Arteta’s ‘free ride’ as he ‘accelerates Arsenal decline’

Date published: Saturday 24th April 2021 11:59 - Editor F365

We’re starting to move away from the Super League chat. Keep your mails coming to


Arteta decline
What next for Arsenal? The club of total and utter incompetence. There is literally not a single person at the club that you could point to and say “they know what they’re doing”. Even a little bit.

Arteta? An unimpressive rookie manager that struggles to learn and is accelerating Arsenal’s decline. He’s sucked all the fun and joy from the team’s play and has them so confused they haven’t a clue anymore. That FA cup success already looks like the blip and his record run of failure looks to be the trend.

Edu? The man who sold Martinez for £17m
and kept Leno. The man who signed Willian on a 3-year, 200kpw deal. The man who let us go into the second half of the season with one, perennially injured left back.

Vinai? The Kroenkes? Nuff said on them this week but labelling them as incompetent is generous.

Gary Neville was right to label Arsenal a shambles. A total mess of a club which needs a re-build in it ownership, leadership and management way more than it does in its playing squad.

There is talent within Arsenal’s squad, which is doubtlessly underperforming because of shockingly poor coaching, tactics and management; critical holes neglected in the squad; and uninspirational leadership.

If Kroenke had any business sense whatsoever he would sell up this summer because his investment is about to take a nosedive.

Winning the Europa League would clearly delay the inevitable but I seriously doubt Arsenal will make it to the Final, let alone win it.
Ben (London)

F365 says: Arsenal play with absolute lack of fire and still get Bernd


Arteta’s free ride
Arteta gets a free ride because he seamlessly marries the two most pronouced trends of under qualified coaches getting elevated above their experience in the 2010s: he has a “philosophy” (a la Rodgers, Villas Boas of the first half of the decade) and he knows the club (a la Zidane, Solskjaer, Lampard, Pirlo in the second half of the decade). The problem is, although it may appear that he’s very snazzily dressed when he strolls the touchline, beneath the warm coat of philosophy and silken shirt of knowing the club, he’s not wearing any clothes.

He’s managed to preside over a great reset of Arsenal expectations. Not too long ago fans of the club were vaguely dissatisfied with finishing fourth every year, what currently engulfs Arsenal is simply a collective sense of ennui. It doesn’t feel like anyone approaches Arsenal with any fear, it’s the equivalent of playing a pretty decent upper mid table team without any bite – the 1995-2003 Tottenham of current top flight sides. Arsenal may turn it on from time to time, and one’s club may be the unlucky recipient, but on the whole most teams in the league know that if they play well and execute their plans, Arsenal are very much there for the taking.

The problem is, other than being a bit soft in the middle, and having a number of senior players in the side at any one time capable of clusterf*ck, the current Arsenal have no discernible identity. Recruitment (of which Arteta has contributed to) and retention policies have been patchy and devoid of any pattern, essentially just taking half decent players that are available and collecting them, keeping them around well past their usefulness. If Lyon, Porto and Ajax are detritus clubs, the likes of Chambers, Ceballos and Soares are detritus players.

The side somehow managed to accumulate about eight centre halves at the start of this season, none of whom command a starting spot, while their 400K a week star striker and captain who famously doesn’t track back plays on the left wing, if he plays at all, and their 350K a week star enganche was left to rust. Nketiah was awesome on loan to Leeds, gets recalled to join the ranks of the detritus, drip fed on a diet of minutes when nobody else is fit or trusted, but himself not trusted for more than a couple of games at a time. Nobody could remain motivated in an environment where they get farmed out on loan or made captain one season, then brought back from the cold to play or had captaincy removed the next. It’s little wonder the only bright lights this season have been those under 21 or those brand new to the club, that simply haven’t had their spirits sapped yet. And Arteta is the ringleader of this chaotic rule.


Arteta’s trick
The greatest trick Arteta ever pulled was to convince the world he was competent. A letter of recommendation & slick hairdo is what got him this job. Not even a decent Arsenal player, it is insane that he has been allowed to drag Arsenal ever closer to midtable mediocrity. Still hilarious.

Also, Arsenal have spent World Class Player money on absolute trash. Pepe, Partey & gang. There is no excuse to take every player and bring him down to a rubbish level of football. Cannot even be credited with Saka or ESR, he just happened to be the manager as they are developing. Arsenal fans are a joke for letting this go on for so long, and they deserve what they get.
Cheers, Aman


Arsenal slide
Just a quick note on Arsenal. Wow, that was depressing. Arsenal are quietly sliding out of relevance and no one seems to notice. Remember all the noise and outrage that accompanied underperformance at United, Chelsea and, currently, Tottenham? But Arsenal finishing last season in 8th? Who cares. Now they’re in 9th, not a peep. In fact, they have a higher chance of finishing in the bottom half. Results can always improve but Arsenal fans should be seriously worried that their mediocrity is becoming normalized. Another Newcastle?

