Arteta takes his job a little too literally


Mikel Arteta has earned plaudits this season for his commendable defending of the defence from attacks. It appears though he’s taking the role so seriously that, like an actor staying in character between takes, he’s finding it hard to return to normality after the final whistle.

It has to be the only explanation for the fact that the Spaniard told press after the Chelsea game that the defence weren’t to blame for the two goals scored by Saturday’s visitors despite Gooners around the globe, Arsene Wenger and much of the media all pointing massive glowing red arrows in the direction of Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny.

Anyway, despite his words amounting to little more than polite waffle, here’s what the lego-haired one told about the boys at the back.

“It’s a hard one to take but we’ve conceded from three set pieces in the last two games. That’s cost us points and it’s not good enough.

“I don’t think it’s something to do with the defence. It’s about an individual defensive set-up in the game which is a free kick or a corner. Today we haven’t defended well enough and we’ve conceded two goals that have cost us the game.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility. You can’t fault one player on that. We have to clean the lines up quickly and you can’t just allow runners like that in the box.”

Arseblog News has gotten used to post-match doubletalk from players and managers, but that really is a beautifully bamboozling bit of logic from Mikel.

We’re all for not airing dirty laundry in public, indeed given the manner in which our players shit themselves when the ball came in the box on Saturday that’s probably for the best, however, sometimes you just can’t hide from the smell.

Unfortunately for us Gooners the defence stunk the Emirates out on Saturday. End of.

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Not sure I agree with the tone of the article. It’s a bit needlessly pointed.


It made me chuckle though!


Allen who?.


No worries chap, it’s your call and I respect that.


Vice-captain defending poorly performing defenders. Article stinks of uber negativeness.

Sol Goodman

I suppose there are only so many Arsenal stories in a day so you have to work with what is available. But i can see what Arteta is trying to say here, they defended pretty well in open play, but they could not defend corners or free kicks, and you do need your whole team to defend corners and free kicks, (” It’s about an individual defensive set-up in the game which is a free kick or a corner ”) So i think he has a fair point, but on the face of it, it sounds ridiculous to say that… Read more »


Well he may have a point for the second goal as wasn’t it he who gave the ball away cheaply leading to the free kick conceded?


In the end of the day, I saw more positives than negatives in that match. The defence in open play has been good but the team as a whole needs to built on that confidence and work harder in all aspect of defending.


Exactly, well upfront we were not that clinical, as was in previous matches. I honestly believe giroud needs more playing time. Except for those 2 set pieces, we were not that bad at all defensively. Our two full backs were exceptional. I saw some real improvement in both of them. With some more training on how to defend the set-pieces, and attack the ball in the air more often we should be fine, give that we dont repeat the same mistakes.

Red Cannon

Our open play defending was good. And Gibbs & Jenkinson have generally been playing unbelievably. But I think that Gibbs was as much to blame for Torres’ goal as Kos was. Kos fucked up on the first goal at least partly because he was yelling at Gibbs to pick up Side Show Bob, and he was hesitant about whether to stick with Torres or to go after the wide open Afro, who Gibbs left completely free.


I also think Giroud should get more playing time. He should be given a run for the next 3-4 games and hopefully start scoring goals. Everybody agrees he has quality, the problem now is he lacks confidence. Arsene should show him he can trust him and let him start games.


i don’t like how this article is almost offensive towards our Lego boy. it’s quite normal, methinks, that players are trying to spread the blame onto the entire squad, so that no individual suffers from being singled out. in fact, i think this is the proper way to behave from Mikel. remember, it’s for the media. i’m absolutely sure the very same person was capable of saying the very different things just a little later, when he was with the others and without the cameras around. by not pointing the finger of blame to anyone in particular, the media turn… Read more »


* the media cannot



Arteta’s our best spokesman — glad our vice-captain’s trying to keep the dressing room calm.


There’s nothing much about arteta. Just that he’s a fucking great footballer. Does not hesitate to make dirty tackles when the other team is on the break, fuckin excellent.


I think he’s saying that defensively we weren’t actually that bad, there were two situational errors that led to the goals. Now in my eyes, and I take it most of our eyes that’s bad defending. I guess he’s just saying that overall we were alright


I think what he’s trying to say is that Zonal Marking is shit and doesn’t work.

