Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arteta: I didn’t expect such good starts by the new boys

Mikel Arteta admits summer signings Gabriel Magalhães and Thomas Partey have exceeded expectations with their early performances for Arsenal.

The Brazilian centre-back, signed from Lille for €27 million, has become a mainstay in defence since being thrown in the deep end on the first day of the season. Ghana international Partey also has Gunners fans licking their lips after an eye-catching showing in the centre of midfield against Manchester United at the weekend.

Given neither player had any experience of English football prior to moving to the Emirates, the boss is impressed.

“I’m really pleased with the way our new players have settled so quickly,” he wrote in the official matchday programme ahead of the Europa League clash with Molde.

“They play with a lot of maturity and look like they’ve been here much longer than they have. Don’t forget Thomas and Gabriel are completely new to this league.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect this level from them so soon because I know how tough this league is – you cannot compare it to any other league in the world.”

The boss went on to pay tribute to the thoroughness of Arsenal’s recruitment process.

“We try to pick certain characteristics in the profile of players that we want to find for our club,” he explained, “then we want to minimise the risk by looking and looking and making sure that they can contribute to what we’re trying to do.

“I know that there are still some connections and units where they don’t have that flow, because they haven’t played much together. I can see that. But also I can see the spirit we are creating and the personality that they are showing on the pitch.”

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Good point, even some great players took time to settle in (Pires 6 months…).

Both Partey and Gabriel are looking like two of our best players for some time, exactly what we have been missing for years, athleticism and technical ability in the same player.

Best defence in the PL atm, hope that continues and we perk up on the scorign front.

High gooner

And they also look gooood in those warm up shirts in the picture.. damn those would be nice as 3rd kits..


Was just going to say, first time seeing those training shirts. VERY NICE! *borat voice

Bergkamp 3:16

Always important to remember that it took Pires 6months to get going so how do we square the circle that is Pepe and given that we excuse centre backs for taking longer to develop it’s clear that Gabriel at only 22 has so far proven an exception to the rule. Pepe had as stellar season as Eden Hazard did in their last seasons at Lille before making moves to Premier League. At what point do we admit that Pepe will never light up the league as we anticipated and what expectations should we really have for him? I know the… Read more »


Yup like wise using hazard as an example. Pepe first season in arsenal > Hazard madrid’s significantly.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Why didn’t you compare with Hazard’s first season in PL?


Because it’s a dumb line of argument. Mo Salah and Kevin de Bruyne didn’t look like superstars in their first seasons in the Premier League either.

And people should stop acting like Nicolas Pepe’s massive performances vs City and Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup semi and Final aren’t a huge part of why we’re even playing in Europe tonight.

I swear this fanbase has the memory of a goldfish


If you watched Pepe his performance was not much different in Lille from what we are seeing now, same style and everything. The only difference is that he scored more goals which will come eventually.


Mostly agree with this. He still has the happy knack of coming up with goals+assists even when the rest of his game isn’t clicking.


Says a lot about the quality we had in these two areas also. Both have been great, but I expect them both to probably get even better. And they have already looked levels above what we had.


I didn’t know Gabriel is only 22, very young for a CB. Could be a star for us for the next 10 years or more!

Thierry Bergkamp

Sabriel for the next 10 years!


That Gabriel fella is good. Really really good.
Now give Saliba a chance to exceed your expectations.
He good too


Hadn’t asked myself why Mikel was willing to risk integrating Gabriel much more than even consider Saliba. I’d rather Saliba makes mistakes than old defenders who’ve been with us for a while but it seems Mikel prefers the odd mistake from an experienced player. As much as I trust Mikel I think there must be space for Saliba that we would sacrifice and in this case being mustafi who is leaving on a free so there is no value to protect and not much value to gain. Blooding Saliba in has more value. I’d have even let him play in… Read more »


Saliba will get his chance next season, Arteta already made up his mind on Saliba like he did with Ozil and Sokratis. He might be be on loan in January though.

Man Manny

I am truly licking my lips, but it’s in anticipation of next season when the team would have rounded up like a full moon. I believe some aspects of this team is still hidden in the clouds.
I have no doubt in my mind that we will be title challengers next season and beyond.
In Arteta/Edu we trust.


It’s great that they’re here and they both look fantastic. But it does beg the question why something us as fans could see for years was an issue wasn’t addressed previously. We all knew we were crying out for a bit more of a physical presence in midfield and in defence, and we’re finally seeing what those kind of attributes bring to the spine of a team

Just utter madness it’s taken this long


Err… If you read what Arteta said quoted above you’d understand! You can find the signings but if he doesn’t fit the profile of what you’re trying to do it won’t work. Just ask United 🙄
We could have signed other players with mobility and physical presence they he won’t have the same impact.


Arsenal fans have been begging for a new DM for years, but who were they asking for? I’ll tell you …. Melo, Capoue, Cana, Wanyama – substandard players. Players like Partey are rarely available to buy and they normally go to bigger clubs.

Even Kante (we tried to sign but Chelsea offered more money) is a completely different kind of player.

Artetas Assistant

The Arteta Effect


Wait. He expected worse from Saliba?

Freezedawg of Sweden

Not clever this time around either.




Well, it shows that it came be done and, although controversial, there’s a lesson of sorts here for Pepe. Whatever other factors there may be, he can’t be labelled as “hitting the ground running” unlike these two players. Still, I’m sure we all hope that he’ll begin to live up to his massive fee soon.

Reality check

Partey was baller everyone already knew that but Gabriel looks like a steal for 25m. When Merson and Adams can’t find a fault, you know things are going well..

Thierry Bergkamp

Metson is a dick

Thierry Bergkamp

Merson too


Am I the only one feeling like Gabriel under-hits his passes? Is it a caution thing?

Artetas Assistant

Growing into it, Luiz sets a hell of a standard


I knew Partey would make an immediate impact cus the type of player he is would blend in any team because of his qualities. Gabriel, I never heard of him before he got here but from what I read on this blog I was convinced he was going to be a good player.


I always fancied us getting both Partey and Aour but when it came down to choosing either of them I always fancied us going for Partey. Yes, we needed creativity so badly but Partey seemed built and ready made for epl who would have instant impact whereas Aour look like a guy who might need time to bed in (a luxury we can’t afford at the moment). Don’t get me wrong, we need Aour type of player in this team but getting Partey first makes the job of later acquisition of a creative player easier as we’ve seen in the… Read more »


Cf. Pepe

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