Arteta’s “unprecedented” comment is music to my ears…

Arteta makes ‘Unprecedented’ Comment! By Dan Smith

Over the year there has been a debate about Mikel Arteta which often divides our fan base. There’s those who got carried away in the summer predicting a title challenge and claiming he was better than Pep Guardiola. Alternatively there were Gooners who wanted Arteta sacked before Christmas (and still do).

My own stance was I always have wanted the Spaniard to succeed but can’t put my finger on why.

I haven’t enjoyed our style of football and refuse to offer any excuses for our season. If the previous regime never finished 8th how can I blame them now? Plus very few new managers walk into a job where everything is perfect. If there were no issues to fix there wouldn’t be a reason for a managerial change.

Yet I find myself having more patience with our current boss then I ever did Unai Emery.

It’s not like I’m scared to point out mistakes when I see them. For example I was critical, not that he dropped Ozil, but his failure to bring in anyone more creative.

Yet I never wanted him gone which on the surface is strange.

Our worst League finish in 25 years, our worst start in longer and 10th at the beginning of March and the most boring style of play in my lifetime. So why haven’t I given up on the Spaniard?

This week he reminded me why when he spoke openly and honestly about our transfer policy.

It’s the same reason he won me over when he had his first ever press conference. After years of getting used to our best players wanting to leave, the likes of AFTV calling the remaining of the squad the C word, it was nice to hear someone speak so proudly about the badge.

Call me naïve, but the whole ‘When Arsenal knock, it’s a different knock ….’ I believed were genuine and can imagine that’s infectious to be around.

When we beat City and Liverpool last season, Arteta was quick to remind anyone getting carried away just how big that gap is.

Patrick Vieira once said that Jose Mourinho taught him that the opposition can be better than you but that doesn’t mean they will win. You simply have to find another way to beat them. Maybe you train harder, work more on set pieces. Etc.

I believe we have a young coach who believes that he can make talent better, and if they share his ethos and work ethic, he can teach them to how to improve. Yes, he’s a rookie but he has self-belief and ambition. My long term worry his is employers won’t match that ambition.

At his Burnley pre match press conference he reminded me of why I have kept the faith even though I can’t argue the results haven’t been good enough.


Previewing the next transfer window Arteta told “We will see. We are planning what’s going to happen in the summer. It will depend on where we finish, how we finish. I think what we had to in December is unprecedented for a club of this stature. To do the amount of transactions that we had to make it tells you as well where we are.”


That’s music to my ears because in life you should be the best version of yourself and here was our manager publicly admitting our position isn’t good enough.

To find any solution you have to admit there’s a problem and I needed to be reassured that we as a club were not settling, that they recognise this season is unacceptable and a plan is in motion to fix it.

Of course during a pandemic, us being in Europe or not will affect budgets, but I still expect Edu to have a list of targets ready. That’s his job.

Arteta could easily have hidden behind our youngsters, made the excuses about VAR, gone on about conspiracy theories, blamed the previous regime or claimed we are only …. points behind whoever.

That’s what some gooners have done this season. They tried to justify 10th in March and almost accepted it. You can say it’s not good enough without being against the manager.

Don’t get me wrong we have been promised funding before (usually before a kit launch) but this feels different.

Arteta is smart enough to not say this if it wasn’t true, because he would be in effect going above the owners head and giving supporters false hope. Unless he’s calling Me Kroenke’s bluff?

Either way the current manager of Arsenal isn’t accepting our current position. It could just be a very smart man telling me what I want to hear by offering some romantic sound bites.

We will find out this summer if this really is an ‘unprecedented’ time or the same as uaual


Be Kind In The Comments




  1. I’m glad to say that i was neither getting carried away or wanted MA thing Dan i found your statement”i have always wanted Arteta to succeed but couldn’t put my finger on why..”surprising surely if your manager is successful so is your club no?

