Brasenal: With Coutinho and Willian, Is Arteta Aiming for Super Samba-football?

Glorious late summer gossip, we love and loathe it equally. With Willian to be announced as a new signing imminently, apparently, rumours are getting stronger that his fellow Brazillian, Coutinho, is on his way too. I cannot really see us go for both, but stranger things have happened at THOF and it is after all the silly season… So why not contemplate what the arrival of not one but two attacking midfielder in their prime could mean for Arsenal in the coming season?!

See the source image

With Mari, Luiz and Martinelli we already have three Brazilians in our squad. Just imagine Willian and Coutinho joining the squad, we really would field almost half a Brazilian team next season if Arteta wanted to do so. Add to these Martinez and Torreira and the majority of the team would be from South-America. Soares is Portuguese so can converse freely with the Samba-boys, and the team could look something like this:

Rumours have it that Auba, Tierney and and Xhaka are undergoing a speed-course in Portuguese and have changed their names to fit in. 😀

On a more serious note, could Arteta have plans to play both Willian and Coutinho and how could this be done? I guess the big question is about the formation and style of football he really wants to play. I suspect that he would like to play with four at the back rather than three and with a solid midfield and a creative midfielder in the hole. The team could look like this:

I hear some of you say “but Willian is not a defensive midfielder, he cannot play next to Xhaka”. Yet Ceballos (and Guendouzi earlier in the season) are also not DMs and yet they were played next to Xhaka.

DMs are no longer required in the modern game (Xhaka is also not a pure DM) if you ask me. Defending is a team game of denying space and time, intelligence, close ball control and great positional discipline; and if Ceballos can do this then Willian can do it too. In fact, Willian is quite the complete midfielder/attacker any manager loves in their team.

What is obvious is the need for a deeper central midfielder to bring the ball forward and connect quickly and effectively with the more attack-minded players (just as sub Joe Willock was asked to do regularly) whilst also finishing off attacks with goals. That is not Xhaka, who is more like the anchor in midfield and guardian of formational discipline. And that is also why Arteta has tried Guendouzi next to Xhaka and has played Ceballos there in so many games recently (and why Torreira is struggling to make it into the starting-11). The obvious problem with Guendouzi and Ceballos is that they hardly ever score goals. No doubt this will come but it may take a few seasons yet. 

It seems that Ceballos may not so easily continue his loan at Arsenal, but even if he did stay he cannot play every game and Willian would provide great competition. The Brazilian is of course versatile and could also play in Coutinho’s and Pepe’s position, hence he would be a great signing for us (fingers crossed it does get confirmed soon).

Of course, I am just guessing at this and I really don’t expect us to sign both Willian AND Countinho; yet it could work and the football on display would surely be mouthwateringly good!

By TotalArsenal.

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71 Responses to Brasenal: With Coutinho and Willian, Is Arteta Aiming for Super Samba-football?

  1. Jnyc says:

    The talk of Willian playing centrally, if based in fact, would kind of point to no Coutinho coming. Also his agent on talksport this morning seemed very honest when he said there hasn’t been a word of discussion between him and Coutinho about Arsenal. I Don’t see why he’d phrase it that way, nothing to gain from it.
    T, I get what you’re saying about Pepe being one footed, but he produces very good results from the right wing, though I’d love to see what he’d do through the middle. Plus I think we’re fairly well stocked there. I just hesitate to describe someone as one footed, when that one foot can be absolute magic.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Like you, J, I would be v surprised if they both would join us.

    Pepster has a phenomenal left foot he seldom gets the time and space to get it in position when playing from the right. Good teams force him to play with his right foot. But yes he was getting better and some of his passes and shots were fabulous. I genuinely belief that Willian in the hole, Auba and Pepe on the wings and one of Laca, Eddie or Marti in the middle would give us a balanced attack. Yet I would like to see Pepe central sooner or later, just to see how he would do there.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one, GN5. Agreed with As re Ozil. If you really like to play make a move..

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    I still expect Ozil to move on, though. That interview may be a pride thing before he announces his departure next week or so.

