Thursday, March 30, 2023

Arteta: We have to implement a culture of leadership

Arsenal will be without Granit Xhaka for the trip to Brighton tomorrow, after the Swiss international picked up an ankle injury in the opening minutes of the 3-0 defeat to Man City on Wednesday night.

As the most senior central midfielder at the club, his presence will be missed. The Gunners will also be without David Luiz, suspended for two games after his red card, although it’s harder to make a case for missing him based on his last performance.

Nevertheless, they are two of the most experienced players at the club, and in a week in which Mikel Arteta has spoken more than once about the need to find the right balance between older players and young talent, there’s a worry there might be a lack of leadership on the pitch.

It was something the Arsenal boss was asked about at his Zoom conference last night, and he sounded like a man who wants to encourage leadership from all areas of the pitch.

“Some leaders appear when others go and that’s their responsibility,” he said.

“We know how the dressing room has to be managed. What type of people you need. You need a balance.

“Obviously you need some leadership, you talk about two players that are naturally like that. But there are other ways to be a leader.

“Not just one game, we have other people that have to step up, even if those two aren’t here.

“It’s one of the things in our club culture that has to be implemented and they have to understand how important that is as well.”

As we move towards a progressively younger squad, it will be interesting to see which players step in that regard. Not everyone can be a Tony Adams, they are very rare, but you can lead with performances too.

Arteta will be watching closely, we’re sure.

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The problem with the match against City was the lack of, if any, sting or bite. We actually did f**k all. We need leadership on the pitch, it’s right; only been one match, also right. This season is a lost cause, again also right if we think this way. But Arteta needs to take a long hard look at his players. I know he’s closest to them so my opinion is void pretty much, but we have a lot of underachievers in our squad that need to be shown the exit. Play your best players in the right positions, and… Read more »


Precisely. Play your strongest possible players, especially in big cup ties or league meetings with the top sides – it ain’t rocket science. The other night against Manchester City was not a time to experiment and piss about. How on earth Ozil was omitted for ‘tactical’ reasons just doesn’t wash. (I’ve personally got a hunch that there’s something going on with the off the field court case regarding those death threats and the club are keeping it tight lipped). Likewise with Pepe and Laca – we needed all our big guns starting against City. Hopefully, whoever is picked to play… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Not just about playing out of position. Auba for instance looked like someone who had played too much of FIFA the previous night. He was as ineffective as I am at work after a night of video games.


He wasn’t getting any service. Nothing through the channels. Which he might have had if Ozil had been on the pitch…..


I think Arteta needs to have more faith in Guendouzi he’s a natural leader he needs to help him a lot with his positioning other than that I think he has the qualities and character to be a leader in this team as well as Martinelli also has this character for future captains they should be groomed for leadership by players like Auba, Luiz, Laca and Co.


Please stop banging on about Ozil, he has been less than average since the ink dried on contract. Its easier to quantify what Ozil does when he plays rather than when he doesn’t again not much. Definitely Ozil is a confidence player and his mind set hasn’t been right since international retirement row and the other issues the scooter boys the Chinese Muslim row, Wenger no longer there to massage his ego Emery etc. All distractions that have negatively affected his performances. Happy to ride out contract and not take a pay cut yet only able for home games and… Read more »


So I can’t ‘bang on’ about Ozil – but you can? Piss off.


So sensitive to criticism, who does that remind me of?


Your fellow Tottenham fans, you fucking troll?


Oh boy you are so angry did a priest touch you in your special place when you were younger?


Fuck off you pathetic cunt. Fucking weirdo.


Blogs – get a grip and ban this troll.


I think you need to get a grip I haven’t used the language you have. You have been very rude and abusive.

Yankee Gooner

You suggested that he was molested as a kid; I’m not sure that’s less offensive than “fucking troll,” fwiw


I think being called a Sp**s fan is worse.

Papa Large, big shot in North London

We need to have educated the younger players to be intelligent on the pitch. Experience is great but how often have our younger players been not so young and still making positional and tactical errors. It was as Luiz who stuffed up on the weekend, Xhaka is a strong character but no footballing genius. Then who?


Özil. Oh, sorry…

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Alex, you must be the right hand man of your boss at work. Unwavering support all the time is part of your DNA.


Exactly, mate. But careful. You’ll upset Snagger and his little Chapter of Anti-Ozil Fairy Fascists. The mere mention of the ‘O’ word and they’re triggered.


Correction – “not anyone can be a Tony Adams”


Agreed. Tony was a colossus – an absolute one-off. That said, George Graham’s influence cannot be left out here. George didn’t stand for any shit from anyone – the bigger they were, the harder they fell. Tony Woodcock and Paul Mariner, both England regulars, were the first to be shown the door, before they had even played a competitive game for George. During his time at Arsenal, George went through them all like an express train – Graham Rix, Charlie Nicholas, Steve Williams, Viv Anderson, Kenny Sansom, Brian Marwood – all big players and they were all sent packing, because… Read more »


Indeed. I have often wondered, in my many idle moments over the last few months, whether George was actually a greater manager than Arsene. I base this on his 2 titles in 8 years v 3 in 20, success in Europe, and his ability to coach a team to defend. Obviously he blotted his copy book a little with the bungs, and Arsene produced the best pure attacking football I have ever seen in 2004, but for me it’s not a done deal that Arsene was the greatest.


Leadership has been missing from our club since Adams and Viera left the club.

Gallas, Fabregas, Van Persie they all left our club whilst bein Captain..

I want a captain that bleeds for this club, like back in the old days. Thats probably a very rare find in todays football were money talks and loyalty is gone.