  2. Another very good article Dan, and your correct when saying the majority of fans want the manager to be successful. We are paying the cost of appointing an inexperienced novice who has no doubt cost us anFA Cup place and at least 10 points in the league due to his negligence. For every Leicester away ( and there have not been too many) we have Burnley, Villa and Wolves at home. The so-called defensive improvements that were being creamed over by some have now come back to haut them.
    He talks a good job. He is obviously very capable. And there do is no ou t he wants the job.Will he prove himself good enough?We Will know after Liverpool at home.

      1. Precisely Siamois, Why after the Liverpool game , as you say! What ever does Phil expect ONE game to tell us that we will not otherwise know!
        Despite the fact that he and I do not like each other I do, in general, much respect his knowledge and long term support of our club, so with that in mind I found THAT comment an odd one for a mature fan.
        On MA, I believe that those who support MA , who are ,in general (as I have noticed) the older fans on here, tend to look at MAs personal qualities and the size of the task he inherited plus the Scrooge owner who has held ALL our managers back since he first came in 2007.
        Our squad right now is massively more promising than the one MA inherited and much – not all but most- of the sub standard players are gone and some exciting players come in.

        Looking ahead, as mature fans tend to do, while not judging ENTIRELY on league position, our outlook is far brighter than when MA first arrived. In the world of instant gratification where so many young fans live AND one or two more mature ones too, people make hasty judgements.
        I take the longer view and look far deeper than JUST current league position. And I believe we mature fans are right and the hasty ones are profoundly wrong.
        BTW, unlike some , I do NOT hold Emery PRIMARILY responsible for the state of the squad that MA inherited.

        1. Good to know that I’m not the only one to think that you cannot define a season on one game alone!

        2. So @Jon Fox and @Siamois- our next run of games are these

          Burnley Away- ANY manager of Arsenal Football Club should aleays expect to win this game. However, Arteta oversaw that ridiculously poor and tactically incompetent performance earlier this season that had us beaten at the Emirates by this two bob pub team managed by a neandathal who out-thought Arteta resulting in one of the poorest performances I have ever witnessed from any Arsenal team since my first game in 1962.And trust me when I say I’ve seen a few over the years, as have many on this site.
          Who can honestly say they are 100% confident of us winning up there on Saturday? Jon- would you put your money on a win? Your a gambler, or so you say. You tell me the result. You can’t because like everyone else, you are waiting to see exactly which Arsenal turns up.
          A game that we should win, simply because we have better players and a better team. But after 15 months of Arteta he is still unable to confidently give us wins that we should be taking for granted.

          Olympiakos away- Ot goes without saying how important this game is as it’s the last chance we have of winning a trophy.
          Some feel Olympiakos are pushovers. In fact Jon you embarrassed yourself ( as you do regularly) last week by inferring they were another two Bob team from a third rate league. Remember that comment Jon? You conveniently
          “Cocked a deaf-un” and didn’t reply when I pointed out that Arteta somehow managed to get us knocked out by this team last season.
          Let’s see how we do against this team who are at the moment topping their league, let in very few goals and score regularly. Not something Arteta has managed to achieve in 15 months managing Arsenal.

          Tottenham home- need I have to say anything. Apparently Jon there was a time when you used to attend games. If that is so, you will know there are two games we simply do not lose. They are Spurs at home and Spurs away.
          So far Arteta has lost BOTH games he has managed against them. He MUST NOT allow this to be three.

          Olympiakos home- As the away game. Anything less than qualification through to the next round is unacceptable

          West Ham away- We are talking about a club that are in FOURTH POSITION in the EPL. We are TENTH. How is this acceptable? A small minded club, with very little finance, managed by an experienced boss in Moyes. They have probably over achieved this season but they have consistently performed above their status including playing us off the park at the Emirates earlier this season. This will not be an easy game, it never is away at West Ham. But this is another measure of where we are. Lose, and I will accept that WHU are a better side than us. This should never have been allowed to happen. Again, we have better players and we are a better team. So Jon, would you bet on a win here ?

          Liverpool Home- No matter how poor a season the Scousers have had they are still better than us.They have been decimated by injuries this season, especially at the back. Will we win? It is another game that measures our “progress” under Arteta.

