Monday, May 20, 2024

Saturday round-up: Good process, a bit of January

Morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.

Mikel Arteta met the press yesterday, and understandably there were questions about the fact his FA charge was deemed to be unproven. Asked if something positive might come from the whole thing, he said:

It has to. It was a really good process and gave the opportunity for them to explain how they felt, myself how I felt as well and the reasons behind it. Okay, the outcome is that I’m not charged, but I think we have to draw a line and look for how we can be much more constructive and learn from it and move forward. That’s it. It was good. I felt a lot of sympathy to be fair once I explained how sometimes as managers, with the pressure that we’re under and how important details are for our job, because I love what I do so much and I want to continue doing it, but the reality last year was that 14 managers lost their jobs, which is incredible.

We depend on results, that’s it. When the outcome at the end is that important, I’m really emotional about it. Now no-one remembers what happens three weeks ago when you lost a game, you lost another one because of a different reason. I think it was a really good process.

Well done lads, good process. Can we now draw a line under this? I hope so. Despite the best efforts of some to make it seem like Arteta got away with some kind of heinous crime, there’s really not much left to say on this. Let’s hope that the conversation in the weeks ahead is much more about the football than anything else.

Tomorrow’s game against Brighton was on the agenda, and our recent record against them isn’t great, it’s fair to say. Asked why we’ve had our struggles against them, Arteta said:

They are a really good side. Last year when we had the game under control was when we conceded a goal and then the game completely broke up and we struggled, especially in the last 15 minutes of the game so we have to play better and be very efficient, which is key against them.

Lack of efficiency was to the fore in our game last weekend when we didn’t take chances against Aston Villa that ought to have got us something from the game, so let’s hope that was something of an off-day, because another day like that tomorrow and we’ll pay the price. Anyway, we can talk more about that game tomorrow.

Beyond that, there’s not much happening this Saturday morning. Those who fancy a January move for Ivan Toney won’t enjoy the news that Bryan Mbuemo is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury, and that surely makes it very difficult for anyone to do a deal with Brentford over Toney. Unless they pay a huge whack for him, and I can’t see us doing that.

The chatter, such as it is a couple of weeks out from the opening of the window, seems to be much more focused on other areas. It would not surprise me one bit to see a more defensive signing when everyone’s looking for a forward. A sort of reverse-Wenger who, when everybody thought Arsenal should sign a centre-half, went and signed Andrei Arshavin. Imagine if he’d done both, we might have won that Liverpool game 4-3.

Right, I’m gonna leave it there for now. Have a good one folks.

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