Honeymoon period may be ending but Arteta remains optimistic

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Is the honeymoon period over for Mikel Arteta and does he feel a new type of pressure is on him?

That was the question posed to the boss ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leeds United as Arsenal look to move on from a damaging pre-Interlull defeat to Aston Villa; a result that has led to much introspection around the club.

While the boss has spoken repeatedly about his long-term ambitions for the club, he knows full well that time is a currency he can only buy with tangible short-term improvements.

A couple of trophies stand Arteta in good stead as he approaches a year in the job but he knows his players need to be more consistent if they are to qualify for the Champions League come May.

“I always feel the same pressure because the demands and the standards that I set to the football club, the players and myself are to be the best,” he told his pre-game press conference on Friday.

“When we don’t do it and even when we win sometimes, I’m not satisfied. Most of the time I’m not satisfied.

“Honeymoon [period]…it’s a consequence of doing things right, the way we compete with our resources and where we are as a team. I’ve been here 11 months since I was appointed. Actually, how long I’ve been training with these players and competing is a completely different story…how many breaks we’ve had within that.”

While it would be hyperbolic to suggest the Gunners have lurched from the sublime to the ridiculous in recent weeks, sandwiching a long-awaited victory at Manchester United between defeats to Leicester and Villa is a sign of our struggle for consistency in the Premier League.

Despite the manner of the defeat, which clearly angered Arteta, he’s optimistic that he has the right people around him to get his players back on track.

“When I lose a football game, it takes me a week to go through it. So I need another game to go again. When we lose it the way we lost against Villa, it’s even harder because it makes me think about things in the past that I hated and I don’t want to see again.

“There are a lot of things to change and improve, me first and it’s going to be a bumpy road. I said that on the first day. The optimism that I have and the belief I have in where we’re going to get, how lucky I feel with the people I have around me to support what we are trying to do is great.”

The one thing that continues to hamper Arteta is the lack of fans. Earlier in the week, he suggested his Arsenal project is suffering because of a disconnect between players and the fans caused by the ongoing pandemic. It’s a message he was keen to repeat.

“What I’m missing big time, is our fans. Because to build something as I want, with that chemistry, that energy…without fans it’s becoming extremely difficult because they need to see, both fans and players, that they are getting that synergy between them.

“Watching on TV it gives you a completely different taste to watching it live, what is happening and what your team is transmitting. But it’s what we have.

“The challenge since I joined, my first job, has been enormous. What I guarantee, is that I’ll try to do my best, keep doing my best, will stay positive, have the same energy and belief and keep doing it. Honeymoons? I hope we have more honeymoons very soon.”

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A P

Not the ‘no fans’ excuse again! As if we are magically title contenders once fans are allowed in.

goongot

The boring football is the reason honeymoon’s ending.

Adam

are your comprehension skills really that poor?

Francesc

Arteta is on the right path. We are competitive now and the next step is to be offensively potent. Arteta knows that and I would be surprised if he doesn’t do anything to change that.

Appels&Pere

At least we have a manager who is keen on growth, staying positive and enstilling that mindset throughout the club. We are trying to get back to invincible standards, it’s going to take a lot of time and patience. It’s a huge challenge to achieve the set out goals, irregardless of money and facilities. To maintain belief and keep on pushing players is up his alley, and that is what the club needs to continue growing. 👍🏼

Alex

Before the lockdown, the style of play was way better than now. Including the results. Nowt it’s regression and PR blablabla.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

There has never been a season like this for extra games in so short a space of time, with way more danger to the health (body and mind) of the players than we have seen before. All (virtually all) clubs are suffering ups and downs as they are affected by the crush of games (including rapid-fire Internationals, for some teams). This is not unique to Arsenal. It is the new normal. Slagging your manager for it is pretty common at the moment, but it suggests that many fans have a rather shallow understanding of the complications that stem from having… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

They got quite a few weeks of rest in confinement before the league restarted.

loose_cannon

Would like to the stats on that, but IIRC we were similar then to how we are now. Certainly we’ve never been a consistently free-flowing attacking team under Arteta.

loose_cannon

Would like to see*

gooner

After beating united I was totally behind his solid and patient game. Villa tore us to shreds and I lost faith but looking at it we have only conceded more than once against Liverpool and Villa

Tough as the fixtures look, they always do when you are average or worse, I still have confidence when i imagine us not letting in two in the game.
It’s a fine balance between defence and attack so we might not score two ourselves in most games but I’ll take it for now.

Biggles

The reality of management is beginning to set in – something that Arteta isn’t and can’t be used to as he’s not managed any club before Arsenal. We’ve had several rather odd “reasons” suggested by the manager as contributing to the fairly rapid decline – empty stadiums, players missing because of Covid-19, the fact there’s an “r” in the month (not sure about that one, but you get the idea). Any/all of which can effect any club of course but don’t appear to. All of these are just fluff, distracting from the real reasons that are all about the players… Read more »

Matt

Am I missing something — ‘a couple of trophies’ I thought including the charity shield in this count was a bit of a joke, but it seems to be a real thing. I guess 6th place is like a trophy these days too — a sorry indictment of where we are

Andy

Yes Arseblog was all over the Charity Shield saying it didn’t count, which is correct. Now it’s half our trophy haul.

Tony

Pls Arteta pls stop this ur excuses. Me think u are not good enough.

Teryima Adi

Give him time, Bro. We are so quick to judge. Liverpool lost 7-2 to the Villans!!!

Daveo

They do have a really good Goalie

David C

His biggest mistake is letting some very experienced players stay in the team too long. No matter what sport a person is coaching (hockey, basketball, etc.), you see this mistake all the time with rookie coaches. They don’t want to lose the room and trust the senior players sometimes a bit too much.

I just hope he starts giving the kids and Pepe a chance. Laca and Willian just aren’t doing it.

Also, can we have the gift of Martinelli maybe before Christmas this year! We’ve been good and patient fans this year 🙂

Artetas Assistant

Danny boy! Just watched the only goal I wanna watch in this world right now: a breakaway goal by Danny Welbeck against Emi Martinez. I was screaming Danny boy kill him for me and he whipped it around his head . Lovely 🧛🏼‍♂️💔

Naked Cygan

We must buy Tariq Lamptey from Brighton to replace Bellerin. Great young talent on the right. He will be snapped up soon.

TeeCee

Meanwhile, in the real world, where we don’t actually either need or want to replace Bellerin…

Artetas Assistant

I hope the Youngen stays fit with so much running.

Steve Vallins

I said before MA has had no apprenticeship it’s his first managerial roll . IMO you have to learn how to lose and move on , in his last job he was not making the decisions it’s a massive step up from where he was . Every manager in the PL has managed somewhere else before there present jobs

WellArsed

I think it’s way too soon to turn on the Manager. The last result was a real disappointment but if we put a string of wins together this talk will evapoate.