Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Arteta: I’m driven by making people happy…not criticism

There’s a fairly high chance that Arsenal will lose to Manchester City tomorrow and after two days respite, Mikel Arteta will once again be a lightning rod for criticism as our woes are splashed across the back pages of the newspapers. 

If he comes across as someone who is driven by negative energy – the vibe that Granit Xhaka gives off from the moment he’s out of bed – you couldn’t be more wrong. The Spaniard insists his project isn’t powered by proving doubters wrong but rather the prospect of making Arsenal fans happy again; a Sisyphean task in anyone’s book. 

“I cannot have more energy and more determination and more desire to turn things around,” said Arteta when asked about the impact of criticism. “Nobody else has that more than myself at the moment. 

“I’m looking in the opposite way (to being driven by criticism); when we’re doing well, when people are enjoying, when people feel part of what we’re doing, you get people happy. When we have that power, I just focus on that. 

“There are always going to be people unhappy. I haven’t seen any single fan with a manager or a player that they are happy when you are losing football matches. It just doesn’t happen and it isn’t realistic.”

While many supporters will point to consecutive eighth-place finishes under his watch as evidence to the contrary, Arteta is confident that the club is moving in the right direction. He also says he doesn’t question what he’s trying to do. 

“No, not the direction,” he said when asked if he has doubts. “You have to be able to adapt, to see what is happening and how can you help the team and individuals on that pitch. Whether it’s a speech or the way you communicate with them or what you’re demanding them to do. Adapt a little bit but the direction is not going to change.”

So where did this steadfast belief in his principles come from? None other than Pep Guardiola, his old friend and, these days, regular adversary. Asked what he has learned from the City manager, winner of countless trophies and regularly lauded as the best coach in the game, Arteta said

“First of all, that you have to believe in what you do and in any difficult moment you stick to what you do and the whole team, the whole club sticks to what we believe and all decisions I’m making all the time in that direction.”

He added: “I sense the urgency since the day that I arrived here. To change the situation that we had, to try to improve in many areas that we were struggling, that we have issues and win as many football matches and trophies as I can.

“That’s not going to change if we win the next three games or not. That uncertainty, that desire to do well, that commitment to bring success to the club it has to be always there and I think we need to feel that as well to get the best of out of yourself.”

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I’ll support him and the team as long as they’re putting up a good fight.

I still recall fans asking for the young, hungry players to start towards the end of last season because “there’s nothing to play for anymore.”

Now we’ve bought young and hungry. Give them time to gel.


And you think Brentford was “putting up a good fight”……?


I think the players tried, but in the end, the system let them down. It was even more stark in the Chelsea game, not only did he get totally outcoached, he didn’t have the balls to swallow his pride and make a change to save the game. 60,000 fans turned up to see a team that had no idea what it was doing. Tuchel didn’t have to do anything, he couldn’t believe his luck. The whole world apart from Arteta knew he would play 343, with James having width on the right. Yet Arteta ignored this, ignored a back 3,… Read more »


We trashed a team 6-0 a few days ago.

I saw real fight there.

Did any of their Coach’s action minimize the damage?


Before you say “that was their second string. Our team was better.”

Consider also that our second string played against Chelsea and Brentford’s A-team.

Tomorrow we play English champions, I expect us to lose. But I want to see fight and character from the team.

This ain’t FIFA where you can quit the game without saving just so you can try again.


You saw a Premiership team trash a Championship team who decided to play their reserves and youth team – that is what you saw.
A win is a win though but get some perspective on it – this wasn’t Chelsea or Man City.
Arsenal will be beaten tomorrow in the same way they were beaten against Chelsea and disappointingly against the nobodies of Brentford.
Arteta is an piss awful manager…

Vaibhav Pandey

Don’t feel an egg tomorrow on your face after we beat CIty tomorrow.



I’m quite certain a lot of us would have ‘quit the manager’ ages ago, if that had been possible…..


