Friday, June 21, 2024

Edu on Arsenal’s season: We did everything well but it’s still frustrating

Sporting director Edu has praised Mikel Arteta for his “excellent” work overseeing a second successive title challenge but he admits he was left feeling frustrated at Manchester City pipping Arsenal to the title.

The Gunners scored more goals and won more matches than ever before in the Premier League but still came up short as Pep Guardiola’s side edged past them in the final week of the season.

While the campaign marked another big step for a young Arsenal side, it’s clear Edu was hoping to end a 20-year wait for a title last won when he was playing for Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles.

“It’s a strange feeling, very strange, because we ended the season with a feeling that we did everything very well,” the Brazilian told homeland publicatoin Estadão.

“From recruitment and objectives, to contract renewals. Mikel did a great job and achieved his goals. We did everything we could, but it wasn’t enough.

“There is frustration, but there is also a positive feeling that the process was done well. The work was excellent.”

When Edu rejoined Arsenal in a technical capacity, the overriding aim was to put the club back on the map and to challenge for the biggest honours at home and abroad. Hard work, patience and compromise have been necessities and wrong turns have been made along the way.

Going head-to-head with City is exactly what everyone associated with the club wanted, but it’s clear tackling a sporting Goliath week in, week out, takes a toll.

“There are things that unfortunately I cannot say what I feel,” reflected Edu.

“But all the credit in the world to Pep for the coaching and work he’s been doing since he started his career. I even joke with my son that I want to see if he’s really good at rugby.

“It’s a joke I make because he’s already won everything in football. Winning in all the countries he has been in deserves a lot of credit.”

With rumours circling that Pep might step down from his current role at the end of next season, you sense the best thing Arsenal can do is position themselves in City’s slipstream.

Not only could they lose their manager, they also face being raked over the coals by an independent commission investigating the 115 charges brought against them by the Premier League. The mind boggles at the possible sanctions that could come their way and the possibilities it opens up for other clubs starved of success by their dominance.

For Edu, one of the most pressing points of business is renewing the contract of Arteta whose current deal ends next summer. Given the Spaniard championed the Brazilian’s own contract renewal in November 2022, you sense they are on the same page on that front.

For his part, Edu doesn’t see himself anywhere but the Emirates for the foreseeable future.

“This is something I ask myself a lot (about the future). I’m living a moment I’ve always dreamed of. Today I don’t think about returning to Brazil,” he said.

“I can’t say never, but today I don’t think so. I want to stay here and maybe retire. There’s no way I can think any differently than that. As a manager, I won all the titles I won as a player. All that’s missing is the Premier League.”

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Tankard Gooner

Would love a stronger cup run next season. Shame we played so well this season but even United with all their problems got more silverware than us.
Do your thing Edu.. Get us some overlooked diamonds and Arteta can get us some much deserved silverware.

gooner

Would you prefer we finish 8th, negative goal difference, see off Coventry via a hail mary offside line and beat a hangover city team in the FA cup final next season while united challenge for the league on the final day?

Well they can’t reach the CL quarter finals that’s for sure.
Just enjoy the journey we are on at the moment. I’d take the earliest domestic cup exits for another serious title challenge no matter how it ends plus a run into the final stages of the champions league next season

Tankard Gooner

At what point did I say I’d rather finish 8th and all the other crap United are in? Didn’t realise it’s ‘either finish 8th and win FA Cup or finish 2nd and no cups’.
Domestic cups are nothing to sniff at. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a strong league season to win one. You can do both. Just saying.

Dr. Gooner

Only one team can win each year and we lost to Liverpool during their table topping form despite being the better team on the day. No shame in that at all.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Sorry but it doesn’t work like that. The idea of not conceding anything to anybody even in Carabao makes you readier to winning (which we are). I am only discussing the principle here.

Ebo

As nice as silverware is I think Utd would give us their FA cup to swap places with us in a heartbeat

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Because CL brings in millions and FA Cup doesn’t.

Dr. Gooner

And because we are one of the top 5 teams in the world now.

Mentalista

Because football is about money now?

Ebo

Not exactly, but in a way yes, because you need money (the type you make from actual football rather than the financial doping type) to compete for trophies, especially if you’re a club like Arsenal who doesn’t cheat and is financially independent.