It’s quite obvious where the problem lies. Their squad is desperately devoid of quality. Of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, they have by far the worst squad and that includes the manager.

But no one can justifiably argue that the Arsenal squad and starting XI isn’t better – on paper – than West Ham’s. It’s definitely not worse. Yet Arsenal are 9 points behind having played a game more. Embarrassingly, they are level on points with Leeds despite having a far superior playing staff. Perhaps the problem is more about the manager?

The fact Arteta can be in charge this long while actively making them worse pretty much in every concievable criteria (attacking potency, aesthetics, discipline, mentality and, most importantly, league position) without any calls for his exit or even legitimate questions regarding is competence is sadly the most pertinent indication of Arsenal’s decline. Their manager is no longer judged by the standards of an elite team.

Yes, there are mitigations – including terrible owners – but no amount of caveats would make his job as safe as it is at any other ‘Big Six’ club. Even Tottenham, the spursiest of all, sacked Pochettino a season after a top four finish and CL final. Then Mourinho with the team 7th and in a cup final. Both managers with far more credit in the bank.

Sadly, many Arsenal fans would still say they are optimistic about the future. Okay. But based on what exactly? Nothing other than winning the largely irrelevant FA Cup. That’s only a sign of progress if it’s coupled with improvement in the league. You can win the FA Cup every year while in steady decline. A relegated team once won the thing ffs. They haven’t been seen in the PL since.

And then there’s f365. Declaring him a genius for sitting beside Pep for a bit. Shaming the club for appointing a Ligue 1 and multiple Europa league winner rather than an absolute novice. Any man and his dog will win the farmer’s league at a canter with PSG and the Europey league is sh*t I heard you say, how have your precious Poch and Arteta fared in those competitions now?

You can believe the squad is not good enough AND also accept Arteta might be out of his depth.
AY (Just saying)


What have Arsenal done to the var refs to deserve this season?  Have we even had a single tight var decision at all this season?In our last two homes games we’ve had 4 offside var decisions where the guy running var could have moved his lines a pixel the other way on each decision and convinced himself it was right and Arsenal would have had 6 points instead of 1.
At best these guys are just arbitrarily guessing, at worst as we saw last night they are even drawing the lines in the wrong bloody position.  Why are they drawing the line outside the line of Pepe’s elbow – it isn’t even meant to be his elbow for gods sake!  When it is so close it is like the guy running var just makes sure the line goes one way or the other so he can justify a decision.
It obviously doesn’t help when your GK does what Leno did!
Rich, AFC


So in the match this evening, Jon Moss deemed a foul by Richarlison on Ceballos a penalty. When the replay was shown, we learned that if Richarlison made decent contact with anything it was a toenail on Ceballos’ shinpad, which of course caused him to take a step, remember where he was, then plunge to the ground screaming, with a life-threatening injury to an inanimate piece of plastic.

Cue VAR. Great thinks the neutral, justice will be done here, they’ll see that in no universe could that have caused Ceballos to fall down, much less be hurt. But wait, that’s not what they review?

Instead – and I’ll be honest I had no idea – about 5 minutes before that incident Pepe may have strayed offside. Cue lines and sextants and computers and sleeves and it’s overruled.

Literally everyone: That was never a foul.
Literally no-one: wait remember Pepe a while back?

VAR: Standing for justice since 2019.
Ryan, Bermuda


Caviar Klopp
Just been reading them Klopp quotes about the expected backlash from fans on the ESL crap. I know he’s got a job of sleight of hand to do like all the other 19th century magicians/21st century football managers but his performance is fairly vexing to be honest. The man of the people, popular socialist schtick works as well as his hair transplant, it looks so full and glossy but there’s nowt but the bald pate of an archetypal shouty patriarch underneath.Hopefully there is some substance to Klopp and he sees the need for change for the better in football as in society as a whole, the latter on which he gladly pontificates.

My concern is that he’s a rock and roll diva who likes to share bread with the common people but when it comes to the crunch he’s eating caviar. This is not really all in keeping with Borussia Dortmund or Mainz so I hope I’m very wrong because you can see how much the owners care about football on Merseyside beyond the big money from the board’s awful stewardship of the women’s team and their approach to the furlough scheme.

