Is Mikel Arteta putting too much pressure on Gabriel Jesus?

Mikel Arteta made a big point of going after the Man City striker Gabriel Jesus this summer as his main signing to take Arsenal up a level. After last season’s debacle with Aubameyang and Lacazette as our main strikers and who only managed a handfull of goals between them, it was obvious that the Gunners needed a 20 goal a season striker as a replacement urgently.

Well, now Arteta has got his man, and all Arsenal fans are hoping that Jesus really is going to be our saviour next season. The Brazilian certainly started explosively in our first pre-season game at Nurnberg, when he came on for the second half, scoring his first goal after 90 seconds and bagging his second towards the end.

As Arteta said after the game: “He’s all energy,”

“You see his enthusiasm, he’s always smiling, he’s always talking to his teammates and apart from that I think he brings a different level of desire and commitment and enthusiasm, so I think it’s really good.

“That’s why we brought him here., to put the ball in the back of the net. And obviously for his confidence and for him to believe in what we are doing I think it’s really important and he’s settled really well.”

Arteta obviously believes in him, and hopefully he will end up as an Arsenal legend, but the ex-Liverpool star Steve Nicol is worried that he may buckle under the pressure and the responsibility resting on his shoulders. “The worrying thing would be, you talk about being a superstar at Arsenal,” Nicol told ESPN. “I tell you what, what an opportunity to go to Man City and be a superstar and score lots of goals with the chances that they make, and he couldn’t do that.”

We have all talked about the reasons behind his lack of chances and goals at Man City as for why in his best season at the Etihad he only scored 14 goals, but we can only hope he has grown and matured enough to become a deadlier hitman under Arteta.

We saw how desperate Alexandre Lacazette was to score goals last season, and he obviously couldn’t handle the pressure. We can only hope that Jesus doesn’t succumb to the same mental block….

Darren N.

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28 Comments

  1. It was just a boilerplate speech to welcome a new CF. Jesus is in his prime, so I also expect a high work rate from him

    Even if Jesus becomes a flop, at least Nketiah would learn from him, as he did when Lacazette and Aubameyang were still at Arsenal

  2. Jesus is dropping down a level at Arsenal. He had 5 years at City where PL titles, domestic cups and CL semi finals were mandatory. At Arsenal top 4 is the goal but not essential while the EL is a lot easier domestic cps are a bonus. The truth is Jesus will get all his 50mill salary whether he succeeds or not. Pepe Auba Laca all on 95mill fee/salary cruised through life at Arsenal laughed all the way …. to he bank. Besides Jesus is lucky as Arsenal’s overall squad is more talented and more toughened than it has been for 5 years with Odegaard Saka ESR Martinelli and now Vieira creating chances Jesus has joined at the most opportune time. No such thing as pressure when you are guaranteed 50mill over 5 years kicking a football round.

    1. FF, so know it’s not ESSENTIAL for The Arsenal not to finish in the top four?
      My goodness, by the end of the season, you’ll have moved the goalposts far enough to allow Mikel to get us relegated and still explain it as progress!!

      Top four is absolute minimum after the expenditure we have seen, along with cup runs that don’t see us eliminated in the early rounds.

      1. You do know Chelsea and spurs have also spent an equal or more amount of money right? and will likely spend more…as well as Utd amongst others…..before including the likes of west ham, Newcastle, Leicester.or any shock teams.

        Top four is possible but its going to be one of the hardest most closely fought leagues in a long long time….

        Effort, commitment and a positive approach forward is all that can be asked, which will hopefully give us a great opportunity to break back into the top lot,

        1. No, I don’t know that the clubs you mentioned have spent the same or more as Mikel has since he became manager.
          Perhaps you could detail their expenditure versus ours?

          We are presently at over £200,000,000 and still counting… so top four is the minimum position required.

          It now seems that the PL has suddenly become the hardest fought over season ever and we should NOW have effort, commitment and a positive approach…. but finishing fourth is not ESSENTIAL as the other clubs mentioned are also buying players?

          Well, I believe our club should have more loftier ambitions than worrying about the clubs you mentioned and making excuses for failing to achieve what Mikel promised us two years ago – that we would actually WIN the CL this coming season, is becoming a shopping list!!!

          1. I agree with you Ken, but we were fare behind and had a gap to close in terms of quality. So fare in this transfer window we haven’t added enough quality compared to Chelsea and Tottenham which means that at least four clubs have a better squad than us. I find it unrealistic to compete top four with a weaker squad than our opponents.

            1. Let’s look at the spending then, in millions, in order to (I assume?) strengthen the teams since MA became unvolved:
              Figures obtained from “Transfer market” by the way.