  5. LE GALL says:

    watched leipzig-atleti yesterday, wanted to take a better look at partey, but the lad wasn’t picked and never came in. made me think: we’re supposedly ready to splash £50m on a player that simeone doesn’t pick for a CL round of 8 knockout game?? must’ve missed the memo specifying AFC had turned into a charity …
    didn’t waste my time, though, this was the first time i had watched an entire leipzig game, and i must admit another arsenal transfer rumour blew my mind. upamecano was homeric – he’s a 21-year-old (!!!) monster of a CB. varane was nowhere near that good at that age.
    let’s not dream on, though, if leipzig are clever – and i believe they are – this will be a £100m transfer at least; he’ll end up donning the shirt of one of the usual suspects (PSG/Real/Barça/City, maybe Utd – not us, anyway). If ‘Pool do have that sort of cash, they could also solve the only serious problem they have (right CB). upamecano-vandijk might well turn them into an unplayable bunch, then.
    sweet nightmares, lads – don’t thank me

  6. njk84sg says:

    Willian is officially an Arsenal player!

    I have my doubts about Coutinho too, but he will jump right into the first team.

    And we better learn Portugese too. This team is playing Samba football.

  7. LE GALL says:

    my dear BK friends, i’m sorry but …
    this is madness:
    http://dailycannon.com/2020/08/35m-total-willians-wages-double-with-bonuses-and-4th-year-option/
    … for a 32-y-o, maybe nice, but blue-at-heart player – with an achilles problem???
    K.J.C; Kiarsenal Joorball Club, is how we should be rebranded (by the way, can anyone tell me what’s The Vulture’s take on all this??)
    “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon”: we used to serve, not God, but some kind of ideal:
    https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/wenger-arsenal-are-about-values-not-millions
    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/11366316/arsene-wenger-urges-his-successor-to-respect-arsenals-values
    two years later, well … that
    anger is not what i feel; i feel very sad for what’s being done to The Great Man’s legacy

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah he is some player that Upa chap, LeG. That game was a Brigitte Bardot for the eyes, was it?! I’d imagine Partey was kept away because he is being sold and an injury could scupper that.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Indeed, 84, we have got him!

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    LeG (and others), please note that if you incorporate more than one link into a single comment, your comment will have to be approved and thus will not show automatically. I have now approved it.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon you will be very pleased in a year’s time with this signing, LeG. I have a very good feeling about it (but sorry too!) 😉

  12. LE GALL says:

    i hope so, ta, i really do
    i just have a bad feeling about this – i’m not used to feeling like this, and don’t like it
    which is why i won’t write about this again, until i have to acknowledge how wrong i was about all this
    COYG (that’s all that counts)

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Auba master – Martinelli, Eddie and Saka the apprentices
    Willian master – Pepe and Nelson, ESR and WIllock the apprentices
    Laca master – Eddie and Matinelli the apprentices

    Fabregas once said, after the club let the likes of Vieira and Pires go, ‘who are we youngsters to learn from at Arsenal?’. I am a big believer in the master-apprentice learning approach. I was lucky enough to meet a few masters early on…. 🙂

  14. oz gunner says:

    Great post and comments TA. I agree 100% with the master and apprentice philosophy too (IF…the master’s are good leaders).

    Wrapped with the Willian signing.

    Amazing how the game changes. 20+ years ago Brazil and their fast skillful players were dominate. 10 years ago they started getting beaten up by stronger bodies. Now it’s all about speed again and teams have started loading up with pace everywhere (especially on the wings and forwards).

    If we tighten up the back half i think we’ll surprise a few next season.

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    I really like the master – apprentice approach Total.

    I think that we as fans should not concern ourselves with the cost of the player but put our faith in both Edu and Arteta who have the task of re-building our club. I, for one, have far more faith in them than I did with the Emery decision making.

    I was always impressed with Willian at Chelsea and can only hope that he brings the same skills and energy to our team. My biggest concern, like most of us, is his age and the injury vulnerability that comes with age.

    I”m excited to see such a seasoned player join our ranks and become a “master” both on and off the field. This really seems to close the book on Ozil.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points, OzG! Fitness and positioning is key these days. Did you watch Leipzig v Atl M? The tempo was murderous and there just did not seem any space. The game just keeps changing and if you dont change with it, you find yourself sidelined.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers GN5. I think it would be good to have a look at a few Chavs’ sites and see what they are saying about this loss.