Dr. Gooner

Ah the eternal sports argument. Would you rather be the 2007 Patriots, who went 17 games unbeaten but lost the Superbowl, or the 2007 Giants who weren’t that good but stole the biggest prize. Well, if you zoom in on Superbowl day, certainly you’d say the Giants. If you’re thinking about 2008 and beyond, you’d certainly say the Patriots. The Giants will always have that day to hold over the Patriots, but the Patriots now have 6 trophies, because they built a better team, had better foundations and thus a much longer window to win championships. That’s the difference between… Read more »

Oberon

Not sure the analogy works there as the Superbowl is a much bigger prize than the FA cup. It’s closer to winning the Champions league than an FA cup.

Dr. Gooner

That only emphasizes the point. Even a SB win does not outweigh sustained mediocrity.

TeeCee

Yes. Much more like the Champions league where top teams from multiple leagues in many different countries compete and not at all like the FA Cup, which is only open to teams in one country… ah… hang on…

Tried to upvote you twice, but they wouldn’t let me.

thw14

We did what United did this season in Arteta’s worst (half) season. And have the most FA Cup wins in its history. Think our sights are set a little higher at the moment.

David Hillier's luggage

If anything we played too strong a side in our one FA cup tie this year. Ramsdale & Nelson were the only non-regular starters who started against Liverpool. I love the FA cup, but do we have the resources to compete on all fronts? The scheduling next season is going to be worse that it was this: players away at the Euros, Copa America and potentially the Olympics, 2 more CL group games (highly unlikely to be any ‘dead rubber’ games for us given the new format), potentially an extra knockout round of the CL if we progress, FA Cup… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Blood the young ones with the Carabao Cup.

Johnny 4 Hats

They all laughed when he signed Tomiyasu.
They all laughed when he signed Ramsdale.
They all laughed when he signed Havertz.

Can’t wait to see what they are laughing at Edu for this summer.

gooner

Kvicha? That would have me laughing

Johnny 4 Hats

Because it sounds like a poo that you have to squeeze your bum cheeks together to force out?

yes

what kind of poo do you have to force your bum cheeks together to get out? Surely you want your bum cheeks to be apart? Forcing the bum cheeks together would cover the orifice and prevent the poo from exiting.

Sunglasses

Liquid poo obviously! you don’t want that sh%t dribbling out ya bum all down your cheeks on to your balls, you want full pressure fire hose sh%t ya know! You gota clear a certain distance!

Fezec

Damn. Didn’t take long after the close of the season to get a little off topic.

What was y’all’s favourite shit you took this season?

Emi Rates

Not too hard, not too soft. Middle of the road vanilla shits for me.

Johnny 4 Hats

5 – 0 Chelsea.

We shat all over them.

Naked Cygan

The Fulham and Villa games decided our final position. We need to go into every game demanding 3 points.

IgorStepanoooo

I’m certain that Arteta does that. It’s just unbelievably high standards. The West Ham games frustrates me most. Villa had a great season. Fulham have these results in their locker. West Ham are shit.

Eric Blair

It’s the home games that lost us the title, our away form was thee best in the league if I’m not mistaken. Just turn one of the (too) many negative home results positive then we win the league. After all these years Arsenal Stadium still doesn’t feel quite like a fortress, still doesn’t have that aura that defeats teams before they even emerge from the changing rooms. Too many less than stellar teams come to us fancying their chances (most recently Villa, who rested players for their trip to the Etihad, and Bayern who had their worst season in decades).… Read more »

Rich

The fact that we have to be essentially perfect in the most competitive league in the world to have a chance of winning speaks volumes. Every game is a battle, and the game is unpredictable. Never before has it been the expectation that you can win every single game, and it shouldn’t be.

RamsdaleMyHero

Plus the Hammers game also hurt us. Moreover I think we could’ve done much better in the Champions League too. Over excitement & the inability to control our nerves cost us that game.

yes

I always love reading this kind of thing. Like Arteta’s at home reading it slapping his forehead thinking “demanding three points, why didn’t I think of that? why did I tell the team it would be fine if they lost?”

Goonerrific

Mikel really should come on here and read the comments pre-match, then he’d know what to do!

Dr. Gooner

Oh it’s the same guy suggesting below that we might win more stuff if we were a worse team. Makes sense.

