Mikel Arteta has given his players some time off following the 0-0 draw with Burnley on Sunday, but the squad are to assemble again for a warm weather training camp in Dubai later in the week.

The Arsenal manager says it will be a positive trip after what has been a difficult few months following the drive-off-a-cliff form in the last stages of Unai Emery’s reign; the caretaker games of Freddie Ljungberg; and the appointment of the former captain as manager.

The Gunners can’t seem to win in the Premier League, but are unbeaten since the 2-1 loss to Chelsea in late December. There have been two FA Cup victories, but the stalemate with Burnley was our fourth successive draw, our sixth in eight matches, and our thirteenth of the season overall.

Speaking about the squad’s movements going into this two week break, Arteta said, “It’s good to go away. The players have been through a lot.

“The last two or three months have been tough for them so I want to give them a few days off.

“Then we’re going to go to Dubai, start working and focus on Newcastle.”

There are bound to be plenty of things to work on from a tactical point of view, and according to David Ornstein in The Athletic (£), there will be an element of team building too as Arteta attempts to galvanise his players for the final push from the Newcastle game until the end of the season in May.

With two cup competitions still to play for, and Premier League points at a premium, let’s hope they can recharge those batteries and start winning games.

Check out today’s Arseblog: Another draw highlights the need for different personnel away from home

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When Arteta got the job, his first task was always going to be to make us more defensively solid, by putting in place a proper frame work and structure off the ball to make us more robust and harder to breakdown. Especially in the negative transition, because we have been so easy to score against for such a long time now. Naturally there was always going to be that slight opposing reaction or trade off to our new found focus on fixing the teams blatantly obvious off the ball frailties. That adjustment was always going to affect our ability to… Read more »


I don’t think there’s too much panic, even AFTV seem relatively measured. But I do worry we have come out of the bounce and a few of these players won’t keep up the strict and conscientious approach that Arteta has instilled. A few players jogging round yesterday and we seemed to play it safe a little too often.


Yeah I agree. But those who aren’t up to it will get weeded out by the new coach. There’s bound to be a proportion of players who either aren’t up to the mark skill-wise or who don’t put in the effort. I have full confidence that Arteta won’t allow drifters long-term. It remains to be seen how his rebuild will work with the board/ownership/finances being what it is. I’m personally managing my expectations for the remainder of this season to be essentially a ‘make the best of a bad job’ for Arteta, while he analyses which players are worth keeping,… Read more »

tanned arse

I think it’s best those players show their faces now (even if we were able to predict who they’d be). We heard so much about the ‘process’ under the previous manager without there being any indication of there being a positive product at the end of it. There’s a very clear process going on now. I just hope arteta doesn’t have to take backward steps down to individual performers who ease off on intensity. And sticking with players who don’t play to level will only set the ‘bar’ lower. Others will follow (it’s happened before). The same goes with the… Read more »

Dave M

IMO it’s all still stemming from the same problems under Emery. Trying to fix the problems we have with the broken tools that led to the problems in the first place. Yet again we’re seeing players being highly coveted selection pieces: Xhaka and Ozil. These two are such problematic pieces because while they have their strengths (both great passers) they are both very limited players on a whole (Xhaka – mobility, susceptibility to the break when isolated, crazy challenges; Ozil – will not get into anything physical…like zero; and both limit our ability to press because Ozil won’t full press… Read more »


No doubt there are personnel issues, but right now, Arteta has to work with what he has. The team has need proper investment for quite sometime now. In the summer, I think we have to go and get one of the new breed of number 10’s coming through. Who are the weird hybrid and mix of the second striker, the number 8, and the creative spark. I know we wont ever get him but Grealish for me is the standout candidate. Ozil can either be okay with playing a new role in the team as the senior pro who’s coming… Read more »

Dave M

I agree with most of this. We absolutely need a new attacking midfield recruit and we need to either do some incredible scouting and unearth and absolute gem or spend big. Also agree with moving on from Xhaka – he simply limits our versatility and playing style and it’s pretty obvious we’re not moving forward with him and he shouldn’t be a part of our future so why bother making him a part of our present? Just give some chances to CDouzi, willock or ceballos. Like I said it can’t get worse. I’m not as sure as you about Ceballos’… Read more »


I’m a bit concerned regarding our creative/attacking options. Laca is too slow,you need that bit of pace in the Prem. PEA is still good, but not able to self create like Sane, Salah etc…Martinelli still developing, Pepe in and out, Ozil playing quite well in terms of retention etc. but not finding the incisive passes – albeit I don’t think the movement is that great in front of him. We need at least 2 attacking/creative players in the summer. Also miss Ramsey big time…….

