Sunday, April 21, 2024

Arteta: We’ll use pain to drive Arsenal forward

Mikel Arteta couldn’t hide his disappointment after Arsenal’s title challenge was killed off once and for all by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

While a win would have done little to stop Manchester City’s march towards a third consecutive title, the limp nature of today’s 1-0 defeat seemed to sting the Spaniard who has spent the last few days stressing the importance of perspective.

While he accepts this season has far exceeded expectations, his steely determination to push for more shone through in his post-game press conference.

“There’s no question about that, I’m not questioning that at all,” he said when asked if Arsenal had enjoyed a successful campaign.

“But today is painful, we’re here to win, I’m here to win, I want to win, I love winning.

“I love what everybody does at this club to win, these people deserve to win, and when you don’t get there it’s painful, this is how I feel today.

“I value a lot what the players have done, everybody here, but when you are there it’s the next step, you have to win and we fell short.”

While it’s premature to start thinking about next season, Arteta made clear that he plans to channel his frustration into driving the Gunners forward next year.

“For sure, we will find a way to do that,” he said.

“Today is just sadness, you see a lot of people who have put so much work, so much belief and so many hours and I am sad for them because I wanted to find a way.

“We wanted to squeeze everything that we had out of that group and find alternatives and ways to reach certain levels, and when we don’t we try in other ways.

“We fell short and it is my job and my responsibility and I have to analyse that and think.”

He also suggested that City’s era of dominance won’t come to an end unless Arsenal find ways to improve.

“We have to push that to happen and that’s not going to happen if we don’t make a lot of right decisions, and think smarter, and make the right decision and have the mentality every single day to get to that level.”

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We need more than Jesus and Eddie up front even with Martinelli and Trossard as back up. Otherwise we’ll be going backwards quickly.

Funsho Patrick

The table does not lie…..we are where we deserve to be…all our inadequacies were on display today….. susceptible to counter attacks,a poor physical profile, absence of aerial threat in the opposing box and an absence of top class substitutes… martinelli,no zinchenko and our left flank died…..I agree with you,I finally see why pep let Gabriel Jesus go ….he can share duties with saka on the left while we go for an Ivan Toney/vlahovic profile


Jesus and Zinny were bit-part players for city, so the expectation that they were going to drive us to the title was a bit far fetched. I still think they were both good purchases, but totally agree we need upgrades to compete.

The question is where is the upgrade for the striker position?

Emi Rates

“The question is where is the upgrade for the striker position?”

Certainly not in Ivan “8 Month Ban” Toney.


I would never trust him in an Arsenal shirt – you would always be doubting him.
I am glad he was banned – should have been 24 months.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Not Toney, but his team-mate Bryan Mbeumo has had a decent season. Can play striker or right-wing. 23 years old so perhaps ready to make the step up to a bigger club.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We don’t have an infinite amount of cash and we’re probably prioritising most of the funds for the midfield, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Balogun is given a chance.

An issue though is that he would miss most of pre-season as the Gold Cup is on June 24 – July 16.



The answer is right under our collective noses.

Not only could he save us an absolute fortune in the transfer market, but if he reproduces the kind of form he has displayed whilst on loan, he could become a massive force in the Premiership.

I would certainly give this lad a chance (even if it’s from the bench and yes, I know he wants regular football, but this is the Premier League and Arteta should be able to convince him of the bigger picture) rather than sell him for peanuts in comparison to his potential market value.



Bill Hall

Pinch Harry Kane 🤣
It would be fucking hilarious to watch the spuds spontaneously combust over that! It’s a shame he is so unlikeable because he scores shed loads of goals!

He would have to cut our the diving crap though! I hate it when Jesus does it, makes me cringe!

On a more serious note we need a 20+ Premier league goals a season striker . I would move Jesus over so he rotates with Saka!

Cranky Colin

I’d take Kane


A soon-to-be over the hill washed up medaless Tottenham has-been.

