Happiness is Arteta and his non-negotionables

Supporting Arsenal has been a joy for more than 25 years for me, but this is certainly one of the best seasons so far. Maybe it’s the best one yet.

What is supporting a team all about? How do we measure success? Is winning silverware the ultimate happiness bringer?

We all have our views re this and I look forward to your responses.

First of all I believe in fairness. It should be ideally possible for all league teams to win the PL one day. We have some way to go here but at least we don’t see league domination by one or two teams as is the case in many other European competitions. Share out the money and have budget caps, and let it all come down to clever management and youth development. I can only dream, I know.

I like Arsenal’s management team to have a vision and strategy, and to adhere to a strong and appropriate set of values. This needs to be embodied in the linchpin and figurehead of the club: the first team manager.

This is where I believe we have become stronger than almost any PL club, bar Man City perhaps for now. Arteta constantly talks about non negotiables. It’s the talk of somebody who knows the awesome, all-winning power of a culture of strong values, which goes above anything. Arteta works very hard and is very strong tactically, but what I rate above all is his believe in values as the main prerequisite to success. His lives and breathes them.

We are starting to pick the fruits of this now. Yes we are top of the league but it’s still very early days; and this may change and is not what really matters this season.

What matters to me is how structural and solid it all feels now. We defend and attack as a team, we have strength in depth in two out of three areas – defence and midfield – and are close to it in attack. Arteta has buy-in from the players: they fight as a team and for each other; they play with a plan and with belief in themselves; they are growing from strength to strength together. Those who did not fit this culture have gradually left.

Arteta has also buy-in from the BoD whose strategy is starting to pay off.

There just is such a solid basis now that even if the team faces a blip in form it has all the components to bounce back strongly.

That, rather than our lofty league position, is what makes me so happy and hopeful for 2023 and beyond. And let anyone try and dethrone us!

Fellow Bergkampesquerers, I wish you a happy, healthy New Year full of growth, grace and hope both for you and your family and for our beloved Arsenal.

Victory Through Harmony. Enjoy the Journey with captain Mikel.

By TotalArsenal

62 thoughts on “Happiness is Arteta and his non-negotionables

  • TA, a prosperous and joyful 2023 to you and yours. What I like and appreciate about our 2022-23 edition are the following:

    1) The youth development strategy starting to really show why AFC’s youth promotion policy is the winning strategy. It leads to long-term success un like the buy to win for a season attitude of other teams.

    2) Arteta’s skill and nous in dealing with and developing team chemistry and his no nonsense attitude towards those players whose egos are bigger then the team.

    3) How quickly AFC Gunners adapt to difficult circumstances. They seem to take it OGAAT and focus on the prize, irrespective of their immediate situation in the game. Win, Draw or Lose they play with a maturity and certitude that is both elegant and entertaining.

  • Faes-rcical half at Anfield …
    Strangely enough, I Faes him play (along Folarin) for Reims, against Marseilles, at the start of the season … and he scored a ludicrously gorgeous og too
    Folarin scored the first of his “French” goals that day btw (gorgeous too)

  • Yes Liverpool did not impress and the sorry Leicester defender had egg on his faes. Terrible bad luck for Faes. He does really look and play like Luiz. Yet I like him.

  • TA for me the most pleasing aspect of our team is ours is a team of youngsters. Just in the last match the goals were score by Saka, Marti and Nketia two 21 yr old and one 23. That’s the beauty of this team. If tahts the foundation of this team for years to come I will have no trouble enjoying my beloved team irrespective of the result.
    You won’t win anything with kids is something that I hope we trash once and for all. Here is wishing my fellow Gooners all the very best for the new year. Hope our kids make us proud by winning the league.

  • This, TA, is an article-in-season. I agree it is all coming together, nicely, under Mikel Arteta, and it’s so pleasing. One other thrilling change is the unity of purpose as exemplified by the unconditional support by the fans; to match the trust shown by the BoD, management and technical staff. It must be something in Arteta that elicits inspiration. Suddenly, the owners are wiling to spend to get the right kind of players to augment what the manager promotes into the first team, as guided by the Per Mertesacker-led academy conveyor belt of talent. It is beautiful to see.

    The players have stepped things up; all of them! It is as if no one wants to drop standards, for the sake of the common goal. The watershed moments are attributable to the enforcement of the “non-negotiables”- from Ozil, Guendouzi down to Aubameyang. Then, there was the gradual phasing out of some of the players who didn’t cut it, or were not suited to the “process” (Kolasinac is still a good player, but had to leave, for instance; there are a few others, similar). There is a feel good factor it all brings.
    For me, I started out just hoping for top 4. Now, I hoe for one trophy, at the least, because these boys deserve it. Nay! This club (with the fans) deserve it. The title will taste even better that young Mikel Arteta braved all the odds and delivered it, after so long.

