Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Arteta: I’m still in pain

Arsenal may have signed off with a 5-1 win over Everton but manager Mikel Arteta couldn’t hide his disappointment at the way the climax to the season played out.

While a fifth-place finish in the Premier League represents a considerable improvement on last season, the fact the Gunners, off the back of defeats to Sp*rs and Newcastle, squandered the opportunity to seal a place in next season’s Champions League clearly still grates.

Asked how he feels about qualifying for the Europa League, Arteta said: “Today, I don’t get much [satisfaction] if I’m honest. I’m still in pain.

“That’s why I need the dust to settle, I need to go and get a few days on holiday, because I think today that I’m not going to reflect on the season the way that it is.

“But at the same time, I am very grateful for everybody that is supporting our club, the way they are giving us confidence and respect and motivation to drive, forward, because I think they believe in what we are doing, but when you have it there, I am a winner and I hate losing and we lost something that we could win and that’s why I’m in pain. I’m sorry.”

The pain of missing out on the top four continued to resonate throughout his post-game comments.

“I cannot assess today the season, I’m sorry,” said Arteta.

“I am still in a lot of pain after what happened on Monday, and I would like to have a fair assessment on what we’ve done. What I can guarantee you is that I have – we have – tried to squeeze the lemon as much as we possibly can, to every single drop, and we reached to the point where we reached.

“I know – I think we all know, and you can see the reaction from the fans towards the team – that you see what we have on the pitch, and what this club has (achieved) ten years ago, twenty years ago – and we know where we have to go. We are not going to stop it.

“I am extremely disappointed today, because we had generated expectations that we wanted, that I wanted for this football club, because it’s what it deserves. At the end we came short and that feeling of guilt and not reaching that level, is painful.”

For all Arteta’s pain, the club appears moving in the right direction under his watch. A young squad, even if they’ve struggled in key moments, have provided some real high points for the supporters.

On whether he gets the sense that the fans believe in his project, he said:

“Absolutely, they have given me many reasons throughout the season – and they have shown with many factors – in the way they turn up. The atmosphere that they built, home and away for these players.

“I think they can see what we are doing, they see what the players want to do, how they represent the club, the values on and off the pitch, who we are as a group. Then we have the level that we have, and it has not been enough. We have to make a clear assessment on that, and how we are going to take the club now into the next level, and if we want to do that, we know what we have to do.”

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A decent break and some brilliant signings will fix everything.

Funsho Patrick

We still trust the process…


True enough, but I’m not sure I can sit through All or Nothing!


Well we know the outcome!


Every episode is just the Newcastle game again and again.


All well and good, except brilliant signings want CL football. I don’t care what anyone says, It’s a simple career choice. Salaries, bonuses, image rights, status, international call ups, everything goes up when you are in that competition. It’s as clear as day. We’ll get a couple of second shelf players or u23s and we’ll be here again next season, mark my words. When, by the way, we’ll be the ones with a 60 game season. And I wonder how Arteta’s ingenious bridge-burning zero rotation policy will work then. I’m pissed off, probably more that you Mikel. We opened the… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Think we just need a few players who have a bit of mongrel in them. Gabriel jesus and aouar fit that bill, been watching Danilo would take him in a heartbeat as well. Partey Tierney are good players but if they can’t stay fit what’s the point. Odegaard is a nice player but he was shit against spurs and Newcastle. We’ve all seen this before with players who can’t stay fit or disappear in big games. We’re close to having a good team, just need 2 or 3 players who have experience and have no problem being a cunt to… Read more »

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

To be fair to Odegaard, the whole team was pretty much shit against Newcastle.

Odegaard’s performances in general, for me, was one of the highs of the season.

Alan Sunderland

He’s a good player with a good attitude and work rate, but he’s been anonymous is the games when the pressure was on.

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

LoL, Guendouzi was exactly that type of menace. See his performances against Villa, Spurs and Crystal Palace. He is now winding up opposition players and winning penalties at Marseille.

Frankly, while Arteta clearly wants us to play that way, I don’t think he’ll ever sign that type of player. He wouldn’t be able to manage that type of personality.

