Arteta: Arsenal must risk investment to close gap on rivals

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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have to take a risk in the transfer market or they face being left behind by other clubs with Champions League ambitions.

Having spent big money last summer trying to assemble a squad capable of finishing in the top four, things haven’t really gone to plan for the Gunners in the last 12 months. And they might be about to get worse.

While playing Europa League football has been damaging for the club’s brand and finances in the last three years, the prospect of having no European football at a time when football is coming to terms with the Covid-19 situation is enough to cause the club’s bigwigs a few sleepless nights.

In the eyes of Arteta, who assumed control in December but has struggled to arrest the decline despite a slight upturn in performances, the club has to be bold again.

Facing the media ahead of Wednesday’s clash with champions Liverpool, the Spaniard was asked if it’s increasingly difficult to secure a place in the Champions League the longer you’re out of it.

“It’s harder and harder because that’s obviously something that has to fit each other,” he said.

“You are not in the Champions League and because you are not in the Champions League, you say, ‘Okay, I don’t invest because I don’t have the financial ability to do it’. But the other clubs invest and then the gap becomes bigger.

“If I do want to invest and [take the] risk and then I don’t reach it, what happens? That’s the mistake.

“You have to make a decision, whether I want to aim to make that gap closer and go for it or I stay where I am.

“You can see many good examples of teams that have done it [by taking a risk] and they have come back to there [the Champions League], that way.”

Whether Arsenal chooses to invest or not is a decision that will be made higher up the chain of command. With that in mind, Arteta says his sole focus at the moment is doing his best with what he’s got before trying to formulate a new plan based on whatever route the club takes.

“What I need to do is to do my work as good as possible, improve this team and the players individually as much as possible and get the maximum out of them,” he said.

“Then at the end of the season, we need to look at the direction we want to take, agree on the ambition of the football club, realise that where we are the demands are still going to be huge – it doesn’t matter what we do, that’s never going to change because it’s linked to our history and our success – and then move from there and put a plan together where we can achieve that as quick as possible.”

If Arsenal fail to finish in the Premier League’s top seven, next season will be the first since 1995/96 without European football. Despite that, the boss says he’ll always consider Arsenal to be a Champions League club while he’s at the helm and insists there is going to be no problem attracting top players.

On what makes the club appealing, he said: “Because it has an incredible history, an incredible structure in a beautiful city and a style of play that attracts players. I’m telling you now, I’m close to the market and when I speak to people, a lot of players want to play football for Arsenal still.”

Whether we can afford them or not is the million-dollar question.

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Hantal

I worry the structured spends of last summer are going to limit us this summer even without the effects of covid and lack of European income

VAR will solve the problem

i was gutted for a day after that result. But after 2 games into Project Restart i was ready to write off our year regardless. Then this team bounced back and played with such confidence that games against Leicester and Spu*s r seen as 5 points dropped not 5 points lost. So there is hope for the future. We must invest and give him the players he wants. There are few silver lining to this defeat. imagine if we had beaten Spu*ds on Sunday? Mourinho would be one step closer to the sack. This probably buys him more time into… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

So Mourinho is actually a Gunner ?????

VAR will solve the problem

No he is just a c**t!

Artetas Assistant

You have to agree that sending a cultish gunner to manage sp*rs isn’t the worst war strategy ever conceived ?

Santori

We will be compromised by another season out of CL but also out of Europa. Unless we pay over, it will be more difficult to get the better names to come as we carry more risk for them. Also a problem, commitments to Pepe and Saliba will weigh another 20m into the transfer per window. We will have to sell. Aubameyang is 31yrs and likely will want to make his final big transfer move. We should sell him. Also Guendouzi if he cannot be convinced to come back on side (or if not should we think he still has benefit… Read more »

LEFT08

Kroenke does NOT invest. The sooner we all realise that, the better. He will use the club and allow it to rot for years to come.

Santori

We have spent money.

72m on Pepe and 27m on a non existent Saliba this season not exactly chum change and even if in installments it weighs on our future windows.

The question is not if he will spend but what are we spending on.

