Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Arteta: We have a clear plan for the summer

Mikel Arteta admits he has lots of decisions to make this summer as his Arsenal project takes in a third transfer window.

The Spaniard has already confirmed that David Luiz will be leaving the club after two years and there are certain to be several other high-profile departures as Arsenal attempt to balance the squad and books alongside signing new recruits.

When the season is over, Arteta is expected to sit down with every member of the first team, including those returning from loan, to decide their fate. For the moment, he’s keeping his cards close to his chest but he maintains the club has a clear plan.

Facing the media ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace, he was asked if he’s expecting a busy summer.

“Yes,” he said, “but if I have to answer every question about every possible transfer or what players might be leaving, we will be sitting here for hours.

“What I can say is that we know what we want to do and there is a clear plan to put that together.

“It’s true that there are a lot of decision to make, because as well we have a lot of players on loan, some of them have to come back and we will see step-by-step and focus on the priorities that we have. Let’s see how much we can do.”

In light of his poor first year at the Emirates and his big wages, it’s likely the club will explore the possibility of rehousing Willian. It has been suggested the midfielder, who is eager to regain his place in the Brazil squad, might not be against the idea.

Arteta says the player’s struggles this season are his fault: “First of all we signed a player with an incredible talent, a proven talent and performance level in this league, and this season has been difficult and I take full responsibility because I have to be the one getting the best out of him and we had moments but not to the level that he did before.

“This is an assessment that we will do individually with the players and with Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.”

The boss then tried to palm off a direct question about whether the 32-year-old could depart. “Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season,” he said.

We can probably take that with a pinch of salt. Aside from David Luiz, the only players out of contract this summer are our trio of loanees; Martin Odegaard, Dani Ceballos and Mat Ryan.

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A clear plan and you’re not having any of it. Fair enough.


Partey was a lazy signing, last minute and easy to do because of the release clause. We had a terrible summer transfer last year outside of Gabriel (who I’m not convinced on).


Party was on paper an almost ideal signing. If his performances had been anywhere near his proper level, he would have been exactly what we’ve been missing for a long time.

He had a bum season, hit from the outset by injury interruptions. We will see much better from him.

Johnny 4 Hats

I remember when Scott looked at his stats though and they were pretty shite. And that was before he kicked a ball. The warning signals did start to sound just a little for me then. The weird thing about Partey is he intrinsically seems like a good player. Good technique, good physicality, moments of brilliance on the pitch. But he’s also very wasteful and often makes really poor decisions, not least hacking at shots from distance. Maybe some of the poor performances are to do with him being in a one man midfield. But he really needs to do much… Read more »

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Zidane is available at the end of the season. #JustSaying

SB Still

He is not the midfielder we need now. A 15 yrs younger version of him yes 🙂

Anders Limpar

I have to disagree that he was an ideal signing on paper, we spent the last two transfer windows courting creative midfielders who are technically strong with the vision to make things happen.
We then bought the player than was an ideal signing on paper for the second half of Wengers reign, the one that got away so to speak. The physical, energetic, big man who can win tackles and burst forward when required.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

It is amusing how Atletico Madrid are on the verge of winning the Spanish league after selling Partey to us. Just like Lille are on the verge of winning the French league after selling Pepe and Gabriel to us.

Arsenal providing the means of investment for champions all over Europe.

A Different George

Perhaps, given the last few years, I am less tolerant of easily-disproven falsehoods.

Whatever you think of Partey as a player, everyone knows (including anyone who read Arseblog) that the club had been pursuing him a long time, he had been talked about as an ideal signing for at least a year, and that, unable to reach a deal with Atletico, the club decided to pay the entire release clause (which almost certainly required funds advanced by the Kronkes). So, not lazy, not a last-minute decision, and certainly not easy to do.


But Partey was a player whose signing was almost universally praised on this site. I don’t recall anyone saying it was “lazy”.

As for the release clause, it still had to be met – which it was only through a loan from the owner. Nobody was critical of that either as I remember.

Frank Bascombe

Man, you just make this shit up as you go along because we’d been after Thomas Partey for a while and easy to do because the release clause? GTHFO.


Why was he not the first player we bought in the summer? Why did we wait for the last day and claim the owners cleared the money last minute for him? Why did we sign Runnarson and Willian and Cedric if we had a plan? Come on man, anyone could have signed Partey and they didnt, it was not a miracle.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Fans always remember the last two or three games (good or bad performances).