Alan Sunderland

I agree guendouzi was a good player, not so sure he’s in Marseille because arteta couldn’t handle him. If you count his loan in Germany he’s on his 5th team already.


Including his German manager who referred to him as a ‘petulant child who needs to grow up’

Woolwich Thiern Time

Salaries is what someone pays you genius… Arsenal are more than capable of matching Spurs, and probably now Chelsea on wages. Incoming signings wouldn’t benefit from bonuses either. There may be a handful who demand the instant gratification of guaranteed CL football but they are more likely in the sunset of their career and not who Arsenal would go for anyway. If i’m picking from a choice of clubs in England its City or Liverpool, and even with the former id think twice in a World cup year what with the time you’ll spend on the bench. Thereafter going forward… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Funny that you’re implying myrtle is being oblivious. AFC have been focused on slashing the wage bill for the last two years, to the point that we’re a lot closer to Spurs’ level than Liverpool. We’ve even cancelled contracts early just to make marginal savings.

Yet, here you are saying that we are capable of matching even Chelsea’s wage bracket… Without the additional revenue that UCL qualification would have brought?

Okay amigo 👍.


I think the point of the wage bill slashing is to bring it under control so when the right player comes, you can offer a bigger salary. I think Edu and Arteta are trying to undo years of terrible contract negotiation first to give them room to breathe. At least that is my take. I don’t think it is entirely based around saving money long term but more cleaning up the mess from the last 5 or so years.


Well put sir.


May be true but players are not oblivious to the way a club is heading. I remember a time when AC Milan were struggling but the moment there was evident progress they’re able to attract quality players (key acquisitions like Rebic, Franck Kessie, Theo Hernandez, Sandro Tonali, Castillejo) and ultimately now they’re reaping what they sow. The key is being able to attract the right profile of players and being shrewd in the market, which is what AC Milan did and so far what we’re doing as well (Tavarez aside all our recent signings have been tremendous). Even recently Dyballa… Read more »


I think players, especially in the forward areas, are looking at Spurs & thinking yeah they’ve got Champions League but Conte is on the verge of a break down where if Juve or PSG flash their knickers at him, his gone, Kane wants out & even despite that, as an attacker, they do very little rotation anyway so you’re looking at maybe 10 minutes out of position with the odd Carabao Cup game against Doncaster thrown in & players don’t want that, especially in a World Cup year


Agree with the gist of your comment, but come on: If you watch any Milan, you’d know that Kessie was absolutely average to below average every season except this last one. You also cite Castillejo – same. Wildly uneven player who Milan tried to get rid of but found no takers. Tonali is a recent buy, and Rebic is also uneven. The manager Pioli took what he had and made more than the sum of their parts. Note also that Olivier Giroud was big part of that scudetto winning side (9 goals), as was Zlatan. Milan is a good example,… Read more »


Didn’t AC Milan get the genius that is Ivan Gazidas

Man Manny

I understand the pain – exacerbated by the fact that Spurs benefitted from the collapse; that is understandable. But to say players need CL football to get call ups is not entirely true. For me, League football is more important for managers in assessing players than a tournament you can win after 13 games and a favourable draw. There are many good players out there who can certainly improve us, who would see us as an attractive proposition – especially those yet to hit their prime. I firmly expect us to be stronger and more competitive next season. My advice… Read more »


It’s entirely disingenous to imply that every top player ONLY considers CL qualified clubs. Football is a team sport – fellow players, culture, language, city of residence, managerial character, vision and charisma… all of these play a part. Yes, the money and immediate (i.e. short term) status are NB, but not necessarily your ‘international call up’ argument. The PL is the most watched league in the world – any striker scoring 15 goals in the first 20 matches will get noticed globally, trust me!


