Keeping Xhaka and new arrivals will give Arteta no room for excuses this season

Mikel Arteta is arguably one of the luckiest managers in the Premier League at the moment, having been given more than enough time to get Arsenal back among England’s top clubs.

Despite his inexperience, he has lasted longer than Unai Emery and seems to enjoy special treatment from Arsenal’s leadership.

Football is, however, a results business and this might be his last chance salon at the Emirates.

Arsenal promised to strengthen their squad in this transfer window and they have been doing exactly that so far.

After adding the likes of Ben White and Albert Sambi Lokonga to their squad, the Gunners would expect to challenge for the top six at least next season.

Granit Xhaka was the subject of serious interest from AS Roma this summer, but the Gunners look set to keep him.

If he stays and they finally sign a new attacking midfielder, they simply have to be more competitive.

One excuse Arteta has had going for him so far is that he doesn’t have a strong enough squad. Now that the club is delivering a stronger set of players, he simply has no more places to hide.

The upcoming campaign will become a genuine test of his managerial abilities and it would be interesting to see how they perform.

What other excuse do you think Arteta might have if he fails to deliver with this stronger squad?

An article from Ime

Tags Mikel Arteta


  1. Not convinced personally that while Xhaka stays and probably remains a regular that we are much stronger.

    Without pace and speed when passing FORWARDS, not sideways or back, I see no real improvement. We needed XHAKA GONE BUT THAT HAS NOT BEEN DONE, AND DIGRACEFULLY SO IMO.

    1. I agree- and more so we needed to offload Bellerin and might seem a bit harsh but also Leno and Holding- with them there is still at least 4 personal game costing errors quaranteed and this can ultimately cost us champions league. If the prices quoted in the media are even close to accurate- why have we not singned Onana, Aouar and Bissouma or Zakaria allready? 30- 40 millions for Ramsdale and not 40-50 for Bissouma? And i think maybe time to sell Aubameyang also- something is not right anymore- probably years of positional misuse and a little loss of pace- Patson Daka would have been nice option.

      1. Or Marcel Sabitzer or Renato Sanchez or Matheus Pereira (when available) or Bruno Guimaraes, the list goes on. Plenty of options to greatly upgrade the team for a lot less money than putting all the eggs in the Maddison basket, yet Arsenal procrastinate and Edu enjoys sunny Majorca.

  2. If Xhaka and our senior CFs stay but we still fail to reach top six, I bet Arteta will mention about the missed sitters

    Our main priority should be a better CF, but we won’t be able to buy the new one until we manage to sell Lacazette and Nketiah. A new AM would be a good addition, but it isn’t as crucial as the new CF

    1. Given the massive cultural change that many of us think is required at the Emirates, I don’t think 18 months can be interpreted as “more than enough time” to get us back amongst the top clubs.

      Having said that, I agree that Arteta and Edu are running out of time to show tangible evidence that their process is a winning one. The P in PL doesn’t stand for Patience.

      1. My expectation is just top six, but the glory hunters might expect an EPL trophy this season

        1. Top six is ideal Gai. And from your analysis I am begining to think we actually need a good CF because even in preseason Auba is yet to impress and Lacazzet how long will the fans be patient. I want to see more of Folarin Balogun

          1. Hopefully Balogun can start as a CF in the cup games, because he wasn’t impressive when playing on the left wing in pre-season

      2. Well put.
        I recognise that the culture you mention is significant. If nothing else, I will be grateful to Arteta for seeing off the cabal that undermined Emery and there was no sign of that under him. Patience was required last season for many reasons, but I am not convinced that will hold much water for this one. Now is the time for Arteta to show that he is capable because if he can’t then it will be curtains

        However, he is not the only one on whom a lot rests. The board have had a lot to answer for over a number of years and Edu needs to be working on transfers (in and out) sooner rather than later.

  3. Our main priority is to get rid of lacazette and xhaka and arteta and edu all for them or unless we will be playing stoke in the championship if arteta stays in charge god help us

    1. Will you EVER stop with this Arteta bashing.

      Can we wait until we’ve lost our first game AT LEAST!

