Arteta: I think this project is going to go bang

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Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal project will go “bang” (in a good way) when he and his team get the chance to work in normal conditions again. 

It’s a year since the Spaniard’s positive diagnosis for Covid-19 sent English football into standby mode and the ensuing months of behind-closed-doors football, coupled with the financial ramifications of the pandemic, have ensured he’s had plenty of challenges to deal with during his first experience of managerial life. 

While his side continues to blow hot and cold on the pitch, Arteta is confident that the foundations he’s laid in the last year stand the club in good stead for when lockdown restrictions ease. 

“I could never imagine that when I got tested and I had the symptoms that – okay, I could be ill – but all the consequences of this virus on all of us. 

“It’s been really challenging having the first job to do that. And after that having only been in the job for just three months in normal conditions to start to have a completely different context and framework to work in has been really challenging. 

“At the same time, it’s made us as a club, much stronger. We have created a really strong group, a really strong bond with our players, with our fans, with our staff. That’s going to make a big difference. 

“I think in the future when everything comes to normality and we’re able to work the way that’s needed to work with some stability, I think this project is going to go bang. This is where we are but sometimes it’s difficult to see those moments now. I’m sure of what we’re doing.”

Given the club are out of the domestic cups, labouring in 10th place in the table and in desperate need of a Europa League run to salvage the season, there will be many who question Arteta’s suggestion that Arsenal are making progress under his watch. 

While he can see things the rest of us can’t, the boss admitted that the only way to convince doubters, who are on the outside looking in, is for his side to win football matches. 

“You need to win to convince anybody that you’re doing a good job that the club is going in the right direction,” he said. 

“If you are not inside every day and know exactly what is happening at the club, the only way to convince people outside the club is to win. 

“It doesn’t matter how well you play and if you deserve to win every match. If you don’t win it, we are not going to convince you or any fan or supporter that we are doing a great job. It’s only about winning and that’s the only way to convince people.”

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AGunner

Arteta will get us back in contention in the near future. Needs to be backed by the board, and the fans too. COYG.

Swifty

Yup, realistically it will take at least 5 year’s post Wenger to get back to levels we once were. Patience is needed by us fans.

Db20

Does that not mean that the club should drop season tickets prices to account for the fact that the quality of the football we watch has decreased?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Pretty weird concept, these five years for some or 10 years for others because a big manager left. If United or Arsenal have hired Klopp, they would have won the league already.

atom

The amount of time needed is a function of how much the manager controlled & also the squad he left. When fans say it will take 5 years, in reality they are saying Wenger left the club with a totally out dated model & very little talent on the playing side.

Kris

I can’t see it, but it is probably because future is so bright that makes me blind !!

Daveo

Strongly disgaree with the word “will”. He “may” get us back in contention, but if he wants to do that he needs to focus on developing the talent we have rather than leaning on the flawed experience that got us in this hole. Watching Martinelli rot behind Willian, the Saliba farce (leaving him off Europa), and even now Gabriel and Holding struggling for games behind David “Calamity” Luiz is very difficult to watch. Right now our focus in the transfer market should be players 16-27 years. Anything beyond that on the wages they demand has no place in a rebuild… Read more »

Atom

It’s amazing to me how the expectations have been reset from needing to challenge for the top 4 in a year where it ended up being totally wide open to fans being ok with being mid table. I really hope Arteta succeeds but he’s going to have to be more open minded on younger players vs playing old ones when given a choice

db10s

For me personally, we have to see improvement within the next 18 months. This season the more it became apparent how much covid has disrupted things, I am willing to give the club a pass. We’re in the middle of a transition period, we have an inexperience manager who has to deal with this trying situation after 3 months into his first job (+ dealing with the former dodgy sporting director) and football finances are at rock bottom globally.

Atom

He’s also had some benefits though. Could you imagine fans response this fall with how the bad the team and in particular certain players like Willian were playing?

