Arteta: Partey has to be the boss

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Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey has a ‘huge role’ at Arsenal this season after an injury-hit first year at the club.

Signed for £50 million with a view to bringing a new dynamism to the Gunners midfield, the Ghanaian missed large chunks of last season and has already sat out the opening three games of the new campaign due to an ankle injury.

Back in full training and likely to line up in the centre of the park against Norwich on Saturday, hopes are high that the 28-year-old can assert himself as a talismanic presence within the new-look squad.

“He’s been missed for the last year or so because he missed almost six months of competition last year, which is a lot,” noted Mikel Arteta.

“He also came very late in the transfer window [last year]. It’s a player that has to be one of the leaders, he has to be the boss in midfield and one of the senior players that has to carry responsibility and lead the young players. We have been missing that big time.

“He’s a player that has that winning culture because he has won a lot in the game already. To have this kind of players in the team is extremely important. He has a huge role to play in the team.”

Partey has made 33 appearances since joining the Gunners last October averaging just under 64 minutes a game.

Given the ankle problem he’s been nursing, we’re not necessarily expecting him to do a full 90 minutes this weekend, however, in the absence of Mo Elneny – out with a hamstring problem – and the suspended Granit Xhaka it’s vital he does get up to speed quickly.

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Okester

Really excited to see what he can do this season after the stop start he had last one..

DPK

Me too. I think he’s a fantastic player. Just need to keep him fit.

Cobwebs

He’s often looked really good when playing. Most games have fine margins and he can make a big difference for us without having to be Messi or Viera.

WayBackWhen

Three (so far) people not excited.

Stoics.

gooner

Hopefully the bad luck with injuries is behind him and he puts together a good run of games. I know I shouldn’t bring it up because it might be taken out of context but being African I worry about his age too. Sometimes the load can be too much on the body if, IF, the age factor comes in. I know I shouldn’t have brought it up but my second cousin did some stint in Denmark top flight with a cool 6 years chopped off his real age. His birth certificate was basically “dude trust me” struggled with injuries he… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

L😁L, who is your cousin and how did he circumvent the MRI scan which was introduced in football specifically to catch age-cheats? Was this before 2013?

If he was a foreign player in Europe, I’m assuming he probably had to have some international caps at youth or senior level, which is where they usually have their first scan

Don’t get cold feet now, you already volunteered some of this info to the internet😁.

Heavenly Chapecoense

It is very disrespectful to put the player’s honesty in doubt. Was Wilshere 36 years old at the time he was getting injured all the time? Also, do you think anybody can pass medicals without them knowing his bone age within one year of error?

Verdant

Yet, we say Xhaka gets brain farts

C.B.

‘…he has to be the boss in midfield and one of the senior players that has to carry responsibility and lead the young players. We have been missing that big time.’

He seems to be forgetting the huge influence of the Granit we have in midfield…

T.A.

A bit risky to start him right after an injury abut it’s also risky not to start him after such a dismal run.

Verdant

Am I the only one whose heart skipped when they saw the post image?

TomH

Badly need him to step up and become integral. Show his stuff and sure…Boss shit.
However, next season is his last on contract so if this season plays out similar to last, we should look for suitors.

DPK

That can’t be true. No way we signed him on a 3 year deal.

TomH

We might have an option of a 1 year extension, but I’m pretty sure it was a 3yr deal.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

AKA – “Just trust me bro” 😁

Please be more careful next time or you’ll be sending some of us Gooners into an early cardiac arrest.

Inspector norse
TomH

Thanks for correction. Bit of a relief. Still though we have to see more of him. Just have to make the decision after next season instead.

Azeez Is Good

Jesus. Just got so scared walking down the street that I might float off.

Then I remembered. Gravity.

Bit of a relief.

Andy

Just be glad we didn’t sign Willian till 2025

Viv The 🐐

Yeah, and I remembered, that Azeez is still good. It will take a while, but one of Azeez/Patino will be the next midfielders coming through to the team. Hopefully, they will be more of a certified option than Willock.

Azeez Is Good

I guess no one is old enough to get the Ebeneza Good reference…

Brady’s bunch

Got any salmon

Matthinc

Naughty naughty

Matthinc

Or, to muscle in on my previous comment: maybe they were all born in the naughty naughties?

Chidi

Partey Odegaard Sambi midfield is what I’m excited about. With Pepe and Saka on the wings. White and Gabby center back pairing too. Hope these guys stay fit and looking forward to ESR’s return to fitness

Bishop

I will start Partey on the bench, and go for Lakonga, AMN and , Odegaard ahead of them. Bring partey on in the second half to earn some minutes.

Eventhough beating Norwich tomorrow is of the utmost importance, we still have 34 other matches to go and a fit Partey will be pivotal to our season.

Just my one cent

Henkamp

Said something similar yesterday and got down-voted bad. People don’t seem to understand how injuries work in football. We are desperate for a win, but he really should be eased in or it could have longer implications, and that would be even worse.

