Arteta: I knew the size of the challenge

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With his side losing two games on the bouncer, players keeling over left, right and centre and contract issues to sort against the backdrop of a financial meltdown, you’d forgive Mikel Arteta for breaking down in tears right now.

Somehow, he’s holding things together and he maintains that he still believes in the project he’s outlined to the club.

While it’s pretty obvious some of the changes he wants to implement are going to take some time to bear fruit he also recognises the importance of getting Arsenal winning again in the short term. Failure to do so will result in us missing out on European football and that could exacerbate our problems further.

Asked if he now has a sense of the size of the job he’s facing, the boss put on a stoic face.

“I knew that the challenge was going to be big, but to be fair a lot of things have happened since I joined,” he told press on Tuesday.

“This is what we have, a lot of complications in the last few weeks internally in terms of the injuries as well, but we have to deal with this.

“I think the most difficult thing to buy in football is time. I strongly believe in what we are trying to do, medium-term I know that it is going to work, but right now we need results and we need to perform to win football matches. That is what we have to be focused on.”

He added: “I knew since I joined what I was jumping into. The past few seasons, what happened, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. So I could’ve sat back and waited to see if the opportunity was still there in the summer, or I could use this time as well to start the process that I want and to start to see where the changes that have to be made are.

“A lot of things have already changed at the club and are in evolution to change, even results and energy was changing just before the coronavirus. I cannot control everything.

“Now I don’t have them in my hands as much as I would like during the day, because they are in and out, in and out and that is obviously not ideal for what we need as a team and as a club. But again, it’s not an excuse.

“We are here to win football games and that’s my responsibility. I take it fully. But we are assessing a lot of things to make a very clear picture of what is going to take us to the next level, because right now is not enough.”

As things stand, Arsenal are tenth in the table, 11 points off the top four. While the gap to fifth is only six points, we’re in desperate need of a winning run or we risk our worst league finish since 1995.

“We will see the reaction now,” responded Arteta when asked if his players can bounce back.

“When you are winning two or three games in a row, it’s easy, when you lose one it becomes a little bit more difficult.

“When you lose two in a row, two very different games that are completely different to asses, I want to see that reaction and how much they want it and how they’re going to react as a team as well as how they’re going to react as individuals and go for it.”

Our recent record at Southampton leaves much to be desired and off the back of a 3-0 win against Norwich at the weekend, Ralf Hassenhutl’s side will be full of confidence. Arteta is expecting a tough match.

“They are a very German side,” said Arteta of Thursday’s opponents. “A manager who has the team into pressing mode, they are really aggressive, really good on the counter-press, really good on the transition, they know what they’re doing and they all seem very committed to him. A very dangerous team.”

He went on to add: “I know it’s a really difficult ground to go to there. I explained what the qualities of Southampton are and I agree with you, they are a really dangerous team.

“They have no fear, they go for it and they really believe in what they do and they compete really, really well. We have to be ready and I’m sure on Thursday we will be ready.”

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Giroulski

The City and Brighton games, whilst being different, are indeed very different to an ass.

Managanese

Okay Mikel. You know you’re sleek with words like a Playboy. Time to start filling those big boots now because you’re acting like you don’t know how ‘shitty’ this team is. Questionable deal for David Luiz. Bin him. This extra year will come with 5 extra errors and they are all on you! And we’re giving a 30 year old squad-player, crooked right back a 4 year deal? Really? Ohh, and Mari.. jury is still out on him. But he’s slow and looks easy to outrun. Like I said, expect some more washed up bosman deals. It’s going to be… Read more »

DPK

Soares is 28 & it’s a 3 year deal. If you don’t like the signing, fine. But facts matter.

DPK

Ok, apparently 4 years per Arseblog’s latest post…

Futsboller

Isn’t the entire article about how Arteta knows the shit-bin he’s in, but that he’s up for the job of crawling out Shawshank style?   I agree with you that the deals for mediocre players (agent-driven or not) are now the established way of doing business at Arsenal, and that has to change if we are going to get better. But throwing shade on the coach for being articulate and (as) honest (as a coach can be in the world of professional sports when his team is shit and the brass above him are flushing that shit down) is silly.… Read more »

Managanese

Does telling my boss how shitty I am at my job make me any more of a better employee?

I’m just saying, it’s nice that he knows things are in a mess. But he was brought to fix it not highlight it.

Futsboller

Give the man some time.

IamaGoober

But that’s ‘the big reveal’ to this absolute shit show I’m afraid.   He wont be able to fix it .   Well, not without huge monumental change.   Unfortunately though — we all know what that change is and what it entails. But we have to face facts. That change is never ever coming under the current ownership. Because if it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. Which it hasn’t.   So here we are.   A seriously shit, underfunded football team, with owners who don’t care, and an Exec team who are only interested… Read more »

John C

We haven’t just gone from a Europa League side to a team that can’t take 3 points from winning positions against relegation candidates it’s been happening for 10 years!! But instead of recognising the direction of travel at the beginning we let it become ingrained in the culture of the club!! It’s always been a 5 year fix and the road was always going to be bumpy, what is required is the nerve to see the plan through even when it doesn’t look like it’s working. What we can’t do is have a never ending carrousel of new plans, that… Read more »

IamaGoober

The plan should be to fuck off basically the entire first team playing squad bar a handful of players, Leno, Torriera, Saka, Martinelli and maybe one or two others. No stragglers on, just get rid of them. If certain players have to be paid off to get them out the door. Then fine, whatever. Just pay them off and put it down as an expensive lesson to be learned.   Arteta then needs to sit down with Francis Cagigao and basically find nailed on quality replacements that he wants which have proven calibre. No if’s. No buts. No half chances,… Read more »

Bendtnerschristmastree

Raul has to go, what’s with these bullshit loan deals and new contracts for Luiz and Soares? Money grabbing agents who offload washed up players on us. We’re relentlessely trying to be a mid table club.

