Arteta says Arsenal have made many changes “now it is time to evolve”

Many Arsenal fans would say that they have little to no improvement since Mikel Arteta’s appointment as manager, but we all have to admit that he is in the middle of a massive rebuilding program that is far from finished.

We have cleared out an immense amount of our previously bloated squad, and we can now expect a very busy transfer window, backed by the owner, to insert the next pieces of the jigsaw that he has envisioned.

So perhaps we should have expected much improvement in this campaign, but seeing building blocks for the future, but the Spaniard is adamant that we have in fact come a long way in his process.

“We have made progress in many areas, I would say performance included, and that is supported by many factors that we have looked at,” Arteta told “Results-wise, to be where we want to be, it has to be improved.

“We have already had an incredible amount of changes at the club over the past year or so, more than ever. We are looking to improve and be much closer than where we are at the moment. In order to do that there are certain things that we have to improve.

“Now it is how we evolve, there are a lot of things that had to be done and they have been done, a lot of changes to make and a lot of them have been made. Now it is time to evolve. To evolve you to have to take things so that when they are a little more settled and established, take them to the next level.

“There’s great potential [with the young players], they’ve shown that this season. They are ready to take responsibility in important moments. They have the level to do it, they have the hunger to do it and they have the right senior players around them to help them as well. It’s about how we click and how we are consistent because we’ve shown that on the day we can compete and beat the top teams but through 38 games, we haven’t done it.

“Through the Europa League, we have done it to the point that we are so close to getting to that final, but in 38 games that’s the duty that we have and the challenge ahead of us: to compete with the big teams in this league.”

It looks like we have little option but to see how things develop over the summer and in the early stages of next season. So perhaps we should just relax, sit back, and enjoy the process. It should certainly be an interesting summer for us Gooners I am sure…

Sam P

Tags Arteta evolve process


  1. siamois says:

    MA also said in his interview that some players haven’t been giving their maximum he also blamed the quality of the players saying that the majority of them have reached their levels despite the coaching trying to improve them and changing tactics…he definitely has a case but I’m still waiting to hear what he thinks he did wrong if anything some sort of accountability no??

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      Give Luis Hamilton a Haas car and expect him to with the tiltle?Hamilton too is prone to an error here or there but delivers the title year after year because he has a good team to back him. Except Tierney, Saka or ESR, none of our players would qualify to wear any of the top 6 club jerseys. This is how bad we are and hiring poor talent has been our hallmark for the past decade. Rewarding them with generous contracts and not demanding anything in return is the new norm, Leaving aside Auba, Carzola and Tierney, rest all hired have been bang average for the past decade and we wonder why we are mid table? Within a season all want Mikel to wave the magic wand tand make us title contenders? Mikel is no magician, we need a good team of hungry and capable players.

      1. siamois says:

        @Loose to continue in the F1 analogy i wouldn’t compare us to Haas but McLaren great brand name history some great exciting former drivers.. which use to be at the top or around now trying to go back to past glories!

      2. MartinelliTheBench says:

        @Loose Cannon I’m pretty sure Martinelli would make most top 6 1st team squads and even Partey.

        I’ll admit Partey seems to be getting worse the longer he’s coached by MA but when he arrived he’d easily make the first team of most top 6.

    2. PJ-SA says:

      MA never does anything wrong himself don’t you know, it’s a common trend that his large ego shows in interviews.

      He took the majority of the FA Cup win plaudits with a worse squad than the current one to be fair. So this just sounds like a long winded excuse coming from him. Setting up the “reasons” for failure.

    3. guy says:

      Correct Siam as usual he starts by admitting he is responsible as hes manager. Thats pretty lame sloped shoulders to me as he never admits to any specific mistakes by himself.
      Agree not all his fault but he’s not as humble as some people think..

  2. Jayzel says:

    Its not wrong if its a transition. Sometimes you have to move back or sideways in order to move forward, and this year has been far from ‘normal’.

