Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arteta talks vaccinations, AFCON safety, Auba’s absence & more

In the second half of his pre-Leeds press conference, Mikel Arteta was quizzed on Covid-19 and player vaccinations, when we might next see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the upcoming African Cup of Nations and what he’s made of his young squad’s efforts in the last couple of months. 

Here’s what he had to say…

On it being impossible for players to go back into a bubble…

A bubble means that everybody that is tested stays isolated within that bubble. Now that the world is open and you have people around, the schools are open, this cannot be done anymore. We are trying to find other ways to stay away from the virus but it looks like it’s not that easy. 

On suggestions unvaccinated players should be taken out of the team…

That’s a conversation we’ve had with all the players and, again, it comes down to education and also being respectful of their understanding and their culture. If it gets to a point obviously that you are scared about the welfare of the players or the people at the club then that’s a decision to make, but we’re not in that position ourselves. 

On clubs not signing unvaccinated players…

You will look at everything before you make a decision to try and approach a player to join your club. In the context that we are living in that can be one of those factors. 

On Georgio Chiellini going public about his booster jab and whether other players showing such support could be helpful…

I think it can be really positive but as well I don’t think you have to put the players with that obligation to do anything like that. What already have a lot of responsibility media-wise and socially to try and give the right examples. There are a lot of private matters that you have to have the freedom to decide about your life and your welfare the way you want. If you want to do it proactively because it’s what you feel, then I think it’s great. 

On whether he’d rather the league was paused completely or if he’d prefer matches continuing but behind closed doors…

I don’t like either of those! For me, football without fans is a different sport. 

On whether he’s spoken to Aubameyang since Wednesday…

Auba is not going to be involved against Leeds and this is where we are right now. 

On whether Arsenal might not see Auba until February what with AFCON on the horizon…

No the situation that I can discuss is about today. Things happen really quickly last week when we, unfortunately, had to make that decision. This is where we’re standing today. 

On the upcoming AFCON taking place against the backdrop of Covid…

I would like them to guarantee the welfare of our players. If that’s not the case then obviously we’re not going to be comfortable. And that’s not only Arsenal but any club that has to allow players to go on those duties. 

On whether he’s been in conversations about that…


On Arsenal being fourth and the position / Champions League football being their’s to lose. 

This is the target, one of the targets we had in the season to be as high as possible in the league table. There’s still a lot to play in this league and a lot to play with many different circumstances. A lot is going to happen between now and the end of the season. Our aim is always to get better. 

On whether his squad are ahead of schedule given their age and experience…

We are where we are. We only want to get better and this is the focus to be higher and better and see where we get. 

On what he’s learnt about his players in the last couple of months…

More than learnt, I think they have proved to the club and ourselves that we can rely on them and that they are worth us relying on them. They deserve the opportunity the club gave them to be playing for us. 

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Johnny 4 Hats

Journalist – “Moving away from the Covid discussion…
Arteta – (Internally) “Thank god for that.”
Journalist – “…does Aubameyang have a future at the club?”
Arteta – (Internally) God damn it.


Ha ha. Good one.

Johnny 4 Hats

The tight-lipped way Arteta talks about the Auba situation is exactly the same style I use when my wife asks, “Do you know what happened to all those posh biscuits work gave me?”

“That’s all I have to say on the matter.”
“I don’t have anything more to add.”
“I’ve made my position very clear.”
“Tonight I just want to focus on Masterchef – the professionals.”


And, “you have no posh biscuits and this is where we are right now.”


But, perhaps during the next posh biscuit special offer window, we may be able to bring some in… but, as always, it will depend on the biscuits that are available and – of course – whether those will be the right fit (for our mouths).

Tomaury Bischfeld

AW to wife : Eughh you are looking a little bit jaded, I did not see it


The vax seems to work for 6 months, doesn’t seem relevant to employment discussions.


Not if you’re the company producing the vaccine….

They are immune for life.

Holdings New Merkin

Quite concerned that we are now dividing society and freedoms up into vaccinated and unvaccinated? The vaccines (I’ve had two btw) prevent severe illness. Doesn’t necessarily stop you getting it or transmitting it.

