Questioning Arteta by Dan Smith
Ever since Arteta claimed he planned to rotate his keepers I asked the question, what do you call someone who says things that are not true?
It got me thinking that our manager in fact lies to us quite a lot.
The issue with our fanbase is if I had written this article when the team is winning, I’m accused of negativity. If I submit it after a defeat, I’m apparently just waiting.
The reality is it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The truth is you can rate the Spaniard but acknowledge a lot of things he says don’t always happen.
Please try to consider this when reading. Put any bias to one side and be the judge.
Here are the times Arteta has lied to us ….
In 4 years as a manager, it’s insane how many players Arteta has washed his hands of the moment he decides they don’t suit his ethos.
I blame his employers for not setting the job criteria, being that you attempt to get the best out of the resources you inherit.
You could make a whole XI of talent who had contracts ripped up, became free agents or were loaned out to reduce the wage bill. Compare that to how many players Mr Wenger did that to in over two decades.
The latest was Pepe who we essentially paid to walk away from the last 12 months of his deal.
That’s because zero suitors were willing to pay a fee knowing Arteta’s fondness for giving up on talent.
Yet the player himself was led to believe he was valued by his boss,
‘When he spoke to me, he said he counted on me, he wanted me to do this or that, and you have to focus on that. He improved me in every way. He spoke to me the whole time; I watched videos with his assistants all the time. He really believed in me. “He said I had incredible potential, so we need to extract that potential.
A”t the end of the first season, he spoke with me and told me to do this or that. The second season comes along, I was a substitute. I was going mad. How could I be a substitute when he said he counted on me? Everything is spinning in your head. I was a substitute. It was at the time when they signed Willian. He is a number 10 or a winger. But he plays on the wing for like 11 or 12 matches in a row.”
Several ex-Gunners have said it’s not Arteta’s style to put an arm round a shoulder and explain his thought process.
Raya v Man City
Having finally beaten Man City after 15 attempts in the league, of all the players Arteta could have praised he picked our worse one. On another day Raya kicking the ball right against Alvarez could have ended up in the back of our net.
Maybe this was a lie with good intentions trying to protect his keeper’s confidence?
Yet, pretending that his goalies performance was tactical was an insult to an audience nervous every time he was in possession.
Our manager instead praised the bravery of his countryman, saying it took courage to wait that long to release the ball.
Given that his ability with his feet is supposed to be his strength it’s hard to believe Arteta believed what he was saying.
Guendouzi’s response to losing at Brighton was to boast to the opposition how much more money he earnt then them. An ugly character trait which led to him being one of the first targets of Mikel Arteta’s ‘non-negotiable principles’. Many hold the theory to this day that our manager sacrificed the French youngster to send a subtle message to his dressing room, with the midfielder looking up to Lacazette and Aubameyang.
It’s reported the 21-year-old ripped down barriers and fences at the Amex Stadium. When he refused to take the club’s advice and apologise, little did he know he would never wear an Arsenal shirt again. Yet we were told by our manager that wasn’t the case.
The player was frozen out of the rest of all match day squad’s that season. He wasn’t even invited to join his teammates to celebrate lifting the FA Cup despite qualifying for a medal.
The club’s official stance was that COVID protocols meant it was safer for non-playing staff to stay away from Wembley.
Yet in the summer we were told that everyone had a fresh chance by the boss
‘ I have been really clear that everybody starts from zero. He is going to be part of the team and at the moment he is like any other player in our squad ‘.
Yet it became clear the Spaniard had zero interest in reintegrating the player back into the first team.
For two years he would be loaned to Germany and France, an asset once with huge value now reduced.
When the UK went into lockdown all clubs were left unaware for how long they would be without matchday revenue.
When you have budgeted for 60,000 people to be spending money at your stadium every other week that’s a huge loss.
So, our squad were asked to accept a 12.5 wage cut (7.5 when qualification for Europe was confirmed)
It was leaked that originally 14 first team players rejected the proposal.
That’s when Arteta stepped in. It’s been said that he inspired his team with a speech convincing all but three players to change their minds.
Gunners were therefore felt lied too when 55 staff were made redundant having been led to believe the whole point of giving up part of their earnings was to protect the jobs of non-playing staff.
Only Arteta knows if he was part of the cover up.
Yet once the Kroenke Family had saved their money, players were thrown under the bus.
Our manager said: “The players were happy to help the club in this difficult financial position,”
“That doesn’t mean that afterwards you are going to have a say in every decision made by the club. It can’t work like that. At the end of the day, it wasn’t an obligation, it was a choice whether you wanted to do it or not.”
The lies might here be for the right intentions.
From a PR perspective (and most likely legally) Arsenal couldn’t admit they were freezing out Ozil due to his refusal to take a salary cut and/or his political stance.
Yet the facts tells us that in our last match before the pandemic the German had assisted our winner.
That he would never play for us again suggests something must have happened during lockdown?
We know he was one of three players to turn down referral on his wages, questioning what the Kroenke Family planned to do to support cost cutting?
It seems an insult to Gooners intelligence to suggest you would pay a World Cup winner to sit at home based purely for ‘footballing reasons’.
Yet that’s what Arteta maintained,
‘Honestly, I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It is my responsibility. It is nothing related to any behaviour or, like I read, the pay cuts.
“What I can say from my side is that it is just a football decision’.
In his first full season as a manager, Arteta didn’t register Ozil to play domestically or in Europe. We would go on to finish 8th, failing to qualify for European competition for the first time in quarter of a century.
Ramsdale / Raya
I wrote this at the time, this decision might cost Arteta everything long term.
Having been allowed to wash his hands of so many talents, dropping Ramsdale came across as being too clever.
A worrying sign that he was believing his own hype this seemed to over complicating things.
Only Alisson got more clean sheets than Ramsdale last season, yet he was being dropped having played his part in helping us return to the Champions League.
Not being able to give a reason why he was fixing something not broken, our manager claimed he didn’t view either as his Number One, that competition would get the best out of both and that he would select his keeper game by game based on form and tactics.
He even insulted our intelligence by saying he plans to sub his goalie as a tactical option.
That’s yet to happen.
The Spaniard’s biggest supporters praised him for his visions and revolutionary idea of not having a Number One.
He’s made those people look silly.
Lens scored based on Raya giving away possession, he nearly did the same against City and Chelsea.
Goals have come from him being too far to one side at the Bridge and Saint James Park. An issue he had at Brentford.
That’s a lot of errors having only played 9 times for us. That Ramsdale still can’t get recalled confirms Arteta had zero intention of ever rotating in that position.
Matt Smith in FA Cup Final
So, Arsenal legally had to ensure they were not doing anything that could be viewed as breaching Ozil’s contract.
That’s why despite paying him to sit at home Arteta always publicly stressed the midfielder was training well and was acting as a professional.
In reality it was clear the club regretted the salary they were paying the German, so were doing everything they could to make him feel so miserable he would accept a transfer away.
The latest ploy was to put Matt Smith on the bench in the Cup Final despite the teenager never having played a second for the senior team.
This was when you could have 9 players on the bench and make 5 subs.
Arteta with a straight face tried to say that the 19-year-old was being picked ahead of Ozil for ‘footballing reasons’.
Because we beat Chelsea our manager got away with it, but if we had needed creativity having Smith as an option could have been costly.
In reality Arteta’s true faith in Smith’s ability was to release him three years later. The midfielder with a unique stat of an FA Cup winners medal from his Gunners career having not played for the senior team.
Ozil wasn’t even invited to Wembley to celebrate with the team.
Again, what do you call someone who says things that don’t happen?
You be the judge!
CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link…