Arteta: I have board support, we’re working on a plan

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If the most annoying thing about last night was Arsenal’s abject performance against Aston Villa, the second was definitely the whirring sound of a plane engine over Villa Park for the first 15 minutes of the 1-0 defeat. 

“Back Arteta Kroenke Out” read a clumsily worded banner that tailed the aircraft. Paid for by a group of disgruntled fans it immediately drew attention from the press who were quick to ask the boss about it in his post-game interviews.

If the original aim was to bring fans together to heap pressure on Stan Kroenke to give Arteta the money he needs to build a squad, that didn’t really come across. Instead, irked by what he thought was an oversimplification of a complicated situation and unnecessary criticism of those trying to help him launch his Arsenal project, Arteta defended the owners and the football executive committee.

In his post-game press conference, he said: “I have full support from the Kroenkes, from the board, from the sporting director and we are putting a very strong plan together to try to do as much as we can in the shortest period.

“At the end of the day, the league table doesn’t lie and we know the gap that we have to fill in and we are on board with trying to do everything together.”

The fact is, Arsenal like a lot of clubs are contending with a lot of financial uncertainty influenced by the ongoing threat of Covid-19. Our performances on the pitch over the last four seasons have exacerbated that. In challenging circumstances, Arteta needs to clear a path back to the top.

He knows that’s going to be difficult and he’s not shying away from it. After the victory against Liverpool, the boss spoke about the need to take risks in the transfer market to close the gap on their rivals at home and abroad. He maintains that it wasn’t a direct challenge to the ownership to get the chequebook out.

“I don’t know but if that’s the impression then it’s not what I wanted to do,” he clarified.

“I wanted to emphasise – and I’ll do it again – that we need to improve in many areas. The first of all is my responsibility, to improve the team and everything with the mentality of course as well.

“After that, we have certain areas that we need to get better. The top teams in certain areas are better than us and we have to do that.

“The uncertainty is the reality. We have uncertainty because of the coronavirus, it hit everybody hard and we don’t know if we are finishing in Europe and there is uncertainty with a few players, so I have to try to be honest and that is what I said.”

Arsenal can make life a bit easier this summer if we beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final to secure a place in the Europa League. While not playing in the competition might give the boss more time on the training ground to implement his ideas, the knock-on effect of missing out on competition could entrench the financial disparity that is opening up between us and the clubs in the Champions League.

It will also allow us the chance to be a bit more adventurous in the transfer market. Buying players is something Arteta acknowledges will be important as he tries to shape a squad in his image

“That is one thing, and the other thing is the specificity you need within that squad balance to do it consistently.

“We’ve done it, today we had a different challenge, completely different game and we have to find a way to do that.

“That will take time because at the end of the day when you have that many points of margin with the top teams it’s for a reason.

“We know that reason and we will try to put it right with a lot of work first and in the right moments with the players that we need in order to do that.”

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Amusa

Unfortunately the Kroenke’s plan has led us to 10th in the league and possibly without European football for the first time in 25 years.
They’ve been majority shareholders for a while and have overseen this decline from the start, no one else to blame but them.

karl

A declining and over-powerful Wenger, followed by Emery led us to this position. Poor recruitment without a long-term plan and the rise of other clubs helped too.

The Kroenke’s did their part last summer, but with the wrong manager. I think losing Sven was a major mistake.

Con

+ Egregiously poor strategic thinking from Gazidis – ‘keeping the powder dry’ at a time both player asset values and transfer fees skyrocketed.

Unforgivably amateurish.

atom

I’m not a Gazidas guy at all but he didn’t run the footballing side of things – Wenger controlled literally every aspect of it. The year that really was a huge mistake/lost opportunity was when we chose to only add Cech.

Chrispy

I despair when I see comments like this down voted by fans who probably paid for that stupid plane towed banner.

RedHotHornBlower

Spot on, Karl. Aeroplanes and banners are stoooopid. Don’t include me in any of that shit.

Con

Look at the job Luis Campos is doing at Lille. Or Michael Zorc.

And then compare to Raul and Edu.

kaius

Luis Campos was appointed Director of Football at Lille in 2017. Lille had new wealthy owners who also appointed Marcelo Bielsa as manager.

