Wenger’s legacy is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

Nervous Anticipation at Arteta’s Debut


Previewing Bournemouth v Arsenal: Ball, teammate, opponent, space. Those are the 4 things Mikel Arteta told his players they’ll be working on. Even in the short training video that Arsenal Media put out, it was clear that there’s a lot more to it, but presenting his instructions simply was one of his stated aims.

The next thing in the video was about Mikel telling players not to turn with the ball. Instead to pass it to their teammates and create space that way. David Luiz seemed to get some praise from the new coach for his efforts at passing, while Lacazette and Xhaka both got some more instruction.

I say new coach, and Arsenal only just announced 3 more additions to their coaching staff, but Arteta seems like he’s been here forever. He just fits. His lack of experience doesn’t affect his knowledge, nor it seems, his ability to speak with authority. He speaks not just like a tactical coach, but also as a leader. Something we know he is from his time with us as our captain.

Wenger’s true successor

Arsenal now have Wenger’s true successor and he will be very successful, of this I am sure. He’s determined to succeed, and unafraid to speak his mind. I am also happy Freddie is sticking around. He did a good job in difficult circumstances. Despite my initial disappointment of Ljungberg not getting the job till the summer, I am convinced now that Arteta is the right decision. Just as he was 18 months ago.

That seems like time wasted. But sometimes, things work out for the better. Now we have the manager, an assistant, the academy manager, and the technical director, all of whom played for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. (What was that about it not being Arsene FC?)

The Head of Football must be feeling a bit chastised after the very obvious efforts he made to get rid of the identity the club had so painstakingly built. Arteta represents a return to the club’s roots and values. Both in terms of tradition, but also in moving forward. The club hopefully has gotten its post Wenger hangover out of the way and has woken up. If it hasn’t Mikel’s force of personality and character will ensure it does.

This is supposed to be a preview of the Bournemouth game, so forgive the Arteta love in. But it really feels like a landmark moment to me. Mikel Arteta will be taking charge of his first game for Arsenal.

Tactical analysis

As far as opponents go, Bournemouth might be a good one to start with. Eddie Howe’s team don’t apply the aggressive defensive pressure that we often have a problem dealing with. Nor do they tend to play dirty. That should help us ease into the new patterns and techniques of passing that Arteta is trying to drill into us. They’ve actually conceded less goals than us, but that says more about us under Emery than it tells us about Bournemouth. On the other side of things, Bournemouth have created only 192 shots and scored only 19. Their biggest goal threat is, surprisingly, Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, scoring 6 from 28 shots. Callum Wilson and Josh King can also find the net. Look for previously rumored Arsenal target Ryan Fraser to send in crosses from the right. Control space and pay attention to their runs and we ought to be able to hold them off.

11th vs 14th in the table and neither side can really argue their performances have deserved much better. But it’s a clean slate for everyone at Arsenal now. Maybe we shouldn’t expect too much too soon, but I can’t help but be excited. About everything. The press conference/interviews. The training videos. How we’ll set up, and how we’ll line up.

Team news: Chambers is suspended after the booking he picked up against Everton. Holding, Tierney and Kolasinac are still out. As is Martinelli with a hamstring issue. He’s back in training but it might be a little too early for Dani Ceballos to feature.

Starting XI: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Sokratis, Saka, Torreira, Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil, Nelson, Auba

Subs: Martinez, Mavropanos, AMN, Guendouzi, Willock, ESR, Lacazette

I’m going for us to have a controlled game in possession but interspersed with the odd mistake in defense. We might even give up the first goal. But I’m sure we’ll start the Arteta era with a win to mark the occasion. 3-1 to the good guys.



  1. Thanks Shard
    Although I am over the moon at the appointment of Arteta and grateful for the efforts by those at the club (including the editors of the Arsenal media videos!) behind closed doors to neuter Don Raul (we know why he was not smiling?) until the old gaffer is invited back to just simply visit the club, just the once, then Arteta’s position will remain as precarious as AW’s was during his last two seasons.

    When Josh incrementally undermined AW’s authority with the squad as George and Shotta described in their podcast.

    Josh chose to blow up the boot room only eighteen months later to have to do a complete turnaround and try to salvage the boot room and hence the club itself.

    So with this clown and others still lurking the football people at the club will have to tread on eggshells.

    Though Arteta’s insistence on finding out “what happened” is reassuring and ominous for Raul’s long term future at the Arsenal. For sure he won’t be satiated by his cuts on the Pepe and Luiz deals.

    And the above all leads neatly to the Ozil and Xhaka stories and futures.

    We know that they are the best CMs at the club. So does anyone else who knows what a football is. But the clowns who threw up the vomit that “Ramsey and Ozil can’t play together”, these excrements will be covering NFC themselves in their own shit again soon enough as they realise two Arsenal footballers that they have been attacking and not supporting for over a season now are amongst the first two names on the team sheet.

