Arteta warns players he’ll be watching out for complacency

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In the coming days, Arsenal’s first team squad will return to London Colney as the short countdown to the 2020/21 season begins in earnest.

Usually, the players would have a couple of months to prepare for their first league game but with the game’s governing bodies desperate to make up the time lost due to Covid-19, some of the squad will be thrown straight into action against Liverpool in the Community Shield in 10 days time.

All going to plan, we should be able to squeeze in a couple more friendlies before getting to work in the Premier League on 12 September.

Having secured European football by winning a high-pressure FA Cup final against Chelsea less than three weeks ago, Mikel Arteta admits he’ll be looking out for any signs of complacency.

If there isn’t and he sees a real desire to knuckle down and continue building on the foundations laid over the last eight months, he’s positive that the club can go from strength to strength.

For now, he’s not quite sure how far they might progress in the coming year.

“It’s an impossible question,” Arteta told Arsenal Digital. “I don’t even know where we are going to be on day one of pre-season. I have to look at the players, how they come from holidays, how they come after winning, I want to see that reaction.

“You know, are they going to be a little more relaxed because we’ve done something or are they going to come with ‘Okay, this is nothing that we’ve done. We have to go to the next level, we have to apply ourselves better, we have to improve in a lot of areas and we have to dominate many other aspects of the game that at the moment we cannot control’.

“If that is the mindset, then I am very positive that we will be sitting here in a year’s time really happy. But I hope we take that road straight away.

“I am very positive about where we are,” Arteta added. “I don’t know if we are ahead of schedule, obviously if you had told me that we were going to win the cup before we joined then I probably would be happy with that.

“What I am very positive and very passionate and encouraged about is what we can do in the future and if we make the right decisions I am super confident that we can bring the club back to the top.”

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Goonerink

This is hardly new, every coach keeps an eye on complacency after winning a trophy(or getting top 4 twice $***$)

But it’s more insight into artetas mind.

Goonerink

I wasn’t being negative, more pointing out that what we can take from this.

how arteta puts the message across rather than the message its self.

StockholmGooner

If you were worried you were being negative, you probably were being negative or passive-aggro in your post..

Qwaliteee

“The natural state of the football fan is one of bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.”

– Nick Hornby ‘Fever Pitch’

Alex Nagy

Back to the grind lads. The key for me this season is a bit more consistency, I don’t think we are close to challenging for the title yet, but Top 4 should be a very attainable goal. COYG

Post January Blip

We’re at least a season away from challenging for the top four again IMO. 5th or 6th is where we should expect to finish. Even though our defence has improved, we’ll need to score far more goals than in the previous campaign and I’m not convinced we are there yet. We’ll know we’ve turned a corner when we can win by at least two goals on more than a few occasions over the course of a season. I’d obviously love to be proven wrong or for us to win the EL.

Qwaliteee

Well said mate. You’re getting down voted by the dozen, but take no notice.

Too many people on this site don’t like hearing home truths.

Wolsty

Agreed, however it starts at the back and we need to be far more water tight than we have been. Winning by at least 2 goals would be ideal, easier if we haven’t conceded 2 and need to score 3 (4 would be the cherry on top)….!! May sound blinding obvious but hopefully you get my drift. We also need more goals from Laca (assuming he’ll still be about) and the midfield chipping in too…. COYG

Biggles

A Top 4 finish in the coming season? Well, one of Liverpool, City, Utd or Chelsea will certainly have to oblige, and there’s Leicester and possibly The Spuds as well. I suspect it will be a lot more difficult than you appear to think – it’s possible, never say never in football, but “very attainable” sounds like wishful thinking at this stage. I think Arteta will be looking for Europa League qualification in our own right and probably a cup win of some sort.

Kanu Believe It

I think Chelsea could struggle next season. All of the riches up front admittedly, but that back four has a colander feel about it. Lampard is getting found out next season if you ask me.

T.A.

Let’s hope so. And United didn’t look impressive in the EL, And Mourinho should begin destroying the Spuds next season, so there is hope. But I agree it’s not going to be easy at all.

Qwaliteee

But you could say the same about us. Great up front, reasonable in midfield, but an absolute fucking joke at the back. Auba’s and Laca’s goals in the past few years have been wasted due to clowns like Mustafi and Luiz. I cannot wait for Mustafi to leave; we have now gone four seasons without the ECL because of dropped points due to his perpetual mistakes.

Let’s get our own defence in order, before we go criticising anyone else’s.