Bielsa lasted six months, and Lille were almost relegated in Campos’ first full season. They appointed a caretaker coach, and then hired Christophe Galtier from St Etienne. 3 seasons later they are stable and looking good.

Moral of the story? Success does not come easily, and takes time and patience.

Con

Galtier has done an exemplary job – Campos clearly thinks so, as he threatened to resign if he moves to Marseille. The implication that Campos was partly responsible for their relegation dogfight is disingenuous however. He was central to their recovery, and in fact, they were broke that season. He spent less than 10 million Euros – including picking up Jonathon Kone for 5m and Jonathon Bamba for free. Clearly he deserves some credit for Lille rising from relegation scrappers to Champions League qualifiers. Subsequently, he’s signed Victor Osimhen and Timothy Weah to name a few. As well as flipping… Read more »

kaius

My comment was in praise of the job Luis Campos has done. Where did I blame him for anything?

Bielsa was a mess and Luis Campos said openly that they needed to get rid of him (a big risk seeing as the owner himself had appointed Bielsa).

My point was, Luis Campos did not find immediate success at Lille, he also needed the right coach, and some patience. I think we have the coach, now we need to see how the squad rebuild pans out.

Matt

Personally, I think Emery is more responsible for where we are at this moment than either Raul or Edu. Edu hasn’t even been here a year yet, so give the guy a chance. And Raul? Well he’s been responsible for some pretty decent purchases, not withstanding Blog’s reservations about the way he does business. And also, they took a gamble on Arteta, which looks to have paid off, at least for now…

Con

Haha Emery was a poor appointment, but i’m kind of worried Edu is too. I’m not sure he really has the experience of someone like Campos, which what we really need.

I share Blog’s reservations about Raul.

kaius

What a weird comment. Of course Edu doesn’t have Luis Campos’ experience – Campos spent most of his career coaching lower-level teams in Portugal and won nothing, then found success after he went into scouting. Very different career path to Edu, an Arsenal legend who went away and paid his dues working at club level in Brazil before rising to the top technical position with Brazil’s national team. Literally never heard anyone say a bad word about the guy. Why’s it so hard to accept that Raul and Edu did good by hiring Arteta? Raul was part of the trio… Read more »

Con

Sorry, what credit should we be giving? I’m allowed to be skeptical of Edu, as I was with Emery, because he doesn’t the track record that we desperately need in the senior technical position. I don’t really care whether people have sad bad words about him, or not. I personally wouldn’t have hired him. Not sure what’s weird about that… I wouldn’t judge Campos on his career as a manager, any more than than i’d judge Monchi on his career as a goalkeeper. Raul finally appointed Arteta, but wanted to extend Emery’s contract. The jury’s out and I will remain… Read more »

kaius

Yes you’re entitled to your scepticism. I just like to add balance and context to the incessant negativity on here.

All of Arsenal’s main transfers last summer were scouted players, Saliba, Tierney, Martinelli, Ceballos. Before that there was Leno, Torreira and Guendouzi.

The inital data-driven signings were players like Mustafi, Xhaka and Elneny, so let’s not be reductive.

In reality, data analysis, scouting AND agents are an integral part of nearly every transfer. There’s an article on this very site about the Martinelli signing that explains it pretty well. [https://arseblog.news/2020/04/scout-reveals-the-process-behind-gabriel-martinelli-capture/]

RedHotHornBlower

Good comments, Kaius.

Peter Story Teller

I don’t think this is simply a case of buying in a creative mid-fielder, although we really need one, or a central defender. There seems to be a mentality problem that is likely to linger until we clear out a lot of this squad who have drifted for the last few years whether it was Wenger, Emery, Freddie or now Arteta attempting to coax a performance from them. Great that the results were against Liverpool and Man City they were not great performances and there was more than a touch of luck in both games. Villa Park is never an… Read more »

RedHotHornBlower

If Emery was still in the seat, we’d be IN the relegation battle. We’re on an upward vector under Arteta.

