Mikel Arteta is no longer a problem for Arsenal but an asset. We have mails on them and Manchester City after a half-weekend of football.
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Arteta is Guardiola Mark II
Long before the season began, or even pre-season, I predicted on here that Arsenal would get more than 85 points.
Of course you can imagine the reactions. Should I say it again or maybe I should add something this time, something more subjective. Mikel Arteta is as good a coach as Guardiola.
Guardiola went first. He was the storm that brought about change. The EPL realised that they needed control and a clear plan in attack. Managers like Potter, Arteta and ten Hag have come in response to this. Klopp has moved towards more positional play principles. Conte is also inclined towards control in a different way.
Arsenal may yet come up short this season, but it won’t be because of Arteta. I am interested to see what kind of team he ultimately settles on, although I think he is very close to it right now. Potter should also get Chelsea playing offensively and very organised, in a way, he is more interesting because of the way he adapts to each opponent. And of course, I look forward to seeing ten Hag’s team when they do become “his team”.
Having said all this and given all that has happened recently, the following points follow,
– Man City are the most well run team in the world. No. They are not cheating, at least not anymore. Or should I say, not any more than any of their rivals will be doing right now. I see them and I see the epitome of good management and planning.
– Brighton, Arsenal, Liverpool and Brentford are honourable mentions.
– I don’t think Man Utd are as poorly run as we think, they may not be well run, but ten Hag’s comment about improving the structure at the club during the break was particularly exciting. I think fans should have hope.
– How did Arsenal get so good at set pieces without anyone noticing?
– Marcus Edwards should be at the World Cup.
– And Lastly, when will Stewie humbly apologise to Arteta and Arsenal football club for his aggressive scepticism all this time. No, we won’t laugh at you. OK, maybe just a little. OK, maybe a bit more than that. OK… I admit, we will laugh until we can feel it in our stomachs, but even that should be fine right? At least, the truth would have set you free!
Arsenal are good you know
Watched the game against Brentford, well deserved victory, nothing much to add. But it shows Arsenal’s level of improvement over the years, from being weak at set-pieces to becoming genuine contenders for masters of the art, offensively and defensively. Shows the wonders of employing coaches to arrest deficiencies. (Saliba’s movement for the goal was world class, and he defends with minimum fuss.) One could say that was Wenger’s major flaw at the end, he was isolated, and all his assistants were perhaps in thrall of him, and they couldn’t have those difficult conversations that lead to progress.
Ferguson had about four established coaches working with him through his years at Man U. Helped prepare the boys and give him more room to inspire and motivate. I’ve always said David Dein’s departure was the start of a slow decline at Arsenal. Looking at Wenger’s record again, he certainly could (and should) have won more trophies in his 22 years at Arsenal.
I’ve always thought Tierney was one of the best left-backs around, but watching Zinchenko in that role has been a revelation about the infinite possibilities inherent in football. Now, I want someone like Zinchenko playing my right and left back positions, such is the quality and grace of his play, and now I’m thinking Tierney needs to perhaps add a few more strings to his bow, and pick up a thing or two from the maestro. Scintillating!
Arsenal only really got in trouble early in the first half when Martinelli over – committed to pressing. His flank was quickly exposed, but he was able to use his energy to harry the opposition and close the gap. Arsenal may need to keep an eye out for that. (Remember Sambi?) In addition, he should be encouraged to play more centrally. He should be scoring more goals. He’s effective drifting out wide, but more clinical when playing close to goal. He should be scoring more. Arsenal should be scoring more!
Still some of the same problems of toying with the opposition by ball-possession without really (really) threatening, but they exuded dominance and control all through with Partey, despite his poor final balls, and Xhaka, who was at his fluid best. This has to be his best game so far this season. He really stepped up in Odegaard’s absence. Sweet strike from Vieira, he has shown some really nice touches so far. Shooting like that will give Arsenal a different dimension to their game. It should be encouraged. Sweet Jesus. Cheers! (He should be scoring more.)
Iyanu Tokede, Lagos Nigeria
Liverpool fans bored of Man City dominance. Funny that.
Finally F365 are asking the question, is anyone else enjoying this City dominance? I asked this last season when people were wanting city to win the league over Liverpool… do we really want our league to become the same as the German and French leagues?
I’m afraid we’re already there, 4 out of 5 seasons City have won the league and I’m sure nobody doubts it’ll be 5 out of 6 and we’re only a few games in. Unpredictability was what drew people to the Premier League and that’s what brought the big bucks to the teams, in a few years the tv revenues will fall & the sponsorship revenues with it & the clubs that have rich owners will pull away even more.
Remember when you start complaining about City’s dominance & the boredom/predictability it brings, the last twice a team came close to challenging City most people were willing them on to win the league.
Marcel G, LFC
…Will Ford, you forgot to mention the key component of Manchester City’s entire purpose.
