Arteta: We all knew the bumps were coming

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Mikel Arteta admits he’s angry and frustrated by Arsenal’s current malaise but reiterated that the project he took on was always going to take time to implement.

After September’s FA Cup success, hopes were high that the Gunners could close the gap on the top sides in the league. Instead, a wretched run of form, including four consecutive home defeats, has led to much soul searching in the dressing room.

On Wednesday we face Southampton at the Emirates, a side well-versed in difficult spells. Just over a year ago, they were hammered 9-0 at home by Leicester leaving manager Ralph Hassenhutl’s job in the balance. After steadying the ship, the Saints have been flying-high under the Austrian this season.

At a time when questions are being asked of Arteta’s ability to get Arsenal back on track, is the patience shown by Southampton an example to follow.

In his pre-game press conference, Arteta said: “It does take time but as well, but as well it is important to see the history of the club, where they have been and the issues that they have been through.

“I don’t like to compare it with any other club because I don’t know what happened here. We all knew when I took the job here that it wasn’t a quick fix at all, there were too many things that needed to be resolved, too many big decisions to make, a lot of changes that are happening and this takes time.

“Are we pleased with the results? Absolutely not, I am the first one who is angry and frustrated because I think as well that we deserve much more than we have at the moment but it is our own fault and we need to look to the future, and know as well that the present is also really, really important at the moment.”

He went on to add: “Before you look to the future, you have to look to the past and the things that have happened, how you’re going to move forward, the things that are working, that things that have to be changed.

“We all knew the bumps were coming. I think I said many times in this room, it’s how we deal with them, how strong we are to get through them and sometimes when things get ugly it’s necessary to get brighter and better. Nobody likes to be in the situation that we’re in in the Premier League and it’s not good enough and it’s not acceptable. It’s not a quick fix but that does not mean that we’re accepting the situation, it’s the contrary.”

After Sunday’s defeat to Burnley, a story circulated that Arteta had fallen out with David Luiz – a rumour quickly dismissed by both the club and the player – and that other members of the dressing room were feeling disheartened by the current atmosphere.

Arteta, who has since been backed by Technical Director Edu and former boss Pep Guardiola, was asked whether he feels the players are united behind him.

“My feeling is yes, but this is a question for them,” he said. “When I see the reaction and the way they try, there is not one but that worries me that they are not trying their best, that is for sure.

“In terms of Edu and Pep, they obviously showed their appreciation because in good moments it is very easy, in difficult moments when you have people like them showing there support – and probably two people who know very, very well what I have been through here – it is very much appreciated.”

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Aaron

I love why he says but we gotta walk the walk at some point.

As long as we are not in a relegation battle, go far in the Europa and a decent run in the FA Cup and build well for next season, I think Mikel will have the backing.

But lose to Southampton at home with Everton and Chelsea next and we have zero points from those three games, maybe we can declare to be in a relegation battle and call it time that it was a failed experiment.

Henry

I feel embarrassed to actually wish for the losses because it’s mean we are closer to exit this kind of embarrassing football. This is like you walk into the Wenger Temple and pee on his face in front of his servants.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No, losing won’t miraculously stop us playing badly. If we sacked Arteta we are likely to get somebody worse. We are NOT an attractive team to manage because the entire world knows how awfully imbalanced our squad is and how we have already wasted our near future finances for the next couple of seasons on Willian. We will get nothing better than a long term caretaker, and that will likely demoralise our squad as they do still seem to believe in what he is doing. A caretaker will likely take us down to the Championship even faster than we are… Read more »

Futsboller

Right on. If we want success, sooner rather than later, then we have to stick with Arteta, listen to the professionals who know the profession better than we do, and support his project through thick and thin. It’s not easy being a supporter, is it, and we’ve gotten the sh*t end of the stick for too long now, but when we come out of this and come out on top, it is going to be the greatest feeling ever.

db10s

I would agree if it was under normal circumstances. No congested scheduling, proper pre seasons and a manager with experience where we can look back at his past handling of tough situations and judge from there. However here we are with the perfect storm and someone at the helm without any experience navigating any storm. Arteta might be a brilliant coach/manager but that doesn’t automatically means he’ll get us out of the troubles we’re in. It might be too much for him. The club better be ready for the scenario where the club hasn’t won a game for the next… Read more »

Futsboller

I suspect that the club has given Arteta a very clear indication that he’s got to the end of the season, at least, and no one will be drawing any lines under anything. They back him, the pros and players back him, and we should, too.

db10s

Yes but let’s not kid ourselves. We are toying with the idea of a relegation fight if our form stays the same.

