Arteta: We have a lot of things to do

54

Mikel Arteta remains confident that Arsenal are on the right track despite a series of Premier League defeats knocking the stuffing out of early-season optimism.

After eight games of the 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners sit in 11th place in the Premier League with four wins matched by four defeats.

While the Europa League has been a doddle, and we’ve achieved notable wins over Liverpool, twice, and Manchester United, the recent 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa brought our defensive fragility and attacking toothlessness into sharp focus. Indeed, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this has been anything other than a frustrating season so far.

As he closes in on a year in the job, the boss is well aware of the hard work that still needs to be done if we’re to close the gap on our traditional ‘big six’ rivals.

“We’re a long way, I’m afraid,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “It’s part of a process. The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition.

“So far we have played 14 games in all competitions this season, we won 10 and lost four and the four of them have been in the Premier League, so it is a little bit imbalanced.

“There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term, we have seen a lot of changes not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well, it’s been difficult, it’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened.

“We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright. I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day that really hurt after the performance we had at Old Trafford.

“We have to understand why it happened, be really critical first of all with myself and try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.”

Arsenal returns to action on Sunday afternoon when we faced newly-promoted Leeds United at Elland Road. With so many players away on international duty at the moment, Arteta faces an anxious couple of days before being able to flesh out his plans for a massive game.

guest
54 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gooner79

We are heading in the right direction. Keep going Mikel. C’mon you Gunners!

Biggles

Not sure that our overall PL performance this season justifies that remark. If a lowly league position along with an anemic goal scoring record and a leaky defence suggest we’re going in the right direction, what would going in the wrong direction look like, I wonder? I’m not saying the position is irretrievable, far from it, but this isn’t where almost all Gooners thought we’d be at this (albeit early) stage in the season.

Futsboller

Prior to the Villa match, we had beaten United away at Old Trafford (for the first time in years) and possessed the best defensive record in the PL — very un-Arsenal accolades, and proof, along with an FA Cup, Community Shield, and handfuls of belief throughout the club and fanbase, that Arteta has us heading in the right direction. Had we beaten Villa, the mood around Arsenalville would be boisterous. But we didn’t, it was a significant setback, and Arteta knows it and has taken responsibility. We need to create more chances, we need to score more goals, and we… Read more »

Runcorn Gooner

Fine margins. Had Lacazette not missed (again) it may have been a different game. As the whole world knows you have to convert particularly as we are currently not creating a lot of chances.
He has got to be harsh regarding Lacazette (and Willian).
We still have 3 EL qualifiers to go and give those 2 a chance to prove they are still worth a place.

loose_cannon

Lacazette scoring could have made a difference, but we shouldn’t have been relying on the one chance to knick the win. The reality is we were well beaten by a beatable side. Before they played us, Villa had lost 3 on the bounce including shipping 3 to Leeds and 4 to Southampton. So while Lacazette’s form is an issue, it’s only the tip of the iceberg really.

Allan Makalla

well said

Foluso_1

You spoke my mind.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Look the fact is that the table position is not good enough and defeats to Leicester and Villa definitely don’t point to the club going in the direction that it should be going in. Yes there is the win against United, but just how much hullabaloo should be placed on a win against a team that is 14th in the table? Again, I trust Mikel, but let us not pretend that this a great start. I would frankly call it a disappointing start this season. Arsenal had no business losing to both Leicester and Villa at the Emirates. One fluke… Read more »

Lettra

I’m with you Biggles it’s an unpopular opinion but it’s not untrue. I Kinda agree with the first comment a bit as well as a lot of progress has been made but there are huge warnings signs.. We create less chances than most of our opponents.. And for some reason we have stopped pressing this season which we initially did . We are looking more organised but do not really do much in any direction and we are killing a few careers while doing that . We need to up chance creation drastically or we will end up among the… Read more »