As for John Henry, you can see the effects of vanity and cash on the classic dictator jowls of F Perez, his deviant flesh so hungry to satisfy his personal lusts that it liquefies as if a melting cock candle, the wax slipping into every hole it finds carrying a greasily fatal parasite hell bent on control of the host organism in order to eliminate risk.
Kindest regards, Reuben T, Ireland

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool


Ole respect
Another day another article posted by you guys which shows solskjaer down. Julien nagelsmann maybe a fine coach but what has he done in his career so far that sets him apart? If ole hasn’t won a trophy which trophy has nagelsmann won? What are his achievements? Is finishing second in a league where there has been only one champion for past 100 years really that big a thing? Klopp managed to topple bayern not once but twice in a row. Now that counts for something. Let julien win a trophy first. Then we can discuss his credentials. Speaking about his tactical abilities,I don’t disagree that ole is not tactically great but we did have a manager who had a so called “philosophy “ and we all know how that went. Do you think sir alex was a tactical genius? Hell no.  But he knew how to get the best out of his squad and ole to an extent has done that. We all the the obvious flaws in the man utd squad. They need a cb,attacking rb, rw,dm and cf of good caliber to be able to challange for the title. First give ole all these reinforcements and then judge his performance. This sort of frequent disrespect directed at solskjaer only makes this website and its writers look bad
I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Why on earth do you guys not say anything about prince mikel arteta. If ole’s achievements so far are not good enough for a club of man utd’s stature, what on earth has arteta managed to do in his time at arsenal? Arsenal are likely to finish 8th this season. Yes 8th!!!! When has that been good enough for arsenal? Wenger,a club legend  managed to get them in top 4 every year and he was criticised for not being able to do more. But nothing is being said about saint mikel. And i know why. That is because he was pep’s assistant and that means he must be bloody good.
F365 you better give ole the respect he deserves and better give mikel the s**t he deserves too. Because you guys are losing credibility enormously with these frequent over the top digs at ole.
Swapnil,mymbai (man utd)


ESL advocates
Folks, I think we are fighting what we should be embracing.

I tend to agree with the mailer in that mailbox that asserts that the UEFexit clubs did not go far enough. I think that only the fury of the local fans especially in England have kept them at bay for the time.

With better planning who can really say that a super League would not be a great spectacle if carefully planned. I don’t even see why Uefa is against it except that they are angry that they have not been cut in on the deal.

I for one am an advocate of such a league. I think it solves the problem of all the many dead rubber games which are televised and no one watches.

The last two teams to win the Champions league for the first time was Chelsea vs Bayern Munich , and before that Barcelona v Sampdoria.
How much of a competition would it be if the same handful keep rotating it amongst themselves.
Why should a Brighton fan care if they play man United just twice a season if there are no fans in the stadium. The FA cup would act as a binder between all levels and all that JP Morgan money would find it way the local economies of the clubs who are represented in the super League. Times have changed and football should adapt. These ESL clubs are the perfect guinea pigs.

I thinks Uefa should get over their ego and go along with it but  only demand a huge arbitration fee and spend it on the other clubs in the lower division if they have lost their corrupt nerve.  That way, we can have new clubs win the Champions league each year but like it used to be when Red star Belgrade, Aston villa, and Nottingham forest were European champions. A trophy like the Europa cup means nothing to a club like Manchester  United due to their financial might and recent history. A club like Westham however would really appreciate an opportunity to be European champions but that won’t happen as long as there’s a long cut that leads these same big clubs back into the Europa when they can’t quite cut it in the qualifying rounds of the CL.
Paul, Nigeria. 


I get the reaction to the ESL and the club owners. As a United fan, we never wanted the Glazers and are still wondering how they were allowed to leverage so much debt against the club. I do personally think this was rich people acting in their own self interest with no respect for the game (zero relegation/jeopardy etc).

But hear me out.

We all complain about UEFA and FIFA. Especially FIFA, who are possibly the most visibly corrupt organisation on the planet. This ESL failure was a great distraction for them with their announcement of the new CL format. And the “Dirty Dozen” owners have a point when it comes to UEFA and FIFA, they are as greedy as the Dirty Dozen and the game has problems.

I ask you this, who else can stand up to UEFA and FIFA, if not for clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, United, Liverpool etc? I understand that these owners were acting selfishly and disrespecting the game, but these clubs (not the owners) might still have this fight against UEFA and FIFA on the horizon, even if the Dirty Dozen all magically became fan owned clubs.

I would have liked a debate on it. Could it work without selfish owners? Could it work with relegation? Could it be every 2, 3 or 4 years (to make it special)?
Red Devil’s Advocate



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