          So, you wanted to know why up to Liverpool, and I have answered. Let’s see what happens at Burnley on Saturday, then take one game at a time. After Liverpool I believe we will all know if Arteta is capable of taking us forward.
          For the record , I hope he is. But I need a lot of convincing before he gets support from me

          1. PHIL NOW THAT WE ARE SEEMINGLY BEHAVING MORE LIKE CIVIL FANS – BOTH OF US, NOT JUST YOU – I am very happy to converse normally with you.

            On that Burnley prediction, I look at the fact Burnley, with a small squad played yesterday while we did not, til we play them. That is a factor to consider.

            Burnley are always a tough side, physically and in other ways but I do expect a narrow win. I do not usually bet big and usually not at all on most single games but on longterm markets where odds are easier to predict direction even if not how far they move. I had money on City for thet itle when they were far higher odds than now, so I will usually lay those odds off but with City I see no need.
            On the wider picture, I have already written off this season as a failure to qualify at all for Europe and that is why I DID criticise MA when he fielded a weakened FA CUP team and same applies to Europa now as its our last hope this season.

            But I always looked beyond this seaon and never raised hopes , when I SOBERLY assessed the squad we started this season with. I am content the squad is improving AND the team. I will keep patient and urge others to do likewise. We ARE going in the right direction but we also have Kroenke to contend with. Sigh!

    1. I believe the job MA inherited was a gargantuan task, and being a rookie, even more so. The culture at the club did stink – players without ambition, players who are not good enough, players who probably knows theyre not part of MA’s rebuild. How can one motivate such a bunch? Add on top of that, the refs are killing us, these last few season especially. I believe Arsenal, in the last 5 years, have been rooted at the bottom in the ref bias table. 20th, 20th, 19th, 17th and 16th. That is shocking, considering we lost out on 4th with 1 and 2 points. Arteta, for me, may actually be the man to wake up the sleeping giant that is Arsenal, once and for all. Now go get me a slice of Grealish and a bite of Aarons or Lamptey. A big glass of Bissouma would also be welcome… I’m starving! Hah

    2. Do you even remember the last time we were 3rd in goal conceded at this stage of the season? You have to go to the 15/16 season to see a better goal conceded/ game ratio

      Arteta has many flaws mostly down to the fact that he is a rookie coach and was brought to manage a club in the worse state i have ever seen in my lifetime.

  3. Before Emery, I wanted Arteta badly, not because of anything but one single reason.
    Arsene Wenger, Wenger’s comment about Arteta’s ability and future made me felt like “Wow okay this is an interesting one I’d like to see through”.
    And he has shown he can be flexible, when he came, saw our defenders, we switched to a defensive style of play while on the counter.
    This season it’s not been defensive, it’s more of trying to balance the attack and figure it out.
    What style of play do we have? Well for one we are a defensive team who doesn’t play on the defense. Our defensive unit is more solid now and it doesn’t limit our attack or make us less reliable like the previous regime.
    He keeps clearing the team and making space to bring in better players.

    2: we play with more identity on the pitch, unlike under the Emery regime. Players actually know their roles, what they’re meant to do on the pitch and where to be.
    Personal indiscipline let us down a whole lot this season with those players getting red cards for simply no reason, bar the Luiz incident.

    3. He’s clearly changed the poor culture the club and players had over the last 5 years.

    4: Handled player power and sent a messay no single player is bigger than the team.

    5: Despite claims that he’s man management is bad, we’ve seen otherwise. Emery promoted Saka, yeah, who’s getting the best out of Saka though? Who’s getting the best out of Xhaka though? Who keeps having one on one with Pepe and trying to help Pepe though and have we started seeing results of those extra sessions with Pepe?

