‘It’s me or them now’ – Pundit claims Arteta will be considering ultimatum

Gary Neville has claimed that Mikel Arteta will now be thinking ‘it’s me or them’ after a severe ‘lack of application’ from his Arsenal stars.

The Gunners had the better form going into the clash against Liverpool, but come away from their home clash with a 3-0 drubbing, leaving fans frustrated with what they had seen.

It wasn’t just the scoreline that was depressing, but the entire performance had nothing to take confidence from, and Gary Neville believes the forwards have to be questioned as explained on Sky Sports Monday Night Football segment (via football365).

GN said: “Calum Chambers is trying to get Nicolas Pepe forward there, look at him. He’s still pointing at him. Calum Chambers, an honest kid, trying to get him to move forward.

“All the way through the first half I was watching this and getting frustrated. I think Mikel was shocked by the lack of application from the front part of his team.

“It was a walk in the park for Liverpool. It was embarrassing. It was a really bad day for Arsenal. It was a dark moment, that.

“I think Mikel Arteta will be coming away from that thinking it’s me or them now. Arsenal have got a big problem with some of those players.

“He can’t implement his plan unless those players from Saturday decide they’re going to start playing for him, or he gets rid of them. And I doubt it will be the first one, because something didn’t feel right.”

While in hindsight it might seem easy to offload players you might no longer want, it took a number of seasons to move Ozil on, and the fees involved in signing Nicolas Pepe (which we are still paying) could make his departure difficult.

I’m sure Neville isn’t just pointing the figure at just Pepe however, and you also have to wonder how long the club can back the manager if certain sections of the first-team are not on board.

Could this be the start of the end for Arteta at the Emirates?


Tags Gary Neville mikel arteta


  1. Sue says:

    It’s groundhog day… I was led to believe once Ozil, as well as others departed, all would be hunk-dory…
    Now we appear to have a shedload of more problems…
    I watched Partey on Saturday and thought he must be looking round at all the sluggishness on display thinking what the hell have I left AM for!!

    I’m so disappointed right now…

    1. ken1945 says:

      Indeed!! That groundhog day was getting rid of Ozil, his salary, his lazy attitude and his political views Sue….. enter Aubameyang, signed sealed and delivered BY MA!?!?!?

      The other groundhog day was AW leaving and we would get our Arsenal back – here we are nearly three years on and it suddenly seems that some fans are realising the grass isn’t always greener.

      How did it go at work? Still scarred after the experience?

      1. Sue says:

        Wow, 3 years already, Ken… Time flies (except we’re not having fun!!) ☹
        I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll EVER get our Arsenal back…

        I was completely rinsed, Ken, even some of the patients joined in!!! I just wanted the ground to swallow me up haha!! Should be used to it by now…

        1. ken1945 says:

          Keep the faith Sue – I know you will.

  2. Durand says:

    Has to be the players right? I mean it could not possibly be down to negative retreatism football that Arteta employs.

    Are we further along now than when Arteta took over? Arteta got rid of deadwood and brought in 7 players of HIS choice and loaned out some Wenger & Emery era players.

    What is different in 18 months besides player roster?

    Goal scoring and attack? Nope
    Mistakes playing from the back? Nope
    Creativity and creating chances? Nope
    Standing in the table? Worse

    It starts and ends with manager. The job is too big for an inexperienced rookie. Another 6 months won’t change anything, nor another year.

    Ownership had no plan post Wenger, period. Failed ownership and leadership.

    Still trying round pegs in square holes. Emery bad fit, blame players.
    new manager, eject deadwood, get better players, get worse results so must be players.

    Can’t possibly blame a manager with no experience managing or rebuilding right?

