Arteta: This is a very important break

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Mikel Arteta says he’s very pleased to have the opportunity to spend time with his players and backroom staff as he looks to build on his promising start as head coach at Arsenal.

The Spaniard was keen to give the first team squad a chance to relax with their families during the Premier League’s inaugural winter break but was also keen to have everyone under one roof so that important meetings could take place on a one-to-one and collective basis outside of training.

Many of the players, including new signings and those sidelined by injury, travelled to Dubai early last week to soak up the hot weather before the first sessions took place on Friday.

The Gunners will return to England on Tuesday before taking on Newcastle on Sunday 16 February.

“We are really excited,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “The weather conditions and the facilities we have here for train are phenomenal, the boys are in good spirits and we had a really good training session.

“Just the fact of having everyone together, not just the players but the staff and the backroom staff to spend some time together and work on some things that we have to improve because we haven’t really had time to work with the 20 or 22 players since I have been here.

He added: “They needed three or four days off to relax their minds as well, recover the bodies.

“They have been through a lot in the last few months and now I think they are ready to have five or six really good training sessions here before we go back to London and focus and prepare as well as we can for the game against Newcastle.”

Some clubs have decided to stay in England during the short hiatus but that was never on the agenda for Arteta who started examining his foreign options not long after taking over.

Explaining why he feels being away from London Colney is beneficial, he continued: “Hours together, to spend together, grab a coffee together, to have conversations, to have unit meetings, individual meetings, group meetings about the things we have to achieve.

“To review what we have done. I have made a big review of what we have done so far in these five or six weeks, the things where we can improve, the areas where we have improved and that we have to maintain, that we cannot lose. Hopefully we can make another step forward as a team now.”

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C.B.

Let’s hope it turns draws into wins.

Artetas Assistant

We really came to the UAE so Mikel and the boys can skinny dip in a large bath of energy herbs and grow the kind of Spiritual Pack mentality ? ? ? that you see (or are blind to) at Klopps gang of misfits.
Let’s hope they get the right herbs, It’s about to be lit for the rest of Mikels Arsenal career ?

George

Maybe they’ll get hold of some of that mythical varium root.

Charlie

How about fans lay off on the criticism for the rest of this season. He inherited a team that was on the worst run without winning since 1977. He didn’t create this mess and it’s difficult to make radical change during the season. Time to get behind the team and the manager. If we’re at this point next season and there’s no improvement then it’s time to complain.

Henkamp

A lot of Arsenal “fans” really need to give it a rest! The abuse I see a lot of them throwing on twitter is simply ridiculous. I am afraid we have the most reactionary fanbase in this league!

Me2

I say the criticism is well deserved – not toward Arteta because, as you say he has inherited this pile of shit.
And it is complete and utter shit.
This squad of players deserve everything they get.
Only Martinelli comes out of this with any credibility.
I hate this squad of players – no stomach, lazy with no sign of professionalism.
Bring on these massive changes – I hope I never have to see the likes of Luizand Mustafi again…

Clock-End Mike

This is just what Charlie was talking about!

Mikel

Hello sir are you Jose Mourinho?

OnTheRightPath

There is no way you are an Arsenal fan

No. 8

you are obviously just trolling this site

Badaab

When dealing with any group of supporters in any capacity there are bound to be differences of opinion. I know you mean well here, Charlie, but the post comes off as a vague sort of platitude, and that sort of tone only creates one of two things: hostility or apathy.
Supporters have every right to voice criticism if they feel like things aren’t moving in the correct direction. How they choose to make that criticism known determines how they should be addressed.

Adam

Is it okay to criticize the executives who seems to have no plan and buy players to a insane overprice from their close agent friends?

db10s

I think it’s fair. Raul and co have been here long enough and as the top dog in football matters in the club, he has to be somewhat accountable.

Naked Cygan

Totally agree with you. Let’s give the boss and the players till next season and then complain if things are not going well. BUT here is the problem my friend. By doing so we have wasted another year. This group of players are just not good enough. I wish they were. I wish every player we have the best. But the reality is they are just not good enough to be a top 6 team. And for the manager, he is a nice guy, great guy, says the right things, and I hope he proves me wrong, and I wish… Read more »

Duno

I’m glad we are not saddled with someone like you in any capacity at Arsenal football club. Go get some clothes Cygan.