    He’s made a few mistakes and poor decisions. He’s learning, he’ll grow into it. He’s not stupid to think he has the team to compete with others. He doesn’t hide behind players and excuses, he takes the blame when things are going wrong and admits they need to work better?
    Am I happy we are 10th? Hell no, but am I willing to give this sorta person the time needed? Hell yeah I am ready to give him the time as I’ve seen him handled a whole lot that Emery couldn’t handle.
    Also while I was tough on Emery, perhaps Emery’s biggest mistake was allowing the culture exist under him and giving in to player power. In the end the players let him down big time as he couldn’t change the culture with tough hands.
    It’s not looking good now, but I’m riding the storm out with this one


  4. Some positives of Mikel’s first year
    won the FA & CS against formidable opposition
    stood up to nuisance characters and booted them out, that itself is like lifting a trophy.
    shored up the defense, no more whipping by the elite.
    Coached ESR, Saka, Cedric to be better players. You can add Xhaka to this list, but the odd mistake is anticipated every 10 minutes.
    Considering that Laca, Bellerin will be leaving and hopefully Elneny, Nelson, Torrera, Luiz,more reinforcements will come, the future is bright.
    As I always was of the opinion, this year is a waste as he could not have the players he wanted, now that the most are gone/going, next season will be our season.

  5. I never wanted Arteta here as our Manager but because he helped get us FA Cup, I’m happy to give him rest of the season. If we finish 7th or above then we should keep him. (Aslo If we win the EL we should keep him.) If no trophy and we finish 8th again or lower than we should look for a new Manager

    My criteria is very low. All I want is improvement in the Premier League. 7th is the minimum allowable

    We spent a lot of money. Its about management and coaching now

  6. Dan, this article echoes my mind.

    Unlike you however, I can boldly state the reasons why I believe in Arteta and by extension Edu but for brevity and to avoid deviating from this fine article, I would only outline one.

    One unpopular reason why I believe in Arteta and Edu is because they are young and I think they would be desperate to succeed. Yes mistakes have been made and will always be made as it is in football and life in general but they are smart and innovative in their thinking.
    I have faith this pair would build this club and bring the much awaited glory days back, we are almost there and we will get there!

    “Yes, he’s a rookie but he has self-belief and ambition. My long term worry his is employers won’t match that ambition.”

    Exactly! He, alongside Edu has a point to proof, and if the ambition is there, the rotten mentality will quickly disappear and we can start seeing changes in the the way things are done. I get your worry though, what I can’t also explain is why I am so confident the owners would match his ambition this time, Arsenal will be back! Onwards and Upwards I say!


  7. I largely agree and think the same. Results and performances for that matter have not been good enough. We switch off too much at the beginning and pre half time in games. Yet I do feel that Arteta is trying to force through change and should only be judged at the end of this season and in reality, the end of next season. He has high standards and a high work ethic which will hopefully rub off on the squad. As the squad evolves and he gets more of ‘his’ players in, whether they be signings or youth promotions- they will play in the managers image and carry his work ethic onto the pitch. I am desperate for him to succeed however as always he will ultimately be judged on results.

    1. We belong together and Aspiring a common agenda hence why MA’s actions, mindset and ethics trigger common reactions

  8. Do I want him to succeed? Yes and so is every Arsenal fan. Can he succeed? He hasn’t shown anything this season to prove so. As a matter of fact the tangible evidence so far shows he won’t.

    Saying that he will succeed in the future is based more on hope than actual fact in my opinion.

    I don’t have big football brain to understand the game deeply but in my 20 years or so of being a fan I have seen what decide if a manager stay or go in a big club is results.

    I don’t hate Arteta and frankly I don’t care who is the manager as long as the team get satisfactory results.

    1. “As a matter of fact the tangible evidence so far shows he won’t.”

      It shows that so far he hasn’t, not that he wont.

      1. Yes DTM. There is still time to get something this season and I wish him all the best.

        I don’t have confidence in him currently and I don’t think I will give it easily this time if the results don’t improve.

        If he is still there at the start of next season I think it will be 100% up to him to keep his job and I don’t think he will find support and understanding even from the most patient folks if he has a bad start.

  9. April 4 will be a good date to have a clear view of whether this season will be a good one or a complete failure. In the league we will have played tott, west ham and liverpool and With many of the teams above us playing each other IF we are close to the european places then with a relatively easy schedule ahead we could mount a good challenge for top 6 or even top 4 OR the league would be dead. In europa the round of 16 would be over and we would have a good view of which teams have the best chance of winning.