  18. LE GALL says:

    Lisbon ; 20.50
    What. A. Game.
    What A. Team.
    On nights like this, german teams – and Bayern, in particular – are relentless, they just won’t stop.
    you feel they won’t be happy until the other team has been as good as wiped out, humiliated into oblivion.
    there is a germany 7 brasil 1 feeling to this game; and one gooner has one of the main parts (gnabry; one assist, one goal)
    thomas müller has something of a psycho killer i’ve always liked, but no team can play like this if only one player is out of tune
    their high press takes your breath away – something tells me mikel knows this is what needs to be achieved, if you want to win big nowadays
    hope you’re enjoying this too, fellow BKers

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Have never forgiven BM for beating Ajax with eight goals for Cruijff’s farewell game, LeG. Spot on with your prediction, though 👍👍

  20. LE GALL says:

    I hadn’t seem coutinho play in a very long time
    he still has this lovely samba touch you mention, ta, and obviously deserves better than being benched week in, week out
    very effective too; he literally made up number 6, from start to lewandowski”s tap-in header – and got his name on the scoresheet, of course
    well, football can really be a wonderful game, sometimes …

  21. LE GALL says:

    too bad you’re too young to be able to remember beckenbauer’s bayern’s 4-0 thrashing by cruijff’s ajax in amsterdam in the early 70’s
    it’d ease the pain, believe me

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    I was around then, LeG, but too young to remember. Better memories of the mid nineties thrashing of Bayern, though.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Coutinho did look inspired, agreed. I doubt we will get him now that Big Will has signed. Would be nice though!!

  24. allezkev says:

    Afternoon fellas, some interesting comments above…
    Ok, despite the finance involved and of course the age of the player I’m quite intrigued and excited by the prospect of what Willian can bring to our team/squad both in terms of the new dynamics he’ll bring to our style of play on the field and to his influence, professionalism and winning mentality within the dressing/locker room.

    I’m sensing some kind of quite subtle anti Arsenal vibes coming in from our compadres in the media recently, I mean we really can’t honestly have a mid-season break without some kind of ‘crisis at Arsenal’ can we? So we get the Pepe stuff and the scouting network stuff mixed in with a good dose of what Willian is earning and hey presto it’s all a calamity at the FACup holders.

    I know it’s still early days for Arteta but he’s not done too bad has he, which of course doesn’t suit the media narrative we know, but I’ve no reason to doubt that Arteta did rubber stamp the Willian deal and is already working on how the Brazilian can be incorporated into his system. I think that even at this early stage if Arteta hadn’t wanted Willian then he would carry enough clout to ensure that Bill wouldn’t be a Gunner.

  25. allezkev says:

    I only saw the goals and some brief highlights of the Barca vs Bayern game yesterday and I have to say that Barca probably should have been comfortably 3-1 up before the game ran away from them but before you knew it it was 4-1 to Der Munchen and that was kaput for Messi &Co.

    Muller is an interesting player, he looks like he has two left feet and has a face you’d love to punch but he really is very effective at what he does, arriving late and poking in morale deflating goals.

    Coutinho made a very telling cameo coming in from the left as a late sub, a really good player but would he be cost effective for a year? Personally I’d like to see him at Arsenal but I doubt we’ll see that happen, the Bayern left back is quite a tasty player though.

    Barcelona probably need a new manager and half a dozen new players – and whisper it, they might be overdue moving on from Messi…?

  26. allezkev says:

    Raul leaves with immediate effect.

  27. njk84sg says:

    Kev, you reckon the departure of Raul has something to do with Pepe’s transfer?

    Didn’t like him destroying our club.

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    For anyone worried about Willian, here are some key facts:

    There’s always agent fees, signing bonuses and appearance add ons on deals, more so with free transfers. Every player would be worth considerably more if they added that in, so don’t listen to the tabloids trying to do their best to smear Arsenal.

    Willian created almost double the chances of our top creator (77 to Pepe’s 41) and was 7th in the league for that stat.

    His 2.6 key passes per game was good for 6th in the league (0.5 more than our best in Özil).

    His xA (sum of expected goals off a player’s key passes) was 8.68, well clear of our top performer in xA of Pepe at 4.90

    He completed the 9th most crosses in the league last year with 51.

