Thursday, February 29, 2024

Arteta: I want to see fighters, not victims

Mikel Arteta has responded to questions about dressing room unrest at Arsenal by admitting the players are upset at the current run of form, and that it’s normal for tensions to run a bit high because of that.

The manager insists that the players care, and are hurting because of a terrible run of Premier League form which has seen the Gunners lose eight times so far, sitting in 15th position in the table.

Over weekend some stories emerged with vague talk of factions and players being unhappy, but while Arteta admits there are some issues, he puts it down to results, and is looking for the right kind of characters to show a positive response.

“The atmosphere are the club is as good as it can be when we are all hurting,” he said.

“Because results in the Premier League are hurting, everybody’s worried and everybody’s suffering at the moment because we want much more. We are working to get much more.

“In the dressing room when you are losing football matches, it’s difficult because they suffer as well because they care, because they want more, because the confidence levels start to go through … but the unity is there.

“Is it 100% unity around the club? It’s impossible in any club, even when you win because players that aren’t participating … it’s more difficult.”

Asked how he responded during his playing days when his teams were going through difficult times, Arteta said, “I liked to look around me, whether it’s staff, coach, or players, and I want to see fighters.

“Normally when that happens you have two types of people: fighters and victims. You just need fighters, you don’t want any victims.

“Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity, and they start to blame everything that is happening around them, or that is not going for them.

“What you need is just people who fight, people who contribute, and people who are willing to give everything to the cause in these moments.”

Arsenal take on Man City at the Emirates tomorrow evening in a game Arteta insists is important to rebuild confidence, and take another step towards a Wembley final.

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And what do you call a Willian then?


A liability?

Hank Scorpio

He’s fighting for his right to do as little as possible for his 220k per week


For the umpteenth time, Willian isn’t earning 220k per week at Arsenal. He is on very similar wages as he was in Chelsea.

Arsenal only offered him a three year contract as opposed to Chelsea’s one.

Just to clear the air. Willian has been crap anyway.

Hank Scorpio

They offered him 2 years. Sign-on fee payment distributed across the 3 years is different to wages so technically you are correct but in practice he’s on 220k per week


Hank, if you’re starting to count like that Pepé is on a 4-450k per week. €80m to buy, 5 year contract..
So Willian is costing us about half as much as Pepé is…


Which means he pockets over £34m over his 3 year contract. And we all know he’ll be here for those 3 years in full … so kind of moot what’s signing on and what’s wages.

So over the 3 years he’ll get not far off 2 years of Mesut’s salary (which is about £37m).

Beggars belief that Arteta described the transfer as cheap at the time.


I know you may not be at liberty to share such sensitive information, Blogs, but is it true that Willian moves so slowly across the pitch because he is permanently weighed down by his massive wage packet?


I know what I call Willian.


A Chelsea has been.


He fought hard to get a lucrative little pension contract. Unfortunate for Arsenal that we’re the ones paying out while the bloke sits back and enjoys his earnings.

Diaby's Left Peg

What do you call a guy who plays with his Willian?


Stop picking victims then.


And players that can’t understand that ‘fighting for your team’ doesn’t mean doing things that get you sent off.

Hank Scorpio

Says Mr luck is not on our side
If you’re a fighter Mikel you’re doing the equivalent of blindly throwing haymakers hoping one lands.


Exactly. Saying luck is not on our side is the epitome of being a victim. Stop talking, start winning. Or at least trying to win.


His haymaker of freezing Ozil out landed us 15th in the table.

Toure Motors

looking for fighters? You’re probably more likely to see lord lucan riding shergar with the loch ness monster bringing up the rear


It’s not the players – it’s how they’re being told to play.


Pick a different team FFS. Drop Willian Please, i feel that guy will be the end of Mikel


If only it was possible to sack Willian along with Arteta 😔

Peter Cechs helmet

Cojones. Grow a pair for success.

By Keith Fraser.

Just posted a copy to Arteta.


Little Willian, no balls.

Not a recipe for potency.


Or should I have written – Little willy and no balls?