Alex Nagy

I am forever the optimist, which hasn’t done too well for me in recent seasons. Still we move forward with Arteta and the excitements back, happy days!

Qwaliteee

I hope Mustafi’s reading this. You’re exactly the kind of fan he has let down, season in, season out. Hopefully his days here are numbered.

Pepe The Frog

It’s definitely going to be difficult, but I can’t see why we can’t aim for it going into the season. Barring Liverpool, every other team in the top 6 had really inconsistent seasons. Chelsea qualified for the top 4 with fewer points this season than last. Even with a shit show of a season we came 8th (nothing to be proud of, of course). If we continue to improve, I see no reason why we won’t make the top 4. One or two teams will screw up. We just have to make sure we aren’t one of those teams.

Biggles

I certainly don’t see why we shouldn’t aim for a Top 4 finish, of course you have to aim for the very best. My point is that I don’t see us progressing enough – and four of the teams above us declining sufficiently to get us into the elite group with a Superman-type “single bound”. We’ll see though. I really hope I’m proved embarrassingly wrong come the end of next season and I’ll happily put up with a torrent of deserved “told you so’s”.

Pepe The Frog

Fair enough. Liverpool and City are practically guaranteed a top 4 place. However, I’m more optimistic than usual because of who’s managing Chelsea and United.

Qwaliteee

You have a far more realistic approach than many on here, for which you are to be commended.

Jack

negativity ≠ realism

The most ridiculous thing about this comment is that this board is *insanely* negative. Acting like we are all unrealistically optimistic just screams ‘I’m more cynical than everyone else and therefore smarter’.

Qwaliteee

We finished 8th. Our worst finish in the Premiership for 25 years. Even after lockdown, we were still handing over all three points to the likes of Brighton, a very poor Aston Villa and also a Tottenham side we should at least have managed a draw. One would have thought that this would wake the board up to the fact that this team requires a massive influx of investment (and the removal of the deadwood) in order for us to become competitive with the top seven. To date, they made the Manager and the players take a pay cut and… Read more »

Warthog

I would much rather our youth grow and learn how to win together in Europa, than watch them get mauled by Barca or Bayern. Staying in the Top 4 once we get there should be the goal, not a quick but unsustainable rise. We tried the “win now” signings, it didn’t work. Now we have Laca, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kola, Miki, Elneny to unload in a post Covid market. Eddie, Pepe, Martinelli, Saka, AMN, WIllock, Nelson, Saliba and even Tierney are all young in their careers. Lets not scar them with ugly losses too soon just so the fans can say… Read more »

Qwaliteee

You’d deliberately sell Lacazette?
And you talk about us getting back into the ECL….?

Warthog

He is a luxury player at this point (assuming Auba signs of course) and one that can bring value back to the club in the form of funds for midfield help.

Eddie and Saka are more than capable of replicating and exceeding Laca’s production in a season, without all the cards (8 yellow’s) and needless fouls he gives away. They are also more athletic and able to press for 90 minutes while Laca seems to run out of gas after 65 minutes.

Jack

It really wouldn’t be a Superman-type bound though. We were 10 points off this year. Teams gain 10 more of 10 fewer points than the previous year all the time.

Public Elneny

Arteta’s 20 league games, extrapolated to 38 games, would have given us 63 points (i think). Chelsea & United finished 3rd/4th with 66. We’re not that far off as things stand There is so much up in the air wrt transfers though. Best case scenario we keep Auba and Ceballos, and add let’s say Gabriel M. and Partey – and we’re more than capable of averaging 2 points per game (almost guaranteed top 4) injuries permitting. Lose Auba/Ceballos, and miss out on our main targets and it would be a miracle to just stay where we are. Chelsea and Man… Read more »

Biggles

Extrapolations are an interesting “what if” in football terms but whole, new, seasons aren’t often like that because other teams above us could, equally, hit a run from Game 1, Game 12 or whatever. Also, you mention “injuries permitting” – again, it’s impossible to know what injuries/suspensions we’ll have or other competing teams will have. If you’re going by history though, Arsenal has a pretty poor injury record for a while now – particularly players not recovering from injury as quickly as expected. Wenger tried to address that fairly early on in his tenure with more resources into sports medicine… Read more »

Jimbo1

It is also worth remembering what a mess the club were in when Arteta arrived, so a 63 point projection is pretty amazing considering the starting position. The squad ability and morale will be much improved now, so 70 points plus should be achievable.

Pescetarian

Just curious what points haul would we have got had we continued with Emery based on what we were averaging at that time?