Winning football matches by the virtue of collecting the best players and coaches that money can buy (isn’t it weird how Madrid and Barcelona could never tempt anyone away from the European royalty of east Manchester) with the end game of laundering the reputation of a despotic, human rights abusing state.
Wonder if any other Gulf state might think about getting in on the act…
James Outram, Wirral
City fans loving the dominance actually
Yes, absolutely I am enjoying this dominance and so is anyone who supports City or enjoys the established order being overgrown. This is a level of football being played that has rarely been seen and it’s brilliant.
And it’s going to get so much worse for all of you, because City right now are at maybe 75% of their capability. Haaland is out of this world obviously and maybe was built in a lab to score goals but he still hasn’t figured out how to fit into our overall play yet. Mahrez is having a slow start but we all know how good he is, he was our top scorer not long ago. Julian Alvarez hasn’t had many minutes yet but it’s very clear he’s very special. And our back line is piecemeal at best given the injuries but here we are.
Every one of you who hates this, guess what, it’s going to get so much worse for you. And we will be here loving every minute, even as we somehow manage not to win the Champions League again. That’s the craic and it’s spectacular.
Andrew MCFC Queens NYC
…I know I shouldn’t, but I find I must bite after reading Will Ford’s blatant trolling article ‘Is anybody enjoying this dominance?’
Firstly, I am.
Secondly, we’re seven games in and, as far as I know, City haven’t won a damned thing yet. Oh, and last time I looked, Arsenal was top of the table. So, I’m not entirely sure what ‘dominance’ Will refers to?
Thirdly, I don’t recall F365 penning articles about say, Celtic’s ridiculous ten-year dominance of the SPL being ‘soulless’ or ‘without passion’.
Perhaps his article headline would’ve better represented his viewpoint if written as follows?
“Superb team under outstanding manager and put together over a number of years plays superb football and looks likely to win (more) stuff but supporters of some other teams don’t like it because it used to be their team doing the same thing but not anymore.”
Mark (Happy to help) MCFC
Mane not the Liverpool issue
Okay can we all agree now that Liverpool’s collapse is not because Mane left?
Just like some Liverpool fans (myself included) said he had actually been poor for two years before playing for a move to Bayern and now at Bayern he’s not scored in six and generally not played well either. Had he stayed this is what we would have had and I’d argue Liverpool are better off with Diaz, who has probably been our best player so far.
There’s a lot of problems at Liverpool but missing Mane isn’t one of them. He was a superb player in his prime and I appreciate what he did for us but there’s little room in football for sentimentality.
Get in, Son
Turns out he just needed an hour’s rest, then.
Get in you wonderful human being.
I absolutely f**king love football. Tingles.
24 hours later
My wonderful, joyous experience watching Son do the thing on Saturday evening has been immediately tempered by Arsenal efficiently and effortlessly dismantling Brentford today.
They might do it, you know.
Jon (the process IS working), Lincoln
What ideas do you want back?
Following on from Todd Boehly’s stream of consciousness on “Future Atrocities I’d Quite Happily Inflict on Football” it seems the obvious place to go is back down that old well trodden path. The one marked “Things we want Back” (But are definitely never coming back)
And before we move on to moving back, let’s be honest, Liverpool and Man United had the weekend off so this can definitely get in. Mailbox 2 bottom of the page at worst.
The most obvious shout is first. The Cup Winners Cup. Open draw. Straight knockout. Liverpool get Madrid away first round and lose? Unlucky. Bayern draw Sherif and have an off night? All the best! Maybe see you next year.
Smaller clubs going deep into a competition not knowing who you’ll be playing every week? Wonderful. One-off nights in countries all over Europe? The magic of the Cup. Jumpers. Goalposts.
Pure football and the drama on TV would be fantastic. To quote another European take on American culture “I’d buy that for a dollar”.
So my advice to Todd is this: Yes, you should be looking to America to “improve” things here. But you’re looking in the wrong place. Don’t look at Sports (Unless it’s the Huey Lewis and The News album. In which case. Yes! 10/10) but look at the movie industry. They’ve been re-hashing shit from the 70’s and 80’s for years now and making billions. New ideas are very old fashioned.
Bring back the Cup Winners! Bring back Player/Managers! Bring back nobody having a f**king clue who owned these clubs in the first place because they just shut up and got in with it.
Do that Todd and you might just win yourself a coveted star on The Football Walk of Fame. (It’s in Acton)
On a slightly different note I would love to hear from some of the many regular Mailbox contributors who have “been expelled and barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons”
I would much rather read about your no doubt perilous journeys to escape persecution for your beliefs. I had no idea being a Spurs fan was so dangerous.
Long live Stewie Griffin and Long live Barry Fox. Their’s is exactly the kind of madness we need in a world that takes itself too seriously.
Take care folks. Be good to yourselves and each other.
Brian Morrissey. Exiled on Main Street Waterford. Ireland