Stevorama

I agree that if results improve, than this period could be seen as a step along the path. We’ve won a trophy, beaten some big teams, and I love the new (mostly) reliable defence. The big question though is whether results will improve! The issues are clear, and the answers seem somewhat obvious, yet the personnel and tactics remain the same. We’re approaching a tipping point. As much as I like Arteta and I’m desperate for him to succeed for all of our sakes, we cant continue to give him a free ride. Auba through the middle, and dropping Willian… Read more »

No free pass ok maybe for the bus

Currently Auba is as droppable as the other two. No free pass. You’re right Arteta must be ruthless to instil this mentality onto the team. I like the gaffer and I like this group of players. COYG

Reality check

Take Auba’s world class form out and Mikel have nothing to show. One of them will have to pick their game up because the belief is hanging by a thread..

Matty

Drop a few players who haven’t warranted a start like Willian and lacazette, play 4 athe back and Auba through the middle flanked by Pepe and saka and go from there.

Johnny 4 Hats

If Willian and Laca start on Sunday then it’s an insult to Eddie, Nelson and Pepe.

David JM

and what sort of message does it send out to the younger players, especially when stories emerge of trying to sign a player to play in their positions.

No free pass ok maybe for the bus

Eddie is not good enough. His lack of technical ability is obvious and the fact he’s been put on equal level with Laca would be an insult for any striker.

cranky colin

But they will

Dr. kNOw

The ugly truth MAY BE that the tactics are the problem.

Laca has too much space to patrol all on his own; enough for two men, in fact. Auba and Willian are too far apart from him to combine with him and are equally isolated without their respective fullbacks. The midfield has adequately progressed up the pitch in only one game all season.

The only thing that seems to be performing to any reasonable standard is the defence, which he has looking solid and playing out from the back fairly well.

Frog

Shhhhh. Don’t point out the obvious. It may just work and disrupt the “ process”. Whatever the hell that means. Put your best players in there best positions and let them play football. No genius required with where we’re at right now.

Kostas

The grass-us-greener-on-the-otherside disease applies to Arsenal as a glove.

We fans have this disease.

Wenger out brought Emery In. Giroud out brought Lacazette in. We wanted a change and we said we will be patient with the next one but Emeryball became emeryout in blink of an eye and Fans Footballer of the year 2018/2019 became flop in a season.

Most of fans “analysis” is about what we dont like based on negative results but with no consequences if our solution is implemented.

Please dont make Arteta a victim of change

gooner

Call it all you want but Aubameyang is the last person I’d play in the middle in “Artetaball” . He has been a wide forward most of his career and thrived there and the two seasons at Dortmund are the exception. The other years at Dortmund, Lewandowski, Immobile and Ramos played there. At st Etienne Riviere, some other guys I don’t care remembering and Brandao played there. When he joined us we benched Laca but quickly brought him back and played Auba wide and he has been good and successful there. With the problems we have it’s easier to forget… Read more »

SciGunner

Are we going to buy a creative midfielder in January?

Asking for a friend- If Christian Erikson is available on a cut price deal and willing to join Arsenal, should we go for him?

Walter White

Im not Keen on Eriksen. I think his best days Are behind him. For some reason, since he became a dad, he hasnt been good for the past 2 years. I follow the danish national team as well and he hasnt been spectacular.

Fabulous

Some rumors going around on Soboszlai (probably wrong spelling). A goal scoring number 10, though currently playing in Austria.

I like the look of another player from RB, the German one. Sabitzer, though no news on Arsenal being linked with him so far.

Johnny 4 Hats

This Leeds game is massive. Rightly fans are giving Arteta the benefit of the doubt right now. I personally am not too panicked.

But if we take a beating at Elland Road, which is a hard fucking place to go, Andrew and James could well be reading out Arsenal hashtags on Monday morning.

Praying for a good result and that Mikel finds the balance we so desperately need.

Naked Cygan

I wish Arteta the best, and agree that he should be given the benefit of the doubt. He deserves a full season, but his stats in the league must better Emery at the end of the day, otherwise we are just going backwards. He really needs to change his tactics going forward, we are not testing the keepers enough, and if you don’t shoot you don’t score.

