Arsenal’s decision not to strengthen the first team squad in January certainly raised eyebrows (and tempers) amongst supporters but Mikel Arteta believes the club were correct not to spend money when players with the right profile weren’t available.
“We’re going to move,” was Arteta’s declaration in early January when asked if the Gunners would sign a midfielder in the transfer market. In the end, as Covid cases in the camp dropped, injuries eased and players returned from the African Cup of Nations, the pressure to spend money in that area of the pitch eased.
What has caused more consternation was the decision not to pull in another striker, especially with former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang allowed to leave for Barcelona.
Responding, Arteta suggested that buying for the sake of it would only be repeating mistakes of the past.
“We did what we believed was the right thing to do, first of all with the players that had to leave,” he told his pre-Wolves press conference.
“The squad composition and the contract situations were catching up in many of those situations and we had to make decisions and be fair as well with players who have not had a lot of minutes this season. That is what we did and then we had a very clear plan of what we could do and then it has to be doable.
“Edu and his team did a fantastic job and they continue to do that, but we are very clear: we only want the best people and the best players at this club and when we are in a rush or different pressures, and the reasons are not the right ones to get a player on board, we decided not to do it.”
Asked whether he’s happy with the state of the squad as it stands, he added: “I trust the players, the quality that we have, the spirit, the togetherness that we have around the team and we can achieve what we want.
“We are going to need a high level of performances, we’ll need our supporters on board – that will be so key – and we are going to have a real go. But again, we can only go game-by-game.”
In Aubameyang’s absence, there’s obviously going to be huge emphasis on Alex Lacazette and understudy Eddie Nketiah to come good in the box. The pair have been anything but free-scoring so far this season, but the boss isn’t unduly concerned.
“We have three strikers*. We have Laca and we have Eddie with us and they are both more than capable of scoring goals and they have shown that over the years with us.
“Again, when we have to replace or improve the squad, it can only be with a player that we are certain of. First of all, that they’re the right person and the right character to join and then they’re a player with the quality to straight away impact the performance of the team and our capacity to build a future around him as well.”
*To clarify, we think he’s referring to Martinelli as the third option up front.
‘We are going to move.’
If I may play devils advocate I don’t think ‘we are going to move’ is exactly the same as ‘we’re definitely going to buy players’.
I ‘make moves’ often but they don’t always result in sales/purchases for my business. Edu and co may have made moves and been busy behind the scenes, which might be what he was talking about at the start of the window.
Make moves – get information – make decisions.
Full disclosure: I don’t like this situation at all, especially when top 4 was looking realistic.
I made move about lot of beautiful girls with the same result as the club I support.
I guess he meant moving players out
The problem is he thinks we have 3 strikers. Laca and Eddie. God fking help us.
Blog pls tell me this was a typo and I read it wrong. Did he really say we have 3 strikers?
I’d say he was referring to Mika Beireth who has been on the bench for the last 4 games.
Actually think it was a typo. Elsewhere I read “Well we have two strikers. We have Laca, we have Eddie with us. They are both capable of scoring goals.”
Quite obviously Martinelli who is likely to play a central role.
Think he was referring to Balogun. Who we have, but is currently on loan.
Maybe? Don’t know if he’s viewed by Arteta as viable there…
Well who else could it be? He’s talking about the next 17 games rather than summer when Balogun returns. And, as mentioned below, when Laca and Nketiah leave…
Awww yes. And he can help if Laca or Eddie get injured or suspended this season? You still give a sh”t about this season?
So we will have Balogun again in summer. However, if he wants to talk about summer, then we actually only have one striker, because Laca and Eddie will most likely not be here anymore. I believe we can reach top4 if the midfield can somehow provide goals. Wouldn’t count on Laca / Eddie too much. But I believe that Martinelli, Saka, Emile, Ode, maybe even Pepe can find a goalscoring form and I see our lack of games as biggest advantage. Rivals are still active in up to 4 competitions, so I hope we can finish the season without rotation,… Read more »
Laca is eating for two
He also thinks Nketiah has shown he can score goals.
Maybe he meant Miedema, think she’ll do a better job than the other two.
I think missed Laca and Nketiah showing they are “more than capable of scoring goals”.
I’d be satisfied with them showing they are capable of scoring goals first.
I’m actually quite excited. The break has given me perspective. Listen, I was perplexed when we signed Ramsdale after selling Martinez and dumbfounded when Tomiyasu came in for Bellerin. But Arteta has been right – we can get better players. Instead of doubting Arteta, I’m going to support the process and the team.
You’re excited for a period when we brought in no-one… based on a window where we bought players?
We don’t want ‘just anyone’. He has to be the right player but that means we would have to pay over the odds whilst we could wait in the summer and strengthen properly. Arteta and co are not building a team for just next season – this is a long term project so requires patience. And what guarantees do we have that the New Signing would come in straight away and start to perform in a tough lg like the EPL? Sometimes it’s better not to disrupt the system and the first 11 that has been doing well lately hence… Read more »
Besides the fact that you’re responding to something I didn’t actually ask, if we don’t get into Europe because of a lack of bringing in someone now, we won’t get any decent player let alone this *right* player you’re talking about.
