Friday, May 24, 2024

“They have a clean sheet” – Arteta explains status of returning players

There were eyebrows raised when Arsenal confirmed their US tour party would include several fringe members of the first team squad at the expense of up-and-coming talents from the Academy.

While the likes of Charlie Patino, Salah-Eddine and Marcelo Flores might feel disappointed to miss out, Mikel Arteta has made it clear that the policy is to treat all those with first team contracts in exactly the same way.

That means the likes of Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira, both close to departing, have been training in Baltimore and Florida and returning loanees like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Pablo Mari and Hector Bellerin have been given minutes on the pitch.

“Every player that is contracted by the club is treated the same way,” Arteta told Hayters ahead of the Gunners’ friendly with Orlando City.

“Everybody has said from day one, they have a clean sheet to start to build what they want to build at this football club.

“Then we have to make decisions in relation to their needs and the level that they’ve shown.”

As things stand, the Gunners have 32 senior players on the books and will soon add Oleksandr Zinchenko, the Ukraine international, from Manchester City.

“We’re certainly going to need a bigger squad than the one we had last season and whether it is the right number right now, that’s the question,” said the boss.

In the past, he’s spoken of a desire to trim down to 22 outfield players and three keepers but he wouldn’t be drawn on a specific number this time around.

“I cannot tell you,” he replied when asked about his ideal squad size. “I’m going to focus on the players that we have so far.”

He also wouldn’t be drawn on whether Zinchenko will be wearing Arsenal colours this season.

“There is no update with anybody and when there are updates with anybody, we will let you know.

He added: “We’re looking at different options in different positions and we’ll give you an update when we have one.”

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Difficult to keep your sheets clean with some much heat and sweaty weather.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

I’m imagining Arteta handing out clean sheets Oprah Winfrey style.

“You get a clean sheet. You get a clean sheet. Everybody gets a clean sheet.”

“No, not you Torreira”


The new Andrex ad.

*Puppy emerges running from behind loo door with a long trail of loo paper in his wake. He runs down the stairs.

Cue Arteta behind him with his trolleys around his ankles…

ARTETA: Hey you! Cute Labrador Pup! Where’s my clean sheets….?! Come back with my clean sheets!

VOICEOVER: Andrex. Everyone deserves clean sheets….

Johnny 4 Hats

I suppose if you leave players that are worth tens of millions of pounds at home, you are basically saying to buying clubs “these players are not wanted and need to go”.

If we look like these players could feasibly be part of our plans, it puts us in a stronger negotiating position.


The thing is, those players actually could still be part of our plans.

I genuinely hope one or two of them are; we could certainly use them over the course of a long season.

But, as you say, a very clever way of putting those lads in the shop window at the same time.


That’s bollocks. The picking of the squad that went to America just shows how weak and disorganised Arteta’s management is. The likes of Pepe and Bellerin have no future at the club and should have been left at home. Can you imagine George Graham wasting his time like this with players he didn’t fancy? When George was done with you he was done with you: just ask Charlie Nicholas. The great managers are decisive. When Ferguson made up his mind about a player, that was that. Get him out and bring in someone fresh who can contribute. He wouldn’t let… Read more »


Very well constructed argument. Member berries.


Mate, if you knew anything at all about marketing, never mind football, you would realise that we need to utilise our fringe players in order to make them more attractive acquisitions for potential buyers. Who is going to come in for the likes of Bellerin and Pepe if they aren’t showcasing their skill sets in some capacity other than the reserves…? If your squad is short and your fringe players have top level experience, then why not have them in the squad and on the bench? Not only that, if Tommi picks up a long term injury, I’d have Bellerin… Read more »


Basically, you have highlighted my opinions but let me add to the aforementioned. Arteta is very clinical in choosing his words. I have evaluated him and I can see that he has plan for every player. For instance, The best way to solve Torreira’s impediment is to allow him to stay with the boys. Here, he can get a suitor since he desires to leave. If u notice quite well,. Arteta hasn’t given any comment on Torreira’s demand. Fast forward to Pepe, Arsenal can not sell pepe becos as it stands there is no replacement for Saka. If u critically… Read more »

John C

To be honest with you the players in question have never had issues of bad attitude levelled at them rather a lack of quality or don’t fit in the managers vision of how he wants to play the game.

Arteta has shown strong leadership with disruptive players in the past and we all no who they are.

It’s quite possible that the best way to attract offers for unwanted players is to make sure they have a solid pre-season and are match ready for any perspective buyers.

Forrest Moore

Clean sheets all round… But who’s going to sh*t the bed?