A majority of players, worldwide, are purely out for themselves nowadays. This is the culture of The Agent. You just don’t get ‘teams’ any more like the 90’s and before , just collections of gifted individuals (some not so gifted, especially our defence). It’s a sad reflection on the game and our society as a whole. Players play for themselves – not each other.


I agree, where has all the rock solid defenders gone?

you don’t see reactions like Keown against Van Nistelrooy or Viera vs Keane anymore..
That’s the passion I want from all of our players.


Well, the players you mention were all players twenty to thirty years ago. A different generation….different cultures, different attitudes. As I said, unfortunately players play for themselves nowadays. Not each other. Look at Ian Wright. Look at how much playing for Arsenal meant to him. Now look at Granite Xhaka. He doesn’t give a shit about anyone, except Granite Xhaka. Different generation, different cultures, different attitudes.


The effect of academy football. Players get put in them far too young and their personalities dont develop. All good passing and nice control but individuality is not encouraged.


It shouldn’t be a problem to find someone with that sort of personality in the squad, but I think because Arsene played down the need for a captain for so long (11 leaders etc) and Emery clearly didnt think it important enough to reach a decision on, the players at Arsenal are reluctant to show that passion.


Of the current bunch Sokratis for me looks like he has closest the sort of personality required to be captain.

Teejay Malik

I agree, but sometimes what we look for might just be right under our noses. We have a player that seems to have some of those qualities. He’s got a thick skin, doesn’t hide in games (even when he makes mistakes). If his high-profile errors can be cut out, Mustafi looks like a more than decent center back and a good candidate for captaincy. I know his choice might not be a popular one cos of errors on the pitch, but remember he was such a good defender at Valencia before Arsenal, compare him to Paulista too, who we thought… Read more »


The problem this club has is its lack of direction. Ran by absent owners, managed a network of unscrupulous agents and filled with overpaid, underperforming players. We have some good young players, the best of which may look for a club with more realistic ambitions. Wenger was a leader, but he eventually became blinded and blinkered to changing football styles that came in around 7, 8 years ago by the likes of Guardiola, Allegri, Ancelotti, Conte, Pochettino, Klopp. He didnt want to change his principles and we stuttered and suffered because of it. Leaders are very rare, but they are… Read more »


Sure the new coaches out-thought Arsene, but the inflows of cash into football that inflated wages and transfers into the stratosphere also hit us badly.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

I know he had his injury troubles but Aaron Ramsey was a great leader when he was fit and playing.
It’s an awful reflection on the managment of the club that he left on a free, while we’re left stuck with Ozil as our best played player who wouldn’t lead a table quiz never mind a permier league football team.

Papa Large, big shot in North London

If anything a guy who has had his leg snapped by a cretinous prick playing for our club, has been treated with respect and compassion through his injuries, is going to (hopefully) care about the club more than most. Academy to pinacle of a spectacular career is going to be exceedingly rare in this era, Ramsey was a solid player and it is criminal a character like him was allowed to leave without a decent fee attached to his transfer. Maybe I am exceedingly naive about the lucrative sign on fees but surely there is something wrong with the club… Read more »


Ramsey, a leader? Ha never. RVP, same thing. They were good players – albeit injured and there ineffective for the vast majority of their time at Arsenal. So that’s an odd thing to write.   There exists a TON of love for Ramsey for his FA cup heroics alone. that does not make him a “leader”.   As to leadership, its not a one person thing. And the pointless Ozil dig falls flat.   I give your comment a 2 out of 10. Utterly crap, but since you are an Arsenal supporter, thats worth at least 1. And another b/c… Read more »


Always confused by Homer’s posts. Has spent years banging on & hurling abuse at other Gooners for not supporting the Manager & players….and yet has no problem doing it himself. Hypocrit Homer has a nice ring to it.

Pete Strong

Completely right. To say Ramsey was a leader is absurd. He won some FA Cups, two against relegation trash. He was a selfish player, always running out of position to claim the glory goal. He didn’t dictate play, he tracked back when he felt like it, he had no leadership qualities – just bang average, but would have done better had he been coached properly.

Leslie Akrigg

In a Welsh shirt but not with a cannon on his chest unless he was due a move!!

Naked Cygan

If there was a league table with the team with the least leaders, most injury prone, worst deals in the transfer market, we would have the title in the bag.


Indeed. Although I’d like to think the Sanchez Mkhitaryan swap is a tie between us and Man Utd.


We’re lucky to have Bellerin at the club. Came through from Hale End, played for Wenger and with Arteta and sees North London as home. Represents our values internally and knows how to project them into the culture. He’s on his way back to form and stepped up in a big way during COVID. If/when Auba leaves, he’s the only real choice to be captain.


Yeah, good call. He’s certainly the best of a poor defensive bunch as well.


Lucky? Wow.

Didn’t know he had won the balon d’or twice already.

Tasmanian Jesus

Give Holding a run alongside Mustafi. For the future, I could see him and Saliba making a decent pair


NO shit…. just appoint a captain, stop this ridiculous five captain thing.   Someone should be accountable.   I would have thought Sokratis a good candidate but looks like he is being experimented at Rback to no purpose and will be leaving in the summer.   Next to him I don’t see Aubameyang as leadership material and he will likely leave as well.   Maybe Bellerin can step up since he is from youth system and fairly senior now, or Leno.   Someone at the back is normally useful as they can see play ahead of them and regroup the… Read more »


The club would be better if they implemented a culture of winning rather than capitulation. It’s in at the point where it’s become a sick joke.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x