What I was trying to get at is what if we’re in the middle of January and we’re 17th in the table. Can we still stick with him till the end of the season?

Cultured Determination

Can arsene come back and be caretaker?

Heavenly Chapecoense

I didn’t like what he said. He offered no solutions, only defending himself unconvincingly. He’s got to let go one of his assistants and bring a guy like Lehmann or Sol. He is not going to bring a potential interim manager like Freddie anyways.

Pescetarian

If that’s what we should do then I say bring in Santi Cazorla to partner up with him!!! We’ll be smiles better

Vonnie

I was thinking about that too, they’re good mates, Santi would lighten the place up, he’s an awesome player who could teach so much, and he’d be a good sounding board for Mikel. I’d like to get rid of Albert Stuivenberg with his Louis van Gaal ideas. We seem to have become obsessed with data when we need eyes that see.

SB Still

I just realised that there was a time when I used to read, listen to every word of what the manager said but its been a few seasons now that I’ve stopped and its not a conscious decision!

Russ

I wondered (and this is slightly tongue and cheek), what would happen if we won the Europa and qualified for the Champions League yet get relegated to the Championship. Would we still be allowed to play the Champions League?

Ric

Yeah I’m sure when Wigan got relegated a few years ago and one the FA cup they still got Europa despite being in the Championship

Highly doubt we’ll get relegated though even if we are in that kind of form

Russ

Totally agree Ric, I was just thinking about it if the worse ever did happen. I don’t think we will either but can you imagine… I’m genuinely worried about Arteta at the moment but even much more so, the board and our owners… No real experience or leadership

Ric

Won*

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yes, they don’t have any rules allowing them to steal the prize from the Europa Champions.

Gunnersaurus’ Ghost

Edu thanks for the Celts Vigo goal but it’s time to say goodbye

Heavenly Chapecoense

Unfortunately they will have to let go Arteta because they will use their calculator and find out that the club needs to maximize post Covid-19 revenues.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If they have to go for a renowned manager then Edu will have to leave.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Renowned coaches don’t join sinking ships.

Be very careful what you wish for.

We are in a situation where we’d probably get Harry Redknapp.

Don Cazorleone

We don’t mind losing. We just can’t stand seeing players not giving a shit.
Grow some balls, drop some big names, inject a little fire into these soppy fuckers and let’s get going.

Vaibhav Pandey

Wherever Luiz goes malaise follows!

Artetas Assistant

Or he’s like blogs and won’t hold his tongue when he sees some shit ?

Vaibhav Pandey

Double edged sword 😀

Artetas Assistant

Haha, apt. Blogs is what I call a hybrid.

John C

I’d love some of the premier league title winning, champions league winning, 2 europa cup malaise he had a Chelsea any day of the week!

Frank

Just read his comments about Xhaka from the same interview and if anyone thinks hes about to he sold in January or dropped after hes eligible to play again they’ve got another thing coming. Apparently effort in training makes up for lack of quality on the pitch….

Heavenly Chapecoense

Exactly, he sees efforts or likeability. Talent is secondary to him.
The only criteria used to recruit Runnarson was that he kept in touch with one of his assistants not that Leno can get injured.