Arsenal / Arteta taking a massive risk here. I don’t envy them because if this fails, heads will roll.
I get the frustration with not bringing anybody in but I’m inclined to agree with the club on this one. As far as I can tell we had three options: 1. Sign quality player(s) that will improve the team and push for the top 4. 2. Sign alternative (s) with less quality and push for top 4. 3. Keep the squad as it is, push for top 4. As far as I can tell the closest thing to achieving option 1 was signing Vlahovic and I think the club would have sanctioned this deal. I’m not aware of any other… Read more »
Suspension/injury are a constant. As at now we may not have either but tomorrow you know we back with a bang on the two. Our chances of getting a red card are higher than getting a goal based on our January stats.
Totally agree. Vlahovic was the only one On that list that probably could gauruntee goals without a bedding in period. ( kinda like van persie to scum).
Everyone else in 70mill mark would prob need time to adapt/ settle / recover form (DCL &Isak)
I support Arsenal football club, and will have to trust the process. To write that I am optimistic would be a lie. Viera, Henry, Anelka, Petit, Cole, Fabregas and Pires, Ljungberg were supported by solid and well established players; this is what this team is missing. Partey may be solid but he is a novice in this league. There is nothing solid about Xhaka, absolutely nothing. White, Gabriel, Martinelli, Saka, ESR, Tierney, Nketiah (Highly overrated), Tomayisu, Ordegaard are kids. Can the aforementioned players guarantee world class performances week in week out? Maybe, but it would be unfair to put so… Read more »
We need new owners; we need to win trophies every season otherwise we will fall behind and be a Europa League club. I have nothing against Arteta but look at United, none of their appointments after Sir Alex have been effective. Arsenal needs someone like Pep Guardiola to transform the club and take it to the next level. In world football I cant see such a manager coming to Arsenal without major financial backing. You need a proven manager with a strong philosophy to take the club forward. This is not the NFL or the NBA, Kronekes need to go.
Saliba is going to feel Like A New Signing this summer.
for real madrid, lol
1. The players we wanted thought us sh**t. Moved to Juventus and doing good already. Didn’t even entertain the idea of speaking to us. We couldn’t even sign one whose contract is ending in June! He too went to Juventus.
2. Juventus had no qualms about nonsense from arsenal. While arsenal loaned AMN to Roma at Roma’s terms (sad) Juventus told us…. Their terms (18months) or the highway.
See how small Arsenal has become.
We still think summer will be easier for MA?
Would have preferred that he would have signed a defensive midfielder, a top-class striker, and a creative No. 10. Maybe such signings will come in the summer, but we need to make top four. Otherwise, all this talk is nonsense, Newcastle are the new Man City, Man City have an unbelievable squad, Chelsea still have a strong squad and Liverpool are building for the future. We have not had a competitive squad since 2016 when we should have won the premier league. I am expecting another round of departures at least 4 this summer – Laca, Xhaka, Moh and Eddie.… Read more »
It will be interesting to see how many of our loan players will be integrated back into the squad next season – especially if we’re back in Europe and more game-time is on offer.
Saliba, Maitland-Niles, Bellerin, Torreira, Mavrapanos, and Balogun would be decent re-additions to the squad, but most of them may not wish to return.
Guendouzi and Mari you would imagine we won’t see again.
out of all those players you mentioned which are ‘coming back’ the only ones likely to return are saliba, mari, and balogun
guendouzi’s and mavropanos’ loan deals include obligations to buy, iirc
Mavropanos obligation to buy clause only kicks in if they stay up but they’re currently in a relegation spot so he very well could return.
With the greatest respect to Arteta; Eddie hasn’t shown that he is capable of scoring goals at all, quite the opposite in fact. Here’s hoping the players are refreshed going into the last few months and we have goals coming from left, right and centre.
“Edu and his team did a fantastic job…”???? The incompetent bastards. The Arsenal needs only 10 available players in a game!
As strong as my heart is for Arsenal, my head just gets in the way. I don’t think we finish top 5 this season without some muscle upfront.
Oh, it’s a decision now?
Funny, it looked like a failure to me.
Let’s see how it plays out.
Two or three strikers. What he says, is that he is going to continue with one player on top, probably in the 4-2-3-1 system. I like it defensively, but it does not work well in attack. When the first wave is over (and Arsenal rarely attack quickly) the lone striker will have to fall back and be one of four.They will always have defenders between them, and is it hard to get enough speed on the ball.
well it was certainly a decision, and not one made by edu or arteta, but rather one made by the players we tried to sign- trying to spin it in such a positive manner is just… dishonest
Wanted to question blogs and James not picking Kim Kallstrom in their all time penalty taker line up and an article on January signing seems the place to do it.
How is he not the fun pick?