Arteta: I’ll stay if they want me to stay


Mikel Arteta believes his experience should be taken into account when he sits down with the club to discuss a new contract this summer and thinks Arsenal should bend on their long-standing policy of offering short terms deals for players over 30.

One of only a handful of first team players who’ve not yet put pen-to-paper on a new deal, the 32-year-old, who signed from Everton in 2011, admits he needs to feel wanted by Arsene Wenger before committing to an extension.

Speaking to the Guardian, the Spaniard said:  “I don’t value players by age. Whether it is [Tomas] Rosicky or Jack Wilshere, I analyse many other things before age.

“Age can be an asset for the club. For me, a much bigger asset is someone who has played 125 games in three years compared to someone who has played 25, if he is 20 years old. That’s my opinion.

“I understand the club point of view: ‘Mikel is not a £25m player because he is not 22 any more.’ But I know what else I can give. So it’s to find the right balance between mentalities. We need to analyse and talk about it.

“I know the history of this club with players over 30 and I don’t know if they are planning to change it or maintain it.

“I will give them my opinion. I will talk to them this summer and see what they want to do. I am only going to stay if they really want me to stay and I feel productive.

“The day I feel like I can’t perform, I will be the first one to say: ‘Listen, you have kids here, 20, 25, who are much better than me. It’s my time to move on.’ They’re not going to have a problem with me with that.”

You can’t really argue with Mikel on that, he’s got a big decision on his hands with one final contract left in him before he thinks about retiring. He may not have set the world alight like an Ozil or a Cazorla but since arriving in the aftermath of the Old Trafford debacle a few years back he’s been a steady and consistent presence whose maturity has been nothing but a filip for the younger squad members.

The question is really whether Arteta is going to be considered first pick for that defensive midfield position and if he’s not, whether he’d be happy playing back-up to a new signing. We’ll have to see.

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People criticise Arteta but I don’t see it. His role isn’t flashy but that’s OK. He does what he needs to do very well and the team is better off for that. I would like an upgrade ideally, but Arteta’s good enough to be part of the squad for a good while yet IMO. I don’t really think he’s dropped off at all yet.
He’s never been an especially quick player and while that means signing someone with pace in his position would be an instant improvement, it also means he’s the sort of player who could keep playing as he always has well into his thirties.

And experience of course is a vital asset. Especially with someone like Olsson at the club, who is very much in the vein of Arteta.

Just A Gentleman

Not world class but still a top player, is amazing vs small teams, has a great partnership with Ramsey, tons of experience which is both good for mentoring players as well as good when we need experienced players playing. He’s getting older and won’t mind having to sit out every now and then, and when he does play he can play at both the cm and cdm role?

Isn’t that a perfect Squad player?

I mean I agree on the fact that we need another solid defensive midfielder for the first team, but we have to keep Arteta as well!

I don’t get the people that cry about lack of squad depth and then insult every player that isn’t world class and want him out. Like do they expect us to get Messi and Ronaldo, and then get Ribery, Bale and Robben for the bench? -_-

Wenger's Glasses

I don’t believe in the “world class” label, but if that label exist, Arteta is definitely a world class player. He’s been playing out of his actual position yet he’s playing great 90% of the time. Maybe he’s not cut out to play 90 mins in every single games anymore, but everytime he’s having a solid game, our team is having a solid game as well.

He. Should. Stay.


To be honest there have been some games when he’s looked completely knackered, but for most of the season he has been hugely reliable. Still with two aging players competing for the CDM spot it would definitely be a wise choice to bring in, ideally, a large, strong and reasonably fast young talent to learn from them now rather than waiting until they are about to retire and entering a desperate scramble to fill the position with someone with sufficient experience. Nonetheless both Arteta and Flamini have a good few years left in them at the top level and not offering them extensions would be a huge mistake, as for example was evident when Pirlo moved to Juventus. Never write off players just because of their age.


Agree with everything, but Olsson is not like Arteta, but more like Ramsey

Stuart Steele (@Stuart_Ten)
Stuart Steele (@Stuart_Ten)

Exactly. Has come in for some unfair criticism this season, but his presence in the squad will be sorely missed if/when he was to leave us.


