Keep believing in Mikel Arteta, says Arsenal technical director Edu
Arsenal technical director Edu has asked fans to believe in manager Mikel Arteta and insists results on the pitch do not tally with what he is seeing on the training ground.
The Brazilian also warned any disgruntled supporters that the club will not be splashing the cash during the January transfer window in an attempt to remedy their current ills.
Defeat at home to Burnley on Sunday left Arsenal 15th in the Premier League, just five points clear of the relegation zone and without a league win since November 1.
The 1-0 reverse, in which Granit Xhaka was sent off and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored an own goal, means Arsenal have lost four home league games for the first time since 1959.
But, as they struggle for form and results as well as a style of play that appeases the fans, Edu has said Arteta retains the full backing of everyone at the club.
Asked if Arsenal supporters needed to relax and not to worry, Edu – speaking in an interview conducted on Monday but arranged before the Burnley loss – replied: “Relaxing is too much.
“Just believe. Internally here, listen, we are doing well.
“My main message is that we are not talking about only one person, it is unfair to talk about Mikel, or Aubameyang because he is not scoring goals, or (goalkeeper, Bernd) Leno because he has to stop the goals.
“It is unfair to talk about one person, we are a football team, we have to talk about ourselves, talk about “we” and not “him” so that for me is the main message.
“The way I see things is very simple. It’s normal and easy to be driven by the results. But for me, the main point is when I see something in which I can see the future, see where we go, the way we’re building things, starting to see it on a daily basis.
“So the way we work, the way we train, the way we behave internally, if you see the quality of the work, if you see the quality of the people, if you see properly what’s happening here on a daily basis, it’s nothing to compare with the results.”
Arteta was appointed almost a year ago and delivered the FA Cup and Community Shield within nine months of replacing Unai Emery in the dugout.
Now things have taken a turn for the worst, Edu is keen to stress it is not only up to Arteta to address the slide.
“If we’re not talking about patience with Mikel it would be very unfair to him. Because what a year we have faced,” he added.
“Pre-season challenges, three months without any football matches, a lot of things changing in the club. He started, and stopped, and when he started to get an understanding of all the squad he stopped again.
“He didn’t get a sequence to know everyone properly. It would be really unfair to Mikel to say something about that because the year was so challenging for everyone but even more for Mikel, who’d just arrived at the club.
“Because if you have a manager who was at the club for two, three, five years, it makes that situation easier. That’s why Mikel needs always, from my side, good words.”
With so many players out of form, the short-term plan could easily have shifted to recruiting fresh talent in January.
But, with good deals notoriously hard to come by in the winter and the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic still being felt, Edu moved to curb any hopes fans had of a busy window at the Emirates Stadium.
“We don’t talk about something external,” he replied when asked about looking to buy in January.
“We are here to solve the problem. We have the team, we have the squad, we have the manager, we have the staff, everyone in the right place to change it.
“Why (do) people have to expect a magician to go ‘boom! Come here, Messi! Boom!’? No. It depends on us.
“People might start to ask: ‘what are you going to do in the winter window?’ Of course we will try to do something but we have the responsibility to change it. Don’t wait for someone outside to come inside and be a magician because that’s not going to happen.
“Or if you can sign 20 players – which we’re not going to do – but that’s not going to work anyway. So the main problem, the main thing for me, is that we, as a club, have to understand our problem. Here. That’s it. Believe, because we believe. I believe.”