Thomas Partey is a good player who needs to be playing in a team allowed to play free flowing attacking football. Ditto 90% of the current squad.

LEGOball clearly hasn’t worked. It needs to be consigned to the dustbin.

I would love Arteta to prove me wrong next season and for the team to come out all guns blazing and start playing the kind of football we all know the good name of this club deserves.

Over to you, Mikel….


What really annoys me is how desperate Arteta is to make excuses for Willian. While some of our brightest and most talented youngsters are routinely ignored and thrown under the bus. Let’s be clear. Willian has been shit, totally utterly shit. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a player so actively not trying in an Arsenal shirt. And Arteta defends him to the hilt. Where is Nelson? Saliba? Where was Gabriel for our biggest game of the season? Why do you put up with a complete lack of effort from this pensioner who couldn’t give two fucks about… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Arteta seems to be too slow to make the tough calls. He’s been too slow to make in-game substitutions all-season long, too slow to drop Willian, too slow to integrate ESR into the team (on Boxing day – matchday 15), too slow getting a loan setup for Saliba, too slow to realise that we needed Xhaka in the middle in the second leg against Villareal.


I agree on all of these, but wasn’t ESR injured early in the season? He’s also had a history of injuries so I can understand wanting to be cautious with him

SB Still

Tierney has a history of injuries, yet he was barely rested, worse didn’t even have a backup.


Possibly, but that’s down to inxperience I think. If you’ve been round the managerial block a few times, you’re bound to be more confident when decisions need to be taken because you’ve been in that position, or something similar, before.

With Arteta, for good or bad, it’s learning as you go – but the club (and the fans) knew that when he was appointed – or should have done, shouldn’t they?


ESR was injured Sep/Oct this year and it’s Edu’s job to do the transfer work but go off mate.

I don’t think he’s slow to make the tough calls as there are many calls he’s made quickly, it would be more accurate to say some of the calls have been wrong (eg Willian)


I agree Willian should go. But criticising Arteta for defending one of his senior players when asked about him by the press is nonsense. All the players look at these responses and won’t want to see him throwing anyone under a bus.


In isolation, you’re right.
But remembering that Nelson hasn’t played AT ALL since January while Willian keeps collecting match bonuses, I call bullshit.


I agree, I don’t understand that either.


Although I don’t understand the hardon some people have for Nelson




Its more like anyone than Willian. And if Nelson fails, then we can say, fair enough, we tried but Nelson is shite. Like Eddie Nketiah is shite for us.


It isn’t the manager’s job to play a worse player just to prove to fans a squad player is not the answer. Nelson still can’t get into the team ahead of Willian? That tells me all I need to know about Nelson’s development.

SB Still



Who really expects him to give details? As long as he and Edu and others at the club know then let’s see what happens.


I don’t expect him to give details, which is why I said fair enough.

SB Still

I’m extremely worried about Edu and Arteta navigating this extremely important and potentially perilous transfer window. Exhibit A: Willian – everyone agrees he had a terrible season. Seems to be part of the reason was lack of motivation. He even mentioned something about not wanting to leave Chelsea. Also signing Willian when we needed a creative midfielder and had an abundance of wide players. Hell, even Auba was playing wide, yet we bought another wide player. After starting this, I’m worried that I’m writing a blog at this rate. Hence, will summarise the remaining. Exhibit B – Defence: 1) We… Read more »


Exhibit A: tick
Exhibit B: isn’t our defence third best in the league?
Exhibit C: I think there is more to come on this, so I will wait before making judgment

SB Still

Valid point about defence. My issue is the squad (de)construction, credit to Arteta for the same.
Just using the defence as an example, I can’t figure out the squad building strategy. Additionally, Gabriel who started so promisingly seem to have gone downhill, as did the RBs. These are apart from the on-field performance but relating to squad building and man management.

My concern is similar for midfield and attack i.e. transfer dealings on the whole.

Johnny 4 Hats

Not meaning to be too scathing but didn’t he say this at the start of last seasons window when we dithered and delayed before making a late offer for Auoar and then buying Partey on the very last day?

I hope it’s a better plan than that. The most important thing is that we get a good preseason with as many of the new lads as possible.


Yeah was gonna say, this quote seemed very familiar from last summer “We have plans for every possibility – Champions League, Europa or not in Europe”. I do agree that a proper pre-season (for once) will help things. Sure there might be Euros this summer but I think our team doesn’t have too many players out at that this Summer. I do hope that we can just buy our players in early, integrate them into pre-season and get to work. I enjoy a deadline deal signing but I’d prefer a settled squad by the first PL game and not still… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s got to be said that Partey just hasn’t been good enough this season. Pepe had a terrible first season too and Thomas’ was only a little better. Boy, I hope if we are going to go big then we really do our homework before throwing money at questionable talent.