Why the media is now trying to accuse unvaccinated players of causing covid infection is quite weird.

On a football note, hope we destroy dirty Leeds. Also really seems to me that Auba is gone.


I feel like taking the vaccine is a sign of social responsibility. If a person who works from home decides not to take the vaccine, up to them but if you work in an environment where you are always in close contact with others, hugging, embracing while sweaty and all, you need to think about other people when making certain decisions.

Bottom line, the vaccine is safe and everybody should go fucking get vaccinated. This is a command from your Arseblog Padre.


I’m double vaccinated for the last year virus. I feel like a lot of people do not exercise the commonsense. Being bombarded with vaccine’s pro-messages, they fail to work out that vaccines do not protect you at this point in time. Omicron has managed to mutate its spike protein beyond anti-bodies who were design for the last year virus, They just do not work on this, third generation, virus. Also Omicron is reported as very mild, with symptoms just like a common cold. Do we need vaccine for that?

The Beast

That’s disingenuous. Preliminary data does show that getting a booster with the already available vaccines provides protection against serious illness with omicron.

That obviously in turn reduces the pressure on the NHS & those that need urgent care (both due to covid & other conditions).

It’s a novel disease, so there is an element of adjusting & learning as we go but there’s more than enough info to suggest ppl should be getting boosters.


So it’s *preliminary* data that shows vaccines are working then, and not that virus is mild and causing no harm. How disingenuous is that?

The Beast

The data is preliminary because the variant is new. That’s just how time works. The more time that goes by the more established the data will be.

Also, I didn’t mention any data suggesting omicron only presenting mild symptoms or being harmless, you did. So I wasnt being disingenuous with what I’ve said at all.

I have seen headlines which state that the omicron variant might be milder than delta, though more contagious, but I haven’t looked into that. I certainly haven’t heard any suggestions that it’s harmless, except from ppl like you maybe.


why oh why do we have to discuss this topic every day while missing the broader picture. get a vaccine. wear a mask. do it for other people because you’re a well-adjusted, normal human being who wants to be a responsible member of society and has some compassion for the well-being of others. if you’re still throwing temper tantrums about masks and shouting half-baked ideas about science you don’t understand, keep it to yourself. nobody wants to relitigate this topic every time someone says anything about the vaccine. i’m sorry if the internet has broken people’s brains, but its time… Read more »


We need, as many as possible need, the vaccine. It reduces deaths, reduces spread, reduces variants and mutations. Nurses, doctors, business owners, employees, industries, politics, public service individuals etc all benefit from more vaccinated people across the world. Forgive the directness but if you feel god will protect and provide in ways where a vaccine is not needed then stay home and let god provide. COYG!


Vaccine also reduces transmission, there is like a 7 fold reduction in contracting the virus (delta), but pretty useless against the new variant, although numbers on people with booster is still lacking. Bottom line is that the vaccine saves lives and keep people at work. .


fauci and cdc have come out and said that neither vaccine, nor boosters, reduce transmission. Seem to be a lot of heart conditions doing the rounds on footballers at the moment, do an extent that we haven’t really seen before. Aguero tearing up as he retired… There are a lot of risk factors to balance, but since it’s clear it doesn’t do anything re: transmission, shouldn’t it be personal choice?


This thread worth a read – Also, personal choice has an impact if many more unvaccinated people require acute hospital treatment which has a knock-on effect on healthcare systems and the services they provide. I also think there’s an abstract understanding of people dying from Covid. The numbers are so huge they become almost meaningless, a daily statistical grind. I wish more people understood how horrible a death it was for almost all of those people. Scared, unable to breath, gasping, on a ventilator, unable to talk, unable to say goodbye, some of them alone with no family and… Read more »


Also on footballers/heart issues, this is from Ken Early in the Irish Times this week. Paywalled, but it’s an important read so I’ll post it here. The ingredients of the scene had an awful familiarity: the medics waved onto the field, a stricken player on his knees, holding his chest, the worried-looking team-mates milling about. Fortunately Victor Lindelof was able to walk off the Carrow Road pitch and within a few minutes seemed to have made a full recovery. “He doesn’t remember how it happened,” coach Ralf Rangnick told MUTV after the game. “I suppose he had a collision with… Read more »

