There's a lot going on at Arsenal these days, and technical director Edu has come out to set the record straight on a number of issues.
Edu was speaking with journalists after the 1-0 loss to Burnley in a call which was arranged beforehand, when he was asked to offer updates on the future of manager Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil and a whole host of other topics.
Here's what he had to say.
On Arteta's Future
"If we’re not talking about patience with Mikel it would be very unfair to him. Because what a year we have faced,” he said (via Sky Sports News).
“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 didn’t get a sequence to know everyone properly. It would be really unfair to Mikel to say something about that because the year was so challenging for everyone but even more for Mikel, who’d just arrived at the club.
“Because if you have a manager who was at the club for two, three, five years, it makes that situation easier. That’s why Mikel needs always, from my side, good words.”
He added (via The Guardian): “Mikel is doing a great job, he’s doing really well here."
On the Club's Rebuild
“If we start to see problems internally – if the players don’t believe anymore, if the staff isn’t good enough – then I will say ‘Hmm, I’m a bit worried'.
"But it’s such an unfair situation right now because the way I see things every day, everything’s right. It’s strange to say that because the results are not coming but I see properly the way Mikel is working. I want people to understand what we are doing. We are in the process to have a beautiful future.
“It is not about Edu or Mikel, it is about stability. Now is the time to try to be a stable club in the old sense. Externally and internally, we need that. Since we arrived here we have been changing, changing, changing: now it’s time to be stable and together at the same time.”
On January Transfer Plans
“Why do people have to expect a magician to go ‘Boom! Come here, Messi’? No, it depends on us. We will try to do something but, listen, we have the responsibility to change it. Don’t wait for someone outside to come inside and be a magician because that’s not going to happen.
“If you can sign 20 players, which we’re not going to do, that’s not going to work anyway. So the main thing for me is that we, as a club, have to understand our problem.”
On Willian's Poor Form Since Joining
"For me, Willian is a question of time to be performing how we know he can," Edu added (via The Mirror).
“What do you expect? Do you expect it straight away? Boom! Willian can be the best one? But he needs a little bit of time, it’s strange as well to say that but you need time to know the players who you are going to play with.
“Sometime you receive the ball in positions, sometimes in other positions, Mikel wants to play forwards, the other one wants to play to the side, there’s a little bit of adaptation. Players need time to understand how to train, how to work with the people, to understand a lot of things and I told him that I know that and I hope that people from outside understand that as well. That’s happening with Willian.
“Training, he’s training properly. His behaviour? Top, as always. Training? Fantastic. For me, it’s just a question of timing.”
On a Potential Pay-Off for Mesut Ozil
“I talked to him, Mikel talked to his agent, I talked to his agent about some possibilities," Edu said (via the Daily Star). "Not fighting, just some things to try and help each other.
"The way we see his future at the club, the way we see him here. It’s quite clear."