Personally I’d much rather see us sign five £20m players than a £70m, a £30m and a bunch of premier league rejects. Not that we have £100m to spend.


Agree with the latter paragraph, but despite their choppy starts, I don’t think Pepe and Partey will go down as questionable in the long run. Pepe definitely had a rough first PL season of adjustment, and we seem to have been slow in figuring out how to get the best from him position and role-wise. But it’s clearly been on the up lately, and he’s gaining consistency. He’s had 6 goals in 27 matches this year, and 6 in 13 in Europa, but it looks like he has gotten to be more and more of a threat as the season… Read more »


Good thing we didn’t break the bank for Auoar, have you followed him this season?

Johnny 4 Hats

Not at all. Has he been poor? And if so, poorer than Partey?

Johnny 4 Hats

Well that does bring a little grin to my face. Wasn’t he speaking just a little derogatorily about Arsenal last summer? Let’s hope we either get him cheap and he turns into a worldie or he disappears into obscurity and always bemoans his stupidity at turning down the mighty Arsenal.

He could even try a Peter Odemwingie. I like the idea of Arteta slamming the great big red door that doesn’t exist at the emirates right in his tear stained face as Aouar holds a boom box in the air playing Sweet Caroline.

God. I’m a really vindictive person.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Aouar can also have a bad attitude. Few months ago, he refused to train because the pitch wasn’t good enough for him.

Johnny 4 Hats

That might just be the one thing we can offer him.


We have a clear plan to sign Camavinga and Julian Brandt…until we’re priced out of those moves and are forced to sign Nemanja Matic and RyanFraser

Johnny 4 Hats

We’ve got about as much chance of signing Camavinga as we have Kane. Man, I hope we don’t waste all summer chasing a player who is destined for City, Madrid or PSG.

Cultured Determination

No. They are not from Chelsea. I think thiago silva is old enough and about right.

Naked Cygan

He should be replaced now. Why are we going to torture everyone and have another season finishing outside the top 6? ? ? ? ? Why?

A Gorilla

Who would you replace him with? An inanimate carbon rod perhaps?


How about a boom box that just goes “Laca! Laca! Laca!” all the time?

Corona X

Marcelo Bielsa!


Coming into the season, odds makers had us in 7th. Now at the end of the season some fans are shocked we will finish 1 or 2 positions below that by at best a couple of points?


Entitled people who have never been through a rebuild before

Heavenly Chapecoense

What about first time in 25 years without european competition?


“Arteta says the player’s struggles this season are his fault”

Sure, the buck stops with the manager but considering Willian’s level of shitness it can’t be all on Arteta. The player will have to wear at least some of it himself. No fucking way I’d carry the can for someone that shit if I was a boss.

Hope we get rid of Willian this summer. If anyone needs to go it’s him.


Yeah, this is clearly a case of the Wenger-esque protection of the players.

Arteta flat out said that’s part of his job a couple weeks back. Hell of a lot better than Mourinho style of throwing his players under the bus, though.


That facial expression though. “Pass the ball to Auba or Laca in front of the opponents goal you say?”.

Cultured Determination

Mou has discovered the greatest trophy a manager can get- to be paid off. Would you want tovwin awards at your company or be paid without having to work?


The manager keeps playing him despite the “level of shitness” ahead of Nelson, whose value has plummetted as a result.

Sure, Willian is to blame, but Arteta is more so. Not for not getting the best out of him but for not getting him out of our best squad.


Willian has been poor for sure, but what exactly have you seen from Nelson that demands minutes? He didn’t exactly seize his chances when played


Are you implying Willan has?

Nelson should play for two reasons:
1. Willian clearly hasn’t been playing well and when that happens, it’s usually good to try another player in the same position.

2. He’s young and sellable. If he’s frozen out completely, it is highly likely to tank his value. If he’s playing and he’s not very good, his value is still likely to be higher.

Remember, it’s not just that he’s not playing, it’s that he’s out of the team completely.
He doesn’t deserve this treatment – unless he’s killed Gunnersaurus or something.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If you were boss you would be Mourinho.


I’d you were boss you’d be Hitler.


