Mikel Arteta is still Arsenal Coach – Technical Director Backs Under-fire Boss


Compiled By Markson Omagor


Arsenal technical director Edu has provided under-fire manager Mikel Arteta with his full backing following their disappointing start to the season.


In a rare and wide-ranging interview, the Brazilian administrator stressed the need for stability at the Emirates following nearly three years of upheaval following Arsene Wenger’s exit.


The former Gunners midfielder addressed the club’s plans for the January transfer window, a return to the Emirates Stadium for Arsene Wenger and the issue of Mesut Ozil’s role at the club.

Here’s what Edu said:


On what’s gone wrong since last season…

That’s the main question, isn’t it, if you see the way we finished last season and the way we started this season. It’s very strange to be where we are right now. Nothing really changed massively.


Since Mikel joined here we’ve still been working the same. But again, it’s people being driven by the results.


Mikel is doing a great job, he is really doing well here. Players believe, the staff are enjoying it, everybody believes and everybody tries to be positive here on a daily basis.


So nothing has really changed, just the results since the Aston Villa match – we started to perform in a way we’d never performed before. But if you see the last two results, probably the last three, it’s on the very small details that we lose.


I know asking for patience for Arsenal is very strange because everyone has said that for long, long periods.


But I’m here today to give to you guys the word that everything is fine internally but the results aren’t coming, but I think we’re going to change it very soon.


On how important is it to support the manager…

I think the club needs stability right now, we have faced so many changes. It is not about Edu, Mikel, it is about stability. Now is the time to try and be a stable club in the old sense – externally and internally, we need that.


Since we arrived here we have been changing, changing, changing, now is time to be stable and together at the same time. If we’re not talking about patience with Mikel it would be very unfair to him.


Because what a year we have faced. Pre-season challenges, three months without any football matches, a lot of things changing in the club.


And I want to tell the fans because the way we’re working, the way we’re building something here at the training ground, I see the players and everyone believe in what we’re doing.

On the January transfer window…

That’s a good question, thank you very much. I will say why. Why we don’t talk about something externally. 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 people have to expect a magician to go “boom! Come here, Messi!’ No. It depends on us. No, we have to take this responsibility, it’s not about me, not about Mikel, it’s our responsibility to change it.


People might start to ask: ‘what are you going to do in the winter window?’. Of course we will try to do something but, listen, 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.


On the squad’s disciplinary problems…

This is something important to mention as well because that means you have to be here and be prepared to face that situation because sometimes you get emotional, then you react, the way you don’t need to react and sometimes you make a mistake like they have done.


Mikel is in charge of course, he is talking to the players, telling them we need all of the players so we need 11 players to play against 11 because it’s so difficult to play 11 without 11 against any club in England.


The players must have to understand but Mikel is in charge of it, they talk to the players a lot and they must understand the importance of not behaving like this.

On Mesut Ozil…

Mikel talks a lot about him but what I can say to you? All the situation, all the conversation, all the explanation, to him was face to face.


That makes me feel comfortable because I talked to him, Mikel talked to his agent, I talked to his agent about some possibilities, not fighting, just some things to try and help each other.


The way we see his future at the club, the way we see him here. It’s quite clear. What makes me feel comfortable, which we treat the situation, man to man, no-one hides anything, and Mikel explained to you guys a lot.


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