He’ll go to United – and they’re welcome to him.


Take him to the butcher’s house please. But you are probably right mate.

Emi Rates

Fuck this season and let’s look to the next one. Let’s recruit well and do better in 23/24. City unfortunately look like they’ll dominate the league for the foreseeable future but let’s at least go out in better style next season.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I don’t agree f*ck this season. It’s been a helluva exciting ride, really fun at times and we should still try and look back on this season with great memories. The handful of 90+ minute winners. The four wins over Sp*rs and Chelsea. The home wins against Man United and Liverpool. The immediate solidity Saliba brought to defence. The way we stepped up in Jesus’ absence. The injection of quality Trossard gave us for a quarter of the price of Mudryk. We didn’t win it in the end but nobody can take away those 7 months at the top of… Read more »

Gooner Z

City can and did take it away


I’d rather say, we took it from ourselves. Especially in encounters with shitty, where it looked like men vs boys again.


We didn’t lose the title because City did a double over us. What cost us were blowing 2-goal leads against Pool and West Ham, and drawing at home against relegation-bound Soton. Go back a bit and you can add the new manager bounce curse of Everton, and shit VAR decisions at Old Trafford and at home against Brentford. But in the main, as painful as it is to admit it, we really did “bottle” our chance of a first league title in 19 years.


City can burn in hell.


Remember when we were finishing 8th and struggling to secure Europa League football, all you heard from the fans and podcast folk around the club was ‘I just want Arsenal to be competitive again..’ That’s literally what we have been the last two seasons, we have shown that we can still compete at the top level, definitely mostly this season than last, but the re-calibration of ambitions this season has resulted in us securing Champions League qualification and literally nobody cares. That’s how it used to be — the reason we always used to get top flight European football was… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I mean, the pain of last season was excruciating. As bad as I’ve felt as a football fan. And now it feels like a trivial and distant memory. As long as this club moves forward, this disappointment will be just a footnote in an incredible managerial career with arsenal. But if we start a little slowly next season, the pressure is straight on. The broken clock brigade will be out and everyone will be wondering if it was all an illusion. We need a really good window and we need to hit the ground running next season and then all… Read more »


It’s not necessarily nonsense, is it? Just something you don’t agree with. The last eight games have illustrated our weaknesses and what needs to be done. To deny that and label critical debate as negative is stupid. You have to acknowledge that simply “moving forward” is not enough and never has been. You have to learn. Arteta has referenced Arsenal looking in the mirror at themselves and asking the question of what went wrong and why and then change. This is exactly what he needs to do. I like Arteta – he is a great coach and really clued in.… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I suppose, in the sense that you could argue there are no empirical facts, only subjective opinions.

My beef is with the fans who never wanted Arteta and have refused to change their opinion one iota.

Instead they wait until we lose and then say “see, told you so”.

But I believe that facts exist. And 8th to 2nd in two seasons is spectacular progress.

Bill Hall

It damn well is great progress and should be recognised!


Progress far faster than expected, add depth this summer and so excited for next season.


I would say, given the strength of this league and of our opposition that the step from 5th to 2nd and challenging them almost all of the way is outstanding progress. But that does not make me feel any happier about what happened. The thing that must be remembered is that this is a project and our progress this season simply means we are ahead of schedule – disappointment on missing out aside it must be said that Arteta has done brilliantly this season. I like him as a coach – very progressive and I am sure this will have… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

It reminds me of the Friends episode where Joey borrows a dog to make himself feel better but he totally bums the dog out.

That dog is probably a shell of his week ago self.

He’s got Kieran in one ear going “so now I’m fourth choice left back” and Jesus in the other saying “I keep going down and holding my face, but I never get a decision”.

And Matt Turner keeps scaring him, telling him there’s a dog fight taking place.

Poor pooch.


