Video: Arteta opens up on ‘simple’ way that he wants Arsenal to play

Mikel Arteta wasn’t happy with his side’s performance as Arsenal limped over the line against Olympiacos.

The Gunners lost 1-0 at the Emirates on Thursday night, but thankfully went through to the next round thanks to the 3-1 win in Greece the week before, but our performance was painful.

we had plenty of chances, but the finishing wasn’t there, and we witnessed our side making too many mistakes in possession, a problem we are growing frustrated with at present.

Arteta is now talking about his side playing in a more ‘simple’ way in order to remove those errors.


Tags mikel arteta


  1. Joe. S says:

    I wish he would give more information on what this simple plan is. I thought his plan was simple enough against Olympiacos, pass it from side to side, backwards and then anywhere. It was simply Bad, actually.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Joe. S,
      We seemed nervous, lethargic and out of sorts from the beginning.
      I cannot understand why we start off every game (it seems) as if we’ve just been woken up from a deep sleep!!!
      We cannot expect to win anything if we start on the back foot every time.
      So my question to MA would be this… why do you not get the team fired up from the first minute to the last?

      1. Joe. S says:

        It’s such a valid question Ken and our manager must take that responsibility.

      2. Harold D. says:

        I would look at the warm up? Does the type of game passing in the warm up bring the players in the zone. Would rounders or a 1x touch in a 10 x 10 pitch playing 5v 3 not be a bit better. High intensity.

        1. Sue says:

          Or a can (or 2) of red bull?! 😄

        2. Joe. S says:

          Bring back the old fashioned warm ups I say. I can imagine George Best going for a sneaky fag before a game, doing a few stretches and then running onto the pitch with his teammates.

  2. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    Simple…there is NO real plan…we seem to just make it up as we go along, which is why we appear to be sleepwalking out there half the time…only middling clubs without higher aspirations use this 4-2-3-1 double pivot gig, unless they have the capacity to effectively counter-attack, like Klopp, back in the days at Dortmund, or even Jose, at Real

    so for all of you who have praised Xhaka & Luiz, please keep in mind that the main reason we have adopted this negative tactical strategy is to provide those who are incapable of playing in a more expansive system with the necessary protection, so they aren’t easily exposed…why couldn’t we have simply used the same overly conservative approach then started to develop our future prospects at the start of the season, instead of paying these underwhelming veterans substantially more to likely achieve similar results

    this strategy will take years to produce any results, unless we start cutting the cords on these inconsistent veteran players…as long as they’re in the room, this club and it’s manager will never commit to a proper rebuild, as they have neither have the necessary impetus nor the fortitude required, instead this half-measure retooling façade will continue to underwhelm until we either luck into something no one could have possibly foreseen or we rid ourselves of our albatross-like owner

    1. ken1945 says:

      If the answer was “simple” then the three managers who played these so called “veteran players”, would have rectified the situation over the last three years or more.
      It’s not as if they were/are completely new to the game is it?
      With regards to Arteta, who after all, is responsible for the performances we see out on the pitch now, has enough talent to call on that makes the result last night unacceptable…. something he admits himself.
      If it is the fault of our “veteran players” why doesn’t he drop them?
      Are you really saying that your examples of Xhaka and Luiz are to blame when we fail to produce?
      What about the younger players who have let the side down – the Nelson, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Willock, AMN etc who haven’t performed, despite being given plenty of chances?

      How long do you expect MA to keep playing these young players, before he has to turn back to the “veteran players?”

      What I do like about MA, is the fact that he acknowledges his mistakes and he acts on them…. except it seems, the way we start games… he acknowledges the fact, but it keeps happening.

      Now, acknowledging something, but not acting on it, is worse than not actually seeing said problem.

      I do agree that, like the seeming majority of fans, our owner is not the best, but he has certainly backed MA and vica versa… something else that fans have, seemingly, not acknowledged.

      Record transfers, new contracts, new players new backroom staff… the list goes on – all authorised by Silent Stan and agreed with Mikel Arteta… over £300,000,000 on players alone, let alone their contracts.
      The money wasted is as relevant under MA as it was under AW and gazidis.

      We can only thank, in hindsight, the wisdom in giving contracts to the young players who HAVE produced, such as Saka and ESR…the latter being the perfect example of your “luck in” thoughts.
      So the “simple way” that MA wants to play, just cannot be performed with the younger players as you suggest – it’s a pipe dream – especially when the likes of city and chelsea have the kind of financial dominance that rides roughshod over anything in it’s way.

