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Is Arteta As Good As We Think?

By Charlie Percival :  06/11/2007 :  Comments (45) :
I'm the biggest Everton fan, I'm 22 and I know what it's like to watch a crap Everton team with crap Everton players. I've never see glory like most of you guys since I've been alive, apart from the 1995 FA Cup and the odd big win.

My favourite, and I expect OUR favourite player is Mikel Arteta. He is a wizard, he doesn't have the killer pace but he has everything else. Look at players (from my era) Gascoigne, Zola, Cantona, maybe even Ginola. They have such a clever brain which manages to coordinate feet at the same time. They see things that most players don't see. They can do almost anything, to get the best out of them they must have the players on the same wavelength around them. That could be another topic altogether.

Yes, we watch and envy skillful players rather than a rock solid centre half. Mikel is amazing and he will win us games, but when has he done his business against the top 5 teams? By top five I would say Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham & Liverpool. (I do think we are a top team so we could be in this list but bear with me.) When has he done it and what has he done?

He can rip the crap teams up and run rings around them. Why not against the teams we really want to beat? Is it the occasion? Is it the opposition players who are better and Arteta doesn't come out to play because hes not good enough compared to them?

I think if anyone signs our magician it will be Arsenal to snap him up because of his style of play. I hope he stays but want to see are big performances when it matters!

Also, on the Spain subject, there's obviously something going on behind the scenes. He must have fallen out with some important people with his times in Spain. Remember reputation is everything!

Come on Everton. Keep Arteta. Keep Winning. Perform against the teams I mentioned above!

Reader Comments

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Nigel Seddon
1   Posted 06/11/2007 at 07:09:08

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Arteta is the only player we have who could play regularly for a team in the Champions league.I think he will go to Manchester United and we will get some lightweight asbeen in return.
Dave wilson
2   Posted 06/11/2007 at 07:08:41

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You might not have seen as much as a lot of the guys who post here Charlie but your no fool, we all love Micky - he’s helped us keep the faith - but your right, if he is to be considered truly top draw, its time for him to deliver aginst the big boys, lets hope he starts against Chelski
Paul Mackie
3   Posted 06/11/2007 at 08:30:58

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Put it this way, whenever I talk to my kopite mates about midfielders, Arteta is the one they all agree they would take in a heartbeat.
Clinton Jurgens
4   Posted 06/11/2007 at 08:39:16

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I think the only reason that Micky doesn’t turn in his solid performance against these top teams is because o fthe fact that when we play them, he is totally marked out of the game (due to him being the dangerman), but now with cahill and pienaar both playing top football, arteta is not the only man that needs to be marked.
Andy Ellams
5   Posted 06/11/2007 at 08:55:34

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They don’t just mark him out of the game, they kick the crap out of him.
Peter Laing
6   Posted 06/11/2007 at 09:18:01

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Arteta is undoubtedly the artisan Midfield player, a fantastic pedigree and schooled with such greats as Ronaldinho in his time at PSG. When Micky ticks the whole team responds, my only reservation is that he is not an out and out winger, thus his crossing at times can be wasteful, corner kicks too frequently unsuccesful and set pieces misplaced. All the same he is a joy to behold and a pleasure to observe, certainly by far the best of the spaniards we know.............
Gai Roberts
7   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:19:03

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"Arteta is the only player we have who could play regulary for a team in the Champions League". Would Tim Cahill not make it Nigel ????
Mark Stone
8   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:38:42

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90% of his game is world class but the jury is out on his dead ball delivery.
Richard Flaherty
9   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:27:28

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Arteta is a good player, no doubt. A fine, creative, eye catching modern day pat nevin who should be included in the national side.

But, he always brings attention to himself because of the calibre of players he has to work with.

Its no coincidence that we struggle as a team in his absence. Arteta is the engine room of the team and without him the team misses a vital piece of its jigsaw and is not as effective. Take the argentine side of 1986 and diego maradona as a prime example.