Bishop

Very true Henkamp.
As fans, we wish to have success now and kick the ‘consequences’ can down the road.

There is one word that I have heard time and time again when people have described our failures in the past and it is INSANITY. 🤔

tom

After last year, we would be nuts to start Partey tomorrow. Sure he may pull through without issue but how long till the next one? We need him for 80% of this season and hes already missed 3 and will be missing more in Jan with Afcon.

We also need a win but a fit Partey, performing regularly is far more important

Daveo

It’s a tough one though. There are plenty of examples where players were given a lot of extra time to recover and be “fully fit”, but then they come back lacking match fitness and get injured anyway. Remember Cesc’s hammy. He was given months to recover from some of his tweaks and it would still happen. Diaby would be given months and he’d come back and get another injury. It’s not as easy as saying we need to ease him back in – and you’re right he got rushed back last year and got injured because he wasn’t ready. It’s… Read more »

WayBackWhen

Interesting. That would take balls of steel from Arteta. Trusting the outcome, based on saving Partey for later in the season. I’m not against it but I’m imagining more of a Malcolm Tucker vibe in the changing room, where every available first choice, player is in the team. With neck veins pulsing and spittle (spittling?), he’d be giving them the carrot and stick talk. “If you don’t win I’m going to take this carrot and shove it up your….and take the stick and shove it even further…” ‘Kind’ MA will probably be left at home tomorrow. I suspect pre-match eye… Read more »

Azeez Is Good

Could Odegaard play as an 8 do you think? He’s got the work rate and the tenacity.

If Partey wasn’t 100% fit I’d be half tempted to play Lokonga, Odegaard and ESR in the midfield with Pepe, Auba and Saka in front of them.

Daveo

The issue we’ve had with three direct attackers (two very direct – Auba/Pepe) is the link between midfield and attack. Two technical attackers has helped that (Odegaard #10, ESR on the wing). But maybe this comes down to the tactics needed to play Xhaka and the way that forces everything left and really takes away the central channels. Maybe with Partey or Sambi and one of Odegaard and ESR as #8 the other as #10 there might be a little more creative balance to move the ball better through the middle, which in turn will create more space in wide… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Why not start him and take him off after 55 – 60 mins. It’s still mins he’s getting and can get injured at any time

Brady’s bunch

Don’t think Amn has the goods for centre midfield for us.

Arsenio

Only sp*d fans would down vote logic. Or this post 🙂

Daveo

ESR isn’t injured. He just felt sick (non-COVID; believe it or not people still get sick from things other than COVID). I think it was just precautionary (at least from what I read), it was only u/21s so makes sense to play it safe.

PolyEmery

I know this might be an unpopular opinion, but what about Odegaard next to Partey in the Santi role? Then ESR in the 10. Just an idea – not sure it’d work considering our dire need for defensive structure and stability.

Q3 Technique

I think odegaard could easily play as an 8 in either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Latter days Fabregas played deeper in midfielder than his early years.

Brady’s bunch

But fabregas was still top drawer at that stage in his career, Odegaard is still only finding his feet here in a poorly structured team.

A Different George

Or the other way around–Smith Rowe in the Santi (ish) role. In fact, why not a 4-3-3, with Partey, Smith Rowe, and Odegaard interchanging fluidly? I think that’s what Arteta really wants–but in the modern game that requires ball-playing centre halves, as well as fullbacks who can, when needed, shift infield into the holding-midfielder role. Which means–if I’m right–the transfers make a lot of sense.

PolyEmery

Yup – I think depending on the opposition, a base of Partey with a fluid moving Odegaard and ESR would be great. But I wouldn’t choose that midfield on a cold, wet night at Stoke.

Julian pan

You almost killed me with the image, had me thinking he’s had a training injury (knock on all the wood around me). Thankfully it’s just some fluff from the boss.

Daveo

He didn’t get that development year, or that development development year, so we should probably loan him out

DPK

You didn’t get that development year, or that development development year, at joke school.

Daveo

Willy Saliba didn’t get the joke either

Vonnie

Hopefully he can stay fit and step up. We spent a lot of money on him and he’s on big wages, time for him to start earning it.

Nostalgic Gooner

Partey with the Boss! I like Fridays, always full of optimism, fun and so many possibilities, even hope that Arsenal will sweep the opposition aside.

Merlin’s Panini

Here’s hoping Partey will kick immediately into gear and stay fit. It’s scary just how important he is to us.
Just seen on the website they’re offering 20% off at the Armoury tomorrow plus extra 10% for members. I can only assume they’re expecting a terrible turnout and this is an attempt to entice people to the game.

Tommmy

The people that wouldn’t go to a game they’ve already paid for certainly won’t be tempted to spend more money with this shit show of a club even with 80% off

Qwaliteee

Lose tomorrow to Norwich and they won’t be able to give the stuff away…

Goonerink

From the small sample sizes of lokonga and partey I’m actually more excited about Sambi.

partey is the senior expensive signing so the onus is on him performing, but sambi looks like one of those players that after a season in the spotlight makes football fans think ‘where the hell did they find that guy? And why didn’t my club sign him?’

