All I Want From Mikel

The Great Reset.

Have you ever seen a team that needed a fresh start or reset more than this Arsenal? 
It’s not the same as other clubs on losing streaks or poor starts. We’re trying to forge a new team identity. I hope this includes a playing style, and some spirit. All that has been lacking for too long now.  

   When we always wanted more signings in the transfer window ( like all football fans), Arsene warned that it’s hard to incorporate more than one or two new starters at the same time. I’m sure we’ll have some pretty serious growing pains, with not only new players, but young ones also.

  This is all reason for patience with the manager. I worry that in asking for so many young players, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. In theory, all the signings make sense, defenders who are comfortable on the ball, and of course, Ødegaard who can give us a central option finally, and feed our strikers to their feet.

  I worry that we left ourselves light in central midfield.  I love Sambi, but I’m afraid that he is not going to be as positionally aware or quick to sense threats as a veteran midfielder would be, even though we love the youthful ability and potential. If Partey can’t stay fit for the next few games, things will continue to be difficult. I’m not saying we should have spent more, just that we needed more focus on cm.

 I want to have patience, as we all wish we can have in life, but rarely achieve the level we aspire to.

 I’d like to see some results of course, but since we’ve been so unpleasant to watch for the past year, I’ll be looking for signs of Arsenal quality play. Slick passing, domination of inferior clubs.  Less of a dependence on Tierney, because opponents can easily shut that down when it’s our main game plan. Tuchel literally used it against us. I also believe that Kieran, in his frustration at lack of scoring and winning, was trying to do too much himself, and got too far forward to get back in time. He never used to do that, and it’s a sign of frustration from one of our leaders. He should be a weapon we use occasionally to overload defenses that are looking everywhere  for threats.

I hope Mikel can inspire our guys to come out expecting to score and win in the first halves of games, not just scrambling in the second halves. With our attacking talent, we should be taking leads more often, and running up the score on teams who are trying to chase the game, instead of that happening to us. 

I’m looking for signs like Saka and Smith Rowe scoring and assisting more. There’s no doubt that there’s talent there. That Pepe is utilized much better, and Martinelli also, because he was invisible in our first two games. That can only be improved by game planning and coaching.

Basically that’s some pressure on Arteta, I know. Fair or not, Coronavirus or not, it’s where we find ourselves. I’m looking forward to watching this play out, so that must mean I’m optimistic, right?


26 thoughts on “All I Want From Mikel

  • J, that is a great list of improvements for Arsenal and Arteta and this approach makes sense to me.

    Not necessarily a points total or a position as the goal but football style and discipline improvements, now that makes sense to me.

    A further big area for me is our passing game. It needs to become faster and more threatening. It will pass by Pepe and Martinelli I fear, and even Auba may miss the Arteta – Train, but this where we need to see a step improvement.

    Our midfield is fine now, and I am happy with all our purchases. For me White needs to be used in midfield, at least occasionally.

    Great post, Big Apple J. ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • The interesting thing Johnno regarding Wenger and his assertions that buying three or more players in a summer is too difficult to integrate into the squad, if you actually look at the summers when he went against his own mantra, 1997 and 2001 come to mind, he actually won the Double the follow Spring, so go figure

  • I enjoyed that post J as there was an underlining theme of optimism running through it and we’ll need that during Project 24, that is the next 8 EPL leading up to and before Liverpool. It’s a big ask I know but if Mikel is going to turn this around he needs to go on a winning run. Nothing changes the atmosphere better than a few wins and we Arsenal fans could really do with that.

    As for the change in transfer policy, well not before time methinks because the ‘quick fix’ hasn’t fixed anything, at least it leaves a squad of players who aren’t overpaid and actually have a sell on value.

  • Morning all,

    Here are the results of our competition.

    For the week:-

    1st Eris with 6/6 plus one correct score and 4 bonus points for most correct predictions = 12 points
    2nd Kev with 5/6 plus one correct score = 7points
    3rd GN5, Total, PB, & OX with 5/6 = 5 points
    7th Madhu with 4-6 = 4points.
    For the season:-

    1st PB with 28.00
    2nd OX with 21.33
    3rd Eris with 19.33
    4th Madhu with 15.33
    5th GN5 with 13.00
    6th Kev with 12.00
    7th Total with 8.00

    A massive week for Eris with the most points we have ever seen in a single week! Well done Eris.

  • Here are my choices for this weekend:-

    Crystal Palace v Totttenham *
    Arsenal v Norwich
    Leicester v Manchester City *
    Watford v Wolves
    Leeds v Liverpool
    Napoli v Juventus *

  • Crystal Palace v Totttenham * – 0-1
    Arsenal v Norwich – H
    Leicester v Manchester City * – 1-3
    Watford v Wolves – A
    Leeds v Liverpool – D
    Napoli v Juventus * – 1-1

  • Time to support Arsenal Women team what a win against the champions at the Emirates. Beautiful football too. Looks very organized. Fabulous players in Vivianne Mediema, Beath Mead, Yamaguchi. Hope they achive something this year.