    Many games were decided by 1 goal with a number of missed opportunities and decisions in the final 3rd. This small detail could be the difference in 20 points a season, which is the process that is being developed. Rome wasnt built in a day.

    Id rather finish 10th with a chance of being competative in the next 10 years (with a full pre season and year to really click into gear next season, without europe and extra games….the Leicester way) and then we can kick on improving year after year.

    Or we can hope for one off seasons when all that is important is finishing above spurs no matter how good you have been and how much you can improve moving forward.

    The gunners are gonna push on next season this is not in doubt!

  3. pires says:

    We’r in dire need of QUALITY …..I think we have a good spin of youth though….

    1. guy says:

      Trouble is Pires, Arteta is caution personified regardless of what he says. Most of our “promising” youth players will be pensioners before they get anything more than the odd sub appearance. Looking at the standard and age (and on loan status) of the players keeping them out, that’s a real shame. I don’t get why he is not looking at Saka and ESR and putting more in…

  4. GunneRay says:

    MA sounds like he has everything under control then. Of course we’ve been listening to a lot of talk without actually delivering on the green stuff! When will enough be enough? This time next year? More to the point. Who wants to play for a team that is not in European competition? How do we attract better players? So called “better players” come to Arsenal and turn out pretty average in my opinion. I wonder what MA can do about that?

    Talk is cheap. Action speaks louder!

    1. siamois says:

      Didn’t JA post an article yesterday about how a season out of Europe was a good thing?

      1. GunneRay says:

        A season out of Europe is never a good thing!

        Anyone who thinks it is, says that because they are not in it..

        1. siamois says:

          I personally agree i don’t see any positives but some believe it will give MA more time to work with the players despite less revenues being less attractive to players not gaining more European experience and playing against good oppositions..and one less opportunity for Arsenal fans around the world to watch their team…!

        2. PJ-SA says:

          Didn’t Chelsea win the EPL after a season out of Europe?

          1. GunneRay says:

            True, but Chelsea already had a good squad. I believe that was the season Eden Hazard had a great season too. Arsenal however need a rebuild and god knows how much funding the Kroenkes will put is. Knowing them, not as much as we need and we still have to move some out..

          2. PJ-SA says:

            We’ve been rebuilding for 5 years, how long is our rebuild? 20 year project?

            Every time we have a bad season everyone just says, “We rebuilding”. Reality is we are still collapsing!

        3. guy says:

          We are not in it Ray, so we better start thinking it.

  5. pires says:

    The bright side of a bad season is that you dont have papering over the craks….As for MA he won’t have a free pass indefinitly…

  6. A J says:

    Given tea cup throwing and pinning people to the dressing wall is a thing of the past, let’s look at a recognised “business” approach to rebuilding a failing “*business” (*yuk) a.k.a. Arsenal Football Club.


    1) Evaluation.

    The first stage in a turnaround involves a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the business’ financial health, operational performance, and management effectiveness.

    2) Triage.

    The most difficult and time-consuming stage of a turnaround is what we not so affectionately call “triage.” Whilst taking no pride in this label, it is clearly the most appropriate when you consider the activities that take place during this period of time. The bleeding needs to be stopped and the vital functions of the business need be stabilised very quickly.

    3) Stabilisation.

    Stabilisation is what everyone wants as quickly as possible. It’s the point in the turnaround where the business starts breathing on its own again. Most often, stabilisation happens in conjunction with triage, but it should not be confused with being a part of that stage.

    4) Restructuring.

    Finally, we get to the fun part. Restructuring in a turnaround can be invigorating, because a viable future is starting to take shape. Activities like business planning, operational process improvement, model development, improving business culture, and exploring new growth markets are all strategic in nature. After the business has been effectively stabilised, a whole new world of possibilities begins to emerge.

    Irrelevant hog wash, clear as mud, rubbish we are a football club not a chain of supermarkets (Walmart ?).

    No, I personally recognise a number of the phase steps mentioned above – in fact a few of the actions described have already been carried out.