Yep, well said. As I’ve stated elsewhere, to get within a whisker of top four with the likes of Tavares, Cedric and Lacazette – not to mention the injuries to key players like Tierney, Tommi and Partey, plus the usual anti Arsenal bias from the refs and VAR – it’s a damn miracle we’ve made 5th place. I hope the board now get behind this guy, to the tune of a couple of hundred million, to get in the players he wants. Move out the deadwood such as Lacazette, Tavares and Cedric. If he can then persuade Gabriel Jesus to… Read more »

Ponsonby gooner

I think only time will tell on how much of a missed opportunity has gone down this season. It’s possible that Chelsea might be weaker next year with everything going on there- Man U could be better with no Europe, as we’ve been. Newcastle are going to spend big again and already look to be on the up, spuds unfortunately have a good manager but are struggling to keep him happy. Leicester, West Ham and Wolves are all good sides now and the top half of the table is very competitive. Where will we sit amongst the rest? Hopefully our… Read more »


Man U do have European football next season.


He should be in pain given the opportunity on offer that was allowed to slip but I feel optimistic about the direction of the club with the current crop of players. Selling a few, buying a few… CF, PLEASE… could very well turn 5th into 3rd next year and beyond.


Very much agree with this sentiment. I finally am able to put the Newcastle heartbreak aside and having to view this in a more neutered manner, it doesn’t feel all that gloomy. Get the right signings in, push for top 4 and even make a deep run in the UEL, and we’ll be on our way to becoming competitive again.

Guns Up

Keep in mind also that UEFA can’t help themselves and intend to bloat the CL such that 5th in PL likely qualifies, beginning next season.


Cue photos of EDU @ Barbecues, on Yachts with his dodgy mates Raul & Jia


Ain’t we all. Truth is he got it wrong too often.


True. Once too often. And I’m not sure what he is talking about. The mistake was not Monday.
His mistake was the NLD, and going for broke. A high press with slow, technically poor players?
Not putting Tomiyasu on Son?
All we needed was a draw there and we’d be in the CL right now.
It was bad, amateur lineup from a coach who should not be considered amateur any more. And it’s cost us, dearly. To the tune of £60m+ while we let our BANG AVERAGE neighbours have an early Christmas present. Fuming.

A Different George

I think this is silly. First the problem was Newcastle, not Spurs. Second, I don’t think Arteta’s team selection (given the unavailability of Partey and Tierney and the lack of fitness of both White and Tomiyasu) was “amateur.” Third, I don’t think you can blame the team selection for the incredibly soft penalty. Fourth, I don’t think you can blame the team selection for Holding’s second yellow. I wish Arteta had started Sagna at right back and Koscielny and Campbell at centre half. I wish he had played Patrick instead of Elneny. I wish you would get a grip.


I’ve got a grip, thanks. If Tomiyasu wasn’t fit, why did he come on the previous game and start that one at left back? I know for certain he wouldn’t have given away that soft Cedric penalty at the back post. The fact Nuno has started every game since shows Arteta knows he made a mistake. The fact is, that game was a 6 point swing, and it has fully cost us. It’s cost us money, it’s cost us prestige, it’s cost us a shortcut, and it’s probably cost us one or two top level players that will now go… Read more »

Tomaury Bischfeld

I find being an Arsenal fan to be full of disappointments, but it must be terrible to feel that disappointed when we narrowly come 5th with the youngest squad in the Premier League during a transition period. I really wouldn’t know why I bother watching football anymore when even progress makes me miserable.


The disappointment is not from coming fifth with the youngest squad in the Premier League. Its from being four points ahead with three to play and losing fourth to.those pricks

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Mhmm. The Spurs team that finished 3rd in 15/16 were even younger and less experienced than we are now. I don’t think you’d find many commending them for the way they finished that season.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Even Saliba said he would like to staywith Marseille to play CL which he contributed more than most of their players to achieve.

Heavenly Chapecoense

This is what Henry said about the way he was treated:
“They didn’t even let him make a mistake. He left before he even had the chance to make an error. Didn’t even have the chance to compete for his place.”

Alan Sunderland

Exactly, good horses make good trainers. Our problem is our best players are young or injury prone. He played with what he had. I had no problem with getting rid of the players we let go long overdue. The people who think maitland niles or Chambers would have made an difference are out of their minds. Same goes for aubameyang he chucked it in months before he left.

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

LoL, the same Auba that finished as Barca’s second top scorer and just qualified for the UCL. Yeah, he really did throw in the towel.