  • T, I also like the idea of White in midfield. I have to say in theory, because we haven’t seen enough of him, and don’t know how he’s looked there in the past, though I hear he’s played dm a bit. He might actually be more mobile than Xhaka anyway. I’m another one who was kind of looking forward to a change from Xhaka, even though I like him, and that would have meant replacing him with a solid midfielder.

    As soon as I heard about Tomiyasu, I imagined him covering for White who could venture forward like a member of the attack from cb. Or simply reversing position during the game and White be an attacking Rb. Like Tierney, these tactics need to be used on occasion, not as a whole game plan…. but now we have 2 interesting options instead of 1. That’s 2 more than many clubs.

    I hope Ødegaard can involve our forwards/strikers because I don’t see them flourishing in Artetas schemes. Man City was a tough one to throw him into, so the next few games will be so interesting.

  • Crystal Palace v Totttenham *: 0-0
    Arsenal v Norwich H
    Leicester v Manchester City * 1-3
    Watford v Wolves H
    Leeds v Liverpool A
    Napoli v Juventus * 2-1

  • Kev, I wish I had been following back in those great seasons. I guess Arsene came up with that excuse for the lean years of stadium debt. The pressure will be on Mikel, of course, as it would be any manager after this start. I think I heard there was going to be a players only meeting after the last match result. I hope the manager and players are on the same page. We thought we were getting a coach with Pep and Arsene influences. What we have been seeing is less beautiful than what Moyes is providing at West Ham.

  • Crystal Palace v Totttenham * A 0-2
    Arsenal v Norwich H
    Leicester v Manchester City * A 1-3
    Watford v Wolves D
    Leeds v Liverpool A
    Napoli v Juventus * H 1-0

  • A good post, Jync. I hope to be proved wrong but, I fear that it may be a while before we see a more free flowing style of football. A good run of results could help though as it will help to build confidence and trust in the process from the squad and fans. Another hope is that the home fans can be supportive as those who follow the team away.

  • Thanks for the post, J. I share your hopes.
    Madhu, we are in lock down here, so I too took the time to watch the Arsenal v Chelsea WSL game. It was a cracking match indeed. I am super glad we kept our fabulous Dutch striker, and Yamaguchi’s dynamism reminded me of Kante. That win and Saka’s header for England have brightened up this International break.

  • I’m not sure how many of you know or not as I’ve not caught up with the comments yet, but the good news is both Partey and Nketiah are back in full training, my optimism levels are therefore rising…

  • So Kev, we may get our wish to see Partey and Sambi together for a couple games, though I don’t want to see too much pressure on the youngster.
    I really do like TA’s idea of White as dm too, though we might want to save that for the strongest attacks we’d face, whether Xhaka is available or not.

  • Just a few corrections to your perceptions:

    1) Arsenal had the 3rd best record from January to May of any EPL club….how does tha make them “unpleasant” to watch?

    2) We have a very strong midfield with plenty of backup: Partey, Odegaard, Maitlan-Niles, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Lokonga, ElNeny and Xhaka…..impressive depth,experience and youth.

    3) Our biggest need right now is to get everyone back healthy and in form and our big scorers Auba and Laka begin to find the range again. Arteta is handling this challenge well and has the skill to make this team rise, just like he did in 2021 from January on.

    You are too entitled and believe that AFC should be sooooo much better, b ut every team has improved from last season, including our usually poor neighbours the Spuds, so nobody gives a flying finger whether you will find that patience you so desperately aseek or not…..the Arsneal will get the job done….and that’s all you need to know.

  • Yes Johnno, I’m really looking forward to seeing Partey and Lokonga as a pair in front of our back four.

    Patino was training with the seniors again.

  • Stuart, looks like Women’s team is our hope of seeing success and good football. Unfortunately we don’t get it love here but try to watch highlights of all thier games.

  • Great Post, Jync. I like it when precise areas for improvement are highlighted as it makes it easier to address the changes needed. Never before have I been so relieved at the coming of an international break; hopefully, this one offers the opportunity for the reset we need.
    It helps that the players can train in quiet (not that the media relented in their onslaught against us, but the distraction of international footie served a purpose) and find themselves again. It also helps that we have Partey, White and Laca back in full training again. For me, it’s all about getting improvements through the prism of 3 game instalments, starting with the one versus Norwich City. Win that and we should ease the pressure.

    Hey, thanks GN5. Hopefully, the same luck is passed onto the boys for the next three games. And, TA, maybe I had an inside track on the games, but I shall keep that to myself for now; telling will be my kryptonite. 🤣

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