the new signings – Kyogo, Jota, O’Riley, Abada & Hatate – already look like they could go on to be worth 8 figure transfer fees.

This got me wondering what the best examples are of a squad’s value being increased under a single manager, or even in a single season?

Leicester under Ranieri are the most (ridiculous) recent example – by Summer 2016 Danny Drinkwater alone was worth more than the entire Leicester squad had been 12 months earlier. Further back, Allardyce in his Bolton pomp worked wonders attracting top players though they tended be in twilight of their careers while Robson’s glorious failure at Middlesbrough springs to mind as well though the big value players he signed came at considerable cost.

Historically there are obvious examples like Clough at Forest (& Derby), but given the days are long gone when a genius manager could take likes of Forest, Aberdeen, Dundee Utd etc from nothing to European powerhouse within a few years probably best to stick to ’90s football onwards.

Any suggestions?
Calum, Scotland


A difficult conversation
Raith Rovers have seen sense. Or have they? Have they merely just bowed to pressure, realising that they had made an appallingly misjudged decision?

And is the public outrage justified? Goodwillie hasn’t been prosecuted in a criminal court, and civil courts use different standards, so it even legal to refer to him as a rapist? Christ, I’m not defending the fella, but there’s a lot more to this than one footballer.

Ched Evans, anyone? I followed that case really closely, and whilst it was clear that Evans was a part of a misogynist culture where football groupies were treated like pieces of meat, I always wondered if the conviction for rape was a bit shaky, and sure enough, it has been overturned, too late to save his career. It’s not the same, obviously, as Goodwillie, but let’s make it clear, Goodwillie is not a convicted rapist.

For the absence of doubt, I don’t think Goodwillie should be playing professional football as it stands. But is there a way back for him if he shows contrition and becomes a part of a movement for positive change, or is he done forever?

I have seen various conversations about whether or not it is right that he should be allowed to pick his career up and make a living, but what is clear to me is that this shouldn’t come down to an arbitrary decision made by a single football club. There has been plenty of coverage recently of the misogyny that still stains the game, so if we want to take this seriously, surely there should be a code of conduct that makes it clear how clubs can behave and who they can employ?

And would that code of conduct preclude employing a player who had made an out of court settlement for an accusation of rape, because they have enough influence and financial clout to avoid a damaging court case? Double standards anyone? I am not sure I would pay someone off who was telling lies about me, no matter how rich I was.

And how about Lee Hughes? Killed someone when drunk driving, fled the scene instead of calling an ambulance, went to prison, came out and immediately started earning 20k (or something) a week. Not much outcry then, was there? Is this so much less worse than a civil court rape “conviction”?

And whilst I am pointing out the lack of consistency about how society and the law deals with these complicated issues, does anyone remember ex-Dragon, Doug Richard? At about the time that the idiot Adam Johnson was playing sex offender bingo and messing up his career and life, Richard admitting to having sex with a (tiny) thirteen year old girl and was acquitted, reputation stained but legally unaffected and free to go about his life.

There are so many layers to all this, and whilst I have zero sympathy for Goodwillie, he is not a convicted rapist and is a very easy scapegoat, whilst higher profile men who are almost certainly as guilty as he is – if not more – can carry on their lives, free from any barriers or Twitter campaigns. Goodwillie is working class, playing football at a low level without a PR machine behind him, so we can make easy example out of him, and fuck it, he probably deserves it. And let me state again that I am not defending him on any level, I am just pointing out the inequities and inconsistencies here.
Mat (there are so many layers to everything)


Urgh. It’s hard not to feel compelled to write in on such a sensitive subject, despite resisting the temptation to do so.

Firstly, anyone using the ‘law’ as a guide to morality or even for the fundamental basics on right/wrong need to be reminded of the pitfalls of doing such a thing. History has taught us time and time again how the ‘law’ – which is somehow, supposedly, used to provide justice – is massively flawed. Segregation, the holocaust, slavery….all legal in the not too distant past.

