Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta on further transfers and building a team-first squad mentality

Mikel Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on the recruitment of David Raya in his first press conference of the new Premier League season but the Spaniard’s loan deal from Brentford is expected to be confirmed before the end of the day.

The 27-year-old’s arrival will be the fourth addition to the first team squad this summer, but will he be the last? That’s the question that was put to the manager in advance of his team’s season opener against Nottingham Forest.

“At the moment we are not planning on doing anything but the window is very unpredictable, things can happen, things that probably we don’t wish, so at the moment we are happy with what we’ve got,” he said.

Quite what he means by “things that probably we don’t wish” is unclear, but possibly it’s unforeseen injuries.

It’s no secret that Arsenal are trying to shift a number of fringe players before the transfer window shuts on 1st September.

Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares, Alex Runarsson, Arthur Okonkwo, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares, Marquinhos and Folarin Balogun could all depart in some form or another.

If any of the above end up sticking around – most likely Holding and Tierney – Arteta admits it’s up to him to make them, and other players who aren’t playing every week, feel valued. He also wants to create an environment where everyone is thinking about the team first and foremost.

“I think you have to treat everybody the same, and that’s important,” he said.

“You have to make them important and in order to do that, they have to play football matches. Football is a collective sport and only 11 players play, and then there are another 11 players most of the time that are not happy with the situation. It’s how we deal with that, and how they accept their role because it’s going to change.

“Every three days we’ll have a game and that’s going to change, and it’ll tell you a lot about the human being and the professional – when you are playing and when you are not, what is your actual contribution to the team? Whether it is not to play at all, or play when is needed to help the team win games.

“Then we want players that have that feeling that they are happy when the team wins, because it is a team sport and that’s where we have to be.”

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That leaves who as reserve keeper for Saturday?

Scott P

Looks like it’ll be Karl Hein?


I have been this excited at the start of a season in a very long time.

I know we have spent like lottery winners this transfer window but still feel like we need a striker.


But FFP won’t permit more signings without shifting all the unwanted first


Not to mention we don’t feel the need for another striker or we’d be keeping Balogun

Balogun's mum

That kid at Stade de Reims last season looked a good player.


FFP applies only for Qataris, Saudis & Russians. It is kind of geo political to be fair.


Havertz IS the other striker.


“ “I want players that are really have the feeling that they are happy when the team wins, regardless. This is a team sport and this is what we have to build.”
And that’s why Balogun is not playing


He’s also carrying a knock I think, but yes, if Abau got canned for attitude problems, then I doubt he’ll tolerate a kid who had a good season in France issuing ultimatums.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Many many managers say they want players to be “unhappy” on the bench. It makes them improve to deserve game time.

I Like Eboue-boue

It’s one thing to be disappointed in not being in the starting XI or not being brought on as a sub. A whole other thing not rejoicing when the club that you represent score a goal or win a game. I’m guessing that Mikel’s referencing the latter, which doesn’t negate the former.


He posted the community shield win on his IG. Doesn’t seem like he doesn’t care. Probably something we don’t know about.

I Like Eboue-boue

Ah, I wasn’t referencing Balogun at all. Arteta wants players who are “happy that the team wins, regardless (of whether they’re playing)”. HC posted that many managers wanted their players “unhappy”. I was just saying that managers want the kind of “unhappy” that HC describes, but Mikel used the word “happy” in a different sense.

Mick Malthouse

Still think we are a striker short.


I agree. Everyone keeps pointing out that we scored a lot of goals last season but an alpha striker also helps the defence by making teams reluctant to commit too much.


Short we’re definitely not, we have 3 strikers. Plus at least two more players who can play there.

If you’re arguing Balogun and Eddie aren’t good enough as backup strikers that’s a different issue. On that front I’m pretty sure Arteta disagrees with you, and at least for Balogun I’m not sure how you could even make that assessment.


I just wish they would move Balogun on as quickly as possible.
Had one good season in a league in which he finished behind Alexandre Lacazette (who couldn’t hit a barn door here) and he thinks he is Kylian Mbappe.
I would love to see him move on – he is not good enough for us but might do a job for someone else (though likely he would fall flat on his face if he signed for Inter or Juve as is currently being mooted)
And a reserve keeper like Hein would do a better job than Matt Turner..

I Like Eboue-boue

Bit unfair on Laca there. His second half of 21/22 was a big goal-drought, but 54 goals + 30 assists in 158 apps isn’t bad. Not Henry-esque numbers, granted – but not “couldn’t hit a barn door” territory either.


Same with Balogun. I don’t understand how a young academy graduate who scored 21 goals in Ligue isn’t good enough to be our backup striker – potentially challenging to start.

El Mintero

BS comment on Laca.


And for context Balogun was the 3rd highest scorer in Ligue Un last season behind the Lacazette and Mbappe. Apart from the surreal Haaland I am not sure too many strikers had better returns than 20 goals in Europe’s top ,5 leagues last season.

Bergkamps Boots

If Watkins scored 21 goals for Villa last season, clubs would be climbing over each other to sign him. Closest comparison I can think of quickly.

Balogun’s ready, he knows it, Arteta knows it, and we all want to see it. So once he’s over this knock he should get a run and we can see if he’s up to the challenge.


I think “things we don’t wish” might mean another club coming in for one of the players who Arteta would like to keep and tempting them, or a player demanding to leave, forcing us to dip again into the market to replace them. I’m guessing (but this is somewhat speculation) this could mean he’d like to keep Balogun, but has sort of accepted that if the right offer comes in the club might be forced to accept it and we’d then need to buy another striker.

Spanish Gooner

It’s a real shame because coming back off a 20 goal loan spell into a team who’s first choice striker is out for months is the perfect scenario for any youth player, and he seemingly wants no part of it. Strange.


I don’t know if that’s true that he wants no part of it. As fans we it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of seeing things in black and white, he either fully 100% wants to stay at arsenal regardless of circumstances or he 100% wants to leave. The truth is often much more nuanced and complex, but because of the politics of team management and the transfer market we’re almost never privy to these complexities. Right now he’s injured which makes things even more frustrating because I bet he would’ve loved to start in Jesus’ place and… Read more »


He wasn’t given a chance pre-season – also strange.

Bang Tidy

‘Things that probably we don’t wish’ . I took that to mean the sale of Balogun or Nketiah. From his point of view he’s not pushing either out of the door. If they wanted to go and found clubs then technically it would be something he doesn’t wish. Then it that situation we’d spend the money elsewhere.

Ekasi Daniel

We need a go-getter kind of striker. Example is Haaland.

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