Mslintat brought in Mhkitaryan from Raiolla whom we did not need.

Sanlehi has also gone in tangent rather than find true capability for our tactical shortfalls.

Rather we do not have people in the driver’s seat that fully understand and who can make appropriate judgement calls with more frugal tools in hand.

Anonymarse

He might with the way we are sliding.

Won’t be getting my hopes up though.

LjundbergsPinkMohawk

my hope is that he will allow KSE to invest. Not sure how NFL revenuses will affect it, but his LA team was working on stadium money/moving and is in pretty good shape in roster terms. Hoping that they may at least have the pragmatism/greed/whatever to see the EPL actually playing and making tv money (or get jellous of the red sox owner in liverpool) and shift kse money toward arsenal.

Artetas Assistant

Even the devil has a soft spot and if he has cash, he’ll give Mikel. It’s like a personal bequeath to his son (or so it’s being played in media ), I’d just give him 70 million for the plane I promised him when he got his first A in school and he can either buy a spanking new silver bird or hand it to Mikel and use it to sponsor Arsenal transfer window

Spun off my damn tangent

Tanned arse

I doubt his plans were ever to invest. The club has always managed to do that for itself. He probably assumed that would continue. Now he has a sinking investment. Maybe that will provoke a different course of action. Ultimately if spending money makes the club more profitable in the long run he’ll do it because thats what successful business people do. I think it’s that simple. It’s possible they’ll calculate it and decide to go all in. Even at the expense of falling foul of FFP. Right now FFP is an irrelevance to us anyway. I think this next… Read more »

Carll

If this ownership takes heed of this, well… Slap my arse and call me Julie.

Welsh Gooner

Screenshotting this in anticipation of this happening… Maybe…

Carll

Cheeky!

Aaron

Hello Julie ??

Welsh Gooner

Let’s let that rich African Arsenal fan buy us out so someone who is passionate about the club can own us and invest in us properly.

Lula

the fact that sanllehi screwed up so much with his guy emery means he has a less malleable and more powerful manager to work with. Arteta putting pressure on the monied powers above him can only be a good thing. This team is nowhere near. We have to recruit.

Santori

I think so. He does not have the luxury of time and patience nor should the club. I mentioned this many times that we cannot afford to try and turn this ship around in 3 or 4 seasons. The way the PL is competitive at the moment, we may easily fall away with a couple more errors in market. And these issues were there even with Mslintat. Selling Alexis to United instead of City and leaving us vulnerable to Raiolla was a colossal mistake but not surprising. That season we needed to have gone for Mahrez early instead City went… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Hope we get Fekir and Campos in the club so that you stop repeating yourself.

goongot

This is great stuff by arteta. He’s calling out board to fix the team.If we dont have a proper transfer window, board is going to be under a lot of pressure.

David C

Totally agree! If I was in charge, I’d offer Ozil 9 million to just go away and be a free agent. He makes 18 million a year so he might take that deal because I’m sure some other team will give him 100k a week at least. Sell a few dead weights, build with youth and make a few smart signings. Ceballos or Courinho would be good loans if we can’t sign anybody. Hope that Mari and Saleba can fix the defence a bit. We know we have 2 good goalies so we’re covered there. Sell Auba if he doesn’t… Read more »

Dave cee

Or Jota, he’s quality

Pooner

This is great. Ball firmly in the Kroenke’s court now. If we fail to invest properly this summer I doubt Arteta will stick around for long.

LEFT08

I doubt Kroenke will care mate.

BillyKrystal

Arteta does seem to have big ambitions. For Arsenal, but also personally. Not that he’ll cut and run as soon as things look bleak (if they don’t already), but if he’s not adequately supported by KSE he’ll move on and who could blame him

Lucas

I could see him being courted by Barcelona soon. Their current manager is less than impressive and I fear that Arteta being a graduate of la masia is one of their target. If the Arsenal project is not interesting enough I’m afraid his ambition is greater than his loyalty. The same way he prefered to go coaching with Guardiola instead of the coaching spot Wenger proposed to him speaks volume.