    In total he registered 9 goals and 7 assists in 29 starts and 7 sub appearances, which was also more than Pepe’s 5 goals and 6 assists.

    The numbers don’t lie – Willian is just better than every creative player in our squad right now and should be starting. Without a doubt Pepe will improve this coming season, but he’s just not better than Willian at this point.

    Willian is a very good player and is a welcome addition to the club. He’s not a word beater who will transform us to win trophies, but he is the type of player that will he’ll bring a club back to Champions league football.

  29. allezkev says:

    I don’t know 84 but it could have something to do with Tim Lewis joining the Board 3 months ago, I’m sure that part of his remit from KSE was to look into the running of the club and how the clubs’ finances was being utilised and if it could have been used more effectively?

    You know 84 Stan has copped a lot of flak over the 55 redundancies and the dismantling of our scouting network but it’s quite possible that Lewis has had some input in those decisions as well?

    As for the Pepe transfer 84 I expect to read a mountain of speculation from the usual media sites and from all kinds of ‘experts’ who know as much as my cat Barney, so be very selective in who you read and believe my friend.

    What I will say 84 is that from what I’ve seen of Pepe during this elongated season I have got to conclude that Arsenal did in fact pay over well the odds for him, but we aren’t the only club that’s ever done that. Of course questions of nefarious financial practices behind the scenes is another matter altogether but until there is any proof that Raul was in fact a naughty boy I will have to reserve my opinion.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, good comments. I saw some positive articles re Willian, so it is not all bad. But I get your drift.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Agree re Miller. Every team needs such a player and I thought for a while that Ramsey could have been hours

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Muller even 🤣

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey HH, is it you from years ago? 😊

    You don’t need to convince me, but good stats.

  34. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi TA! It is me mate!

    Kind of crazy how one of the last articles I wrote was about the seismic shift in our transfer activity when we purchased Özil. That didn’t work out quite as I had anticipated…

    Hoping we’ll take this opportunity with Con Raul leaving to shift to a Bundesliga model in terms of team building going forward. Would love for us to finally shift to a Leipzig/Dortmund/Ajax model to get us back to relevance.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Well nice to hear from you. I hope you are well?

    Ozil was a big signing and one we needed indeed back then.

    There are some good to great youngsters coming through, so who knows how we will do in the foreseeable future.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Man City looked flat tonight and Lyon played well tactically. It looks like Guardiola just gets flat after about 1000days in charge at a club. I reckon he will be gone mid next season.

  37. Highbury Harmony says:

    Been very well, thanks for asking! How are you and the mrs. doing?

    I’ve been following the youth teams quite a bit, really excited about Catalin, Azeez, John-Jules, Okonkwo and Lopez in the coming years as the next wave.

    City are a classic example of a team that is built without the values of togetherness and understanding of how to overcome adversity. If things don’t go their way, they fall apart. The experience we built this past season playing in a resilient and defensive resolute way with the players we had will hopefully instil the future values to building a team slowly over time.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Well put, HH.

    All is well here, thanks for asking. Good to hear you are still following the team closely.

  39. allezkev says:

    Gillingham visited Colchester yesterday for a pre season friendly – yeah already! – and the Gills won 2-0…

    No mention of Zach Medley from the info I found on the game but Trae Coyle got a mention following a near miss from a free kick he took. Hopefully both of them can get plenty of game time.

    With so many of our talented youngsters at a stage where they need 1st team football we’re certain to see a few more go out on loan, the likes of Ballard, Olayinka, Cottrell, Iliev and McGuiness?

  40. 5am says:

    Well, looks like it’s all been going on with Gon Raul….

    My thoughts so far are that he has in general brought good players in but not with the best of deals, or strategy for the club, whilst also mishandling comms and PR – vital really for any CEO worth their salts.

    So that’s likely to add a twist to biz for the rest of the summer. Wonder if there had been anything in the Coutinho links whether that kind of deal will now go through in the changed era at this stage 🤔

    Certainly looking forward to the next post if looking at all these things together!

