Thursday, June 1, 2023

Arteta: Relegation battle? This is our reality now

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal are currently in a relegation scrap after a run of one win in 10 Premier League games.

The Gunners sit 15th in the table but could be dragged into the drop zone in the coming weeks if they don’t pick up positive results against Chelsea, Brighton and West Bromwich Albion.

Having started the season with the aim of closing the gap on the top four, the campaign has quickly spiralled out of control leading to questions over the Spaniard’s managerial credentials.

“I’m suffering and I’m hurting,” Arteta told Sky Sports ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Frank Lampard’s Blues.

“I’m hurting because I love this football club, I care so much about what we want to do.

“When I don’t do things to perfection and just the way I want it in the timing [I set], I feel like I’ve let people down. To live with that feeling is incredibly hard.

“As well, I have to know that what I thought a year ago that it [the job] would be, what I wanted to do and what I am right now; that perspective is not far from where we are.”

Having replaced Slaven Bilic at West Bromwich Albion, Sam Allardyce, who knows a thing or two about being in the lower reaches of the table, said Arsenal’s form meant we are very much in the mix for relegation.

Arteta doesn’t disagree. “At the moment, it is [true]. We have to win, we haven’t won enough in the last 10 [games].

“This is our reality now, this is the challenge we are facing. When you are facing a moment of difficulty, you have two types of people. Fighters and victims. At the moment, we just need fighters, I’m afraid.”

In his pre-game press conference, the boss reiterated the importance of the next three games.

“The next seven to eight days are going to be crucial to see where we’re going to be heading to in the Premier League,” he said.

“We have to stand up and we have to pick up the points. Let’s draw a line and move forward. Whether it’s bad luck or these things that are affecting our results, they have to change dramatically.”

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Finally some enlightenment.


There was a time when we arsenal fans used to scoff at Wenger for finishing in the top four, season after season – and now we are hoping & praying that one of his players turned coach can help avoid the bottom three. Bloody hell, how the mighty have fallen!!! #shakingmyhead


We were not progressing… And we needed some change, there is always going to be a change. No one can ever replace Arsene or what he did… No modern manager would take he responsibility like Arsene did, we migh have many more glory years had we stayed in Highbury but then changes kicked in and we had to adjust to that. We are never going to see another Arsene or Ferguson. Arteta is new to the job, he is bound to make mistakes and it is not necessary we have to back him blindly or be against him, the club… Read more »


Agreed, but if you pay attention I am not trying to defend Wenger thru my post nor Arteta. Rather pointing out to the kind of shit we are in right now.


In other words you’re stating facts


Wenger was the main driving force behind the move to The Emirates but the reasons for moving, primarily the need to raise income to compete with the other “big” clubs, vanished with rich sugar daddies taking over first at Chelsea then City – and we never closed the gap with Utd anyway. We couldn’t have stayed at Highbury – there was no potential to expand the capacity there, but the move to The Emirates “failed” judged by the reasons given at the time.

Arsenal’s Slow Bildup

“We were not progressing” 😂😂😂

Is this progress? Some arsenal fans need to own this mess for hounding Wenger out and not allowing a proper succession plan. You’re part of the problem with this club and you didn’t have the best interest of Arsenal Football Club at heart.


If Arteta stays we are getting relegated. The teams we are battling with, poor as they are can score goals on a given day. We simply can’t score two in a game and hardly ever keep clean sheets.

I love Arteta as a former player and person but he needs to go as soon as possible so we can avoid the drop


Yes, overall that’s true but the rot set in under Wenger in his last years at the club when we slipped further behind the leading clubs. That has certainly worsened considerably under his two successors, no doubt about that, but it started with AW.


We have standards. 4th doesn’t meet them. Neither does 15th but I’m not sure that’s the point x


It concerns me when he says:

As well, I have to know that what I thought a year ago that it [the job] would be, what I wanted to do and what I am right now; that perspective is not far from where we are.”

I would have thought we should be aiming a little higher than a relegation battle personally


Two teams suffering a huge fall from last season are Arsenal and Sheffield United. Both teams have improved their squads considerably in the summer. The only common denominator between these teams is their last season goalkeeper is gone – Martinez and Henderson.

Leno vs Martinez debate – one plays for a team fighting relegation, the other for a team in the top half. 

Group captain mandrake

I don’t think there’s really a debate between Leno and Martinez. Both are good keepers. The difference is that one plays for a team that scores some goals and the other plays for one that rarely scores. Swap the keepers and it would still be the same issue.