    It appears we are following, AND STICKING TO, an extremely structured approach on a long road to placing the club back on a firm footing (in all aspects) including once again becoming competitive on the park.

    All eyes are now on our summer window activities, in terms of (beginning) to deliver on the evolution front.

    Mikel Arteta (who IS part of the above plans), will then have a side more in his own image.

    Then the time for excuses will truly be over.

    However, Ryan Bertrand on a free from Southampton will simply not wash.

    1. Grandad says:

      Great stuff AJ.Takes me back to my pre retirement days .The difference between commercial and financial institutions and Football Clubs such as Arsenal is the absence of huge transfer fees which are a massive drain on resources.At the top end of the chain, where we used to be,we rarely make massive profits from transfer business, the most notable exception of the past decade being the huge windfall Liverpool made on the sale of Coutinho to Barca.Clubs further down the chain, like Southampton ,have kept themselves afloat by judicious dealings in the transfer market ,but the prospects seem to evade the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and even the Manchester Clubs.We need to learn from the likes of Southhampton and Leicester and buy young, talented players before they become household names.Martinelli is a case in point but there are others nearer home who have escaped our clutches and who are good enough to make our first eleven.Not one of our current centre backs has real pace , but I give you three young English players ,who graduated from the Championship who have and have great careers ahead of them.I refer to White at Brighton, Jones at Villa and Godfrey from Everton.These players were all known and available yet they were not considered good enough for Arsenal who preferred Socratis,Mustafi etc.Our recruitment has been absolutely shocking during the past decade and bringing in Pepe, Gabriel, Cedric ,Mari,Luis and Willian are examples of where we have gone wrong.I am not “sold” on Arteta, but even less so on Edu.There are plenty of very fine young British players in the EPL and the Championship, but for some reason our recruitment team seem intent of fishing in non UK waters.So far our catches have been meagre to say the least .

      1. Grandad says:

        I meant Konsa at Villa.

      2. A J says:

        All well made and valid points Grandad, born out of valuable experience.

        I just pray I am not “hoping against hope” that we are actually approaching the much belated”overhaul”, in a structured and sustainable fashion.

        Particularly onboard with your last point re’ the EPL & Championship.

        For me “domestic success” gives rise to European” places anyway, so lets build accordingly.

        Take care.

    2. siamois says:

      Are you saying that we are now at the final stage “restructuring”?

      1. A J says:

        @siamois – with our lot, your guess is as good as mine 🙂

        1. siamois says:


    3. guy says:

      You need to give football analogies for each part AJ, then folks will maybe see it.
      There are a few differences though. A normal business eventually folds if badly run. There are numerous ways football clubs survive – community or local govt support and benevolent owners being two of them.
      Interested to hear your view on what has been achieved at Arsenal and what stage we are at now?

      1. A J says:

        Hi Guy.

        Wow, where do I start – we could get through many pints debating this little lot !

        Here’s my personal take – probably missed many valid / relevant points, but here goes;

        EVALUATION – Post Atreta’s arrival – Dec’ 2019

        Self explanatory.

        TRIAGE –

        Incoming under Arteta;

        Partey, Gabriel, Mari, Runar, Soares, Willian.

        Outgoings Under Arteta;

        Jan 1st: Sead Kolasinac joins Schalke on loan * (deal actually announced on Dec 31st).

        Jan 4th: William Saliba joins Nice on loan.

        Jan 8th: Matt Macey joins Hibernian.

        Jan 20th: Sokratis contract termination announced – he subsequently joins Olympiacos.

        Jan 24th: Mesut Ozil joins Fenerbahce.

        Feb 1st: Matt Smith recalled from Swindon loan, joins Charlton on loan.

        Feb 1st: Zech Medley joins Kilmarnock on loan.

        Feb 1st: Joe Willock joins Newcastle on loan.

        Feb 1st: Shkodran Mustafi joins Schalke.