    This is where these ignoble blaggers will lose their grip soon enough. And I put it to you all: as Tim Head already said over on PA, for the same reasons that those brave hearts were heckling Rudiger the other week. Simple.

    Otherwise how do you explain people acting like cunting idiots, delusional, pretending that Guendouzi is ready to be a starter for any PL team as in any, ahead of Xhaka etc. Laughable gibberish born from delusional bigotry, the old classic combination born of narcissistic nasty egotism.

    Bigotry makes people look stupid. And, well, there it is.
    “Ramsey and Ozil can’t play together”: what an epitaph that is! these people don’t know football but they do know how to attack and make money off the club that they say they support. Worse then AFTV.

    Plenty of evidence for the above. Plenty.

    In the meantime most arsenal fans are overjoyed as like all football fans or anyone that’s ever been in a dressing room in any sport they understand and appreciate the concept and value of the Boot Room. It is simple stuff…


    • Damn it you are right Fins. Until Wenger is given the freedom of the executive box then nothing fundamental has changed on the Titanic. Arteta gives us a chance to return to the Arsenal-Way but it is far from assured. Don’t expect mainstream media and blaggers to educate us about the many dangers ahead.

  2. Shotts I’m not sure AW will ever return to the club in such a role after the last 18 months.
    But a visit from the now Chief of FIFA would be nice, and it’s the lack of any such visit which had been the notable stat. Still is but this is what makes the tally of his ex-players now at the club such a cool statistic!

    Interesting selection up front.
    I think the hackings Pepe received in his last two outings courtesy of the pgMOB had an impact on him not starting, he had a reported knee niggle for the last fixture, so I see no controversy in Pepe’s non selection etc. As we expected and hoped after the horrors of Emery he’s simply picked the best team available, given the injuries and rotation of niggles required in this difficult period of the season. Won’t be possible for anyone to read too much into Arteta’s selections for a month at least. In the meantime these players get the chance to impress


  3. Buzzing with this 1-all draw. Arsenal build up play was a 100% better compared to Emery. We created some decent chances especially in the 1st half with Ozil orchestrating. Wish the strikers did more; didn’t work Bournemouth keeper enough. We even push our defenders up the half-way line. Very promising start by Arteta.

  4. I’m please that I got the lineup mostly right. Bellerin or AMN is a case of fitness I’m sure. And as Fins points out, so is Pepe. Btw, I was impressed by how the defender bounced off Pepe when both were chasing a loose ball. He’s not as lightweight as I had thought. Looks like he’s been hitting the gym and knows what to expect.

    Of course the two tackles on him have been horrendous. Almost a return to the dark days when we had broken legs every year.If Raul really is a mafia don, this at least would be one thing he ought to be able to control. If he can’t do even that, his sole raison d’etre is to rob us blind.

    We looked much better in defense. I’m going to go look at pass charts and heat maps so I can have a more informed opinion on Omair’s match report. Another thing I haven’t been much inclined to do the past 18 months.

    I wonder what the Ozil and Xhaka haters are making of this. Oh it’s just Bournemouth would be their refrain I’m sure. Xhaka’s playing for a move. Xhaka was still bad etc.Whatever. The fact is that Mikel knows what he is doing. And even if the players don’t buy in completely, they at least believe him when he lays down the minimum that is expected.

    I think we’ll get better and better as the players want to improve too. They just needed something to believe in. Arteta has faith in his philosophy, is clear in his instructions, and despite his age, has the authority and ability to inspire. I’m excited.

  5. “Don” Raul? That was a laugh eh? 18 months of shits and giggles. Mainly shits. And very few giggles.

    When did accountants and management consultants become the head of murderous mafia clans?
    When they were paying some grit arsed bedroom blagger for their PR, that’s when! Including such highlights as: “Ozil and Ramsey can’t play together”, my Arsenal.

    Never any kind of “Don” but a willing saboteur at best and an incompetent chancer at worst.

    As for the pgMOB.
    Absolute criminals. Scissor Tackle from behind is a red and everyone knows this.

    Holding was playing as well as Liverpool’s Gomez before both were hacked off the pitch. One has recovered, will the other be allowed to be? Pepe doesn’t have much chance of a career in England pretty soon he’ll arrive at the same conclusion as Alexis: he has zero protection. And at the end of the day it is the England Football team that has been crippled by these talentless match fixing fuckwits at the FA more then any other team! There’s some irony for you!

    When will any of these blaggers call out the cunts cheating and hacking down the players at their club year after year after year?

    Of course:
    Arteta saw all of this at City. Ba’s stomp did for his Arsenal / Football career and that squad having a fair shot at a title.

    Arteta Knows.


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