  3. pjennings says:

    How sad is it Sue. Remember the Rod Stewart song, “You’re In My Heart”. That’s how I look at Arsenal. Arsenal is like a love affair that’s gone terribly wrong. What are debacle. I supported this club when Pat Jennings moved there in 1977. I was 11. I took it too seriously. When Jennings let a goal in, I took it to heart and would cry. I don’t cry anymore, I pull my hair out instead. Living in Australia,, you would be surprised of some of the rumors that are coming out. Has Arteta really lost the dressing room?? Then there are the rumors of these so called players Arsenal are going to buy. Where are they going to get the money from? Kronke won’t open up his wallet. Arsenal seems to be a soap opera. Drama after drama. When does it stop. Arteta must be going through alot of black hair dye. It should be grey by now

    1. Sue says:

      Like a drug, PJ, except we can’t go ‘cold turkey’
      You’re not alone – I’ve cried a river over our beloved team (Spuds, Chavs, West Brom and now Burnley 😱, to name a few). Now I have to resort to the punchbag haha, or just launching things!! What a state to get in!!
      MA does appear to have aged in the last few months… the way things are going, he’ll have shares in ‘Just for men’ 😄

  4. Grandad says:

    I guess your answer to the question asked by the writer Durand, is yes?

    1. Sandy says:

      Who at the club sanctioned £72m for Pepe, they could not get £15m for him from a premiership side,perhaps they might get a small fee from a small French team. He can’t dribble,he can’t tackle,one on one he’s not the one who comes away with the ball.A total waste of space as well as money.

    2. Durand says:

      Ha Grandad, well played sir. I place vast majority of the blame with ownership, board, and executive staff like Edu and Vinai.

      Club wants someone to do it on the cheap. No top manager will without guaranteed commitment from owner. Hence Wenger to Emery, and now down to Arteta.

      Feel sorry for Arteta actually, truth be told. He was eager to manage and test his ideas, and a chance to manage club like Arsenal was a dream made reality.

      I’m not surprised it is not working with his inexperience managing or building anything. It would be a surprise if it was working.

      Expecting veteran players to follow someone with no resume or proof his ideas work was doomed from the start.

      Need much more than playing for Wenger and 2nd assistant to Pep to lead this bunch.

      He shows no trust in players; their strengths, creativity, freeing them to play within the responsibilities he assigns them.

      Instead he tries to script every movement, pass, decision, and position on the pitch.

      Convincing 10 players to constantly defend in final third is a tough ask, for any player and any manager.
      Yet that is exactly what Arteta asks, has anyone seen any other tactics? Freedom? Creativity?

      1. Sabs says:

        @Durand, I fully agree with you on all your pointers.

  5. pjennings says:

    Exactly Grandad. Something has to give. Won’t be long and it’s going to be fighting to stay in the Premier League. It can happen. Look at Nottingham Forest. Once you are there it’s hard to get out. Arsenal is like a dog that’s chasing its own tail. We are going around in circles. Why did Kronke buy Arsenal? Is it a tax dodge for him? Who would have thought 20 years ago this would be the conversation amongst Arsenal Supporters

    1. SueP says:

      I wish I knew why Kroenke bought the club. To think I was excited that a billionaire had invested in to the continuing success at Arsenal and to make it a sure fire winner for years to come.

  6. Grandad says:

    I’m afraid you are correct Sandy.It is surely clear by now that Pepe is never going to make it stuck out on the right wing where he is so predictable.To have any chance of being even remotely effective he has to be played on the left side of the pitch.Given our urgent need for a back up for Tierney, is it worth trying him at LB of LWB? I know I am clutching at straws but we simply have to make efforts to get something back from what is a huge investment and potentially another huge loss.

  7. Stewart Macintosh says:

    That was an awful game on so many levels. I really don’t know what to say or where to begin, but of course I keep going….

    Arteta has been fighting square peg/round hole syndrome all year with starters, subs and players on the fringes. The players aren’t listening by times and they are making a ridiculous number of brain farts that cost us goals and games. There are some good performances followed by runs of really poor games. Emery was moved because he lost the room – Arteta has lost the room, and he may be in worse shape than Emery was relationship-wise.

    I am not really sure if Arteta has used the tools he has effectively or if he is getting the most out of garbage. He can be ridiculously stubborn by times: playing out from the back when you don’t have the horses for that to work; sticking with some of the veteran players when they have not performed in games; rotations and choices for players to keep and move. But I am not sure if somebody else would do much better with what we have – I like to think it the case but I don’t know anymore.

    Two things that are long term issues at this club are taking old players for a lot of money and seeming to be jinxed with injuries – we either buy people with histories or they develop them at Arsenal. This isn’t on Arteta but it has continued under Arteta. Tierney is a great fullback but we really need to have an extra great fullback because he misses so many games.

