Arteta’s Biggest Challenge

It is a very long wait till our boys glide on the green carpet again, and although the international football is not without entertainment, the interlul period is one to be endured by us club football fans.

The good thing about the interlul interruptions is that it gives Arteta time to tweak and improve the tactical side of things. With this young team this is of course very important.

Taking 10/12 points from our last betwixt interluls run of games and beating the Spuds convincingly, is a great turnaround for Arteta.

Arteta won two of his games without Xhaka, but he will now have to do much longer without his conductor. This will be his biggest challenge during this interlul: how to get the balance right in midfield. We have discussed this during a previous post, so not much point to discuss it again.

The big question for this post is: how can we get more goals? We are not scoring enough goals as yet and I don’t have to tell you the stats.

Auba is improving but remains wasteful.

Laca and Pepe are underused and I feel Arteta cannot afford to bench them so much going forward.

Balogun and Nketiah may offer the spark in attack we desperately need. Or is Martinelli the answer?

The extra goals could also come from our young dogs Emile, Bukayo and Martin. I reckon this is Arteta’s biggest wish, but it may need more time. The Spuds goals showed us what they are capable of, but the Seagulls game showed us they remain a work in progress.

So I don’t really know the answer and would love to hear your preferred solutions in getting the ball more often in the net…

By TotalArsenal

75 thoughts on “Arteta’s Biggest Challenge

  • I cannot help it, especially not least since I was so positive about Arsenal signing him in the first place, but yes, I was also charmed by those YouTube vids of him ripping through defences in Ligue 1, his dazzling runs, his outrageous trickery and those thunderous shots that had me entranced, so much so that when Josh said, what was it, what was the old guff he came out with? That’s it “Be prepared to be excited” or some old BS like that, very corporate speak of course, well I was very excited…

    But, and it’s really a very sad old but, our Ivory Coast wing wizard has been a bit of a damp squib, he’s a player who promises much, promises moments of magic but actually delivers not nearly enough, well not enough for me and certainly not enough for the wages he earns let alone the transfer fee we paid for him. Remember he was the record signing who was 18 months ago basically told that a 32 year old washed out right midfielder from Chelsea was supplanting him in the team and he is that same record signing who has now been replaced by a kid who 18 months ago was fresh out of our Academy.

    Do I think that he can find it within himself to turn his Arsenal career around and make himself into a player who is a nailed on starter when everyone if fit?

    No I don’t…

    So what does the future hold for Old Nic this summer?

    He’ll have two more years left on his deal and the club has to make a big decision on whether they offer him an extension or try to sell him?

    I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision.

  • As for the extra goals Total, well I don’t reckon we’re going to see a lot more of them on average than what we’ve seen so far this season.

    As with the defence, which has taken time to reconstruct and is now it’s looking a very tidy unit, I think we’re going to have to wait for more squad churn, players out and new signings in before we see the attack we really want to see.

    The framework is there, but Nketiah isn’t a part of it and neither is Lacazette and long term nor is Aubameyang and Pepe. But it’s a process and I’m confident that we’ll get there soon…

  • Good stuff re tricky Nikki, Kev.

    I think he is trying under Arteta and therefore I will not have a go at him, but his ability with the ball in tight spaces is well below the Arteta standard and I cannot see it change much unfortunately. He will most likely leave this summer (or even winter..).

  • Wow Kev, that is a stark analysis. Yet you could be right as we keep being linked with new attackers, including Noa Lang who is a promising left winger..

  • Word is spreading that Martinelli is dissatisfied. Like some things I hear, they just make too much sense not to be true. I felt that way when I heard Leno wanted out last season.

    Martinelli was horribly invisible in his start… 1 or 2? As I remember. I hope he can earn some more minutes because he is so talented. I do worry that he’s too soft for the premier league, because I’ve noticed quite a few signs of that. He could be such an exciting player, and i want it to be for us.
    Hopefully cup games, and some late subs when we have a lead. He’ll be even better against tired defenders.

    When Pepe plays he must be given freedom to come inside, ( I wonder if Arteta is restricting that) and if Saka is playing with him, Pepe should be on the left, of course. He definitely has turned into a hard working player under Mikel.

  • Cheers J.

    Is Martinelli a team player or a (too) selfish puma? Did his bad injury impact on his speed? Does he get what Arteta wants from him?