Futsboller

But who has the authority to get rid of him?

Voldemort

This lot find it hard to motivate themselves in front 60k fans and full wages..empty stadiums and pay cuts..i just dont have and faith.
I feel for Arteta. The club will not back him financially, we are a club in downward spiral and without the ambition from the owners to improve things.
We need money spent on players, its not the only answer i know that but we are so far behind now, big money is probably the only way to stop this slide to obscurity.

Santori

He’s brave I give him that.   BC he will have to go up against Sanlehi.   We will shed players in summer and likely the better ones.   We will compromise and likely take bigger risk in market.   So chances of getting into CL will be even further reduced. Unless he can motivate the right mix with poorer assets (and we see Leicester doint it), the risk is there with us cutting corners (Keeping Luiz , prob not going into market too hard considering we also have to pay 20m this window for Pepe and Saliba)   Much… Read more »

MUSSA ALI

I think arsenal story is the same old arsenal.

Santori

I very much doubt 5th is achievable.   The best we can hope for at the moment is to try and finish over Spurs (Itself a big ask) in 6th or 7th.   Not too long ago many were complaining about 4th.   Currently even with ‘improvements’ by Arteta, we are still where we are. Improvements have not translated to points.   We have very quickly started to get left behind. And it is a vicious cycle. The longer we are out of CL (bar spending) we will find ourselves further deprived of top players and trying to claw our… Read more »

Ben

Get things done. stop talking. You talk too much with nothing to show in these few weeks

COYG1001

Sell the sellable, and build around youth, plus a midfield acquisition or 2.

Homer

Okay, sure. But building around youth means losing a fair number of matches and dropped points all over the place. AW said something along these lines.   I very much doubt today’s supporters have that sort of patience. We’ll see, I reckon.   Its quite possible Arsenal don’t win another match this term. Martinelli out. Auba out of sorts. Laca being shifted all over and out of form. No midfield. An abysmal defense. And our No. 1 out.   And make no mistake: Arteta has done little to improve the defense. Leno’s heroics have keep Arsenal’s head above water. Emi… Read more »

Torterrier

The way Arteta described Southampton in that interview is exactly the way I wish we could talk about Arsenal. We can dream, but it seems a long way away at the moment.

attuhs

I really like Arteta and think it is too soon to judge him. However, i have the feeling that he says the things i want to hear, but i cannot say that i see the things i want to see from the team. Maybe less talking at this point till the team gets its shit together?

karl

Recent Arsenal is to reach rock bottom and put in one good performance. Then more complacency will set in.
 
Unless Arteta arrests this pattern, things will not looks good. The new contracts in defence will not help the cause.

John C

The question that needs to be asked is what did people expect after Wenger left?   The mess he left regarding contracts, an unbalanced squad, poor club culture, fan apathy etc etc was going to take YEARS to fix!!   It takes literally years to shed poor contracts and whilst you’re carrying these contracts, negotiating new deals become almost impossible. How can you possibly blame Raul, Edu or Vinai for losing Ramsey last season or not renewing Aubameyang or Saka when the previous management has handcuffed them by giving Ozil £350k a week and Mhki £200k? There job is impossible… Read more »

Futsboller

Of course, this is all Wenger’s fault. John Terry in the house!

John C

Thank you for your contribution

Homer

The idea that two players are the reason Arsenal are performing so poorly is daft. Daffy Duck stuff, really.
 
Almost nothing in your post makes sense. Though, the whinge merchants over at AFTV are probably giggling.
 
To blame AW for any of this is a real headscratcher. Maybe go for a walk, you’ll feel better.
 
Futsboller, you are on fire today. Well said again.
 

John C

I didn’t say 2 players were the reason we’re playing badly and you know that.

I’ll give you another go to practice your reading and comprehension skills, here’s a clue read the second sentence and then answer the first

Sachin

Here’s a clue. Look at the table for the past 10 years. Think what AW put up with (including the likes of you) to keep the team competitive and land some silverware that clearly hasn’t been enough. Then, look at where we are without him.   It is sickening to see deluded, entitled people who have no idea where Arsenal now belongs in the EPL to keep taking pot shots at legends. It is okay to be a middling team while new energies align. You don’t win in your life all the time either.   Stop getting frustrated and bringing… Read more »

John C

Here’s a clue, look at the level of investment in the teams around us during that time and that many, many of us warned that this is where we were heading.   This is the result of 15 years of bad management!! 15 years of buying 2nd best. 15 years of aiming for 4th and not 1st. 15 years of buying the Gervinho’s of this world for £15m instead of the Hazard’s for £30m because that was all that was enough for champions league qualification. This lack of ambition is now ingrained into the culture of the club!!   I’m… Read more »

ADiddleDog

I want our 4th place trophy back!

John C

Aiming for 4th for 15 years is whats got us here

swing

BS