Teryima Adi

That conclusion is too simplistic I guess.

A5000m555

Think Edu and the team are doing an excellent job. It was nice to see data backing this up too. Recently, out of approximately 800 clubs around the world, analysed by CIES Football Observatory, Arsenal ranked at the very top for sustainable squad management- another words being well placed for the future. Hopefully only time until we start winning the big prizes.
Whilst I am not too concerned about other teams, I was surprised to see that out of the Premier league teams, Newcastle were ranked bottom.

Johnny 4 Hats

He’s been amazing in every sense – apart from selling. And this summer feels like he needs to up his selling game.

Nketiah
Nelson
Ramsdale
Tavares
Tierney
Lokonga
Hein
Zinchenko (maybe)
Jesus (maybe)
ESR (maybe)

We need to get value for these players. There’s a lot of money in these boys. But we can’t just roll over and take crappy fees like we so often have in the past.

Johnny 4 Hats

Oh, and of course TP5.

So lots to do for Edu and his team.

Let’s hope our new status of being “quite good at football” will inflate some of these boys fees.

Tapps

And Vieira……

Johnny 4 Hats

Sorry, just on Tierney. Does anyone know if he was any good at Sociedad?

Haven’t heard a thing, which usually means not.

Matthinc

Yeah he was good started when fit but had two injuries that sidelined him for more than half the season

Dr. Gooner

He did all right. I want to see him in preseason for Arsenal. If he is still the same guy he was physically in 2019, we need to integrate him and use him as a real option at LB. There is nothing Kiwior and Tomiyasu did in that role last season that Tierney couldn’t, plus he would offer an overlap for the LW player. In theory. If, as I suspect is the case, he is walking down the Abu Diaby Memorial Lane, then it’s a sunk cost and we have no chance to move him.

Man Manny

Tierney’s race at Arsenal is run. There is nothing more to see. His body will always fail with a little strain.
It’s a sale at this point.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Ramsdale should stay just in case Raya doesn’t deliver.

Bobbert

Losing too many homegrown players if we sell your whole list.

BillyKrystal

It’s 8 trained in nation for PL, 8 trained in nation + 4 trained at club for CL? Going off footy manager here lol. Eddie, Reiss, and ESR would be the hard losses in that regard. Nwaneri should be club HG for CL? Maybe we can bring back Gnabry and Bennacer, register Nwaneri. Oh and sign Rashford and we’ll be good.

Johnny 4 Hats

Must you live so relentlessly in the real world, Bobbert?

Dr. Gooner

Reality is that these players all have big salaries, big club status, name recognition, mega agencies. For the most part their salaries are outstripping their value. Only a handful of clubs can pay them, and those wouldn’t want to given other options. So we have to sell to a smaller club on a discount fee to make it feasible for them, or find an up and coming market/team throwing its money around to get names. You can’t put all the responsibility for selling on the GM, Edu in our case, Wenger before that. It takes a willing buyer, and buy… Read more »

Oddo

I’d rather we buy well and sell poorly than the other way around.
It obviously isn’t binary, but you have to focus your attention somewhere.

Mayor McCheese

Agree, A5!

From the same Estadao interview, and regarding upcoming transfers, Edu said:

“I have reports of over 180 pages on each player. It’s really detailed stuff. Physical, technical, mental profile, whether he has Premier League experience, whether he’ll be able to adapt. We’ve been discussing what I’m going to do now [this summer] since January.”

Emi Rates

Edu is absolutely right. It’s frustrating. Even more so as we know we didn’t win this season because Manc115ter City are a bunch of fucking cheats.

Up4GrabsNow!

Time for same Rage Against the (City) Machine.

Next season deduct them 115 points, fine them 115 million, 115 years in the slammer for their top brass, 115 lashes for all involved…

yes

I wonder how much greater the turnout would be for a public lashing than for their trophy parade

Emi Rates

A City parade will be City fans only while a public City lashing would have every true football fan in the world fighting to get in. Just about everyone is sick of them.

Bobbert

City don’t have fans, only a collection of ten year olds who like the video game

Emi Rates

City have plenty of fans. The same home counties lot who supported Man U in the 90s and Chelsea in the 00’s needed a new home after Ferguson retired and Abramovich did a runner. City have provided that for them in droves.