Naked Cygan

Well I am glad you are happy with 10th position. Fans were mad at Wenger for finishing 4th. Seems like the new generation of Arsenal fans are happy with failure, which sums up the performance shown by the players on the pitch. When we set the bar low, I guess the table doesn’t lie.

Tony Hall

10th isn’t great but by your logic if it is a failure then what are your thoughts on every team below us. Should they perhaps just give up then ?

Martin

Naked Cygan please put some clothes on and maybe you will then stop being a negative tosser

Naked Cygan

I am a Negative tosser for stating facts?
Take your head out of your ass and watch some games, check the stats, facts, check our league position, and then talk.

GraeB

Sheff U players are not top 6 Leicester players are not top 6, Wolves players are not top 6, Chelsea players are not top 6. Some would even argue against the quality of Scouse team. Yet they’ve all been there this season.

Taking a Manure approach of just buy lots of big players and throw them in only works in Spain, not PL.

I’ve seen enough of Mikel to believe he’s getting a Team together and will back him fully this season.

Clock-End Mike

“Get rid 80% of our squad”? That’s 20 out of 25 players! You’d no longer have a team in that case (let alone a top team), just a collection of footballers without any allegiance to the Arsenal. Le Prof used to say you couldn’t change more than three players in a team without risking destroying any structure and balance you might have. Sorry, I want Arsenal to win, but not at any price. Of course I’m not happy with 10th, nor am I one of your “new generation of Arsenal fans”. I can remember finishing 12th in George Graham’s last… Read more »

Naked Cygan

Mike I hope you are right, and I hope I am wrong. I hope we survive and do well. I hope Arteta wins every game. I hope ozil turns it around and gets 20 assists. But the reality they won’t. Do you think if we finish outside the top four/six regularly we can attract top players.

Also if you remember under George we went to the cup winners cup final twice and won it. He won the fa cup and coca cola cup same year. We had leaders in the team, even with a 10th place team.

Javoroncov

Bring on Liverpool…_I mean Newcastle! Coyg

GoonerNJ

I think what has impressed me most about Arteta thus far is the complete level of preparation he must have been doing prior to getting this opportunity. It’s more than just having a tactical game plan or implementing a style of play. It’s clear that he not only knows where he wants this team to be but also has a comprehensive plan as to get there. I can’t recall a first time head coach/manager of any of my favorite teams in any sport taking the bull by the horns to this level.

Fuzz

how was this seen in his interview a couple of years ago and ignored…

Futsboller

Numpties run the show, unfortunately.

Badaab

It likely wasn’t ignored, but more likely the people making the decisions were self-interested when they hired Emery as he was connected to their friends/agents/etc.

kaius

We probably did Arteta a huge favour by NOT asking him to take over right after Arsene. We were in shambles from top to bottom!

Personally and professionally the pressure of being “Wenger’s successor” would’ve probably been too much for anyone, let alone a first-time coach.

Martin

But we are a far bigger shambles now than we were after Wenger left

Mpls

True, but the level of ridiculous hopes and expectations for immediate gain have been shaken off. I think Emery was the best thing that could have happened for Arteta as far as allowing Arteta to take the club forward leaving the negative aspects of baggage behind.

Emery was just our “Gap Year”. Time to get back to work.

No. 8

not too dissimilar to Rioch before Mr Wenger

Naked Cygan

Don’t be a negative tosser Martin. LMAO

PeteyB

Probably a bit of truth to that (friends and agents pulling strings), but most of us, myself included, had legitimate concerns about Arteta’s ability to translate his excellent theoretical knowledge into practice. Even 2nd time round, with 18 months more under Pep, I still bore some trepidation. All in all I don’t think it is fair to completely slam the decision makers for going for a ‘safe option’ at that point. What we can slam them for is sticking with their ‘safe option’ long after it was clear to all that it had gone to shit… and the idea that… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

What I love about Arteta is what has changed on the pitch and will translate into good results soon. It is not what he says. Arteta seems a genuine person but there are others who believe in sweet talking because of those who get excited by good words like you.