What is your point exactly? I said the players tried. I saw fight. But Arteta was out-coached. Simple as that. Just like in the Europa League semi final where he gave Emery a gift by putting Xhaka at left back against Chukwueze, their most dangerous threat. Only for him to get rinsed inside 5 minutes and concede a goal. Everyone could see that coming a mile off. It is stupid management. This is a theme, not a one off. I see confusing tactics, little team coherence and a complete lack of in-game reaction on a weekly basis. No amount of… Read more »


Nonsense like this is the reason people struggle to be positive about easy beatdowns like the West Brom game. It was fun, but you can’t use it to defend the manager. I’m pretty sure Arsenal would have smacked that team if you or I were managing. The gulf in class was ridiculous. Look at the first goal – Saka has three-four players around him, beats all of them and Auba is free to tap it in. You think that’s a sequence you can regularly repeat in the Premier League? In your dreams. You need two for a fight. Even a… Read more »

Tanned arse

Referencing that saka goal with the score still at 0-0, we hadn’t created a chance and I was watching the replays as saka bullied his way through 4 players and not one team mate made any attempt to run ahead of him. Not to take anything away from the fun of the night but the same mentality existed even in that game and i have no doubt where that stems from. That thrashing was down to the players being in a different class but the same reserved nature was still on show to a large extent


Aubameyang goal, but I agree completely.

And most of our goals came from winning the ball and quick counterattacks, not the slow horseshoe build-up shit we’ve been trying almost exclusively in the Premier League.
Only goals four (Odegaard backheel) and six (Holding long ball to Pepe behind the defense) came from the sort of play Arteta fancies, but both of those were quite unusual and marked by quite poor defending.

If anything, this was a repudiation of Artetaball, not an endorsement of it.


First it was the referee, then it was VAR, then it was COVID and now it is the system.
Arsenal fans struggling to come to terms with the fact that the Arsenal team isn’t very good but you nailed it on the head.


Same ol’ Arsenal, always excusing.

Wouldn’t mind seeing an end to the need for excuses with a surprising performance and a result against a big team on their patch. Why can much “smaller” teams go to City and get results, but we see it as an inevitable loss and an excuse?

If we lose in a game we put up a fight and create some chances and are in it then that’s ok. If we lose by being totally out hustled, out efforted, out togethernessed, and out-coached like we were against Chelsea then that isn’t good enough.

Teryima Adi

Brentford was a bad day at the office.

Scored at the Clock End

Hear hear! As to those who disagree, boo the team, leave early and down voted your comment, I suggest they look up the meaning of the word ‘supporter’. Meanwhile I was at Brentford and the Chelsea game and will be at the Etihad tomorrow. Come on you rip-roaring goal scoring (cough!) Gunners!


Well in!!

Spanish Gooner

I’ve a funny feeling we could get a result against City. Their preparations will have been affected by the Mendy arrest and the Ronaldo deal with half their forward line apparently being offered around to make room for him, whereas I’m a masochistic Arsenal fan with an endless supply of illogical optimism. Seems like an even balance.


Go and lie down in a dark room till the feeling passes. Which will be about 1pm Saturday.


Tomorrow’s game is free hit, players should be nice and relaxed, no one expects us to get a result, I’m not writing it off, City do tend to start seasons off slowly.


Unfortunately, starting seasons slowly seems to be a trait that Arteta has picked up from Pep.


That and having the same wardrobe as ‘One Directon.’

Maybe those dudes should have called themselves ‘The Right Directon’ and they’d still be together….🙄

Tankard Gooner

Even if City takes up on the ‘free hit’, I think the majority of us just want to see us put up a real fight. Anyone can lose a game, but it’s the fight that matters.


Agreed. Spurs got a result out of them without Kane, I don’t think we’re any worse than them especially with Auba and Ødegaard back. Even if we don’t get the result we want, we should still get a strong performance.


