Arsenal’s technical director Edu and CEO Vinai Venkatesham sat down for a meeting with the Fans Forum on Tuesday.
Representatives from the board meet the fans to answer a few questions a couple of times every season. It was Edu and Venkatesham’s turn this time and the pair were very open with the supporters.
Our technical director and CEO touched on a number of topics yesterday. Mikel Arteta’s future was the biggest talking point, while questions about Mesut Ozil, William Saliba and the January transfer window were also answered.
Five key points from last night’s meeting
The Mesut Ozil situation:
The German is our highest-paid player but he isn’t a part of Arteta’s plans. Ozil has been left out of our Premier League and Europa League squads, and the Arsenal boss has maintained from day one that his decision is based on football reasons.
Many supporters feel the Gunners boss has been pressurised by the board to drop Ozil, but Venkatesham has revealed that Arsenal’s hierarchy had nothing to do with it. He claimed that it was completely Arteta and his technical staff’s decision to leave the German and Sokratis out of the squad.
January transfer plans:
Arsenal are currently 15th in the league table. We are desperate for help and many feel that a couple of signings in the January transfer window could give us the boost we need to turn our season around.
Edu was quizzed about his plans and the Brazilian confirmed that we are looking for a central attacking midfielder. Lack of creativity has been our biggest issue this season, and fans will be hoping that our technical director manages to get a deal over the line next month.
Arteta’s treatment of William Saliba:
Arsenal splashed £27 million (Goal) on the teenager at the start of last season. He was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne, but many Arsenal fans expected him to play a part for the senior side this season.
However, Arteta doesn’t believe he is ready yet and Edu agrees with him. Our technical director confirmed that he will hold talks with Saliba over a potential loan deal next month.
He also claimed that he wants to get the young defender ready for next season, which should mean that he will play no part in the second half of the season.
Arsenal have received six red cards since Arteta took charge of the club – more than any other side in the division. Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka were the latest entrees into that list, and both of their actions were unacceptable.
Edu confirmed in the meeting that both players were fined by the club for their actions, and frankly, they deserve that.
Mikel Arteta’s future:
Arsenal’s terrible form in the league is increasing the pressure on Arteta’s shoulders. A minority of our fanbase are already calling for his head, but the board and our owners still have complete faith in the Spaniard.
Both Edu and Venkatesham revealed that the club is 100% behind Arteta and everyone believes that he will turn things around very soon.
Huge thanks to Arsenal Fans Forum member Peter Høst for the updates.