Jesus of Sao Paulo

I have a tenner on Granit “Shacker”

Cliff Bastin

I’d give Torreira and Bellerin a place in the squad, probably Send Reiss on loan again and then try to find suitors for Mari, AMN and Leno (sadly).


Did you see Hectors performance against Everton?

Cliff Bastin

Yes but essentially we need someone who accepts being back up.


I’d prefer Cedric. That’s how bad hector has became.

Or maybe we can use Ben White as cover there if we play with invented fullbacks as they tend to sit in more than gallop up and down the flank.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

How was it?


Far from the required standard to be a backup here. Put it that way.

Hope he gets a move he is happy with as he was a good pro who kept his nose clean whilst he was here, but he hasn’t been up to standard for a good few years now.


Bells has his eyes on Spain as well. Not so sure he’s keen to impress Mikel at this point.

Tomiyasu and Cedric are far better than Bellerin.
Partey, Xhaka, Elneny are all better than Torreira.
No reason to keep either of them.
Hopefully we can recoup at least 10m each for them.


Shhh… not so loud.


Come on mate, Cedric isn’t better than Bellerin!

Cedric isn’t better than Brian Sparrow.

Cedric isn’t better than Eboue.

But he might be better than Gus Caesar (who Georgie Graham initially played at RB before switching him to Centre Half, where he was just as rubbish)


This is spot on collective and individual man-management by Arteta.

It’s a clever way of saying that everyone is going to be treated fairly – and with the same amount of discipline if any given situation calls for it.

It breeds unity and a team ethos. A team where everyone is competing as much for each other as they are for themselves.

I look elsewhere and see images of Tottenham players lying around exhausted and puking from being over-trained by the 1970’s toupee wearer.

Arteta is working far smarter not necessarily harder.


Notice how many players, high quality players he has worked with or who respect Arteta wish to join up with Arsenal. Again…much of the best Wenger traits on full display. I still believe Arteta has a good chance to do big things. He makes me want to watch what comes next. It also seems Arsenal ownership has realized the increased value ( 1 billion +/- ) from the Chelsea sale requires stability and investment to be retained fully. Top clubs have exploded in value, so remain a top club, it pays off.


Yep. He’s definitely taking a few leaves out of Arsene’s book.

The more the merrier, if you ask me.

If he starts answering journalists with “Look, ehhhhh, listen ehhhh…..” then you’ll know we’re reallly onto a good thing. 😉


I do like the fact all players treated the same, even if there is a high possibility of a transfer out. It means the whole squad will train at optimum levels. None of this lethargic attitude ‘I’m out of here so I don’t care how I train’ Arteta knows the negative vibe it would send around the whole squad. This way you will always have a professional training environment.


They are all Arsenal players, how could they be left at home?, to do what, train with the youngsters?, better leaving the youngsters at home to do that. They are not bad people, they just don’t fit with what Arteta is currently doing as well as the players he prefers, it doesn’t mean they are on the naughty step and will never play for the Club again.

Joe Odinga

There are some players I never want to see in an Arsenal shirt ever again. Without naming names of course.

Pn Freely

*Stares intently at Mari and Cedric* 😆


Nothing wrong with that.

Here’s my little list of disasters.

Tavares, Cedric and Mari.

Nothing personal, I’m sure they’re all lovely guys.

They’re just not up to the job. Simple as that.


Tavares will be eventually.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Or not, no one knows the future, no one.


It’s so obvious Tavares is going to be a star. He’s raw but he had some really good matches last season and I don’t think it’s by accident he’s the only one of the new players signed last season who scored a goal. Anyone here think he’ll make an interesting lcb in his 30s?

Public Elneny

I wouldn’t say it’s obvious, but it’s possible More than anything he just needs a season of consistent starts right now, even if it’s in the championship or at a small liga nos club. He doesn’t have many senior games for his age, and lacks some basics you’d expect because of it Would be pointless keeping him as 3rd choice LB this season, and I doubt we’d raise much by selling him right now either. It seems like a lot of fans, including myself, feel more invested in his progress than other not up to standard players we’ve had for… Read more »


Nah. That lad is a bull in a china shop.



Both ways.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You think we missed top four because of Cedric (Mari wasn’t even with us) even because of Tavarez who was always removed before we get spanked by small teams? Look at your at your attacking department.


Mate, if Lacazette was still on the books – thank God for Jesus he isn’t – he would have been in my list too.

I’ve always maintained that we missed out on top four because of our weaknesses in both attack and defence.

Look at goals for and goal against columns for last season. You’ll see it was pretty much a 50/50.

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