I guess this is how we learn as a football club. The players, and most notably the manager. Arteta tried to stick with his formation and philosophy throughout the season, even against City away with a depleted back line. Tonight he tried something different and it didn’t work. He’ll learn a lot from it. I don’t remember a PL manager who won the league in his 1st managerial job. We’ve improved a lot the past couple years. I back him to continue improving and take us all the way eventually.


Won’t be easy though – but the best things in life are never easy to achieve.


Certainly hope the lessons are learnt. We have had an awful lot to learn from last two months.

We must all (including other team fans) remember that without Arsenal Citeh would have been champions 2 or 3 months ago , not just with 2 games to go. Running out of steam is not bottling!


I feel like the players have over performed this season and have finally ran out of steam in the last few months. Injuries haven’t helped, but Arteta barely rotated, understandable because we were so successful for 2 thirds of the season. However the replacements have either barely played to get any kind of confidence or form or are simply inadequate at the top tier of this league. Crucial this summer that the right business is done, otherwise we may not put ourselves in this kind of position to be at least challenging for titles next season.


This was hopefully Europa League purpose- they could get time and experience there. (Similarly League Cup – until we drew Citeh awayfirst round! ) The players did not really look like they could handle it though.
Citeh have enough players of class to be able to focus on 4 fronts, and probably win 3 of them.


The recent performances have exposed the limitations of the squad and shown that we are still 4-5 top class players short of a title winning team. Jesus is not clinical enough for a first choice no 9 and we need an upgrade. Also needed is another right footed centre back, left back, and central midfield.


In a way it might be better to finish the season like this, maybe not with a complete collapse, hopefully we win our next game, but the bad finish will serve as good motivation for us next season, you could almost see a sense of complacency develop if we’d finished close to City, maybe a sense that we’re already guaranteed at least 2nd place next season (which we’re absolutely not) and could maybe rely on improvement happening by itself to take us to 1st. This bummer of a finish to the season will serve both the players and Arteta Edu… Read more »


It will also serve as timely reminders to Josh and Edu that once again severe squad investment is still required to assist Arteta and needs to be implemented speedily and ruthlessly without January’s pathetically futile daft bids, tiresome dithering and general penny pinching, which saw us lose out unnecessarily on both Mudryk and Caicedo.

If we dither and piss about and fail to bring in Rice and Caicedo and stupidly allow Balogun to leave, then we might as well now hand next season’s title to City too.


And cue the downvotes.

A lot of you downvoted me when I said we shouldn’t risk our first XI lads in the fucking Europa – cue an aggravated back injury to Saliba and another season ended for Tommi.

Our next game was Liverpool away – go figure……

And mind you don’t forget to downvote. 🙄


I was probably one of those who downvoted you for that but you were in retrospect right about it. But it could also have easily turned out differently, where those two didn’t get injured, we still would’ve most probably lost the league but we might’ve won the Europa cup which would’ve been a great thing to show for this wonderful season. So I’m not going to criticise Arteta for that decision even though it turned out badly, sport is about probabilities and calculated risks and he took one there and it failed, the fact it wasn’t the right decision in… Read more »


I get angry because our recent history in the transfer market is littered with poor decisions and opportunities that were missed through dithering – there’s no other word for it. We also go into transfer negotiations with a naivety that for a club this size is both baffling and extremely annoying. Uncle Ornstein has said that the club want both Caicedo and Rice – and quickly. Let’s just say that after January I’m not holding my breath – but I would love to be proved wrong. And as for the rest, you ruined a perfectly good post by suggesting I… Read more »


It’s not about the owners having money or not it’s about the club being run in a self sustaining way. If we’re relying on the owners to be our sugar daddies and invest more than the club makes then something is wrong, that’s exactly what’s wrong with the vast majority of top flight football, and one of the main reasons I can’t watch any of it and only root for Arsenal is that we’re *not* like that, that we are a club with values who refuse to participate in this disgusting corrupt insanity that is much more about money and… Read more »