Sac, Lac & Craic

Klopp’s stats at Liverpool were worse than Rodgers’ for a good season and a half before he took off to those astronomical heights.

I know it’s become a bit of a tedium hearing this for those who comment so dramatically, so often but… patience.

fmikael

Hear hear

Lula

so Willian and Lacazette to start against Leeds, then?

Fatgooner

We need a change of direction from Arteta. He needs to be more adventurous against the weaker teams and he has to be ruthless with the underperforming players. Lacazette and Willian out.

Aubameyang in the middle would be a great start.

Frog

This is literally Arsene Wengers last years all over again. A blind man can see our issues and the obvious solution, yet our manager either can’t see it or refuses to make the change. It’s insane.

Fatgooner

Hi, Frog.

I think because Arteta won the FA Cup, beating the bigger sides, with cautious tight football, then he’s become addicted to that style of play. But when we’re playing Leeds or Southampton we can be more adventurous. As for Willian, Arteta is under pressure to play him to justify the Brazilian’s wages. He shouldn’t cave in: William is doing nothing for the team right now and should be dropped.

Anonymarse

Cautious and tight may be a better idea against Leeds

Biggles

Well, it’s certainly up there as one of the great understatements of the season so far. It’s one thing acknowledging that there’s a lot to do – I suspect 99.8% of Gooners have probably worked that one out along with, hopefully, 100% of the players and backroom staff – and another thing entirely to do something effective that reverses the situation. We’ll have to see what happens over the next run of games. It’s unfortunate that, on paper anyway, that’s a potentially very tricky run but when the going gets tough, etc. We’ll see how tough Arsenal are. We need… Read more »

Tanned arse

I think there’s no point in the season when we won’t consider there to be a ‘very tricky run’. Which really does indicate how we view our team. When youre at the top, a tricky run is one where you might play 2 teams in the top 4 or 5. If we were to play WBA Fulham and then maybe sheffield utd (on current form) then that’s the only run I see as not tricky (but I would still be surprised if we picked up 9 points)

Lord Bendnter

Everyone has been focusing mostly on blaming Arteta and the formation for Villa’s defeat. But, for me, the blame is mostly on the players. Like in Baku, it was our players that cost us the match, not Emery. We have a lot of shitty, semi-retired players and we are a 6-10th position team. This is the reality, and it will take a lot of patience and multiple transfer windows to fix (especially since we can’t throw money around as our owners are quite stingy).

Oregoon

Arsenal seemed threadbare and uninspired, and a couple of players namely Laca and Willian, reacted to play instead of being on the front foot. Definitely the worst performance since MA has been in charge. It looked like a game that we believed just showing up would get us a win. I thought Arteta had cleaned up that type of mentally, but these habits might take longer to cure.

HenryKamp

If only Arteta could think of some of the below changes.
1. Switch to 4-3-3
2. Stop playing Willian. Start Pepe or Nelson on the inside right flank which can be overlapped by Bellerin on the flank to pass or to cross.
3. Start Auba in the centre. Sure he has scored when playing from the centre. But, Laca is not good at heading. His shooting accuracy is worse. Auba has 2/7 headed goals whilst playing from the centre.

Tanned arse

Playing auba central for me is more crucial for the fact that it frees up a position to utilise a genuine creative player (saka). Sort out the supply first. Auba will finish. I think eddie will finish in the same way. Both are basic preditors but for me we need better in those creative areas and auba wide is hindering us in that sense

Alex

“Trust the process”…how long will we go on trusting the process? You’ve been there for almost one year, Mickey, and some drastic decisions must be compensated by striking results.

Fabulous

Most of which were also thru the covid period. He’s effectively there only 6-8 months at most.

Sac, Lac & Craic

A year in football? Nothing. What are you 12?