  • Martinelli is a prospect that we are destroying by our inconsistencies. I hope the rumor’s are not true and he fulfills his potential at Arsenal. No less than Klopp called him once in a generation talent. But if Arteta doesn’t rate him, its better that he lets him go this winter. There will be many who will be willing to take him. Its a tragedy and one of my greatest problems with the way Arteta handles kids who he doesn’t seem to fancy.
    We are supposed to believe a rookie coaches process and just accept what he does and give him a long rope. We should also believe that Pepe is a talent and spent 72 M on him and he should keep getting chances. But we are unwilling to give Martinelli time and minutes to develop, who came from Second division of Brazil for less than 10M had a great first season and then had a bad injury. Just based on the first two games, where no one scored a goal, somehow he is singled out as not good enough, cast aspersions on him. This lopsided argument and apparent snubbing of this kids talent cannot be justified no matter what. We are playing with a Kids career and its not justified.
    Its a travesty and he may be better off else where, rather than rot under this ‘Process”.

  • Madhu, I know you love Martinelli, but read J’s opening line of the second paragraph again. He is getting opportunities but surely you can also see that he is not taking them?

  • Really two games where no one scored and that’s a chance not taken. Last season after he came back from injury he played games scored and assisted as well. Is last season discounted? So how many goals have we scored this season and how many Auba has scored. How many Pepe has scored? We have to be patient with Arteta and his process but not kids? Isn’t that unfair? Is it wrong to ask for fairness.

  • Who says there is no patience with Martinelli??

    Nobody is saying sell him, but he is simply not playing at the required level for PL inclusion. If you cannot shine v Wimbledon at home then Arteta has every right to not select him at the start of PL games.

    Or should Arteta leave better performing players out to satisfy you, Madhu?

  • Hey J, how’s things on the Coast?

    I’m not worried about Martinelli or any old nonsense that’s put out in the Media about him being unhappy because I want him to be unhappy about not playing and thus when he next gets a chance to play it’s up to him to make the most of it and to provide Arteta with a selection dilemma.

  • Hi Madhu,

    The only thing I’d like you to consider is that I don’t rate players on whether they score or not, like Martinelli in the first 2 games.
    When I say he was invisible in those starts, I mean it literally lol. I have only the ability to watch on TV, and basically I never noticed him at all. I was actively looking for him….I would have had to be in the stadium with binoculars to watch his movements.

    I remember under Wenger, the guys we were dying to see, like Gnabry, but it is just hard to allocate minutes sometimes. Gnabry is an established star now, so it’s safe to say he wasn’t handled perfectly if he couldn’t break into games past Walcott? Chamberlain? Iwobi? who I consider a horrible, horrible player and disappointment. Physically should be a monster talent.

    Most of us agree Martinelli is special. I hope Arteta makes an effort to work him in, and not lose a talent.

  • Agents have been known to put out such reports of dissatisfaction of their clients with their club sides, just to force the manager to give their client a fair shake. Martinelli looks to me like he is an intelligent lad and understands why he has not been starting the PL games, for now.

    It is a form-based game and if his form won’t win us matches, why would an under-pressure Arteta risk it all (his job, the kid’s confidence, the club’s respect, etc.) to please certain section of the fan base when we only develop fondness for the players who aren’t featured, until they are given a run only to disappoint? Martinelli has been given his chances and he was not exactly pulling up trees, you know. He is young and he will be patient, as Arteta has been with him. At least, he’s played in the friendly game and has played in the cup games. He will get his chance to shine, pretty soon.

  • To the topic, now.
    During the early pre-season games, we were scoring a lot of goals (until we stepped up on the quality of opposition) and I made the observation we appeared to be having more players in the opposition box/half, when we are on the offensive. Think we should find a way to achieve that more often and the goals will start to come from all sides.

    We have become a bit fixated with defending well first, and there is nothing wrong with that….if it provides the platform to build team confidence and trust (in one another) that allows the players to express themselves freely, knowing that every part of the team knows its job and will do it well. We are not there yet and need to work towards attaining that level of belief to allow the team go forward as one and defend as one. With the amount of possession and whipped in crosses we have at times, all that is left is having more bodies in the right spaces and the floodgates will open.

  • Very respectfully , against Wimbledon be won the penalty leading to the first goal. He was always a threat in the first half from the left. Oh well but these things don’t count for a 20 yr old. He should be banging in goals consistently when the whole team has scored all of 5 goals in 6 matches. Sure he is the scapegoat and everyone else are great.
    Fact of the matter is that you build confidence by playing minutes on the pitch. But no he is selfish and doesn’t listen to Arteta etc etc. That’s fine real talent cannot be hidden. He will make it either here or elsewhere. Just hope Arsenal doesn’t loose out on a talent just because he was not signed by this manager.