      1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

        Just so it’s clear, I was feeling very positive about Arteta’s potential at the end of last season…I was hoping that the somewhat unexpected FA Cup victory would provide Arteta with the necessary backing, from the standpoint of being given enough time to properly conduct the rebuilding this club desperately needed without fear of reprisals from either the owner or the fanbase, but instead he chose what appeared to be the path of least resistance…of course, when one makes that choice they must likewise take responsibility if it fails to produce the desired results

        this year should have been about making the tough decisions, so what we needed was a management team that tuned out all the periphery noise and set to work on the incredibly difficult task at hand…phase 1—good riddance to bad rubbish, phase 2—target only those players who filled a NEED, and phase 3—start the development process from day one

        phase 1 failed to materialize in the summer, even though there’s no doubt we could have either sold several players, for less than we had hoped, or loaned or bought them out, which we eventually did anyways…but we didn’t, so we had a ridiculously large roster, locker room issues and a burdensome wage bill…these problems festered until January then it cost us a considerable sum of money to get rid of many of those players, most of whom barely or didn’t play during the first-half of the season…this unmitigated disaster cost us dearly

        phase 2 was a mixed bag…on the bright side, we brought in Gab and Partey, both of whom I think have a real future at the club…positive moves that would have bolstered the whole youthful movement…on the other hand, we pursued the overager Willian, who was given promises and wages that were entirely counter-intuitive for any “rebuild”…he was naturally going to hurt the development of several players, which was an incredibly short-sighted and unnecessary luxury purchase…this clearly showed their true intentions and completely changed the narrative from rebuild to retool…this is when things really changed for me

        phase 3 became a largely moot point, as those who hadn’t established themselves as plausible everyday players, like Saka or Tierney, instantly took a backseat to the more veteran players…Guendo and Lucas were sent out, rightly or wrongly, the rest of the kids were either reduced to an afterthought or shoehorned in on occasion, whereas some like Saliba and Balo were totally mishandled…not until desperate circumstances had forced his hand, did Arteta embrace a more youthful approach, which strongly suggests this wasn’t really part of the “plan”

        I believe things can still be fixed, if those in charge have the courage to chose the path less traveled…by cutting ties with the veteran “crutches” that have enabled Arteta to functionally putting our future in the hands of average players, agents and others hammy downs, we just might be able to reroute our course with minimal fallout…we do have some attractive young players, both first-teamers and waiting in the wings, not to mention those out on loan, so if we were able to target 3 or 4 players in the summer(DM, CAM, RB & younger striker if Balo leaves) I think we might be only one year away from competing for things…unfortunately, if Arteta double-downs on the mistakes of this season I fear that the inconsistency will remain for the foreseeable future and the “hope” of what could have been will be his only legacy

        1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

          choose not chose

        2. Highbury Hero says:

          I like the arrangement and flow of your points in most of your comments and they are usually thought provoking.

          Your comments are usually long enough and I think if you are interested you should write articles for wider discussion.

          1. ken1945 says:

            HH, there is a promise of an in depth article on AW winging it’s way to PAT from RVL.

  3. Ayan says:

    Basically, we are making all these errors leading to goals and sometimes finding it difficult to win games because of the following:
    Playing from the back ( we don’t have enough players that are good on the ball);
    Not taking clear cut chances when they come;
    When we loose the ball, the players think defense first and they all withdraw instead of putting pressure immediately on the opponents
    Indecisiveness on some of the players ( holding on the ball for long even when not under pressure)
    We are human and can’t get it right all the time, but when some of these problems are remedied, perhaps we start getting the desired results.

  4. Grandad says:

    TRVL, I tend to agree with your synopsis regarding the negative aspects of playing two defensive pivots to accommodate Luis and Xhaka both of whom are slow moving and defensively poor in one for one situations.To me Partey is not a DM but a B to B midfielder who over the years has been more used to operate in a 4-3-3 set up with one dedicated DM, something we have been lacking for a decade.Significantly the two most successful teams of the current era, namely Man City and Liverpool both operated with one DM, principally because they could trust their quick and able back four.If we are to improve significantly, Luis and Xhaka should not be considered “mainstays” of our side as they are at present and we need a physically imposing , dedicated DM.To those who consider Luis and Xhaka to be essential to our future success, you are going to be proved wrong .

  5. foreverinourshadows says:

    Playing out from the back when we are not good enough, the constant backward passing is frustrating and not good enough he has killed the Arsenal DNA of attacking football. When I saw the midfield line up of Ceballos,Xhaka and Elneny I knew we would struggle, it’s his tactics and formation that is up for question

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