Daveo

Why are we more affected by COVID than any other team? That is what I cannot understand about Mikel repeatedly bringing this up as an excuse. The only reason perhaps is due to our own financial mismanagement (yet another reason to invest wholly in project youth).

db10s

I don’t know about Mikel’s sentiments and why he brings it up but for me it’s a fully inexperienced manager having to not just deal with the state of our club pre covid but also tackling the added problems brought forth by covid. That is probably only unique to our club and to add all the off field changes we did too. I was partially in the same boat which why I can maybe sympathize. I got promoted (due to a sudden departure in my company) to a officer/management role back in Jan 2020 and before I could make heads… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Today is a match day. I support the team and the manager. We will discuss if this manager can achieve anything another day.

Headinthecloudz

Lurching from one catastrophe to another, with Xhaka and Luiz intermittently screwing up, will go ‘bang’ like an old banger. Sorry. I just don’t buy this project anymore.

Awesomesauce25

And until he has the opportunity to replace them with someone better, he needs to deploy any tactic he can to keep them confident and performing at their best. He has to prioritize the development areas.

Disarmed Gunner

Are you joking? He ships out Saliba and Guendouzi who are some of our most promising youngsters because he can’t control their behaviour. Benches Martinelli because he prefers OAP Willian and has given up on AMN and abandoned Reiss Nelson. So that’s 5 players whose development he has ruined/failed at.

Mporter7625

I would have shipped out Guendouzi as well. He is an immature brat who acts like he has been allowed to do whatever he wants because he has some talent. Several coaches have given up him because he is uncontrollable. Guendouzi is good but not great and not a game changer in the Prem. I remember he let Sterling cut inside from the left wing on to his right foot and surprise, bang goal. Guendouzi needs to go away and grow up. If he does he may be great but with the attitude issue he has he is another powder… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

Do you visit training ground often or can you time travel?

Old but Gold

Lets be quite honest here, Saliba just wasn’t ready and had family issues. Guendouzi promising…he is a disgrace, even his loan manager describes him as a juvenile and at fault for 2 goals in 1 match and benched him for 4 games. AMN wants to be a MF and he plainly isn’t, he is a good utility player. Nelson has had many opportunities over the years and really isn’t good enough at this level.
Willian, like it or not has been good last few game. Martinelli will get his chance….

Daveo

Willian was good against Leicester and Ok 2nd leg against benfica (good is a massive stretch – “turned the game” as Mikel put it, is hyperbolic bullshit focussed on justifying to fans what an amazing player this guy who Mikel has invested so much on is). So that makes 2.5 good games on the season. HE HAS PLAYED IN 28 FUCKING GAMES!! The only reason he still gets any game time is because he was Mikel’s pick and he won’t swallow his pride and accept there are better options. Playing Willian over Martinelli is scandalous. As it was when he… Read more »

Dave

Have a lemonade mate. Relax.

Daveo
ATLgunner

Thought you were gonna go with: https://youtu.be/P5VT-ofxdh4?t=57

Kelfsodie

It easy to judge and criticize from the outside but realistically those players you want and criticized him(MA) for not featuring has failed to take there chances. I trust the development and progress in as much as it’s slow but the team has been down for about 7yesr and no proper rebuilding but time will tell, whether he make it or not.
But am giving him my support.

santi's thigh grab

All perfectly reasonable decisions but not going to debate someone who has their mind made up. Aside from Martinelli, the rest can bugger off, not good enough.

Vaibhav Pandey

Then you can get lost till he is here than piling up your vile comments here!

