Arteta: If I read press stories it would drive me mad

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Mikel Arteta says he’s well aware of what is being written in the press and on social media about Arsenal but he doesn’t read the articles because he’s sure they would drive him mad.

Against the backdrop of Arsenal’s ever-extending winless run, the media has had a field day in recent weeks peppering the back pages with stories of bust-ups, discontent and divisions in the Gunners dressing room.

While Arteta has confronted his players about leaks from within the camp, he maintains that he still has support from those around him and that the atmosphere at London Colney has not soured despite the obvious concern about performances.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final with Manchester City, the boss said: “From within the club everything I am feeling is just support, encouragement, and total confidence that we will get through this together.

“Externally I never read what is happening, I know more or less what is happening but I never read it: in beautiful moments I don’t read it, in difficult moments I don’t read it, I just try to focus on the job and what I have to do.

“But obviously a club of this stature deserves the best and when it is not happening, everyone is going to question what is happening. I am the most responsible one in terms of results, so I have to accept that.”

Pressed on whether he can ignore the negative stories that keep surfacing, he launched an impassioned defence of the work being done to fix things.

“I didn’t say that I don’t pay attention, I said I don’t read. I do pay attention and I have to be aware, and I am aware of what is happening and that s part of my job.

“What I am saying is that I don’t read, if I started to read all the comments whether they are positive or negative, it would drive me mad and my suggestion to every player is exactly the same, all the time it happens with social media as well because you cannot control who is writing or what their intentions are so it is a very dangerous thing to do.

“When you talk about the dressing room and the atmosphere at the club, the atmosphere is good, as good as it can be when we are all hurting because results in the Premier League are hurting us.

“Everyone is worried and everybody is suffering because we want much more. We are working to get much more.

“In the dressing room when you are losing football matches it is difficult because they suffer as well because they care, because they want more, because the confidence level starts to go, but the unity is there.

“Is there 100 per cent unity around the club? It is impossible in any club even when you win because when players are not participating, it is more difficult but when you look at the perspective about how we are losing football matches and how we are where we are, it is pretty incredible.

“Last year we won the game against Everton with a 25 per cent chance of winning, you win 3-2. Last weekend, it was a 67 per cent chance of winning, any Premier League game in history, and a nine per cent chance of losing, and you lose. Three per cent against Burnley and you lose, seven per cent against Spurs, and you lose.

“There is something else apart from that it is not just the performance on the pitch, it is something else that needs to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t. Saying that, it doesn’t care and you lose, and the only thing that anyone cares is that you lose a football match and this what we hear.”

We’re not really in the mood to stick the knife in right now; Arsenal as a whole is a bit too depressing at the moment. However, it’s a tad worrying when statistics (we have no idea of the source of those he cites) are used to mount a defence but an unquantifiable thing like ‘luck’ – which is what we assume he means by ‘something else that needs to go our way’ – is pinpointed as the solution.

Hmm.

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ChrisM

Last year we won the game against Everton with a 25 per cent chance of winning, you win 3-2. Last weekend, it was a 67 per cent chance of winning, any Premier League game in history, and a nine per cent chance of losing, and you lose. Three per cent against Burnley and you lose, seven per cent against Spurs, and you lose.

Well shit, here it is folks, the quote that will get trotted out again and again if he gets fired.

DPK

I really want Arteta to succeed but bloody hell that is just complete nonsense. If he really believes that, he (& we) are in dire trouble.

Hank Scorpio

I don’t even know what that means. How are these percentages even derived?

DPK

About 71% of those percentages are made up

Henry

When you do something with an illusion that you will do it successfully you will create by yourself the other illusions to make the failure acceptable. He’s mad already.

David C

60% of the time I’m right 90% of the time.

John C

Do you think he wears Sex Panther?

Bould's Eyeliner

I think Chris has lost too many a tenner over 2019-2020

Johnny 4 Hats

I think he works them out like we used to work out if your crush fancies you at school. You write their name and your name and then you do some bollocks I can’t remember and you end up with the percentage that they love you. Or in Mikel’s case you write Arsenal and then your opponent and it figures out your chance of beating them. You may mock, but I did it with Sally Hartley when I was twelve and we are a 92% match. Two weeks later we’re holding hands in the playground. No one knows how it… Read more »

DPK

Don’t leave us hanging man. Does she go by Sally 4 Hats now ? The people deserve to know !

