Arteta: We can’t make progress without squad improvement

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Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal must improve their squad before next season but insists recruiting new faces is only one part of the jigsaw.

Against the backdrop of a very uncertain financial situation, it’s unlikely the Gunners will be spending big money when the transfer window opens so the boss says it falls on him to improve the players already at his disposal.

Without knowing whether we’ll be in Europe or not next season, it seems the club is having a very difficult time trying to figure out where to commit money in contract negotiations.

In the short-term, five players will be free to leave in 11 days time and if David Luiz’s performance at the Etihad on Wednesday is anything to go by, the uncertainty over their futures is already making life difficult on the pitch.

To complicate matters, we’re also trying to tie down players like Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who are on the cusp of entering their final year. While they can afford to wait, we know that other suitors will be lining up if our season peters out.

Is keeping players more important than recruiting new ones? That was the question put to Arteta ahead of Saturday’s game with Brighton.

“It depends how we look at it,” he said. “We need a plan to improve our squad to fulfil the ambitions that we have.

“We need the right players to support the talented young players we have who are still in a very early stage of their development. We have to know that. But we don’t have time.

“The demands of this football club are huge. We cannot stand still. We have to change things, we have to improve them.

“The most important thing is not about keeping, it’s about improving the players that we have right now, convince them about what we’re trying to do and get them performing and winning football matches.

“What happens in the summer will happen and will have a big impact but today or what we do in the next five weeks [will affect] what we have to do in the summer.”

For his part Arteta maintains that he’s able to focus on match preparation rather than the noise created in the media about contract talks and transfer deals. He’s not sure whether the same can be said of his players.

“Up to now, it didn’t [distract me],” he said. “I don’t know how the squad are feeling about this.

“From my side, I try to be very honest with the players, what my thoughts are for them, to try to understand what they want for their futures as well, so we’re in a better position to make decisions.

“I cannot stop the speculation, it’s going to happen, it’s part of your job. Ours is to protect them as much as possible and give them the right environment to be able to produce good performances for us.”

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goongot

I have mad respect for wenger now. No idea how he managed to keep us up with 2007-11 squad.

Andy

The Man City factor, and the massive influx of cash from TV, leading to the resurgence of Liverpool and, to a degree, Spuds, has meant our conservatism has been particularly damaging on the field.

Qwaliteee

Wenger had to deal with Abramovich’s Russian blood-money from 2005 onwards, as well.

Qwaliteee

As I kept on telling all the ‘Wenger Out’ lame brains – it was only his love for Arsenal that kept the man here. On many occasions he could have had his pick of any club in the world – a majority of them with a far bigger transfer budget than the relative pittance our useless fucking board were giving him. Let’s hope Arteta has better luck with the moustachioed toupee-wearing Yankee cunt.

atom

I think you need to separate out the 07-11 period when Wenger genuinely stayed when having many other options only b/c of his love for the club vs. the last few years where it was obvious he had slipped and was unwilling to move on. The last few years left us with a lot of the damage we are still feeling the fallout from today.

Qwaliteee

You should work in barbers. You can split hairs then to your heart’s content.

Atom

It’s not splitting hairs. He did a tremendous amount of damage to the club his last few years via contract mismanagement, poor squad construction and his unwillingness to allow the club to prepare for his departure

db10s

I understand these points.
 
With hindsight now we can see the same flaws appearing. Poor player acquisition, contracts still unresolved etc.
 
How this is continuing could be contributed from the damages left by the previous regime but there are instances where I do question certain decisions made recently.
 
Did we just lift up the curtains when Wenger left? Or is it entirely his decisions we are suffering from?

Homer

As a Yank meself, I endorse your comment whole-heartedly.
 

Dark Eagle

Agreed. The more i think about the more iam tempted to think that bringing him back just to help us get into europe would be a great idea!!!Because honestly with the cashless situation we are in, it may be a big ask to expect arteta to do it..

Bee

Leicester did a better job in recruiting during this period. Clubs like lille, RB lipzig, Leicester, dortmund, Monaco, Porto, benfica , sevilla, ajax, are doing better in terms of recruitment. Things need to change. We’ve missed out on Paul Mitchell of Leipzig, he has moved to Monaco. Mike emenalo did a good job at Chelsea brining in the likes of Lukaku, de bruyne, Sala etc. We can bring in someone like that to help Edu and Raul do the needful.

Mpls

Keep in mind though Chelsea also had bales full of money to buy up every young talent they could and just loan them out whenever they liked.

loose_cannon

Wenger had much better attacking options during that period tbf. Cesc, RVP, Adebayor, Hleb, Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin plus young prospects like Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey even Ox. Could be put down to his eye for talent of course, and the league was probably less competitive then.

Mpls

Remember when we had players that could dribble the fucking ball? As frustrating as the results were in those days I loved the beauty of watching some of those players on the ball.
 
