Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Arteta: It’s a big test for the whole club not just the players

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s current struggles are a test of character for the entire club not just his players.

Currently 15th in the Premier League table, without a league win in more than six weeks and having scored just 10 goals in 12 games, it’s pretty obvious that things aren’t going particularly well for the Spaniard at the moment.

You suspect the boss would like to give every one of his squad an old fashioned paddlin’ right now, but in front of the cameras, he continues to stress the importance of unity.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game with Southampton, he said: “It is a big test and it’s good to see how we react but I wouldn’t put it on the players, I’d put it on the club; how do we react in difficult moments as a club?”

“As well, it’s something that we [collectively] transmit to the players, the moment that there are cracks, how do we react?

“Do we blame each other? Do we criticise each other? Do we start to act united and push the boat together?

Referencing the backing he’s received from technical director Edu and CEO Vinai Venkatesham, he continued: “The example has to come from above and we’ve had some good examples in the last few days [Vinai and Edu speaking to the press] and then, yeah, the players, like I have to do, have to take responsibility.

“They have to put it right on the pitch, which is the only area where it makes a difference.”

When it was put to Arteta that his high-profile players, most of whom are used to challenging for European football, may need a different mindset to get out of their current malaise, the boss was inclined to agree.

“It’s true that going through some defeats in a consecutive way – for example, the home form we’ve had in the last four games – is a hard one to swallow,” he said.

“It’s a hard one to accept. It is completely different because the energy that is created when you are fighting for trophies and with the top teams in the table is a very re-energising energy for the passion you put into a game.

“The other one is a pressure that constrains you a little bit, it makes you a bit tighter and nervous. You have to deal with that, for some of them it’s something new and we need to get through that.”

For all the recent negative headlines and all the trials and tribulations that 2020 have thrown at him, Arteta maintains that there have been improvements under his watch.

That said, he admits that anyone looking from the outside at Premier League results alone could make a convincing argument that little has changed in the year he’s been in charge.

“If you just look at the results somebody could defend that argument, for sure. I’m not here to say anything different.

“I see a lot of differences between where we were and where we are today but at the end of the day, you need the results to back that. It’s the only way.”

He was also keen to stress that having made the step up from assistant coach at Manchester City to being the main man in the dugout at Arsenal, that he very much appreciates his position.

“I love my job, believe me. If not, I wouldn’t be sitting here. Tough times are necessary and the great moments, you have to make sure you enjoy them because in football there are not that many to enjoy. In the tough moments, you have to be prepared for that and be a fighter.”

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We’ve got a first team squad of 31, Ozil + Sokratis not registered, Saliba not in the Europa squad. Some players look like they’ve already checked out, as much as we could do with some quality recruits, clearing the decks could be every bit as beneficial. We could lose Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Ozil, Willian, Lacazette, Xhaka, all permanently, bring back Torreira, and numerically we’d still be fine, with a first team squad of 25 Leno, Runarsson, Macey Bellerin, Soares Tierney, Niles Holding, Chambers, Saliba Gabriel, Mari Partey, Elneny Ceballos, Torreira Willock, Smith-Rowe Nelson, Pepe Saka, Martinelli Aubameyang, Nketiah, Balogun… Read more »


You’re right. The outgoings are going to be important if we can push anyone out of the door. It is probably just too comfortable for a lot of them though.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Arteta might pick AMN and Martinelli to raise enough money to buy Carrick. Oh he has retired already. Plug another name.


100%. January should be targeted by every “official” at the club as a window to get rid of as many extra players as possible. Most of those deals we’ll have to eat some money, so be it. Any good management structure knows the exact moment to cut our losses, this is it. The sad reality is that Arteta and the board still back Xhaka, Willian, et al. If Arteta is playing them in mid December, it’s unlikely he’ll make a 180 and see they’re holding us back.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Torreira back after failing miserably at Atletico. You have a lot of ambition for our club.


Big big test for the manager and how he convinces the players. If results come then fans will get onside. I think it all went wrong when he decided to change things after the Villa defeat and since then we have totally lost it. Up to that game everyone was praising the best defensive record in the league but we just had to find the goals. Since the change we are leaking goals and it’s even increasingly harder to score. With Aubameyang being played out of position, Lacazette dropping too deep and the slow rate at which we move the… Read more »


The villa game is where it all started. The lack of energy displayed In that game had not been seen under arteta, but was followed by much of the same in coming games.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yeah I could see Arteta going for 5 at the back against Southampton. Back 3 of Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, and then wing-backs Cedric and Saka.