Ashburton Grove

Great point – he has clearly been thoroughly preparing for this moment for a long time. (c.18months, thank you Gazizdis and Emery)
His side hustle whilst up at City.

Artetas Assistant

People who share the Personality (human nature) of Mikel are intrinsically not good at bigging themselves up.

Artetas Assistant

Reply to Fuzz

Lordylore

Let’s be fair. Emery certainly prepared for all his games and interviews.

Dubai Ham

We said the same thing about Emery. Didn’t emery prepare a book on how to improve every player and presented it at his interview? ?

Artetas Assistant

You have to get through to a guy, conquer his respect before he listens to you. That was Unais first fail.
Plus his ideas are more theoretical than the practicality and singlemindedness of Mikel who played from the most important/supervisory position on the team IMO.
Unai was subprepared but with some more self-improvement I think he can be a clever, great coach somewhere in future.

HelderHughes

I love how everyone and everything is important to Mikel.

Dominic

The unit of delivery is “team”

karl

Arteta has done well and I have confidence he is right for the future. Matches turn on small small things and the last month would look very different if the ref had given Jorginho the 2nd yellow he should have had, or our strikers had put their chances away last weekend.

Mesut O’Neill

Arteta has earned 1.14ppg since taking charge.

Ancelotti 2.22ppg since taking charge.

Are the Everton players that much better than the Arsenal players?

Hopefully with this break Arteta can finally get things going with the team.

Lack of Perspective

Good point…… but still arteta for me

The Far Post

I don’t know… were Everton a perennial top-four team, FA cup winners, then “Big Six” and Europa league finalists, then fell to 10th, with fans beginning to worry about relegation?

🙁 Here’s hoping we improve!

Nketibag

As coaches they are the polar opposite. One a multiple CL winner, the other has 10 career games under his belt. I think Mikel’s in-game management has left a lot to be desired, but that’s what we signed up for. Here’s hoping his ceiling is as high as everybody thinks, as he is literally learning on the job.

Futsboller

Let’s check back in about those numbers in early April — Everton face Arsenal, ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool, Norwich, Leicester, and Spurs in their next 7.

Arteta hasn’t delivered results yet, but he will; people can disregard the interviews that players are giving regarding the sea change Arteta has made in attitude and belief, and we all see the structural improvement — the next step is results, and I can’t wait.

Badaab

Everton have spent a phenomenal amount of money in the last two windows.

Artetas Assistant

carrot and onion analogy ?

Anthony

On paper? Probably not.

But then, on paper, we are better than many teams.

But paper doesn’t account for form, injuries, lack of confidence or a team working their way back from poor tactics, implementation and a general lack of harmony.

Everton had a bit of a bounce before Ancelotti was appointed, which, suggests that their troubles were not quite as maligant as ours.

Will we be better than Everton in the long run? Maybe not at the end of this season. But over the coming seasons, more thsn likelt if history is anything to go by.

Mpls

If our strikers had their shooting boots on those numbers wouldn’t look so different.

GraeB

Shooting heads at Burnley?

Artetas Assistant

Shooting hats

mrugunner

will the methods used at city work at arsenal?

Vonnie

I think Mikel is a lot more than just what he learned at city, he’s his own man, and I think his methods are already working at Arsenal.

Oregoon

One could say they also worked at Barca and Bayern Munich if MA is truly Pep’s protege. Right now Arteta has an under achieving squad. He needs to get some of the slumping players back up to meeting expectations and try to find a way get the most out of a pretty average midfield. Hoping that with more time he will find a way to get the squad into overachieving, but this may not happen for without some different players.

Badaab

Considering who owns Arsenal at present, those methods won’t work here as the money stays in Stan’s accounts.

Artetas Assistant

Organizations today are practicing running lean with max productivity. You should look that up and how to include it in your business. Btw Your front line cost 200 Million easily.

Rich

This is a good point, Guardiola inherited the most expensively assembled squad in history

Had months to plan his arrival, spent £170million before the bubble, and finished 3rd and potless

He then spent another £200million, then another €65million in the January, to win a league and cup double.

The idea that any coach could get too much more out of these players is farcical, we’ve got an elite CL squad wage bill, and a Europa league squad.

