You know how the “Game of Thrones” type shows have some shocking event like the red wedding where the violence is supposed to end the battle, but all it ends up doing is escalating the issue for many years to come? That’s where Arsenal are right now.
We had a coup 3 years ago, very quickly followed by another far more damaging one.
The Emery-Raul regime itself didn’t last too long, but that’s where they laid the groundwork for maligning everything past and present in favor of dreams of a glorious future. The cult of the executive was created and every move became a matter of pride and restoring honor.
Forcing out players
In so doing we ended up forcing out (one way or another) the players we were built around. ‘No one is bigger than the club’ is just the sort of empty truism that those who echo ‘trust the process’ would chant. What the process has ended up doing is spending virtually all the cash reserves saved up during Wenger’s time to drop to a very respectable top 10 position with no scouts to recommend players that can help us out.
With the much hated, because he’s loved, figure of Mesut Ozil leaving to popularize the Turkish league, Arsenal also decided to get rid of all who spoke for him. The purge is now complete. Iwobi liked the Bergkamp post, Xhaka’s troubles within the club started them as well. Mustafi and Kolasinac are of course close to Mesut, but it seems AMN and Willock didn’t do their cause much good by publicly appreciating Ozil.
The ‘troublemaker’ is gone. So now our troubles are over. Or so some would like to believe.
The reality remains that Arsenal are hanging around mid-table having scored a mere 26 goals. We’ve improved defensively of late, but if we’re honest a lot of that is down to Leno, and some lucky breaks as well. Still, I understand that we seem to have a base to build from and why fans will be happy at a fresh start, even if it is only notional. I myself suggested that this new Arsenal has no more excuses now that it has removed the legacy contracts.
Wolves goal-scoring more horrible than Gunners
So up next is a Wolves team in horrible form in a pretty bad season compared to last year. While we’ve picked up 11 points in the last 5 games, Nuno Espirito Santo’s Gameboys have secured just 2 draws in the same period. They’ve had just about the same shots as us but scored 5 goals fewer while conceding 4 more. When we last played them in November, Raul Jiminez had a really bad injury, fracturing his skull in a collision with David Luiz. Thankfully, it appears he could get back to playing again. Wish that is indeed true and he makes a full recovery. It does highlight their problems though that he still remains, along with Neto, their joint top scorer in the PL with 4 goals.
So, our defense should be able to shut them out, right? Even Adama Traore has been mostly quiet in the league this season. His aerial battles won stat suggests the mostly use him as a target man rather than a counter attacking threat. He’s got 0 goals, created just 2 big chances for 0 assists, has taken just 12 shots with only 4 on target, and makes just over 16 passes per game in his 20 appearances. What a weird player. But probably going to have a monster of a game against us. Or is that no longer the Arsenal way?
We’ll be without Tierney, while Auba, Dani Ceballos, Pablo Mari and Bukayo Saka are all back in full training and will be assessed. Mat Ryan is out as well. Confidence is a good thing, but Arsenal fans have dropped standards (in my opinion) just to have something to cheer about. The draw against ManU was fairly lucky, even if we had some good moments.
Arsenal are favorites but questions remain
Will we perform better against Wolves? Will we have better luck? Who knows?
I have a hard time figuring this team, and this coach, out. We should win, especially if Auba is back and hits the ground running. It could be a boost to the whole team. Pepe seems to have picked up his performances of late as well, and even Willian didn’t totally stink.
Will the reduction in squad size help refocus the players or lead to complacency? Are players motivated by the hope of signing a new contract or worried about how they’ll be treated by the club? Is Arteta’s wife happy he’s talking more to Edu than to her?
Tune in to the continuing drama that is Arsenal FC to find out.
Written by Shard aka @ShardGooner
The Times this morning has a table of the money spent by each club this window. We stand on £1.2.
However, is that not somewhat misleading?
Surely the amounts we paid the Exile, Socrates and Mustafi must also be included.
The quick destruction of the old arsenal team to include the removal of a most of the promising youngsters on loan means that what we have left is what arteta wants, players in his image who will only do his bidding as and when he says so.
The denudation has been swift and comprehensive.
ESR will be the next as Odegard takes over the no 10 role but subject to arteta’s instructions.
I fear that this will end in tears.
I do not have bt sp won’t be able to watch tonight.
I an too sure I care anyway.
My view is we have a legacy that is worth fighting for. Am not going to let the Kroenkes and their bag men like Arteta and Edu destroy my belief in building on Wenger’s legacy.
We have paid everyone of them players to exit. Ozil had £9m left on his contract, Mustafi had about £3m, we probably paying part of Kola salary as Schalke can’t afford to pay £100k/w for a week
We got 0 back on sales
We ousted the players who supported Ozil, they were frozen out the moment they showed it
This is not how u run a business
We probably lost about £20m this window. Saving only the loanee salaries in the process.
Gabriel – 22m
Willian salary since- 4m
Ozil salary since he last played -9m
That’s a £100m squandered in one season where we gonna be 12th in a coupla weeks in Feb!!!!
It’s totally possible Leeds can be 4pts ahead of us by then
Yet Edu is getting praise ??
£100m add to it the £20m wasted this window £120m , that’s what we spent in a pandemic,economic meltdown year.. more than what Arsene Wenger spent in any year at arsenal
The squad (as per transfer market) is worth 560m !!!!
Couldn’t we keep Wenger and give him that kinda money?? U know improve on the much hated top 4 finish rather than start at 12th?
Good spot Ehab. It simply amazes me the profligacy and mismanagement of precious cash by the club. Make no bones about it, this is not entirely the doing of Arteta and Edu. The CEO, the renown bean counter, Vinai and the Board have sanctioned this waste of resources to satisfy their power trip, their vindictiveness and their intolerance of any player that questions their demands. This will certainly end well, won’t it?
This was a great article and preview to read thank you shard.
I know you won’t mind my stupid tease: The one thing you missed out on was the possibility of a benchmark performance from the official in what was a super agents derby.
“Right on” Fins (showing my age their). When the loaners like Ceballos and Oedegaard go back to their parent club, after they were schooled by Arsenal, to scrap for 10th in the league, as is looking most likely, in come the super agents with their mules. They will gladly accept £100k per week plus a nice agents fee, give 1 or 2 years service as we struggle to get into Europa just like Wolves.Think I am being extremist? Exhibit A is Willian. Case closed my lord.
Correction: you were only counting this season!
Blimey. I guess the K’s wanted someone else making those calls!