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.”