If you want to be “self-sustaining”, you need to be successful. To be successful you have to speculate to accumulate. How else do we go about strengthening the squad to compete for the Champions League and challenge for the Premiership with more than 14 top quality players? Do we pay top dollar for top players that will strengthen the squad properly? Or do we allow the likes of Chelsea to ride roughshod all over Arteta’s plans for the sake of upping our initial bids by the required 20% to 30%? There’s no open top bus for being second best –… Read more »


You can’t keep using disappointment as a motivator. Much like fear, the returns are diminishing. Arteta needs to get buy-in from the entire squad so they take some pride in their performance and deliver regularly.
Recent performances have lacked intensity and organization, and that’s something which falls very clearly into the responsibilities of the coaching staff.


I would levy a lot of that on the players themselves. They looked disinterested yesterday. You cannot coach attitude and commitment.


As someone who has managed teams of people in my professional life and written training manuals on the subject, I can assure you that you’re incorrect. Attitude and commitment are something you keep in mind when recruiting. Talent only gets you so far.


So Leon’s point is correct. The club should have identified the players with the right character profiles before recruiting…as you say. If the attitude is wrong it can’t be trained.



How would you explain George Best, who didn’t give a shit, didn’t turn up for training (he was usually ‘keeping fit’ in some five star hotel with a model) and yet regularly tortured the opposition game in game out with skill, goals and performances that were at least forty years ahead of their time…..?


City have spent billions on their team since abu Dhabi turned it into a marketing machine so the government can lock up and torture dissenters without the world caring. If Stalin was alive and offered Pep a job he’d take it in a heartbeat. City will continue to dominate until MBS catches up. Then both clubs will spend every other club into the ground, hiding spending as City do now. Qatar will probably buy Man United and hire slaves to build a new stadium and the premiere league won’t care as long as they get paid. Meanwhile, the media will… Read more »


The media are sycophants for money and power, and until adversarial journalism returns and replaces access journalism, we’re all in a bad place, regardless of what the subject being covered is.

James Gunner

Arsenal outpassed NF.Artetas tactics are easy to counter.Let them pass all day and counter attack.
Football US an easy game.Go direct and shoot instead of passing here,there and everywhere.
Ma has been found out tactically.
He needs to vary his tactics


Don’t ever use Emile Smithers or Reese.. Clown management.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Nelson was sick, wasn’t on the bench.

Matty T

“Clown management” got us amazing football, many wonderful, exciting wins and beautiful goals, great victories against hated rivals home and away, a long title challenge against the best team in the world, who hammered Real Madrid in the semi-finals of their favourite competition, and finally 2nd place and Champions League, when the target was top four. Have a word with yourself you negative numpty.

Bill Hall

We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes with ESR or what he is like in training etc? So I don’t think we are in a position to judge.


Who the fuck is Smithers? You mean ESR? Who was injured most of the campaign? I bet you were the same fellow who invented shit about Arteta hating Martinelli when he was coming back from injury last season. Mikel seen multiple young players destroyed by injury first hand as a player, so it looks like he errs on the side of caution brining them back. ESR will be back with vengeance after a proper preseason, so stop with you clown takes.


Smithers, Waylon, is the longtime assistant to one c Montgomery burns. He is a confirmed bachelor and enjoys collecting dolls.

cereal killer

I know arsenal very well,next season never expect very a quality and proven player .


FIFA23 is calling for your attention…


Competing with Man City is as much about mental strength and self-belief as it is about squad strength.
Arsenal just don’t have enough mental strength or flexibility.
Arsenal is a self-fulfilling prophecy – the media and opposition label them as bottlers and Arsenal confirm this by playing as they have done the last six games.
We can bring in any combination of players to the club but if the right attitude is not there, we will never progress.
Perhaps Arteta needs to adapt and change as well.


Look at how we played before Saliba got injured and after he got injured.

Then revisit this ‘mental strength’ argument to see what a load of absolute bollocks it is.


Any spares for Wolves?