ObiKing

Will Arteta be the Boss at the end of October…….. For the sake of Arsenal we beat norwich and go on 5 game wining streak.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Obi, I’m sure this exact point was made towards the end of last season. We’ve been here before. 3/4/5 game winning streaks that do nothing to give this team momentum in the league.

When managers like Klopp (2018), Guardiola (2017), Moyes (2020) and OGS (2020) were able to capitalize on finishing previous seasons strongly, how is it that we’re back to relegation form again despite doing the same?

Yaqub Mahmood

I dont get this about Mikel. Instead of saying he “has to be the boss” why not just say “he is the boss”. People will think I’m being ridiculous, but he really doesn’t inspire confidence in players when doing press conferences.

Similar lines to when he said he “didn’t know” if auba would come back to his best. Encourage the players in public ffs, don’t throw challenges down.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

“Right now, he’s the boss of the team, the Gabi that played in front of the back four for all those years” – Alfredo Santaelena (his former coach at the Atleti academy)

“I am very happy with Thomas. If he had come from an English or German team, he would be lauded but he’s from the academy and he’s just Thomas” – Diego Simeone

Gabigol

He knows how important he was and still sent him back on against Spurs

Qwaliteee

When he was still wasn’t fit and shouldn’t have started the game in the first place.

Literally pushing an injured player back on the pitch – says it all.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

😂😂😂😂. That was a very comical chain of events. I haven’t seen the replay in a while but I don’t think Mikel initially knew Thomas was injured. He seemed to being turning around the moment Spuds counterattack started and in panic pushed Partey back into action.

Though, I do agree, his injury management is very hit or miss. I believe Saka was very fatigued (still is IMO) by the end of last season and he should have been rested more given that he was off-form.

Gabigol

Then he plays him in a pre season friendly also against two local derbies.

Gets crocked again.

He missed six months last year because he was pushed to his limit.

Now he only just comes back from injury and pushed to the limit again.

You know Norwich will target him…

Qwaliteee

Well said. 👍🍺

Vonnie

He wasn’t pushed particularly hard, he’s been out for weeks, he should be able to do 60 minutes ffs.

Gabigol

I hope Lokonga plays alongside him and then Niles replaces Partey with 25minutes to go. Hopefully we would be comfortably winning by then

Doghouse

If he comes off injured tomorrow our cat is heading to row z…

Brady’s bunch

Mikel has give him a system he can work in before passing the buck onto him but let’s hope he has great second season for us all 🙏

Brady’s bunch

I suppose looking at it objectively we’re only 3 points off where we realistically would have been had we beaten Brentford so hopefully we can start the claw back from this weekend on.

Daveo

Sad, that so many just roll over a accept that we can’t beat chelsea or city yet so many “smaller” teams took points off them both last year. Most sad was that team management basically rolled with the same weak sauce excuses. If you don’t expect to win, you don’t win.

Goonerink

Smaller teams have vastly different expectations and personnel.
the reason Emery was half decent was he gave us that small team mentality.
pits what got us our latest fa cup under Mikel.

unfortunately if you are Arsenal FC that mentality isn’t good enough, it works for a time but eventually fans and players remember how gargantuan we are supposed to be and it falls apart.

seriously what team doesn’t WANT to win…

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

The lowering of expectations under Arteta/Edu is alarming to say the least. It’s almost like we’re infantilizing the manager and the squad.

Mikel has us out here looking less competitive than Emery and he just gets a pass just because he’s more creative with his excuses. Defeatism is acceptable now.

If that’s the manager’s mentality, then we are deservedly bottom of the table.

Geefive

Hopefully he’s recovered and Artetas not rushing him back into the lineup like last time.

SoCalGooner

I’ve been wanting to see a 4-4-2 forever. I think Pepe was a tailor made Wenger winger to striker convert. Auba likes coming slightly off the left, Pepe slightly off the right, seems a good partnership. Then you ESR – Saka – Ode – partey in the midfield. Partey would end up staying fairly central but the rest are so versatile they can swap and attack in different patterns. This seems impossible for a manager like Arteta as he comes across as a manager who wishes he could control all his players like he’s playing FIFA. Also I think I’d… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

I’ve been thinking that Pepe shares a lot of similar traits to van Persie. He’s played CF at Lille many times before too. I think he should be used there more often. For me, he’s never going to be an elite RW at this club BUT there is more of a chance he can become elite as a striker. Not sure Saka, ESR and Ø have the positional discipline to play in a two man midfield at this stage in their careers. Ø, in particular, had never played a competitive match at CM before he came to Arsenal. I agree… Read more »

BillyKrystal

Let’s get re-Parteyed in here! Let’s get re-Parteyed in here!

SarcasmB0T

Well somebody’s gotta be.