Since his arrival, Auba was our top scorer against Burnley, Newcastle, Tottenham, Brighton and Crystal Palace. You’re right… He wouldn’t have made a difference in any of these matches🤔


Alternately, win a couple of those games against the teams 20th to 10th that we lost, and we would of been 3rd. 38 game season and you focus on 1 game to point the finger of blame at? Please.


Actually Spurs and Newcastle away were always hard games that Arsenal could lose. The real damage was done in defeats at Everton, Crystal Palace Southampton, Brentford and dropping points at home to Brighton, Burnley and Palace again.


And Saints…


Everton & Burnley are the 2 I’m rueing. Everton we seemed scared to push on & as yesterday shows, they were there for the taking & Burnley at home…the less said about that, the better

Spanish Gooner

The Everton and Crystal Palace ones are most annoying in that we struggled for the same reasons as we did against Newcastle, but we didn’t seem to change anything. We had three games in an evening kickoff at a hostile ground, and all three times we crumbled under pressure. That’s something we absolutely have to work on in terms of transfers, preparation and tactics. I’d like a more technically secure player at CM for games like that who is comfortable receiving the ball under pressure and can play out – ideally Aouar but if Tielemans is cheap and allows more… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

The NLD is more forgivable I think. The game was fairly even and you could even say we edged it until Spurs were handed an incredibly soft penalty. We then had to chase from that point on, which played into Spurs’ hands. Newcastle was just as shit-show from beginning to end and showed nothing had been learned from Crystal Palace.

Guns Up

Looked for all the world to me as though we were well on the way to at least a draw until an incredibly soft penalty was given against us. We take it and move on, but we also can’t (or shouldn’t) look back on it as though it wasn’t impactful. You don’t select a team and set up a tactical plan with a soft penalty and a red card in mind.


We all share the pain, but I like his honesty and I even like that he is hurting over what happened, because that will be a strong motivation. I also thought that the atmosphere in the ground today was incredible and that we haven’t always supported the team in that way after past implosions, so I think it bodes well and that, together, we will keep moving forward. COYG!


Have to agree. And I hope he also continues to develop as a manager. If he’s able to correct his two biggest shortcomings (not being able to turn a deficit, mental fragility in high stake games), then we’re really really not far off from being a top team.

Announce Bendtner

The squeezing the lemon analogy is interesting.
It suggests that he’s tried to his best with some players who have their limitations (soares, holding etc?)
Either way it’s good to see him not trying to sell this season as a success. Progress yes but not success. Says a lot.

Now let’s see how serious Kroenke / Edu / Arteta are in the transfer window.

Granit(e) hard!

How the season ended is understandably disappointing but truth be said, I like this guy

Naked Cygan

He can’t do no wrong for some fans.

Dr Zebra

And no right for some apparently! I think that’s why we’re called fans because our role is to be supportive. We can’t magically fix problems and pretend to undo decisions that were made. And yet we can be disappointed too. I think that ultimately support will help us get to where we all want to be rather than straight negativity/complaints. Hopefully the club continues this trajectory with smarter decisions and it make it even more exciting for seasons to come!


Out of curiosity, where realistically do you think we should have finished this year? And at the beginning of the season where on the table were you expecting us to finish?


Cheers to all the Arseblog team got bringing us all things Arsenal with all the humour, bias and passion I’m after.
Here’s to next season and all the over optimism that always brings because we’ll always love the Arsenal. COYG.


Hear hear. 👏

A very big Well Done to Andrew, James, Tim and the rest of the team.

You guys are an absolute oasis of reason, intelligence, interesting and good humoured journalism in what is an otherwise desert of idiots from Sky, TalkSport BT Sport and the rest.

My thanks also to everyone on this forum – whether you have agreed with me or not – it’s been good to have a healthy forum for discussion with fellow Arsenal fans.

Have a great summer folks – and keep the faith.

We are, after all, The Arsenal.