El Mintero

Great post 👍


Arseblog, with all due respect it is personal choice in my opinion. I think people should get informed on both sides of the misinformation (goverment sources included) and respect the decisions of others. It is scientifically proven that if you are healthier and lead a healthy lifestyle you have less chance of being hospitalised from covid and other illnesses. The NHS would not be in this position in the first place if the Tories hadn’t systematically reduce hospital beds over the last 10 years. The also underpay staff and patrionise them by clapping for them. As a society we tend… Read more »


It’s my website, I’ll discuss whatever I like. You don’t get to dictate what’s up for discussion or not. I made a post based on my own personal experience, I never said it shouldn’t personal choice, I just urged people to get informed and make decisions based on the best possible information. As for the NHS, I completely agree they are under-funded, under-appreciated and absolutely underpaid. Clapping is performative nonsense. Governments (not just Tories) could 100% afford to run and manage a health service which provides top class care to its citizens, but they choose not to. That’s an entirely… Read more »


Nice, so you are suggesting we are not allowed to discuss our own opinions on your website, as I stated at the start of my post, but you are?! Seems like the same dictatorial government that is quite prevalent in Ireland at the minute. All I suggested was that we should research all areas before making an informed choice, not fear based stories that are written up in main stream media. I like discussing Arsenal and football as it is a distraction from the craziness of the world atm. Maybe my phrase was incorrectly worded above. I meant, can we… Read more »

Billy bob



Simon – you literally said “please don’t use this forum to discuss matters other than Arsenal and football”.

Obviously the majority of the discussion here is based on that, but we’re all people who live in the world, and sometimes that’s part of what comes up in the chats.

Sorry if I came across a bit terse, but we should be grown up enough to have conversations about something which has turned the world upside down for almost two years now.


Fair enough, as I stated I most likely worded it incorrectly above. I meant it more as a question than a statement so apologies for that. I just find this subject brings out the worst in people, including myself, as I hate segregation in any form, as I grew up in Northern Ireland, and it is insane how one sides view is automatically debunked by the others without reasonable thought or discussion. The governments of most countries will have alot to answer for as I blame them solely for their mismanagement of the entire situation.

Billy bob

Yeah but the problem is the ones who have had a vaccination browbeat those that don’t!!! It just makes us want to stick two fingers up – like to bishops dictatorial comments earlier!!! I have family who work in the NHS and they don’t want the vaccine – think they know more about this topic than most who comment on here or other social media, so why do they feel so strongly about it? No one cares because it doesn’t suit the “debate”!!! Anyone who slightly questions it on TV gets shot down or shut up very quickly, makes people… Read more »


I hate posts like you where you claim other people said things they didn’t. You are just trying to gaslight people in believing you are being censored when you are the one being rude and disrespectful. Plenty of people like you and I know you won’t feel any shame for it because this is something you do on purpose. Misrepresenting other peoples post to win an argument really make my blood boil. (Or you can’t read and then I apologised for my post)

Tomaury Bischfeld

It’s my personal choice to fart in an elevator if I want to but it affects other people.


So can we mandate no more farts in elevators then?! Just remove personal choice for everything that causes offence or affects other people?! Where do we stop….

Tomaury Bischfeld

Maybe when the farts are putting people in hospital, killing them and choking the NHS. When society was having to choose between keeping eco monies open or shutting them down to save lives because the farts were getting too much. Maybe when all of this could be stopped by people who were doing farts because they just wanted to be a bit different, a bit edgy or were scared of the little fart needle but wanted to pass it off as some sort of intelligence that didn’t make sense to anyone else. Of course, maybe some people might be exempt… Read more »


So you see people fighting for basic human rights as “being a bit edgy”…. Im done, stop the world I want off ffs


looking at ‘both sides’ isn’t always a balanced approach as it often gives credibility to pseudoscience or quackery (or political ideology) alongside valid scientific findings.
science is not political, and has merely been turned into a political cudgel by the selfish and hateful.


it’s a personal choice if it affects you only; it’s not a personal choice if it directly affects everybody. take driving under the influence and smoking as examples I could say drinking and driving is a personal choice, I could say I have a high tolerance and I’m perfectly capable of controlling a car under the influence and even if I hit something I will survive, but no court would allow that defence because drinking and driving affects other people. smoking, on the other hand, affects just you, which is why that is a personal choice as soon as your… Read more »


But if you’re vaccinated and trust the science then you have nothing to fear regarding other people’s choices, surely?!

