Bellerin leaps to defence of Arteta: ‘Talk of the sack is so unjust’

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 4 min read
Bellerin leaps to defence of Arteta: ‘Talk of the sack is so unjust’

Hector Bellerin believes speculation surrounding the future of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is “so unjust”.

It was around a year ago that Arteta took over at Arsenal following the dismissal of Unai Emery, with the Spaniard having previously enjoyed a burgeoning reputation as a coach during his time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Man City.

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  • Despite a failure to qualify for the Champions League, Arteta gained praise for his FA Cup win against City at the end of the season.

    However, the Gunners haven’t kicked on from the trophy victory, and are in the middle of a poor start to the Premier League campaign in 2020/21.

    After 10 matches, they have scored just 10 goals, and are down in 14th.

    Bellerin believes it is the players, not Arteta, who should be facing a backlash for the team’s performances.

    “So unjust. So unjust,” he told BeIN Sports when asked about speculation over Arteta.

    StatisticValue
    Games10
    Goals10
    Shots P909.5
    Shots On Target P903.2
    Open Play Shots63
    Open Play xG8.81
    Premier League only

    “As I say, we have to, as players, take responsibility for this because I think we all know that Mikel and his coaching team give us all the tools that we need to win all the games.

    “When you lose a game it’s always very easy to blame the coach, but also when the coach gives us the tools we have to be the ones to step up.

    “The way that Mikel plans these games, all the knowledge that they give us before we step on to the pitch is second to none.

    “Sometimes it’s not that easy, depending on the opponent, but that’s why football is beautiful. If you play the games on the [tactics] board, then it will be a completely different game.”

    Not only does Bellerin think Arteta is doing a good job, but actually believes Arsenal have improved “massively” since the Spaniard took the reigns in December of 2019.

    Arsenal in 2020/2021 under Arteta:

    “I think how he [Arteta] changed the dynamic of the team and the club straight away – he was amazing to get two trophies straight away,” Bellerin continued.

    “There are obviously questions, and we’re not on the best run. I have to say that when you are planning on doing something big – and that’s what he’s doing, changing the identity of the team, of the club, change the behaviours – he’s not trying to make changes just on the pitch but outside of it, this isn’t something you can do overnight.

    “I feel the team has improved massively in so many areas of the game that needed improvement. Even though we’re not doing so great in others, it’s all part of the process.

    “When you’re trying to implement such a big idea it does take time for everyone to get used to it and it takes time to get results but one thing that I feel is that since he came he has instilled a confidence in this team, a hunger. For us that’s so important. I always say I’m certain that things are going to get so much better.”

    This weekend, Arsenal face Spurs in the North London derby, with Jose Mourinho’s side riding high at the top of the Premier League.

    Though Arsenal’s defence hasn’t been the problem this season, they are reportedly looking to target the signing of a right-sided centre-back in January.