Edu insists Arsenal are still “in the middle of our project”

Mikel Arteta and Edu began a massive overhaul of the Arsenal squad last summer by bringing in six new faces, while starting a massive clearout of the players deemed ‘surplus to requirements’, which was just about every single player on the books before Arteta arrived! (Except Xhaka).

At the end of last summer’s window, Edu explained where he thought Arsenal were in their project when he told “Just to give you some context, we renewed – in one year – five sets of contracts, and five of them are under the age of 23 for the first team. Then, in this period, summer to summer, we signed 10 players and seven out of the 10 are under 23 as well.

“So what I would like to explain is that is is not about this summer, it is about the project. It is about what we want to do. We have started the project, we are in the middle, so it is not just one window and go, it is window, window, window, window.”

“We see the balance in the squad is much better, but again this is not the end. People have to understand we are still on the journey to go where this club deserves to be.”

Although Mikel’s half-built young squad managed to end up in fifth place and securing Europa League qualification, the rebuild has continued in this window as well, seeing a lot more quality players being added to the team, which will hopefully see the Gunners challenging for every trophy in the new campaign.

I understand that there is real planning gone into our business, and Edu has not just been throwing money at a KUBET casino and hoping to win, but I would have thought that, by September, the “project” would be achieved and would only require some maintenance to keep us at the top, but now Edu is saying yet again that “we are probably in the middle of our project”.

He told SkySports, when asked about our plans for the future, and he replied: “We have a plan really in place, so we are probably in the middle of our project.

“We need to keep improving the quality in the squad. We have to make important decisions to make our squad better every year, so we have to improve, improve and improve.

“Here we have to always think about winning. I think the club was born to win things because of the size of this club and that we have to always think about winning. Every single year we have to be better, better and better.”

Maybe we should find a new word, because the way I see it if you build a completely new team and despose of all the old players (except Xhaka), that means that the “rebuild project” must be complete, no?

What should we be calling the new project? “Second Stage project”? “Operation Trophy Hunt”?  Any suggestions?

Darren N



  1. I’ll say after this window and in the middle of our project looking to improve on last campaign we are eyeing top 4 and i don’t mean just 4th i mean 1st-4th positions and a cup triumph i.e uel,fa or efl.EPL and CL in a year or two after after which we have boosted our squad quality by being able to attract top quality players.

  2. How is it that xhaka is the only one not surplus to the requirements out of all this management inherited.
    Saliba, Tierney, and martineli are part of the last management and about to be in the first 11 line up if all fit??
    The project was reported to win the Ucl in 3rd season and we are not in the competition yet, I wonder how we will win it.

    In truth nobody would ever know when the project would be completed, especially when the targets are not set.
    I am happy with the changes going on, and I could see some real changes, but my question is, why is that we are the only team out of all the top team that went for youth project??
    Out of all the top team, I would have expected Barca to be doing that, but nah Xavi of la messiah who knows what it takes to have a youth project and being a graduate of one is buying players like Auba and lewa, this here makes me question the motives behind the youth project.
    Pep didn’t go for youth project nor did klopp. Those are the best coach in the world right now, how come we are going for youth project with an inexperience manager and expect to be on top ??

    1. @Kaay
      Why does Arsenal have to run it’s business and future plans as anyone else?
      Aren’t Barcelona in financial difficulties hence why they are selling off share after share of their TV Rights?

      All clubs have their own methods and ways they conducts their affairs. We are not Man United, City, Barcelona, Liverpool, Spurs, Everton, Newcastle etc.. We are Arsenal football club, we have our own ways.

      That’s like a 7 year old child crying to their mother “But mum, how come all my friends are allowed to do sleepovers but I am not allowed?”.


      “But mum, how come I have to go to bed by 8 O’clock while my friends are allowed to stay up until 11 O’clock ?”

      My parents would always say to me, “We are not your friends parents, we do things differently in this family.. We have different rules and ways we behave as a family..”

  3. @kaay. Someone has got to try at one point. Success is all about gut and bravery. It won’t hurt to wait and see how this so called project turns out to be

    1. Agreed.
      But let see it from this point, imagine being the 3rd or 4th biggest company in a country. And the company is on declined, I am not sure the right employee to bring the company back to where it once belong to would be a manager who has never manage anywhere before.
      Yeah it may work out in the end, but you know an experience manager would have high percentage of success with a non experience manager.
      There’s a reason why most position in work ask for years of experience regardless if they are building or not.
      Pep and zidane were managing both Barca and real Madrid under 23 before they got the Job. Those are unproven manager at the top level before they got hired but even at that they still manage a team before and had their record.
      I don’t believe Arteta can turn things around, but I respect him even though I don’t believe in their project.

