Friday, December 8, 2023

Arteta “excited” to keep driving his project forward

Mikel Arteta says he’s excited for Arsenal’s future after completing two years in charge of the club.

Buoyed by the form of his youthful squad and a run of three wins that has propelled the club into the top four for the first time since his predecessor, Unai Emery, was in charge, the Spaniard struck an optimistic chord as he took a moment to reflect on the distinct phases that have made up his hectic time at the helm.

“It’s been an incredible journey and I am really happy and proud with the company that I have had on the journey,” he told ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Sunderland.

“I would say we have been through different phases throughout those two years. A phase where straightaway we had to pick up results and try to turn around the situation we were in.

“Then we had the two trophies, which was a big lift and a great memories, apart from not having the people, our supporters with us to enjoy that one.

“Then a year where we had everything: we had Covid, we had so many changes around the club from top to bottom and a really difficult one to manage, with some difficult moments and then finishing the season in a really strong way.

“Now it is a new phase where we start to rebuild the team, we take a very clear direction with how we want to move forward with the club, a real connection between the team and supporters, the ownership and board and I think now it is excitement.

“Excitement to keep driving this project forward, to keep working with this really young squad, but ready to compete, to get better and take the club back to where it belongs.”

For much of the last 24 months, Covid-19 has provided an unwelcome backdrop to pretty much everything Arteta has had to contend with and, judging by the current situation, it’s likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

It’s been very draining for the Gunners’ lean leadership structure and for those across the rest of the club, both on and off the pitch.

“I think it is very difficult for everybody,” said Arteta of the latest wave.

“It is very difficult for yourself and the way you have to do your work, it is very difficult for Vinai [Venkatesham], because he is dealing with a lot of meetings, a lot of responsibilities to try to defend the interest of the club in the right way, it is difficult for the players, for myself, for the staff because we don’t know really who is going to be available to do what, and we are all trying to help each other and get the best out of the situation.

“We have to respect the decisions I made because we have to believe that those decisions are based first of all on the wellbeing of all of us, that we are involved and secondly because we have to protect the game, and that is important as well.”

When Covid first started throwing curve balls in Arteta’s direction, he wasn’t able to lean on any managerial experience to keep his best laid plans on track. He’s learned quickly that the only thing he can expect is the unexpected.

On his approach in the last few weeks, the boss said: “Have a really positive approach and your mindset ready that unpredictable things are going to happen – and stop complaining about everything that happens. Then you will find excuses, we can find excuses for everything.

“We know what is going to happen, we know bad news will come probably so we have to expect it and try to prevent it if we can with all the protocols we have. But we have to be prepared as well with Plan B, C and D.”

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Speaks well and there are definite signs of improvement. With a bit more luck versus United and Everton even more so. He’s won more FA Cups kn 2 years than Sp*rs in 30 years.

Potentially v exciting with our defence and young midfield and attack. Get in a top midfielder and striker and we could be very well placed going forward.

Hope he can do it.

David C

I would sign a striker, move Auba on, and extend Laca for one more year for his leadership and depth.

We probably need a backup right back too…



Johnny 4 Hats

I just saw the headline on the main page as ‘Arteta excited to keep driving his…’ and I assumed it would be another bloody article about his obsession with tractors.


My mate’s girlfriend left him for a tractor salesman. She sent him a John Deere letter…

I’ll get my coat.

Johnny 4 Hats

Claas joke.


Schön gemacht


Surprised that he’s not been poached by Norwich City!


Quite a strange feeling with this Arteta team. When we win a game I get this pleasantly good feeling we are finishing top 4 and can’t wait for the next game. Lose and I feel like it was all false hope. Overall I still believe the top 2 are miles ahead and Chelsea si just a runaway leader in the race for 3rd spot. We’ve seen Leicester mess it up two years in a row and something tells me the blues are no different. What I worry about is we are as capable of 3rd as we are a 9th… Read more »


I think it’s because we’ve been shit for too long and we all want the team to be better. We want to hope, but many of us fall back to frustration pretty quick. This team still has a lot to prove, but there are some really positive signs and definitely for the first time in a long time there is direction and a core of young talented players with strong characters that we can all see are worth investing in and building around.


I know what you mean but for me it’s, how we lose…

The Man U game I thought we did well and were unlucky so was relatively happy. Come the Everton game however and those awful substitutions I thought Arteta was out of his depth again.