Homer

That’s a super clever avie name.
Thumbs up!!

gus

Sorry mate, you have had 1 year to clear the decks and impose your philosophy and style of play and should at the very least be somewhere mid table, this is Arsenal FC not everton or west ham—- If we dont get to the new year with any big wins at chelsea or everton then i think the writing is on the wall for the young pretender,. the worst for me is the lack of an identity and style during the game- hes worked with pep and wenger yet the team reflects his time at everton under moyes i can… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Clearing the decks now would leave us playing the U23s.

We KNOW that most of our first team squad would not pull in enough to buy any decent players.

We KNOW that we have NOBODY behind the scenes who knows anything worthwhile about buying the sort of players that can drag a team out of the toilet bowl.

Does Edu know where to buy a few experienced and reliable battlers to give our U23s a solid backbone for next season (in whatever division we end up in)

Goonerink

I think its the losing without changing anything thats grinding most of our gears.

as fans we arent use to losing so many games on the trot, but its not like we were titlewinners before mikel came in, we are used to not being top 4 by now.

Henry

For me the only change that will make it better is changing the manager.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yay. We get rid of Arteta. We get to keep Willian. We have to break in a new manager with bugger all as a war chest.

What bloody good will that do us?

Qwaliteee

We get in a new manager who allows the players to play and express themselves more than Arteta currently does.

You never know, with a squad full of international professionals, we might just avoid the drop – which is where we’re headed at the moment.

The longer it goes on, the more serious it will become.

Shit, as they say, will get real. Big time.

Futsboller

You think bringing Wenger back suddenly makes the team better? I love the old man, but that is going backwards. The idea that Arteta doesn’t let the players express themselves on the pitch is patently false. He barks a lot of instructions some games, but in others he paces. He trusts his players much, much more than we do. Even if we lose again tomorrow, we’re not in a relegation battle, and our abysmal slide isn’t going to continue. We’re 5 points off the relegation spots and 7 points off a Europa League spot. You’re welcome to look down, but… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Chat chat chat. Give me strength.

So our worst start to a season since the 1950’s and a pending relegation dogfight was all part of the master plan, the ‘Process’, was it ..?

Right, I’ve got a few ‘Non-Negotiables’ of my own. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, Arteta, you’re failing, son.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

…and so the magic manager roundabout ride the League 1 begins.

Qwaliteee

And your solution which would ensure we don’t get relegated is……….

A P

Oh, so MA knew the bumps were coming. Can he tell us what further bumps are there, like a play-off?

Trust the process. SMH.

Artetas Assistant

Emiliano Martinez for 20million is like when you put a gold nosepiece on the snout of a pig…

That bump alone might be the difference between the Arsenal Mikel won with and this tensed up Arsenal now. Martinez a fucking family man from Argentina, that’s the streets where the best people are made if they can come above all the shit there is around. His qualities are intangible, Mikel only wants you showing that you give an effort, he would never appreciate that man! I hope we get Emi back ASAP!

Henry

People here hated you because you are giving an example of how clueless Arteta is. I would like to give another by mentioning Saliba. His partner at St. Etienne is doing so well at Leicester and he who was better all the time is dubbed to be disqualified for the PL. This man is clueless.

Ric

Lol as if Leno has anything to do with our current struggles

I get it that Arteta has made mistakes but that’s a strange hill to die on

Artetas Assistant

You wouldn’t think would you

BongoGooner

ARTETA IN

Qwaliteee

And whilst he’s in, we’re in too.

Up to our necks in it.

Post January Blip

It’s a bit of a strawman to frame the discussion in this way. Of course it’s completely reasonable to have expected bumps on the road. The more pertinent question is whether the minimum expectation (based on the tools at his disposal) is being met, which I don’t think anybody can say it is.

We get that it will take time to execute the plan (whatever that is), but to speak as though it’s completely normal and expected for us to be as close to the relegation zone as we are by Christmas is disingenuous.

Henrik

Yes, well put!

Jimbo Jones

Well I for one knew that after unceremoniously sacking our greatest manager of all time that it would not be a quick fix. Things weren’t great when he was there and by god things have gotten so much worse which I sadly expected.

Yes Mikel the perennial bumps in the road are well and truly here. The question is are you the right person to steer us over and away from all these metaphorical sh*t filled bumps.