Domi

I’d also like to know 🙂 reminds me a bit of George Strait’s song “Check Yes or No”, I recommend a listen to everyone 🙂 Btw, I found a cure to keep my cool during our matches, and by accident. My wife was cleaning around the house before the match and music was on the tv at the time. To keep music on I put the tv and the match on mute and put music for her on the speaker in our living room, it was also a best of from George Strait and since his music and voice calms… Read more »

Kave_art_man

I’ve been doing this just so I don’t have to listen to the annoying commentary but it’s also got this bonus of taken away a bit of the pain as well 😀

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, it’s a funny story. You see she had dreams of becoming an actress and I really wanted to open up a jazz club as I was super rad on the old jazz piano. Then she did this one woman show and I missed it coz I was on the road with my boys in a jazzy kinda pop band. So she got all pissed and I was like “Hey, I gotta make bank somehow”. And then we did a dance. And then she married some old dude. But they came into my jazz club one night. And I was… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

My life is now complete that I know the final chapter of Sally “Almost 4 Hats” Hartley. I can now die a happy man, thank you for this gift. Have you thought about writing screenplays, because that dialogue between you and Sally, Sorkinesque. When she says “sup”, I will confess, I shed a tear. Magnificent.

Twatsloch

Someone should make a musical out of your and Sally’s story. It deserves it.

Domi

One of the best comments ever on this blog IMO. I salute you sir!

SarcasmB0t

This is some off the deep end shit.

Where can you go from here?

I half expect him to just declare the results a “fraud” and say he’s “winning”, Charlie Sheen style.

I hadn’t been Arteta Out, but after reading this nigh incomprehensible gibberish, he needs to be fired, for his own sake as much as ours.

Tombo

They’ve done studies you know. Sixty percent of the time we win every time

EddieRitchie

Ahhh, a Sex Panther connoisseur. Nice.

Cowadunga

Almost Wenger-esque.

Timorous Me

I’m sympathetic because when you’re a manager and things like this snowball and you’re in the weeds, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. (Did I mix enough metaphors there?) Really–it has to be overwhelming.

But I have trouble imagining Arteta rewatching these games and thinking we’re doing anything out there that looks like it would lead to winning. Passive, slow, unambitious, predictable football, with no semblance of an attack or counterattack, is going to get you nowhere. What even IS this?

Raghav

I have a feeling that Arteta knows that our gameplay hasn’t been good but is unable to change it due to whatever reason (lack of motivation from players, quality etc).

Having said that, don’t think he can come out and openly state the same.

SarcasmB0t

I understand that when you want to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs, but I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. He’s just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic when he has bigger fish to fry. Not to mention, the rats seem to be abandoning ship. I know people say grass is always greener on the other side, but I’m afraid this ship has sailed.

santi's thigh grab

If he just plays the best players, and tells us, these are the best players we have and they are in fact the best players we have, then we would all understand he’s playing the best players. But as long as he keeps trying to sneak Willian into the starting 11, we know he’s not playing the best players. Just start the players you want to keep and pick the best from the rest. Just stop picking Willian.

mrugunner

“There is something else apart from that it is not just the performance on the pitch, it is something else that needs to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t. ”

also: “i want to see fighters, not victims”.. yeah right…

SarcasmB0t

In the context of the article, he’s probably talking about the fans.

The fans, after all, are the victims here.

And he’s right not to want to see fans – he can avoid “press stories”, avoiding the boos would be much harder.

Hank Scorpio

A few articles saying there’s division in the dressing room. Some for the manager. Some pissed off at treatment of Sokratis and Ozil. Surely they must all (except for Willian of course) be united in the ‘How the fuck does Willian keep getting get games’ group.