It’s easy to say we put this behind us, but I actually hope he, Edu and the players use this disappointment as fuel for next season. So if we’re in a similar position next year we remember this and make sure it doesn’t happen again


Do you seriously think we’ll be in a similar position next year balancing Europa league, while all competition around gets stronger? This was the chance and it does not get easier that this.


Are we not gonna strengthen then? Such a strange flex to say competition will get stronger like we ain’t gonna go out & buy anybody as well


I always wonder when I hear folks say this…..because even if our competition strengthens, we will too. The players they buy to strengthen their squad may not even do so (Man Utd bought 2 serial champions league winners and we still finished above them so 🤷🏾‍♂️)


United need open heart surgery & they’ve got a Premier League rookie in charge plus he may be one of the greatest but Ronaldo will be 38 half way through next season & his spent more time out injured this season then in the previous 20 years of his career so Father Time is starting to catch up with him, West Ham will be severely weakened if Rice demands a move, teams will start eying up Bowen & if they continue with only one main striker,, Chelsea might not even exist by the time the fixtures get released & even… Read more »

Dr Zebra

Not to mention the immense room for growth of our young and developing team. Confidence can only help us act stronger and create belief in us belonging in competing for top positions and trophies


If you don’t think we can play Europa plus get top 4 then what the hell would getting Champions league have accomplished? Are you that short sighted in your goals? Surely the aim is to build a team who can challenge on all front like Liverpool have not, the big difference not getting CL makes is spending plus losing some attraction. It doesn’t change the long term goal it just slightly alters how we get there.


Has it occurred to you that we might get stronger – given a good summer….? Everyone but everyone had Man Utd in 4th place last August – and look what happened to them. Then, at the start of the season, West Ham were Flavour of the Month – and look what happened to them. Hardly anyone gave Arsenal a light to be finishing in 5th – I said myself, before the Spurs game at the Emirates, that we would finish 8th and Mikel proved me wrong, turned it around and gained my respect. For my money, he is the man… Read more »


We’ve missed a big opportunity for sure, but we do some good business in the summer I don’t see why we can’t compete strongly for top 4 again, and possibly win the Europa League.

Qualifying for Champions League next season via either (ideally both, why not?) of those routes will be the target for Arteta and the team.

Spanish Gooner

In a way I think we could be, yes. Part of the problem this season was players couldn’t be rotated, so when they were called upon they were completely rusty for their first few games, which was a disaster. Tavares/Lokonga/Pepe, but also Smith Rowe since Martinelli became first choice has struggled.

Yellow Ribbon

Fair play to Mikel. I was in fact quite looking forward to him speak after the match and this was exactly what I was thinking and what I wanted him to say. I didn’t want him to come and cover it all up and call the season as a success. Because that would have absolutely shown that there was zero passion and absolutely no drive for success going forward. Thanks for that at least.

Naked Cygan

We are all in pain after that sp*rs and Newcastle game. Glad the season is over.


Spurs are a bunch of two trick pony cunts and Newcastle will be about as organic as candy floss. Fuck ‘em.

We are the real deal. What’s happening at our club is special.

Naked Cygan

Yep, the surely are. But they beat us quite comfortably which is alarming going into next season.

Eric Blair

The pain will subside, we just need to back him in the transfer market now after letting him down in January.

I count the following as necessary:

– Two strikers
– At least one wide forward (departure depending)
– One central midfielder who adds creativity to partner Partey
– Proper backup at FB, could be one versatile signing there.

With GK Turner coming in I count a minimum 6 players, including 2 starters to take us to the next level. Any less and we’ll be treading water next season.


Turner, Trusty & Saliba coming in, Leno, Pepe, Cedric, AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi, Laca, Runarsson, Mari, Eddie & possibly Hector & Nelson out the door so I agree with your assessment, sounds like Marquinhos will be one signing on the wing, I don’t know much about him but definitely another winger needed especially cause I don’t think being on the wing suits ESR & we can’t expect Saka to play Thursday/Sunday all season without picking up a knock or getting fatigued. Hoping we get our striking options sorted early though, 4 goals all season for our senior striker & 1 in… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

I’d be surprised if Marquinhos is anything more than a u23/League Cup player next season – he is out of contract in December, so we’re paying £3m for him now as a cheap punt on a player who might turn out to have some potential, but more as a favour to Sao Paulo who Edu is trying to open official relations with to establish as a feeder team (according to the athletic).