  • Good point, Eris. For all the goals against the Spuddies we had three or four in the box, so we are making progress, but the defend and attack as a team approach is indeed key.

  • Cheers Madhu, I think the last sentence of your last comment shows what your real issue is. I don’t see it like that but you are entitled to your opinions.

  • I’m sorry guys, but I’m with Madhu about Martinelli, all the way.

    First, he played 150 PL minutes this season. True, he wasn’t part of the pre-season squad, but in fairness he played in Tokyo and came back with an Olympic gold, and was fit as a fiddle. That 150 minutes means only these lads played less than him: AMN, Kolasinac, Balogun, Lacazette (also a disgrace), Tavares and Elneny (injured). Even Chambers, Holding, Mari, Soares, Leno, etc. played more than Martinelli.

    Regarding the quality, he played the first 2 games, where the boys got their asses handed to them. Still, he could have been the standout player in a losing team, which he clearly wasn’t. However against Brentford White was worse than him (I don’t remember details of the game and I definitely won’t re-watch it, I just looked up the ratings), so was Balogun. Against Chelsea Martinelli wasn’t the weakest link either – that was Tierney according to the ratings – however Saka was still worse than Gabriel (not Big Gab, he wasn’t playing at all), and Pepe was on par with Martinelli. What makes worth noting, in that game we had no access to Lacazette (injury) or Auba (coronavirus), so Martinelli was the lonely striker. Which could be his long-term role (I don’t support that, but that’s just my opinion), but given he was playing only as a LW for Arsenal it would be the epitome of unfairness if his performance would be evaluated and his involvement decided on a game which he was playing out of position against a superior team.

    It is not about being humble or team player. (In fact, TA’s interpretation about Martinelli being a selfish puma, losing his speed, or not playing at PL level suffers from the exact same flaw as Madhu’s deduction about Arteta’s dis-preference for Gabriel being signed by Emery/Mislintat. That’s the cognitive bias/distortion called mind reading. Nevertheless both could be correct or incorrect, independent from each other; we will probably never know.) What is fact, that Arteta doesn’t rotate, which is especially painful for those who are not involved in international games like Martinelli, Lacazette, Mari, Chambers, Holding and Nketiah.

    The explanation is much simpler. We have a squad way too big. If we had 2 qualification and 3 group stage EL games, nobody would be complaining. But we have a squad size suitable for EL/CL, but we don’t have enough competitive minutes. (Manchester City’s squad is 3 less than ours while they play 30% more minutes. We have 2 more players than bloody Tottenham, for crying out loud!) That is especially visible in the attacking department, where we have 3+1 positions to accommodate Saka, Odegaard, ESR, Pepe, Aubameyang/2 + Lacazette, Nketiah, Balogun, Aubameyang/2.
    No matter how satisfied you are with the transfer window, this is a poorly customized team, and while I appreciate Nelson eventually being loaned on deadline day, I am grateful that we didn’t sign a fifth striker. Fans have the luxury of not caring about rotation and minutes. But players care. Especially talented, young, ambitious players – the exact kind Arsenal should build its future upon.

    Just to be clear, it’s not about pecking order. Every manager has the right to express his preference, and he doesn’t have to listen to fans or pundits. It’s about rotation. Which is – contrary to popular misbeliefs – in the job description of the manager. When Saka plays in all 7 PL games (starting all but the first, playing really poor against Chelsea, Brentford, Manchester City and Burnley) I’m not sure he has to play in both cup games collecting more minutes (104) than Pepe (90 in 1), Martinelli (90 in 2), Nketiah, Balogun, etc.
    Because when the fans hail Arteta for giving so many chances for young Bukayo to get his confidence back after the Euro 2021, they should at least acknowledge the double standard when the same courtesy is not shown to other players like Martinelli, Nelson, Lacazette or Nketiah. That’s the bare minimum.

  • These are my predictions for this weekend.

    Switzerland v Northern Ireland H
    Scotland v Israel H
    Andorra v England * A (0-5)
    Estonia v Wales * A (1-3)
    Senegal v Namibia D
    Man U Ladies v Man C Ladies * D (1-1)

    Unless I’ve missed them I’m missing predictions from Madhu and OZ10.