  4. Arsenal has become a retirement home for lazy not-so-professional footballers and all that on high wages. No wonder they can’t sell any single one of them. How they can’t find a club for Laca escapes me. He’s got quality.

    1. So if he has quality why so eager to get rid of him? I would rather he stays and Aubu go because he’s done nothing since pay increase

  5. Possibly the most ridiculous title ever…the fact that Xhaka may be staying and we haven’t addressed our most pressing needs, gives Arteta a built-in excuse…the very notion that you threw in this line, if “they finally sign a new attacking midfielder”, like some sort of relatively unimportant afterthought, speaks volumes…I can only assuming you were trolling for some negative feedback, which would be highly justified considering the clownish manner in which our administrative lightweights have dealt with this window thus far

      1. Old age Admin, Jon thought he clicked Post Commentbut forgot.

        Or the thought of Xhaka staying has him out of his mind.

    1. I was one of those who said let’s give Arteta & edu more time , but the transfer window hasn’t given me much confidence for the new season if we start the season with Aubb& Laca i don’t give us much i hope I’m wrong , i can’t take any more excuses, this is his 3 window enough time to find a pattern of play and a settled first team .

  6. You’re right, this season will be a test of his managerial abilities. Can we afford another season out of Europe?
    A higher finish than the last 2 seasons and a cup win aren’t too much to ask!
    And while we’re at it, some sexy football would be nice..
    Of course I’ll give credit where it’s due, but will also call him out as and when I see fit..he’s paid enough and has been in the position long enough to know what he’s doing, right?

    Let’s hope for a great season with plenty to cheer!

  7. I think he has until Christmas! I hope he does well!
    The ire of the fans won’t allow him to stay past if we are not in or close to top 4…

  8. The fact we are out of Europe should mean we are fresher every weekend. So if we are poor next season it lands firmly on MA’s and Edu’s shoulders!

    MA said they had identified the reason for the bad season and that it will be fixed this summer. So, lets give them a chance at least. But, no excuses this time. WE WILL SEE!!!

      1. I was one of those who said let’s give Arteta & edu more time , but the transfer window hasn’t given me much confidence for the new season if we start the season with Aubb& Laca i don’t give us much i hope I’m wrong , i can’t take any more excuses, this is his 3 window enough time to find a pattern of play and a settled first team .

        1. Starting with Aubameyang and Lacazette will be good, provided they have a midfield to breakdown opposition attacks, win the ball back, drive forward and provide goals and assists. Hopefully with Aubameyang form is temporary and class is permanent, not withstanding his age.

    1. couldn’t agree more gunneray. The team still is missing a few players in key position. partey is injured so we will play lokonga and not elneny I assume. we are way short in the middle. who is going to play on the left saka or willian. if ESR gets injury who will take his role. will we play like start of last season without an out and out attacking midfielder. The team is lacking in midfield but let’s see Arteta works his magic and get this team clicking.

  9. It’s not about excuses, arsenal are taking time to make a challenge for the top of the league and it will be too soon to say at the end of this season.

  10. Let’s give him chance tnk God he has not sell anyone let’s just add one more may be a midfielder I believe we are going for top 4

  11. If you give constructive ideas, than digging graves for yourself thu better. It’s like you’ve waiting for bad things to come. When will you stop this negative criticism on certain players.

  12. If in this century the best club in premier league is buying £100m player, Man utd adding to their strong squad, Liverpool as well, Chelsea too… Arsenal have not really tackle the position that can give Arteta full confidence. If arsenal do not get a very good attacking midfielder atlist two before end of transferwindow, I don’t see arsenal breaking into top four. If Arteta finish 8 again or 7, the owner, board will not sack him.

  13. In the Spring Arteta and Edu went on and on about their “list” of players they wanted, said board and owners supported them, and had identified problems areas to address.

    I believe they also asked for patience until the close of Summer transfer window.

    Seems more than fair to ask, so there should be no excuses when the season starts.

    There should be attractive football and gone are the negative tactics, buildup from the back should be sorted AFTER 18 MONTHS OF PRACTICING, and a style of play should be obvious.