    I wish you and all BKers the very best of a glorious year 2023!

  • Ceterum (autem) censeo Brighthelmstonem esse delendam/Brighthelmstonō dēlenda est
    LeGallus Censorius
    Might not be able to watch the siege, though. Negociations are underway, but the other party’s been relentless so far … and I’m afraid her arguments make more sense than mine, tbh.
    A Very Happy post-win New Year to you all, anyway!!

  • It can get like that, LeGall. It is new year’s eve. 😂

    Off topic, it does look like a day when the Wolves may just maul the Mancs (I know my prediction said otherwise). We’ll see.

  • Cheers Eris.

    I think the owners can be credited with a good strategy and spending is part of it. They believe in Arteta and have enough confidence in Edu to give them both the funds to improve the squad.

    Love this:
    “The players have stepped things up; all of them! It is as if no one wants to drop standards, for the sake of the common goal.”

  • Thanks for the kind wishes and same to you and everyone here.

    Yesterday the voting for the Arsenal first team goal of the (calendar) year has been – somewhat surprisingly – concluded.
    All our top 3 goals came from out of the box, and from our central midfielders.
    Further interesting that both of Partey’s goals this season ended up in our top 3: the NLD rocket strike was voted for #1, and his thumper against Nottingham Forest rounded off the top three (with Granit Xhaka’s blast against Manchester United in between).

    I sincerely hope that tonight we may see some strong contenders for the – already closed – competition.
    Link for the top goals:

  • I totally agree TA. The unity of belief that has been developed not just amongst the squad but also amongst everyone involved in the club from top to bottom and nearly all of the fanbase is wonderful to see as was the welcome extended to Arsene. The owners, Arteta and Edu have a good strategy, it is true and the implementation so far has been impressive. One thing that I’ve been pleased about is that they have sorted out our approach to loans. Our youngsters are getting more appropriate opportunities and it is evident that they are embarking on them with more belief and a determination to succeed. Whether or not they eventually succeed with us that bodes well for both them and the club.

  • Great post T, and I agree with all of it.

    Not only has Arteta taught our players a lot… I’ve learned a lot also.
    I was remembering recently how after a few games under Arteta, I was complaining that we weren’t pressing well enough hahaha.., I’m sure you were telling me to give it time…

    Imagine the silliness of me expecting quick results with that bloated mess of a squad.

  • TEAMS:

    Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Xhaka, Martinelli; Nketiah.

    Brighton: Sanchez; Lamptey, Dunk, Colwill, Estupinan; Gilmour, Gross; March, Lallana, Mitoma; Trossard.

    Saka gives us an early lead. 0-1

  • He is on another level right now we needed that second one too after Brighton came back into it. Would have loved for that earlier little skill in the box he did to Marti to have resulted in a goal would have been a spectacular assist/pre-assist.

  • 0-2 now. That took a while coming as we had the chances to go 2 up, earlier. Brighton are a good footballing side and them keep possession for long periods is not something they have not done against most sides.

  • Although we are missing Gabi it is scary to think what Brighton would look like without two of their best midfielders they are as advertised a really good side and I reckon there is still a lot of work to be done to secure this victory but good so far.

  • After looking up who is in charge of their recruiting it looks like Chelsea already pinched their head of recruiting so hopefully they can continue in this vein where they keep finding so many unpolished diamonds. Chelsea are certainly throwing around the cash in all areas.

  • Wonderful comments today.

    Arsenal are playing very disciplined throughout the team. Great touchie feelie finish by Saka. Martin currently wills the balls in. Hard work’s close friend is plucky lucky.

    Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

  • They deserved one for their play I must say comes right after our changes so not sure we are going to rest anymore of our starters now.

  • Eddie is a poacher but also has a lot more to his game. Good in the air, strong in the challenge and willing to scrap.

    They get one back as VAR okays the finish after it looked borderline offside.

  • We must not give them another sniff or they will start to bomb forward, even as our forwards tire. Changes to the full backs is intended to stem this.

    How we get slapped with yellow cards for the tamest of tackles/actions befuddles me.

  • Ode with the assist how his stock continues to rise worth 100 million at today’s prices I think.

  • It’s too bad that Jesus is injured. Now we can’t sell him, even though apparently he is surplus to requirements. 🙂
    Go MSN(O)!

  • I will never say never but I just mean his value not that I think he would be leaving it is always interesting to know what they would go for.

  • It is mistakes in back to back games from him now that led to goals but I will not be jumping on his back just want him to sign the thing as his contract has not been sorted yet.

  • It just shows how making changes can be detrimental. That’s why managers are often reluctant to do so. Don’t think we would have conceded with White still on the pitch.