Billy bob

I’m surprised arseblog allows you to post this lol other posters will slate you for it too but glad you did post this 👍


Why surprised? There’s no issue with disagreement or differences of opinion as long as they are respectful.

Billy bob

Sensible comment, but funny how professionals saying it doesn’t stop transmission get shot down for not abiding by the “agenda”


evolution of the virus to acquire new mutations occurs largely in immunocompromised and unvaccinated individuals, because the virus is able to replicate longer and unchecked due to lack of pre-existing immunity- this is how new variants emerge. if a new variant contains mutations that enables antibody escape, then antibodies from vaccinations and/or prior infections will not prevent infection, although risks of severe disease is still much reduced. so vaccinated individuals can still be infected and trasmit the virus but they still retain protection against severe disease & hospitalization bottom line, emergence of new variants occurs mostly due to unvaccinated individuals,… Read more »


So, you are telling us that big pharma and their insane pricing strategies has prolonged the pandemic as they have literally held back vaccines from poorer countries to ensure a healthy financial gain with enabling multiple variants to emerge, according to you statement above? Rich get richer and the world keeps turning…


Interesting threads today. And by “interesting” I’m being nice: its a bunch of nonsense. “Big Pharma”. Good lord. Having done discovery chemistry at large drug companies, this comment is as insulting as it is ignorant. And what on earth gives one the ludicrous idea that drug companies influence variants…its a virus. their molecular machinery sloppy; mutating is what they do. There is no enabling mutations. By the virus running rampant for so long – because ignoramuses refuses safe and effective vaccines – the virus has more time/opportunity to mutate. Meaning, vax holdouts are their own worst enemy, but blame others… Read more »

The Beast

As someone that’s worked with the Dept of Health for more years than I care to share, as soon as I see someone throwing around vague terms like “Big Pharma” I automatically adjust my expectations of how seriously I should be taking the conversation.

Not surprisingly it’s always the ppl that don’t realise just how little they know about a particular area of study/industry, who are the most confident in the utter nonsense they spout.


yes, you are right on the money (no pun intended). vaccine inquity between the west and developing countries is contributing to the emergence and spread of variants and prolonging the pandemic. which is why there has been lots on advocacy towards eliminating the intellectual property rights held by pharmaceutical companies so that these vaccines can be maufactured anwhere in the world at lower prices and be distributed more evenly. the profit-based model for vaccines production is unethical and immoral and has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. it is also infuriating to see so many in… Read more »


After you’re vaccinated, it’s possible to spread the infection to others without getting the disease yourself. WHO recomends you to wear a mask, clean your hands, and keep a safe distance. In Norway our goverment and experts has ignored WHO and opened up. Now er have to close doen again and blame the unvaccinated. But er dont vaccinate peoples under the age og 16, and have a massive outbreak. The young ones infect their vaccinated parents. And they infect the vaccinated elders, and they die because the vaccine isn’t good enough. Ww already knew that its only 50-60% effective based… Read more »


So we are saying a bubble isn’t possible in England anymore and at the same time questioning why an AFCON should take place and even asking guarantees? I understand the club pays the players and all but I’ve never understood the disrespect towards the AFCON. Like it’s some bad inconvenience that needs eliminating. I love the world cup but half of it is European teams anyway, just a few invited African teams and growing up as a kid I always looked forward to the January with an AFCON. So many years later nothing has changed. Granted the playing surfaces are… Read more »


As an African, I don’t understand the COVID hysteria. I mean… I’m (usually) asthmatic, but haven’t had any serious attack for some years now. When COVID started I would listen to my breathing and any small wheezing would make me panic, but nothing really happened. Then I said, “screw this!” and started taking cod liver oil, vit E & C regularly… Watching what I consumed. Had to throw out my salbutamol pills because they expired without me even using half of them (pills I used to take at least 5 time weekly). Maybe as a society it’s time we went… Read more »

Diaby's Left Peg

Clean ponds and socially provided medical treatment sounds like a win win to me.