Naked Cygan

Do you think we are better in defences now? Did u watch the game? Burnley should have scored 4 goals. Had that ball crossed the line, no one would be saying we are doing better. We got lucky, just like Emery did with his 20+ unbeaten run.


Last season we finished 5th 2 points off 4th And got to a Europa league final. That was considered by pretty much everyone but me on this site, as a failure….. Now Arteta taking 8/21 points, and only out shooting our opponents in 2/9 games, is considered progress….. You guys need to read a book on confirmation bias, because your so desperate to see Arteta as an improvement on Emery, that you’re seeing things that aren’t there. The big difference for Arteta is the atmosphere he’s working in, The mood around Emery made it impossible for him to continue, and… Read more »


I think Arteta has a lot of potential but at this point he really should start being asked some hard questions about why he’s persisting with personnel and a system that are contributing to some of our offensive woes – i.e. why isn’t he trying different players when certain players (Lacazette/Ozil) are contributing so little while others (Xhaka is playing better) are really limiting the way we can play.


Rich, atom, my goodness guys, Arteta has completely shored up our defence without any direct spending by using the personnel we have and by installing a solid structure to our play. We have been begging for this from Arsenal for over 2 seasons now, and he’s establish it in 10 games (8 goals against). A clean sheet, away from home, against Burnley, in February? No one was good yesterday, and it’s not much of a surprise that Burnley can defend well at home. We had chances, and we didn’t take them. These games happen. Our attack will develop soon, and… Read more »


I’m not sure the attack will develop by continuing to simply do the same things over and over again that aren’t currently working. We’ve had structural issues there all year – this isn’t new to Arteta. We have players that could allow us to play a modern midfield (Torreira/Willock/Ceballos) & saw hints of that early in the year against Burnley for instance. At some point we simply need to recognize that doing the same things over and over (in this case playing players who really aren’t contributing anything) is unlikely to generate different results. As I said I think Arteta… Read more »


Our midfield doesn’t work, you couldn’t field three less dynamic players than Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil. Aubameyang is a No9 playing wide. Neither Martinelli and Aubameyang are suited to the right hand side behind Lacazette, because they both like to come inside onto their right foot. If Lacazette drops deep, we have no midfielder looking to get beyond him. The structure of our forwards doesn’t work, unless we bring in Pepe or Nelson from the right. Our midfield is to one paced, only Willock ever looks to show the opposition a pair of heels. We’ve got quality issues, but those issues… Read more »


The attack is going to come with confidence, as the team must now feel more secure in defence. Aubameyang was in alone on the keeper twice, and Laca had a fairly direct header to put away yesterday — we had some good chances, but we’re severely lacking in confidence right now (it’s like our attackers have the yips). Arteta has given them structure and purpose, and as that becomes second-nature the style will return. Arteta wants Arsenal football — possession, pace, performance, goals. Our recovery and return to that brand of football takes time. I’d like to see some different… Read more »


Ozil is a spent force at this point – he’s contributed virtually nothing in terms of decent chances or goals for several years now regardless of who the manager is or the systen we play. Lacazette is just woefully out of form and is causing issues in terms of forcing our best player to a position he’s not nearly as effective at (Auba’s best games have come with Lacazette out this year).

I like Arteta & do think he’s going to be a good manager, but let’s not forget there’s a steep learning curve involved for him as well.


Fair enough, but I’m nowhere near giving up on these guys with Arteta at the helm.

Dave M

Our recovery and return to that brand of football takes time.” no it takes personnel, and we haven’t got the right ones.