  • Good morning PB. A long comment with nothing new from you. I can tell your wife’s profession is rubbing off on you but then the world is full of pseudo psychologists. 😂😂

    “TA’s interpretation about Martinelli being a selfish puma, losing his speed, or not playing at PL level suffers from the exact same flaw as Madhu’s deduction about Arteta’s dis-preference for Gabriel being signed by Emery/Mislintat. That’s the cognitive bias/distortion called mind reading.”


    He does look slower to me and I have noticed him not playing the the optimum pass a few times too many. He has not impressed me and is below PL in my opinion. It is subjective, an opinion, but not a bias. A blog is all about opinions and I’d appreciate you being less patronising going forward,please 🤨

  • It was indeed long and indeed nothing new. 🙂
    Nevertheless my theory on the ‘more players than minutes’ is just as good to explain Martinelli’s (player of the month before Arteta joined) omission as the favoritism, loss of speed or agenda against Emery players.

    My apologies if I seemed to disqualify others’ opinions. I might have phrased stronger than justified as I had the impression that “your last comment shows what your real issue is” was a bit condescending from your part; but without the actual tone and me not being a native English speaker I might have got that wrong.

    Regarding the bias topic, I believe you brought that up many months ago. And since you are yet to criticize Arteta for anything, the jury is still out at least on the authority bias. 😉 But if your approval of Martinelli being sidelined is based on his perceived quality of performance and has nothing to do with your sympathy for Saka and/or ‘it was Arteta’s decision, therefore the right thing to do’, then I’m sorry for the false accusation.

  • I want Martinelli to succeed and believe he is given fair time to improve and prove himself. I appreciate that others feel he should have even more opportunities.

    At the moment he is not shining and we all hope he will start doing so soon. I have no doubt that Mikel knows more about football and Martinelli than you, me and Madhu combined x100. But this does not stop us to have all sorts of opinions hahaha 😂😂🤣🤣

  • There is also a thing of blog etiquette, PB. When two bloggers are having a (heated) discussion it is best to not take sides and get involved. 🙂

  • I’m a bit of an amateur pseudo psychoanalyst, and I suspect that we’re all suffering Interlullitis.

    Therefore I prescribe a large mug of tea and some chocolate biscuits… 😀

    And stay off of Twitter, it rots the brain.

  • My prediction
    Switzerland v Northern Ireland H
    Scotland v Israel D
    Andorra v England * 0-7
    Estonia v Wales * 1-2
    Senegal v Namibia D
    Man U Ladies v Man C Ladies * 1-2

  • Agreeing on the Interlullitis (© by Kev) as well as on Martinelli had and will have chances to prove himself – while disagreeing on the blog etiquette part – I just have one question:
    The ability of knowing more about football “than you, me and Madhu combined x100” applies only Mikel, or all professional football players like Robbie Savage, Kevin Campbell, Mark Lawrenson, Jamie Redknapp, Garth Crooks and more? Or maybe just current and past PL managers like Tony Adams, Steve Kean, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis?

  • GN5, I am sure you (and Madhu) may not have been aware but 2 of the games for prediction have been played and results known. Always best to forward our predictions before the game day (or before the first game).

    The Ladies game started 1pm or so, while the Scotland game was played 5pm, UK time.

  • Young Phil Fodden has been running the England midfield like a boss. For a kid, he is so wily and aware. Been involved in both goals. Bukayo too has been in good form, scoring one, off a Fodden lofted pass.

  • Madhu, on Martinelli, I think that Arteta is just dying to play the lad in every game so as to challenge the older strikers into better form or begin the process of replacing them early. Arteta loves Martinelli. It has nothing to do with him being an Emery buy (he was an Edu buy, actually, along with Gabriel, Willian and the likes of Ceballos (loan), amongst others. Willian and Ceballos did not cut it and have been eased out of it, despite being Arteta choices, you see?

    PB, I don’t think Martinelli returned from his Olympic exploits for Brazil “fit as a fiddle”, as you suggested. It is hard for players to get right into the groove of things in the league, right after representing country in a tournament and staying the full term of the games. There is a reason players returning from tournaments are given time off, you know. It was evident Martinelli was not himself and only got those two early starts in the EPL because both Auba and Laca were ailing with only Balogun to be relied upon. We all saw the results. Now, he’s been rested and guided back into it, he only needs to keep tearing it up and it won’t be long before he starts over Pepe and even Laca/Auba. He will get his chances.

