Arteta: Everything points to how far behind we are

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Mikel Arteta admits that Arsenal are a long way from competing with the biggest clubs at home and abroad but he’s not shying away from what he believes is a long-term project to restore the club to the top of the game.

Starved of Champions League football for the last couple of seasons, without a league title since 2004 and currently, 42 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool, the club and its supporters are experiencing a low point that the new boss is desperate to arrest.

He’s just well aware that the underlying issues are going to take some time to sort.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s game with Newcastle, he said: “It has to be a long-term project. In the short-term we cannot achieve all the things that this club needs.

“It wants to fight now with the top teams in this country and in Europe, but it is not possible.

“We are very far behind at the moment and everything shows how far behind we are.

“We need to make that gap shorter and shorter. But it’s going to take a lot of right decisions and a great amount of energy and commitment.”

Arteta isn’t shying away from the huge responsibility even though he’s never held a head coach role before.

The 37-year-old seems very pleased that he’s been able to lean on old mentor Arsene Wenger for a bit of support along the way.

“He has been very supportive,” he said. “I had a very good relationship with him. He’s a very calm person, very reflective and very, very intelligent.

“I learned a lot with him as a player about how he managed people, the love and respect that he felt for the game, his values, the type of game he wanted to play and the messages that he used to send to us as well.”

After a breathless first seven weeks at the Emirates, Arteta also noted that he’s putting in similar hours as he did at City under Pep Guardiola but that the pressure of being the main man is another level.

“I was putting in the same amount of hours for the last four years at City, for sure,” he said. “But the decision-making all the time and the responsibility you feel to really lift the players and transmit the energy you need to them, that’s the real difference.

“It’s all-consuming and I am adapting to it. But I am happy with how it’s going so far.”

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PGunner

It’s really refreshing to get these measured pieces of communication from Arteta; we know we stand as we get a good sense of how he’s feeling about our current position and what needs to improve. All in all it makes you feel confident that at least the gaffa is doing the right things to try get our club moving in the right direction.

Just need a run of wins now and things will start to feel very positive indeed I reckon.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

I totally agree. What a great change it makes rather than hearing Josh Kroenke talk fluff about how he wants us fighting for the PL and CL. With Arteta now we have someone who sees the situation this club is in for exactly what it is and what changes are necessary to get back to playing at the top level.

C.B.

6 more goals this season, converting draws onto wins, would have us in the CL places.

Matt Watkins

and some of those were robbed! We’re not far off quality wise, chelsea/sp*rs/manu are rotten.

We just are so far behind points wise

Me2

Very sensible and realistic comments from MA.
The last two years of the Wenger reign and the Unai Emery debacle has placed us years behind the teams we should be competing with.
Do we have the resources to compete now?
That will be seen…

Cmdn

Amazing that Everton, the most random club, with most random combination of players and transfers over the years is not talking this much. Ancelloti says very little and he jumped us in the table, now 5 points above us.. was 6 behind. Enough talking, no its not refreshing, its boring. I dont care for communication why we are failing, people here will eat it up by buckets though. Sheefield United, Everton, now even Burnely are ahead of us if we dont win out match tomorrow. Just 8 point gap to 5th place everyone! Season is writeoff the moment we draw… Read more »

Legrande

Spot on. Yes it important that there is communication but I believe also that nothing is gonna be said now that we don’t already know. All focus should instead be on the team and not trying to win fan sentiments with interviews. Arteta shouldn’t have all that time on his hands to keep granting interviews if fully focused.

Vonnie

Arteta’s contracted to give interviews, he doesn’t just call up some random journo to have a chat. What he’s saying is so right, and I believe he’s a strong enough person to be telling the owners and the decision makers at the club the cold facts, not a load of bulldust like Emery would do. It’s also interesting that he’s in contac with Arsene, and the club are apparently n contact with Arsene, hopefully the old Manager is telling them they must back the new one. We’re very fortunate to have someone as talented and respected as Mikel Arteta in… Read more »

Manganese

Apart from the over-dragged semantics, we are more than seven games in, and I’m not feeling “special” just yet. If we don’t win at Newcastle all this fancy talk about building a culture wouldn’t hold water. I prefer Arteta speaks less and wins more. That’s the best way to build a culture. Three points, especially against teams we should be thumping.

Swedebasher

It’s almost impossible for a PL manager to “say less” when he’s constantly in the limelight and subject to questions wherever he goes.
Personally, I find his candor refreshing after Emery’s hand-wringing and Wenger’s smokescreens.

kaius

When Emery started I thought him speaking English (instead of using a translator) was a mistake because he wouldn’t be able to communicate with perfect clarity.

Turns out that with perfect clarity, he comes off even worse

Manganese

Most people on this blog hate a healthy dose of reality. They are going to thumb this comment down all the way. Despite it being true to the last letter.

Artetas Assistant

In reality, Mikel gives one press conference and blogs splits it into several headlines. What the hell are yall talking about too many interviews

kaius

Yeah, a lot of the media’s reporting on Arsenal is clickbaity rubbish but the Sky Sports interview linked in the article is good. Well worth the click I think.

Cheers for the heads up Andrew Allen

loose_cannon

Ancelotti probably talks just as much but you don’t follow ToffeeBlog so you don’t hear about it. Saying that it should be seriously concerning how much better Everton have done than us since both managers arrived, though they maybe have had some easier fixtures.

Mpls

They also may not have been suffering the kind of rot that comes along with a team In poor form from which waaaay more is expected. Their burden is much less. Frankly, and I mean no disrespect to our gaffer’s early club, they have less to lose and that grants a level of morale freedom.

T.A.