My problem with Arteta is this. For some weird reason, to act all ‘mr boss man’, he identifies players he can pick on and then starts treating them unreasonably, shouting at them uncontrollably during matches for eg. ESR, who for me has the potential to become one of our best creative players, appears to be suffering under this treatment and with the arrival of Odegaard will probably be pushed down the pecking order. If the Aouar rumor is true then this would push him down even further. Then we will have another case like Martinelli’s whose incredible development momentum was… Read more »


Think Aouar would play number 8 as a Xhaka alternative?

No foot Norbert

If esr thought he was being treated unreasonably why would he sign a new deal.


Because he is clever enough to know that players end to outlast managers and when a club like Arsenal give you a brilliant contract and Bergkamp’s shirt, you take it.


You make a very good point. I think most players are not enjoying his management. He has treated many players unfairly (Leno, Bellerin, Martinelli, Willock, AMN, Nelson) and some even terribly (Ozil), just to prove he is in charge. He has trusted mediocre players purely because he likes them (Xhaka, Chambers, Mari) and he has pushed for signings that were just nonsensical (Willian). I don’t see anyone improving under him nor has he taught them anything tactically or technically. Even senior players like Laca and Auba have lost their form and don’t appear happy on the pitch. The worst thing… Read more »

Guns Up

Huh??? Won’t delve into every player/situation you listed, but it seems to me the opposite of your basic point is true, if anything. Players we all want gone (or at least would be okay with letting go) don’t seem to want to leave, and several incoming players have specifically noted Arteta as a key reason for coming. Not sure how Leno could have been treated more “fairly,” and perhaps Auba and Laca didn’t appear to be enjoying themselves because they’re strikers who weren’t scoring. Couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces Wednesday night. Arteta undoubtedly has his faults and has… Read more »

A Different George

I have no idea where you get this. Smith Rowe has looked very good so far this season; he appears to be developing in every way (a bit stronger on the ball physically; even better with his quick, smart passing). He took the 10 shirt (or, if you like, Arteta gave him the 10 shirt). He looks happy and confident. Compare Mourinho’s treatment of Luke Shaw or Dele Alli.

Alan Sunderland

I don’t see what you’re seeing with martinelli. He looked good in Europa and league cup games. In premier league games he doesn’t look ready for that level.

Al Gilmore

I dunno where you get all this from. ESR has had nothing but praise from MA & has been trusted in big games. He’s been given the no10 shirt. MA was even at pains to say he and Odergaard not only could play together but already had a good understanding from last season. So by all means criticise MA for defeats for inconsistency of tactics etc etc. I like maybe even allow that Martinelli should have had more football. But I think your point about ESR is pure transference of your negative view of MA unto an imaginary scenario. I… Read more »


I disagree…he had a big injury and would have played a whole lot more if the momentum was not brutally stopped by the injury

Alan Sunderland

I don’t see where he plays. As a 9 I would prefer aubameyang lacazette and balagoun. On the left I would prefer saka and Smith rowe. I think loaning him out and maybe he does well and we get a good fee for him is the best case scenario.

Tanned arse

I think he’s deliberately surrounding himself with players who will be loyal to him. Hence the young players and guys who are unlikely to make life difficult for him. More than 18 months on from when he arrived he’s starting a new project because he’s had no impact. I think he can see he was going nowhere and has looked to protect himself by going for youth and saying that it’ll job take time. He’s literally trying to save his job by offering a reason why it’s OK not to be in the top 4 this season. Looking at this… Read more »


I’m driven by my chauffeur


He’s got a very high opinion of himself, doesn’t he


Strange take away. It’s like you’re blinded by your agenda / distaste.


i’m really not- i want the team to do well, and for that to happen, arteta needs to take a step back and stop trying to excuse the obvious problems we continue to have on outside forces rather than focusing on developing a coherent strategy for moving the team forward.
results matter, and his ego and his lack of experience are hurting us in this regard.