Leicester City already have their first signing done, 22 year old CDM for $20mil. Arsenal are talking about signing 32 year old Bertrand? Why do I not believe you Arteta.


Surely we can’t seriously be signing Bertrand ?

Didrik Plehn

Blame the owner and board, they are responsible for our transfer budget. They are also responsible for appointing managers.


We also supposedly have a ‘Director of Football’, I hear.

Didrik Plehn

Who has appointed him…

Didrik Plehn

Richard Garlick started in his position yesterday, should we blame him already. Our former head of football operations left in October.


Agreed on that last bit. Still, if you spend £30 million on Willian’s wages, you can’t really complain about a lack of funds.

We could easily have gotten a £20+ million young player AND his wages for that.

Didrik Plehn

I agree with you, but this is not a decision made solely by Arteta. We have a huge potential for doing better recruitments in the future..

Crash Fistfight

We could have signed that same 22 year-old last summer, instead of spending £45m and £250k/wk on a player with 3-4 good years left on the clock, who’ll have no sell-on value and who will be missing for a guaranteed few weeks when the next AFCON happens. Especially seeing as how the money wasn’t there to sign him. (Not that I’m saying he’d have been a better player, just that it seemed liked a more efficient use of funds.) I’d prefer to sign whoever is responsible for Leicester’s recruitment process (rather than the bloke who had nothing to do with… Read more »


Our squad is far too big Leno, Runarsson Bellerin, Soares, Chambers, Niles Tierney, Kolasinac Saliba, Holding, Mavropanos Gabriel, Mari Xhaka, Elneny, Torreira Partey, Guendouzi Smith-Rowe, Willock Saka, Pepe, Willian, Nelson Aubameyang, Martinelli Lacazette, Nketiah, Balogun Numerically we could lose Nketiah, Willian, Nelson, Guendouzi, Mavropanos, Bellerin, Niles And we’d still be left with a first team squad of 22, which is plenty with no European football Buying players is going to be difficult, because other clubs can count, and if we have a surplus of players, they can just wait until the end of the window, then get loans and cheap… Read more »


True. To slim it down successfully assumes that clubs want many of the players we would like to offload of course. Almost everyone will be looking to slim their squads down in the summer so it will be a crowded, buyer’s, market. Not ideal.


Man… it will take a large belt to reshuffle this squad into top 4 quality shape, not sure we have the right peapole on deck to do this. The type of deals that are explored/completed will be revealing


“…explore the possibility of rehousing Willian.”

We’re only making plans for Nigel,
We only want what’s best for him… ♪♫

Xhaka Demus, No Pliers

I thought James’s points re Bertrand, Xhaka, Willian etc were on point in the arsecast yesterday. If Bertrand is part of the clear plan then the plan may be quite poor. And if we’re planning on holding on to the players that facilitated our 8th/9th place finish then where is any kind of accountability for poor performance? I know the Covid market is a different beast but what message does it send to the squad (and fans) if the same underperformers are given a chance for an encore season?


Arteta used to sound inspiring, smart and forward thinking in his press conferences. Now he just sounds like someone who thinks he is smarter than everyone else and makes excuses for his poor performances and decisions.


Nothing has changed apart from your tolerance for him.

To quote Emery “when we were winning ‘good ebening’ sounded funny but when we couldn’t it was annoying “

Steve Dracula

Brand Arteta is in full swing.

He´s been touting for the City job since his very first press conference.

David C

Let’s buy Harry Kane, he’s for sale 😉

He has Arsenal DNA, haha.

matt keeler

“it has been suggested the midfielder, who is eager to regain his place in the Brazil squad, might not be against the idea.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

You crack me up Willian.

Didrik Plehn

The soul does not absorb negativity by accident, only by choice 🔴⚪️ COYG

Hakuna Matata

Reality theory of counselling


The Arsenal does not drop points by accident, only by choice.

Didrik Plehn

Well, our hostile atmosphere is only beneficial for our opponents!