  • Turning out to be a grand stand finish that was not expected at 4-1. They home side got us rattled at times and good thing that thrid goal was ruled offside. It may have been a squeaky bum last 6 minutes.

  • The way their left winger has played I think they might have scored without changes. How many goals have we conceded right after changes not any at all this is more of an outlier. Our title charge will really be dependent on some luck with injuries of course but how fresh we can keep key players and how those who step in can fill in their shoes will be crucial. Mikel has a tough job trying to balance all of this with the pursuit of glory on three fronts.

  • Having said all that I am overjoyed to be in this position but make no mistake we are the hunted but I will make sure to enjoy the ride no matter the final outcome what a pleasure this team is to watch.

  • Yeah luckily the third was ruled off site. We really lost our balance after the White sub. Could have cost us but the Ode and Martinelli gave us the great margin of three at the right time.

    We will learn from this. I understand the need for subs, Makayah, but it clearly affected us tonight… Is all i am saying.

  • A huge, symbolic win tonight. You mess up, we will take advantage. That’s what champions do.

    Tough games ahead but we only play away twice now in the next six games. With the home crowd we have a good chance to keep a gap with Citeh.

    CoyrrGs ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • Happy New Year, folks!
    Arsenal is 7 points clear, scored the second highest number of goals (behind Manchester City), and conceded the second lowest number of goals (ahead only of Newcastle).
    Will continue against them in 3 days, but we have the momentum.
    Odegaard is MotM again, but it’s not yet feeling boring.

    Just some fun to close the calendar year: while Nketiah does his best to rebrand himself from being a poacher, he had to revert to his former self. But taking these 2 games into account I would say he is playing quite similar to Gabriel Jesus, apart from the goals he actually scores. 🙂

  • TA I completely agree with you and even if we learn from it, it will happen again at some point. I am a fan of a little more rotation myself but I trust Mikel to make better decisions than I would lol. I remember how Ferguson used to get the most out of so called bench players one of his few qualities that I admired.

  • On another note nice to see the front three all score again plus MOM Ode. We are coping really well without Gabriel Jesus so far long may it continue. As you said TA hugely symbolic away win not easy at all as we see Man City drop points at home to Everton nothing can be taken for granted in this league. Do you guys think if we are to make one signing would you rather have a forward or a midfielder, I would prefer a midfielder who can do more of what Partey does but who is also able to cover Granit just not sure such quality can be found at a decent price in the January window.

  • I guess the answer is both (even though I said if we could only sign one) TA we may have more midfield bodies but do the replacements for Ode, Granit and Thomas come close to their level of performance so far going by the evidence it has not been reassuring. Viera I think we will get better in the second half of the season but we need ESR back as soon as possible.

  • It is in attack for me too. Any injuries or suspensions in that zone would mean some serious re-jig of the formation and roles of our forwards.
    However, a close replica of Thomas Partey won’t be scoffed at.
    At this point, we are in a good place but must keep going; one defeat and things may go downhill quickly. It is just as well we have some points cushion with the rest of the pack.

  • Some would say recall Balogun (not sure that is even an option) and get a midfielder instead. I think most of us believe it is better for Flo to keep developing and getting many more minutes as he is doing. Also it is possible Jesus could come back early or in time but let us not forget there is the chance he has setbacks like ESR and misses most of the remaining fixtures so it is very risky to bank on his return imo.

  • Xhaka = Zinch
    Partey = Elneny and Sambi
    Ode = ESR, Vieira

    A quality replacement/cover for Partey is very desirable, though.

    In attack we nerd cover for Saka and Martinelli. I have no doubt that Arteta is looking for a Winger as priority.

  • Agreed with TA, we need a winger and a CM.
    I’m not sure however that we can get both in January, so I expect one marquee signing in the winter transfer window and another in the summer. (Imagine, what will happen in June, if we get players for both positions where some reinforcement is needed. Will we sit that one out, or start buying superfluous players?)

    Not buying a striker in January is only slightly risky, and still the smart thing to do.

  • Good shout for Zinch filling in for Granit however he has trouble staying fit and Granit is a workhorse. Also Mikel much prefers him over Tierney at left back but it is nice he can play in a couple of positions. Honestly I would trust him more to replace Thomas than Sambi, who gives me the impression that not only is he unfamiliar with the position, but does not have a defend first mentality. In saying that Zinch is not the best defender but I feel he has more defensive awareness than Sambi and can be in the mold of Jorginho at Chelsea where he orchestrates from there. Mo would obviously step in first but its another thing to control games from that position the way Partey does.

  • Arsene shows his face and immediately we get a vintage late Wenger performance.

    But seriously I think it’s good we gave the manager something to use as he needs to prepare us for big games coming soon. Easier to stamp out complacency after this one.

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