Arteta: Comments not a challenge to the board, but I will push this club to improve

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Mikel Arteta has denied that his recent comments about how important it is to improve the squad are a challenge to the board and the owners.

He says that everyone involved is working very closely together to help realise Arsenal’s ambitions, and that the working relationships are solid, but also that he will continue to push for improvements at all levels.

It had been widely interpreted that his words were a way to put some pressure on those above him, but he insists that there is harmony across the board – so to speak – and that they’ll coordinating their efforts to improve the squad when the transfer window opens.

“If that was misinterpreted, that wasn’t my intention, said Arteta of his Sky Sports interview after the 2-1 win over Liverpool.

“We work so closely with all the hierarchy at the club, and the owners, to put the plan that we need to take the place forward.

“Everybody has the same ambition, we are all in this together, but if you ask me if I know right now what I have and how I can do it, I’m sorry but I don’t know because there are a lot of questions we cannot resolve in the situation we have right now.

“One, financially. The other one because we don’t know if we are in Europe, also because we have players [with whom] we don’t know what is going to happen.

“That’s the reality. It’s not about sending a message. We are all with the same objective, to try and bring the club back as quickly as possible fighting with the top teams in the country and in Europe.

“That’s it, and I want to do it as quickly as possible.”

Arteta also made it clear that he has a direct line of communication with the ownership, and doesn’t have go through Head of Football Raul Sanllehi to raise matters with Stan and Josh Kroenke.

“I speak with them and I have a really, really good relationship with them,” said the Spaniard.

“When you mention that I’m quite surprised because I don’t need to do that [go via an intermediary] – I can make a phone call and speak to them, and they’ve been very supportive from the first day I joined the club.

“They were participating in the decision to bring me back here, with Raul, with Vinai, with Edu, there are no gaps or frictions.”

Admitting that the context of the job he initially took has changed because of Covid-19, and that some of the assurances he’d have been given at the time have had to be altered, Arteta still made it clear the squad has to be improved.

“I am very ambitious because I can only think about this football club moving in one direction, and I’m going to push with everything I have,” he said.

“My job is to do that, first of all with the players that we have. And it’s not just about the players, if I can improve a staff member, with somebody that is going to give us an extra yard on something, I will push to do that.

“The first thing is to improve the players we have, I think we’ve done that so far, and we can go to the next level, of course we can go.

“But in the meantime, we need sometimes … specificity to bring the club quicker to those positions.”

He really doesn’t pull any punches, does he?

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Jeremy DG

Clever lad Mikael. We know what you are doing *wink wink

Aaron

Silvestre never came across as a clever chap, to be honest.

Daveo

you should be long gone by now with your hat and coat…

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

The pressure on the owner is our job, us fans.

Lula

not going to make any enemies among the fanbase speaking the truth clearly and with conviction like that.

Matthew

I love how he says he isn’t putting pressure on the board and is just answering questions but still is asking the owners to invest.
It isn’t a challenge, it is a request (a warning for the owners if you may)

Rocky07

Great comments, will pleased he feels comfortable speaking with Kroenke family direct.

Granit(e) hard!

I like this guy. I really do. He is not only showing what a brilliant coach, plus man manager he is, he also has that ‘thingy’, and charm, like Arsene Wenger has, that when he speaks, you respect what he says because you know you are listening to a very intelligent man, and to elicit that kind of respect from the media, is quite remarkable for a young, undecorated coach.. they sense, they are watching the making of a legendary coach, thats why they take him serious, i think

Vince

I love this man because he genuinely loves Arsenal!

Chuffy

Why the smoking mirrors? There is no ambiguity, he wants the board to financially structure deals, but the money involved needs to be substantial regardless. Transfer fees, Agent fees, wages etc needed will run over 150 million if what Arteta said is to be believed. My issue is players that will generate reliable and realistic funds are players that he often says he wants to keep. Realistically we dont have many players that other teams want so raising money through player sales will be a problem. Guendouzi may be available, but I’d say his stock has fallen recently. Maitland Niles?… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Is a smoking mirror one that you look at to admire your puffing technique or is it one that is on fire?

Chuffy

Smoke and Mirrors, my bad.

Lucas Sam

I think we have to take it step by step. You are not wrong about having players others do not want thus we can’t raise capital. On the other hand, even if we sell at a cheap (assuming we can), taking off those big useless wages is already a plus. Ozil, Mhki, Sokratis (clearly on the go), Kola (can find better for 100k/w), just to name a few.

Henry

That is my manager, what a legend. I just afraid the one day when big boys out there will chase him to manage their team

Coolhand

The big boys will only want him if he is successful and if he is successful why would he want to leave a club he clearly loves?

Gus Caesar

I love the ambition but I’m not quite sure what Mikel is really trying to do here. The big thing that Mikel can do to get the club the income required is to get into Europe. I’m not knocking the bloke – he’s inherited a shocking squad, had to cope with a pandemic when the team was improving and and didn’t get much help in the market in January. But he took over with us in 10th and 7 points off 4th. We’re now 9th and 9 points off 4th. Kroenke is never going to bankroll transfers, it’s never happened… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Quiet with your rationalism. There’s no place for that here.

I wonder if we will sign Neymar or Mbappe this summer?