              20/21
              Arsenal £60.17 (3rd biggest)
              Chelsea £171.05m (Lukaku £98)
              Spuds £87.48
              WHU £8.36
              United £57.87
              City £86.09
              Pool £58.91

              21/22
              Arsenal £122.42 (Biggest)
              Chelsea £0
              Spuds £55.60
              WHU £63.24
              United £98.37
              City £0
              Pool £51.57

              22/23
              Arsenal £74.58 (Biggest)
              Chelsea £43.38
              Spuds £44.06
              WHU £4946
              United £4.95
              City £66.63
              Pool £8.82

              Total Spend in order value:
              Arsenal £257.17 million
              Chelsea £214.43 (Lukaku £98m)
              City £189.35
              Spuds £187.14
              United £161.19
              WHU £160.19
              Pool £119.44

              So, in summary, you were wrong, hothed, that Chelsea and spuds have / are spending an equal or more amount of money… and…. we are still, it seems, about to spend even more.

              Now, taking the above into account, should we not be aiming for 4th place as a minimum?

              Didrik, we were 6th and 5th, with a squad that you say was far behind others.
              Since starting to spend our money, we have finished 8th 8th and 5th, yet you find it unrealistic to compete for a top four place, with a weaker squad than our opponents?!?!

              Pray tell me, what is realistic after outspending every other club in the PL and, in your own words, ending up with a weaker squad?
              Who’s fault is it that we have a weaker squad after spending nearly £26,000,000, over £50,000,000 more than the next biggest spender?

                1. Last year we had the 5th most expensively assembled squad overall with the 5th largest wages. Doubt that has changed. Everything else in terms of talking expectations is statistical manipulation. In this case the fact we’ve spent the most over 3 years but still have the 5th most expensively assembled squad shows just how large the gap was in the 1st place. Another example is net spend which shows how good your transfer business is in general and little else competitively.

                  1. What gap are you referring to?

                    Here’s the league positions in the last five years:
                    6th – 5th – 8th – 8th – 5th

                    So we actually increased the gap, while spending the most money.

                    How can we even compare nett spend, when we have been giving players away and paying for the privilege and setting ridiculous buy out clauses for players out on loan.

                    The fact that we have still not closed the gap, as you put it, is not down to players who won trophies, got to european semis and a final is it?

                    This excuse of what was inherited. (a fa cup final winning squad!!) is so outdated it’s just an excuse.
                    We have recruited a completely new squad, or re-signed players from those last five years and yet, fourth place is not ESSENTIAL?
                    Why not just hold up our hands and say “we’re not really bothered about being successful, as long as we can keep blaming everyone else, keep getting top salaries (including Arteta’s £8,000,000 plus) and have no targets to be held accountable for?

              1. Have I said we haven’t strengthened our team since Arteta became our manager in November 2019?

                No, but it seems like you ignoring the fact that our opponents are doing the same and are doing it from a better position because they have been better than us for many years.

                Let’s se how much we have spent this summer when the window is closed, compared to Man. City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man. United, Newcastle, and Tottenham

                Chelsea are probably going to sign Kalidou Koulibaly €38 million and Sterling £47,5 million and they are most likely not finished.

                Man. United has signed Tyrell Malacia £13,5 million, Lisandro Martínez €55 million and have an agreement with Barca regarding Frenkie De Jong €75 million and they are not finished.

                Tottenham has bought Djed Spence £12,5 million today, will be confirmed soon. In addition they have signed.: Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison, Ivan Perišić, Yves Bissouma, and Fraser Forster. They have also an agreement with Barca regarding Clement Lenglet, and they are definitely not finished.

                We have a strong squad but several clubs are stronger and our league finishes reflects the reality. We have a squad with exciting potential but Man.City, Liverpool, and Chelsea are stronger. Which means there’s a fight for the last available top four spot.

                From my point of view we haven’t recruited players in the positions we really needed to strengthen, except Jesus. To take the next step we need better squad depth and quality players to nullify our opponents qualities.

                1. Good points, DP
                  Much of what you have highlighted is quite straight forward. However, there are people such as Mr!945 who keep trying to paint a picture of recent mismanagement and subliminally discredit the manager and recruitment team. They have chosen to refuse to accept that a significant overhaul of the squad was necessary to get us in to a position where we could challenge effectively against other leading sides. Most of the players we have tried to shift are not top level which is reflected in the difficulty we have had in getting them out of the team.
                  At the same time, as is quite clear, other top sides have continued to evolve and strengthen their squads. Some of these squads were already significantly stronger than Arsenal’s. As we can also see, even teams who have not recently been considered powerhouses can now also buy players for £30-40m or more which makes transfers for top level talent even more challenging.
                  None of this is difficult to discern but some people wilfully refuse to acknowledge these realities.

                  1. Didrik, I was replying to Angus regarding the strength of the squad and to hothead regarding his claim that, to date, spuds and chelsea have spent the same or more than we have.

                    My reply to you, was with regards to your view that he inherited a squad that was weak – I disagree, as it was a squad that in the previous three years had achieved the following :
                    5th 6th 5th in the PL
                    Semi final twice and final of Europa league

                    We know, that since then, we have finished 8th 8th and 5th with no european football and have spent over £250,000,000!!!
                    and FF saying that finishing fourth is not essential.