So anyway, back to the point – which apparently seems to be more about the job a rapist should be able to do (once they’ve either got off scot free or served minimal time) over anything else. Well, firstly, that should not be the point. The point is that there is a completely wilful neglect for society to recognise the impact this type of behavior has on the victim and the ramifications it has on the people close to them.

If you’ve not suffered abuse yourself, or not been close to someone who has, this is where you need to consider some empathy. So many opinions and judgements get made before even considering the true impact of the actions involved. Throwaway comments and thoughts given with zero consideration.

The argument of rehabilitation is a very grey one, in my eyes. Some crimes carried out….well, they just don’t deserve the chance to rehabilitate, but that is hugely complex subject left for another day. The narrative of ‘well, people deserve the chance to be rehabilitated and reintegrate with society. It’s 1 mistake’ is a very very dangerous stance. It ignores the wider problem and sends a very dangerous message to everyone, especially males. If it’s hard to understand, imagine your mum/wife/sister/daughter had been raped. That individual (victim) has to live with that for the rest of their life. There is a long and arduous path to come to terms with that and most never do. The psychological impact is devastating. That bleeds out into family/friends and the shockwaves are huge and forever lasting.

So, yes, please – as difficult and grotesque as it is – try to put yourself in the victims shoes or imagine it’s a loved one close to you. 5 years down the line you see the offender. Whether the offender served time or not will not be of any comfort here. Remember, any custodial sentence (which is unlikely) will be pretty light and that gets halved anyway. It’s not justice. So this person. They’re a footballer, they’re adored by fans. Paid pretty handsomely. They’ve been put through a rehabilitation programme and they’re such a good boy now. They’re doing fairly well, matter of fact. All’s well that ends well, eh.

No. This is all wrong. Even if it’s not a high profile job. You may see this person in a supermarket, in an office…’s still the same mentality, it’s still the same issues. What I mean by this; behave like a total and utter piece of dog sh*t and, really, it’s ok. You get another shot. All the focus is on the perpetrator and the impact (good or bad) it’s having on them. Madness.

What kind of message is this to dish out to society? There are a lot of grey areas with crime, with law and the like. This will always be a debate. But…..

Rape or sexual abuse, physical & emotional abuse are not grey. Regardless of what someone has been through, there is no justification for this type of action. Jeez, someone mentioned manslaughter this morning. Now, that is a broad spectrum. Even murder, it can often be grey.

It’s indicative of society that a football club can even consider saying, nonchalantly, the line ‘oh, it’s for footballing reasons’. It all boils down to ‘it was only a bit of rape’. It may not be getting said out loud and I’m sure very few, if any, would admit this in a public forum. That’s the undertone though. Diminishing the crime.

Anyone advocating for rehab, rapists as high profile footballers and second chances need to take a good long look at themselves. What message does it send to your son/brother/pal and, even more importantly, what message does it send to any females out there?

The education needs to be more compelling, more impactful. For young and for old. Understanding the true destruction these types of crimes have, that’s the starting point. Then a ‘zero tolerance’ stance to rape/sexual assault is lot easier for everybody to comprehend. Still have perpetrators? Ok, how about a punishment fit for the crime? You know, many many years behind bars with life long conditions upon release. How can anyone justify short term punishment for the offender when there are life long consequences for the victim?

The justice system is heavily flawed. Massively, in fact. Society, however, can do better. Using the existing system as a basis for your view is, at best, misguided.

The victims seem to get lost in all of the subsequent conversations. Without them being the centre of the discussion, the concern, the person that needs support and protection; what conversation is even being had?

If we all grew up knowing that there was a 25 year sentence for rape, that’d be normal and the seriousness of the crime would be recognised. The narrative would be oh so different, wouldn’t it?

Let’s stop normalising and diminishing rape.
Glen, Stratford Spur


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