Friday, March 1, 2024

Arteta happy to reward Cedric’s professionalism

Mikel Arteta says Cedric’s recent starts for Arsenal are a fitting reward for the player’s dedicated attitude in training.

The Portugal international featured in every Europa League game and more recently has put in decent shifts against Newcastle United in both the FA Cup and Premier League.

Filling in for Hector Bellerin on Monday night, the 29-year-old even helped himself to a first assist of the season cutting the ball back to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to round-off the scoring in the 3-0 win.

Much has been made of the Gunners decision to hand a long-term contract to a player who was deemed surplus to requirements at Southampton – our opponents in consecutive games – but Arteta says he likes what he sees from Cedric.

“When he joined us he had various injuries and some difficult times,” said the boss ahead of Saturday’s trip to Saint Mary’s.

“It took him a little bit of time to adapt and get completely free and now earn the chances to play.

“The best thing with Cedric is the way he takes his profession, the way he trains, the way he prepares himself. So every time that we had to use him, he was always ready and always fit to compete.

“Even not playing for many parts of the season, when he had to play 120 minutes he was completely ready. The other night I think he had a really good game.”

Arteta went on to add: “When I see someone behaving like he has done and training like he has done, all the time trying to help but accepting my decision – which is tough for him – but at the end, challenging in a way where he is all the time competing in training and when he has the chance to play he does it well and all the time asking for reasons why he’s not playing and what he has to do better.

“I just want to reward this kind of behaviour and player and Cedric has done that for sure.

“We talked about some things about the game and then I said that he has to stay fit. He came here with a knee injury, then he had a nose issue, then he had another knee injury and now he’s been fit and competing. Now he’s got his chance.”

Arteta went on to namecheck the Portuguese as an option to play at left-back as cover for Kieran Tierney. That said, he also hinted that the Gunners might dip into the transfer market to find a left-footed option now that Sead Kolasinac is out of the picture.

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Arsenal Liam

I was unimpressed with him until the Newcastle game where I thought he fared well. I think he will benefit from a run of games and would definitely start him in the FA cup game. A challenge to Hector starting at right back would be a good thing..


He played well in the Newcastle game. That said I’m still of the opinion that Hector is much better than many fans seem to think. He’s worked pretty well with Saka on the right hand side.

That said we really should not be making Cedric type signings going forward. We have such limited resources that tying them up in older players who are either extremely short term solutions (Luiz/Willian) or who were brought in entirely as cover (Cedric) just doesn’t make sense


Yes, Atom. A little surprising that the academy seems to find the development of home grown full backs very difficult.


And centre backs! If I’m not mistaken, our last academy centre back to make it as a first team regular was Tony Adams! At least we’ve had the likes of Bellerin, Gibbs and Cole since then.


I really dont get the fuss over Cedric signing. Hes a reliable Portugal international who won the EC, got exp in pl, can play both left and right, is not past it and would give any team consistently ok performances for a fair salary. And he was free, no? Now Willian, thats a whole different story. I hate Chelski rejects.


He didn’t cost a transfer fee but is likely on pretty high wages compared to if we had brought in a younger developmental player who would also have resale value


He’s on 65k a week from what I’ve seen. Not excessive by any means. Willian would buy us 4 Cedric’s. I think we’ve done alright there.


That will exclude signing on fees etc. similarly to how Ozil made 350k but we owed him a bunch of bonuses on top


We already had AMN who is an Arsenal youth player, and should be given more chances to play.
Cedric is ok, but there was no need to sign him in the first place, unless he is good enough to replace Bellerin

Duncan Effiwatt

AMN is just not good enough with horrible body language

Gus Caesar

I think we need to stop thinking that youth products should get unlimited opportunities, it’s thinking like that which drags down our level and leaves us burdened with average players. AMN seems to divide people but my personal view is that he’s average and wouldn’t get into any top 6 team. His use appears to be the squad swiss army knife, but you don’t really need that in these days of 7/9 subs. As far as I can tell only AMN’s nationality is better for us (because of the squad rules) than Cedric.


I questioned his signing a lot because of the $$$ and his injuries at the time. It was so weird to sign a guy on loan that was injuried (knee) and then sign him on quite a big deal when he was still injured (face). He has been solid when called upon. But against Newcastle, we saw what I consider the best game by an Arsenal RB in a season or two. I like Hector – he’s a great character, I think his defense has been rock solid – much improved from when it was the weaker part of his… Read more »


We have really limited resources and are nowhere near competing for major titles which means only a few players (primarily young ones) should be untouchable at this point. The biggest headscratcher for me with Arteta & Edu has been the seeming emphasis on bringing in older players when there really doesn’t appear to be any pressure to immediately compete for the top 4/major honors. Take Willian & Cedric. The signing on bonuses and wages for the 2 of them would be pretty substantial. Could we have bought a relatively cheap yet promising right back from the Championship and put the… Read more »


