Goonersden brings you news from top football news sites from the likes of ESPN, Sky Sport, Daily Mail, Daily Star and Metro… We also Analyse football, players, transfer and predict Arsenal starting line-up.
Ian Wright claims Arsenal’s young players are privately praising Mikel Arteta despite the club’s poor run of form.
The Gunners are without a win in five Premier League games and have lost all of their last four matches at home.
Ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Southampton on Wednesday, Arteta said he is ready to ‘take the bullets’ from those criticising the team’s performances.
And Wright has now urged Arsenal’s players to back their manager and has revealed that the younger members of the squad have been happy with the Spaniard’s leadership.
‘He’s put that out there for the players to see. They have to react,’ Wright said on Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast.
‘You know what that manager’s doing… he’s taking the bullets. It doesn’t come any clearer for me to see that.
‘That’s the kind of thing of thing where players who want to bail out, they want to hear what Mourinho says, ‘rats [in the dressing room]’ so they can say, ‘f*** him, man’.
‘But when you come out and do what Mikel does, when I speak to the young guys I always ask them, ‘how’s Mikel with you?’ and they always say, ‘he’s brilliant, he’s always good, he’s brilliant’.
‘So what you’re hoping is that them seeing that move, it’s a seismic psychological move, he’s looking for a reaction from that dressing room and I’m delighted to see that.
‘If I was in that dressing room, what he’s saying now, I’d like to think I wouldn’t be one of those players who’s put him in that position to make him feel he needs to say that.
‘And I think Gabriel and [Kieran] Tierney are not that guy. ‘As a forward I feel for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang because even the chances he’s had they’ve been headers. It’s not his forte, he needs chances that are laid into him.’
Wright also pointed out that Arteta refused to get carried away with Arsenal’s progress after they won the FA Cup in August.
‘The thing with Mikel is he’s a very serious man,’ said Wright. ‘You can see that because when you look at him, even when we’re winning when we won the FA Cup and when we were winning games, this is what people have to understand, he was still saying you have to trust the process.
‘At the moment it’s worked but people will work us out and then it’s up to us to see how we recover from that and how we can then go again.
‘Remember, yes, you’re meant to be playing to a structured format with how he wants you to play but you’ve still got to express yourself and have a little bit of pride in your performance.
‘Play well in the system that’s the first thing, express yourself and enjoy the game. That’s still got to happen.
‘When you look at Mikel, at no stage was he getting carried away with what’s going on. I saw him in an interview the other day being asked these banal questions, and you could see they were annoying him, people were saying, ‘oh, he’s flustered’. No, he’s not flustered, he’s always like this, he’s very serious.
‘Just like Pep, Pep doesn’t like stupid questions. I’m finding the questions they are asking him after games sometimes are simply for clicks.’