Martin

I honestly think with hopefully some good signings that Arteta will have far more ambition than just a Europa League place. Maybe we are far from Liverpool and Man City but I cannot see why we should fear any other teams. We showed in the Cup Final that Chelsea are no better than us.

Johnny 4 Hats

My heart says we can absolutely get top four.

But let’s get a bit real here. Man City and Chelsea are already spending big. Liverpool are way out of our league and Man United are either going to go big on Sancho or bring in a number of decent players.

Without funds and already lagging behind these teams, it’s going to be a real struggle. Every player in the squad needs to bring his A game this coming season.

atom

We seem to have a really good plan B in that we’re set up really well to counter attack the bigger teams. Where we struggle a lot is playing the smaller teams where we’re expected to go out and attack. I can see up making a real run at the top 4 but that will require us to bring in a defender who allows us to play a back 4 and also effectively a new midfield. The thing that gets a little lost this year is just how bad everyone outside of Liverpool was. While United will spend big again… Read more »

Aaron

Chelsea and United can spend all they want but I trust Lampard and Ole to fuck them up over the season.
Leicester will struggle as they are still dependent on Vardy who will slow down and veteran center backs.
I hope Mourinho goes back to his usual self.

We are two signings away( I know it’s been the same story for years) from realistically being in the Top-4. And I am confident because Arteta is no mug and he seems to have openly courted players for these two specific positions and that’s keeping me optimistic. COYG.

atom

I think Arteta has moved us away from a collection of players to an actual team. We look like we have a real plan both on and off the ball now and am excited to see how he improves us with more time to work with the squad. As you say I think we badly need a CB to allow us to play a back 4 and 2 new midfielders. That should help with some of the creativity issues as the midfielders won’t have to cover as much ground as they do now.

Qwaliteee

You’re hoping that other clubs will fuck up, rather than acknowledging the weaknesses of your own club? Says it all, really, doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t put you in charge of a pub team; naive isn’t the word.

Onenil

Willian should improve our attacking play against the low block. He can dribble and links up from midfield into attack in tight spaces.
Against the weaker teams, I agree we need a back 4 so that means dropping Luis. We need a new quality CB. One who can play out under pressure. So bye-bye Papa.
As ever, we need the creative midfielder to make it really tick.
If we can get those players I don’t care about other teams and their money, we’ll do alright.

Qwaliteee

Top four ain’t gonna happen mate. 5th or 6th – at best.

Qwaliteee

I admire your positivity, but it’s not going to happen mate. This squad is nowhere near good enough for top four finish. Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd. Then you have the likes of Leicester and the cunts up the road poking their oars in where they’re not needed.

5th or 6th is more realistic, even with Arteta in charge. Kroenke’s too busy thinking about ways to cut costs, than spend like the top five will.

SB Still

We have the right manager at the helm now. Hope he is able to shape the squad to suit his philosophy soon.

As a fan who started started following PL and Arsenal a year after Wenger took the job, I find our league position very unfamiliar. So, it would be good to 1st get to our comfort zone – finishing 4th and then watch Arteta take us back to the top!

iGooner

I have a feeling Arteta is stocking on defenders as a way to mitigate the incoming flurry of fixtures. We tend to get our players injured anyway.

db10s

Is the new season going to be compressed? Or is the length of the season generally the same as a non pandemic season?

iGooner

If it’s starting in September then I’m sure it’ll be compressed. Doubt next season will go beyond May

arsepedant

It ends in mid-May, with all domestic and European cups finished before the end of May, to allow time for the Euros. Also, the 21-22 season has to start and end early because the 22-23 season has to start ridiculously early, to make room for the six-week break in the middle for the stupidity of having the World Cup in Qatar.

Anonymarse

Good words

JBF

Interesting the way that Arteta generates a sense of group accountability by airing his concerns about potential issues with the team in the public domain. By putting his concerns out there he makes it incumbent on the players to deliver, not many coaches have the self confidence to do that, he’s proving to be a very competent leader.

Martinelli’s Belly

That’s exactly what Mourinho does all the time and gets slated for it.
I don’t like Mourinho at all. Just pointing out that once we have an idea about someone positive or negative we tend to give their subsequent actions a positive/negative spin based on that.

Rima

How dare you compare Arteta to Mourinho

Aaron

Making the team accountable before a ball is kicked is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT to slating them the moment the first whistle is blown.

Now, that’s Arteta vs Mourinho, just in case you were confused. Happy to help.