Difficult one this. I really want pace to be added to his position and he struggles sometimes. Is this him stating that he wants improved terms as well? I don’t think he is irreplaceable but 123 games in 3 years shows he has been pretty great. The balls the man has with important penalties cannot be undervalued either. On the other hand, he has become important to the team because of Arsene’s parsimony in spending and someone like Bender coming in last season would have changed his role considerably. I suppose this is why Wenger is paid the big bucks.

A to the HA

Cool as Antarctica from the spot.


Except that Fulham game at home from last season, when he missed what would have been the winning penalty in the 94th minute.


It was a brilliant save by schwarzer, not an arteta miss. I think conceding three goals at home was the problem in that match.


Most people always seem to include a dm in their summer transfer wishlist, but that is surely going to mean letting go one of Arteta/Flamini. If that does happen and it were up to me I’d keep Arteta.

HP Brown Sauce

He’s not the player we wanted, but the player we needed. I feel we need him more, but for depth as we push to new heights.

That’s sadly crude though, because he is immense as the defensive mid for the way we play, but it so easily can get overlooked. You could argue that he’s that smooth. He has been a true leader too.

I’m glad I wouldn’t have to make this decision.


Arteta has been nothing short of fantastic for us. He brought experience to our young side and performed really well as a replace for Cesc. Now when he’s played deep, which is not his prefer position, he did it to the best of his abilities and without complaints.

Just A Gentleman

He also took a pay cut to join Arsenal. Class player.


Honestly feel Arteta should be offered a one-year extension and perhaps be sold a year later. He definitely has at least one more season to offer, and for next season, having four options in the two CM positions – Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, *New Signing* – seems the way to go.


Experience is a massive thing on the pitch
Admittedly I was sceptical when we bought him. The amount of times ive been disapointed with his performance I could count on one hand well two lol. Hope he gets a decent contract cos he isnt a shirker when it comes to putting his foot in or indeed his teeth.

Little Mozart

Arteta brings a certain quality to the club we can’t do without. He is a big presence in midfield in most games with his intelligent passes and his tackles have saved us many times this season. Though he is getting on in his years he has demonstrated a world-class display of fitness this season, particularly after playing 120mins in the FA Cup semi (including taking the first penalty) and then playing a full 90mins in the Premier League game a few days later.


Arteta has been okay, but not outstanding. I think if were going to get to new heights next season he can’t be an arsenal week in week out man. I’d definitely like to see him stay he’d be great cover for the first team and with injuries like we get you know he’ll get games.

He’s been a better and more consistent player than Wilshere in the last few years lets be honest whom I think he may have been reffering to.


Arteta has been amazing for us, but if we do sign a DM, don’t see him sticking around.

Just imagine our options,

First choice DM, Arteta, Flamini, Diaby, Wilshere for one position. The other would be obviously Ramsey of course who is a definite starter.


Sentiment is the enemy of success. I think we can improve his position. Squad man? Yes. First choice for next two years? No way.
Good player and good character. Hope he gets the winners medal he so very much deserves.


‘Sentiment is the enemy of success’…. Agree wholeheartedly…that’s why Chezza has to start over Fabianski on Saturday.


Mikel Arteta can have a contract at arsenal for 100 years as far as I’m concerned.

One of my favourite midfield players, what he brings on and off the pitch is something we didn’t have as consistently before he came. Plus he’s one classy bastard!

Arsene Nose

Arteta shouldn’t question his value to Arsene.. Was made Vice captain ahead of other suitable candidates.. I support the clubs policy, older players generally tend to recover slower between games than younger players and injuries begin to take their toll, so its not all about experience but the body as well.. Pretty sure Wenger wishes Arteta was 25


Hell yeah, the body of a 25 year old Arteta. And with that HAIR. Damn! Mmm, mmm, mmm.


I prefer flamini to arteta. As a poll: thumbs up for flamini, down for arteta


@guyfawkes wilshere would never be a Dm for me. He gave the ball away too much last year


Uncertain where I stand on this…


Unfortunately, if we’re going to raise our bar further as a club, the two positions that are currently up for rework are DM and CF, and then perhaps wings.

He’d be a great squad player along with TR7 if he’s happy to stay.

Jap's Eye

The club’s stance on over 30’s has been looked at many times on supporters sites, but they seem unbending and decent players are let go.

Arteta has generally done a good job, a few mistakes but who is 100% every game?