Atom

It seems like from reports one of the biggest things working in Arteta’s favor is there’s a realization this squad needs to be torn apart. So many of these players downed tools for Emery & there’s little to no leadership from the senior players. When our ex captain thinks it’s ok to get a red by grabbing someone’s throat it tells you a lot about our leaders. We probably need to treat January like a summer window and try to move on Laca (seems like decent guy), xhaka, mustafi, papa & Ozil now if possible. Losing Luiz this summer and… Read more »

Domi

I agree, except when you say “the players downed tools for emery”, I can understand why they did thay, obviously they didn’t buy into his philosophy and with time it just didn’t work.

atom

So I get that – but it’s also a character issue IMO. These are highly paid professional athletes who have a responsibility to put forth their best effort at a bare minimum. Guys that down tools for one manager very easily can do it for the next.

Hank Scorpio

I don’t think January is the time for massive turnover given we’re in a relegation scrap. Yes the squad does need to be rebuilt but players take time to adapt and January isn’t the best time for that. If it was me I’d bring back Torreira as cover for Partey and play someone with a bit of dynamism next to Partey. AMN is the best we’ve got in that regard right now. Bring back Ozil (I’ll be happy when the Ozil circus if finished btw) too, especially for those low block defences. We need quicker ball movement and more movement… Read more »

atom

They’ve made it abundantly clear that Ozil’s career is over here though with Edu saying they don’t have anyone at the club who can provide creativity & need to bring someone in to provide that.

I really think with a lot of these players it will be addition via subtraction. We have potential leaders here – Tiernney for instance, Partey, Gabriel, Leno who might find leading much easier if the senior players moved on. & honestly what are we getting out of those senior players anyways – they’ve routinely proved they just aren’t good enough.

Hank Scorpio

I have no doubt Ozil is done but right now we need creativity and I don’t think we can bring that in. If the Isco rumours are to be believed then Championship here we come. Personally I’d like a pragmatic approach free of egos when it comes to the current situation but that won’t happen. Some senior players are leaving for free but I think the club is only going to move on some of the others by accepting fire sale prices given their wages & the current financial environment. Then there’s the issue of holding onto the wrong players… Read more »

atom

I realize we disagree on this but Ozil is just a big name IMO at this point – he puts up so many 3/4 out of 10 type performances. He’s being viewed as the solution largely b/c he’s not playing in the current team in the same way that so many players (Joel Campbell was the poster child for this) have in the past. The biggest problem isn’t a lack of creative players (Pepe/Saka/ESR/Dani all have that ability) but how Arteta is setting the team up. His system flat out doesn’t work against low blocks and everyone knows it. We… Read more »

Malaysian gunner

When Arsenal were winning the cup and shield,Arteta was right to ignore Ozil
However to say the gunners are unlucky despite dominating games ,he is wrong.Arsenal have majority possession . That is their style.
They can be hit by the sucker punch as has happened,
He shd look at how other teams score with speed and less passes.

budgie_named_george

If I watched Arsenal play, it would drive me mad.

SarcasmB0t

Wonder what the chance of him losing the job is.

Mentalista

I do get his point about the percentages and luck, though.

We have been consistently outplayed by the majority of PL teams in the last year or two and still managed to win a cup and get into Europe. We’ve been very lucky in the recent past, especially with our keepers and Auba in form. That luck seems to have run out and now we’re exposed.

Top Bins

I really want Arteta to succeed, he has the DNA, passion and maturity for the role yet lacks the one vital thing that every manager at every big club has… experience of managing a football club prior to taking the job, at one of the biggest football clubs on Earth..

This still doesn’t sit well with me, with all due respect to Mikel.

Henry

He has Barcelona DNA or Everton or Ranger or PSG, I don’t see any Arsenal DNA in his style of play.

SarcasmB0t

After reading this loss percentage bullshit I’m less woried about his DNA than his blood alcohol content.

Mike Lowry

Hey Blogs, Have you ever thought of having a transcript available on the website of the recordings/pods you do?