Without him they would have struggled to get past the group stages let alone be outright winners. Thats just one example of how just one man can transform a mediocre team and be the difference between victory and defeat.
Stefan Tosev
10   Posted 06/11/2007 at 09:58:25

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As I predicted such an article was long overdue after Hibbert,AJ,Yakubu,Neville,Jag, Osman its time to blast Arteta - this time -he is not performing against the big boys + Spurs. Based on what facts are this conclusions Charlie?

I will review for you last season clashes between Everton and the other clubs.
Liverpool h 3-0 Arteta with an assist for the first goal;
Spurs a 2-0 crossed for the Daveport own goal and released Osman for one of the best moves Everton produced the last season with AJ finishing with aplomb. I count it for 2 assists.
Arsenal a 1-1 another assist for Cahills goal;
Chelsea h 2-3 goal and assist for Jobo’s goal
Liverpool a 0-0
Spurs h 1-2 - goal.
Arsenal h 1-0 assist for AJ goal
Man U h 2-4 assist for Fernades goal
Chelsea a 1-1 Agin started the move for J Vaughan’s goal.
You see Charlie Arteta has a hand in more then 2/3 of the goals Everton scored against these teams. I know its toooo little for you but unfortunately this is what he is capable of.
P.S. I still not have read article slating the injury-prone James Vaughan, its also long overdue
chris briddon
11   Posted 06/11/2007 at 11:28:16

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I.m sorry, but just because he has lots of assists against bigger teams doesn’t mean he’s played well against them. It just means he’s our key player and the ball goes through him all the time, so he will be involved constantly - good day or not. The (slight) frustration is that he does’nt have a massive influence on some of these games in the same way he does against weaker opposition. In reality the same could be said of European games as well.
craig stanley
12   Posted 06/11/2007 at 11:39:21

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if you call spurs a top 5 team(which i dont)didnt you watch the 3 1 win this season arteta was behind everything
Seamus Murphy
13   Posted 06/11/2007 at 11:43:55

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Stefan good reply mate, spot on. Now Arteta’s not all he’s cracked up to be, yet some idiots already have him sold to Arsenal and United.
I depair i really do...
Mark Stone
14   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:02:59

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A bit harsh Stefan - I don’t think Charlie was slating Arteta.
Charlie Percival
15   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:04:14

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im not slating Arteta! I love him! I would just like him to score more goals and make use of free kicks. He hardly scores any free kicks and i think we wont sign Riquelme because hhe will want to be in charge of the corners, free kicks etc...hence unsettling Arteta.

I never slate our players, I was just wondering when he’s scored goals or been dominant in a game against the above teams.

Thanks Stefan for your research! Must have taken you ages to get that off a stats site!

Im not arsed about statistics, its what you see when you watch the game that matters to me. That means Goals and Orchestrating against the so called big teams.
Chris Masey
16   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:29:36

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Because Osman, Neville and Carsley have really influenced the games against the top teams?? How can tottenham even be mentioned in this article, we have detroyed them away from home on two separate occasions. In my opinion, this article is titled wrong. It should say ’Has Arteta performed against the top 4?’ with which case it would have made some sense. Instead the title suggests Arteta is overrated. The truth is, he is involved in 99% of our goals and is undoubtedly our most influential player. He IS most definately as good as we think, if not better, and an absolute disgrace that he is not considered for the Spanish squad.
Stefan Tosev
17   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:22:56

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To Charlie and Chris

This game is played on goals and that is all that matter, I dont know what you see but for me its clear we scored 13 goals against the so called "beig teams" Arteta was involved directly in 10 of them that is 3/4 of them.
And that fro me is big time performance, take Mikky out we would have scored 3 ?!? goals, he was primarly responsible for Everton scoring 10 goals against these teams and you want to convince me that he fails to perform.
An impossible task mate as you say "Goals and Orchestraiting" the stats are clear. Everthing else is bullshit
Chris Masey
18   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:46:49

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Stefan, I wasn?t saying he didn?t perform. I was simply saying the debate should be on that subject. Where as this article questions whether we overrate him. When the facts are, he is our most influential player.
Lee Heath
19   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:36:36