Mpls

Some of the players and their mentalities, yes, they need to go for everyone’s sake. But I am taking note of Arteta’s ability to really get a few of these players to turn a corner. Xhaka, Ceballos, Mustafi (?!), Tierney has improved match on match (didn’t have much reason to doubt him though), Laca seems to be regaining his confidence and drive, Reese Nelson has even shown a little more vim in his last outing or two. No, they haven’t all gone “hero” status, but it looks to me like Arteta is getting the willing parties on board and they… Read more »

AussieGooner

Arteta is classy, a proper classy Arsenal manager. Ignore the muppets who occupy a small section of our fan base. It is a well known fact that Arsenal supporters have a much higher average IQ than any other club, the nobtards are still a minority. Arteta speaks to the rest of us, and we listen and i think we understand. Let the mouthbreathers have their AFTV, and their chicks for free, but there is no money for nothing. I’d rather have a mid table team playing with heart and passion than winning the league with a bunch of mercenaries anyway,… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Liverpool won the league

Andy

Emery 5th Arteta 10th

Tony Hall

Emery had a full season to get to 5th, Mikel has had not even a third of a season plus 4 months without football to contend with so your comparison is meaningless.

Chrispy

Smh. You really are a hatstand.

RedHotHornBlower

More likely a Spud.

Qwaliteee

This season has been Emery’s failure, that Arteta is desperately trying to salvage.

Leon

The welfare of the club is dependent upon finishing as high as possible – preferably winning the league.
It is a stupidly conceived thing to say you would prefer to finish mid table playing with heart than to win the league with a bunch of mercenaries. The entire future of the club depends upon success.
Perhaps you should think things through before posting Aussiegooner…

kaius

Nah, we don’t want Arsenal buying success like the plastic clubs do.

How you earn your success is just as important as the success itself. If Abramovich or the Sheikhs left tomorrow and pulled their cash out, those clubs would fade back into obscurity.

Arsenal are a mess but at least we’re trying to do things the right way for the long-term future of the club. After 20 years of Wenger surely we can see some value in that.

kaius

A+ plus Dire Straits reference Aussie!

Great comment too

RedHotHornBlower

I’m with you, Aussie. I met a coach load of our Nobtards after we lost to $iteh at Wembley a couple of years ago. Unpleasant bunch.

Luther

Arsenal supporters USED TO have a much higher IQ than any other club’s. Then they got brainwashed by TalkSport and other Arsenal/Arsene haters. Although, I hope you’re right, and that the majority of Gooners are actually intelligent, but just silent.
Talking of AFTV, what happened to that campaign to kick them out? Now it turns out that they house a racist, and they’re run by a racist sympathiser. What greater reason to shut that piece of shit channel down?!

Leon

What is the plan?
You try to be optimistic but you know it will play out like it normally does. Signing the kind of players that leave you scratching your head thinking why on earth? – we have a whole squad of why on earth players…

Torterrier

Exactly, and the signing of Cedric is a perfect example of absolutely nothing changing. His performance last night was shambolic, and when he played for Southampton I never ever thought ‘oh, he’d make a solid signing’.

I really can’t see a strong plan in fruition, I hope Arsenal prove me wrong, but signing players such as Cedric will not get us any closer to the top 6.

Public Elneny

Cedric was such a poor signing. We didn’t even need him in terms of numbers. Even though he was free, there is no way we’ll be able to sell him in the next 4 years. He knows he’s punching well above his weight at Arsenal, and his contract will take him relatively near to retirement – he has no reason to leave, except on loan if he fancies it Signing lower midtable quality players just bring us closer to being a lower mid table club. And reduce the funds available for CL quality players Even if he was signed as… Read more »

Ozzie

Arsenal always find safety in numbers instead of quality hence the reason we signed Cedric. we will never have a competing squad we are stuck with the likes of Mustaf Luiz and Cedric to mention but a few. Are they championship material, your guess is as good as mine

jamie t

and resigning luiz and signing mari, doesnt bode well for the ‘plan’

Andy

Ha ha.

flow

To be honest, I don’t get why everyone is still blaming the Kroenke’s. We’ve signed some huge players (at least regarding their salary) during the last few years, we’ve got Özil on a huge contract that nobody wants now and you’re still blaming Stan for not paying like the oil-kings. For me Wenger has been a huge problem (during his last years) and the decision to hire Emery instead of Arteta. I don’t believe Arteta would’ve let Ramsey leave like this. I’ve never seen a Wenger team of his last years fight, like we did against City. 5:1 against Bayern… Read more »

gus

lol , i never saw a wenger team playing this piss poor
always had style and swagger, maybe defensively frail but only as wenger beleived he could outscore everyone.
at least he had a plan

Tony Hall

You can’t have seen Man U put 8 goals past us then!