Rens

Now everything makes sense, this squad is amazing! We strive for the impossible, so with a chance of 3% or 7% losing it’s easy to win. Why not try to lose, that’s a far greater achievement isn’t it?
I thought I believed in Arteta but with his same mistakes, zero progress and now his ridiculous comments I start to doubt it more and more…

loose_cannon

While in retrospect the FA cup run did mask an indifferent league campaign last season, did anyone truly anticipate that we’d be this poor and in 15th place in December? It’s actually genuinely upsetting to think about, and this absolute nonsense about “percentage chances of winning games” while playing relegation football isn’t helping! I actually think Edu should be under even more pressure, but comments like this aren’t helping Arteta’s case. Really hoping he can still be a success here but he needs to drop the crap about being unlucky etc, accept we’re playing a shite brand of football and… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Vinai is the first guy I would chop – he has no football background and has been a disaster from day one.

santi's thigh grab

Evidence for this comment?

loose_cannon

Vinai at least has the good sense to delegate football related matters to supposed football people, unlike someone like Ed Woodward. The problem is who he’s delegating to.

Domi

I agree with you on Edu. For all his obvious and current faults Mikel faces the press every few days while Edu is in the background (I understand it is also due to their positions), but we cannot say that we know from Edu what his mid term and long term strategy is. Looks to me like Edu is waiting in the background and hopes to survive one more casualty on the managerial level like he did with Raul. If arteta goes Edu should go too, he is almost equally responsible for this mess, his cuddly relationship with effing Kia… Read more »

loose_cannon

Have to remember that Edu has axed our scouting department and was a driving force behind the signings of Luiz, Willian, Soares, Mari. If this club fails, it’s absolutely on his head as well.

Timorous Me

I didn’t like that, not at all, but I also think it’s fair to question whether that decision was really Edu’s. To me it reeks of an edict that came down from higher up.

Henry

I really worried reading this if he said it in his total honesty. Because that means he still doesn’t figure out what is wrong with his team and his tactics and his actual ability.

gus

So glad spuds have lost two on the bounce- never did i ever not give a shit about our results and just only looked out to ensure spurs dont win the thing- until arteta and his wayward methodology are out the door im supporting every team in the league that prevent spurs winning it,
thats how dour it has become

Nainsley Aitland Miles

There’s an upcoming block of games – Brighton, WBA, Newcastle (twice), and Palace – which I reckon will be the games that determine his fate.
We’re at the point now where we should play our strongest team (whatever that is) in the Carabao Cup game tomorrow. Two games away from the final – we’re not likely to finish top 7 and I don’t fancy us against Benfica – so the League Cup is perhaps our best chance of European qualification next season.

ZoCalRo

Has Project Arteta failed? The club have one month to decide/action whether we play Championship Football next year or remain in the Premier League. FACT 1: Arteta is in his first coaching role and keeps losing games.  FACT 2: He has no experience of dealing with the relegation fight we are in.  We have two options: Option 1: Significant investment in new players in January, probably 3, so that Arteta at least has real talent to put on the pitch. If it was me they would all be midfielders, x1 tough nut defensive mid, and x2 with real creativity. (BIG Question:… Read more »

loose_cannon

A combination between Options 1 and 3 would actually be the best case scenario, maybe we could spin it as an upgrade on Edu (and Kia)?

Noni

Benitez, Pochetino, or Redknapp!? No, yes and no f-ing way in hell. I’d take Pochetino (grudgingly, but knowing he would be good for the team) but he’d never join us anyway.

Shoot me down, but I reckon we should beg Wenger to join as interim until better options are available at the end of the season.

Tony 2

Gin infused with cucumber is very nice

Shill

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Tony 2

It’s not its true gin with cucumber is very nice

Iain

Fighters not victims???? Allow for large tumbleweed to drift through down Drayton Park whilst I consider that statement. Outside of Saka, Tierney, Partey and Gabriel- Fight is something we have seen very little of. No movement off the ball, slow and lethargic passing. No fire. No passion, Nothing. If Arteta wants to keep his job then he will follow this mantra and stop picking Willian, Elneny, Ceballos and Xhaka and give the Europa League stars a go. I for one would be wholely more comfortable with an AMN /Partey / Willock / Chambers mix- Dynamic running and pressing being the… Read more »

Biggles

Regardless of what the press reports, time is nevertheless running out for MA. I don’t think anything will happen before the early new year (assuming we don’t turn things around of course) but the owner will have to make a decision about keeping or replacing MA at some time – and when, if he does go for a replacement, there’s time for whoever that is (and who’d join Arsenal at the moment?) to turn things around himself. As I’ve said before on this site, I feel sorry for MA as his lack of any managerial experience prior to this job… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

Aye the clock is ticking. If he can get 9 points out of the next 12, I think he will make it because as Blogs states, the fixture list is pretty daunting after those four games. The players and manager both need confidence right now.