Arteta – in every post game press conference you have been making excuses, “we are so unlucky etc.” I do believe that
You are acting accordingly to your very own definition of a “victim”…. very disturbing…


Well, Arteta is fighting for his job, so…


I suspect that the dressing room is riven with dissent and blame. There are too many high profile players who aren’t delivering anything of worth and too few people with a fighting mentality. There aren’t enough functioning leaders who the young guys can coalesce around, and far too many egos.


It’s becoming crystal clear that Arteta has lost the dressing room – and he probably lost it ages ago, when he selected his Premiership squad.


The stupid thing is that we signed Luiz and William to bring the leadership and winning mentality / experience the squad needs. What a mess we are in.


Man, oh man. Do I have some words for the way the club treated Koscielny and denied him a 1 year extension, only to splash £8m on a clown like Luiz. Willian for Ozil is just déjà vu all over again. Except that, in this case, we’re still paying Ozil’s wages alongside Willian’s.


Arteta: “Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity, and they start to blame everything that is happening around them, or that is not going for them.” Also Arteta: “…we are proposing everything, we are trying, we are dominating the games but in the small moments, we are losing the games. We lost against Burnley without conceding a shot on target, … we lost again today because of an own goal and a set-piece. When we do generate the chances, the situations; the last pass, the last shot, the last moment [isn’t there] or the post, as was the case this weekend… Read more »


I want to see actual football, people run in between the lines to pass the ball to and combine with each other, fighting for every ball, not only crosses. Thank me later Mikel.


More talk.

That’s all you are, pal. Talk.

You dropped your best creative midfielder and brought in a fucking over-priced Chelsea has-been to replace him.

You blame your players publicly, you put your own managerial incompetence and our dire results down to ‘bad luck’ – and then you have the cheek to indirectly accuse your players of being ‘victims.’

Just go. Go – and go now.


Talks a good game this Mikey fella (lol)


Arteta has a shit team. End of.. until he’s backed in the transfer market this is us. Maybe 3 players Partey? (Not sure as injured) Auba and Gabriel get into top four teams. The rest, shit.


Come on, Tierney and Bellerin would walk into most teams, Saka would be snapped up too. No one is playing well at the moment, that makes them look shitter than they are.


Are the players worse than the likes of Denilson, Eboue, Gervinho, Andre Santos etc? There’s better players in our squad than 15th place. The manager needs to bring it out of them


Rubbish. We have a good squad with a few idiots who have to be offloaded ASAP (Willian, Xhaka, Ceballos, Mustafi and Luiz) and a world class creative midfielder who would walk into most Premiership sides, with the exception of Liverpool and City. What we do have is a manager who is clearly out of his depth. I’m sure Mikel Arteta is a lovely guy and he played well during his time with us, but his managerial inexperience is there for all to see. All that remains is how long it’s going to take this equally incompetent board of ours to… Read more »


If this statement (fighters or victims) is Artetas response than the situation in the dressing room is even worse than speculated. This is typical, one direction, either black or white, no nuances, donald trump kind of argumentation with no arguments in it. Sounds bit desperate and it is utterly inconsequent to his own actions. This is exact oposite to great and clear communication he had at the beginig. He himself failed to act upon the standards he has declared and set up and know we’re at the point of “either you with us or against us” and it is shit!… Read more »


Stop the steal!

Artetas Assistant

Underrated arse comment

Exactly bigman, it’s a juvenile badhabit . It worked in olden days, but I listened to Mourinho in a recent interview and even he now knows to respect different personalities . This is the singular reason life is being made difficult for all the languids on the team : Pepe , Ozil, AMN, Martinez, Saliba. But I can’t expressly side them , they should bust their back it’ll be good for them. But Mikel could make life easier for himself by understanding that looks are deceiving him

Looks are deceiving you –


For Languid I take it you mean players with a bit of flair and skill who like to create, entertain and make the ball do the work.

Not chase about for 90+ minutes like a tit in a trance and remain permanently on a pass backwards and sideways default.