ClockEndRider

Agree. He was never going to behave like the Chelsea and Citeh owners. Where he went wrong is not intervening sooner to move Wenger on., and then allowing Gazidis to hoodwink him with Dick becoming manager.

Public Elneny

It is his ignorance of the sport and this club, his lack of interest in changing that, and the lack of ambition he showed to move us beyond the financial sweet spot of squeaking into the CL with an underfunded squad (ultimately unsustainable and caused us to freefall down the table) I don’t want an owner that dumps their personal fortune into us, that would feel hollow. But it’s reasonable to expect one who cares about on-field success of the club, and has enough knowledge of the game to formulate a plan how to achieve it. Even if a potential… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

The owner doesn’t even need to have a knowledge of the game. They just need to do their due diligence around appointing people that do, and hold them accountable when they fail, unlike the load of dross in senior management at the club.

Public Elneny

Football knowledge would have helped him to determine what success or failure in football looks like. To a certain extent, Arsene’s succession of 3rd/4th place finishes in the 2010s, looked like success on the surface level. But many of us recognised that we were teetering on the brink of collapse for much of that time, and that Arsene’s/Gazidis’ approach and methods weren’t sustainable and causing long-term harm. A knowledgeable owner would have recognised this and acted long before we fell apart Also, because in football there are many ways to skin a cat, a knowledgeable owner should be able to… Read more »

Luther

So many flaws in what you’ve written – typical of WOBs making shit up to support their argument. “I’ve never seen a Wenger team of his last years fight, like we did against City.” NEVER? What about the last time we beat City in the semi-finals of the F.A. Cup? What about all the comebacks? For example, 3-3 from 3-0 down to Bournemouth. “I don’t believe Arteta would’ve let Ramsey leave like this.” Could you please elaborate on your reasoning behind that well-thought-out theory of yours for me? I guess Arteta would have personally paid for Ramsey’s new wage demands.… Read more »

catbiscuits

Our performances on the pitch over the last four seasons have exacerbated that.”

I feel like 2016/2017 gets a bad rap. Averaged two points a game (missing out on champions league by 1 point) and won the FA Cup. Although the Bayern matches were pretty embarrassing…

Twatsloch

Hey Blogs, would it be possible to listen to Arsecast via Alexa?

mrugunner

been hearing about the plan for years

Tony Hall

How people can judge Mikel on the team he inherited and being in charge for so little time I do not know! And four months without football in the middle of that. If you want to judge him wait till the end of next season and see if we have improved!

Liam

Our net spend since Klopp took over is worse than Liverpool’s so you can’t say this is a money issue. The board have backed Areta’s predecessors in the transfer market, the money has been spent poorly. I don’t think the Kroenke’s are any worse than Liverpool’s American owners. Don’t forget, they hired Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rogers before they landed with Klopp.

Qwaliteee

I’m quietly curious to see what happens now, given that statement. Arteta strikes me as nobodies fool. Either he will genuinely get the backing (financial and otherwise) from the board – OR he will call the board out, if they fail to back him. Either way, as Arsenal fans, we can remain confident that there will be far more answers coming in the immediate and long term future than the relentless number of questions without answers, that have plagued us all for so long. Arsene Wenger was not only a brilliant manager – he was also an incredibly selfless human… Read more »

Santori

I’m 50-50 on retaining Aubameyang. Not that its in our hands. On the one hand we need to punch right back into CL next season and he is prolific. BUT on the other hand, he is also an aging asset and this represents a good opportunity to sell (probably our most saleable asset) and rebuild. In the end, I think Auba will wait to weigh his options up and see who comes in with bids for him. At 31yrs, its his last opportunity for a bog move and to frankly win Big titles with a really serious team. What we… Read more »

Santori

Completely out of the arse of course but just for fun… For me, if we can raise about 60-70m from player sales, we can potentially work out a better squad. As mentioned, Auba is our best asset, if we can get 35m for him, its good going enough. Thereafter maybe 10m-15m for Sokratis, 10m for either Mustafi or chambers, 10m for even Torreira if necessary (albeit my preference would be to keep him for knife fights), another say 5-10m for Kolasinac or AMN (some youth players) not to mention Chambers or Mustafi maybe for 10m we should come close. (This… Read more »