Salman

I think Arteta’s vision makes me horny

Anonymarse

Me too

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Get a room, people 🙂 Mind you, it’s great to have another coach who has a strong vision of how The Arsenal should play the game. It seems like forever since we had that. Strange that it’s only been two years! I believe that Arteta, possibly the smartest coach in the Premier League, has spent the last few years learning his trade from two masters of the game. I like to think that he’s well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of Wenger and Guardiola’s approaches to the game, and that he will be able weld the best of their… Read more »

Biggles

It would be very odd if he wasn’t! Frankly, the squad haven’t got a lot to be complacent about. Yes, the FA Cup win was great and the team played well but prior to kick-off, the same squad were looking at the lowest league position in 25 years and no European football for almost the same period. We got into Europe at literally by the last throw of the football dice. There’s certainly something for Arteta to build upon, but there’s a lot of work to do yet. So, a little confidence – fine, but there’s no room for any… Read more »

The Kolkata Gooner

Anyone knows when we start training? Can’t believe next season is upon us already! I’m not complaining though. As long as we keep Auba, and sign at least two of the 100 players we’ve been linked to.

An apparent fixture leak says we’re going to Old Trafford on GW1. Wouldn’t that be tasty?

GeoffRey Hurstmaker

I thought United had a longer break because of their Europa League run.

arsepedant

They do. If our first fixture is away at United, then it will be postponed, making our congested schedule even more congested. If the PL schedule writers were smart, they’d have United, City, Chelsea, and Wolves all play each other in the first week so only two matches would have to be postponed.

Berlingoon

Is there any logical reason why the CS takes place two weeks before the PL starts again? Wouldn’t it be better to play it the week before as it’s common?

mjc1892

Logical? The FA? *spits out tea*

Qwaliteee

Yeah, that made me laugh too.

Wilbur

There’s an interlull between CS and PL starting.

Berlingoon

Ah ok. Thanks!

Don Cazorleone

Can we just be done with international football already. It died in ‘98.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

At least half of the fans that say that weren’t even born in ’98 🙂

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

They have nothing to be complacent about.

SgGooner

“…if we make the right decisions…” I hope that includes the in/out transfer business.

Louqmane Soulaymane

I love the way Arteta speaks and doesn’t give too much away, while sending a strong message at the same time. For me, if we can challenge for the Top 4 i would be highly impressed and satisfied. However, having a defined system of playing like how City, Liverpool, prime Barcelona and even Wenger’s Arsenal back in the days played, then am more than happy.

Elvis

I know people say manage your expectations, but screw that…

Arsenal needs to fight for the trophy. Top 4 is not a trophy.

Players need to work hard and win games even in difficult matches like we did against Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea in the previous season.

Qwaliteee

Mate, you don’t have to worry about top four not being a trophy.

We’re not even going to make the top four. ?

MontrealGooner

I really like the way Arteta challenges his players. Every time he speaks, my admiration for him grows. I do think that it will take time and some investment, but with Arteta at the helm, I’m inclined to be optimistic.

DefaultGray

I’m more pleased we managed to beat some big sides. If the leak about fixtures is true and we’re starting away at Old Trafford that would be a great statement to start the season with a win there

Qwaliteee

At the time of writing, we still have a number of issues to sort. To date, Auba still hasn’t signed, and we haven’t signed a decent centre back to partner Saliba. Of course, thing can change quickly, but we need to push on and start trying to shift our Keystone Kops collection of below par centre backs. Mustafi is injured, but we need to get rid of him ASAP – the guy has been one of the main reasons that we haven’t made the top four – and we certainly won’t if he is allowed to come back after this… Read more »

Santori

Good. One thing that has struck me watching recent CL quarters and semis is how committed the players on hand are for PSG and Bayern. Contrast the way we slack off and how we are so non competitive for the ball many times up top… Neymar has all the trappings of a Cronaldo Narcissist but you cannot take way his graft from him, he was pressing players for the cause to the dying moments with PSG up against RB Liepzig. Ditto when you watch Bayern (of course comparing Apples to Pears), when they turn the ball over, all players seem… Read more »

Biggles

Interesting content (albeit not very pithy). Motivation has been a problem with Arsenal for years now. It crept in during the latter half of Wenger’s reign and has stayed as an unwelcome guest ever since. Although there’s been an improvement under Arteta, you could still see it in a few of the games since he took over. I suspect that will change this coming season though. As to possible transfers, who knows? VFM is (rightly) the key phrase now and the days – very recent, according to press reports – of wasting money on inflated fees and/or wages are, hopefully,… Read more »