‘He can’t trust them at all’ – Ferdinand insists that Arteta needs squad overhaul

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Mikel Arteta‘s players cannot be trusted, and that his success at Arsenal will come down to who is brought in this summer.

The Gunners currently occupy tenth place in the Premier League table after a number of inconsistent displays, and all-too often we have seen impressive performances followed by below-par displays.

One could argue that the quick turnaround of matches would be a fair excuse for the struggles of teams consistent levels of performance, but Rio Ferdinand simply believes that Arsenal’s players do not listen.

The former Man United defender claimed that Mikel Arteta could give the ideal teamtalk, and not know whether his players will react as they should, likening them to a ‘promiscuous girlfriend’.

‘They should definitely have had a penalty, the decision was a disgrace, VAR has become a laughing stock, it’s ruining our game,’ said Ferdinand on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube series.

‘But it doesn’t paper over the cracks at Arsenal. They had all the chances to finish the game off, they could have finished the game off well before.’

He continued: ‘If [Bukayo] Saka’s not doing it, Arsenal haven’t performed this year.

‘But Arteta must look at the squad like a promiscuous girlfriend. He just must lack so much trust and faith in them. He can’t trust them at all, because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen at the moment.

‘He could do the best team talk of his life but they’re going to go out there and do their own thing and it doesn’t seem to be coming together.

‘The mad thing is I like Arsenal, I love some of the players there: Auba, Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe. I can go on and on with all these names.

‘Partey, that’s another one, he’s never fit! He keeps coming back and breaking down!

‘They’ve got good players there but for some reason, I don’t know what’s happening, it just isn’t coming together consistently at the moment.’

Seems a little strange to claim that Arteta is doing everything right, but his players don’t react to teamtalks, or has Rio actually witnessed one of his teamtalks?

There is a lack of consistency, but that is the case for more teams than usual which is most likely due to the hectic schedule.

Do we really think this team/squad isn’t good enough for the top six? Is Arteta getting too much leeway here?


Tags Mikel Arteta Rio Ferdinand


  1. I think you missed rio’s point. He didnt say the player are not listening to him as you suggested but that players do there own thing (individual errors) he cant be blamed for that and we have had so many of them.

  2. Another one who sees past the bullshit that individual errors are the coach’s fault.. As if he read my comment here days ago Rio just said everything I said.
    Get Klopp, Pep or Fergie and talk to them, train them and help them in trainings, but soon as they get on the pitch, they get a brain wave that switvhes off their senses and then comes the silly errors every now and then, and the coach should be blamed for the decisions those players make on their own?

  3. It’s been a weird season with all the red cards / own goals / shocking errors / and to me that shows a deep-lying nervousness and lack of cohesion surfacing quite often. Of course referees giving Arsenal more than our fair share of dodgy decisions doesn’t help.

    However we have a lot of decent players that haven’t all been playing together that long. Also many of them (Pepe, ESR, Saka, Martinelli, Mari, Gabriel, Partey…) will still improve further. With a few more good signings (A top quality midfielder to partner Partey, maybe another attacking one if Odegaard goes back to Madrid) and a few other tweaks they could settle-down into a very decent outfit for next season.

  4. I think most sensible fans recognise that we are weak in certain areas, but without an injection of cash we are simply not in a position to acquire better quality players .It’s all very well for pundits to suggest an”overhaul” but even they will recognise the difficulties of concluding sales for a number of our mediocre, overpaid players.Basically, unless we can sell, we cannot buy.

  5. Agree Grandad – purely in terms of AFC the pandemic couldn’y have come at a worse time. Everyone is struggling with fixtures and injuries but most top clubs have good depth to rotate. We dont as too many of the squad are being got rid of.
    A paper thin squad means less rotation and more injuries.
    We dont have the cash as we are arguably the club most heavily dependent on gate revenue. We need to sell to buy but nobody is cash rich so we cant even give them away, so no cash income and a big hole in the squad. A “big” overhaul is impossible. We will have to settle for a small one! Factor in its likely we will have no Ceballos or Odegaard, that Partey may prove to be a “sicknote” and that Martinelli and ESR seem fragile too, and most of the kids are disappointing or not ready. Thats why Willian, Luiz and Xhake remain important. It will be an interesting close season!

  6. Seriously, if Rio is right about Arteta’s lack of trust in the players then he (Arteta) needs to resign for the good of the club. Squad overhaul – clearing deadwood – would be a good short term solution, but at some point in time, the cost of overhauling the squad, again, will exceed the cost of keeping Arteta. The next logical question would surely be – instead of “creating deadwood” again, would it not be better and cheaper in the long term to hire a new manager? We are just fans but we need to realize and accept that football is just business.

  7. Surely we are not all sitting here thinking the Arsenal current squad couldn’t be top 6? Have you seen the starting 11 in some of the clubs above us currently.

    I agree the depth in squad isn’t great but it seems more like a lack of confidence in so many players. Auba looks like a completely different player and it is confidence. Willian again recently playing with better confidence and starts showing improvements. The same with Pepe. The issues isn’t we don’t have the players to compete the issues are Arteta doesn’t know his best starting 11 which leads to lack of playing time together and the fact that confidence is so low these silly mistakes keep happening.

    Summer ‘overhaul’ (Which is not going to be big!) sell Bellerin replace Bellerin. Sell Lacazette replace Lacazette. And possibly try to sign one of the midfielders that is currently on loan to us. Oh and Mat Ryan will be bought.

    We just need to hope Arteta can get a starting 11 to play together and build the confidence that is missing.

    1. Andy, I am confident Arteta knows pretty much his ideal 11, But factor in the following: repeated injuries to Partey, Tierney. Longterm absence for Auba. 2 games a week every weak. Injury and fragilty of ESR and GM. Odegaard mid-season arrival. requiring bedding in. Way above average suspensions. Sublime or ridiculous form of Pepe.
      Im not sure anyone could consistently choose a first XI.

  8. The best coaches coach discipline, confidence and less mistakes. The way you play can limit or increase mistakes. Our discipline and lack of professionalism is down to poor coaching.

  9. im not buying this. Constant red cards, errors, lack of discipline shows Arteta isn’t instilling this squad with the right mentality as much as he may think he is. And I’d agree with Rio if Arteta’s football was awful to watch and if we were actually heading in the right direciton, and the gaffes were the only problems with this team. That is FAR from the only problem.

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