Xhaka has always been our best midfielder, but that says more about ur alternatives, than it does about him. I like him, I think he’s honest. Mustafi has regularly produced games of real quality. This isn’t new, it’s consistency and the regularity of their brain farts that’s the problem. Both are a liability, but Xhaka is still our best option in the middle of the park, and with our injuries and suspensions, throwing Mustafi in occasionally becomes a necessity But playing them is a bit like crossing a motorway blindfolded, it’s risky AF….. If you’re celebrating a clean sheet away… Read more »


Arteta took over mid-season, in December, and he’s had a positive impact. We were hemorrhaging goals, and earlier this season put in some utterly shameful displays on the pitch under Emery, and we’ve put in a much better shift in the past month and half. That’s a start. We’ve cut out goals-against in half with Arteta. Yes, a clean-sheet away from home in February is nothing to be upset about. Not scoring is frustrating, but we’ll get more consistent. Emery had the team in third spot and a European final, and then astoundingly engineered a completely embarrassing collapse to fifth… Read more »

Dave M

We actually were not hemorrhaging goals. We were definitely conceding a few, but our biggest problem is and has been all year…scoring them!! Was before Arteta and it’s even worse now. Not his fault…probably not (although playing a double pivot is not helping) but that is the reality. We lack quality.


Really? In the 15 matches prior to Arteta taking over, we leaked 28 goals. He immediately went to work on that and made an improvement. Emery’s conservative approach and complete avoidance of the middle of the pitch became our style of play; we’re trying to play more quickly now, with improved passing and movement, but it’s been slow — much slower than I was hoping. But they’re working on it, and Arteta will surely push for, as you say, better quality in the summer. But i have faith that we’ll see the team, in total, play much better after the… Read more »

Dave M

28 goals in 17 matches isn’t good but it’s not hemorrhaging goals. We have scored 32 goals in 25 matches. THAT IS OUR PROBLEM. All anyone wants to talk about is defense, and rightfully we’ve addressed it, but if all we can muster is 32 goals in 25 games is it any wonder we are sitting 10th with 12 draws? Our creativity is pathetic and a lot of that stems from the poor quality of our midfield. Only two teams in the league have created less shots than Arsenal since Arteta started: Sheff United and Palace, and we know it… Read more »


Absolutely correct.This season under Emery we had become the official shooting range of the premier league.Do these fans not remember Watford away and Southampton at home just to name a few.Leno definitely earned his money during this period. How on earth was it possible to keep Emery in charge when he had clearly lost the dressing room.I agree the draws are very frustrating but it’s hard to win games with 10 men on the pitch.I do think that certain players have had more than enough chances to stake a claim for a regular place in the team and it’s very… Read more »

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Hope this refreshes Laca and he can start firing again in the PL.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Looking forward to videos of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares singing for Arsenal’s initiation.

Wait.. do loan players get initiated?

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Let’s hope the training camp teaches Laca how to score a goal again and Guendouzi how to play an incisive forward pass. Would be helpful for the rest of the season.

Ya Gooner

Or how to nor get ghosted past so easily. He really needs to improvethat side of his game big time.


Mostly i think it is the strikers misfiring. We could be creating more chances but last season’s Auba and Laca would have scored 2-3 goals yesterday.

Ya Gooner

Winning balls back in midfield contributes to our attack as we couldthen spring a counter. Was it wenger that pointed oit most goals are scored when the opposition wins the ball back higher up the pitch. I don’t think it’s unfair to say guendouzi needs to improve his tackling

Paul Roberts

most goals are scored when the opposition wins the ball back higher up the pitch” – I heard this is why Unai put Torriera further up the pitch.


Agreed and it’s down to confidence and service in my opinion. Ozil is slowly hanging himself by not creating chances or scoring, not sure how many more chances he needs. Auby should be playing up top with Martinelli and Pepe on the wings.
I don’t understand why Arteta didn’t take Laca off earlier against Burnley and make that change

All Eye Raven

Before Arteta came in we knew we lacked a functional midfield that can both attack and defend for most parts of the game. Now he’s come in, we have structure. The boys know what to do defensively, everyone seems to shout out instructions when defending. So they have a good understanding of their defensive tactics.. The most important thing about offensive tactics is decision making and that’s our Achilles heel at the moment. I’m almost certain Arteta and his team lay out this different scenarios to his team, but they lack courage or any form to guile to thread the… Read more »


Travelling to Dubai and back is a waste of time, better for them to see family and friends than sit on a plane.

