- Edu insisted the club needed “stability” after years of turmoil on and off the pitch, calling for supporters to be “patient” with the team.
- Full-back Kieran Tierney said the players must take full responsibility for their poor form and insisted they had belief in Arteta’s management.
- Granit Xhaka’s long-term future at the club was thrown into doubt following his red card at the Emirates, with the club looking to strengthen midfield in the transfer market.
- Arteta’s side was handed a tricky tie against Portuguese giants Benfica in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Edu has given his full support to Arteta and insisted that the club’s recent results do not reflect the quality of its work behind the scenes.
The Brazilian also expressed his belief that he could see a “beautiful future” for the team as their talented youngsters continue to develop under Arteta’s guidance.
Arsenal have endured a relentlessly chaotic few years, on and off the pitch, and their executives are now desperate for a steady period of rebuilding.
In the past year, Arsenal have made 55 redundancies as a result of the pandemic, parted ways with head of football Raul Sanllehi and completely restructured their scouting network.
Arteta has been forced to navigate these issues alongside a series of internal problems with his squad and uncertainty over the futures of key players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka, who have both agreed new deals in recent months.
“The club needs stability right now,” said Edu, in an interview that had been arranged ahead of the Burnley defeat. “We have faced so many changes. Now is the time to try to be a stable club – externally and internally, we need that. Since we arrived here [in 2019] we have been changing, changing, changing. Now is the time to be stable and together at the same time.”
Only 13 months have passed since Arsenal fired head coach Unai Emery and there are no suggestions within the club that Arteta has lost the faith of his squad in the same manner as his predecessor.
One source even described some players as being “in love” with the manager, even if there are clear differences between many of the players themselves.
“We have to be patient,” said Edu. “I know asking for patience for Arsenal is very strange because everyone has said that for long, long periods. But I am here to give the word that everything is fine internally. The results are not coming, but I think we are going to change it very soon.
“If we are 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.
“He started, and stopped, and when he started to get an understanding of all the squad he stopped again. He did not get a sequence to know everyone properly.
“The year was so challenging for everyone, but even more so for Mikel, who had just arrived at the club. If you have a manager who was at the club for two, three, five years, it makes that situation easier. That is why Mikel needs always, from my side, good words.”
Arsenal host in-form Southampton this mid-week and Tierney said it was the responsibility of the players to pull them out of this negative spiral.
“There is no way to disguise it,” said Tierney. “It’s terrible, to be honest. It’s not what we are, not where we are as a club. It’s not what the fans deserve, it’s not what the manager deserves.
“It’s us players that need to take responsibility for this. It’s on us and nobody else. We have got a great manager and we believe in him 100 per cent. The blame is on us, nobody else.”
Arsenal will look to add midfield creativity in the January transfer window, but will also try to sell unwanted players.
Edu said it is the responsibility of those within the club to find asolution and that fans should not expect a “magician” to come in and fix their problems.
The Telegraph, London