Arsenal fans need to understand that Arteta is a long-term project

We all know that Mikel Arteta has had a rollercoaster of a ride since taking over at Arsenal, with the Pandemic, finishing in our lowest League position for decades, and then the Euphoria of winning the FA Cup.

But recently something has gone desperately wrong and the goals (and the points!) have dried up. If you think that it’s just us poor fans that have no idea what has happened for things to go so wrong, then you need to read this interview in EFE with our recovered defender Pablo Mari, who was simply asked “What’s going on at Arsenal?”

“It’s the million-dollar question. Everyone at the club is thinking about what is happening to us,” he said.

“In the dressing room, we give 100 per cent in every game, in every training session, to reverse this situation.

“But I think that within all this, football is streaks and I believe a lot in this kind of thing.

“As much as you want to score ten goals each game, there will be times when you can’t score any. We are in that dynamic right now, no matter how hard you try, football is not giving you everything that you give it. It is a matter of changing it.”

“The first thing is that I think that quick manager changes are not the right thing to do.

“When you appoint a coach, it is because he has given you the confidence that his idea of football is the one that you think is best for your club.

“If you don’t give it time for that idea to evolve, you aren’t giving it a chance. When you want to change a dynamic or a mentality of a club, it is difficult to do it in a month.

“About Mikel, I think the idea of the club has changed. The attitude, the mentality has changed.

“He has brought a very interesting long-term project in which I feel like a participant because I signed because I liked it a lot.

“I go with Mikel until the end of the world. He just needs time. Soccer is not always rosy. I am happy because, despite the situation, we are united.”

It is good to hear from the horses mouth that everyone is still behind Arteta and are trying hard to get us out of this hole, but if the players don’t understand what hasgone wrong, what chance have we got…?

Tags Arteta EFE Mari project


  1. Most Arsenal fans understand and accept this….

    We are almost a third of the way through the season. By this stage we should at least be in the top half of the table, I don’t think that’s being unreasonable.

    What we don’t understand is how we are just above relegation and our football is terrible to watch.

    1. Why? does he keep looking at defenders he needs to offload first that’s the priority then purchase. But will the board give him the money with the situation we are currently in

    2. Actually, PJ-SA. We are only 5 points away from 10th and 7 points from the relegation positions. It’s possible that after Xmas period we could be right back in the top six?

      We do need a little perspective guys. Big teams can have bad times. I agree with that. The squad is in transition still and we need to be united for the squad. Ma needs time. He deserves to be given a chance!

  2. Arteta can’t take arsenal anywhere, he will just try,. Arsenal need a top coach, not a trial and error coach

    1. How do you know that Simon, I’m also frustrated with Arteta tactics but saying he can’t take arsenal anywhere is a bit exaggerated.

  3. I cannot agree with Mikel’s decisions to
    1. Hiring aging players or players irrelevant to other clubs – Soares, Marri, Luiz, Cabellos, Willian
    2. Retaining unproductive players – Xhaka, Laca, Kolasinac, Socrates, Pepe, Mustafi, Chambers, Holding, Nelson
    3. Benching Ozil when you have no replacement
    4. Benching your better players for worse – AMN, Martinelli (before his injury), Elneny
    5. Letting go of better players for worse – Emiliano for Leno, Guendozi for Willock,
    6. Giving huge contracts to overage players – Willian, Aubameyang.
    This is getting worse than the Wenger era for which many fans wanted him gone. Now people want a long term project, but could not accept Wenger. Even a 95 year old Wenger with a walking stick would be much better than what we are experiencing now.

    1. You are wrong on almost all the points

      1)Aging players are the foundation you build on when you want to develop young talented players (which we have in plenty),simply because when things are going wrong its the said aged players who know how to keep their heads down and keep it together and follow the instructions.You should see how attentive guys like Luiz usually are when Arteta is giving him instructions.

      2)Kolasinac and Socrates were on the market for sale but there were no takers.And Socrates wasnt registered to play in either FA competitions or Euro competition.Mustafi and Chambers were both injured in the transfer window so they couldnt have been sold.

      3)Wont say much on this,has been discussed widely

      4)Elneny has played alot of games but he cant play all.Unfair to complain about him being benched

      5)Even if Emi had stayed,we would still have Leno as no1

      6)Complaining about Auba contract?Seriously?