Maybe Luiz will come in if he’s ready.

Dr Zebra

Come on Arsenal!!! I can’t wait to see us rebound from where we find ourselves but there’s only so much talking that we can do because everyone knows we need to see results.
I think if we can just get some points (or even a single point!) we’ll be feeling better quickly. Just put in a solid performance and it will lead to brighter times! I’m trying to stay positive but Arteta needs to find a quick solution (picking the right 11) immediately.


More deflection.

It’s not about the club, mate, it’s about YOU.

The staff (what’s left of them) are doing their bit.

The board (who, it has to be said, stumped up for Partey, when many – myself included – didn’t think they would) are doing their bit.

The fans (in spite of Covid) are doing their bit.

And the players (who are clearly being stifled of all freedom of individual movement on the field of play) are doing their bit.

It’s not working because of one man, Arteta.


Maul Person

I agree with the fundamental points but it’s more than just the one man. They’re all popping each other up and making excuses for each other. And all under an ownership that seems not to care. They’ve crossed a threshold where accountability doesn’t relate to them. I make that point because if you change how each is doing their job (or simply change the person) – not just Mikel’s – and things are likely to improve whereas if they keep doing what their doing, not only is it the definition of proverbial insanity but they could take us off a… Read more »


You’re absolutely wrong on this one, Qwaliteee.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Wrong on this one only?


Arteta out. There really is no more to say about his complete lack of competence



Maul Person

It might be a touch soon but it shouldn’t be off the table.


We are rebuilding the team, after massive restructuring throughout the organization, all of which is happening during a pandemic. We won’t find consistency on the pitch by chopping and changing off of it. We have to ride things out with Arteta for the season — if everything remains dismal and we’ve well and truly taken steps backward rather than forward, then we find another man to take the helm. It encourages me that the Executive at AFC recognize something special in Arteta, along with all the professionals who have backed him, and I’m sure we’ll see improvements in the weeks… Read more »

Peter Cechs helmet

Is that you, Edu..?


Just a fellow Gooner preaching calm amidst the storm. No need to panic.


His refusal to play Ozil and sign Willian has dropped us firmly in the position we’re in now.

I’ve had it up to here with this ‘Rookie Manager’ bollocks – the guy is not on a rookie manager’s salary.

It’s entirely on him to get us out of this mess – it’s his mess.

If he fails, then it’s on the board to get in a decent replacement.

End of.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We won that Europa League final in Baku with Ozil in the team, right?

Cranky Colin

Masochistic tendencies


let’s be real for a moment,the boss has put 11 players out there to do a job. simple. but if you can’t do the basics like defend from a corner which your told in training,watch the player and the ball,your in trouble. your pro football players,not kids. and second,some of the players are trying hard and some aren’t bothering. your letting your team mates down,the club and importantly,the fans. your being paid plenty of money which us fans would love just to put the shirt on and play with our hearts. so the ones who aren’t and you know who… Read more »

Hail Gus!

Trouble is Arteta keeps selecting players who aren’t doing their job in spite of the results, performance, stats, public opinion, disciplinary breaches (yes Willian that means you). There will be changes tonight but two are forced upon him.

Maul Person

Exactly. It’s not as if he only has 11 players. So if a player isn’t performing, change him and try something different. If we as fans can look at a line up and completely fail to see a win, or even a draw, there is a problem that goes beyond the players.

Similarly, players may be stifled by his managing style, especially during games. He seems so wedded to his philosophy that he doesn’t seem to see the glaring problems based on the losses and the stats of his team’s performance.


The squad of players are not playing for the manager & you can not change the 25 man players overnight… therefore you get rid of the manager.
It’s really that simple, but we are AFC we like to do things the hard way !


Having seen so many of these players quit on Emery and fail Wenger & Arteta it seems clear we need a clear out this winter regardless of what we do with Arteta. Xhaka should be sold. Ozil paid off. Etc


Yup, squad mentality is derived from leadership. Our experienced members are the ones causing the problems so it is no coincidence we look like a pack of disinterested fake tough guys that talk big and act little. If Arteta is to survive this then he needs to stop relying on these experienced jokers that are taking him and us for a ride and turn it over to the youth…it can’t get worse. I never want to see Xhaka play another game for Arsenal. I didn’t after his last dummy spit. Willian, well the less said the better. Ozil should have… Read more »


Last time we played Southampton we’d had a pretty awful spell just coming back from no football for three or so months. No one gave us much hope against a resurgent Southampton but lo and behold we beat them. This set off a chain of strong performances from us.

