Friday, February 23, 2024

Arteta on squad balance, improving players, and deadline day nailbiting

As Arsenal prepare for what seems like a busy final few days in the transfer market, Mikel Arteta says it’s important for managers to be able to find the right balance within their squads.

Not simply by making new signings, but also the way they sell, deal with contract management and improving players through coaching.

The Gunners are keen to move on a number of players before the close of the window on Monday night, but have struggled to find suitors and bidders – or as least acceptable bids.

And how you build your squad is key, not just for the short-term, but also for the long-term viability of the club, according to the Spaniard.

“I think for the future sustainability of the club, financially, if you get that wrong, I think you put yourself in a really difficult position,” said Arteta.

“And then I think sometimes we are very critical. The way we look at certain players and you just focus a lot on the negatives and they all have negatives but they all have a lot of positives as they were here.

“Sometimes we focus more on those we can get much more from, and some days you just want to look in the other side and the reality is not better than what you have.

“But most of my energy is on the players that I have on how to make them better.”

Even last minute deals can turn out to be hugely positive for all concerned. Arteta is a case in point, joining Arsenal on transfer deadline day back in 2011 after a traumatic summer all-round.

He’s now manager, a position he’d be unlikely to be in without that transfer, and it was touch and go as to whether it would go through, as the Gunners boss recalls.

Referencing Everton’s initial unwillingness to sell, and a potential snag over paperwork because it all happened so late he didn’t even have a medical, Arteta said, “As soon as I saw it wasn’t happening, I had this gut feeling that somehow it has to happen.

“It is the right thing for me. I was waiting for that opportunity for a long time. And when that fax came through, even if it was 10-15 minutes late to the Premier League, I was so happy and relieved.

“I think it was the right thing to do. It’s part of that and I know the nerves and the stress and uncertainty that generates so I’ve been in those shoes, and probably that helps me a little bit to understand certain things when players feel that.”

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Jugraj Dulai

Hopefully it’s a deadline day to remember


Hopefully, we can get things sorted before the day itself but yes let’s hope it is a day to remember – for all the right reasons of course.

La Défense

Is that an earring I spy? ?️‍♂️

David Dein

Still glad that Arsene signed you back in 2011! Player, captain and now first team manager. Hope you get all the players you want.

DB10s airmiles

Cheers, Dave.


It’s usually very tight at the end of a “normal” window but this is different as most clubs are particularly value-conscious because of the constraints that Covid has brought – and that obviously includes us. Clearly from the mismatch between numerous reports of Arsenal “moves” and the fact that, so far, there haven’t been any players coming in for weeks and only a couple leaving shows how fragile things are with negotiations dragging on much longer than usual in many cases. I’m sure Arteta and co. would have liked to have tied things up before now but it takes two… Read more »


More like a rubber of bridge than a tango as it actually takes four.
The buying club, the selling club, the player and the player’s agent all have to come to an agreement.
Any one of those can kill a deal if they want to.


Fair enough … even more tricky.


I love this man.


Get in line


Our previous summer transfer window was probably the most exciting in recent memory, and we celebrated Raul as a hero for it. A year later and we’re now scratching our heads as to how irresponsible the club has been with the signings of Pepe and Saliba. They both may live up to their initial hype, but 99 million spent on players who didn’t make us champions league competitive the following season, and wont do so this season either (at least in Saliba’s case), is criminal. I want Aouar and Partey desperately, but that “difficult position” Arteta is talking about, that’s… Read more »


In other words, Santori was right … Sheesh.

DB10s airmiles

Well as long as nobody tells him we should all be safe….


Santori has been saying that about Saliba and Pepe for a year, lol


Yes, but he says it in a short novel which nobody bothers to read.


Well said Miki, work with the players we can’t get rid of, assume player coming in, difficult times for all clubs, we still need to off load.

Stan Adams

The fact that Afc have not,once again been able to transfer the likes of Mustafi,Kalasniac,Ozil,Chambers,Guendouzi and others says one thing OTHER CLUBS SEE THESE PLAYERS NOT GOOD ENOUGH OR PROBLEM PLAYERS.
Arteta knows they need to go and be replaced by better quality players but its going to take time,he is working miricles with what he has.


It’s actually a post wenger socialist hangover and nothing to do with clubs not being interested. The players contracts are too high no other club will match them and the players wont drop demands.

If they offer to match it then they want a low ball transfer fee. The clubs in a difficult situation.


All other big teams must be facing the same issue then. Utd, Chelsea, Juventus, PSG, Barca, Madrid – all pay their players heftily, better than us for that matter. Unfortunately, suddenly, fans have started expecting us to behave like a financially rattled mid-table club while just 2 years back everybody wanted us to behave like a big-money giant who would win the league someday soon. We behaved like that. Exactly like that. I don’t see anything wrong in it – what was wrong was the kind of players we recruited, not the money we gave them.

DB10s airmiles

Shhhh, that doesn’t suit the weird anti-Wenger narrative.


We had a socialist wage structure- fact
Wenger introduced it – fact
The problem players we cant shift (minus guendouzi) are Wenger players – fact.

I wasnt being anti Wenger, I love the guy. But this socialist structure was his error.

But hey, sshhh dont let facts get in the way of the akb agenda.



No, that’s not entirely correct. The mainly Wenger-era wage deals against his flatter wage structure (socialist or not) for these players is undoubtedly a big factor. However, the other one is the fact that, as Stan Adams says, they are – on the whole – very “average” (put politely) indeed. There is no way that, for example, Mustafi is worth – or ever was worth – the £35 million we paid for him. I was working in Madrid at the time of that transfer and the joke there was that, on a quiet day, you could hear the laughter all… Read more »


*Del Boy – only dodgy computers sold.


I think we all know mustafi wasnt worth £35 million by now. that was 4 years ago. move on

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Wenger socialism that gave 350k, more than three times the average salary, to Ozil.


A versatile midfielder should come in, or we will not do Champions League again.


Was Arteta always this photogenic? I feel like every picture of his, or video, he just looks so smart and polished all the time, a touch of class.

Or am I just crushing over our new manager? I am all confused, but I have faith in Arteta.


Looking at the current situation most clubs are in , considering the fact that we have self sustainable model where owners make profit and inject no money back in to the club there’ll be no further signings and Salina will return back to France due to personal reasons.

It’s confirmed that we’d be playing midfield with no creativity.

Never Happen

That’s the spirit


Self sustaining prior to Covid but I’m not sure how sustainable the structure of the club is currently – hence the recent pay cuts and staff redundancies.

junaid qudus

pls kindly use ozil for us in the team

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