Santori

PLUS If you look at the once competitors in league and the type of players they can and are bringing in… Man United in January, Bruno Fernandes, Chelsea with Ziyech and Timo Werner, City looking at Koullibaly, Liverpool will also reinvest, I think we face a very tough challenge breaking into top 4 if we are going for youth and risk. As is we are floundering against Spurs, Sheffield, Wolves and Leicester ahead too. The longer we are out of Europe, the harder. We need to push now whilst we still have some leverage with money. As I mentioned many… Read more »

karl

New players will be difficult unless there are some going out to lower the wages.

It will be depressing if Willian or Coutinho come in on agent deals.

Naked Cygan

I am not sure you can make a player better if they are not able to get any better. Each player has a max potential. Let’s say Van Dik is a 10/10 at his best, and Mustafi is a 7 at best. So if Mustafi has a great game he will be 7/7 compared to Van Dik at 10. The issue for us is we have a max 7 defender who gives us 4, to 5 every game. We can’t blame Mustafi for being a 7, we have to blame the people who gave the OK to pay 30 million… Read more »

Anders Limpar

42?

Poopy

Really hope Arteta ups and leaves if the board don’t back humans show some ambition…same goes for any half decent players i.e. Leno

Maybe things need to hit rock bottom before there’s any change…sadly

James Gunner

Agree with left 08.At one time Arsenal were in the top 3/5 as one of the richest clubs. Since then they have slipped outside the top 10.Arsenal are a premium brand.Chelsea and MC went on a massive spending spree and have overtaken the gunners . In time to come Arsenal will be just an ordinary London club like Westham.Its value would drop. I read the SA oil baron was willing to buy Arsenal some time ago.The US owner shd just sell and cash in as the current value of Arsenal is hovering in the gbp 1.5 billion to 2 billion,a… Read more »

VVox1977

I really like how Arteta applies this pressure above him, up management. It will be very onyeredting to see if it causes a reaction in the window. I doubt it.. but slight optimism. Arteta’s clarity in these press conferences tells me every time he’s the man. So if we have the right manager just give him the tools.

LjundbergsPinkMohawk

“They started to recruit every single player in relation to what they needed and where they were really smart is they bought a specificity for every position …”-Arteta. It’s refreshing that on the one hand that Arsenal stopped just buying CAMs and trying to play them everywhere. Must liquidate (and stop holding out for more). Dumping wages is more significant than transfer fees. Especially when considering they still own Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil, Elneny, Miktaryan, Kosalnic, Mavropanos, Sokratis–aggregate salary is propably on the order of 1.2 to 1.3 million pounds per weeks (someone else can check this). Get that off your… Read more »

LjundbergsPinkMohawk

of the current roster, the 11 I’d build from for next year: Keepers Leno (Sell martinez). Tierney, Holding, Chambers, Mari, Bellerin, Torreia, Willock, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli (bench: Soares, Saliba, Nelson ). With the obvious preference being the purchase of a defender, midfielder, forward and keeper. Remember when we’d here same old arsenal constantly? There was a reason for it. They didn’t move players that didnt suit them on and turn over the roster. So as soon as injuries appeared those same players were back to screw up. I’ve had enough of mustafi and xhaka (too many givaways, not enough effort… Read more »

Moviegooner

“Sell Martinez” nani????????

mrugunner

C1->C3->not even in europe while we spent like a top 6 side.
it’s not about spending money. it’s about having a good system.

better get used to being a midtable team.

Qwaliteee

Kudos to Arteta for having the balls to spell this out to the board publicly – something Arsene Wenger should have done years ago but was either too proud and/or too stubborn to do so. Whether or not Arteta gets the funding or not is another matter entirely, but at least he has made his intentions clear. I just wish he’d do the same with the Ozil situation. Unless he has plans to use the player again, the ‘bad back’ stories haven’t dispelled a lot of unnecessary speculation.

We've Arsenalled It Again

I like the fact that Arteta is putting pressure on the board to spend. We can’t afford transfer inactivity, otherwise we are assured mid-table status. I trust that Arteta is the right man for the job. I just worry that the club’s ambitions (or lack of it) will ultimately let him down.