Artetas Assistant

Mikel Arteta had his formators as La Masia, Barcelona?, Everton (David Moyes), Arsenal (Arsene), Man City (Pep)

He’s bigger than all his teachers. He’s a sum of them all plus his own unique intelligent life lessons and difficult experiences.

Lego Hair

I’m happy with Arteta. But he’s had enough time to identify his top performers, now give them consistent game time in consistent positions until the end of the season. Game time in precise positions with known combinations is essential for an attack to click.

And don’t always play from the back. Vary it, keep the opposition guessing.

The Far Post

Think at Burley we were already varying our approach.

I am a little concerned about Arteta leaving the third substitute really late. Perhaps he has been trying to give the starters as much time as possible to rebuild their confidence? Or perhaps he has had a weak bench? Not sure about either explanation, but I cannot see this continuing.

Futsboller

He does seem to have a “I believe in my players and my gameplan” element about his substitutions, not unlike Wenger, but Arteta is learning on the job — I have no doubt he’d make a triple-substitution at halftime if needed to.

Artetas Assistant

No doubt

Artetas Assistant

It’s hard and maybe irresponsible to do literally anything at Burnley

-I think Sakas injury could have been premeditated. I know Anatomy and that ligament holding the patella is basic knowedge. Saka was so important. Evil Tactical foul I wouldn’t put beyond that lot ?
-We gotta get Europa. Can’t sub a player on and risk his ankle being torn off by that dangerous team. So the guys who play play and you hope they come through unscathed is a fair decision IMO. I personally wanted to put Nketiah in Lacas place. Bring on ya downvotes birches! ?

Rich

If this is the definition of a promising start?

Then we’re in bigger trouble than I already thought.

We’ve gone from flighting it out for titles, onto 4th is like winning trophy, onto 8/21 points is a promising start.

Santori

Well there are positives on the pitch.

BUT

1) Concrete results are key

2) We are unable to sustain through 45-50 minutes

3) Still struggling to fashion enough chances and convert them.

So a lot of work to be done.

I think we are all prepared to give Arteta till end of season. But he needs to really start turning things around.

para

Looks like Wenger will join Ligue 1 as absolute boss.
Wonder if Arsenal can benefit from players going both ways?

Santori

Wenger will have nothing to do with decisions made by individual clubs so frankly no.

Santori

Its good he gets some time to reset and drill the players better, particularly with the two new recruits.

Hope he finds the right balance and we move up the table after the break.

Confidence and good will can also dissipate very quickly. He’s got their attention. If we don’t get concrete results, they can fall back to bad habits again.

Guendouzi_Balon_D'Or

I want to give Lacazette some love. The guy is getting absolutely crushed over the past couple of weeks. He was our PLAYER OF THE SEASON last year. He’s not a crap footballer, he’s just going through a tough time. Let’s get behind the guy. He loves the club, and loves the fans + he absolutely feeds on the atmosphere (which is probably why he scores a ton of goals at home). LETS GET BEHIND OUR #9!

Zedthegoon

I can’t help think of the old American football coach that would take his players to far away training camps and deprive them of water, any connection with family/friends and cut (at least) one player a day from the squad and send them home walking. This is what these players need. A good kick up the arse…

arseblog

You’re right.

In fact, we should kill a couple of them to send the rest a message that anything less than complete excellence will not be tolerated.

Crash Fistfight

I advocate a Battle Royale style fight to the death amongst the squad.

Artetas Assistant

You’re like an upgrade on Burnleys coach

Dubai Ham

I can tell you for sure Dubai does not turn you into Barcelona. But team spirit needs to be built and friends play better football than strangers.
Sunshine, relaxing atmosphere away from the grey skies of London.

GraeB

Tuesday to Friday to forget sun and get into Ciara weather – how many gloves for Saturday?

Kabir

I just want to go on a date with arteta and watch him speak. Just .

bathgooner

It seems like a great opportunity for MA8 to have a ‘mini pre-season’ with his new charges as he’s had precious little time on the training field with the match schedule he’s had to deal with since his first game on 26 December. I’ve been very impressed with the progress we’ve made in 6 weeks. I look forward to further progress particularly in the creation and conversion of chances into goals thereby turning draws into wins.