Johnny 4 Hats

When Mikel said back in January that the team must suffer together, I was all for it.

Now I’m not so sure…

Johnny 4 Hats

And big Sam can fuck off. The guys whole life has been one big relegation battle.

When a team wins the league he probably refers to them as “the least relegated side”.


I don’t see the team suffer. In fact Martinelli’s performance highlighted just how little effort most of the team put in. If they could put in half the shift he did in 50 mins, we would be in better shape.


Agree. The performance of some of the senior players has also affected how effective Saka is. Auba as captain has not shown much leadership.


Auba hasn’t but to be fair he’s not really a leader himself


Bingo. Lazy half arsed overpaid mercenaries sums up most of the experience on our team, while the heart and soul is the youth wasting away on the bench.

Please arteta time for willock, esr, Gabi x2 Saliba, Saka, AMN and even balogun to start in the EPL.


Aye, there’s the rub.

Cultured Determination

6 points in the next 3 games or he gotta go.

Only 6?


Rather than replacing Arteta (& it’s increasingly the right thing to do) I would rather see is replace Edu with an experienced team such as Overmars & Vander Sar and let them decide on him. We need a defined style as a club and a focus on a long term strategy.

Naked Cygan

Next you will be blaming the cafeteria lady or the kit man. Anyone but Arteta?


Arteta is doing a very poor job coaching but he & Edu also have taken a relatively short term approach to swyad building by throwing huge resources at old players.

The era of the manager is largely over – most successful large clubs have sporting directors & coaches which allows for easier changes when the coach’s message no longer works. Do you have any faith that if we move on from Arteta that Edu can do a good job as the sole person in charge of squad building and selecting the next manager? I don’t.

Naked cygan

I agree with you that Edu is to blame and has to go with Arteta. But, the majority of the blame 80% is on Arteta. His poor management skills are there for everyone to see. Players getting red cards game after game is on Arteta. He needs to put fear in the team to stop stupid needless fouls. This is on Arteta, not Edu. The fact that he brought on Martinelli for the second half with Man City tells me he has no power over the player. He is a pushover. A strong manager would say, I know You want… Read more »


Sure – I agree Arteta is doing a terrible job. But if we want to move forward as a club it’s better to bring in a strong qualified director of football and let them decide how to move forward.


Oh, you haven’t seen Futsboller.


The argument for keeping Arteta is just pure faith at this point. BUT if we’re going to move on from a manager we should focus on bringing in competent football people & letting them decide on him. Otherwise it’s the Edu show

Public Elneny

Yeah I agree The only way Edu can possibly hold onto his job is if we hire a very involved manager (not head coach). Tuchel perhaps? And that is only so Edu could then take a backseat and not have to make squad building decisions and can focus on the corporate stuff like Gazidis. Or is that Venkatesham’s job? But even this kind of just kicks the can down the road until that manager leaves – what happens then? We’ll be relying on Edu/the Kroenkes to make an appropriate managerial appointment again (not likely) If we are to stay on… Read more »


Yep. That’s why I would rather focus on finding a good sporting director. Overmars & Vander Sar are making noises about wanting a new challenge and have a very strong track record at Ajax of finding up and coming youth and mixing them with less known players.

Public Elneny

Agreed, I’d happily have them here. But the only people at the club with the power to make appointments like that are Stan and Josh Kroenke Do either of them have a clue what kind of football they want us to play, and what kind of strategy is needed to achieve it? Can they tell the difference between a Rangnick and a Gazidis? Do they even mind being unsuccessful? Any charlatan or washed up dinosaur could wangle a job from them, it’s such a shot in the dark Which is why we as fans need to force them out, somehow.… Read more »

Diaby's Left Peg

Everyone can read a CV though, and as guys in the sports business you’d hope they’d have some kind nose for the time wasters.

They did eventually sack Raul after all.


So the Kroenkes own the Rams which are a pretty successful American football operation. They relied on a strong director of football (gm) paired with a young up and coming coach who has turned into one of the best. The big issue right now is Edu & Arteta are both inexperienced.