And going down the pub together would be better.

Naked Cygan

Going on a trip won’t change average quality players into good players. These guys are just not good enough, no matter where you go, or who comes in as the manager. We got very lucky yesterday. Not good enough…I say get rid of all the players and start fresh. It has come to a point that I feel every Sheffield United player is better than our players, that sums it all up.


The Naked Cygan cheers us all up again with his positivity. ????


Blogs saying today we need to try something else particularly away from home, as Lacazette and Ozil aren’t producing, and Ozil is a spent force. Emery tried his best to force Ozil out, which looks 100% the right move, but was castigated for it Set the wheels in motion alongside many other mainstream bloggers to get Emery sacked, for doing the very things he’s now claiming himself should happen, like not playing Lacazette and Ozil away from home…. The guy from Le Grove has also turned into a flat earther. He’s gone from Emery missing out on top 4 last… Read more »

Dave M

I don’t think Emery was the answer and needed to go, and I’m not in anyway against Arteta – he needs time and plenty of it. But I agree he is making mistakes that aren’t helping himself and are the easy options (going with tried, tested and failed experience – Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi). That method isn’t getting us out of this quagmire. I also agree with selling Auba and Laca and letting Ozil walk for free if it means he is gone. You can get big money for the strikers (maybe 80M total) and they don’t seem in any way… Read more »

Kevin Dagless

If AFC had won all those matches that we drew we would be second in the table behind Liverpool on 57points but that is a lot of IF’s


If your aunt had a dick she’d be your uncle.


The story of Arteta’s reign is quite consistent. We get an early period of domination usually with several great chances and don’t take advantage.

At Burnley, the two early chances for Lacazette and Aubameyang should have killed off the game. After that they had another 3 chances between them, with one being excellent.

Arteta has done his bit by stopping the goals being conceded. We had more than enough chances created, so it has to go down to better finishing.

Dave M

Burnley had easily as many, probably more good chances than we had. Overall I’m sure the expected goals favours them.


But if you score twice in the first 10 minutes, the game is normally killed off.

Dave M

If you score more than the opposition you win also. Neither of which we did…


Agree with DaveM…particularly in our case, attack the best defense. Can’t say we have been any that much more defensively solid. We rode our luck too much with Burnley. Mustafi had a rare MOTM display otherwise we were all over the shop still and we did not get to grips preventing them lumping in crosses. How we take psychological control of a game is the issue. We have been far too wasteful with opportunities. Auba I feel is in the right berth cutting in from left, he was afforded two GREAT opportunities from Luiz and Xhaka and not by coincidence.… Read more »


We all know how Burnley creates opportunities though, lump it high into the box and hope for the best. Very hard to defend against so you have to starve them of free kicks and possession. Pretty happy with how we handled that part but when our passes start not finding their man we can’t break the press and create enough opportunities

Dave M

Burnley 15 shots, Arsenal 13. You sure we limited them, I think we got VERY lucky.

This is our current creativity – with the so called creative guru mesut ozil in the team:


Emery spent most of his 15 months playing the strikers as midfielders tracking back and tackling all the time, at one stage he even had Auba as a wing back. Maybe they’ve had the goal scoring confidence drilled out of them. Now we are trying to play decent football they aren’t sharp any more. It will come, but it needs to be quick, because while most of us can see the improvements in the play we all know we need points. Hopefully a change of scenery will help, if either of Auba or Laca had taken those chances this would… Read more »

Mesut O’Neill

Under Emery in premier league this season:
played 13 with 18 points = 1.38 ppg
sack him he’s terrible, worst arsenal manager ever

Since Emery has been sacked:
played 12 with 14 points = 1.16 ppg
Arteta is doing such a great job, we are in good hands


Since Arteta took control, we’ve achieved only 15 points in 10 matches, though 2 of those games were FA Cup 3rd and 4th round wins, which are technically not 3 points. The results are not there yet, but they will come. Emery was not the right fit for Arsenal; Arteta is: the latter has improved our defence immensely without any change in personnel (in fact, he lost our best defender at the time in Chambers) in a month and a half. Give him another month and a half, and I’m sure our offensive output will be much more impressive. It’s… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Arsenal fans decide who they like and who they dislike then make comments. Not Arteta’s fault. He needs time and our support but he hasn’t outperformed Emery as some are inventing yet.