Name*

Proof of the pudding is in eating it. And the proof of any true change in direction or improvements will be seen on the pitch. Arsenal swing between a frustratingly incapable communicator and the torch-bearer of honesty and responsibility without a sustained upward trend in performances. Sticking with Willian – won’t say Lacazette, because he is required to play in a manner totally at odds with the way he did during his best times at the club – will show these words to mean so little. Players like Nelson Pepe and Willock deserve chances. I am especially interested in seeing… Read more »

WhatthehellMikel

For Christ’s sake Arteta, get the job done and stop acting like a new young manager, hired during a global pandemic that both severely limited practice and player deals as well as club finances. Just because the ownership and players who deal with you daily show so much respect for you. Just because respected coaches and players across the world have heaped respect and appreciation upon you. Just because Arsenal are now competitive against big teams like was demanded by you, ownership and fans alike. Mikel, Stop behaving llike it is ok to be suffering defeats like Virtually every big… Read more »

Sac, Lac & Craic

Worst fans in football

Tanned arse

The comment about trying to understand the players better is an interesting one. It suggests he’s open to the idea that he’s misused them. Now that could just mean he’ll keep certain players in the team (players I think can be improved upon regardless of their misuse) or it could mean he’s willing to try new players he was less enthused about because he didn’t think they fit. Either way I don’t think it’s subtle changes that need to be made. There needs to be a very different approach in attitude towards progressing the ball forward and then getting key… Read more »

A Different George

So, this is completely off the subject, but I had to share my reaction to the very worst handball call I have ever seen. Not because the referee missed it or over-reacted or anything like that, but because apparently he saw it clearly, there was no ambiguity, and it was still called a penalty. In Switzerland v Spain, Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland was defending a corner. He jumped for it and it sailed over his head. The Spanish player, about a yard or two behind him, bent slightly and headed it hard into the back of Rodriguez’ arm (probably, it… Read more »

MAD1982

why is this fanbase so up and down. 1 week we beat united and Arteta is a genius and “you can see the way he has set them up” to a week later, is Arteta the right man, Auba through the middle etc Auba hasn’t been through the middle the majority of time at Arsenal. Willian plays because Pepe isn’t anywhere near as good as people like to think. He is very 1 footed and predictable and rarely looks good against sub par teams in the Europa league. Arteta is cautious because a number of these players are too indisciplined… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Just tell them not to play with the handbrake on especially against the “lower” teams. Sermonise on defensive solidity all you want , Arteta , but let them express themselves. We can’t be playing with fear against the Villans of this world.

TeeCee

I do like the way that Arteta recognises that the buck stops with him.
It’s like he’s made of anti-Mourinho.

Wade

Yeah I agree, headed in the right direction. Look I was disappointed in the 4 losses, but realistically they were against Leicester (top of the log), Aston Villa (on form), MCity and Liverpool. If you include form teams, we have already played 5 of the big 7 teams, only 2 left. So we are looking like 4th place on current form, not shabby. Sure there’s room to improve but I’m positive about 4th place.

Ozenal

Leeds are a dangerous proposition. We will have to be on top of our game to score against them. Bielsa is a wiley manager with so much experience behind him he has inspired not only our manager but also the likes of Pep, Klopp with his idea of getting more shots off than you concede. Although his man to man marking works well with his young team. The press breaking ability of Partey could be a secret weapon, further reinforcing the push by opposition to direct attacks down the flanks, particularly vs Bellerin who has been tasked with providing attacking… Read more »

KingKolo

Interesting to see Mikel wants to give them more solutions to win more football games. Get the feeling the last thing these players need is more solutions to think about. Wenger always believed the players themselves had the solutions. A little more Arsene and a little less Pep needed

Steve Vallins

I see Arsenal’s future being really good under the guidance of MA . He has not done any apprenticeship as a manager for the job he is doing now , the ultimate decisions were being made by someone else .
MA and his team IMO will have to learn how to lose first , it asks questions of your judgement where as winning can sometimes can look easy .