Public Elneny

Ok, but my point is how will they identify the right sporting director for us? Perhaps they have a better understanding of NFL and what to look for and who to avoid in that world. Or maybe they just lucked into hiring a good GM. But they haven’t demonstrated a single ounce of football knowledge in their time here, and so hiring one for us is just a shot in the dark for them. Under their ownership we’re just as likely to end up with Kia as our sporting director as we are Rangnick or Overmars/VDS. So far they have… Read more »


You hire someone with a strong track record.


we need 9, would settle for 7, but i expect we’re going to see a *massive* four point haul over these three games.

Gunner J

What is the percentage of us being in a relegation battle?


You can tell us and we’ll believe you.

Hank Scorpio

You’ll likely be out of a job soon enough Mikel due to your stubborn adherence to your tactics and team selections. Trying harder and ‘fighting’ doesn’t make a failed approach magically successful.


You are deluded if you believe that Arteta is the root cause of malaise at Arsenal. He is part of the problem but bigger/main problem is KSE. Since KSE bought Arsenal we are in steady decline and I hope/pray that Arsenal floats and maybe more Passionate owner buys Arsenal. Maybe Usmanov leaving was the final nail. But KSE have to go if Arsenal to resurrect again.


He’s not the root cause, but he’s exacerbated the problem. I’m not even talking about the league position or how we have fewer scoring opportunities per game than Tottenham has trophies. I’m talking about continuing to play aged layabouts come hell or high water all the while ostracizing some of our most talented youngsters. Say what you will about Emery, but there’d at least been the feeling that once he left, the club could build on the youngsters he’d given opportunities to, or barring that, we could at least sell them for profit. Arteta has somehow managed to both make… Read more »


That is exactly I was saying 🙂 That Mikel is part of the problem but bigger picture is KSE is poor in administration or planning for future.


I guess I’m deluded too then.
A coach that refuses to use the middle of the pitch trying to reinvent the football wheel whilst micro coaching in 13 languages so we can all appreciate how clever he is.
Football is a simple game


Can you find anyone top class midfielder other than maybe Partey in Arsenal MF?


West Ham in 03 were relegated with a squad of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson, David James, Ian Pearce, Di Canio, Nigel Winterburn, Trevor Sinclair, Freddy Kanoute, Les Ferdinand, Lee Bowyer, Steve Lomas and douard Cisse. No one is too good to go down!

Sure. He’ll be sacked. The problem isn’t the manager. It’s the board, structure, people who make the decisions on player contracts and of those who don’t fall in line.

This is the same person who won us FA Cup look where we are now. I wish Arteta the very best.


I don’t know why people fail to see this. Squad is weak and management is poorest(owners). Football is not only about playing on the pitch. Off the pitch is equally important too and it is time people realise KSE and Arsenal borad is sucking life out of AFC!


He has to be fcking kidding me. They are trying to make this our new normal. First we hated europa.Then we were thankful we made europa and now they want us to be thankful to be in epl ? While i agree ,we are not in a good position but for our so called coach to come out and tell that we are in relegation battle ! fck him and fck edu. Get this clowns out of my club. #artetaout


Whatever people think of these players (and clearly some of them need to go) we still have a squad that should be around 7th/8th,not 15th. That is on Arteta.

Cannon Heart

Exactly. This squad won’t challenge for the title but its also much better than the return of 14 points out of 14 games we have. That’s not simply down to bad luck. That’s on him


The midfield, the worst I’ve seen at AFC, is one of the least athletic and least creative midfields in the PL. We have one legitimate winger in Saka. Pepe is a total bust. Willian was never more than a squad player at Chelsea, and now he’s on the wrong side of 30 and a starter. Gabriel is our only top tier CB. Bellerin is average, mistake prone, and too small for the PL. Leno is a great shot stopper, but we sold the better GK. Why do people think this squad is top ten?? It’s a disaster and needs a… Read more »


People think our squad is top-ten because it’s axiomatic.

We’re the Arsenal, you see, of course we have good players.
We have players like Xhaka and Ceballos, and they’re good players, right?
I mean, they have to be, they play for Arsenal.





And Leicester have Albrighton, Barnes, Perez, Maddison etc..
decent players but not world beaters, the difference is they are well coached


Is Xhaka a decent player? El-Neny? Ceballos is ok on his day (rare). How about Maitland-Niles? Willock, meh, ok he is still developing. Bang average at best.

Partey is the only one I’d take over the Leicester lot, and Maddison is an excellent player. I’d be elated to have him at AFC. He’s the sort were missing.


It could be worse. We could be in danger of getting relegated while carrying the albatross of overpaid useless donkeys like Willian on the books.

oh wait. Bollocks,

Don Cazorleone

If you love the club so much, leave.