                    With Mikel it seems there are NO targets to measure him by, except that until he gives away every player he, personally, hasn’t signed, he gets a free ride and £8,000,000 plus a year!

                    Let’s hope he proves he’s worth it this season, but fans are already moving the goalposts wouldn’t you agree?

                    1. I agree with very much Ken and from my point of view we should fight for silverware almost every year. When I have said that I do realise we are not the only club with ambitions. In retrospect we weren’t good enough in Merci Wenger’s last years. Emery wasn’t able recreate his first season and he had to leave. I believe his biggest mistake was ‘ignoring’ our not so constructive dressing room culture, which hit him like a boomerang in last season.

                      I love Wenger and I was positive when we appointed Emery, and I’m supporting Arteta. I believe we have chosen an interesting approach building a new team with young players. We have potential do become much better with the outgoing business. There must be a reason why Kroenke obviously is accepting our transfer policy, and most likely he has realised that we needed to sort out the mess to build a better performance culture.

                      I don’t defend our recruitment policy but I support the need of sorting out the mess, and I believe it has been crucial for the future of Arsenal FC.

                    2. @Ken
                      Now Arteta is our manager and he is getting full support from the Kroenkes. I want Arsenal to successful and I believe that Arteta has the qualities to achieve it. When he left us and hang up his boots, I remember he was crying on the pitch. I remember thinking, you really love this club Arteta, and you will return one day. I believe we have a manager with strong feelings for Arsenal FC, just like you and me Ken ❤️ He’s fare from perfect but has an interesting potential 😉

                    3. I guess they pay Arteta an average top top six salary, he has less than Brendan Rogers and he has less than half of Guardiola’s pay packet. I guess we can’t blame Arteta for the payment policy among top clubs in the PL?

                  2. Thank you David, we have different background and perspective and I appreciate that we have different opinions. I became an Arsenal supporter in 1971 but I try to ‘look at my club with open eyes’, but it’s not easy. I don’t expect so much because we aren’t on the top of Maslow’s pyramid 🔴⚪️ 😉

                    1. No argument from me regarding Mikel’s love for the club, just as Arsene did of course.

                      But my point isn’t about these two guys, it’s about the fact that we are already lining up the excuses if we finish outside of the top four….after spending over £250,000,000, letting go of over seventeen players and rewarding our manager with a bumper £8,000,000 salary increase.

                      Of course I want Mikel to be successful – to think otherwise is ridiculous.
                      But why are we already accepting, as is the case with fairfan, that 4th place is not essential?!?!

                      Can you imagine fans of City, Pool and Chelsea saying that?

                      I have said before, if Mikel gets us into the top four and wins a cup, then he will have succeeded – if not he will have failed… simple as that.

                    2. I don’t accept it all but I believe it takes time to make us strong enough. In addition, I believe that the PL is more challenging than ever before, and I don’t understand that FA allows all kind of shady club owners to be whitewashed.

    2. Again I beg to differ Fairfan, Mikel is right to demand, he is no relaxed grandpa who cannot even zip his coat! When Mikel demands, we as fans benefit. The club payed top dollar, so we deserve top top performances. Have to agree that Ozil & Laca & Auba were lucky to be in cosy dressing room but once Mikel turned on the heat, they all melted into oblivion. Likewise I agree with you that with the current crop of players we are more talented and toughened as you say.

  3. I hope we won’t overpay for Zinchenko. Hes only started like 10-20 games a season for City for the past 4 seasons. That kind of a reserve player can’t cost more than 20-25 million.

    I would still buy Grimaldo for the quoted 7-9 million fee. Why? Because I have feeling Zinchenko would play CM, and for that fee Grimaldo would be a bargain. He’s got 40 assists as a LB in the past 6 seasons and he’s 27. We could easily buy him, keep for a while and sell on for profit. He’s on lowly wages too.

    Tierney won’t survive a full season. He can only start maximum of 30 games a season before he gets injured.

    1. Being a reliable back up to citys best players in the world, whilst being young and impressive is not exactly a poor reserve…….you think 30 odd mil is a lot these days? crazy.

      1. Zinchenko is not exactly young.. He turns 26 at the end of the year. He’s been impressive but still, just 10-20 starts a season for the past 4 seasons. How can that command 30 millions?

        I think we’re just desperate for the targets MA wants and pay whatever the selling club demands. Shame how it doesn’t work like that the other way around.

  4. Good player with all the potential tial to do well. This is foot all u never get something certain. In the past we have seen player like pepe and lacca kill it elsewhere and come to arsenal and flop. This has been the case for all clubs. Some are hits some are misses. I think of zlatan, Shevchenko for Chelsea if your old enough to remember.

    We just gotta aget behind the manager and the team. We’ll thought out signing in my opinion #COYG

  5. I dont think Jesus is under undue pressure. Arteta has made it clear he wants Jesus to play his natural game and with Saka, Ode and Martinelli in supporting roles around him, I dont think he is under pressure.

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