Arteta: Villa game left a bad taste but I’m not ripping things up


Mikel Arteta says he won’t be ripping things up and starting again despite a temptation to do so after Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

Having beaten Manchester United the week before, the Spaniard was clearly frustrated that his players couldn’t build further momentum when they returned to the Emirates.

That most of his squad immediately jetted off for the Interlull has left him gnashing his perfect teeth for a couple of weeks. However, it’s also given him time to take some distance and analyse his squad’s strengths and weaknesses more objectively.

Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leeds United, he told beIN Sports: “I think you are always tempted after a bad result to change everything you do.

“And I think that’s a really bad temptation because a lot of things are working and it’s really clear on the things that we want to improve on, and how we’re going to.

“The reality is the last game left a really bad taste and the way we lost against Villa with the performance. I just wanted a game right the next morning!

“You want to take revenge straight away. Now it is time to think, to reflect, to be critical about the things you can improve.”

While two weeks without a game does seem like a good time to analyse things, it’s not like Arteta is going to have much player contact before we head to Elland Road. Most of the squad should be back at London Colney today meaning three full sessions before heading north; not exactly much time to press home new ideas.

What’s more with positive Covid-19 diagnoses for Sead Kolasinac and Mo Elneny and others playing lots of minutes with their countries, he has a complicated job picking his side.

Arteta is certainly expecting a tough match. Arsenal sent Leeds into a bit of a wobble when we beat them in the FA Cup earlier this year, but Bielsa’s men recovered their composure to win the Championship. They’ve not looked out of place in the top flight, amassing 10 points so far.

“I’ve been following Marcelo for many years,” Arteta said. “We have some friends in common, some players that they’ve been really attached to him over their careers.

“I have a lot of information on how he works; how he makes his teams play. You know when you face one of Marcelo’s teams that is going to be so intense, so difficult, and you have to be really, really prepared to face that type of opponent.

“We experienced it in January. We had two really different halves, the first-half where it was a shock for our players, just to live that experience against them, and the second-half where we were much better and we ended up winning again.”

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For god’s sake, rip it up – the football is filled with fear and boring to watch.


As a progressive manager, it’s wuite important to have feedbacks from some fan sites and casual observers. I know he’s got his assistants and analysts and all them pros, but some of these fan sites really do know their onions. The worry is that Arteta seem to be taking the Villa result in isolation, as a one-off. It’s not. Tim on 7a.m kickoff really catalogues over the last couple of weeks how his team selections and set ups have negatively impacted performance. It’s not been working, we have just been riding our luck and eventually we got found out. There… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

So, in short, you think Arteta ought to be taking advice from people who are really good at football – computer games? Man, that’s got to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. Well done.


The sportswriter himself!

SB Still

Lanre’s opening lines aren’t something I agree with. However the part of the comment about analysis showing that the Villa game not being an outlier but has been predicted is true. 7amkickoff used to do the stats piece here – arseblog/news. I agree with you, that if a fan who does part-time analysis and can spot the trend, Arteta and his team are bound to know it too. I only wish Arteta does something about it sooner rather than later. Ofcourse, he was hamstrung by trying to move on some underperforming / unwanted players, to invest in the the creative… Read more »


Arteta and his team know everything we know. However , we do not know everything he and his team knows. They know much more about our players watching them everyday in training , not 90mins once or twice a week. Also , he shouldn’t have the irrational reactions that fans have , and should know his own mind. I don’t want him bowing to fan pressure if he really feels his way is the right way.

Artetas Assistant

First two lines is underrated


You do realise most of us call him the messiah and curse his team in a space of three days? We are good at what we do which is overreact and nothing more. If he follows what fans want he will field 19 players and not 11 and find it hard to place one player in 4 positions at the same time


Can’t tell from the first few lines if this is satire…


People who’s played football at the highest levels and think they know it all (aka your modern day pundits – Keane, Neville and our very own Henry) also failed at management, and you think the fans would know better?

I’m having what you have please.

P/S: for what it’s worth I do hope Arteta fixes things with his coaching staff, just not by listening to the fans.


Let’s hope for a win.

A loss like the Villa one is a real downer before an international break, so would be great to be on the up again.


How can anyone downvote that ??
The internet eh?


Rival fans that follow Arsenal.

Naked Cygan

The things we can improve on are so clear. 1. Drop Willian for few games and give Pepe/Nelson more game time. 2. Play Auba in the middle or atleast play Laca higher and give him more service. 3. We need one of the midfiled players to make more central runs into the box like Willock. 4. Play at a higher tempo once we attack. We tend to keep passing the ball in the middle and defence, and allow the opposition to get back and recover. 5. Limit number of predictable long balls. 6. Take more shots. 7. Practice taking corners.… Read more »


Should be no problem to meet these expectations by Sunday.


mate! you are a genius. have you sent this to the club ?


So there are 10 things that we’re not doing well. What are the “a lot of things are working“? Even the defense that was looking pretty solid got shredded by Villa.


l fear he is going to be as stubborn as wenger was in latter years. its not just one bad result ffs,we may be stronger defensively although after the villa result that is also in doubt, but we have turned into the boring arsenal everyone used to unjustly label us. our attack has been completely nullified and we are currently rock bottom on chances created!! 1 goal from open play in the last 4 matches, it needs changing now!!