  41. goonereris says:

    I realize this is coming so late after the article was put up (good one, TA, being a contemporary subject). To your suggestion of a deep lying role for Willian, naming those who currently play in those positions for us as evidence, I also recall Santi Cazorla was a winger and No.10 at various times of his career before joining us as a left sided midfielder and attacker, until Wenger played him next to Coquelin and it turned out to be an amazing combination. It is possible, but unlikely to be the role Arteta has Willian lined up for since we also appear to be in the market for a DM type.
    I think Willian is more likely to play in the hole while Pepe and Auba/Saka play from the right and left midfield, respectively (assuming Laca stays); otherwise, we may be looking to give Auba a central role, play Saka/Martinelli from the left and have Willian in a free role, but from the hole.

    LeG, before that Atletico CL game you referred to, I did read that Thomas Partey was injured after picking up a muscle injury or strain against Real Sociedad and was facing a race against time to be fit. It is not unlikely that his departure could happen any time soon and the club decided not to risk any/further injury to him since they look dead set on his huge buy out clause fee. However, the official position (backed up by his non involvement in training) was an injury. He is a key player for that club.

    As for Coutinho joining us, it will make us stronger, for sure, but it will be no big miss if we did not close that deal. I am not one for having too many stars about, meaning having big players on the bench (more-so, one on loan who is going to show nerves from returning to the league from which he made his big move); doesn’t always make for a great dressing room.

  42. LE GALL says:

    utd penalties have become the football equivalent of hitchcock’s cameos in his movies: the audience knows it will happen, that’s why the refs now give ’em in the first five minutes, to be done with it, so the fans may focus on the actual game

  43. jjgsol says:

    On this blog you all seem to be talking as if Ozil had left.

    Is there something that you know that everyone else doesn’t.

    All the anti-ozilians complaining about his salary and yet, here we are spending fortunes, supposedly, on 32-year-old rejects from other clubs.

    Have you considered the possibility that the anti-ozil stance at the club stemmed from Raul and that now he has gone, things might change?

    Is it a coincidence that no sooner do we hear about an investigation into the Pepe transfer, and the reports that because of Ozil’s Urghur support our games are not shown on Chinese TV and then Ozil claims that the reason he is not being picked is that he did not agree to have his contractual salary, whatever that might be, reduced by 15%, and, lo and behold Raul is pushed out the door so fast that his feet did not touch the ground?

    The way that our beloved club has been conducted in the last 2 years has become increasingly shameful and an embarrassment to us all.

    I suspect that we are becoming a laughing stock.

    Can it get any worse?

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Kev. Please keep us posted re our youngsters.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Zak Swanson is now at MVV and my niece’s partner is a season ticket holder, so we should get some good performance reviews 👍😊

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 5am, I just don’t feel Coutinho is a goer even with Raul gone. Also not sure whether we should want it now that we have Willy.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Eris, good thought re the Willian / Santi role in midfield. Arteta can use him in several positions and he fits the work culture. So great addition.

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said LeG, MU’s early pen worked against them. Often an early goal in a cup game can work against a team psychology.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Jjgsol, lol you act like you think you know yourself. We go with Arteta’s judgements and they are sporting ones as far as can be judged. Arteta is used to the work rate of KdB and he is not getting that from Ozil by all accounts.

  50. jjgsol says:

    Mr. Total, do you really know what Arteta feels about Ozil?

    I think not.

    His responses to questions on the subject have always been vague, bland and non-committal.

    I speculate that the pressure to ignore Ozil came from above and in such a way that Arteta felt obliged to accede.

    As, so I speculate further, Raul, who I speculate was the source of the pressure, has been rather unceremoniously removed, it may be that Arteta is in a position to reverse that pressure.

    It could be, as I speculate, that the pressure is still there, in which case the reason behind it becomes even more mysterious.

    It cannot simply be about money, as the amounts involved, in the context of what is being spent now, is a drop in the ocean.

    I also simply do not believe it can be that he is not good enough to play for us, because that is ludicrous.

    Whatever the reason, if it still continues and is not related to gross misconduct on Ozil’s behalf., which I also cannot believe to be the case, then the rot and decay that has been eating away at our beloved club is spreading and getting worse.

    My point is that you and our colleagues here seem to be proceeding on the basis that Ozil no longer exists.