    Otherwise the chop should be coming for Arteta and Edu. Time to show an ability to manage and scheme, or else have the decency to admit your in over your head and “not ready” to manage, as he accuses others

    1. Exactly, Durand.

      Give them until the end of the transfer window. But the fact we are seeing a contract extension for Xhaka and not much activity in or out is bound to get some of us on edge. As we all know though, most deals are done in the later stages so watch this space..

    2. Exactly, this team is Artetas 100%, he has sold players bought players, resigned and reinstated players, the team is his. From the get go there can be no excuses whatsoever, results, the way we play and the team set up is all his. Regardless of what i think (that is my opinion) i will be cheering and willing the team to win every game from the get go. We have no excuses not to be flying, we were told the plan was in place and it was all going to be implemented to get us back into top 4 and challenge the title. Im waiting with bated breath to see the changes!

    3. Durand, agree, but “had a list of players” yet how many have been bought in? Arteta decried previously not having a preseason, yet the preseason is nearly over with glaring squad deficiencies and players surplus to requirements and openly wanting to leave (Xhaka, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Willian) still here. Lokonga is here, Partey is injured and Odegaard and Cellabos are back at Real Madrid.
      All these issues are in the hands of the management team, yet Arteta and Garlick aren’t heard from and Edu is on holidays in sunny Majorca.
      Based on the eighth place finish and the squad currently to select from one cannot be optimistic.

      1. Could have sold Xhaka to Roma and Willock (whom I would keep) to Newcastle.

        That’s nearly 40 million in funds, enough for Renato Sanchez, Zakaria, or Koopmeirs.

        Not to mention bidding 35 million for Locatelli without midfielder sales.

        Instead Arteta resigns Xhaka; says a lot

  14. No one is disputing the fact that, in most years, there’s plenty of late window maneuvering, the problem with that possibility here is twofold, in that it not only leans into a highly problematic narrative, historically speaking, and it doesn’t allow for any incoming prospective starters to get acclimated during the preseason, which is especially disconcerting for a team that can ill-afford to not hit the ground running…not to mention the obvious concerns about potentially cup tied players

  15. A lot of postings on JA about only giving Arteta this long or that long, what will happen if he is given longer as I believe he will be by the Board?

    The situation would have to be demonstrably far worse than last season for them to sack him before the season is out in my opinion, I reckon they have agreed at least a three year plan between them, I would think that internally they will have seen improvements with the overall situation that Arteta started with and although as disappointed with 8th last time out as we are and Arteta was himself they are probably happy enough with Arteta as our Manager. Maybe relegation being a serious possibility at the turn of the year might change that but mid table probably not

    So, as I say what are the consequences, what are the Arteta out baiters going to actually do?, I’m genuinely interested

    1. The issue will be about how toxic the fans in the stadium become and how quickly the fans feel this way.

      The club are on the verge of tipping the wrong way which, is why MA needs to keep the club climbing from mediocrity. I would hate to see that happen but as we all know, the fans have not been happy for a long time.

  16. I think a lot of fans will be surprised at how much more fluid and attacking Ben White will make us. Nominally a defender but he carries the ball well and can open up the centre midfield, beat players and pass, making us much less predictable (ie last season if you block off the width we spend the whole game playing sideways).
    Yes we need an AM CM and a striker who actually strikes but White’s presence alone will make us a much more versatile and incisive team. You read it here first… (;-))

    1. Guy, agree on White, but the puzzle is incomplete because of Leno’s poor ability playing out from the back and the lack of a class DM and ACM to support Partey to score goals and supply assists to Arsenal’s forward line.

  17. My ballz shrink when i think of opponents defending with 10 and Arsenal doing sideways passes to wingbacks who have no 1 to cross to. What a joke club we have become.

  18. Excuses are already flowing in and when there is no logical argument left then we hear support the team. I did not know that being Arsenal fan means to follow blind. Arteta had a good enough team last season as well and the Wenger players were gotten rid off, the ones left were by choice kept by Arteta and preferred over the others players who did not play under Wenger like Guendozi & Torreria.

  19. Let Arteta reinforce the attacking midfield with a talented player then we will be good to go.Besides he only needs to see on how the new players fit into his playing style.

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