    Is it all on Arteta? No it isn’t in any way shape or form. It wasn’t all on Emery either. You could point a bit more of a finger at Wenger as he had more control but it wasn’t all on him either. The ownership group and management have been substandard for a long time – bad decisions and a lack of a clear vision.

    The players have a lot of responsibility in where we are. How can EPL players continue to make stupid mistakes and completely ignore direction? There are so many players on this team (Arteta’s and others) who have repeatedly made awful mistakes. We have gotten rid of some of the serial offenders but the mistakes keep happening.

    Can’t fire the owners, they have 100% control. There have been some great posts and stories on this but it is tilting at windmills. The owners determine management and things have been poor for some time – in reality management decisions were poor before KSE assumed control, it just continues.

    Getting rid of Arteta is the “easy” fix.

    I waffle on whether or not he should go – a good game moves me to stay, Liverpool moves me to go. Bottom line though, I am not sure that changing the manager will help and it may hurt even more by throwing us into more chaos. As much as it pains me to watch and to say this – the risk of us being worse is greater if we dump Arteta now – we won’t get a top level manager because we aren’t a top level destination.

    There are a lot more positive people on this forum than me (and some much darker) but we are fast on our way to a point that a run at the top four or qualification for the third rung of Europe is going to be a highlight that we pull off every few years.

    I am at a point where I wish the super league would come into being right now because they would still pick us for the top league (I think). Another year or two of this and we won’t be in the conversation.

    We can talk about being a big club but the only thing that has been saving our coefficient right now is history and good showings in Europa. We still rate highly but it is slipping and if we don’t qualify for Europe we are going to see the number really start to drop off.

    I know this rant doesn’t make me a good supporter and it certainly shows my dark side but I am really disillusioned right now.

    I will turn in on Thursday and I will cheer my heart out but I have conditioned myself to be disappointed.

    1. SueP says:

      It was compelling but difficult to read

      What struck me more than anything is that you are in a total state of confusion – as I am. Should Arteta stay or go? Is it all his fault or the players? The owners not understanding the business they bought. Lousy choices to run the club’s senior management which has resulted in poor recruitment and contracts over a number of years. It goes on and on. It’s almost like a perfect storm has been sitting over the top of the club for some years now

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        You nailed it for me – I have no clue 🙂

        Some would say that applies across the board for me.

        I did an economics project tracing some of the DOW companies that disappeared from the start (from the days that the symbol was one letter).

        Some were obvious as technology changed completely but a lot of them hung on and just declined gradually over time – that is what is happening to us.

        1. David Braithwaite says:

          A number of interesting points.
          I would ask people to first take a good look at Arsenal’s squad and ask how strong is this roster compared with the top five.
          Consider Liverpool’s starting team at the weekend and honestly compare them with Arsenal’s. Forget form for a moment and ask yourself if you were putting together a combined 11 given their respective histories how many Arsenal players would be in it?

          1. SueP says:

            Ah David,
            That is a very important question. I would answer not many…

            As individuals rather than their positions, I would say Saka, Tierney, ESR and possibly Partey who hasn’t had a settled start. Others are just middling but don’t stand out. Auba has lost his mojo. I don’t think any are that bad, but they are in general, just not good enough

            The thing is, I am now regularly reading that this squad could make top4 if Arteta was any good at his job. I disagree as do some others. That is the joy of following JA as we all have our own opinions.

  8. pjennings says:

    Anything is worth a shot with Pepe. He has got long arms like Derek Randall the cricketer. We can put him in goals. I’m clutching at straws too. Just making light of it all. It’s 3 in the morning here, and I’ve got work at 6. Arsenal is a curse

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      Thank you for the laugh!!

  9. pjennings says:

    We are stuck with the owner until someone shoots down his plane or puts Arsenic into his coffee

    1. jon fox says:

      Which of those two alternatives, both of which I AM WILLING TO TRY, will give me the better chance of escaping without a murder charge!

      I’m happy to do the deed – or join in the long queue, all ready and willing to do it – but just don’t fancy the punishment.

  10. pjennings says:

    Yes Jon. I think they call it ,” Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. AC/DC came up with it. Obviously Mambo wasn’t blessed with a sense of humour. It probably went down the toilet with Arsenal’s top 4 chance

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