That’s why Arteta is going to be a long-term success as a manager — he is stubborn, he is intelligent, and he has a plan. All the makings of being a success. Not sure why everyone wants him to be a politician who blows with the wind.

It’s frustrating for us because we want success now, but we’ll be very pleased in the near future if we can just support him as he works a few things out.

Jeremy DG

Stubbornness is not a good trait. It comes from ego which is the downfall of most people


You are right about the majority of people, but think about the managers in football who have been successful: they are stubborn, they have large egos, and they need both in abundance to deal with the ebb and flow of fan madness, the endless criticism and questions from the media, and the rigorous demands of handling, on a daily basis, millionaires and superstars who earn more than you do.


You could be right but common sense suggests that if he has a plan (and has had it from the beginning of the season at least) then why are we where we are now? Clearly what’s been tried so far, all the permutations, the use of different players (so forced changes, others not) has resulted in us being in a pretty abject PL position. As they say, the table doesn’t lie. I take your point that it’s a big job that needs doing at Arsenal – if we’re honest we have to admit we’ve been in (relative) decline for years… Read more »


Surely Arteta is making changes, but as he said, he’s not going to rip things up. Lots of room to manoeuvre in there. No one wants to be where we are, but we’ve proven to ourselves since he’s taken over some very important things: we can beat the best teams in the league, we can play very structured and air tight football (we had the best goals against prior to Villa), and we can raise expectations enough that people are, once again, demanding immediate results and not accepting losses. These are steps forward, despite appearances. I’m not happy with our… Read more »


Being stubborn is a good trait when you are doing the right thing.

He is practically learning on the job and has refused to keep things simple like a learner should.

I would bet a penny we finish between 7th and 10th this season.


Yes that is where we will finish, I think 8th. But this team can’t really do any better it’s been a long decline. I don’t think it will improve much under KSE ownership no matter who the manager is.


The only good manager is a stubborn manager. The only good manager is an adaptable manager. The key is getting the two of them to work well together. I happen to trust BOTH the process and the manager.


One mans stubbornness is another mans conviction and perseverance….


Great ….


Thing is, it’s not just the villa game that’s the problem, and we’re in trouble if he can’t see that!


When the sea is calm you can let a rookie sail but when the sea is rough, You need experience at the helm.

I believe we made the wrong choice and we will realise it with time.

He is not a bad coach but this job came too early in his career.


Yeah just remove Lacazette from the squad. You don’t have to rip up the team for that.


How are people downvoting this lmao
This is exactly why Laca won POTY in 2018 . Because Lacazette stans are rabid af


Leeds will come at us hard ..
It might be a good thing if we emulate them . If we don’t ..

I guess not so good.
But it will not be boring this time around at least.


This is a game suited for Arteta’s chance-nullifying tactics that have led to results against the big teams — because Leeds play like a big team.


Alarm bells going off!


You might want to get that checked mate…


He’s summed up the problem. When things are obviously going badly (as they are for us) it takes experience to know how far to go to correct things. Occasionally, it takes only a “tweak” here and there, more often something more drastic. Unfortunately, Arteta has no other experience of managing a team in trouble (or any team) so he can’t call on that here. His time as assistant to Pep at City won’t be of help as they were never in the position we’re in as far as I know. The buck clearly stops with him as the manager now… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

I’ve watched a few Leeds games and they are full of energy and all about good movement. They do the simple things right in an attacking sense. I would be happy if he played the Europa XI for this match. They seem to click in attack. Nelson and Pepe must start. I think the international break hasn’t done us any favours and feel we will have to play with wing backs.

Jeremy DG

Wait for it. Aubameyang on the left again. A toothless Laca down the middle and pointless Willian on the right. Xhaka anchoring the midfield and no Willock or Nelson on the bench. We’ll Create 2/3 chances all game (which Laca will likely miss), pass the ball side to side slowly out of defence and get roasted on the counter, out passed and out shot by Leeds pace, directness and energy. All the while Mikel will scratch his head on the bench wondering why it isn’t working (making some like for like subs such as Nketia at the 70 min mark… Read more »

David C

I guess I don’t have to watch the match now 🙂

Jeremy DG

Na go and watch it. I’m usually wrong. I’ve just reverse jinxed it


Not like Auba is scoring heaps. nor had he been as effective up top as many prefer to think. Most of his goals have been from left channel with him having the luxury of space to run into the box. Nominally he is either fed by Xhaka with ball over the top or from Tierney or Saka. Up top he lacks the touch and loses the ball far too often (arguably even on the left)…which puts us under duress. He does not have the strength to hold and distribute that Laca has. Auba should stick to the left unless the… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

1. Laca has been woeful so if Auba stays left you’re suggesting he keeps getting games
2. You’re operating on the assumption that tactics will remain unchanged for Auba central not working
3. Barely utilising the right is a problem that wreaks of Emery’s Kola cutback tactic
So in sum, keep playing Laca centrally and Auba left based on sticking with current tactical approach?


Re: 1, Nketiah is sounding good to me.


