Arteta: I can feel the support from staff and players


Mikel Arteta believes he still has the full backing of everyone inside the club and insists he’s seen nothing to suggest otherwise.

Despite his side embarking on a calamitous six-game winless streak, the Spaniard has had public backing in recent weeks from CEO Vinai Venkatesham, technical director Edu and a host of players.

Obviously, he has to turn things around quickly to retain their faith – he’s not blind to that – but the boss also maintains that the club was well aware that life under him wasn’t going to be all plain sailing given the job he inherited and the conditions he’s been working in.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, Arteta was quizzed on whether he’ll get the time he needs to fix Arsenal. He replied: “I said it from the start that I felt really supported by the owners, by the board, by the technical director and then by everybody that is at the club.

“At the end of the day, it’s the feeling that I have with the staff, with the coaching, with the players – the most important one.

“It’s about what chemistry you have with them, what understanding they have. Do they follow you? Do they believe in what you are trying to do? I always have to say thank you, because I haven’t seen anything that goes against what we are trying to do. It’s like anything.

“This industry needs results. After a big shakeup, we need to find the stability. In order to do that, we need time. We all knew – at least the people who made the decision with me to start this new project – that it wouldn’t be a quick fix and it was going to take time. When you are shaking things up, things can take a while.”

Asked whether being the manager of Arsenal is more difficult than he expected, he went on: “I know, and I realise, how difficult the job is in normal conditions when you get to a club that goes through what we have had to go through in a year, and on top of that we have a pandemic that is affecting the whole industry.

“The way that you can even live your profession and then do what you want to do normally is even more challenging. But this is what we have.

“At the same time, I am telling you I love what I do, I feel so lucky and privileged to represent this football club and the circumstances and context that is in this moment are where they are, and we have to face them because there is no other choice.”

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Apart from Willian and David Luiz who have apparently gone to Edu asking for MA to be sacked…


…..and your source for this is?


One doesn’t need sources for anything these days …


….and why would Willian want him out? The guy that gave him the length of deal he wanted – at a fabulous salary, that plays him despite poor form and that gave him a free pass for the Dubai trip? I would have thought Willian would insist that MA STAYS.


But one does, however, need sauce for bacon sandwiches.

A bit of brown, you can’t go wrong.


Wow that’s a massive statement!!!


I’m impressed given the difficult decisions he’s had to make and the recent poor results.

Let’s hope he can turn it around.


I really feel we need to still believe. Bringing a new manager is not the answer.


Balanced piece on Arteta and the task ahead by Balague on the BBC worth a read.


I’m not sure how much trust I place in Balague. Whenever I’ve seen him on Sky he’s making confident predictions based on “sources” that rarely come to pass (and he’s never called out on this).


Well, this piece seems more like an assessment of how things have gone and what he’s up against, with not a lot of “source-based” information that we haven’t already heard whispered about in the hallways. I don’t recall reading any predictions in it – don’t think it is that kind of piece. I think its value rests in being a calm evaluation of the situation, which is obviously very different from a lot of the stuff you read these days on Arsenal and Arteta.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

A Spaniard helping a Spaniard, punto final.


Yes, Balague on the BBC is worth a read.

The Dust of Forgotten History

There’s been an article from the Athletic (reputable source) claiming dressing room discontent over a perceived unequal treatment of players (i.e. starting Willian after his Dubai trip).

I believe Arteta is potentially a good tactician, but his inexperience – or perhaps a more fundamental lack of leadership ability – might cost (might have already cost) him the dressing room.

The unequal treatment of Pepe and Xhaka speaks to this and personally left a bitter taste in my mouth.


These are minor incidents that are being blown out of proportion because of our current situation. It wouldn’t even be a story if we weren’t in this situation. Arteta is in no threat of losing the dressing room, at least not right now — the players have all gone to bat for him with the media at every chance they get (including Luiz, who rubbished the story of him being at the heart of team discontent). You can obviously make up and believe whatever you, and obviously Arteta is dealing with a tough situation with a bloated squad and a… Read more »

The Dust of Forgotten History

Notice that my comment was laced with speculative conditionals (“might” “might have”); would you mind providing the source from which you gain your certainty?