Now we just need to get antibiotics, hormones, chemicals and plastics out of our food supply.

Arseblog comment section getting more political by the day 😂

And we all hate Leeds scum. COYG


Since we are talking COVID19 too I thought I should add this. It’s a horrible virus that has turned the world upside down. But some reporting doesn’t cover the reality on the ground. WHO or the scientists in charge have done little to study why the virus is very mild in sub saharan Africa. I’ve looked at Europe with strict lockdowns and people genuinely observing masks and social distancing but with high number of infections and mortality. On the other hand where I am from even with “lockdowns” people were congregating freely, wearing masks on the chin for a week… Read more »

Arsene's Champagne Football

Link between mRNA vaccines and heart problems (heart inflammation in young) cannot be dismissed that easly. Here’s uk gov link:

Tomaury Bischfeld

“As of 17 November 2021, the overall reporting rate across all age groups for myocarditis following vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is 10 per million doses; for pericarditis, it’s 7 per million doses. For Moderna, the overall reporting rate for myocarditis is 36 per million doses; for pericarditis, it’s 21 per million doses.” The report states that the majority of those cases are mild and stable and basically get better without treatment. So let’s have those chances, taking the Moderna rate. My chance of getting those conditions severely , using a liberal calculation, is 0.000018. I think I’d be more… Read more »

Wrighty’s hats

Yes, there is a very very small chance of developing myocarditis or pericarditis following certain vaccinations for COVID-19. But this must be viewed in the context of the much much greater chance of developing myocarditis and pericarditis when you develop COVID-19 infection, the risk several times higher than as a side-effect of the vaccine. If that makes you think you can risk it because you feel infection is unlikely, please consider that myocarditis and pericarditis would be the least of your concerns if you were unfortunate enough to become unwell with this terrible disease. Young people may have lower risk… Read more »


Why are journalists discussing vaccinations with the manager of a football club. It’s a personal choice and should be left so. Even the suggestion of purchasing players that aren’t vaccinated or leaving players out that are unvaccinated is just so bizarre, what is happening to people. Strange world we are living in. Just leave them to play football and let us fans enjoy that aspect.


Completely agree. One of the things that always amused and fascinated me about Arsene Wenger’s press conferences, was journalist would ask him random stuff on things completely football unrelated, like world affairs or social reform. He would never fail to indulge them, how ever ludicrous the question, with a carefully considered and educated answer.


I think the topic of clubs signing/not signing vaccinated players started as a question asked to Klopp in one of Liverpool’s press conferences?

And now journos (as they do) are trying to get more managers opinions about it


That’s why there’s only one AW

SLC Gooner

Many player contracts include clauses that prevent them from taking part in risky sports during the season (i.e. no skiing). The teams are investing very large amounts of money in the players and want some assurance that they are not injured in a preventable accident. Requiring them to take a vaccine is not a whole lot different.

El Mintero

Bollocks it’s a personal choice. It should be mandated that if you’re playing in the premier league then you need to be vaccinated. Personal choice does not come into it when we’re talking infectious disease.

Billy bob


The Beast

I’m sure you already know this but that’s massively insulting to anyone that’s actually had to live under a dictatorship.
From your comments on here I’d hazard a guess you’ve never been one of those ppl. Hope you never have to.


Awful language.

How can you mandate something like that. So if the PL mandate the vaccine and one player dies or gets ill are they then liable to be sued by said player or their family?

El Mintero

Awful language my fucking arse. Laughable you’re more concerned about litigation potential than, you know, stopping people dying from infectious disease.


To my knowledge, not one PL footballer has died from this disease. But your low intelligence is componded by your ridiculous language. Maybe grow up and have a normal debate.

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