Yes, everyone will make up their own mind on this, but I take considerable encouragement from our improved structure on the pitch and the fact that we’ve conceded only 8 times in 10 matches (2 red cards in there, too, and the loss of Chambers, perhaps our best CB 3 games into Arteta’s tenure) since Arteta has taken the helm — and he’s done that without any reinforcements, in the middle of the season. You don’t see that as an improvement over Emery?

The goals will come, and when the confidence returns, the wins will as well.


You can’t deny the stats. Arteta is at the moment punching lower despite ‘improvements’ and that is a worrying sign as we go into business end. We need to be pragmatic and winning games now. I don’t agree with others who believe we can afford this season to be ‘transition’. We will set ourselves up for a very difficult summer yet if we can;t even grab a europa spot let alone CL. Key departures will exacerbate issues further. And the way we have bought last summer (backloading on 99m with Pepe and Sailiba) will add to our problems without the… Read more »


I find it strange that people continue to overlook the massive reduction in goals-conceded since Arteta took charge. We were begging for this, and we’ve got it with the same personnel. Punching even lower? Incredible.

Arteta inherited a sinking ship — he plugged the holes, and we’re floating again. Now he’ll see to the sails and engine room.


Emery with big wins against Newcastle and uhh? Burnley??
Arteta had no pre-season, a broken team, and he’s played Chelsea twice and beaten ManU. SheffU also a hard proposition. Improved all players individual performances and made us defend as a team again. Hard not to be happy


Some fans prefer to see what they want to believe… Fact is proof is in the pudding and “improvements” aside, nothing at the moment in terms of gaining points would suggest Arteta taking over has been better than during Unai Emery’s tenure. And they worry is that the confidence the players entrusted in him which provided the ‘spike’ in the first number of games can and will very quickly dissipate. Despite all the improvements we are still lying precariously in 10th. We are unable to over come a poor Burnley side. And the issues are still there. Defensively the positive… Read more »


A manager can only do so much magic with the players he is given. There needs to be a dramatic overhaul of our roster this Summer for sure.


We do not have enough of the type of players needed first by Unai now by Arteta to play the football they want… Even as late as injury time against Burnley, we saw Arteta’s team trying to play out from the back with little sense of urgnecy. He’s made several tweaks that were better than Emery in terms of practical control but the overall system is very similar as I suspected. BUT we lack the players like City that can take on players one on one. 1) Attack : One of the big hopes from the summer was the expensive… Read more »


…and lets just have it on record, this was not a surprise that Arteta is still struggling to push upwards for us because I mentioned before his appointment that he will struggle to implement and get results if he tried to work us the way he has been brought up with City and Pep.


…Its not a surprise to ANYONE that Pepe is not selected. And I don’t think you can continue to manufacture an excuse for him. Martinelli came in at the same time. Pepe has been sporadic at best with his output, he usually loses his take on more than he wins, and when he does he tends to flail his arms rather than hunt it back. His defensive out put is poor and offball challneges tentative at best. Given the choice, I would keep Martinelli on the right, Nelson returning. Aubameyang scores from the left and is poor up top. He… Read more »


Don’t agree we needed to bring in a Rback. AMN is enough to compete with Bellerin IMO. Not sure what Arteta is thinking here. Would prefer to had seen us spent the 5m on Cedric and 5m on Mari on loan for Emre Can who could also had covered Cback (or for Xhaka had he had to shift into Cback), particularly considering we also have Sorkatis, Holding and Luiz not to mention Mustafi and Mari is a loan at best (which gives you an indication he is on trail)+ there is Saliba and Mavropanos next season to consider. Fullback Rback… Read more »


Mustafi does well.. that’s his job.

Come on. You are being disingenuous.

We leaked goals and points without Mustafi on the pitch.

Mustafi knocks a ball out for touch and you blame him for doing what you would praise others for taking safety first.



One would hope this new comments system would prevent the same guy from spamming 5-6 comments in a row


I agree Mentallista,and his constant reference to Emre Can is laughable.?????