Biggles

Yes, a good run in the next four games will be a big boost to MA’s prospects, no doubt. I just wonder whether the team is really capable of turning things around under the current manager. I’d love him to be able to find the formula – and it can happen sometimes, like turning on a light. I must admit though that I’m becoming a little more sceptical as time passes. Anyway, we’ll see.

ZoCalRo

Biggles, sadly MA has run his course at Arsenal. Your comments are spot on about ‘lack of managerial experience” and he is being found out in the most unsymphathetic of environments. Also crucially I believe he is a good talker but a poor man manager. He reminds me of an ex-boss who spoke eloquently upwards and outwards, but had no idea how to relate to the suborindates in his team. We felt a complete lack of leadership and purpose. For a while the talk kept him in his job but after results deteriorated (we felt no leadership or purpose) he… Read more »

TeeCee

I don’t blame him. I reckon that one of the questions asked at any interview for a football journalist is : “Who do you support, Manchester or Tottenham?”.
They’re all making the most of the opportunity to twist the knife right now.

MattB

He’s in over his head. Best if he admitted as much but he’ll hang onto that three and half year contract until the club decides to act. Clusterfvck all round really.

Rich

Arteta is 100% right in not paying any attention to the media. Our media is full of political activists masquerading as journalist. it’s not about reporting the news, and allowing slow news days, to just to become slow news days. it’s about viewing figures, clicks, subscriptions, aiming to please targeted audience demographics, so they don’t switch off And in turn, polarising half the country. Sensationalising every little story, and turning our country and democracy into 24/7 soap opera. Most people only see and hear, what they want to see and hear So keep telling them a narrative they want to… Read more »

Elgon Views

Wow, I use statistics a lot on my job but this is borderline delusional!! I don’t remember a game we have dominated both with possession and quality chances created. We were almost criminally dominated by Aston Villa, can’t deny results against wolves, Leicester plainly laid out their game plan and executed it in a way that exposed MA lack of managerial experience, Spurs scored 2 goals and sat back- Arteta thinks arsenal dominated, he should watch arsenal tapes against Chelsea in Wenger days where we would dominate after they scored . Everton sat back as well, meaningless possession stats for… Read more »

Qwaliteee

The guy is running scared. A shame, because he was a good player for us and undoubtedly a nice bloke. But this is a results business and he’s not doing it. When Wenger left we all knew that it may well take a Manager or two before we hit upon someone who actually fucking knows what he is doing. So it has proved. Do we have to get relegated before we realise Arteta isn’t the man to take us forward properly….? No we don’t. It’s now on the board/directors/owners/cunts upstairs (delete as applicable) to grow a pair and show him… Read more »

Ash

If I read any more Arteta interviews, I will also go mad

Qwaliteee

Won’t we all.

Richard Compton

Arteta won’t, for obvious reasons, admit that we have eight qualified and proven epl players: Tiernie; Magalhaes; Partey; Holding; Saka; Aubameyang; Lacazette and Leno.
Perhaps one could throw in Chambers and Martinelli. Very difficult to manage such a squad. And before you have a go at Arteta, remember Wenger has to be held partly responsible for bring in sub-standard players.

Qwaliteee

Now who’s playing ‘The Victim’ ?

Arsenal Football Club need a fighter for a manager, not a victim.

Quit the ‘poor me’ chat, allow your players knock the ball about with a bit of freedom and start winning football matches

Sapiman

Driving you mad..angry or crazy?

Ambazonian Gunner

Except that he forgot to mention this stat: he had a 1% chance of getting the Arsenal Manager job and he got it.