      1. That is the reason we are closer to relegation that the leaders and praying for a win against Burnley which should have been a normal day in the office. Arteta fan boys are hard to believe. This man is taking us to the championship mate!
        Wenger at his worst was 6th, Arteta at his best was 8th. Same players won the FA against good opposition, now what is the excuse? Spent big money on Partey and rushed him into a longer injury. With Gabriel and Partey and Willian we are 15th.

      2. You’re completely wrong on
        1. Aging players have cost us and have not contributed
        2. Xhaka could have been sold, as well as Laca, while Sok could have been offloaded for free (even if we paid some if his wages which would still have been cheaper than retaining him as he will not play)
        4. Elneny should not be benched for Xhaka, I think this was meant, at least not in the EPL
        5. Guendouzi is better than Xhaka or Willock (so is Torreira), Martinez better than Leno. Early this year Martinelli was benched for Nketiah. Let that sink in.
        6. Willian’s contract is a disgrace, while Auba’s was a huge risk (though early to say if it was a mistake).

    2. Gunner22: You are correct on all points and the record, type of Football we play and lack of progress support your claim.
      Now MA wants 6 new players with the addition of 3 starters that gives him 9 new players.
      What’s so special about a rookie coach (except maybe salary) needing 9 new players. The team could have hired proven coaches like Morinho, pochettino or even stayed with Emery if they were willing to buy 9 new players.

        1. Well kidding aside what is MA’s track record to deserve a reprieve along with 9 new players and a vote of confidence?
          Common sense says an experienced coach will do better No?.

          1. I’m not commenting on the merits of MA, simply stating that poch is NOT the man to take us forward, what’s the point in replacing MA with a trophyless manager who got the boot when things got tough, he couldnt pull them out of the spiral so I don’t see why it would be any different here, especially considering our problems seem deeper than spurs.

          2. Mauricio Pochettino secured a top four finish in four of the five seasons he was in charge at Tottenham. Pochettino was just seven games away from reaching the 300-mark in all competitions that included 160 wins, 60 draws and 73 losses.
            All done with a limited budget and a smaller club.

          3. Being at a smaller club brings significantly less expectations and less pressure and when the pressure did come in league races, finals and ultimately at the end of his reign he bottled it, and he had a limited budget but ours at present is at least as bad, he made some large fee signings, notably Ndombele at 54 million, davidson sanchez sanchez at 38 million, sissoko at 31.5 million and son at 27 million, so no still not the answer for me buddy.

  4. If after a year there is no clear direction in the football played then the guy responsible is either winging it or learning on the job … someone famous once said in the long run we are all dead … so waiting for arteta to learn about football management seems an odd strategy for a club that promised its fans a big future has since dropped out of top tier of European football has had its worst start in four decades and clings desperately to a bye gone age … arteta has a timeline and failure to get in to top 6 again will see departure … my honest feeling is that he won’t make it

  5. Can we please talk about Cedric Soares?
    Why isn’t he starting in the PL?
    Do you think there is some favouritism from Arteta with senior players like Bellerin? The guy can’t defend and yet he still plays every 90′ in the prem

  6. I am all for Arteta as a long term project, because regularly changing Managers has not proved to be successful at other major Clubs other than perhaps at Chelsea where money is plentiful via their owner.The frustrations of fans is understandable but to point the finger at Arteta for some of the mediocre players he has inherited is unfair and a failure to be realistic.The same applies to unloading the poor performers ,for whom there is no demand due to their lack of quality.Since Arteta arrived signings have been made which have surprised and disappointed me and some of his tactics and selections leave me puzzled.The fact that he cannot see the weaknesses in Xhaka , which far outweigh his attributes, is the prime example which most sensible fans will relate to.Despite my misgivings, by winning the FA Cup and Community Shield MA deserves more time to get this rambling house in order.A house which has been in decay for a decade and for which there is little cash for a meaningful refurbishment.We will emerge from the run of poor form but I do not expect us to qualify for Europe this season.Until we are finally rid of a group of overpaid , underperforming players in the summer,we will be unable to shop at Harrods, but fortunately we have a number of excellent youngsters emerging and Arteta will hopefully focus on introducing them on a regular basis in the months ahead.If he does this, he will I am sure have the backing of most reasonably minded supporters.

    1. Well managed clubs replace non performing managers quickly

      Roy Hodgson 2010 -2011 —9 months
      Kenny Dalglish : 2011 – 2012 – won a trophy
      Brendan Rodgers: 2012 -2015
      Jurgen Klopp 2015 to date Won CL and PL

      L leicester FC recent managers

      The Managers: Claudio Ranieri, 2015-2017 -Won the EPL 2016 sacked in 2017
      The Managers: Craig Shakespeare, 2017.
      The Managers: Claude Puel, 2017-2019.
      The Managers: Brendan Rodgers, 2019-present.

