Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Arteta on a possible Ramsdale departure, January plans, Havertz, Zinchenko & more

In the second half of his pre-Luton press conference, Mikel Arteta answered questions on Oleksandr Zinchenko, the performances of Kai Havertz, Arsenal’s need for a regular goalscorer and whether Aaron Ramsdale could leave the club in January. 

If the transcript makes him sound grouchy, he wasn’t. In fact, he really looked like he enjoyed this week’s verbal sparring with the press corps. You can watch the video (via Hayters), here

On Zinchenko’s attacking ability being offset by the occasional defensive lapse…

But every player has got qualities that are so good in certain things and you lose in other things. It’s like when you have a blanket and you are cold and you try to say, OK, I’m cold here and I go like this [pull the blanket up] and then my feet are cold. Then I want to put my feet there and then I’m cold here. It’s with every player, with every system, with every formation, you have to find the right balance. With Alex, the win rate that we have is incredibly high. That’s it. He’s an exceptional player, he gives so much and we are so happy to have him. 

On why Arsenal win more with Zinchenko in the team…

He makes us more dominant, the way he progresses the ball, the way he defends forward, he’s really intuitive, he has so much courage to play. In any role you put him in, he wants the ball, he wants to play, he wants to take opportunities to damage the opponent. And I love that about him. 

On Zinchenko’s big personality being important in the dressing room…

He’s a huge contributor to that. You know, he can change the energy in the room. He’s got a special sense of humour. He connects with people in a special way. I’ve known him for years. You need people like this in the dressing room, that’s for sure. 

On Newcastle potentially wanting Aaron Ramsdale as a replacement for the injured Nick Pope…

I want Aaron with us. I’m really happy to have two very, very good goalkeepers and Aaron is staying with us. 

On whether Ramsdale’s desire to play for England is going to cause issues…

I don’t expect so. 

On whether he’s spoken to Ramsdale about his current situation…

Yes. He’s willing to play. Like any player he wants to play. He wants to play for Arsenal. That’s what he wants to do. The other [situation] is a consequence. But as well for England it’s not like he hasn’t started a lot of games. So hopefully we can help him to be better here so then he can play with England. 

On not being in a position to allow a goalkeeper to leave 

We want to be better. So we want to add to already what we have. That’s the intention that we have. 

On Josh Kroenke visiting at the weekend and whether he spoke to him about January plans…

Well when we get to the [end of] December we will see where we are, what we need, what the injury update is as well, when we are going to recover certain players. We already have a plan in place to make sure we can be proactive if something has to be done. That’s our job. We discuss every single possibility, not only with players but with the staff as well, the direction of the club, a lot of things and it’s great to have him [Kroenke].

On whether Arsenal are planning to be aggressive in the January transfer window…

Well, it depends because sometimes there are opportunities in the market. The team needs something that it doesn’t have or something comes up that you don’t expect. You have to be prepared, that’s for sure. Last year there were certain things that we could not do in the summer that we wanted to address in January and we were still not able to do them. 

On how many points Arsenal to win the league…

96-100. I think you win the league. That’s the cushion. 

On last year saying Arsenal would need 90 points to win…

[laughs] I say a number then you don’t like the number! You want me to change the number!

On Kai Havertz featuring in every game for Arsenal this season either as a starter or sub…

Well, first of all, he shows the availability that he’s had and the consistency that he’s showing to play. He’s the only player I think he’s played all the 21 games, so that’s a huge credit for him. And then, yeah, [picking him is] in relation to his form, in relation to what the opponents are doing, how the team is performing, how we can change the game, but I think he’s been very good, very positive in both.

On whether Arsenal need a 15-20 goal striker…

At the end you need goals. How many did we score in the last year? 100 and something goals. At the end they have to come. They both have to come; the clean sheets have to be there and the amount of goals you concede. That rate has to be really balanced. When a player [who can score] is in the market like that [i’m interested] but the only focus is to increase the level and the quality of the players that we have here so they can elevate those numbers and last year there were players with big numbers, especially the attacking midfielders and wingers.

On whether he’s frustrated by how long the FA are taking to confirm a possible punishment…

It’s part of the process. You have to respect that process and try to be as clear as possible in your assessment and explain what happened and the rest is not in my hands. 

On whether he can categorically say Ramsdale won’t leave…

I won’t do that to any player. Any player. I cannot tell you that any Arsenal player is not going to leave in January. Or if he’s going to stay here for the next three years.