I am sad to inform you that you are right


Maybe wishful thinking but he might just be saying this and surprise us all with a 4-3-3 with Saka, Auba, Pepe up front! Who am I kidding?

David C

I’d love an old school Wenger 4-2-3-1

Bellerin Holding Gabriel Tierney
Partey Xhaka
Pepe Ceballos Saka


I’d love to see Pepe just behind/with Auba. Ceballos with Partey, Someone else on the right.


Arteta is hamstrung by poor choices up top and somewhat by injuries at back. 1) I think he needs to play as stable a backline as possible. Granted injuries to Cback, he needs to keep the backline familiar as much as possible, pick the right times to rotate. I feel he is rotating too much and players have to familiarise themselves each time. 2) In midfield same thing particularly in central partenrship. If its Partey and Xhaka (which it should be) then that should be the main focus to build familiarity (Willock and Elneny can rotate but less) 3) Critical… Read more »


For some reason each manager insists that Aubameyang should be on the left, but just watch all his 31 goals from the 16/17 season in the middle. I would say he scored from the left in spite of being out the and it is costing us a creative left sided attacker too.

Every goal is inside the box and quite a few headers too. Lacazette and Nketiah just don’t offer the same threat and chances are going begin.


He plays on left because his touch is horrendous at times. He also does not protect the ball well under duress like Laca does nor is he competitive hunting it back. OTOH from left side he has freedom to run into the ball (nominally released by Xhaka) Most of his goals start from the left with him darting infield not from the middle. Where he has scored from the middle he has been afforded free space bc the player in the middle pulls defenders to other side. When he plays up top and is successful, this is usually when we… Read more »


“When he plays up top and is successful, this is usually when we face opponents who come at us and are willing to come out of their shell cede real estate at the back.”

ie leeds.


If he keeps persisting with Laca and Willian and that dreary 5-man defence he may find himself out of work by January, truth be told.
Don’t acquire the habit of being stubborn like Wenger or Pep until you have been succesful like they are.


I also have to highlight Kroenke’s lazy management again. Arteta and Edu inexperienced to be given all the house keys like
this this. We are gonna be screwed big time it another Emerylike fuck up happens



This is all policy from top that dictates the failings.

Yet we are surprised and some think Arteta is better than Emery?

We are in 12th.

…yet some will still say he needs his own team.

Its pure drivel excuse making.


Arteta may be better than Emery but he must learn to adapt. Play to the strengths of personnel not to their weakness.


BC Auba is scoring more goals?

He has scored plenty last season starting from left. But this season he has been poor.

Willian bc we have a better alternative in the erratic Pepe?

Wake up


He’s not saying he’s gonna do f*ck all and leave everything the way it was before the interlull, sounds more like to me that he is prepared to make some tweaks but nothing so drastic as to rip it up and start again.


Insist that the non-negotiables (100% effort, constant tracking back, energetic pressing and ruthless focus) apply to Willian as well as the rest of the group – if nothing changes at Elland Road he is on the bench or out of the match day squad.


I wonder if Willian signed with the 12.5% wake cut like the rest of the squad:-)


Willian likely was the last straw for Sanlehi. But Edu had his hand print on it too. Inexperienced people in transfers and we are surprise we are saddled with 72m on Pepe and then 27m on Saliba to weigh on transfer budgets each summer… then add Auba and Willian in wages (not to mention recently Partey)…. As mentioned two seasons ago, we could have made a strong move for Luis Campos at mighty Lille, got someone in with proper experience from trenches (Or say Overmars) that would have been the right thing to do if we wanted to risk on… Read more »


Oh so it’s Luis Campos we should have got.You was banging on about Emre Can every single post.Another PlayStation manager spouting nonsense.


More of the same then. Tiki tika in front of our 6 yard box. Slow build up and safe passes. Over rotation of players leading to lack of fluency and understanding between potential key partnerships particularly in deep midfield. Lack of dynamic movement up front. As mentioned before, we would have done better to have lured Simeone. Athletico have a reputation for being a defensive side but they are actually superb identifying key strikers over the years Forlan, Costa, Falcao now Felix etc Recently Simeone brought in Llorente many felt may be a move bc he was willing to let… Read more »


If you read between the lines, you will deduce the coach was brought in because he was probably the cheapest option and easiest to control.

Cultured Determination

we are having problems scoring. play saka on the left, pepe on the right and auba in the middle.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

It wasn’t just the Villa game though, certain individuals have been underperforming for months


Genuine question: do we believe that if Arteta had Cesc Fabregas in the team – would be build around that or leave him out for more defensive, intense players? Or just play him out of position like Auba?

Personally I think it is option B or C which worries me.


This wasn’t what I wanted to read first thing in the morning. He is again planning to play focusing on the opponent. its exactly what Emery did. Please play our players in their best positions and add some new faces to starting line up when clearly, the ones being chosen are underperforming. He talks about us being in shock in the first half against Leeds, FFS I want Arsenal to dictate games and score a lot of goals, but that won’t happen if they wait to adapt to other teams styles and counter their strengths.

Arthur Dent

Hope the football improves. And hope our players stop punching each other