Arteta looking forward to the “beautiful challenge” of taking Arsenal back to the top

Arsenal are set to finish in their lowest position in the League since the pre-Wenger days, in 1995 in fact, when Stewart Houston was our manager (Who remembers him?) It has been a rollercoaster of a season, with three different managers, a global pandemic interrupting the season, and many unsettling rumours surrounding the team.

But now we have Mikel Arteta who is trying to steady the ship, and he will have a job on his hands to try and mold this squad back into a top team that can challenge for the Champions League places again.

But the Boss is relishing the challenge, as he told “I don’t think the league table lies at the end of the 10 months with 38 games. How long? Hopefully next season it will be very different.

“We have a beautiful challenge, a very demanding challenge but a beautiful challenge ahead of us. We have to get this right and bring this club back to where it belongs which is with the top teams in the country and in Europe. In order to do that we have to make a lot of good decisions.”

We can’t really blame Arteta for this season’s failings (maybe we could blame the Board for not appointing him 18 months earlier), but he was asked what he thought the reasons were for our awful season. He said: “Because we haven’t been consistent. Because we obviously had a lot of issues as well in the background, a lot of things that had happened.

“But at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough to be with the top teams. That’s not a lie and it shows the big room for improvement and the gap that is still there and has to be minimised really, really quickly in order to be in a good position to challenge those teams.

“It hurts so much. When I said it’s a beautiful challenge, and as well from my side, it’s to bring the club into those positions again. I know how difficult it’s going to be because you can see the other teams, what they’re doing, what they’ve been doing the last few seasons. The road and the direction we have to take in order to be quick in that transition… I’m very positive that we’re going to be able to do it.”

Well, it’s good to hearing him being so positive, but what the fans want to see is some of those “good decisions” being made ahead of the next campaign to give us all a lift.

One thing is for sure, we couldn’t end up having a worse season that this one. Or can we?


  1. Very good speech as usual…He has done a great job and we have been undone (again) by very small margins emanating from individual errors and the fitness of some of our players…

    There is a bigger problem than just the squad, I am saying this because there have much noise about the need to improve the squad as if the likes of Wolves, Sheffield, Leicester, Burnley have better teams than us.
    On paper, we have at least a top 5 team and should competing for 3rd or 4th but we can barely make top 8…This is beyond squad quality alone, our mentality won’t allow us compete…

  2. He achieved his first challenge of our worst finish in 25 years! He embarks on his challenge to make Arsenal great again , good! Only concern is that challenge will be challenged by his signings Cedric, Luiz, Marri and his other favorites like Xhaka, Kolasinac. And to challenge them he has Socrates, Torrera and Laca. Another challenger is our assist king, who will challenge all odds not to play. Not being in Europe will be more challenging, as he will not have an excuse of playing an extra game in the midweek. So there will be lots of challenges, I only wish Dennis Bergkamp challenges Arteta for the coach’s role sooner rather than later.

    1. LC,

      “He achieved his first challenge of our worst finish in 25 years”……..You made it look like Arteta began the season with us and that is not fair at all, If not for him, I am sure we would be in the relegation fight as well.

      Jury is still on Mari imo, I also have concerns about his lack of pace but we have not really seen what he offers, Cedric is not meant to be a starter, and he was free, Luiz is one of our best defenders. Xhaka is a mainstay in our midfield for now, he is coordinates everything from deep, we can do better but he is the best we have now, I can’t wait to see the back of Kolasinac and his friend Ozil, If everyone is fit he will only be used as rotation, so Kola is not a favourite.
      Sokratis is not a footballer, not as far as Arsenal is concerned, teams like Burnley, and newly promoted West Brom will benefit from his wrestleball skills.

      Torreira can only play with Xhaka and that will be too defensive, so stop expecting him to replace/challenge Xhaka.

      Give Arteta time as he has barely even started, Dennis might be a legend but he can’t challenge My Manager…

  3. It is very essential for the appointed coaches to have coaching credentials. The playing formation he is using does not have the playmaker and right and left-back are used as attacking wings. Then numbers 11 and 7 will be idle in the system and the opponents will use that weakness to attack us. Why Arteta cannot see that as a coach?

  4. Mikel Arteta is a good communicator in English, something Unai Emery was not. Given Arsenal’s expected finishing position in the League, the only way should be up given the Club’s historic transfer budget in the top 4 or 5 EPL clubs.
    Emery was not supported in the transfer market, in that although money was spent, it wasn’t on players Emery requested or in positions where talent was deficient. As head coach he was expected to coach the players provided to him, with no consideration of the style of play he preferred.
    Hopefully Arteta is supported with the players he requests and to address the deficiencies evident to many of us in DM, box to box CAM and CB, with a RB if funds allow. I would prefer any funds to be spent on quality players, even if fewer in number, to build for the near future, rather than more players of lesser quality. In addition the best of the Academy products need to be signed to contracts and given opportunities to play or loaned out. Why for example is Arsenal linked to 17 yo Joelson Fernandez at £45 million, when Balogun a year older is looking to move on because of lack of opportunity?
    Arteta needs support from the Board and the senior executive, otherwise his words will sound hollow and he will wear the blame, as Emery had to.
    The clock is ticking with the short duration between seasons and other clubs are already strengthening.

  5. Well said Ozziegunner.The major problem facing Arteta is somehow ridding himself of the many mediocre players he inherited.To me the signings of Mari and Soares were unnecessary but they were cheap and can be used for back up on the bench.How to unload our sub par performers during a Global pandemic and financial recession is to say the least extremely difficult but that is the major task which faces our highly paid Executive at this time.The time has come for them to earn their corn.

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