  7. This is a difficult one to call. I have been firmly in his camp and continue to support him through this very difficult patch.

    It isn’t open ended, however, but extends beyond this transfer window, during which Arteta and Edu must improve the on pitch doldrums. Ideally, I am in favour of him seeing out the season because by then we should know if MA has what it takes.

    Unless results really drop off the cliff, I think premature change could be a disaster. It’s not as if we have Abramovitch at the top of the tree, showing interest and investing. We are all realistic enough to know that is extremely unlikely to happen with Kroenke. Arsenal are still a big club but with an owner that doesn’t treat it like one.

    On paper, the Allegri’s of this world should be queuing up to manage us and I’ve followed all the suggestions over the weeks on who could do better than Arteta. But could they, within the financial strictures at the club, without an initial bumper sum to make an immediate difference? There was so much wrong with the executive level at the club that it has had an effect on what happens on the pitch. Sanctioning £72m for Pepe seems a poor decision and has enormous implications for how the club reinvests. It also has been responsible for excessive wages and the endemic soft underbelly culture which is still lurking.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, SueP!! 👍

      It’s a modern mind set in football fans to believe sacking a manager for another (until things work out) is the answer. Just look at Manure! Once a great team. Very successful on and off the pitch. One of the richest clubs in the world and yet, struggling to find a balance in the squad. How many managers have they had since Fergie left?

      1. GunneRay
        This is obvious to you and me. I am amazed and deflated by the want it now attitude. It just isn’t possible

  8. I hope we go to the top witch arteta but I don’t think so,
    Why on earth does he keep picking Luiz,kolas,xakai,willian.
    Players like Amn, ESR, bollagan, Nelson, willock,
    Saliba should be given a chance…

  9. It is true that MA will need time to get his plans working and initial failure is acceptable. He has certainly improved our defence to a large extent, we dont leak in large number of goals and he has made us difficult to break down. But what I dont understand is that why he persists with Laca, Willian and Pepe in games when they are not performing to their expected levels and that includes Xhaka. Instead let him include Elneny, AMN, ESR, Balogun in match day squads.

  10. Long term project indeed. By the time you guys take us down to the championship, then every one ‘s eyes would be clear. The issue here is that Arsenal under Arteta is not improving. If anything we are drifting backwards dangerously and the coach is so fixated on his ideas and his choice of players for every match.,even the ones that are paying shit football.Something has to change, and fast too.

  11. Artetas short term plan is continuing with the same underperforming players and non workable tactics. What is his long term plan? How on earth do we know his long term plan is going to work? He is making some really bad decisions at the moment in tactics and players. He doesn’t seem to be creating continuity, so how can we trust him. It isnt about trust it is about results and we need a massive upturn in those and now. We cant wait for a plan that hasn’t shown any promise or shoots of success so far.

  12. Yes, Arteta should of course be given time to implement, what he would like to change.
    BUT, and there is a but, if we keep dropping in the league and find ourselves in a relagation battle, surely it should be considered to make a drastic change.

  13. Arteta is not arsenal’s problem,i think arsenal’s problem is spiritual because we have good players all over the pitch&still couldn’t beat aston villa,leicester&wolves at home…i think need serious prayers/excorcism inorder to come out from this slump in form

  14. Arteta has three games to save his job and am certain he has failed already. The man has made so many wrong decisions since becoming manager it’s unbearable.
    Arteta we love you and you are one of us but take my advice. Leave before fans turn don’t do a Wenger.

  15. I think we understand that it’s long-term, we are just baffled by arteta’s decisions which don’t seem to be looking long-term but are rather shortsighted. Bringing in old players in the twilight of their careers hoping they’ll give us one last hurrah, when instead they’re here for the moolah. Long-term would’ve been Arteta selling off most of the senior disappointments in the squad.

    It would’ve been a perfect time after our honeymoon phase run in the fall cup. And then solely focussed on youth, primarily from our academy and supplementing with potentially world class youth like Aouar, szoboszlai etc. That would’ve been long-term. But Arteta is hungry for success, ironically he doesn’t seem to have the patience himself for something long term. Something he was hired for. Bring back our french wonderkids (I know, but I like the look of them) into the squad, reinstate or sell/pay off ozil and sell off the old players that keep letting this club down and ffs trim down the squad, you cannot keep such a big and overpaid squad happy, probably why things are taking a nosedive.