As I mentioned, there are plenty, plenty of player testimonials on Arseblog News (Tierney, Saka, Bellerin, Leno, etc. including Luiz who released a statement directed at these rumours) that you would have read yourself in the past 2 weeks. Those are players going on the record to register their support and belief the manager, to stake a claim to our poor performances themselves. Admirable stuff. Add to that Edu and Vinai, who have on multiple platforms re-entered their support of the manager, not to mention Arteta’s peers present (Pep, Klopp) and past (Wenger, Monreal, Cazorla, Zabaleta, etc.), and you have… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

But not saliba, guendozi, Ozil, Pepe, sockratis. It’s like on your on a one man crusade to defend Arteta at all costs. Could you tell us your source “Arteta is in no threat of losing dressing room”


Well, Saliba and Guendouzi aren’t even in the dressing room, Ozil we’re told is being the perfect gentleman by Leno this week, and I”m not sure Sokratis speaks; after that, as mentioned above, more players are speaking out in harmony with Arteta quite publicly — I’m not going to track down the actual articles for you, as I”m sure you know how to use that thing at the end of your fingertips, but you don’t even need to leave this website to find most of it (the David Luiz bit is released by his representatives). Those are my sources telling… Read more »


Spot on Futsboller.

Hank Scorpio

Lots of players came out in support of Emery while he was manager. Former team mates and managers have defended Ozil. What’s your point? You appear to be hellbent on defending Arteta regardless of the obvious errors he’s made and continues to make and cling to reports of player support and are dismissive of reports from the Athletic. He has contributed significantly to squad bloating, marginalised players with his phoney and inconsistently applied drill sergeant non-negotiables schtick, continued to pick underperforming players and is getting his team to play a brand of football ill-suited to our most prolific scorer. I… Read more »


My point is that I trust what our players are saying, that I trust what Arteta is saying, and that I trust what Edu is saying, and I trust that we will work our way out of this funk. Arteta proved last season that can muster incredible performances from this group, and we’ve added an excellent player in Gabriel and another one in Partey, and it’s a matter of time before we break through the confidence barrier and begin playing good football again. I’m not going to grab onto a report that indicates some grumblings about double standards and decide… Read more »

Richard Compton

What do you mean by unequal treatment of Xhaka and Pepe? Perhaps a sober assessment would be that these are two players who Arteta would seriously like to replace. Neither have the essential attributes for the EPL.


The idea that all players are equal in the eyes of the manager is actually a really “stupid” concept. Theoretically everyone has a clean slate with the manager but surely whether you actually get treated that way depends upon what the manager sees in training and on game day. Put your hand on your heart and say you think Pepe gives his all in every game he’s played for us? The irony is that MA got lambasted by the fans for calling out Pepe after his red card but then lambasted for not calling out Xhaka…has it ever occured to… Read more »


Willian has statistically been our most creative player this season (actions leading to shots). He is also our the player with highest average ratings among all our players.

Xhaka has one chance created to Ceballos’ 10 (1 assist). Saka at 11 (0 assists, 1 goal). Bellerin at 13 (2 assists).

Willian has 3 assists this season for us in Premier League. And 17 chances created.

All in all, Willian is the best player for us in this diabolical season. By creative numbers, and by average overall rating.

Pure numbers. Zero opinion.


that’s why stats are so misleading.


Not necessarily misleading so much as highlighting the utter absence of creativity and assist-making abilities in our current squad. We’re working on it, and things will improve, but this has been a painful defining feature of our play so far. Not sure Everton, City and Chelsea matches will give us much of an opportunity to do anything but hang in there and fight, but hopefully on the other side of that we begin to play a more poised football on the pitch.


Great observations


I’d argue that the Fulham game was somewhat anomalous, they very much looked like a championship side when we played them and are a totally different proposition now. If you removed that game as a statistical outlier, where would Willian rank? I’d also ask what were the quality of those chances created?


Yeah, I mean, if we can toss games and performances out as anomalies, then there you go.


Being able to detect and control for anomalous observations is essential for robust statistical inference, in fact it’s the very essence of separating signal from noise in data. Without wanting to say too much about myself, this is a substantial part of my day job. To give an example, consider Son and Kane. Both are having great seasons, playing for Spurs notwithstanding, but both had a standout game against Southampton. In that game Son and Kane got 4 goals and 4 assists respectively, clearly anomalous in any season. If you were to exclude that game, separating the signal from the… Read more »


Well said — my apologies. I allowed my anti-negativity campaign to get the better of me on that one, and didn’t quite think it through before posting. I just didn’t want to see one of our bright games this season go dark.