Who do you have in mind ?

I think we should try to get Konrad Laimer, but he’ll probably go to Bayern…

Eric Blair

I’m not a professional football scout so I really don’t know 🙂

But they did a good job last summer so I feel optimistic.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Letting Arteta down in January? Or Arteta letting fans and club down by over doing Wenger in the market. Bad apprentice !

Kentish Gooner

Great atmosphere at the Emirates today. Funny watching the almost-relegated Evertonians dancing around outside after the match at City winning the league too.

Alan Sunderland

They were fully entitled to enjoy city winning the league. The gloating and abuse they were getting from liverpool’s internet army when it looked like they were going to get relegated amazed me.


Our team, as we stand, and as we’ve shown, is not CL quality. (Would qualifying have let us bring CL quality in? We won’t know….maybe?) Our challenge now will be to solidify with a “more than bare bones” core that can handle Thursday nights + PL weekends. Contrary to easy assumptions, and remembering Europa qualifiers past, Pepe could very much be a big part of our Europa League project. We need to be pragmatic here. Nothing should be off the table, keeping or letting players go. There are many areas to improve and deepen. The club’s choices will be immensely… Read more »


I know what you’re saying in regards to the “UCL quality” thing. But I think you are more referring to reaching the latter stages of the tournament. Honestly there was 6 or 7 teams that weren’t very good in the UCL this year. You just have to look at the group tables to see some, Malmo, Zenit, Young Boys, Dynamo, Shakhtar, Besiktas, Brugge? You’re telling me we are worse than all those teams? Man United got through the fucking group stages and they are a bag of shite right now. So the UCL isn’t as amazing as everybody cracks it… Read more »

Gunnar Elí

i think starting in Europa league is better than CL.

was a jojo season and we will only get better

weird how this feels almost like a downer,
and yet my Roma heart is happy about not even top 5

weird. maybe we will meet in the group stage..

but for us we had a good run with alsorts of stuff.

lets build on this and sign a striker and some more and we will get there !

COYG !!!

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Is it really better? Even if we crashed out of the UCL group stages, we could have finished 3rd, been demoted to the Europa League and we would be millions of £££s richer.


For the first 3 games he is forgiven as he did not have most of his current team. The three or so games he shifted Xhaka to LB/played Sambi are the main problems for me.
He played Xkaka in that LB position the season before this too and it always backfired.

If we see that in the coming season then he sun better than me.

I am counting this season as a good progress though.


Totally agree.


After the rest you and Edu got to put in that work. A mix of proven qaulity with one or two scouted as just about to break through. We need deep lying midfielders and strikers.

Determination Cultured

3 defeats in a row when it matters followed by spuds and newcastle defeats is like 15 pts dropped towards the end of the season, but the bigger mistake is sticking with laca instead of trying eddie earlier.


We were not making the UCL for atleast the next 4 seasons.

The Arsenal

Good way to end an overall good season. But it is getting increasingly galling watching us fail to perform whenever their is any type of pressure and then produce scintillating stuff when it ultimately means nothing. Im not saying we should be challenging for the title yet or that we have a divine right to anything but the way we consistently not only fail but completely crumble and capitulate when it really matters is so disappointing. Champions league was needed for the desired squad turnover that we need now, instead we wont have the resources or ability to attract what… Read more »


At the beginning of the season I had lost all hope in this team, particularly the manager. He proved me wrong. Squad was just too thin, hence we couldn’t get over that final hurdle to make top 4. 22/23 season is going to be very interesting. COYG


We’re still in pain

North Bank Gooner

Painful 2 weeks, but we will come again!
Big up Andrew and the rest of the Arseblog crew for helping us through the season, here’s to more progress next time round 🙂


I’m sure he cares a lot.
It’s a shame he’s not better at his job.

Matt Matt

I just really like Arteta. He just comes across as so perceptive, critical and proactive that I have no hesitation in trusting him to see the problems and improve the team.

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