It really is remarkable how we got here. I honestly just don’t understand how the club allowed itself to drop from the dizzying glittering heights of the wright, Berkamp, Henry eras to a team that has only scrambled together 6 wins thusfar. The new owners? They have in fact spent quite a bit on the squad. I just can’t get around the fact that Wenger must bare most of the blame for this mess.

Legrande

You really think the team would fare this bad if Wenger were at the helm? I don’t think so.

History and Revisions

I think we would’ve been worse off. The team was in steady decline for his last year’s and from what we all saw, he had no answer on how to arrest that decline.
As much as I love the man, he became oblivious to the true consequence of the wrought (a culture he had a big hand in creating) around him.

History and Revisions

Let me clarify the worse off position. We would’ve been doing as badly, with many failing to highlight what the real issues are, for fear of denigrating our legendary manager’s status (limiting our energy to infighting amongst fans). “You can criticise, while still believing his overall legacy to have been a force for good.” I feel the current incumbents see our problems clearly and are trying to communicate it, as effectively as they can, to the fans. There’s less of the infantilising talk and the chaotic ramblings of the respective Wenger and Emery era. We as fans need to fully… Read more »

Martin

So winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years and keeping us in Europe means that that the present predicament is all Wenger ‘s fault

Naked Cygan

It all went wrong when we moved to our new stadium. The financial burden put us at a disadvantage. Then Chelsea got a billioner owner, then man city, liverpool started spending money and the rest is history. Wenger is the best thing that ever happened to this club. We were very lucky to have him as a manager. There will never be another manager like Wenger, and we were so lucky to have him.

T.A.

Wenger is Arsenal’s greatest manager second only perhaps to Chapman. I will never dispute that and I’ll always love Wenger for what he brought to the club. In his first 8-10 years he walked on water. But he was also responsible for setting up a structure that was completely dependent on him and so unable to function without him. The current rot is so deep that it is wrong to just blame Emery (though I agree he was a bad choice). It’s also wrong to blame the stadium which is one of Wenger’s greatest accomplishments. And Leicester, Liverpool and others… Read more »

Naked Cygan

What I ment with the stadium change is the financial restrictions that were put on our transfer budgets. We lost out on signing almost every super star according to Wenger. We put all our eggs into financing the stadium, and forgot about getting quality players. If there was a league for owners, we would be 19th above Newcastle. Our board has been terrible with financially backing the managers to get top class players. I also agree with you on Emery, he can’t be blamed for everything. He was not a good fit for us, and I am glad he is… Read more »

Atom

a lot of our current struggles are down to poor recruitment in Wenger’s final years and massive contract mis management which meant we sold players far below their value. That’s not on the owners – that’s on Wenger as he ran the entire football operation. Wenger should be revered but that doesn’t change the fact he did a lot of damage by refusing to leave.

Facts&BS

It’s true that some of the mess started when Arsene Wenger was at the helm. After some time the man simply got overwhelmed. That man played a role of five people above him and with him aging things turned for the worst obviously. The fact that he had to do all those things far much better than the current board all on his own is off course credit to that man. He was a glue that kept that club together and the said glue unfortunately got overstretched and reached its sell-by date quicker than expected. To get a picture of… Read more »

Facts&BS

Unfortunately the Kroenke’s regime is of the believe that PR is that cure for all snakeoil where constantly mentioning phrases like the arsenal way and challenging for titles is more important the actual process of doing that.

Atom

That was Wenger’s choice as he repeatedly said he would not accept a modern structure where he wasn’t responsible for everything.

kaius

Fair comments. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “a great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man”. Wenger casts a long shadow but we don’t talk enough about the club executives who played a massive, massive role in Prof’s early success and the modernising of the club. Particularly David Dein on the sporting side and Keith Edelman, Peter Hill-Wood and Danny Fiszman on the commercial/financial side. Dein obviously everyone knows is the man who head-hunted Arsene from Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan. He also let Arsene be Arsene, because everyone bitched about the French bloke not letting us have ketchup… Read more »

History and Revisions

I won’t use “disinterested” to describe the Kroenke regime.
Naive, yes; disinterested, no.
You don’t purchase a Premier League club only to be disinterested?

They’ve made available the funds; the funds were badly invested.

kaius

Yes *recently* KSE has been good at providing funding.

But in the critical early years of Kroenke and KSE, they were satisfied with a drop in Wenger’s normally very high standards.

All because that lovely share price-inflating CL money was still flowing through the club.

Atom

kaius you make a good point that many don’t really seem to get the implications of. The chief legitimate complaint against the kroenkes is they weren’t willing to fire Wenger for years even when it was obvious that Wenger being in sole control of everything football related wasn’t working

History and Revisions

He was the best thing to have happened to the club in our recent history. It’s possible to agree wholeheartedly with the above statement, plus the fact that he set us back a fair bit at the end of his tenure.

We failed to build on his early success. Chalk it down to complacency. I blame the club for failing to put in place a proper overseer for the Great man.

Pat Jennings' fan club

Agreed. The rot set in well before Emery came

Umejihnnamdi

Interesting. Let us hope him and the team will take us to the next level both in short and long term.

Naija Gunner

COYG!

IGtheshy

So many moaner around… When there is no communication, people moan. When there is clear and more communication, they moan again. What these people want? I know results are important, but having to know what the club is planning and everyone is trying to reach the same target feels much better. People tend to feel that everything can be suddenly changed when a new manager arrived. Please bare in mind this is a new role for Arteta too. He has to learn. Yes, he might not have the same impact as Ancelotti or even Mourinho had, but i believe with… Read more »

George

16 years. Fuck me. If it takes another 16, I’ll probably be dead.

khanthegunneer

Thank god you arsenal supporter if you have been Liverpool or spurs supporter you might have died already