With all due respect to Mr. Arteta and Edu, let your clear plans this summer be as follows, (1) Selling Leno and buying back Martinez. You have to first agree that you made a very big blunder on that decision. (2) You have no good central defender yet, you will have to sell 2 and buy 1 good central defender (English Premier League Proven.) 3. You have to buy 2 midfielders one of which should be Yves Bissouma and another attacking midfielder. Nketiah should go, Folarin Balogun stay, give him and Martineli more time this season. Laca and Auba should… Read more »


This guy plays too much Fifa – put down the controller; don’t over complicate things; eat the elephant one bite at a time…. (1) Martinez ain’t coming back, no way we take a net loss 1 year on for a lateral move just to shake things up – Leno is more than adequate. (2) No good central defender? When was the last time we ever did? Build up Saliba and Gabriel as a partnership; Holding and Mari are there for support and well enough for what our aspirations are next year. Why on Earth would we sell all our loan… Read more »

Chris L

It was stated last week the club needs to be RUTHLESS…. I have to question how much that was just the use of a ‘powerful’ word that would get the attention of the fan base after a very difficult result? I will genuinely stand corrected if the club is committed to the word & they make in roads into the average squad assembled after the last 5 or 6 years & other issues that blight this club. I know it’s still very early in the process, plus, certain things are said & stated about individuals etc for certain reasons, but… Read more »


“I really do believe that we have a very clear plan…”

John Curtis

I personally think we need the season out of Europe and concentrate on the domestic competitions, it happened to Chelsea and they went onto win the title. I’m not saying we will win the league, but with less competition we could have a better chance of a top 4 finish, I think right now that is the important thing going forward

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The positive slant is that our Premier League form since Boxing Day is very good. We’re 3rd in the form guide table since December 26th – behind only the two Manchester clubs.

The horrific October to Christmas period killed our Premier League season. But if we can continue our 2021 calendar form, keep our key players fit, a decent transfer window, I reckon we’re in a fairly decent position going into next season. It’s surely not a massive ask to finish above Leicester, West Ham, Everton and a Kane-less Spurs next season.


Consistency is the aim and we should finish higher than this season. Mind you, if you looked at the posts on this site at the start of this season a good number were confident of a top 4 finish with some even suggesting winning the PL wasn’t out of the question. Ho, hum


But the Europa League also happened. The problem with the league table argument is that it really only works one way – it a team is higher in the table than its performances would suggest. Arsenal isn’t that. The performances haven’t actually been very good, with some of the same issues resurfacing recently, namely our inability to buy a goal against teams that aren’t completely dreadful. Then there are three of the worst performances I can remember over the four most important games of the season – we won’t get to play a fifth one. I believe there was an… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

I hope it’s better than Raul’s “very good plan”…


There’s a great deal to do, no doubt about that. I suspect Arteta knows he’s got limited time to turn things around so I hope his plan is well thought through.


We were told we had a well defined and thought good plan at the start of the season till we were given Willian and Runnarson


if the only business we did this summer was getting rid of willian i would consider it a success



Caption for the above photo: “What?!?!? You want me to pass the ball forward???”


Alternative caption:

“Xhaka. At left back.”


Im starting to lose faith in Mikel. He’s been all mouth and no substance, always painting this beautiful picture of where he wants the club to be but a complete shambles on the pitch. Based on previous spending do I trust him and Edu to make the right decisions in the summer? Hell NO. They burned through 36 mil on Willian. Sums up the state of our club right now. Buckle up guys.


Two questions:
1. Does the plan involve Xhaka at left back?

2. Is there a Plan B?

Cranky Colin

Can’t believe that shite with regard to Willian……”it’s not you, it’s me”, is what that sounds like!!!
But MA will always come up with that narrative when discussing Willian.
Did AFC realise that they would be paying north of 200 a week to a 34 year old in 2022/2023?
Fine if the player performs but , Willian?


Trust the PR process!


Jorginho incoming!


I am pretty worried about Arteta’s very clear plan if I’m honest.


Everyone chill the hell out. Any sane manager is NOT going to start publicizing his summer reorganization plans with 2 games left. And no sane manager, including MA, is going start advertising which players he wants gone BECAUSE he is preserving their value (or whats left of it). No businessman stakes out his position or last offer BEFORE starting negotiating. Just b/c in todays day and age, any idiot w/a computer can write whateverthefuck they want, doesn’t mean that professionals should or will do the same. AW was famously tightlipped. MA is making many words, but saying nothing. This is… Read more »


Serious questions. What elite player would want to sign on with Arsenal at this point? What top level manager would want to join this organization? Lean times ahead for the Arsenal. Additionally, any talent we have on the books will be looking to get outa Dodge asap. It’s called a death spiral.


Well, here’s hoping the Kroenkes break the habit of a lifetime and give him the resources that they can quite comfortably afford and invest.

Here’s hoping we finally start to box clever in the transfer market.

And here’s hoping we wipe the slate clean and play some attacking exciting football next season with plenty of goals.

And if you believe all that, you’ll believe anything…..

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