Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta: New boys need time and space to flourish

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal need to give their new signings time and space if they are to get the best from them this season.

The Gunners moved quickly when the transfer window opened in June, snapping up Kai Havertz from Chelsea, Jurrien Timber from Ajax and Declan Rice from West Ham in the space of 16 days.

All three players were present on the recent tour of the USA and the early signs are that they are settling well within the group.

“The feedback we’ve had from the new players is that they feel like they’ve been here for years already,” reveals Arteta in his programme notes ahead of Wednesday’s Emirates Cup clash with Monaco.

“That tells you a lot about the culture here, and how welcoming and easy everybody around the place is, to make you feel part of it and part of the Arsenal family straight away.”

He added: “Obviously for some of them it has been a big change – in the model they’re used to, in the demands and expectations, and we have to acknowledge that and treat them in the right way.

“So let’s make sure we give those players some time as well, and to make sure that they have the needed space in which to express themselves, and then get to the level that we want from them.

“That is always important in helping new players integrate.”

Having had an extended holiday following his Conference League exploits with West Ham and international duties, Rice appears to be a little behind his teammates on the fitness front. He also picked up a knock in training ahead of last week’s win over Barcelona and didn’t feature in Los Angeles.

The 24-year-old midfielder, our club-record signing following his £100 million move, was pictured in training earlier this week and should be in line for his home debut tonight.

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The reality of being a footballer seems so harsh sometimes psychologically, where you’re literally competing with your colleagues for your livelihood and so many players in the squad are always on the verge of getting sold or cut, and only about half get to actually come on the pitch regularly and play the game they love. To create a good atmosphere in all of that where everyone feels part of a family and new players feel welcomed by the players whose jobs they might take seems so insanely difficult, with everything Arteta’s achieved in these last couple of years this… Read more »


Matej Mohoric, a pro cyclist, gave an incredible interview recently after winning a stage at the Tour de France. What you wrote above reminded me of some of the things he said, about how hard it is to compete with your colleagues, and sometimes it feels as though one doesn’t belong at the top with the others.


Interesting stuff. And that’s not even a proper team sport like football, where your competitive success (I.e. winning) is much more dependent on your teammates, with whom you’re still competing for individual and financial success. That paradox seems so stressful…


Presumably Declan also needs to find the time to unglue his fingers from his chin. Perhaps that’s where Mikel is pointing in the photo – towards the superglue remover?


Yep, they need time and less pressure from the fans. On another note I see us being linked again with Kudus for the LCM position and cover for Saka. Is anyone else of the opinion that Kai Havertz is destined for the Centre forward role? We are stacked for players itching for game time who could do more that a job in the left 8 position, Trossard, Emile, Vieira, Rice to name a few. If the Kudus links are true I have a feeling that we may be seeing Kai in a more advanced role as an option over Jesus… Read more »

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