Thing is managers have to be hyper-confident, or they lose their credibility very quickly. The mistake is not necessarily the confidence, it’s appointing a manager whose ideas are under-baked.


won’t his ideas improve though? Pep’s first job had messi, xavi and iniesta to cover for his naviety. Klopp and Tuchel’s win rate first off was much worse than arteta’s (albeit with worse players) but he’s got a comparable win rate to brendan rodgers at leicester who I think has a better squad than Arsenal.


Keep in mind that a lot of the Barca stalwarts (including Messi) really made their names under Pep. He took a real chance building the team around some of them. Pep really was a savant coach

Public Elneny

Yeah a manager that expresses doubt in his ability and regret over past mistakes is essentially saying “I’m finished, please sack me”

They might not mean it like that, but media, fans, players, club hierarchy etc will certainly take it that way

It’s kind of sad that you can have a manager with the best ideas and understanding of football and people, but is no good at projecting confidence and bullshitting, and they’ll probably get eaten alive whatever level they manage at. But that’s kind of a universal rule in life I guess

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

I think your last paragraph could be perfectly applied to Emery. Which makes a lot of sense in that context.


Arteta – ‘it’s a nice day today’
Loads of people on here – ‘fuck you Arteta, the sun may be shining beautifully now but I’m pretty certain I can see a cloud somewhere there way off in the distance so go screw yourself with your nice day bullshit’


Is the sun shining beautifully now?


Here, yes. Thanks for asking !


Here too.


Here it was raining the whole week, though yesterday and today the sky has been clearer. Rain is expected again for tomorrow, and my girlfriend is saying that the winter will be harsh…


It’s not raining until it rains, that’s how it works.


…..and it’s only a nice day by luck. However, if it rains tomorrow, that’ll be entirely your fault!

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Chelsea away games at Stamford Bridge in 19/20 and 20/21. A 2-2 draw and a 0-1 win?

Were those results a stroke of luck or a culmination of tactical genius?


I just dont buy it and I don’t trust him. What is the direction btw? Rebuilding? Only in his forth transfer window he started spending money on younger players. Prior to that we overpaid heavilly for the likes of Cedric, Luiz, Willian and Pablo Mari… And since we’ve managed only to get progressively worse under his tenure, MA decided to ‘go young’ in an atempt to get more time from the owners. His actions are inconsistent with his statements, he does not deliver, the team is not improving its game under his management and he has actually litetally nothing to… Read more »


I’m no arteta fanboy but buying older experienced players to steady the ship (his intention even if it didn’t work out) before investing in youth is the right way round to do things.


buying old experienced players and handing them loaded longterm contracts is not actually a sign of serious intention to invest in youth. let alone the fact that he kept playing mustafi, kolašinac and likes in league cup ties rather than playing young prospects. My point is that I’m simply not convinced that Arteta ever commited to the Idea of a longterm rebuilding. Everything he did screamed short or midterm at best. He went for what he believed would get us back to top four and failed. He never opted for youth before experience when he had choice. Saka was already… Read more »


Luiz joined under Emery Cedric was a free transfer with premier league experience and signed as back up. As a back up, he is definitely not poor. Willian was an aberration for all to see and we are desperate to cut our losses. Pablo Mari is not old and he is efffectively a back up to Gabriel. So we are slating Arteta for Willian? Every manager gets some signings wrong and it wasn’t the worst gamble in a time of decline. Let’s move on and back the manager and revisit the topic probably by December when we have had a… Read more »


Joined under Emery, yes. Was given a contract extension by Arteta though. Cedric definitely is poor as a back-up, as evidenced by the fact he’s rarely played in the position even when the first choice (?) is unavailable and that no other team in Europe seems to want him despite the fact that his salary isn’t crazy by PL standards. He was also given a four-year contract and a pay rise when he joined us. Why you would give someone who failed as a starter a raise to be a backup is unclear to me. Not giving a past-his-prime backup… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

💯% The Cedric transfer is a head scratcher for sure. We gave a 4 year contract to the fullback with most errors leading to goals in the last five seasons. His form was in decline at Southampton, he’d lost his spot to academy product Valery and didn’t impress on loan at Inter.