Sadly I think your way in over your head… I truly wish it was different but it sadly isn’t

Tombo

Oh no this is just the bump, what happens when we actually crash. I wanted him to succeed, I liked his initial stances but feel like he has dug his own grave with his inconsistent actions and messaging to the players.

Alex

This whole “process” jargon is just management double-speak espoused by underwhelming bosses all over the world. Give me Ancelotti’s or Hassenhutl’s “processes” any day

Cesc's Pizzeria

Does that include losing 9-0 at home to a Europa League quality team or getting knocked out to your derby rival’s B Team?

Futsboller

Hilarious. Ancelotti and Hasenhutl have won 2 and 3 more games, respectively, than we have this season — and there are 26 games to play. Neither has won any honours since coming to England. Yet they are somehow superior options to Arteta to coach Arsenal? Yikes.

The Arsenal

Fuck yesterday…Today is TODAY. is the worlds mantra know

Alex

We need a more robust strategy, to be lighter on our feet and think more outside the box – and I don’t mean more of this turgid, horseshoe, crossy-ball

Bryan!

I wonder how much of the criticism of Arteta comes from taking what he says at face value, when he’s being diplomatic — obviously not all of it (first signing, then continuing to play Willian so much). But what do we expect, that he’ll say Xhaka is shite but he doesn’t trust anyone else to do the job either? That he’ll say “I tell them to pass the ball centrally instead of all these damn crosses, but nobody’s making a decent run and they have no other choice”? Or “Yeah they’re playing like ass and not following my plan, but… Read more »

Kostas

If we knew it then we should invest our time on young prospects and not on retired veterans

Javoroncov

Sorry Mik this is not a bump. More like a mountain of human feces thats about to fall and wash us away.
You are going to make history if we lose tomorrow – 5 home losses, which I think u will.

Dom47

I love(d) you Mikel but these are not bumps, it’s a fu*king mountain and you did nothing to change it, just clinging to your stubborn ideas.

For me you are done, Willian and Xhaka will be your undoing, as well as the treatment of young players who should’ve been given more chances and belief by now.

btw

Bumps? Feels more like a titanic-sized sinkhole.

Hi-brid

Small point, admittedly, but our FA Cup success was August 1st.

Kaj

three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and football fans turning on managers once results go south it seems only a couple month ago when almost everyone was waxing lyrical about how Arteta was the perfect man for the job, now not even halfway into the season and you’re calling for his head. it’s pathetic really. yes, our current record is shit. yes, Arteta has fucked up with his team selections, constantly picking the same under-performers and expecting different results. yes, Arteta has been over-reliant on Auba and we are witnessing what happens when Auba’s not on form. but… Read more »

Dom47

Would agree with you before the last match, seeing his team selection against Burnley I honestly doubt he can learn. At least on this job, because it might have become too big for him and his knowledge/experience at the moment and he does not see the forest from the trees as the saying goes. The pressure is too high, everything went too far and he is now defending himself, ego is taking over and he cannot take a look from outside and make a calm decision on anything.

Dermot

Someone talking sense

Chris

Personally I like Arteta and want him to stay. Where we are in the league is down to him and the players though which is worrying but maybe, just maybe, losing Xhaka for 3 games gives someone else a chance to come in and steal that position.

I’ve said it before but we really need Partey to have an extended run of games to see what he can bring. But yeah, Arteta still has my backing.

Futsboller

Well said. A fully integrated Partey (and this is partly on the Execs, who waited till the last minute to bring him in … I know things were complicated, but had Thomas been with us since the beginning, I’m quite certain we wouldn’t be where we are.

Chris

I’d like to think Partey was an Arteta signing as well so it’ll be a good indication of the type of team he wants to build.

I know results have been bad recently but up until then he’d done a decent job on fixing up the defence.

Foday

Arteta should stop to use William /bellerin/teney and xhaka he will succeed in premier

Dermot

I’ve been a fan since the 60s
I’m not worried;we’ll be ok