Bill Hall

Re “the table doesn’t lie”

Quire right, we deserve to be 2nd, compared to the last few seasons that is a huge improvement. We had an excellent transfer window last summer, if we have another one this summer we could close the gap on 1st place even more.

Time to start looking at the positives of which there are plenty!


The oil bankrolling and charges of financial doping don’t lie, either.


Just seen that ignorant prick Darren Lewis on Sky saying “Look at the management of City, look at the rotation of Kevin De Bruyne and contrast that with Bukayo Saka who played nearly every game.” And Melissa Reddy, the ONLY Sky employee with any shred of common sense saying to him “But City can afford to rotate with that quality – Pep has been given the resources to build that kind of a squad for the last seven years.” Just staggering that people like Lewis and Neville – who are no doubt are paid big salaries – unable to grasp… Read more »


Are you expecting Darren ‘I love spuds’ to say anything positive about us? Daft.


A little impartiality wouldn’t have gone amiss, but we’re talking about Sky here – a bunch of City biased cunts.

Bill Hall

From 8th to 2nd in two seasons is pretty impressive and shows that Arteta can adapt and learn. Yes we do need a bit more mental strength in the team. That is easy to rectify with new additions. We had a cracking transfer window last summer, no reason why we cannot do it again this summer. CL football brings more money and attracts top quality players. No shame in not being able to beat City to the title. They have literally 2 full teams of world class players, pretty much unlimited funds and are a well oiled machine albeit bankrolled… Read more »

Bill Hall

Oh and I never want to see Toney in an Arsenal shirt no thanks.


Me either.
You would never know if that sitter he missed was genuine or to win some money.
He should be kicked out of football.


Most people who predicted that we would finish outside of the top four are now accusing us of collapsing and bottling the title. In one way it is painful to read something like that but when you remove the emotion of it then it is something of a thumbs up to our progress this year.


8th to 2nd. Not a bad jump. Shows clear progress and that whatever Arteta and Edu are doing is working. I understand Liverpool/Chelsea/United didn’t have their best seasons. But usually we would be down there fighting with them for 4th. So it is clear progress.


Didn’t he say something similar after we got battered by Brighton last week?


It will be a mistake to let ESR go…i predict he will be a ballon d’or contender in the future…i rate him so highly…his best position is a 10….he needs to play as a 10 for him to shine with his qualities and not on the wing…give that young man a chance Mikel…this is another Gnabry situation dont mess this up for Gunners


I had this feeling of doom when being 0-2 up at Liverpool after playing so well for 30 minutes we hung on for a draw, a pivotal game where our all conquering team started to look out of puff, again at west ham, for some reason we couldn’t maintain our momentum, could Miki of done something different to what was happening in these games ? probably not, yesterday’s game line up wasn’t his best decision either, why KT didn’t start was perplexing to say the least, all in all it has been a successful season, obviously i so much would… Read more »


I had a gut feeling of doom as soon as I heard that William Saliba was out of the Liverpool game.


Then that fucking Liverpool equaliser went in and I thought then “Oh, here we go…. We’ve fucking had it.”

Mathematically it hadn’t ended of course, but deep down, my gut was telling me otherwise.

Sometimes, as fans (especially old school dodderers like me) you just KNOW. You live in denial and try and convince yourself otherwise and remain positive, but, yep. You know.

Had that feeling in 1999, 2003 – and this year.


I feel so deflated. Crazy how fast the emotional rollercoaster operates sometimes. Well, here we are. Seeing City celebrating hurts. What could’ve been…

Naked Cygan

This guy has no plan B when things don’t work in a game.


We did as good as can be reasonably expected for a team that isn’t called Man City and doesn’t have the wealth of an entire government behind it (as well as no scruples at all about blatantly cheating).

Coming 2nd in this league is basically like winning it in the days before the government-sponsored sports franchise (they aren’t a club any more).

Winning the league isn’t a realistic expectation any more if you aren’t owned by a government. It’s not impossible, but it’ll always be a fluke. The deck is too comprehensively stacked.

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