Fatgooner

Pull the other one, Arteta! Of course you’re trying to put pressure on Stan and his boy. Good try, but I don’t think you’re going to get too far. There’s more chance of Mesut Ozil winning Arsenal Player of the Season than Stan putting his hand in his pocket and funding a major spend. The Yank has major financial problems and won’t be investing a penny of his dosh in the squad this season. Any new signings will have to be funded by selling players. The problem is that we don’t have much to sell. Stan and his boy have… Read more »

Gus Caesar

Don’t disagree with a lot of this. The mediocrity that Kroenke has excused has probably been the overriding driver in what’s happened. But, in fairness, I very much doubt that Emery was actually his appointment – i don’t imagine he would say that he’s an expert on European football managers – that’s why he appoints others to do the work for him and trusts them to get it right. People should be looking at the people who actually run the the club on a day to day basis – if they did their jobs well then maybe nobody would even… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

I do wish you wouldn’t ruin your comments by using words like “yank”. Otherwise I agree the Kroenkes are behind the mediocrity. Spent too long trusting Gazidis and weren’t prepared to let Wenger go when he had us treading water. The last FA Cup win should have been the end (although an argument could be made for the one before). The appointment of Emery seemed logical at the time but holding onto him until November has proved costly. He should’ve been gone at least a month before. I think we could have been somewhere closer to Chelsea by now had… Read more »

Nick

treading water? getting top 4 and winning the fa cup. now just getting into the europa league is our target. wenger should have been urged to spend big to build on what was a decent team. but our owners were clearly happy with regular top 4 finish not bothered about doing more.

oregoon

I agree. Really, Wank should have replaced Yank.

Once a gunner

If you look at the year 2010 arsenal has been spending in bits that year we bought the likes of cazola, Podoski and the rest we should have followed it up with a very good holding midfielder and we will be good to challenge for the championship. That’s one of the issue we usually buy players but not in the right areas. We don’t really need to buy expensive players but efficient players that will fix our deficiencies like we used to do during the time of David Dein this is what we need right now and I believed Arteta… Read more »

Once a gunner

If you look at the year 2010 arsenal has been spending in bits that year we bought the likes of cazola, Podoski and the rest we should have followed it up with a very good holding midfielder and we will be good to challenge for the championship. That’s one of the issue we usually buy players but not in the right areas. We don’t really need to buy expensive players but efficient players that will fix our deficiencies like we used to do during the time of David Dein this is what we need right now and I believed Arteta… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

Dosh, Yank? Watching too much Fools & Horses son.

Tonny

I’m all in for Arteta’s way. Arsene absolutely defended the club, did his best with extremely limited resources but the same people pulled the trigger on him in 2018. I am sure Arsene felt betrayed (and to a large extent rightly so). Demand for what u need to succeed so that the day things fail and u are let go, u will not have conplaints. There is no point in trying ti be politically correct for the owner/board’s sake. Demand for better and Mikel is doing exactly that

karl

Whatever we did with the money, it is hard to criticise the owners for last summer. Let’s hope we get something similar with Arteta guiding the buys, but without any high-wage/retirement players on an agent recommendation.

Hail Gus!

I’m hoping/praying Mikel already negotiated this situation when we came for him as Emery’s replacement; I’ll work with the current squad for the rest of the season, those that aren’t willing to step up we move on and you agree to replace with true quality even if it means €€. Hopefully his recent comments are a reminder of a bargain already struck.
I’m more excited about MA then any other manager since I’ve been following this club (went to my first game 1978).

Ben

Whatever promises may or may not have been made would have understandably gone out of the window with the lockdown. He’s already alluded to that.

I think a lot of this is about managing fans expectations as much as anything.

Once a gunner

What do you guys think of Maxima of Newcastle? He is going to be top player for us

Timorous Me

Saint-Maximin? I’ve seen some of this talk about how we’re interested, and I think he’s quite a talented player who seems to have gotten better as the year has gone on.

But as a left winger, I don’t really care how good he is–even if Auba leaves, it’s maybe my area of least concern on the pitch since Saka is so good in that position and we know what Martinelli is capable of once he’s healthy again. So this Saint-Maximin speculation feels particularly bizarre and I just can’t take it seriously.

Vescucci

I know he didn’t invent the word but I love the way he uses specificity. Might that be his own “footballistically”?

6gunner

The only thing that bothers me is management always talks about “getting back in the Champions League” or “competing with the best teams in Europe.” What I want to hear is them talking about winning Championships. If we aim for 4th, like we’ve been doing for the last 4 years, we’ll miss out on it. When we were finishing 4th, and the teams that are finishing 4th now, are trying to win the League–not finish 4th.

chepetin

Slightly off topic but just read McNulty’s piece on BBC.com about the transformation the team is going through. Fairly good, regardless of what you think of him. He says that in a table of results since Arteta took over, we would be fifth behind the usual suspects. For some reason I thought about the big Arteta vs. Ancelotti (and some others) debate we were all having and I realise how thankful I am that we went with Arteta. I do worry at times though that if he can maximise the team’s potential, KSE might spend less because they see that… Read more »

Teryima Adi

The buck stops at Arteta’s table– he’s the boss.

WengersNoseHair

Here’s some interesting reading:
https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/premier-league/fuenfjahresvergleich/wettbewerb/GB1

In the past five years we have the third highest net spend in the league, only behind the Manchester clubs. So clearly the problem is not that we aren’t spending enough, it’s that we’re spending it badly and the club is poorly managed.

Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester and Sp*rs have spent less than half of what we have in that period. People are living in the past, thinking we’re still a penny-pinching club, when the truth is we’re just not much better run than Everton or West Ham.

Once a gunner

This is my point we are not buying in the right area, since 2010 we have been buying

Santori

He has to be smart and very careful. Felt Emery could have afforded to push the board slightly more last summer and Sanlehi on certain transfers. Arteta at the moment lacks clout. How much he can push will depend on how high he can finish. At the moment, ‘improvements’ do not translate to concrete rise in positions as we are still 9th and out of europe. If he can somehow ride the luck and sneak into europa with 2 matches to go (and better yet win the FA cup), he will carry more weight insisting on certain directions with transfer… Read more »