I agree 100%. That was why, I questioned the Cedric signing at the time. It was a signing that was capped at rotational piece, or perhaps decent starter if all worked out (fingers crossed things are moving in the right direction with him – he has been decent in his play and very good against Newcastle). It was never a signing with ambition of taking over RB and taking the team to the next level. Not only that but it was reported as having a hefty loan fee (5M quidish) and then a sign-on fee as a free agent and… Read more »


Yep. What has made this a weird situation is we keep hearing about how Arteta and Edu are long term projects for the club and results need to be viewed in that light when they have very much taken a win now approach to squad building. ESR just kind of fell into his lap IMO but the performance of young players really should show the two of them the way forward. I still get a little concerned however that Arteta still appears to have his favorite older players – I would much prefer to see Gabriel playing over Luiz at… Read more »


Again fully agree, I think he got a bit lucky with both ESR and even Saka on the right and Martinelli getting back into things so quick with Willian’s issues. I think we were both pushing for ESR’s involvement back in November(ish), on the back of his strong Europa league play, when people were getting really ancy and starting to call for Ozil again. Same as playing Willian at all costs over Nelson and Willock who were also showing strong Europa form. We weren’t doing anything in the league so why keep persisting. Anyway, he did it for luck or… Read more »


Why do we keep harping about Bellerin’s bad crosses when we dont have a target player.
Auba never ever fights for a header, and Laca for all his heart, is sorry to say, a midget in a field of giants. So, how do we say Bellerin’s crosses are useless.


So you’re saying the quality crossing and overlapping play down the left is a waste and producing nothing?


Hector coming inside and driving with the ball has been one of the strongest parts of our shite period. His combination with Saka has been good! He’s struggled because Pepe and Willian have been ahead of him a lot and for ten straight games we basically only attacked down the left. Despite this he’s still managed a couple of assists and some great combinations.

And Cedric had a great game against Newcastle (who were abject) and long may it last.


Completely agree with this comment, felt exactly the same.


I have yet to see Cedric have a good defensive game. He seems good at going forward and seems a serviceable player for games like Newcastle. Doesn’t have the athleticism to deal with tough PL wing play I reckon. He’s everything AMN is not and vice versa. If u combine those two u get what’s called a Tierney.


Do you know Prof. Dr. Frankenstein? A Cedric-AMN hybrid (with the right parts) isn’t a bad shout…


A good friend supports Southampton and was very derogatory about Cedric.

Good if he is challenging at right back (and can fill in as needed) as well as standing in on the left when Tierney gets a rest.

I hope my Southampton mate is wrong about him. He played well in the last match at least.

YOLO Toure

It’s a shame that Hector’s form has dipped and I agree that he needs some decent competition. I think Cedric is absolutely fine as competition / cover, and you’d expect him to have a few good games or a run of good games. I know some people would rather we give that spot to AMN, but to be honest I’ve never really been sold on him as a full-back in a back 4 and think he relies on his pace a bit too much to get him out of trouble. Thinking about some of the shite we’ve had at right… Read more »

Goodly morning

Debuchy looked good until he was pushed off the pitch and badly injured. Hector then took his chance.

A Different George

Debuchy, by the way, is playing very well in France now.


Jenkinson was kind of good enough in that 8-10 game spell replacing Sagna in the fall of 2012 lol. That was about it. That was a shocking run of form for him. I think he got called up to the national team

Gus Caesar

In fairness, when are any fans praiseworthy about players who say publicly that they want to leave a club and then run their deal down? It would hardly be surprising if Southampton fans might be a bit little lacking in objectivity and bruised by how Cedric left. The difference with players like Mane was that they could extract maximum value, whereas they lost Cedric in his prime for next to nothing.

Merlin’s Panini

He’s been a totally decent backup when he’s played. Not really done anything wrong just not been particularly exciting, but was excellent against Newcastle. So there’s some hope.


I dont think either Cedric nor Bellerin are good enough. I think I’d prefer cashing in on Bellerin, buying a better right back and keeping Cedric as back up. I see no issue shifting Saka to fill in at left back if Tierney is injured. We have to try to make Pepe work at right wing in the scenario that Tierney gets injured.

Cultured Determination

the only way pepe works if we can exchange him for aouar. he is , after all, 72 mil and did well in the french league.


Yeah, I feel like I’ve seen enough to know he’s never gonna come good ín Artetas system at least


As always, we’ll only get an accurate view of his ability (or lack of it) if he’s given a run of games. Like others have said already, I think he was OK against Newcastle. That said, we must improve the overall quality of the squad or we’ll not make much progress against the “top teams” so if he can’t do the job we shouldn’t select him (although it’s unlikely we’ll be able to sell him).