  4. Because they learned from Wenger and Emery falling short of 4th. Avoid stating goals and targets like “finish in top 4” or “qualify for CL.”

    Ownership has cleverly distanced themselves from the “standards” set under Wenger, especially during the time of paying off stadium debt.

    This way “process” and “project” can be defined and measured how you wish. Move the goalposts, and cheer top 6 like it’s the new top 4.

    Edu talks about winning now, and importance of winning things, then in the next breath says middle of the project and be patient.

    What are the goals for this year?
    What are the minimal achievements?
    How do you identify when the process is nearing it’s end?

    350 million spent and counting, massive turnover in the squad, yet only middle of the process?

    If we miss top 4 again I expect “yeah but…” to immediately proceed more excuses and no accountability.

    Must be divine to get hundreds of millions to spend, complete control of players, little accountability (it’s players fault) and no fear of getting sacked, regardless of table placement or collapsing at season’s end.

    1. @Durand
      Are some of you people naturally this negative, grumpy, gloomy, pessimistic, paranoid and suffer from anxiety issues etc.?

      Seriously, this level of negative self indulgence when it come to Arteta and Edu has surely got to be unhealthy. We know you don’t like these 2 individuals and can’t wait for them to fail but my goodness, some of you people need to relax for a bit….

      1. All these names cause someone gave a opinion different from you.
        It’s irony that with the way you are referring to people, it’s them who are negative.
        You are right, people shouldn’t question, criticize, or give their own opinion about the team they support without them having your permission t before they started to support that team.
        The likes of pep and klopp still get criticize, questioned by the fans of the club they represent despite their achievement, but yeah we shouldn’t do any of that because that would make us a fake fan.

        1. Well said Kaay and Durand – it seems free speech is tolerated, as long as it doesn’t question the management.

          Xhaka can be pilloried from pillar to post, but dare to question any of Mikel’s decisions and your not a supporter!!!

          We’ve already accepted that the claim we would win the CL during this season, has been quietly sidelined, with no questions asked – just be thankful we finished 5th and are in the europa league, while we are now told we are only in the middle of the project!!!

          Why make such silly statements about the CL, when they knew it wouldn’t happen?

  5. 25 years Gabriel Jesus
    29 years Thomas Partey
    25 years Oleksandr Zinchenko
    25 years Kieran Tierney
    Gabriel Magalhães is 24 and Rob Holding is 26 years old
    In the first team we have 4 players above 23 years
    I think most fans will choose the younger Gabriel Magalhães to Rob Holding
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles is the only 24 year old
    Last year we ended close to 4th place with mostly kids this year they are a year older
    I don’t think age matters more than quality…
    Also though we had the younger team last year we did better than the other 15 teams…better than teams with the average age of 26 and above

  6. Arteta has 3 years of experience with a top team and got us to 5th place
    Cant call him inexperienced

  7. The project to date highlights the internal issues arsenal were burdened with having to contend with egos and a lack of arsenal DNA. In youth they are building not just a team but an ethos, in my opinion, that will benefit for many years to come. While we have had to contend with a few years of inconsistency, due to player inexperience, I can see it’s building to a team that will compete in every match (and hopefully win). We need to keep the players we now have tied to long term contracts and my expectation is that we are able to produce a consistent push to a top 3 finish and some good cup runs with a trophy won. Hopefully going forward we will just need 1 or 2 new acquisitions per season, after this window closes, so the team always retains the right balance and challenges in every season for the next ten years plus.

    1. Good post Dan and it makes sense.
      My problem is the way we are trying to get there.
      False statements, giving players away, signing players and then letting them go.

      If we’re only halfway through the project, that means another two years minimum of no consequences regarding the management or the players – are you happy with that?

  8. I wonder if he meant it….we don’t need many players to complete the project….maybe one or two transfer windows….but other clubs will always know Arsenal are not desperate to sign players..we can wait…..other clubs won’t inflate players price because it’s Arsenal……..just a thought

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