Arteta: We have a beautiful challenge ahead

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Arteta: Liverpool rebuild an example, but my only objective is for Arsenal to be the best

Mikel Arteta says he has a ‘beautiful challenge’ on his hands as he looks to make Arsenal more competitive next season.

As a traumatic season reaches it’s finale, there’s a chance that the Gunners could finish as low as 10th in the Premier League rankings, our worst performance since 1994/95.

While there’s still a chance to qualify for the Europa League by winning the FA Cup, the boss knows full well that he needs to close the gap on the sides finishing in the Champions League positions in double-quick time.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final home game of the season against Watford, he said: “The league table doesn’t lie at the end of 10 months and 38 games. How long [will it take to improve]? Hopefully next season, it will be very different.

“We have a beautiful challenge; a very demanding challenge but a beautiful challenge ahead of us. We have to put this right, we have to bring this club back to where we belong which is with the top teams in the country and in Europe. In order to do that we have to make a lot of good decisions.”

Asked why Arsenal had fallen short this season – a question he’s faced many times in recent weeks – the boss went on: “Because we haven’t been consistent. Because we obviously had a lot of issues as well in the background, a lot of things that had happened.

“But at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough to be with the top teams.

“That’s not a lie and it shows the big room for improvement and the gap that is still there and has to be minimised really, really quickly in order to be in a good position to challenge those teams.”

He added: “It hurts so much [to say that]. When I said it’s a beautiful challenge, and as well from my side, it’s to bring the club into those positions again.

“I know how difficult it’s going to be because you can see the other teams, what they’re doing, what they’ve been doing the last few seasons. The road and the direction we have to take in order to be quick in that transition… I’m very positive that we’re going to be able to do it.”

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HantAl

Someone get him a dictionary, in no universe is it a beautiful challenge

Johnny 4 Hats

Last time I had a beautiful challenge, I couldn’t quite finish the last 5 chicken wings.

Mayor McCheese

The last time I had a beautiful challenge, I lasted 5 seconds.

gooner

your interpretation mate. He probably just interpreted what he was feeling about it from Spanish to English and lost you there. If he were Sam Allardyce he’d probably express it better for you and even add a bonus question to himself at the end of the statement.

One would think a beautiful challenge exists. Wouldn’t one?

Teryima Adi

I believe language is ((sometimes)subjective and you are allowed to use unlikely collocations sometimes– same with poetic licence. Before you know ” beautiful challenge” becomes the norm. Language is dynamic.😃

Pakgooner

Lol Brendan Rodgers will tell you why beautiful is always appropriate

Chrispy

He does have a lovely way of expressing himself. I’m sold on Arteta and his vision and I’ve seen enough in his short tenure to know he’ll make us better but over to the owners to back him…..

Artetas Assistant

He’s a poet. You see things deeply and differently, only then you can wax lyrical about the topic(s)

FabulousFabregas

Are you Steve or Albert?

Artetas Assistant

Their colleague 😀

Guns Up

If told on the day of Emery’s sacking we’d get Arteta, finish 8th, 9th or 10th, and win the FA cup, I’d have said, “far from ideal, but I’ll happily take it and move on to next season.” Now just go get that trophy!!!

John C

We are where we are because of years of eroding the quality of the squad, results and therefore league position are downstream of bad or indeed good management. For years we replaced outgoing players with people of lesser quality year on year so we’re now left with a squad that is nowhere near the standard it needs to be to even qualify for the champions league. It’s going to take years and several transfer windows to fix, but this was the case when we appointed Emery too, we just have to be patient to see if we have what it… Read more »

Brian

I just did some quick (so maybe flawed) math. If we win our last game, that is 1.65 points per game over Arteta’s 20 league games. Taken over the whole season, and making the likely false assumption that our points-per-game rate would remain constant, it would have put us roughly at 63 points, which is right up there in the fight for top 4. Which is to say, the fact of a 10th place finish doesn’t tell the whole story and I genuinely think Arteta can take us to a top 4 finish next season, especially with some savvy transfer… Read more »

Teryima Adi

I love your analytical mind.👍👊

Santori

Except it does not work that way.

We should have had enough to close the gap on teams from the time Arteta took over till end of season but we have not.

A number of teams ahead have also up their game second half of season to stay ahead. these are teams with poorer resource and thinner squads than us in Leicester, Sheffield and Wolves.

Even Spurs arguably is a shell of itself this season with spending restrictions.

DaDude

It is just an abnormally bad season and it’s the number of draws that is crazy. 5 wins instead of draws means we’d be 4th and not 10th and there were more than enough games in which we screwed up leads late in the game, should have put it to bed in the first half, got screwed by VAR (Palace anyone?) etc.. But even with this squad and simply normal displays in the league games, it should have normally been possible to be up there on a Chelsea and Leicester level. They have 12 and 11 losses respectively, even more… Read more »

#define

Wenger’s teams were successful early in his years because of the emphasis on conditioning. In many interviews he talks about how Arsenal managed to dominate late into games because the other team’s players were flagging.
IMO, he managed to get mid tier players to play at a higher level by doing precisely that.
This advantage disappeared as other teams caught up in his latter years, the same dominance could not be asserted.

I hope Arteta has a few tricks up his sleeve to make something happen with the current crop of (mostly) mid-tier players.

John C

Who were these “mid-tier” players of Wenger’s early years?

YpsiGooner

I personally love the phrase “beautiful challenge.” It shows a recognition of how daunting a task Arsenal face, but is also speaks to how Arteta might really relish taking on that task. I’m on board.

Santori

Just words.

Proof is in the pudding.

Teryima Adi

And the Renaissance continues…

Santori

Renaissance in 10th

Santori

Have to be positive. Its our cup coming up. BUT failure to land the FA cup would put a damper on the situation at Arsenal. For all the improvements, we are 10th. And considering a number of clubs ahead of us are poorer resource (Leicester, Wolves and Sheffield) it is as much an indictment of Arteta. Its ridiculous to say he’s inherited a poor team bc Unai was working with the same unit (if not worse without Cedric or Mari) And as mentioned even when Arteta took over he had opportunity to close the gap on those teams ahead of… Read more »