Maybe he’ll go and up another Gilberto, badly missed.


I love Arteta, he should be a great, reliable squad player like Rosicky. We must have people like him in the dressing room. As a first team player, though, he is not enough, too slow and passive nowadays.


Calm and a very mature talk.. I would want him to retire at Arsenal!


It would be nice for an Arsenal player to actually retire here once in a while. I think the last one who did so was Bergkamp.

Dr Baptiste

Isn’t that going to be Rosicky?


I love Arteta, and have nothing but respect for the job he’s done for us over the past few seasons. A model pro, a great player, and gives his all for the cause. I don’t think he’s got the legs or the strength to be our primary DM, but against the smaller clubs he is exactly what we need – good enough at the back to break up play, great at keeping things simple and ticking over going forward.

No reason we should let him go, sign a young DM with huge potential and let him learn from Mikel for a season or two. After that, I would love to see him stay on in a coaching role. He seems like the perfect candidate for that


pretty much everything I wanted to say. His comments also sound like he is not being egotistical in the “play me every game” manner. He seems to want to play as the team requires, and mentor others into the kind of game we play and be a valuable member of the squad who will play about 20-25 games a season. This is what its all about, rotation prevents overplaying of players, and it keeps everyone fresh and ready for games. Sadly, Wenger seems to play only about 16-17 people, never changing unless he has to because of injuries and suspensions. I think that is stupid. Surely you can rest Ramsey against, say, West Brom. And surely you could have played Ozil in alternate games during his first winter of playing without a break.
This is what happens. We start talking about a player, and some of the frustrations with the manager come out.


He said in this month’s official magazine that he wants to coach a football team one day and he’d like to work under Arsene Wenger.

That’d be great if it happens!

Humble Gooner

He’s always fought tooth and nail; I’m just not sure he still has the same bite.
(Too much?)


I want you to stay.


Sign him up or we will all be talking about having let a great player go to early. My only problem with Arteta is that we didn’t sign him earlier. He has manager material written all over him. Just a professional through and through.


A gentleman.


Nice guy, but past his best, and not good enough for where he’s playing. We need better. Time to let go.

Dr Baptiste

Maybe I’ve misheard somewhere along the line but I always thought that Arsene offered a limited time contract and basically told the players that they had to earn another year by showing that age wasn’t slowing them down or hindering them. I’m sure this is what Bergkamp did and carried on until he personally felt he couldn’t offer any more.

I may also be very wrong and will gladly be told otherwise.


Is this policy of 1 year contract for 30+ players in effect anymore? If I am right the last player who left because of this policy was Gilberto. A case can be made for Sagna’s situation, but from varying reports he was offered 2-3 years. Flamini was signed at 30, Arteta himself was no spring chicken when we signed him, club happily renewed Mertesacker’s contract and not of course to forget Rosicky.

The policy which was in place was a not a bright one and the club has scrapped it. Or if you want a conspiracy theory, it was all a ruse to move on some of our high earners from invincibles side and now there is no need to keep it in place anymore.


Rosicky? He is 33. Evidently this flies against the ‘policy’.

Frankly bollocks.


Keep guys like Arteta around, not only for the job they do in a match but for their presence and experience in training. Rosicky and soon Arteta are like gatekeepers to the first team. “You must be at least this good to get playing time.” Not every player will stay on for that role. There are many reasons why–ego, desire to live/play somewhere else while they can, money better elsewhere, etc. But if Arteta is fine with it, then ask him how long he wants to keep playing and come to an agreement on the total value of the weekly wages that will satisfy both parties.

I’m guessing the concern for Arsenal is the Premier League squad limits, with Wilshere taking a senior spot next season. If the club wants to add a midfielder, someone has to depart.


We are not adding in midfield unless Podolski leaves.

Arteta and Flamini are good for one more season or two before we have to consider rejuvenating this position.

Diaby may also play a part.

CB and RB (possibly GK although Fabianksi starting today may mean otherwise) could see reinforcement/replacement.

Up top, we need a striker, that is it.


I love the logo haired sex god. Speaking bad against him is like insulting my mother.


Lego, fuck you Samsung!!