Funny thing is, if a proper backup keeper isn’t signed in January, this could go very very wrong. Let’s say Our form doesn’t improve much by the end of January.Leno gets injured and is Out for 10 games. We’re still in the bottom half. With Runnarson in goal, we lose a lot more games. While I think things will pick up, this is a very real possibility and luck hasn’t been on arsenals side this season. This has to be the number 1 priority in January.


Fighters or victims. I´m afraid that we don´t have enough fighters so relegation battle it is this season. It will be very interesting ti see what Thomas Partey will bring once he´s fully fit. We looked better at Old Trafford with him dominating the midfield area. Maybe he will keep us up


This is the reality that you made Mikel. You are the architect of this house of crap.

Arteta out. Before it’s too late


I really want this guy to turn it around – he’s Arsenal through and through and a good man. He needs to give the kids a go, drop Mustafi, Willian, Xhaka, Luiz and Ceballos – once and for all. Stick them in the reserves and keep them there. He needs to reinstate Ozil in January and start getting through balls to the feet of our frontline in the channels. He also needs to sign a top quality Attacking Midfielder ASAP. But will he actually do those things? That’s the question I ask myself. Has he got the humility to accept… Read more »


Still expect to see Xhaka and Willian starting so see no chance of winning


Fighters and victims? Process and protagonist.

Victims Concordia Crescit.

Gooner In Canada

I’m afraid it’s not just “bad luck” boss. Whenever you say that, it ignores the growing evidence that these players are simply unskilled, unintelligent and uninterested. Sorry to break it to you.


If he starts Xhaka and Willian I will know that nothing will change, we will lose today and I’m afraid I’ll be in the “Arteta out” camp. Sooner rather than later.
If, however, he starts a couple of the youngsters like Martinelli, ESR etc I will see that Arteta has some “fight” and maybe we could win a couple of games this week.
Let’s pray it’s the latter.


Apparently Thomas Tuchel is going to fired from PSG. Although there is an uncomfortable similarity with the way Emery came to Arsenal, one wonders whether he can be tempted with the challenge of converting a relegation scrap into a mid table finish? I know that the problem goes deeper than Arteta and just replacing him is not going to improve us drastically. But, there is the new manager bump in confidence, plus his history with BvB implies that he will make use our exciting youth prospects. Also, he has the reputation of being a no nonsense manager. Even if nothing… Read more »


Tuchel and Favre have been sacked.


Ivan Gazidis’ AC Milan sit atop the Serie A. Unai Emery’s has done well in La Liga. Goodness me, even Guendouzi seems to be enjoying his football again. Arteta sure has some accounting to do, but the structure at Arsenal needs to change. The ownership has supported the team financially but the structure for long term success simply doesn’t exist.


To be fair, Guendouzi had never stopped enjoying his football for us – he was not frozen out for his performances.

He was frozen out for not showing enough deference to our Lord and Manager Arteta.
Not trying hard on the pitch is apparently not something a player will be dropped for – but bowing before The Anointed One is non-negotiable.


Only one of our rivals are playing today. chance to get 3 points and put pressure on……..Burnley, Brighton & Fulham 😭


All these highly paid stars are fucking weaklings.. only tierney, saka, leno deserve respect


12 pts out of the next three games otherwise he got to go


Run that by me again…


Check your math again. Slowly this time..

Heavenly Chapecoense

He meant it is too late now.


thats the point, arteta has to go

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Starting with 4 points today.


All our big signings since 2016 have failed miserably.. a lot of that (pepe, saliba, Willian, Luiz, soares, mari) seems to be the shady work of Raul.. but even before that – Xhaka, Mustafi, Laca, torreira all have been failures.. cant build a team like this.. not sure if this is plain bad luck or Ill informed decisions


you cant say all our big signings have failed – tierney, gabriel, partey all have been good – you could auba in that. Laca was good and has only deteriorated in past 14 months.


I am pretty sure that Kroenke & family is very happy because the odds of Arsenal getting relegated were so high that by betting 1 million on Arsenal they will be getting a billion. Great investment, plus fans will start being more realistic that we are an average club who overachieved for a period of 22 years and now have returned to the way we were. Occasional trophy in a decade.


“At the moment, we just need fighters, I’m afraid.”

Does that mean no more Willian and Xhaka?

Seriously, what ticks me off most about this fighters/victims bullshit is that he clearly keeps picking the latter.


