Mikel Arteta dropped his first press conference of the season and I have to say… he didn’t inspire much confidence and came across quite muted. Not a good look when you cross-reference it against Thomas Frank’s glowing account of how his summer has gone.
Key points for me:
- We haven’t done the business Arteta expected us to do
- The market has been more difficult than they thought it would be
- A domino effect will likely happen in the last week of the window
Outside that I couldn’t really name much of note he spoke about.
The target is consistency this season and to take each game one at a time.
Our goal is to get the best version consistently that’s going to bring us closer to winning football matches. That’s what I want from the team. If we do that consistently in every single match, we’re going to be in a good place, but that’s something we haven’t done, consistently give the best version. That’s something we must control and we must do, and I think if we’re able to do that, then the results will be the consequence to that.
He’s never going to pick a league position, but I hoped for something a little more inspiring than consistency. It also felt like there were a few not-so-subtle digs at what he has at Arsenal, but I might just be reading too deeply into it.
The clarity in what they do. They’ve been doing it for a long time together and you can see they have that fluidity and chemistry between them, and they believe that the plan they’ve put in place works for them. I think that’s a big strength for any team.
There needs to be clarity on the pitch this season, with the players he has right now. The squad is still a mess, that’s not all his fault, but he’s going to have to make it work this season. We have a bright young squad of players with some players that are misfits for the system… but we can do things this season and we have to.
The objectives are pretty clear for the next 4 months.
We need to rapidly adapt to playing a higher line with Ben White. Getting ripped through the middle cannot be a new thing for the first three months this season.
There needs to be more clarity when it comes to our football style. We need better transitions, the team needs to feel more fluid and unpredictable, and we need to start taking our chances. Statman Dave called our style Doughnut football. We control possession around the sides of the area but there’s no verticality to our game. That has to change.
We need to reduce errors by 50% this season. We cannot continue to punch ourselves in the face. Moving on David Luiz was a big swing at that. Sending Ceballos back to Madrid will help. There are still a few players with us that lack the right level of concentration, but whatever, it needs to be better this season. 50% less errors last season and we’re a top 4 side, simple as that.
We need to improve our finishing by 20%. It wasn’t good enough last season. That’s the whole team, not just Auba. But, Auba does need to play like a £350k a week striker. We need 10 goals from ESR. We need 10 goals from Saka. We need to see our other players popping up in the box and contributing.
The start to the season is really important, if we’re within spitting distance of top 4 come January, we’ll very much be in mixer in May. Last season, we fucked the start of the seasons so badly we couldn’t recover… but we were still close. We need to be the post-Christmas Arsenal, that is the standard.
We’ll know pretty early on Friday which Arsenal has shown up. We’re playing in a new stadium against a team that doesn’t know where it’s level is at the moment. None of that matters, we need to go in there, boss the game, and start to build confidence. Chelsea is winnable. West Brom there should be no excuses. We need to go into that City game with at least 4 points. Then we’ll see.
It’s going to be interesting to see how everyone else does this season. Manchester City are the side to beat, without a doubt. Chelsea have not looked convincing preseason so far, they were very nearly Emery’d in the Super Cup last night. Spurs have a very drossy manager and a bag of issues no club needs to be dealing with. Liverpool is a team to watch, their players are all getting older, they dropped their level by 30 points last season, and they’ve solved that with one signing this summer. Everton haven’t done much. West Ham haven’t done much. Leicester have made 3 signings. This is going to be an interesting season.
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