And by the looks of it, the Saints weren’t going to give him a new contract. If he isn’t signed permanently, then there is one less player to unregister in 2020-21. Very puzzling

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Not sure if Mari is actually just a back-up to Gabriel. Mari was selected over Gabi continuously in a lot of key matches:

Gabriel was on the bench for both Villarreal when and the away game at Slavia. On the bench when we had the opportunity to make ground on West Ham (3-3), same story against Everton (0-1), same story against Leicester (1-3) etc. Pablo’s role so far has arguably been more than backup.

Gabriel never really recovered his spot after that COVID layoff.


Chit chat chit chat bad result.

Chit chat chit chat bad result.

Chit chat chit chat good result.

Chit chat chit chat bad result.

Heard it all before mate.

Take the handbrake off the team and give the chit chat a rest. I dare you.


Blimey some people on here really haven’t worked out how interviews work yet.

For reference, he will keep chit chatting, every week, multiple times, since that’s how the press works.


Chat chit, get banged?

Pete Strong

Arteta is just a mouthful of cliches. Emery spoke more sense than him and he could barely speak English.


Many of the comments here are so shocking, people create so much theories in their heads and then start spreading a wrong narrative. The players and the coaching staff is happy with Arteta, same as the owners, lets all get behind them ffs and stop whining all the time. It’s a project, lets give it time to flourish, another year off the champions league places wouldn’t be the end of the world as long as we are heading in the right direction


Finished 8th last season, currently second from bottom.

And all I’m hearing is that this club is headed “in the right direction.”


I’d for once would like to know what direction? and what is the Project? What is the goal and what are phases of that project and milestones or metrics against we can determine the success of the Project?

MA would like to be given hundreds of millions for vaguely defined promisses without the presure and without the deadline to deliver. In fairness, who wouldn’t 😁


Would it kill you to give him a bit more time, say January, considering we’ve just brought in new players and we might bring more? Any reasonable Arsenal fan is wary of Arteta, but what are we gonna do right now with 2 games of our season played? Bring in Conte who almost certainly would be a shit show after he calls Stan bad names in Italian? Bring in a younger promising manager? Well he’d need a lot of time to install his ideas. So what’s your brilliant solution because the only thing you say is how bad Arteta is.… Read more »


There are plenty of people who have lost patience with Arteta. I have sympathy. Football is and always should be an emotional choice. If you don’t feel love for Arteta, if you don’t like the way he speaks, or his Lego hair or his football philosophy, his very existence at the club must be infuriating. I get that. But I Also feel like there are a lot of people for whom the only solution is to be brought out by a billionaire who will invest as heavily as City have. In the current landscape that is the only guaranteed way… Read more »


Thanks for your vote of confidence


its the Trump effect 🙂


You are just being stupid now.


It must be exhausting to live in such a negative space all the time.

Even on a positive news story about ESR and Balogun getting England call ups, people found a way to have a moan.

My biggest problem though, it’s the same people making the exact same point over and over on every article. It’s so fucking boring!


There is a flaw in this argument: “the whole team, the whole club sticks to what we believe and all decisions I’m making.” The whole point, the whole massive challenge, is to GET everyone to believe. Obviously if the whole of what makes Arsenal tick believe strongly in a particular philosophy and are perfectly in tune with one another, then you will have success. But the question is whether MA is actually succeeding in getting everyone to believe and support his project whatever that project is.

A Different George

I think there is a bigger flaw in this argument, and in much that is said about the team. It ignores the little issue of the quality of the players. I love Rob Holding’s spirit, his willingness to fight, his commitment. But Rob Holding is not good enough to play regularly on a Champions League club, let alone a club that contends for the title.

No foot Norbert

Holding is far from our worst player I don’t really get the hate he gets. For me the problem area in central midfield, maybe if our midfield was better balanced out defenders would look even better.