Maybe this game will be a repeat of last season. Would be nice if it was.

Maul Person

I reserve judgement until I see the line up. That seems to be the determining factor these days…


It’s going to be tough to change tactics dramatically in short period of time so it’s interesting what comes tomorrow.


Why not just play the way we did last season under Arteta? why not play the way we did at the start of this season? This new way of trying to attack and look for goals has yielded more goals and points but sadly for the opposition. Granted we looked like a very poor man’s Atletico Madrid at the beginning of the season but at least we went into games with a confidence that we wouldn’t let in more than one. If we don’t have the said six players to play his formation he talked about then let’s get back… Read more »


I wanted to downvote you because it’s still early morning where I am and you wrote “granted” which reminded me of a certain player we have that I want to be shot to space. Not sufficient to downvote dear sir and I apologize. We arsenal fans really have PTSD.




The problem is this secure formation you talk of was rarely getting us points against mid-to-lower table teams. The teams we should be beating we are performing worst it. We setup structured and defensive with counter attacks in mind to stop and compete with City and Liverpool etc., it worked a few times, but then they also worked us out in that particular formations. Particularly Liverpool, who simply pressed Xhaka every touch and forced turn-overs and high-tempo, high-up-the-pitch attacks. We definitely lack quality. But the fact we never give the younger guys any real run like jokers such as Willian… Read more »


Very true but you should see the new one we are deploying. We can’t score a single goal and have our best striker playing out of position and our top scorer in the league now picking balls off the defenders and losing them in our defensive third


I’m gonna be positive pre Soton and say we can still turn things around but he has to do it now. Pragmatically. Chelsea and City dropped points today so its not beyond our means to get a result or two from next 3 matches against Soton, Everton and Chelsea. And its still relatively early enough to claw back toward 5th or 6th at very least. But he has to 1) Instruct midfield (Say Elneny and Ceballos) to play more forward passes but also give and goes one twos. 2) Laca doing the right thing linking but he has got to… Read more »

Far East Stand

Arteta is right about having to take a look at the entire club. He’s not off the hook for some monumentally bad decision making but expecting the team to be a cohesive unit that performs well when the rest of the club is a shambles is optimistic. The club management is devoid of a long term strategy other than they’d like to win, somehow. The transfer strategy is confused, the wage bill suggests nobody at the club understands much about either money or football, we can’t even sell players on to generate profits anymore, we don’t have a noticeable identity… Read more »


I am sorry but this is all on him. We have had bad management from the top for a long time now but it’s what’s happening on the field now that’s brought us to crisis mode. Aubameyang for example was hitting 20+ league goals with these teammates, we haven’t lost any player of note Ramsey aside unlike the days we lost Fabregas, Nasri, RvP but we have added a few players like KT, Partey and Gabriel but the team is doing worse and worst of all we look clueless on the field. Even under Emery with bad management above him… Read more »

Far East Stand

If the results and performances continue the way they’re going over the next three games I think he’s going to get fired and yes, he’ll have to shoulder most of the blame for that if it happens but he’s not wrong to suggest the problems run deeper than just the manager. That will still be true if he leaves over the next month and someone new comes in.


Can you imagine what it would be like if we were scoring goals for fun despite those problems? Instead of just playing it backwards and blaming the Kroenkes for being Yankees?

Far East Stand

No, I can’t imagine a scenario where we become a team scoring goals for fun, churning out good performances that will translate into good results on a consistent basis, say like Liverpool, if these problems aren’t addressed. You can’t saddle yourself with average players on exorbitant salaries, have your transfer strategy dictated by a third-party agent, reward mediocrity and foster a club mentality that says winning doesn’t matter and then become a great team. A change of manager could improve things for sure, I’m not ruling that out at all. Things are really bad now and maybe a change of… Read more »


If the test is for fans to remain Zen while the team hurtles down the league table, or to trust fully in MA’s process with nary a sign of progress, then it is no surprise we fail.


Team for tonight? My wishful thinking.


Cedric Holding Gabriel Tierney

Ceballos AMN Saka

Pepe Abu Smith Rowe

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