Old but Gold

All footballers make mistakes in every game. Those you mention have at times been 2 of our better players but like Willian, it’s far too easy to keep picking on the same players for criticism. No mention of missed opportunities by Saka, Auba, Lacca, ESR, maybe because they are favourites?
Against Burnley, if we would have put away some of the many chances, things might look a little different…

Daveo

Ummm, ESR didn’t play. Auba scored and has been in better form, but has copped a bit of criticism this year. Laca, has copped plenty and while he has had a decent season that is the best you could describe it as. And Saka? You want to blame him for the loss? By far and away our best player on the season for missing a chance or two over a guy that passed a simple normal pass into a striker standing 4 yards from goal. Dios Mio! All footballers make mistakes, absolutely. And Xhaka and Luiz make more mistakes than… Read more »

Disarmed Gunner

As usual Arteta projects that he knows something that we ignorant fans don’t. The old “if you can’t see it there must be something wrong with you” spiel. Reminds me of the Emperor’s new clothes just a bit. If Arteta wasn’t a manager it wouldn’t be a surprise to find him peddling snake oil masquerading as hair tonic. I don’t buy his project or his prophecies. Going “bang” does sound about right though

Old but Gold

Perhaps you’re supporting the wrong team?

Disarmed Gunner

Elaborate? I’d wager I’ve been an Arsenal supporter much longer than you

Kentish Gooner

It’s not a competition mate.

Crooked

That’s neither here nor there. Even impartial or objective fans can see Arsenal are doing worse in every area statistically under Arteta.

Goonerrific

How could he possibly know anything we don’t when he’s a professional football manager? Who is he to claim to be an “expert” in such matters.

Honestly, the arrogance of some fans is unreal, I assume the same as those that show up to restaurants and think they’re a bloody food critic just because they watch ready, steady, cook.

Disarmed Gunner

Projecting much?

Goonerrific

I’m “projecting” that your opinion on football is less valid than artetas, and as for the “I’ve been a fan longer than you” comment, again I’m not sure how that makes your insight relevant or of greater value.

Lack of Perspective

So defensive…. just imagining you refreshing the page every few seconds so you can thrash away at your keys in a disdained response.

Crooked

Why the down votes? Must be the under 20 years old crowd voting you down.

Tapps

I’m 56 and downvoted – because I disagree with the comment. You probably upvoted because you agree with it. That’s the way this works. No need for insults.

Disarmed Gunner

I’m not bothered by downvotes or upvotes. No need to worry on my behalf

Tapps

I was responding to Crooked’s suggestion that, because I disagree, I must be under 20. I’ve not ‘worried on your behalf’.

YaGunnersYa

To be honest, I’d buy whichever hair tonic Arteta is peddling

Arsenal for Life

I believe in this manager, however, the gap between us and city is huge, we need depth in the squad, we need two strikers who can score 20 to 30 goals a season, back up for Tierney,and two No. 10s in form of Odegaard who can create, defend and attack. I want Arsenal to win the premier league and champions league, not challenge for the title. Arsene built the stadium and academy to compete with Bayern and Barcelona.

Jay Alenby

Arteta out!

yen

I haven’t been that much invested in the Arsenal outside of the games lately. Felt a bit stranded from the fanbase with an opinion that Arteta is doing some really solid work and it will eventually turn out for good. Ever since the Chelsea game, a lot of it clicked, we’ve been passing the eye test and it is met with data as well (look for tweets from March 6 on non-penalty expected goals difference).

Our biggest enemy is us at the moment.

Goonerrific

You’re not alone mate, anyone with eyes can see were improving significantly. I think back to that game with Emery v Watford and can’t imagine how Arteta gets compared.

Sadly we live in a world where instant success is the only yardstick – although saying that we won the cup and that still isn’t good enough.

Crooked

I have 20/20 vision and lemme tell you, we were rubbish in the final Emery months but we’ve been RUBBISH for 16 months under Arteta. At least Emery’s first year we played decent football.

Never Happen

Hmmm, if it’s not your eyesight then I wonder what it could be.

santi's thigh grab

No we didn’t, get your eyes checked mate. Our performances exceeded the metrics, good results crappy performances. Your one of the league table doesn’t lie guys but in that instance it did. Arteta won the FA cup by beating Chelsea and City. Emery lost against Chelsea in Europa, so yeah, I think we are doing better and looks better too except for individual errors which have cost us 12 points.