        Feb 1st: Ainsley Maitland-Niles joins West Brom on loan.

        Oct 2020 – Guendouzi loned to Hertha Berlin


        Jan 7th: Omar Rekik signs from Hertha Berlin.

        Jan 22nd: Mat Ryan joins on loan from Brighton.

        Jan 27th: Martin Odegaard joins on loan from Real Madrid.

        With January ’21 given to the “Triage” phase, it was obvious (very sadly) the remainder of the season had to be played out “as best we could, with what we had” to a large degree.

        I believe the “Triage ” phase not only addressed a number of financial issue (wages), but also removed some “bad influences” form the squad (these being identified within the “Assessment” phase.

        In short we had to see the season out with what we had post January (“Triage”).


        Mikel Arteta re-named “First Team Coach” to ” First Team Manager”

        EDU takes role as Technical director

        Raul Sanllehi removed.

        Vinai Venkatesham in as football administrator and Chief Executive.

        ( I accept the above 4 roles where a mixed bag of dates around the “ASSESSMENT” period but seem to amplify the point well).

        Richard Garlick in as Director of football operations.

        Attention given to the size of the wage bill.

        55 redundancies announced.

        Behind the scenes internal “football facing” roles re-aligned, including scouting & coaches.


        However, under this phase we await action with bated breath going forward.

        As mere football fans we simply want our club to be competitive in real terms once more.

        Be gentle on me Guy.

        I am not a high flying business man, but simply a lifelong Gooner through and through, who just hopes and prays we are undergoing true change after one of the darkest seasons (and underwhelming decades) in our recent history.

  7. Ayan says:

    Enough of all these talk, talk, talk…. It’s results we need and Arteta has not been able to provide it!

    1. A J says:

      Rather like the labour party, it’s easy to sit back and constantly criticise.

      What is your SOLUTION Ayan ?

  8. RW1 says:

    Yes we lack quality in some positions … and principally in the managerial department … change or it will be another wasted year … had enough of the 7 years of blight need 7 good years with a fresh approach to the game

  9. Son says:

    The problem of Arsenal is too much talk.

    Bayern for instance know they are losing Alaba on a free this summer, they’ve already signed Upamencano even before the transfer window opens, last summer they got Hernandez. We know what we lack and what to do, start doing them, start selling and recruiting now, there’s no need for fancy talk when we can’t see actions from the team, no one will believe you.

    Yes jenuary was ruthless with the way we handled contracts now we need to follow that up this summer, if the likes of nkethia, willock and even the senior players are not going to feature in our long term plans sell them now and create more room for incomings.

    On todays game with chelshit, i hope Elneny starts alongside Partey if Xhaka is unfit to play, i don’t want to see Ceballos anywhere near that pitch

  10. gerry burke says:

    i would have to ask arteta what exactly we are going to evolve into, a unicorn perhaps ?.

  11. Wyoming says:

    Mikel Arteta is a very determined character loyal to the bone and so badly wants to succeed.
    But so far his coaching has brought two 8th placed finishes.
    Emery did better but his poor English did not permit him to stall for time.
    Arteta though speaks good English and in the above article Arteta has spoken a thousand words telling us that the 8th placed position ‘proves’ what a wonderful job he is doing and how close to glory the team is under his tutelage.
    Yet despite this team being ‘on the cusp of greatness’ according to our great coach Arteta now says he still requires a huge clear out and a vast injection of money to buy half a dozen world class players a la Man City.
    So do we have a weak squad or a Manager who is not up to the task?
    May be they are both weak.
    May be we need a new coach as well as a new squad?
    The debate continues.

    1. siamois says:


  12. Davi says:

    It’s good that he focused on the young players being ready to take responsibility but he’s dead wrong that we have the right experienced players to guide them – I guess he has to say it whether he believes it or not, though?

  13. A J says:

    So let’s take another angle.

    What does Max Alegri achieve with this squad ?