  • Eris, you could be right. My memory is not as sharp as it once was, so I only assumed he was fully fit given he started against Brentford in the first round. He didn’t play well – which could have been attributed to playing in Tokyo – but to be fair, nobody was any good in the first 2-3 games, so I’m not sure it was the Olympics. But it is indeed possible.

    By the way, Hein did a fine performance against Belarus yesterday, and now Ballard is having a good game against Switzerland. They are losing (away from home) obviously, but a narrow 1:0 defeat is a nice result against a strong Swiss team. Tierney, Kolasinac, Elneny, Thomas (scored) Mavropanos and Tavares (scored 1 and assisted 2) was also victorious, but Auba and Tomiyasu were on the losing side yesterday. Odegaard and ESR/TJJ/Balogun drew. And we all follow Saka.

  • PB, agreed the rest of the team didn’t do too well in those games and this is attributable to the wave of positive tests to COVID 19 virus that hit the camp hours before the start of the season. But Martinelli could have still stood out, given that he is a great talent; he just did not show up.

    Hey! That’s a very brilliant round up of “Arsenal in the World Cup qualifiers”. Thank you.

  • I’ve gotta say that I’m very relaxed about Gabriel Martinelli, I think that he’ll get plenty of game time as and when the opportunity arises and tbh we’re still very early into this particular season anyway with almost 8 months of it to play, so I wouldn’t let agent mischief rile us up too much.

    We’re gonna need most of our squad over this long campaign if we want to see our club achieve what we desire of it so yeah, chillax, have a cuppa or a glass or two of Macullan or even a Moosehead.
    Nighty night.

  • Hey TA,

    Great article about the lack of goals that we are currently plagued with.

    We have to look beyond Laca, Auba, and Pepe. The situation with Pepe is he is usurped by ESR on the right flank, and with Tomiyasu bombing upfield I will not dare to have Pepe in front of him. ESR is a better option to cover the right wing-back position.

    Laca should have started rather than Auba, and they should have been rotated more between each other to keep both of them fresh.

    The midfield and defense is well stocked and we should not be worried. The issue now is the lack of a special player that works well with Odegaard, ESR and Saka. When both Laca and Auba are on their top forms, we will be good. Martinelli should play more, but I think his physique is still an issue when it comes to being a out and out striker.


  • Thanks 84, appreciated.

    The flanks are indeed currently Saka’s and ESRs because of their all round ability. Agreed also re using Laca more.

    Left deep midfield is my big worry and Arteta’s biggest challenge till Christmas.

    How is life in Singapore?

  • Eris , the two games that you rightfully question were the Man U v Man C Ladies which started at 8:30am here and the Scotland v Israel game which started at 12:00pm.

    My predictions were in by 10:01am Canadian time and Madhu’s were in at 2:33pm Canadian.

    Madhu got them both wrong anyway.
    I got them both right but only the Man ladies game was live at the time (and I got the score wrong)- but I was unaware it was being played..
    I watched the Scotland game live with Italian commentary. .

  • “I watched the Scotland game live with Italian commentary.”
    You either possess Italian skills, or you are really desperate, mate. 🙂

  • That’s fair enough, GN5. The fact Madhu got them wrong was not lost on me and yours were clearly done without knowing the results. Hence, I alluded to that fact.

    I know how you insist on getting the predictions in early and only wanted to help your cause (in that regard). I usually am guilty of late renditions too, but try to get them in before it is game day.

    For some reason, the provider here in Nigeria has been showing North London derbies from 2008 up till 2017/18 (and I can see the schedule goes all the way to 2020/21). Other than a few games where they had some joy, we just seemed to trample on the Spuds during Wenger’s reign. The games were always feisty, well contested spectacles. It is true. They are Forever in our shadows.

  • Lol, PB. Sometimes, you have no choice as that may be the only viewing on offer in Canada. I have had to watch our games with Arabic, Portuguese and even Spanish commentary.

  • The Estonia v Wales game is not played until tomorrow so I thought it would be a good idea to get a jump on next weeks predictions.

    Arsenal v Crystal Palace *
    Aston Villa v Wolves
    Leeds v Southampton
    Brentford v Chelsea
    Everton v West Ham *
    Spartak Moscow v Dinamo Moscow *

  • Arsenal v C. Palace……H (2-0)
    Aston Villa v Wolves……H
    Leeds v Southampton…H
    Brentford v Chelsea….. D
    Everton v West Ham…. D (2-2)
    Spartak v Dinamo…….. H (3-1)

  • Here in SG we are currently in a high daily count (~3000) due to economy reopening and we are taking the situation day by day.