Midfield Corporal

Torres didn’t look to be zonally marked when he scored the first, and the second didn’t have anything to do with zonal marking either as their player didn’t get near it. Let’s not get too hysterical about zonal marking, I’m not a fan of it but in conjunction with Man to man on the dangerous runners I can see its benefits. Concerning Artetas comment, maybe he just means at set pieces the entire team are responsible. Kos’s form in first two matches is worrying, he should have conceded a pen against city, and gifted Aguero a chance of a winner,… Read more »


He was just defending the team as Vice Captain. Fair enough, I think!


He’s right, and he’s wrong. The entire side have to take responsibility for our defensive failings – the Ox, for instance, was very naive in his marking for Torres’s goal. But there still is a problem with the way that the back-four and the goalkeeper are operating. The last three goals that we have conceded have all been from bad defending of set-pieces. Hopefully, with Chez soon to return, things will at least improve in the goalkeeping department. Like Arseblog, I don’t think that Mannone is good enough to play for the First Team. During the transfer window maybe Wenger… Read more »


FatG, if Giroud starts to bang them in like a man possessed, I hope you will be the first to come back to this blog and admit that you were too eager to condemn him. He has come on as a sub in a few games and only gotten 20 minutes at the end and plus, I don’t think he has had good service. I could be wrong on this one but Walcott seems less keen on passing the ball this season. If Giroud gets the service that a certain Skunk haired Dutchman used to, I reckon he will bang… Read more »


Yes and no. We needed to buy another striker, that’s obvious, gervinho is not the answer nor is theo. giroud should be playing. If he’s not good enough fine, but let’s find out. You don’t see what a players is all about by giving him 15 minutes at the end of games. For me though, the bigger issue is tv5. He’s the captain, which makes him an automatic pic in the lineup, but to me, he’s a liability. I honesty think koscielny is getting a bad rap. Hes back by himself a lot because tv is not where he should… Read more »


I agree with everything that you’ve said. Mert must start against West Ham.


Wow, I was half expecting to get slaughtered for that. It’s how I feel though. For me it’s the intelligent German giant organizing and reading the game, paired with the athletically gifted, quick koscielny marking the quicker, trickier players.

And buy a fucking striker please.


I personally don’t understand why they keep subing podolski. Is it a ritual that you have to be subbed if you’re a new signing?. Don’t sub podolski wenger. If you do, i’ll have words!


I agree. I’d like to see Podolski and Giroud given the chance to work together for most of a game.

Los Polandos

I think it’s a fitness matter. Podolski, whom i have seen in quite a few games, is not used to tracking back and fighting pitbull style for ball in our third before bursting out forward to be at the other end of pitch seconds later. Last two years at koln he was deployed as a striker, didnt have to cover such mileage. This also explains his argualby weaker second halves. Will get there though, he’s a ambitious fella and a pro.

Dick Swiveller

Well, the defence are part of the team so what he says is true…from a certain point of view.


One thing is evident here. Arteta does not like to loose! and I adore for that. Next he’ll start holding press conference after each and every game discussing our flaws and our positives. Come on you arteta!


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Limpar's Quiff

Verm came out and said that he needed to be less rash after giving away the pen at Montpellier. Then he gave away those free kicks against Chelsea. What gets me is that we concede off the first, Verm is punished for his rashness again. Then in the second half he does it again!! Ridiculous. We can sit here and bang on about defending set pieces, zonal marking and all this other guff, but the fact of the matter is that if our captain showed the correct discipline in his defending we may be sitting here on the back if… Read more »


Actually, I think what he said was pretty much spot on. In reality, mannone’s missed time jump for the man city goal was the real reason, and mannone’s reluctance to dive for the ball this weekend is the reason the second goal. Don’t get me wrong, I like mannone, and have since his stint a couple season ago, but everyone keeps blaming zonal marking and the defense for 2 out of the 3 goals, and it’s just not right. Now torres’ goal was just bad marking, but giving credit where it’s due, itwas also a real nice heads up move… Read more »


oh yeah, forget John Terry is a cunt


^ forgot to say

Sol Goodman

You mean captain racism……the cunt!