  14. Grantygooner says:

    What I find a bit worrying is he seems to be pinning the blame for our troubles on the players. Yes we have a few duds, but as he’s been lauded as a good coach with great management potential, then surely he should have been able to turn them around? Instead of that it appears the evolutionary clock at Arsenal is in reverse!

    1. A J says:

      Hi Grantygooner.

      Being crude, but so appropriate, ever heard the term;

      “You can’t polish a turd” ?

      1. Grantygooner says:

        AJ stop making me laugh, my boss might think I enjoy me job!!!!!!!!

        1. A J says:

          Grantygooner – You never know, he may give you a rise !!!!!!!!

  15. jon fox says:


    That is YOUR OPINION SamP but not shared by me and I suggest is naive nonsense A PROPER window would involve REAL MASSIVE funds being made avaialble for top class imports.

    Anyone who still thinks that will happen, after 14 years of Kroenke, is naive beyond all hope! Lots of loanees, both in and out and freebies wil be what ACTUALLY happens!

    1. Davi says:

      I suspect your last paragraph will come true, but I disagree we need to spend massive amounts (relatively speaking) – we just need to start spending carefully. Unfortunately that would require watching players from mid table clubs in England and abroad and picking out the gems (like many clubs have been doing to catch up to and overtake us recently) but we’ve seemingly gutted our infrastructure for doing that. However, spending big money will only land us Ozils at this point, players who just want the money and couldn’t really care less about how well the team performs

  16. Reggie says:

    All this restructuring BS is just that. We have been restructuring for years and never actually structure anything. Every club restructures on a constant basis, its all clichés and sayings that sound good. Arteta is restructuring to WHAT? He has never structured anything, he is waffling to hide his ineffectiveness as a manager. We will still be restructuring in the championship under Arteta. He just makes bad decisions and bad errors one after the other. Its absolute garbage to say he is restructuring and absolutely right to say the bloke is a fraud. There is no process, we are dropping like a stone.

    1. A J says:

      What’s your approach Reggie ?

    2. Grandad says:

      In what way is Arteta a fraud.Do you know the meaning of the word?He may at times be naive and lacking in judgement but a fraud” , I think not.

      1. Reggie says:

        AJ i would sack the bloke and employ Rafa, he is a top manager and available. Grandad a sham or a poseur suits Arteta to a tee, which translate to a fraud.

        1. A J says:

          Fair enough Reggie.

          And Rafa does what with this current squad, and working under Kroenkes constraints.

          Not saying you are wrong mate, but I’m convinced Arteta is still our manager come August.

          So we have no choice but to ride the “process “ out.

          If things have not improved x games in, Mikel will be sacked.

          Not an ideal situation I know.

          However, if Kroenke were to sell, this could all change .

          1. Reggie says:

            Rafa is used to working with young players and not lots of money, he is ideal for all Arsenals problems. He is a proper coach and man manager andxwon everything in the game.

        2. Grandad says:

          I have yet to see Arteta described as a “fraud” by any ex professional player or pundit many of whom have criticised him in other areas with justification.You may of course consider yourself more enlightened than they are with regard to football Management , but there again it could be that your opinion is not shared even by fans who want Arteta replaced.He may not be a very good Manager, but he is not a fraud.

          1. Reggie says:

            Grandad, he is doing a job that he isnt up too, he is trying to make people think he has a process and we are in that now, he is trying to make out he is a good manager and failing. He isnt doing anything well, except deceive people that he can do the job. If he could we wouldn’t have had the worse season for a quarter of a century with an expensively assembled squad, that is massively under achieving.

  17. Nick says:

    This is a classic!

    So, “We have made progress in many areas, I would say performance included”, but that “Results-wise, to be where we want to be, it has to be improved”

    It’s like saying that the operation was a great success, but sadly, the patient died.

    Must say that I am beginning to enjoy the ‘process’. Well, although the football is abysmal, at least the comedy is good. Maybe the anointed one should also consider a career in stand-up?

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