    On top of that, our government wants to boost the economy further by bringing in vaccinated travellers.

    In the short term it will not be a good idea, but we will see.

  • Arsenal v Crystal Palace * – 2-1
    Aston Villa v Wolves – H
    Leeds v Southampton – H
    Brentford v Chelsea – A
    Everton v West Ham * – 1-1
    Spartak Moscow v Dinamo Moscow * – 1-1

  • Arsenal v C. Palace……D (0-0)
    Aston Villa v Wolves……D
    Leeds v Southampton…D
    Brentford v Chelsea….. D
    Everton v West Ham…..D (0-0)
    Spartak v Dinamo…….. D (1-1)

  • Arsenal v Crystal Palace * 6-0
    Aston Villa v Wolves Draw
    Leeds v Southampton Draw
    Brentford v Chelsea Away
    Everton v West Ham * 1-2
    Spartak Moscow v Dinamo Moscow * 1-1

  • Arsenal v Crystal Palace * H (2-1)
    Aston Villa v Wolves H
    Leeds v Southampton D
    Brentford v Chelsea A
    Everton v West Ham * D (2-2)
    Spartak Moscow v Dinamo Moscow * H (2-1)

  • Sometimes I envy those who watch Arsenal games without the commentators. Those guys at Sky Sports are either biased – clearly against Arsenal – or often resort to only stating the obvious. (BEIN Sports is better in my opinion.) Maybe I should give a try with the Italians. 🙂

  • PB, I could always watch the games by streaming but I’m too nervous of getting a virus. I use a site called “Live Soccer TV” which shows every game in every league plus all types of cup games and internationals. At the side of each game it shows the TV channel carrying the game. Maybe I’m telling you something you already know but it case you don’t know it’s an easy look up. That’s how I found the last England game was on TLN – the Italian channel in Canada.

  • I guess it’s just the latest ‘development’ of the Premier League/Football Association conglomerate that’ll one day rule the world of football.

    It’s hard to believe how our game has changed, not all for the worst of course but the money in it is eye watering. It’s certainly not the game I was brought up on, but that’s progress I suppose.

    Interesting to see that Football 365 is owned by BSkyB, the guys who started it all off with the breakaway that formed the Premier s League back in 1992. So Mr Nicholson is actually working for Murdoch.

  • GN5, here are my predictions for the selection:

    Arsenal v Crystal Palace * H 3-1
    Aston Villa v Wolves H
    Leeds v Southampton D
    Brentford v Chelsea D
    Everton v West Ham * H 2-1
    Spartak Moscow v Dinamo Moscow * H 3-2

  • Stuart, thanks for the article it was a good read. The world of sport is completely sold out to money and the rich. But what is dissapointing about Football is that the English clubs have born out of communities and each one has a rich history connected with the local community. Most of these clubs were formulated by working class people before the world wars and thats why support is so huge and deep rooted. But the FA has never worked to protect the club’s history or the structure. They have manically chasing money and we are here because of them.
    Having said that there is no point now looking suspiciously at foreign owners as the karma is slowly taking over. The British empire was built around colonising and exploiting local workers to the detriment of locals. The empire killed millions and looted the wealth of colonies. Even after years of ending imperialism in many colonies England is loathe to get away from the monarchy. The monarchy is a message to all the earlier colonies of British empire and a constant remainder of where we belong. Now with capitalism it’s only fair that England learns what it feels like when someone else takes over your heritage bit by bit.
    I know my post may hurt some of the fellow gooners but it’s the reality. So I apologise about my post. None of us have any moral authority to question the celebrations of the Geordies because as fans they wbat thier club to be doing well on the ground and winning trophies. Do we spare any thought to the club’s at the lower levels who are still holding on their legacies. It’s for the FA and PL board to think about safe guarding the club’s history. They don’t seem to be bothered and New Castle is just playing by the new rule book. Others be damned.