Chuck Felsea

Most realistic to happen is probably the 115 lashes in case they don’t win the title. As for everything else, I gave up hope long ago.

Teryima Adi

😃😃😃

thw14

They really should push for some of City’s titles to be taken away. The one this year, and the two they won against Liverpool by a point at the very least. It’s not about the past, it’s about the future. We didn’t challenge Chelsea’s nonsense when we should have, and now it’s become a way of life.

If those 115 charges don’t bring any penalties (and soon), we should reinstate the threat to leave the league and create a new one with better rules (e.g. salary and fee caps, protection for smaller clubs, relegation, unlike the Super League).

Dr. Gooner

Pep is leaving after next season!

Emi Rates

Of course he is. No doubt he has his timing planned just right. The cheating fuck!

Eric Blair

I’ve seen people suggest handing the trophies to the runners-up, but to be honest ‘winning’ a trophy in that way would be so hollow as to be meaningless, for the record books only.

I would rather see 1st place on every document for every trophy they’ve won redacted, a blank space or black box replacing any names. That way every time anyone looks at the results for those years we will remember the catastrophic results of allowing cheating and the involvement of nation-states in our national institutions. It should remain as a reminder never to make the same mistakes again.

Emi Rates

Fuck that. I want the trophy for the 23/24 season. We earned it fair and square. Ditto 22/23 and Liverpool in 21/22. Cheats not only get stripped of their titles, they also get to see them handed to the opponents who don’t cheat.

Gunner1971

Disagree.

I think it’s a terrible thing to wipe out a bunch of premier league seasons because of a team’s cheating. That means they got away with depriving rivals from adding to their trophy counts and erased those seasons from history effectively.

Awarding the title to the next team is always the right thing to do.

Dr. Gooner

Been trying to write a post on ins/outs, ideal summer, that type of thing. Football is really hard, guys. Projecting a player into the dynamic of your team is really hard. The conclusion I reached after doing a lot of reading/watching is that we are really good and should only add elite quality. Still, from my research I learned that Arsenal are lacking quite obviously in a key category, and that is dribbling, globally, but especially in midfield. This dovetails with another key deficiency, which is central chance creation. That in turn relates to the disuse and dysfunction of the… Read more »

SEGooner77

Did indeed enjoy…I just worry that that’s £200m dropped right there…and we still will need a back-up GK and someone who can cover for Saka. I think we need a wide forward AND a forward.

Like the idea of De Jong, but also Sesko, Kadioglu (I think we’ve got enough cover at LCB, but a super attacking/overlapping LB would be great), and then someone like Olise who could play left or right…then any old back up GK.

Dr. Gooner

I LOVE Olise, I just worry about his injury record and similarity to Saka, plus he doesn’t dominate physically like Leao or Osimhen. So I guess I’m saying great player, I don’t think it’s our best option, but would be excited if we got him. I didn’t include this in my post because I don’t want to invite the hate, but I do think for this to happen we have to sell someone we don’t really want to sell. My choice for that would be Big Gabi. Unpopular opinion, I know, and it depends a lot on the offer but… Read more »

SEGooner77

Do you think? I couldn’t bear it if we did but don’t think we have to? I counted up the other day and think we’ve got 8-9 who need to move on and could easily generate £80m between them. Add another season of Champ League revenue and I think we’re good for 5 players in.

Dr. Gooner

That’s my cold, hard analytical brain. Emotionally, I’d be sad to lose big Gabi because we’ve been through this whole rebuild together.

Pigaroulettes

I think we would sell Martinelli before we sell Big GabI.

Hopefully we won’t do either of those things, but left footed center-back of this level are just impossible to find.

Martinelli just had a down year, but his value is sky high (for obvious and well deserved reasons). And we showed that we can win without him.

Vonnie

Selling Big Gabi would be idiotic and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking it.

Warthog

Agreed, totally unrealistic list above. We aren’t dropping that kind of money again this window. Sales will support some useful buys but I don’t see any 80m plus purchases.

In the end, I trust the front office to make the right choices for what they perceive we need. The rest is just clickbait noise.