Hopefully one of our young midfielders will relegate him to the bench. Not that I don’t like Arteta, I think he has great value. He’s just the type of experienced old hand we want in our squad to teach professionalism to the young players that will always be seeking to breakthrough in an Arsenal squad. The disaster that ensued when we let Edu, Pires and most significantly Gilberto Silva leave prematurely illustrate this perfectly. Simps


What a stupid comment.

Why would you relegate one of our best players who runs us like clockwork just behind the midfield creative four, to the bench?

He has been instrumental for us particularly as a reference point for our fluid line in midfield as much as Giroud has been.

He was excellent for us today.


Would be happy to see him stay as a squad member because he’s a solid option but really he needs replacing by a quality dm. Then we can play an aggressive midfield three of rambo ozil and jack without exposing per and kos to the sort of pacy attack that has cost us so much this season.


another twit.

What is quality DM?

Gustavo? MVilla? Wanyama?

Arteta has been solid for us this season along with Flamini.

When we have failed, it was bc Wenger failed to appreciate the position being overloaded with just one player where the likes of Chelsea and City exploited and stretched either one of Flamini or Arteta (we should have played both in those games)

We play Arteta (or Flamini) nominally in most games with four fluid players ahead.

We now have an option to go 4-4-2 on occassion.

What on earth are you bleating on about? Bollocks.


Arteta should be offered 1-2 years, and should he wish to continue his career elsewhere after that, we should bring him back as an ambassador for the club when he’s finally hung up his boots. The man is the absolute picture of class and professionalism both on and off the field, and he could make a fantastic mentor to the younger players at the club about how to handle themselves in this manner. Imagine what someone like Arteta could have done in a coaching role regarding someone like Bendtner or Frimpong. Not the most talented players by far, but with a little bit more application and less time fucking around- they could have turned into solid players.


Likely 1-2 year rolling contract.

Absolutely agree.


I think the holding midfield role should be given to players with more experience..i some-what get arsenal’s policy about not offering players above 30 long term deals, but it’s very important we tie down mature, level-headed players like arteta for the holding role. Younger players in that position tend to be overly adventurous/stupid and its not really their fault..knowing when to stay and when to move forward and when to just foul to kill off potentially dangerous attacks are things that come only with i really hope arteta stays..


There is no such policy.

Rosicky has been renewed and he is 33.

if anything, Wenger has bucked the trend and brought in plenty of experience.

More likely we are in need of some injection in players around 22-23 year old range particularly at Cback.

Holding midfield can do with the experience and rejuvenation in this position can wait another season. not a priority at the moment. We have other more pressing concerns.


I would be sad if we don’t give arteta a new contract as he has done a fantastic job for us and I would like him to win trophies with us as reward for the hard work he has put in

Julio Baptista's humble alter ego
Julio Baptista's humble alter ego

I’d love for him to stay on. His legs are slowing but gosh he’s still an amazing player. One of our more consistent players this season, and he hasn’t been out for as long as some others which has surely got to be a consideration. Give him a new contract I say

palace gunner

I see this season’s games & schedules to see one of our team players injured or out of games arteta has filled in well at times clumsy challenges but has filled roles in games pace is not the best but he was attacking & pressured,


Are we going on about Metersecker’s pace too?

He doesn’t need pace. He needs positioning.

In instances where we may get overloaded in this area, we need another body to play closer to constrict space. One of the reasons why Ramsey transforms us is because his energy levels adds another man both in attack next to Giroud and in defense next to Arteta.

These two are our reference points for an otherwise fluid attacking midfield line sandwiched in between.

palace gunner

Well done gunners the f.a cup is ours coyg.


Some in the media like to paint this as not going to precipitate anything (See some twit called Brewin on the espn site)

what have Chelsea, United or Liverpool won this season?

They’d rather crow about Newcastle coming from behind to DRAW 4 all against ten men without a Cback as if they had won a fucking title.

We were generous today and gave them a 2 goal handicap and despite Probert’s abject officiating, still won.

We did the hard work against Spurs, Everton, Liverpool and Wigan (By that City) and thoroughly deserve this. with the immense weight of 8 seasons on our shoulders, it was never going to be easy but now that weight has been lifted and it has been less than a day since Arsenal last won a trophy (make it a double since they like to bleat on about the fourth spot trophy). Now we can look forward to the Charity Shield to add to the emirates cup too.

Trophy Cabinet anyone? We are in the market for a new one.:)