Pastor Simon

People forget easily that we are playing free flowing football home and away despite not winning as expected because of some costly mistakes from the team and match officials. I have beginning to look forward to Arsenal match with positive mindset. We were tested against United, city and Chelsea which I believe we performed better in those matches. But nevertheless winning the EUROPA LEAGUE should be the utmost priority. Arteta should be evaluated by the end of the season.

Jimbo

Free flowing football fucking hell are you blind?

Crooked

If this is free flowing then what on earth were we playing in those exciting Wenger years when we had sublime players such as Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Van Persie and Cazorla tearing up the pitch in those early Emirates years? This dross we play now is awful compared to that

Dave

I remember an awful lot of crab passing around the box with those players on off days.

Pastor Simon

Arsenal now is better to watch now than closing stages of Wenger and the entire period of Emery…. Remember Arsenal under Arteta has not bottled any final

Heavenly Chapecoense

“Off days” then, everyday now.

Pastor Simon

So how on earth do we go a decade without a trophy

Mentalista

What are you on, mate? This team plays most of the game in our own half, own defensive third even. It’s ridiculous, boring to death, only saved by the occasional lapses of brilliance by the attacking mids and Tierney.

Tapps

Yeah – we were really dull at home to Chelsea, away to West Brom, away to Wolves until the penalty, at home to Leeds, away to Leicester……..

loose_cannon

We’ve played well in some games, and we’ve erm played less well in others. Could point to the games against Villa, United, City and Burnley for evidence of that. In the main, yes we’re playing much better than before the Chelsea game. But we’re still not playing well consistently enough. The ball is in our backline too long, we’re unwilling to take risks in midfield, and our press isn’t where it should be. Hard to say if those are tactical issues, personnel or both. But either way we need to go another level before we can be considered a CL… Read more »

Pastor Simon

People just forget easily and always looking for negativity to rants about

Pastor Simon

Then why not take the positives out of those occasional brilliance…. We all know that the only problem is consistency… The team is a good stead now

Never Happen

Yeah, agree. We are slowly getting better and can play some nice quick stuff at times now. Still need to do it more consistently but we are better to watch since moving to a back four

Pastor Simon

Yeah… We need the right mercenary to execute the play on a consistent basis

ljundbergspinkmohawk

I’m reaasonably well convinced at this point that arteta is a good coach. Obviously makes mistakes, but is competent enough to learn from them. Like it or not (and I’m not fans of them): willian, xhaka, elneny, and luiz are on the roster. I can understand Arteta’s desire to get whatever use he can out of them, give the veteran players a real evaluation. Part 1 of the clearout has alreay happened, and in the summer I’d hope to see more players sold/cut from the list above as well as bellerin, lacazette, toreira and gendouzi. Hopefully that will be enough… Read more »

ParteyPants

I believe

Ambazonian Gunner

Since when and how did it go from “Trust The Process” to “Trust The Project”?. The ways and methods of a snake oil salesman.

Crooked

If this is free flowing then what on earth were we playing in those exciting Wenger years when we had sublime players such as Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Van Persie and Cazorla tearing up the pitch in those early Emirates years? This dross we play now is awful compared to that

Joseph Kawooya

You sure need your toy fixed n returned alright now

Vonnie

And those sublime players never won anything, who’s fault was that then?

Rowen Greenslade

I don’t care about our league position as I’ve seen it before. What I don’t like is so called fans and coaches slagging our team off. Support or do one

loose_cannon

Don’t think it’s right to point to the lockdown as a reason for our form this season, every club has had to adapt and most have far fewer resources than us. Instead we should focus on what needs to improve on the pitch: the speed of our passing, the intensity of our pressing and our willingness to take risks on and off the ball. That should precipitate squad changes and also a change of tact, especially against sides that sit deep and soak up pressure. We ought to be stretching the game against them for most of the match, not… Read more »

OBT

I Believe!!! But the board gotta back him