Hey hey hey, Xhaka grabbed a guy’s throat! That’s some fighter mentality! Smh…


I hope Arteta genuinely realises how far we are from the top teams, and that it’s a long term project to get back there. When William signed, he said Arteta told him the plan was to win the Champions League within 3 years!! That makes sense why Arteta is making shorter term decisions (signing Willian for 3 years, giving Auba 3 year contract, not focussing on developing youth like Smith-Rowe, Balogun, Nelson and Saliba). It’s because he thought there would be an instantaneous turnaround where we qualify for CL this year, get to semis next year and win it the… Read more »


Mikel needs to stop obsessing over stats, stop listening to the goalkeeping coach and Albert and actually look at what’s going on. He’s stifled any ounce of confidence or creativity from every player with his favouritism, rigidity, very negotiable non-negotiables and constant barking from the sidelines. Let them play, for Gods sake, this is a miserable, horrible excuse for football that we play. And stop playing the players who are the cause not the solution. Mustafi, Kolasinac, Mesut, Socratis and Willian should be gone in January, for money or not. Give Willaim Saliba some game time, play the young players… Read more »

Craig Velociraptor

‘The next three games will determine if I keep my job or receive a six figure pay off’ – Arteta.

What a club.


We sound like losers. In every press conference and post match interview. Post match, I get that you can’t be positive if you’ve lost. But I’d rather hear and see anger as opposed to the current sadness and depression. If they don’t fight or don’t want to fight, there’s no point in any of them being there. I’d far rather hear Arteta talk about the quality in the squad and the way forward. If he doesn’t sound like he believes in the squad publicly, how can they be expected to go out and play with any belief. It starts with… Read more »

Naked Cygan

We will get 1 point from the West brom game in the next 3 games. Then what? Can we sack him if we get 1 point out of 9, or are we STILL calling this BS a transitional season? It is clear to any blind bat watching our games that Arteta has no clue what he is doing, and the players have given up.


Sack him and replace him with …? I’m not sure any available managers (a very small number) that would be suitable (some previous experience of management would be a starting point, I guess) would want to join the club in it’s current position. Even if the owner does think he’s had enough in January we must have someone in the frame to replace MA or it’s pointless.


Quite a few elite Italians are available – Spaletti, Sarri and Allegri. Also, Leandro Jardim is available presently and Tuchel might also be.

However, as you rightly questioned would any of these gentlemen be inclined to pick up the Arsenal job? It’s bit of a poisoned chalice at the moment and I dread thinking what might have been the situation if fans were present for our games these days.


We were in same thoughts when Arsene came to the end, same when Emery came to the end, same when Freddie didn’t turn it and now again.

We’ve failed a new manager bounce 3 times which suggests to me that there is a dressing room problem and senior players who have lost motivation.


What we need is a serial winner who can put the players in their place with authority while also negotiate for players he wants and don’t settle for anything less.


we’ve all been saying this for weeks as we’ve seen the signs, yet only now does it dawn on arteta he might have to change something.
his present level of experience simply isn’t enough for the mess we were in before his arrival, and his insane rigidity has only made our situation worse.


If Arteta believes that we are in a relegation fight, and we are, then he should view the Brighton and West Brom games as must win games. Today’s team selection should reflect that. I’d be tempted to play a sack of potatoes in goal to protect Leno.

The Mighty Bun

This is what blowing it up and starting again looks like


“We haven’t won enough in the last 10…” The transfer window closed just before this 10 match free fall began. For ages now, under three different managers, we’ve wondered what would happen to Arsenal if Auba ever stopped being Auba. Well, he stopped being himself the moment the transfer window closed and we immediately fell off a cliff and into a relegation fight. If this is, in fact, a true example of the dreaded loss of form from Auba then I’m worried for us, and will look keenly at what we do in January. However, I doubt that’s what’s going… Read more »

He's got no hair but we don't care...

I’m thankful that he’s at least being realistic. However the next seven days will not save or end our season. It’s what happens in the transfer market next month that will dictate our season.


Anyone with an average football IQ would keep Ozil in the squad, did not pick what others abandoned. Accountability should be demanded – how is it that a football club as big as Arsenal settles on a coach that has no prior experience, Shocking but not surprising for the current 15-16th position.


Fulham drew today so that’s a positive. Let us get a point against chavs and hope Burnley Leeds draw and Hammers hammer Brighton. That would be a good weekend in my book

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