But… maybe we are on to something really good. 👍👍


I think we are well on course for a top 6 finish. The top 4 hopes are fun, but realistically over a full season that would be a massive bonus.
Trying to manage my expectations here 😀


I’m cautiously excited but excited indeed. Last time I felt this optimistic was project 2006-2008. However there is something abt this team – they seem to have everything and there is quality all over the pitch. They seem to believe in the project, they want to be here and make the difference (eg. Look at the passion Ramsdale is showing, the leadership from Gabriel and the hunger from Martinelli) these players are made for glory. I like what Arteta and Edu are doing it’s like the repeat if Arsene and Dean. Everything is clicking at the club and we r… Read more »


*David Dein not Dean, sorry.

Teryima Adi

I believe great days are upon us in this phase for the Arsenal.

Naked Cygan

It will be great once we stop getting spanked by Liverpool, Chelsea, and City. We need to manage those games better. At first Arteta had it figured out how to beat the top teams and messed up with the weaker teams. Now we are back to beating the weaker teams and getting beat by top 3 teams

Billy bob

I think against Liverpoo we were a bit naive, we went for getting back into the game but left ourselves exposed in the process and conceded more goals than we should!! Definitely feel like we are going in the right direction though!!


I see that sp*rs have been unceremoniously booted out of the UEFA poundland league for their late fixture postponement.
This feels unfair, but it’s sp*rs so 🤣.


Even funnier as it was their only realistic hope of a trophy this season 🤣


No chance… 😆

A Different George

Apparently, they needed to win that game–in order to play a two-legged playoff for the last 16 of the Uefa Unknown Clubs Cup. Kinda would have liked to see them in that playoff.

Naked Cygan

I am no expert, but given how well Laca and Martinelie have done, I am surprised Arteta stuck with Auba with so many poor performances. In some way his poor disciplinary record is a blessing which finally gave others a chance. Auba is a great player, just doesn’t fit the system and he is not in the right frame of mind.


Don’t be surprised remember Willian


I’d rather not


I genuinely believe this team and Manager can really do great things. But then, we are so fickle and impatient as fans. If we could only trust the process….


He should pick a strong team tomorrow against Sunderland. There must be no hick-ups. We don’t play again until Sunday so there’s no excuse for resting players.

This is a trophy that we can win


We should rest some players. Martinelli and Saka definitely need a rest and fresh for weekend.


He always puts out stronger teams than expected. Can’t think of a time he’s ‘played the kids’


There are enough ‘senior’ players in reserve to be able to rest some and still be more than strong enough that we should beat Sunderland.

Mari? Fit after covid?
AMN /Laconga? See Mari

ESR has had a little rest recently so maybe he can play a few minutes



Too many shit players!!!!!

Keep it strong!!!!!!

A Different George

Geez, most of our first team is kids.

The Beast

I think the excuse would be we only just played on Sat night, so makes sense to rest the regular starters, especially during the hectic xmas period.

We’ve got more than enough experience & quality on the bench that need a run out.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He should rotate the entire 11 that started against Leeds and keep them fresh for the Norwich/Wolves double header.

Something like Leno; Cedric, Chambers, Holding, Tavares; Elneny, Patino; Pepe, ESR, Nketiah; Balogun.


We’re in a weird spot where we are absolutely shit against the “big teams” but clearly above the level of every other team in the league. If we take the points from those weaker teams and lose against the big ones we can still be in a very good position, probably 4th. I think we will be in a European comp next season if all goes the way it is now.


For me, I feel that this team/squad is capable of being “the best of the rest” this season. Solidify the 4th spot this year, bolster the squad for next season with the CL money and go again. We are, however still behind City and Liverpool, though it’s worth remembering that both of those teams are beatable, we just need to work out a new way of beating them. Chelsea are an odd one, they seem themselves like they are a side on the cusp of being able to hit the heights of Liverpool and City, yet seem to doubt they… Read more »


I don’t think they are strong enough in midfield to challenge first choice Liverpool and man city. The fact that they usually only play two in there doesn’t help either as teams like leeds overan them somewhat at stamford bridge. If fabinho and henderson miss an extended run of games then city will walk away with it again. everyone spoke about how tight the race would be this year but Citys quality and depth is utterly ridiculous.

The Beast

Agreed. Looking at the players City were able to bring off the bench at Newcastle compared to the changes L’pool had to make at spurs makes me think this is City’s to lose.

We’ve been lucky with injuries/illness so far, which hopefully allows us to keep some consistency over the sides around us but anything can happen. Consistency will be key in the 2nd half of the season.

Matthew Vella

Let’s make this a TEAM fan chant

To the tune of the chorus of Rockin all over the world:


had to leave a player out 🙁

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