Dr. Gooner

I should’ve clarified more but I’m always trying to keep these short(er). I see these as Arsenal’s top needs and each player above is a dream scenario. I had a different version of this post where I had options A B and C for each of these needs but scrapped it on account of overcomplicating and too many words. If you’re interested, my other top options for CB were Tapsoba and Guehi, for CM it was Bruno G and Monaco’s Fofana (with the understanding that they are very different! This is what makes this exercise complicated) and for striker/wing I… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I just watched a 10 minute clip of Desire Doue and my brain melted. He’s definitely on my winger list now. High, high on the list. Wow. Just, wow.

Gunner1971

Thanks, intriguing analysis as always DrG.

Didn’t Osimhen have average CF #s this season? Do you have a take on why?

Dr. Gooner

He’s fine. So is Vlahovic, who I would also take. Napoli like Juve regressed as a whole and that’s going to make their attackers look bad. Kind of like with Rashford, it doesn’t matter who you stick up front if the team doesn’t dominate games.

Gunner1971

Hmm from the little I’ve seen of him I haven’t warmed to him but I could be wrong.

beldar77

I am also an AC milan fan (Grandfather was born there) so I watched a lot of Leao. When he’s on he’s on offensively. I do not believe he does nearly enough work for Arteta and the PL defensively. Pass.

Dr. Gooner

I’ve seen that criticism of him, same as Rashford. I think we are at a point in our evolution though when we have enough graft and need superlative game changers, and he is one of those.

Naked Cygan

Would you rather finish 2nd,5 years in a row, or finish 6-8 each year but you are guaranteed to win a domestic cup each year and compete in Europa League? Which would you pick?

Gunner1971

Why so cruel bro?

Naked Cygan

Not being cruel, just a thought. In 20 years, would you rather remember celebrating some nice cup finals or finishing 2nd and qualifying for the champions league for 5 years without winning it? I love how we are growing as a team and the way we play, but in the next 2-3 seasons we need to lift some 🏆🥇.

Gunner1971

Well I was being playful rather than taking the trouble of telling you what I really think of the question, something that the good doctor so forthrightly elucidated.

The Beast

I guess the real question is did you feel better about the team a few seasons ago when we were picking up domestic cups somewhat regularly & always in the latter stages of the Europa league or now when we have a team that challenges for the title, back in the Champs league & is packed full of young, talented players in pretty much all positions.

I prefer the later. It’s not even close.

Dr. Gooner

I don’t like to get stuck in but this post makes me so angry. First off, that’s not reality, never has been, never will be. If you’re finishing 6-8th, it’s because you’re a worse team than the one that finished 2nd, which means you are that much LESS likely to win trophies in the same competitions. Look at the recent winners of the domestic cups. 90% of the time it’s a team who is also contending for a title, not 6-8th place teams. This theory is pure fantasy. Second, if you’re suggesting being less competitive in the league would enhance… Read more »

The Beast

Can’t agree more.

Also, whenever someone asks me an either or question about something that’s clearly not binary, or really a choice at all, I usually just think they’ve got their own agenda.

Determination Cultured

Upgrade the bench and thr fiest team. Bring in a starter DM/CM. With jorginho, vieira and partey as back ups thats pretty damn strong. Bring in a powerful CF to compete with kai (maybe zirkzee). Ensure timber starts at LB, or we bring in a 1st choice LB. Minor tweaks will do us well.

jon

We have pretty much the strongest midfield in the league already. Who would you bring in? I agree that we should have a 20 goals forward, but who? And in which role, exactly? The fast, come-from-behind Sala type? The is-always-in-the -right-place van Nistelroy type? The powerful Giroud type?

karl g

It was a great season and I don’t think I could have asked more from Arsenal.

I just wish the players were all taking a serious break instead wasting time of international football. You can see them limping back exhausted and having 2 weeks break with no pre-season.

Modha

Of course he is frustrated, I’d be frustrated if everyone was crowing about 4 in a row and how peerless City are when everything they’ve achieved is a consequence of cheating, and that the petro state that backs them is threatening the Government of this country if any punishments are meted out. Personally, we won the last 2 seasons in my book, regardless of what the tables say. We have been the best non cheating team by a mile.

jon

One of the best teams in Europe, maybe with the most entertaining football, and again a season with nothing.

It’s a little anticlimax, although I honestly can live with any PL position that gives international football.

I think the very good bid for the league title took a little away from the cups. It’s an Arsenal tradition to do it well in the cups and we should continue that.

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