Dont mind this lad at all, reminds of Debuchy. Fitness problems but decent when he’s around and can play. Thought he was decent at Southampton too but they shipped on loan?
not sure why people think so low of Bellerin either. Some of the fan base think he should be one of the first shipped out. The boys one of our own and in my opinion a fantastic player. Just can’t take a fucking thrown in

Arsenal Liam

He reminds me of Debuchy too. I don’t think anyone questions Bellerin’s positive attitude and love of the club just his erratic form of late


Probably needed a rest and reset, and I bet seeing Cedric do well will motivate him a load

A Different George

Cedric has been first choice for Portugal, and won the Euros with him. Absolutely good enough for a backup. Length of the contract is the only negative. I also don’t understand the way people feel about Bellerin, who has been very good. I don’t want to get into silly debates comparing specific players, but there are not many right backs in the league I would prefer to him.


Really? I’m not sold on Bellerin anymore as a player, but I love the man, so all for giving him the chance to work his way back to form.
That said, to say there aren’t many in the league you’d prefer is ludicrous.
Walker, TAA, Wan-Bissaka, Cancelo, maybe even Pereira all walk into our team. I’d even probably take a swap for Tariq Lamptey right now. Not sold on Reece James but he’s not far off.

Gus Caesar

Personally, i’m pleased to see a bit of praise in Cedric’s direction and he’s one of those signings that I think has been unfairly lumped in with some undoubtedly awful deals because of who his agent was. That’s a bit lazy in my opinion. At the start, when he first signed, he was injured and there were obvious reminders of the Kallstrom situation, but that was where the comparisons ended. I disagree with the statement that he was “deemed surplus to requirements” by Southampton, which is complete b*llocks – he said that he was going to leave them with 1… Read more »


Bang on. He played virtually every game for Southampton in 2018/19 before going to Inter with an option to buy because Saints didn’t want to lose him on a free with 18 months left of his contract. but couldn’t sort a permanent deal. Inter didn’t take up the option, he then came back and played virtually every game for them again before we took him, paying a chunky loan fee (albeit how much of it they saw is up for debate). So it is absolutely untrue that he was ever surplus to requirements, purely that Southampton did a bit of… Read more »

Gus Caesar

Yep. The only other thing was that he had a falling-out with Hassenhutl when he first joined Soton, that was probably what ultimately led to him moving to Inter and then leaving long-term. But it wasn’t as if he went on loan to Watford or a club of that level, he moved to Inter. When he was playing at Southampton I always thought he was at least one level above that level, like McGinn is at Villa now – a snip for a club who want a moderately-priced squad option. I think we need to be careful about the established… Read more »


I dont understand the attitude by sometowards Cedric simply because he is not a ‘shiny new thing’.
As said portugese international not as good as KT or HB but back up.
A better passer & more professional attitude than AMN?

I would really like AMN to succeed but his passing/concentration is often quite lapse& not good enough at full back let alone for midfield.


A nose injury? I didn’t know he had a nose injury. If that nullified his sense of smell it would actually be a major advantage when playing Spurs away wouldn’t it? To be fair, Cedric has been good value in the Europa League and FA Cup.


Watching Cedric against Newcastle gave me a glimpse of where we need to get to as a football club; 2 dangerous fullbacks who can offer something in the final third. Yes, we can obviously upgrade him but he was crossing, he was trying to beat players, he got an assist…THAT’S what we need from our fullbacks to win trophies May not be a popular opinion & I’m getting ready for the red thumbs but Bellerin more often than not flatters to deceive & doesn’t possess that kind of threat. Even when he does get in promising situations, the composure is… Read more »


I think KT has set the bar & HB needs to get closer to that level.
He was disappointing against Palace often passing back when in a good position to get to the touchline or perhaps put an early cross in!

Maybe Arteta saw that and decided he needed a rest?

At his best he is really good & also seems a great lad.

He is however one of the few saleable players who could move for decent money for a squad build.


My concern is where this now leaves AMN ( a homegrown player) in Arteta’s plans. The answer seems that he probably doesn’t, which is a shame. Thought he had made the breakthrough towards the end of the last season into a player which should really be holding on to. Not happening for him this season though.
Had that poor game covering left back against Newcastle last time out.


Cedric should start over Bellerin. Bellerin is too focused on his image and his Instagram. Cedric looks like he really puts the work in, makes good decisions, reasonably inventive, positions himself well. He is simply a better player.


To be fair, he needs more game time to show us what he can (or can’t) do. We know more about the strengths and weaknesses of Bellerin of course so can then compare and contrast. It could be that neither are really up to it, week in and week out not just the odd good game, and if so the club will have to think what to do. The bottom line is we won’t maintain the steady improvement we obviously need in the PL unless we have quality across the team and squad. We don’t have it yet – numbers… Read more »


…good to see Cedric starting to find gear but problem with him is injury issues.

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