    I am speculating because I have no idea what is going on, but, am prepared to give Ozil the benefit of the doubt, and to acknowledge that he is a player of great skill and ability, a player that we desperately need, as opposed to so many people when they do not know what is going on, they simply repeat the garbage spewed by others who also do not know what is going on.

    I like to remember Wenger’s parting words about keeping the standards that he had raised our club to.

    Those standards seem to me to have been totally abandoned and I, like, I suspect many of our colleagues, do not like what I see.

    My apologies to anyone one who is offended by what I have said, and I trust that those fans who have denigrated someone who is and has been a great player and a great player for us will apologise to him if I am found to be correct.

    We will, no doubt, see more of the truth in the next couple of weeks.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    You can speculate all you want, jjgsol, but it will remain speculation. Why would you doubt that Ozil simply does not fit anymore given the way the game has changed in recent years?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Ozil got the benefit of doubt on this blog for many years, but at some point it is enough. I have no reason to believe that Arteta is leaving him out for any other reason than he is not cooperating with what he wants to see from him on the pitch. Maybe there is something else but in the end that is more speculative than believing Arteta’s publicly stated reasons.

    Good night my friend.

  53. allezkev says:

    Well it’s a double whammy for Manchester with even the customary penalty not being enough for OGS tonight.
    Good…

    That’s cool Total, some insider scouting from MVV, I’ll look forward to that…

  54. allezkev says:

    A question jjgsol, would you be in favour of giving Ozil a new contract?

  55. jjgsol says:

    Mr. Total, please refer me to Arteta’s publically stated reasons for dropping our only creative player, from a team that, for example, managed no shots on target in one game, was it against Villa?

    I saw some of the pre-break games and saw nothing that would indicate to me that Ozil was not fully participating in the games to our benefit.

    I trust that you accept that something strange has been going on behind the scenes, in respect of which “not co-operating on the pitch” is nowhere near an explanation.

    Do you really believe that Ozil playing would not have brought about an improvement on the dross that our team produced on so many occasions, post-break?

    Mr. Allezkev. I doubt if he would want a new contract from us, bearing in mind the abominable way we have treated him, starting with Emery and then post-break.

  56. Highbury Harmony says:

    I don’t think we know enough information on Özil one way or the other. All we know for sure is that not taking a pay cut was a factor in not playing after the restart, but it’s not a definitive reason either. The Athletic article on him is one side of the story that we now know.

    I have no clue on what is going on with Özil, but let’s not pretend that he’s been a creative force for us since the 2017/18 season. His statistical decline since then has been drastic, especially in shots, goals, assists, chances created and winning back possession. In many ways, the team is no longer set up to Ozil’s strengths as a possession based side that has players that can make those runs to break opposition lines and also play intricate one-twos to exploit half spaces.

    I’m not sure if he’ll play again for Arsenal, but I don’t hate him or blame him for anything, especially relating to the contract. We offered him that contract and will have to live with the consequences of it – good or bad.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Jjgsol, the Aston villa game came after two heroic wins. We played below par and maybe Ozil could have made a difference, but to me it looked like the team were done that day. In the end we won the FA Cup and so we’re successful in the season. Only Pool did better.

    I still have time for Mesut, but we disagree on what is going on in the background.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed HH, Ozil was becoming less effective rapidly. I think he struggled to make it work with Auba and Laca in particular.

  59. oz gunner says:

    @ Jjgsol,

    The China stuff is nothing new for big sports team. Look at the NBA – they bent the knee quick smart. It sucks but it’s capitalism and $$$ wins.

    Ozil can sit down with Flamini and save the planet from Climate Change. He can storm the Great Wall of China and save the people from their dictator. He can even talk to Bellerin about how Boris was a poor choice for PM. Good on him. But you’ve still got to perform on the pitch. And he hasn’t. People spend a lot of $$$ on merch and tickets to see the mighty Arsenal play. They have a right to criticize if performances haven’t been up to scratch. Some people watch sport to get away from all the political and everyday issues. I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Ozil under Emery (sort of) but with Arteta too…nah, I don’t think so. We don’t know all of the information but in my opinion, Ozil is happy to collect an inflated cheque, do the bare minimum and move off into the sunset once his contract is up. That’s his choice. It’s probably hard to roll out of bed in the morning when you make 50k pounds a day…

    All the “i want to play, but they won’t pick me stuff” just comes off like a power play to turn people against the manager and take the heat off Ozil. His manager has been pulling that for 2 years now with the “he’s not leaving before the end of his contract, he loves Arsenal” – sure…I’d love Tottenham if they paid me 350k a week. He isn’t getting that elsewhere so he’s milking it for all it’s worth.