Arsenal made themselves to fall by the inexperience management, With bad recruitment of players and contract negotiation cost it all, How can you build a football team with out good creative midfielder, what’s good in Ceballos than Özil, from midfield to striker no one is playing to win just as if they for free, If Arteta wants to progress first he need to dictate who is willing to win not just entertain himself in the field. Edu is not doing the job well, Arsenal need better experience directors who have interest to move the club forward not just his own… Read more »


Yes, but I’d not go back to wenger. Don’t think he’d be able to work in a modern system (director of football/technical director + head coach), he was making jokes about it. And he loves power and Arsenal too much, we’d be back where we left off. Never again.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I consider the problems we face now to have begun when the owner and his procession of incompetent boardroom %$%^s started to chip away at Wenger’s “power”, and strip away everything that made us The Arsenal.

As soon as Silent Schtumm had control of the club I think Wenger was fighting on two fronts, against the competition, and against the morons placed in charge.

We’ve been on a slippery slope ever since we turned into a circus run by clowns.

I love Arsenal. I despise the men running (and ruining) it.


That’s just false. From the get go Arsene blocked a CEO appointment proposed by Kroenke and personally approved Gazidis, who was a figurehead yesman just as Wenger wanted. The old man had all the power in the club, and during his last 5 years also solid financial backing (top 4 wage bill, top 3 net transfer spending). So yes, it was he who stripped Arsenal of winning culture, recognizable style and eventually capacity to be in top 4. He had the resources and all the power.


Where AW left off is miles ahead of where we are now.


I’ve seen this in other places as well over years, when players want a manager sacked. They are lacklustre in their performance, backward and sideways passing, deliberate overweighted and off target passes, no whole hearted shots blocking. No pain from deep inside for losses, only fancy words like our fault not the managers, things like that. This looks like it.


I fear for Arteta as this group have shown in the past they will down tools on the manager, and lack the fighting qualities to give their all for the club. They did it to Emery and are now doing it to Arteta. Very few deserve to wear shirt of Arsenal. I am not sure what options are open to the manager apart from playing the kids.


this group have shown in the past they will down tools on the manager, – just like the 90%+ of the gutless ‘fanbase’ victims who are shitting themselves and need to man up.


This group have history. The managers come and go but these players fail over and over again. They play well for a bit but will revert to type eventually. It is not the fans that need to ‘man up’ but the players.


After 40+ years of supporting the Arsenal men’s team, as the men’s team look like they can’t be Arsed, I’ve decided I’m only bothering with the Arsenal women’s team from now on:

Arsenal 9, West Ham 1.
Arsenal 6, Reading 1.
Arsenal 4, Sp*rs 0.
Arsenal 3, Liverpool 2.
Arsenal 5, Brighton 0.
Arsenal 6, Sp*rs 1.
Arsenal 4, Everton 0.


Hold on there, MA. You been widely quoted as saying that the lack of fans is a (big) factor in the team’s poor form – although every club is under similar restrictions. Likewise, fixture congestion was supposedly another factor – although that too is the same for all clubs. Those comments/excuses sound a tad like playing the “victim” to me. The truth is that, for whatever reason or combination of reasons, a highly paid manager and a squad of very highly paid players have managed to produce one of the worst starts to a season that this club has had… Read more »

Martin Harper

William is rubbish .pepe a waist of money just not premier league standard should have used the money to buy saha instead .all in all we should start to use some of the team playing in the Europa league team in the first team now .get rid of the dead wood.could name them but I’m sure we all know who they are .


When the manager is talking like this, and then also listing stats as to why we should be winning, it’s dangerous times.

We all know why we can’t win. Our midfield is crap and therefore can’t score goals. Other reasons. Of course, but having crap midfielders tops the list.


I want to see players and artists. Not fighting or suffering. I want joy and flair.

Rip it up and start again.


Cannot agree.
If you hadn’t noticed, it has been ripped up, and were on the edge of a relegation battle.

Marty Cohen

Going down to 10 men is not bad luck. And teams with strong fight in them don’t just fold up shop when that happens. Watched LAFC drop to 10 men (deservedly) in 1st half stoppage time against Club America in CONCACAF Champions League, already down 1-0. Yet they came out in 2nd half, scored 46th & 47th min goals to lead, and won 3-1 in a very chippy game.


Nobody will fight for you if you keep on picking for example Willian and Xhaka to start for the team. It’s the same in every organization, if you have freeloaders on the team – it demotivates the team. If you as a manager accept mediocrity and do not promote meritocracy then no one will listen to your bullshit

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