Monday, April 22, 2024

Arteta on contract talks and tweaking tactics to combat City

Mikel Arteta may have dismissed rumours linking him with the soon-to-be-vacant Barcelona job back in November but it doesn’t hide the fact potential suitors will be eyeing the end of his current deal in just over a year.

While talks over a new deal are yet to begin, the Spaniard insists he’s happy at Arsenal where his sole focus is winning football matches in the hope of ending the club’s 20-year wait for a Premier League title.

“I am really happy, I still have a year in my contract, that’s a long time in football,” he said on Tuesday.

“The players are happy, the club is happy, there are no issues. I’m just focusing on the games and winning football matches and those are the most important things right now.”

Arsenal have done plenty of winning of late but the fact they didn’t at the weekend, and worse, that they dared not to play swashbuckling football at a ground where they’d lost eight times in a row, seems to have frazzled the brains of certain quarters of the football community.

Despite producing a disciplined performance to secure a 0-0 draw at Manchester City – a creditable point at this point in the season – Arteta has been criticised for his cautious tactics. He admits it was necessary to compromise certain parts of Arsenal’s game to combat the qualities of Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions.

“It’s like when you have a short blanket…sometimes you have to cover here and your feet are there, but if you want to cover your feet then your chest is there,” he explained.

“So you have to tweak certain things sometimes. We adapt to certain things and City did as well. They did certain things that they never do.”

He added: “It is what it is, that’s the game. Try to hide your possible weaknesses because of the strengths of the opponents and try to expose theirs.”

That policy shouldn’t exactly be controversial, but it seems you can’t please everyone!

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Arteta’s stock is very high at the moment, but despite the quality of the team he’s created he’s won just one trophy. Before he can be talked about as a great manager the big trophies have to come.

In the last 50 years we’ve had two great managers: George Graham and Arsene Wenger. They both one at least two titles – and much more.

Arteta needs to show that his teams can get over the line. Then we can talk about greatness.


I don’t think anyone’s ready to call him one of the greats, however he’s earned everyone’s respect with turning the club around from a bad place.
I believe we’re heading towards trophies, and if we don’t it’s not because Arteta didn’t give everything it’s because Liverpool and City are beasts.
The future is bright and it makes sense to give the keys for the next couple of years at least to Project Arteta.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’ve been going back through The Tuesday Club podcasts because they are really funny but way too seldom (plus I’m stuck in the house with a 4 and a 3 year old on their easter holidays). I’m not calling out anyone on it – we all hold stupid opinions sometimes. But it was only 2 years ago that Alan Davies was berating the club for not sacking Arteta and getting in Patrick Vieira. He called Arteta a “clueless dictator” and was so unbelievably scathing of him. He may not be a legend by any means yet. But he just keeps… Read more »

big name

trophy smophy

If arteta’s built a quality team out of rubble then he’s a great manager. If he wins a lot of trophies he would be a decorated manager.

The ridiculous obsession with trophies being the only measure is lazy. If bielsa never wins anything is he not great

Johnny 4 Hats

Besides, Bielsa will always hold the record for most kittens heads ripped off in 12 hours.


Let’s be real, Bielsa gets 12 put past him v city at home on Sunday.

I’ll take super Mik thanks.


Complete bollocks

Bielsa’s teams defend like a 2-day-old blind kitten. Great teams are built on great defending.

Spuds would be the perfect club for him: they never win anything either.

Heavenly Chapecoense

This makes me think of my tiring example of Roberto Di Matteo factually a great manager.


I suppose you’re right thast he’s not a club legend or whatever, but I think the decision is more about who’s available to be the replacement. Not like there’s a bunch of Georsene Wengrams just waiting by the phone…

Dr. Gooner

Who is calling him one of the greats? He certainly is one of the elite managers of the current era, but still much younger in years and in years as a manager than his competition, Klopp and a Guardiola who are by any metric two of the greats not just of their era but in the life of football. I don’t think there can be any doubt that Guardiola is the GOAT. That’s what Arteta is trying to master. It’s an incredible challenge and even being up there with those guys is the sign of a special manager. Many have… Read more »


In my opinion Guardiola is not the GOAT. Far too many mitigating circumstances. Even more so than Ferguson who had his fair share as well but who has more of a claim to being the GOAT at least in England.

Dr. Gooner

Name a better manager in world football in any era. Use any metric you want. I’ll wait.


He’s not even the best manager in the premier league at the moment. Klopp is.


Do you think Guardiola has the ability to pick a club up out of the shit the way Arteta or Klopp has?

Dr. Gooner

Absolutely. Barcelona wasn’t what it was before he came along, and neither was City. He transformed both of those clubs into dynasties. Given the same opportunities as Klopp and Mikel I believe he would have surpassed them both.


Fair enough, I respect your opinion


Agreed to a point. The missing word (and context) is Yet. Arteta is inexperienced. He’s been a manager for less than 5 years. is in his first job, yet is already competing with men With far more experience (Pep has been managing for over 15 years and Klopp over 20).

I think we are of a similar vintage and remember both Graham and hearing ‘Arsene Who?’, Then tracked his time at Arsenal from Unknown to Statue. Arterta is giving off similar vibes.

Mick Malthouse

Who’s talking greatness? I think Arteta is doing a fucking brilliant job and the team are a bunch we can be proud of.

But he’s not a great, just as Arsene is a failure because of his last 5 years of mediocrity. Just be happy that instead of Mustafi and Socrates, we have Saliba and Gabriel!


Arsene Wenger a failure? Wow…just wow!


You eat what you pay for (persian saying). Wenger could not afford buying players like Ramos, hence went for Mustafi. Easy.

Aussie Henry

Don’t forget Mustafi cost £35m. And that was when that was actually enough to buy a good player.


I can’t tell whether or not this is meant to be a late April1 post.


That’s the worst Arsenal opinion I’ve ever seen


I think Arteta is still learning, but he’s on the right track. He’s only going to get better and better. We’re lucky to have him.


The blanket metaphor reminds me of something Arsene would say

Dr. Gooner

City did do things they never would, like playing Kovacic as a RCB in the buildup phase to negate our press. We didn’t expect that. The team was criticized for not going all in on the press by pundits who don’t seem to understand modern football (ehem, Lee Dixon… love you for what you did for the club, please retire from punditry). The problem was City made a two man advantage with that tweak, and their game plan was to use that advantage to play around us, find an open midfielder and then looked for runners in the channels, mostly… Read more »

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