    Team Arteta – Arsenal is bigger than 1 player. If he can’t respect the manager and do what he asks he should have his pay reduced. If he doesn’t like it he should empty out his locker.

  60. oz gunner says:

    The drums are beating RE: Auba agreeing to terms…

    A number of sources now. Just like the Willian news and an announcement following in a few days.

    Gabriel Magalhaes has been given the all-clear to leave Lille but apparently Napoli has matched out bid. Up to the player now. If he does sign I hope he turns out better than our last ‘Gabriel’

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    I must say I am conflicted re the Uighurs. Mesut standing up for them I applaud but the way it was done did seem to damage the club a lot. A more tactful approach could have been just as effective, or even more effective.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    That would be brilliant news, Oz. A big coup for Arteta if true.

  63. jjgsol says:

    oz Gunner.

    Can you explain why Ozil played every Arteta game before the break, and yet none, not even as a sub after it?

    Do you really believe that it was because he was not prepared to work hard enough or did not fit into Arteta’s plans?

    Sorry, that simply does not wash.

    Total. I do not recall how his comment about the Uighurs was made. Are you suggesting that he would have needed to seek permission from the club before making any comment?

    Maybe that it was what his contract says, who knows.

    There is more to this than meets the eye, but simply jumping on the “Ozil is lazy and does not work hard enough” or “Ozil has not been that good anyway since he got his new contract ” bandwagons brings none of us closer to understanding what has been going on.

  64. Highbury Harmony says:

    @ Jigsol

    Read my comment above. I can’t speak for everyone, but Ozil’s performances have nothing to with his contract for me. His decline has just unfortunately come after he signed his contract. I don’t judge him based on the merit of how much he makes – I do judge him based on what he has provided the club each season and from a statistical standpoint, his involvement on the pitch has been unfortunately very poor.

    I won’t pretend to know what’s going on behind the scenes either, but his social media activity does seem to suggest that there could be a problem with Arteta’s non-negotiables. By posting on Instagram that you’re ready when there could be internal issues behind the scenes puts Arteta (and the club) in a precarious position. I’m not sure why he went to Turkey during the FA cup final or who was behind him not being there, but it didn’t come across as professional in any way.

    Mesut (or his camp) may very well have good intentions, but he absolutely knows what he’s doing with his social media/publicity. They are brilliant at manipulating public perception and everything is always well timed – he often paints a picture that he’s a consummate professional and is in the right.

    However, looking at his track record, it’s been three managers that have had issues with him (Emery, Ljungberg and Arteta). At a certain point, you can blame Raul or the hierarchy all you want, but there has to be something on the player too. Whether it’s the recruitment strategy not playing to Ozil’s strengths or the modern game shifting away from traditional CAMs, something just isn’t right with his on-field performances (off-field stuff aside).

  65. Highbury Harmony says:

    On another note, the Athletic has confirmed our third signing of the transfer window – 19 yo Tim Akinola, a central midfielder, from Huddersfield Town who was released last month after completing his one-year trial spell.

    I saw news that we had signed Norwegian winger, George Lewis, a while ago but it was never officially confirmed on the team site from what I can remember. But the Athletic article says that this is our third signing after him and Willian – welcome Tim!

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Late to the party, a lot going on in my life right now.

    On the Ozil issue, frankly I don’t find it to be a big deal. Without him club has galvanized around Arteta and have won our all time league record 14th FA Cup – what’s not to like?

    I have no opinion to offer on why he is not playing as like all of us it would pure speculation.
    However the results and team spirit certainly appear to have improved.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey GN5, good to hear from you again. Vinai is no champion of brevity, is he?! In a nutshell he is saying that we are an ambitious club that needs to win the big trophies…

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one HH. Not sure who they are but hopefully we will soon see them in action.

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