Sorry arseblog have followed you for years but that was unfair!

Tenacious Defence

It was posted by AAllen, not Arseblog himself.

Arsene's Anti-wrinkles cream

I think it’s healthy and refreshing reading alternative views on Arseblog. They may not be everyone’s cuppatea but this is not La Pravda.


Don’t agree with the tone of the article. It’s a bad case of mis-interpreting what Arteta’s said. I agree with everything Arteta’s said. He’s spot on. What he’s saying is, it’s not the way Arsenal defend (zonal marking – which the ‘experts’ have been blaming), it’s to do with individual set-pieces and the defending on them – in the case of the Chelsea match, we defended poorly against 2 set pieces, and they became goals conceded. It wasn’t only Koscielny’s fault or Vermaelen’s fault, but at the time of the first free kick, Diaby had just gone off and Ox… Read more »


I also think the tone of the article is off…. Arteta has not put a foot wrong for the Gunners for a very very long time….(if ever) and I would think that, as our vice captain we would all understand his need to protect the moral of his team by not giving the media more reasons to do what they love to do most: shaft our team. I saw more positives in that loss than most I guess…. Arteta taking the loss so badly is one very big positive for me…. we need more players who are willing to die… Read more »


Ya, I’m pretty sure William gallas was fucked off for that. He was so angry after a loss because we played like shit, well below what we were capable of, that he sat on the pitch after the match and didn’t talk to anyone.

You see, he had a true desire to win for the arse too. He was stripped of the captaincy and clogged.


No, he was a cunt who acted like a cunt.


Ya, I’m pretty sure William gallas was fucked off for that. He was so angry after a loss because we played like shit, well below what we were capable of, that he sat on the pitch after the match and didn’t talk to anyone.

You see, he had a true desire to win for the arse too. He was stripped of the captaincy and flogged. I guess it’s all perception.

Sagna the Magna

Haven’t read the comments yet, but I don’t expect to read articles like this on Arseblog. Arteta’s a bulldog and he works his ass off. He’s a professional who wants to spread the pressure over the squad, instead of piling it on one or two names. This piece is needless and sophomoric.

steve martin

Did they play that bad? Two free kicks given away by TV5. Both scored from by Chelsea. No.1 Torres with a cracking goal. Maybe more about him. No.2 Maybe any number could have stopped the ball going that far. However mannone only had one save to make. Apart from two mistakes defence dealt with every Chelsea breakaway in open play.


I loved you in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Me So Hornsey

Whats wrong with the total lack of sense of humour from you guys? To me it’s quite obvious blogs is talking tongue in cheek, he loves the little spaniard as much as the rest of us. I, for one, would love for him to be the captain of the team.


Serious props for the username.


[email protected]( •_• )[email protected]~

Instead of reading this artice i’ll now listen to some music……….turum, turum, turrrum.


blogs: “Mikel Arteta says that the defence was not to blame for Saturday’s loss. I know where he’s coming from and he’s right to stress the collective responsibility, but this time the defence were at fault and they need to work hard to put that right in the games to come.” and then a cocky “defense stunk, end of” on here. Thumbs down. You want to place the blame entirely on the defense as if they’re the only ones who need to learn a lesson even though defending free kicks is teamwork? Look at Kos while the team is setting… Read more »


Not really sure what Vermaelen has to do with anything. He was terribly let down by his partner.


Apart from giving away two stupid free kicks?


I feel what Arteta said is right. If you watch the first goal, you can clearly see the ox losing his man as well as the header and this got the ball to reach kosc/Torres group. for the second goal too, our midfield lost the ball due to a sloppy pass which resutled in verminator to rush back and foul the person of balance. kosc was the wrong person to stand on that side of the defence to clear a Mata inswinging left footer since he has a weak left foot. I just feel the ball should have never reached… Read more »

Naija Gunner

Arteta is a bladdy good sport man, defending some players even when he knows that they fucked up is, class.

Unlike some managers that throw boots at their players for some mistakes I don’t know about!


And for the record, we at Arseblog News love Arteta. That doesn’t mean his comments are not open to deconstruction at times.

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