No need to apologise!

Hank Scorpio

If you know anything about statistical analysis you know it can be perfectly acceptable to remove outliers from a data set. So there you go.


Yeah, I see that now. Perhaps I need to step away from all this for a bit, as I’m beginning to realize that my crusade in defence of the manager is a little anomalous, too! Apologies.


Which just goes to show what a load of old bollocks most stats are.

The most important ones are the ones in the Premier League table – and ours are atrocious, an utter disgrace.


Pile it on, Qwalitee!


Just a few little home truths mate.

Arteta’s piling it on – like a fat bloke in a bakers.


If we are analysing individual performance, the table is a terrible place to look.


Maybe I prefer to ‘analyse’ the table, because not only are we in danger of slipping into a relegation dogfight, but to ‘analyse’ our performances at the moment is akin to placing faeces under a microscope.

Still, whatever floats your boat…


Arsenal won the FA cup a few months ago.
With the players at the club today.
Its a matter of team confidence that is all.
True, there is some dross at the club but a lot of that will be gone by the summer with contracts expiring.
And some talented young players like Saka, Martinelli and Smith Rowe.
Things are depressing at the moment – but we have the tools to get ourselves out of this mess..

El Mintero

Well said. Everyone needs to calm the fck down. Clear out the dross and give the guy a chance to build something.


Yes, but the fans won’t decide one way or another – it will be down to whether the owner is prepared to be patient. A good pointer of how things are going in that area will probably be whether MA will be provided with funds for purchases in the January window. There’s been a lot of press speculation about the players that he might want to try and bring to the club – although whether anyone will want to move to us unless there’s a pretty substantial change in results by then is another question. As we don’t have funds… Read more »


I don’t see us competing for the title any time soon. Look at all the contenders, the amount of quality in the teams is scary. Their benches could walk into any team in the world. Apart from Spuds maybe whose squad is pretty thin. Like Arteta said we’re 5-6 players away from being contenders. And that’s 5-6 world class players. Maybe we get lucky with another couple of youngsters, but players like that will cost north of 50 million. Another top CB, at least another top midfielder, a top striker and wide player. Probably another fullback on either side for… Read more »

Hail Gus!

He’s like the smiling bus driver heading towards the cliff..


There he goes complaining about the pandemic again. Which, incidentally, every club had to suffer. It’s not as if MA is the only manager to have a truncated season, no proper pre-season or no fans. It is the same for every club!!

What MA could control, he got it awfully wrong.


Has the pandemic really affected each club the same way, to the same extent? Do 30,000 seat stadiums feel it the same way as 70,000 seat stadiums? Has Newcastle, who had to shut down their training facility for days, experienced it the same as Southampton?

Such a disingenuous comment, just to keep the discontent with the manager gauge reading high. Shameful.


Yes, although he does say that Covid affects the “whole industry” – true, of course, and an interesting choice of word, “industry”. That said, I do share concerns that MA seems to identify “problems” that affect our performance but which, in fact, affect every club. Anyway, he’s up against it now, despite the point against Southampton (to think, a point at home is treated like a clear win nowadays) and time is beginning to run out, albeit we’re not yet at the tipping point – that will probably come in the early New Year, unless there’s a clear improvement.


I just don’t understand why our fans deliberately misread and misrepresent what Arteta is saying. He is not pointing in any way shape or form at the pandemic to say that it is the source of our poor performances or that it has prevented him from doing his job any more or less than anyone else in the industry. He was asked if this year, his first full calendar year in charge, has been more difficult than he expected, and he said yes, because look at what the club is going through (massive changes to its executive and internal structure,… Read more »


You and MA need to get a room.


Very nice.

Now start doing your job properly and winning football matches.

Preferably via some decent football.

Paul Roberts

“The players like me, honest”


Pathetic, isn’t it?

A draw at home to Southampton and the dressing room is suddenly one big West End theatre song and dance number.


We shouldn’t need to get into speculation on whether he has “lost the locker room” or other such speculations. This is a results business, and his results are total crap. I can’t for the life of me understand the uniquely Arsenal view that swapping out a coach is such a drastic action. Similarly, we should not compound the preposterous promotion of Arteta from Coach to Manager by sticking with something that is clearly not working! The past decisions are sunk costs. We can still change the future, and only the future.

For example:


Just have a little look at Watford’s history. It appears to me that this is the model you aspire to.