On whether he can categorically say Ramsdale won’t go to Newcastle… 

I won’t say that no player is going to go to Newcastle. Or no member of the staff either. I won’t say it. If you say yes or no, I won’t say it. Is that clear or no? No? Ok, the answer is no for any player. I won’t say it for any player. No player or the staff I guarantee that is not going to be leaving in January. No I cannot guarantee that nobody is going to be leaving in January. Newcastle or any other club. So it’s a no. Clear? 

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Zinchenko just needs to come off when we’re 2-0 up with 30 mins to play….then stick big Jakob on


He is admitting that Zinchenko is a defender who can’t defend. Put him in midfield if you must, but get him out of defence!


I would say play him in defense on teams we can control the ball against (i.e. 17 of the 19 PL teams) – play Tomi or Kiwior against teams that can proper counter or dominate the ball against us (i.e. Liverpool and City)


Zinchenko vs Burnley:
Most tackles (5), most aerial duels won (7), most duels won (14).
Defo the the stats of a player who can’t defend.


He is very much a pro-active defender, if that makes sense. He is best when moving towards the opposition goal, higher up the pitch. The closer he gets to our goal, the more of a liability he becomes. I would agree though, he contributes to more goals than he is at fault for – so definitely a net-positive in the team


Well done Dave!
Zinny is the new scapegoat. Absurd considering how much he levels the team up. Should we even mention we have the best defensive in the league and the lowest xGA? Is he a perfect defender? No, that might be Saliba. But he’s a better player than Saliba in the roles he is playing. We are lucky to have Zinny!


So true, people seem to desperately need someone to be angry at, now that Kai has scored a couple he’s earned himself a temporary reprieve, so it’s on to the next guy


The difference being Kai is from those blue fucks and was bloody ordinary since his arrival (until the last couple). Zinny might be from those other blue fucks, but he was elite with them, a bargain, and completely changed our dynamic last year.

I hope Kai continues to get better because Kai playing at his full potential would level us up too. Still a ways to go there, but positive signs certainly!!

A Different George

Agreed. Zinchenko is a much better defender than many people are willing to acknowledge. He has two weaknesses as a defender that I see. He occasionally either loses concentration or is overconfident (or maybe both) in dangerous areas of the pitch. That doesn’t happen as often as people think, but it did happen too often on Saturday. His other weakness is defending one v one against a fast, brilliant, winger. But almost every fullback in the league shares this problem (Kyle Walker and Aaron Wan Bisaka are the only exceptions that come to mind). But here’s the real point: even… Read more »


I’ll add as I already have that Zinny needed better communication from his team mates. The ball is stolen by someone coming from directly behind zinny. Yes, he probably should have cleared it immediately, but his teammates should have been yelling MANON as soon as he got in possession (even before).


its role specific – his role needs him to be confident on the ball and maintain possession and be a threat going forward. its a risky tactic for a defender – he isn’t the fastest which would probably make him better at recoveries when he mistimes a challenge – but then he has the qualities and the technique of an attacking midfielder. even when timber comes back – timber will bring more athleticism but we’ll lose some quality, technique and goal contributions going forward. it’ll be a luxury to have both for different game states.




Love Mikel’s metaphors. “But Mikel, what if you went out in the transfer window and bought yourself a longer blanket?”
“Well actually we did do that in the summer but that blanket went ahead and tore its ACL in its first game for us you see…”


They’re certainly better than pep’s arrogance. What a weird little man he is, and it’s starting to look like the 115 pounds of pressure are getting to him

Gervinho is Driving

“When I lose a blanket, I GET UPSET!”


If arteta doesn’t know we need at least one midfielder this window…


On whether he’s frustrated by how long the FA are taking to confirm a possible punishment…
It’s part of the process. You have to respect that process and try to be as clear as possible in your assessment and explain what happened and the rest is not in my hands.”

Expect the 3 match touchline suspension by the end of the week. The following three fixtures – Villa, Brighton, Liverpool.

Andy Drew

I think Zinny has fitness issues and tires towards end of match. With his technical ability it is impossible to lose those balls and those cases usually happens late in matches. Pls sub him after 80th min if he is playing in the first 11.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Love Arteta.
Hate the way he’s handled Ramsdale.

One Beat Off

Those are total non answers with regards to Ramsdale. I cannot blame him for leaving.

Bumpy Lanes

The answer to that last question is as bamboozling as our attack must be to defenders.

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