I’m not convinced by Arteta, but I think it’s a stretch to suggest he’s unpopular with the players or has lost the dressing room.

In those situations you tend to get a lot of leaks from discontented players, often in a coordinated fashion, and I haven’t seen that happen.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Plus by many accounts, Ramsdale, White, Odegaard were all hand-picked and then convinced by Arteta to join this summer (think I read Lokongo and Tavares were stats-based signings), and the recent contract signings (Aubameyang, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, Tierney, Balogun, Holding, Xhaka after the Hertha bid) were seemingly convinced by Arteta himself and the project.

Viju Jacob

Yeah right.


yes man to the Kronkes

Tomasz Bethell

Why the Xhaka hate though when he’s generally described as an ideal team player, amazing in training, captain of club and country. Why are you so mad bro?


The hate is because Xhaka is an overachiever, he has limitations yet refuses to quit or accept the blame of underachiever fans. In fact, when they publicly assaulted him he told them to Ffff off. All who actually know and actually work with the man love him. Also…his ability and style is not the very best for Arteta style of play, it leaves them both subject to criticism by those who think building a team is just a snap of your fingers.



He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I wanted Ronaldo but why are we forever looking at other teams as they add players to their already deep squads that they know will make them stronger. While we, despite the desperate need (for a right back, another CB, a striker etc) never do the same. In fact we give contracts to average and slow midfielders who wanted to leave and pick them every game.
We continue to underwhelm on transfers and serve up giant piss taking from the media and other fans.


If he was driven by making people happy he would have left in the summer.
That would have made everyone happy.
Especially Edu’s daughter…


Are you suggesting that Arteta is to blame for the pricks abusing Edu’s daughter on social media? That shows a massive lack of class. Blame the right people.

I get that people are pissed with Arteta, but blaming him for anything that fits your narrative is weak. There’s plenty you can legitimately criticise, but trying to pin social media abuse, your wife leaving you, and global warming on him too, isn’t helping anyone.

Viju Jacob

That’s a pathetic, low level statement to make. Stay objective in your criticism and leave family out. Show some class.

Anders Limpar


Arteta may be driven by making people happy… not criticism. But I for one am driven by actions… not words.

Time will tell if he can turn things around but his talk is currently far outstripping his walk.


Guardiola inherited the most expensively assembled squad in history, spent £200 million, then finished 3rd + pot-less

He then spent another £160 million, then €65 million on a centre half in the January, in order to win his first titles

He’s spent north of £1 billion since 2016, he’s only gone past the CL quarter finals once, and still didn’t win the trophy

I’m sure he’s a very good coach, but it’s not like he’s walked on water, or fed 5,000 people with one loaf of bread….


God, I hate it when he speaks in those yuppie Ted Talk cliches. I realized something when he was talking about how the fans needed to “get behind the team”. Apart from maybe the team Emery was saddled with in his first season (most of which is gone now), I can’t really remember many instances of fans turning on the team. They usually turn on the manager. I support the team and mostly support the players. If they play poorly that’s on Arteta and I would happily see him sacked to help “the team”. When Arteta says to “support the… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I wanted Ronaldo but why are we forever looking at other teams as they add players to their already deep squads that they know will make them stronger. While we, despite the desperate need (for a right back, another CB, a striker etc) never do the same. In fact we give contracts to average and slow midfielders who wanted to leave and pick them every game.
We continue to underwhelm on transfers and serve up giant piss taking from the media and other fans.


I very much doubt Arteta is an idiot or that he has such a one-track mind that he is totally blind to what does and does not work. He comes across as inteligent and articulate and passionate. What he is lacking is experience. But I do think he is learning; albeit the hard way. I think he is trying to assemble as strong a squad as he can given the circumstances. I hope that he does come good and is our manager for years to come. For now, even though I get frustrated by both results and sometimes how we… Read more »


Let’s hope he can be driven OUT by criticism.

Group captain mandrake

So far he’s succeeded in making Brentford, Chelsea and Man City fans happy.

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