  10. I’ve had deep reservations about Arteta this season because of his handling of the young players, the Willian thing, and the period when the wheels fell off and we lost games we should have won. But in the past few weeks I’ve started to see signs of the old Arsenal attacking flair. It’s not perfect yet, but I’m happy to stay positive about Arteta. Maybe we need a new defensive coach though….

  11. Some good comments and sense, includinh from HH, and it’s rare that I say that! I agree thay MA’s judgement day, if it comes at all, will be 10-12 games into next season. More player movements and a real pre-season, and a clean slate so no catch-up. If we havent shown our long term identity and performed to a standard by then, then even his fans cant argue.

    The main reason I consider MA supporters to be more rational than the quick-fix outers is that we don’t blindly follow MA. We criticise him, we question his decisions, admit he has made mistakes. A sizeable number of Outers NEVER give him ANY credit for anything. He wins a game and most of us are happy. A zealot Outer will not mention the performance at all. They will commence with critiisisng him for bringing on Willian. Next they might say ESR was excellent but only because until now MA played him out of position all season. They will end up with ok we won this one, but we have been rubbish all season. They have no perspective, patience or common sense. They compare statistics that suit them, and take no account whatsoever of the dire position we were in when he came. I can’t talk to them directly unless its because I am angry, because a conversation based on reality with one-dimensional people is impossible.

    This is not about all opponents of Arteta. It’s only the miserable, negative, permanently critical ones I talk about. You know who you are.

  12. Well, Arteta broke some bad records last season by beating Klopp(Liverpool) for the first time, beating city $ Chelsea in fa cup, beating wolves away and beating Liverpool again in the community shield…
    He improved our defensive midfield by buying Partey( sacrificing Aouar for him), worked on our defense.
    We also qualified with 100% record in Europa league in group stage( only club in both Europa and uefa) this season.
    First time Arsenal would play Chelsea and Man utd and I wouldn’t be panicking.
    Although we have lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t have lost
    So, my conclusion is that I will give Arteta till the end of next season….
    God bless Arsenal….

  13. “Arteta could easily have hidden behind our youngsters, made the excuses about VAR, gone on about conspiracy theories, blamed the previous regime or claimed we are only …. points behind whoever.”

    On a myriad of occasions Arteta has used a variety of excuses, including VAR, the refs and an old Wenger favourite, bad luck, to justify/rationalize poor results, so I’m not sure how you could make such an erroneous statement

    “I think what we had to in December is unprecedented for a club of this stature. To do the amount of transactions that we had to make it tells you as well where we are.”

    This comment isn’t a statement about his displeasure with our position in the standings, it was actually a shot across the bow at our former manager, and not Emery, about the horrible state of the franchise, which required such drastic measures to be taken…problem is that if he was really astute and didn’t fall for the delusional notion that we were one or two players away from competing for trophies, he would have dealt with those scenarios in the summer and not pursued Willian

    “Arteta is smart enough to not say this if it wasn’t true, because he would be in effect going above the owners head and giving supporters false hope. Unless he’s calling Me Kroenke’s bluff?”

    Remember when Gazidis said that we had the financial wherewithal to make a real push, yet Wenger still didn’t pursue those players who would have taken us to the next level…why do you think Wenger didn’t utilize these funds? and if you think Gazidis was lying, why do you think he wasn’t relieved of his duties for potentially stirring up the hornet’s nest?

    “Either way the current manager of Arsenal isn’t accepting our current position. It could just be a very smart man telling me what I want to hear by offering some romantic sound bites.”

    The expression is “whispering sweet nothings in your ear” not “romantic sound bites”, whatever that means…btw why would Arteta be “smart” for telling you what you wanted to hear…do you think you actually have a superior understanding of what this club really needs to be successful…highly doubtful because if it was up to you we would still be watching Wenger fighting his zipper on the sidelines

  14. I believe its high time Arteta must go we have had enough insults lately.its time to say good bye .We love Arsenal yes but we are not happy where we are now.

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