Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Arteta: Vieira deserves more minutes

Mikel Arteta admits Fabio Vieira has been unlucky not to feature more regularly for Arsenal since the World Cup although there are signs that the midfielder is growing in stature at the club.

Joining the Gunners in a €40 million summer deal from Porto, the 22-year-old was initially held back by a foot injury that ruled him out of pre-season. He’s since made 26 appearances – a total of 1,198 minutes across all competitions – although tellingly, two-thirds of his time on the pitch has come in cup competitions.

This week, Vieira started consecutive matches for Arsenal for the first time; first, filling in for Granit Xhaka in the 3-2 win over Bournemouth and then replacing Martin Odegaard as the Gunners drew 2-2 with Sporting Lisbon.

Judging by Arteta’s comments, we’re going to see even more of the Portugal under-21 international.

“We’re really happy with him, I think he deserves more minutes than he’s had especially in the last two months,” he said.

“Obviously he had a difficult start because he was injured as soon as he joined so he required a bit of time to get back to the level that we want.

“You saw tonight [against Sporting] he was one of our dangerous players, making things happen and he’s a player that I absolutely love.”

If captain Odegaard doesn’t recover from the illness that ruled him out of the trip to Lisbon, Vieira could get another chance on Sunday when the Gunners travel to Fulham. Then attention returns to the Europa League and a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals.

While some consider our responsibilities in Europe to be a distraction, the manager insists Arsenal are taking the competition seriously.

“We’re not [giving up on this competition] and we had to go against a few issues that we’ve had in the last few days where we’ve lost a few players.

“We lost four or three or our strikers, but in this competition, if you want to go through, you’re going to have to go through difficult moments.

“We knew that, we are alive, everything is still to play for at the Emirates and hopefully we will play better and deserve to win the game.”

In three of Arsenal’s last five games, Arteta’s side have conceded twice. It’s a bad habit that heaps pressure on the front players at a time when the club has something of an injury crisis in that department.

It’s not gone unnoticed by Arteta, who said: “We are conceding too many simple goals and we’ve talked about the importance of boxes, and especially in a competition where you are in or out.

“Today we didn’t defend that well enough, and we have to do better up against our opponents. We’ve had a lot of really emotional games recently, and today we made a lot of changes, meaning that cohesion needs some time.

“You could feel that in the first 10-15 minutes that we needed some time to adapt and to click, but if we don’t expose them, that’s never going to happen.”

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Did have a debutant, which doesn’t help at the back, where automatisms are important.

I reckon we have a good chance of winning if we have our first team, or near, out, given we are at home and should have won the first leg away.

Funsho Patrick

Kiwior,yes!! Good on the ball..timid in the tackle it seems….Viera isn’t Odegaard… doesn’t dovetail well with saka or offer as much control…his type of playmaker seeks to be decisive with as few touches as possible…I believe he’s more of an 8 than 10….may be more decisive than xhaka but less physical…..they all have to contend with Smith Rowe when he’s fit…a decisive goalscoring player at his best….save for the mistakes we have a deeper squad than at anytime in recent history……one last thing… jorginho is jorginho….T.P is T.P


I really like the skill set Vieira possesses, sure he is not a complete product yet, far from it but I would love to see a lot more of him. Now a days I think he looks fast and actually wins a few duels defensively showing he really is here to compete, on top of his obvious creativity and goal threat.


I thought at first he’s like a smaller, weaker Ødegaard ,(which would still be an incredible player) but he has some stuff about him that’s different, i cant completely put my finger on it yet but for instance the assist he had for the corner that Saliba scored is as good as you could possibly kick a corner.


Yeah I thought yesterday he looked a lot stronger, was that one passage of play when he barged one of the Sporting guys off the ball to shield it outside our box. That said, the drop off from Odegaard is enormous. I think that says more about him than it does Vieria, but the way he controls possession and the game from so high up the pitch is absolutely incredible. I have no doubt the coaches will be drilling those same habits into Vieria so hopefully he makes the step up in time, he’s got a beautiful left foot on… Read more »


Agree but a huge upgrade on Xhaka potentially and great substitute to Odegaard!

A Different George

It’s very common for players, especially skilled attacking players, coming from European sides to seem a bit “soft” on the ball, easier than they should be to literally push them off possession. It happened to Odegaard too at first, and even the obviously not soft Thomas Partey. I think a big part of the reason is that many of the challenges would be given as clear fouls in most leagues. It takes a while to realize you have to protect possession in a different way if an opponent is allowed to push you off the ball (not limited to shoulder… Read more »


I don’t feel he’ll ever quite be first 11, Charlie Patino etc will overtake him.


I still think we are yet to see the best of him. Hopefully he’ll be like Pires; an OK but generally underwhelming first season before rising to world class levels the following year.


Got to remember he only had one full season at Porto before we signed him and first year in the prem is hard for any player, let alone one with so little football behind him. Expect he’ll come on loads in years 2 and probs most likely 3 if we’re looking for him to get to world-class. You could really see last night why he’d done so well in the Portuguese league though.


I’d love to be wrong . Sadly I don’t think he’s up for the job .


Off topic but why doesn’t Xhaka shoot more often? His left foot is sweeter than Messi! Even last night’s so called Own Goal had as much to with Xhaka’s shot as the deflection by the Lisbon player.


Owen Gole might not take too kindly to being described as “so-called.” Had this purple patch several seasons ago, but has since fallen down the pecking order.


I think the Bernardo Silva comparison with Viera is spot on (I think someone on here first mentioned it in a comment) Although Bernardo is a few years ahead in his development


Jury is still out for me. You can see he has it, I’ve just found him quite frustrating to watch. Hopefully he’ll come good so we can carry on singing the viera song, but let’s see.


Vieira is fine as a player. It’s easy to forget he is still young and has just moved to a foreign country where he’s had to adjust and learn a new language as well as perform at the highest level under intense scrutiny. The upside is that he is also very young and has the potential to be coached in such a way to maximize his talents. Vieira coming good is just as much about arteta as it is about fabio.


Vieira still looks abit lightweight for a top side to me.

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