Also, I miss Tomas. His foot was always on the pedal.

Chrispy

Unfortunately we spent this summers transfer funds last year as a punt to get into the CL this year and our positive balance sheet has been effectively wiped out due to the COVID19 event , so unless our owner breaks a habit of a lifetime and actually gives us funds for signings, this is where we’ll stay.

Vaibhav

Highly unlikely considering stock markets have plunged across the world. I doubt he will put in even a single penny to club’s cause!!

Mpls

On the upside, Walmart and similar stocks have been much more stable than the rest of the market. I’m sure he’ll be ok.

db10s

I am not optimistic but if we were in his shoes, there is some sense in pumping some money to turn his cash cow around.
 
Simple logic, if your business were one of the first to recover in a particular industry, the advantage that poses in the long term is priceless.

Rocky07

I’m clinging to the hope that when Arteta speaks about young talent and improving from within he is talking about Saka. Saka is in such a great place for his development, and a good negotiating position for a big contract with Arsenal.
Luiz I want out. Aubameyang I‘m resigned to him leaving, I think the club are worried about offering an Ozil size deal.
Come on Arsenal announce a new contract for Saka, to cheer us all up.

Mpls

For me Saka is an absolute priority.

Chuffy

There is only a handful of players worth keeping, but I think the decision is mostly out of Arteta’s hands. The agent led Raul and Edu and their coterie of parasitic agents are calling the shots. Rumours that Luiz is demanding a 2 year deal is simply frightening. Can we negotiate the transfers of Mkhitaryan? Sokratis?, Mustafi? Even Torreira? Only Torreira has any value there. Will Auba leave? That’s looking likely? Should we sell Lacazette now while he’s got some value? He wont have in a year or 2. Arsenal are in a mess again and Arteta’s hands are tied,… Read more »

PapaXhakaLacaSaka

Arteta my man !
Put the pressure on the guys upstairs !
You can only work with the squad you’re given…

LEFT08

Nothing will change unless we unite to get Kroenke out. Don’t attend matches, don’t buy merchandise and get the message out that we won’t stop until he’s gone.

Morgan Fischer

We do squad refreshing, but Arteta has got to look at his setup as well.

Playing Auba out wide is a double negative. He can’t score goals from out there and his wing play consists of trying to run past defenders. Auba has got to play through the middle.

I’d prefer a 4-4-2 with Laca just behind Auba. Pepe and Saka/Martinelli/Nelson on the outside. Fill in the CMs.

The way we’re set up now, we’re relying a crap defense to not concede, while we are completely toothless up front.

Crynkal Dwarfmason

Everyone thinks they are a Class A tactician. Auba is fine on the wings. Not ideal, but fine. Out tactical set up is not the major issue, lack of talent is.

Morgan Fischer

He’s a goal machine and one of the best strikers in the world. He’s fine on the outside? It’s a complete waste.

auba should be lw
db10s

Not entirely fair considering we haven’t seen an alternative set up.
 
Tierney and Saka on the left. Auba in the middle with pepe/reiss on the right.
 
Not a Class A tactician but saka is comparable to what Auba can do on the wings but NO one is comparable to what Auba can do in the middle.

Morgan Fischer

Exactly. Playing Auba outside is the equivalent of playing Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema, etc. on the outside.

mrugunner

problem.. who is in the middle???

loose_cannon

I was actually thinking this the other day, drop Lacazette “into the hole” behind Aubameyang and pick the best from the rest. Can’t be worse than what we’re offering up now.

Pooner

Our only hope is that Edu unearths 10 more Martinellis…

Tito Long

Feel bad for Mikel. This club is a mess

Badaab

the club are sinking under the weight of the kse. arteta can say some encouraging things, but the decisions made above him are whats going to ensure we are mediocre for years to come.

Wayne Hartley

I cannot believe we even discuss contracts during the season
This club is so unprofessional now at every level
Emery was given money and didn’t use it wisely
There is plenty of talent out there through the divisions Arteta wants to bring youth thru which is right but the likes of xhaka,Luis,are not good enough.
If you make a mistake you get dropped but these 2 CLOWNS mistake after mistake and still get picked be more ruthless Arteta and fuck off anyone who doesn’t want to play for the club are you listening OZIL

SarcasmB0t

“Emery was given money” – welcome, you must be new here.

Emery was not “given money” he was not really involved in player acquisitions.

He’d asked for Zaha and Raul bought Pepe.

Gunner96

Why has Gabi Martinelli barely got a kick at the ball since saving Arteta’s skin against Chelsea? Starting a poverty of a finisher in Nketiah ahead of him while shifting Auba wide is ridiculous.

Emma

I don’t know why he doesn’t want players who are giving us results, where is Gabi, he should let some players go ie, Lacazeti and should stop getting free, and loan players, the clan needs quality not such players,

mrugunner

we need Partey!

mrugunner

for a starter..