  • Thanks Madhu. That is a profound first paragraph and not offensive in the least. I am a fifth generation New Zealander with a British ancestry and a love for the study of history. The Empire was driven by several motives, God, Mammon, pride and curiosity among them. Pax Britannia brought many benefits to the nations of the world. I think of William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect, William and Catherine Booth of the Salvation Army and their ilk, people who fought the instincts of Mammon and saw slavery abolished (though it lives on in its many guises) and established caring institutions for the sick, the poor, the mentally ill, the addicted, animal welfare… I think of the great engineers and educators who brought structure and infrastructure, and broadened the learning horizons of folk. Where those with other motives rode roughshod over national heritages forgiveness must be sought. I know that many efforts have been made to do this. They were children of their time, often well intentioned, often not, sometimes simply clumsy in their efforts. Sometimes their efforts were wondrous in their efficacy. The good with the bad, the tares with the wheat, the sheep with the goats.
    The story of fallen man.

  • There’s no doubt in my mind that had Arsenal been taken over by the same owners of Newcastle United I would have closed the blog and stop with club football all together. This is a new level of unethical ownership, and although I appreciate Madhu’s take on history, it has nothing to do with judging the suitability of this new ownership as per the article that Stuart attached.

  • TA, if imperialism and monarchy can be justified, then capitalism can justify this ownership. Regarding ethical ownership there is no point holding fans responsible when the powers that be line up thier pockets. All the fans need is their clubs success and trophies. Some of them feels that whatever they come they will take it. Some of thier fans are protesting against the take over as well. It’s a complicated situation.

  • It is not about what is wrong and right, but as TA aptly said, what we BELIEVE is wrong and right.
    I prefer to put it this way: a person’s identity is comprised of many different roles and values (not my theory, I assume it is common knowledge), and these values have a hierarchy. Different people have different hierarchy – even if the ingredient values and beliefs are the same. And (apart from a few pathological exceptions) all are fine, there is no good or bad hierarchy.

    About 6 months ago there was quite a big football related scandal – at least in Hungary – as Hertha Berlin’s goalkeeper coach (and former Hungarian international GK) made some unusual/unorthodox comments on immigration and homosexuality in sports. He wasn’t xeno- or homophobic at all, but didn’t share the majority opinion. (He said something like coming from a different culture is not a virtue by definition, it depends what you do with your culture. And he criticized the #1 GK of the Hungarian team for supporting same-sex marriage, as this is a dividing topic, and a football icon should rather unite supporters not divide them.) But it’s not really important what he said, the important part is that he was fired from his German club for his interview in a Hungarian newspaper.
    What does it have to do with the Newcastle takeover and the individual beliefs? Well, in Hungary about half of the public cheered for his sacking and half of it was outraged. And there is probably no objectively correct view here. If for you being sensitive to minorities is more important than the liberal agenda, then you will celebrate the club taking the stance to such extreme. But if you are more liberal than minority-supportive, then you will condemn somebody being fired for his opinion – irrespective of the opinion or the employer.

    The same applies to the ownership conundrum.
    If in your hierarchy of roles and values, being an Arsenal fan tops being an ethical philanthropist (sorry, this is a poor choice of words, but I cannot summarize the underlying value in 2 words – I hope you understand my point here, no offense intended) then you will accept any cashflow to the club, may it come from shady Russian gas business, slave trade in the Middle-East, gambling and porn sites from the Caribbean, etc. If your Arsenal-identity is not that high though, – if integrity is more important than finishing above Tottenham – you will turn down stakeholders you despise, and would rather accept mediocrity than reinforcing the team from unapproved resources. In other words, if you have a negative opinion about a person, a business or an organization, you will not change it when it turns out they support your favorite club, and are even willing to invest in it.

  • Hungary has to catch up on a lot and although part of the EU our values are anything but embedded. Equality and inclusion are embedded in German law and so he was rightly sacked, regardless of what half of the Hungarians thought about. You just have to catch up or stay behind.

    The new owner of NU literally walks over dead people and those he doesn’t like will get murdered at his command. Anybody who is ok with such a person leading their club may well feel that is fine but human rights are not to be interpreted individually; they are universal. The truth is out there.

  • Ta agree with your earlier statement that individuals need to decide. Your post about the Saudi Regime murdering people which is true, but the whole western world is in bed with due to oil money. I heard the UK govt sold arms to them. Israel sold Pegasus which was used as snooping tool to trail Jamal abd kill him. The atrocities against women abhorrent to say the least.
    I again go back to imperialism and the modern symbol of that in the Monarchy. The empire was built on innocents life. When Meghan complained about the discrimination against her within the royals she was attacked by many.
    So where do draw the line. It’s left to individuals for sure.

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