    I think doing the above is the only way he’ll get the fans back. Even if he could go on a run and turn things around,the above decisions is what will be the end of him at arsenal in the end.

  16. When we talk about a project, we need to have a project definition, objectives, timeframe, strategy, action plans, milestones and performance reviews. Without these, a so-called “long term” project is just an excuse to delay accountability.

    Long term? How long? 2 seasons, 3 seasons or 10?

    And what is the project? “Arteta becomes a tier-1 manager” or “Arsenal becomes the PL champion”?

    For me, Arteta is not the project itself. Arteta is one of the employees responsible to deliver the “Arsenal Project”.

    i am not saying that we should become PL champion outright. But we have played 11 out of a total of 38 PL matches. More than a quarter of a season has past, and it is time to check if milestones had been met.

  17. Good Day
    I agree MA is a long term project. This is his first head coach job, he is basically a rookie and all the evidence is there to support this. The Arsenal team is also a long project, but this is not the coach you appoint to turn around a big club like Arsenal, a Rookie
    Michael Arteta is an apprentice who is not even passes his first year of this Bachelor degree. We need a Professor or Doctor.
    I said it last season already when everyone was so happy with MA and a lot of fan got angry at me, but I guess we are not all of the same level, other just take longer to realise the truth.
    1. Can’t pick our best starting 11
    2. He is picking players out of position not in their best positions. Like Joe at 10 and Dani at 8, the better combination would be the other way around or Dani at 10 with Elneny and Xhaka in the middle now that Partey is not available and I said a lot about Auba in the past.
    3. He think it mostly the best to pick the older or most experience players, like Luiz over Holding, Willian over Pepe and Nelson
    4. One of his biggest defaults is, it looks he can’t read a play, like in a game we struggle to create, I would like think a coach will use his subs and try and correct the problem are, but so many occasions he will rather increase the strikers instead of the midfield.
    5. We are struggling to score and his strategy is crosses in the box, for who, Laca is short and Auba strength is not in the air.
    6. He also struggle to analyse opposite teams. He did well against some big team, but I think that his knowledge for City helps him there, but the unknown small teams he struggle to work out.
    7. His biggest error was to keep Xhaka January 2019 when he comes in, Xhaka was half out of the door for about 23 Mil. That money would help us recruit a 10 now and we could have developed our young players be give them more game time, Matteo and Joe.
    8. His handling of Matteo was also poor, I couldn’t belief so many supporting him with this, Partey combining with Matteo and a creative 10 will give our midfield steel and faster to protect the back line better and moves the ball faster forward.
    9. One other thing I also don’t like of him is he is to full of himself, his ego is too big and that for a rookie.
    10. Now he is threaten Auba, yes Auba needs to be drop, but do it in an intelligent way, like just use as a sub and part of a strategy, not put more pressure on him.
    11. Look at his team selection last night, we already won the group, but he can’t give Balogun a start and he is playing with 3 CB’s
    12. He is put the development of our youth on hold
    I am sorry to say but MA was a wrong appointment.

    1. Martin, Despite disagreeing with most, though not all, of your points about MA, and speaking as a fan of over 60 years watching, I do applaud you as the very first anti MA fan that I have seen who has listed, in fine detail too, his reasons for wanting him gone.
      I feel sure the club are correctly standing firm behind MA and will not sack him in the foreseeable future.
      But despite being on the opposite side from you, my applause for you being the first anti MA Gooner to properly spell out his reasons. Most posts calling for his dismissal are uneducated and biased nonsense but not yours.

      1. Thepost below from Armoury, is typical of that type that is incapable of stating WHY they have that opinion! Very sad for him I truly believe.

  18. Does long term project mean, he should take us to Championship and bring us back? The boat slowly sinking, and passengers are still hopeful that the Captain will steer it to the shore. The Captain has just graduated and does not know how to steer the ship during rough seas. Be careful of what you wish for. We gonna be fighting relegation soon

  19. Euphoria at winning our 14th FA cup? Personally I would be euphoric if we can get back into the top 4 something AW did for fun and was mocked for it. As for MA, I have always said that he should be given at least until the end of this season to prove himself. The fixtures over next month are going to be crucial for him and he will need support from players and fans alike.

  20. There’s no time to give anymore. We are languishing in position 15, and some fans still belive there’s hope for Arteta to turn things around. The more time we give him, then the disaster will be on the horizon. Arteta must go

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