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Arteta is God!! I saw him at Goodison against Werder Bremen and anyone who went to that game will agree he was awesome. Mikky took the piss all game and was quite obvious that Arteta could play in any team in the Champions League as Bremen are there almost every year. I agree that sometimes he doesnt look a world beater in the big games but it’s true what Andy Ellams said, they kick the crap out of him. Against Tottenham he was magnificant, even saw a few articles written by Spurs fans who were jealous we had such a talent. Plus i hope Pienaar stays!
Neil Styles
20   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:03:16

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Jesus! Im only outta bed and I?m hearing Evertonians suggest Mikel is leaving! Is there something to this or is this just speculation?This is quite possibly the worst way to start your day!
Matt Carter
21   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:42:13

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From Stefan?s response it?s clear Arteta does get involved. You could argue he doesn?t see as much of the ball during the games in order to be ?influential? but then you have to ask do his team mates manage to pass him the ball?

One thing you can rely on Arteta doing bad game or not is keeping the ball and winning fouls. He?s also capable of something spectacular.
You see it every game often there?s hardly a pass on for Arteta and that?s also against weaker opposition, so if you take notice you?ll find against the top 4 there?s that little space and quite often he will have a defensive midfielder plus left back / right back on his toes too.
Mark Stone
22   Posted 06/11/2007 at 14:47:11

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He’s not going anywhere Neil
John Lloyd
23   Posted 06/11/2007 at 14:54:26

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So is Arteta as good as we think?

You better fucking believe it mate, watch him play. No stats, no stupid arse debate. Just watch the lad play. He’s the best player we’ve had here in 15 or so years. Can anyone name a better player in that time.

Fucking enjoy him, get behind him & pray that one of the big spanish guns doesnt lift thier heads out thier arse & turn his head.

I love him so much, if I caught him in bed with me bird I’d tuck them in & go down and cook him some cheese on toast.
bullsheadpsb@aol.co.uk
24   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:09:32

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Well Limpar and Kanchelskis were not exactly useless were they. And what of Peter Beardsley. Ex red of course, but one of the most skillful players to ever put on a royal blue shirt.



Moyes is moving the club in the right direction but each season without a piece of silverware will make mikel increasingly restless. A top seven finish each season may satisfy some supporters but we wil be setting his sights that little bit higher.

And as for that last comment, the "in bed" bit was reserved for Duncan Ferguson.

I think you’d find him a slight bit more intimidating than arteta.
george brooks
25   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:27:26

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Isn’t it amazing how we can even debate about are best player(well ok,most skillful player)in years,is rooney brilliant every week?,even Gerard(sorry to mention his name)is he brilliant every week?,Ronaldinho!!,is he brilliant EVERY week?,i think the answere your looking for is....NO,Cmon charlie,its football,i think that you’ve probably never even played the game yourself....right or wrong?
chris briddon
26   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:37:23

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Stefan - yes he was involved in goals - but that amounts to about 1 minute per game. It’s the other 89 iiwe’re interested in at present.
If you watch a Liverpool or Arsenal game for example, it is the big games were Gerrard . Fabregas come to the fore and take the game by the scruff of the neck. This is what Arteta doesn’t do at present against the better teams.

I am not disputing his ability nor his quality on occasions, but to be as good as some people suggest he is, he needs to be more dominant in key games
John Lloyd
27   Posted 06/11/2007 at 16:09:59

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Bullshead, they were decent players you mentioned but I dont think they are as good as Mikky, his skill level coupled with commitment/consistency and work rate make him my best player of the last 15 years.

There was two Duncans for me, 1 before he left & the one after. I still loved him but he wasnt the force he was. The only difference was he stood out in a shit era whereas Arteta is standing out in a better time. For me anyway.
Joshua Doherty
28   Posted 06/11/2007 at 16:22:54

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From what i remember he was absolutely fantastic against totenham this season. Also, so far when we have played the RS and Manure this season Tim cahill hasn’t been playing, yes Arteta was below par against these teams but has been below par this season against the likes of Bolton. Now Cahill has come back the pressure has been taken off Arteta and he has started to perform in recent weeks.
george brooks
29   Posted 06/11/2007 at 16:42:10

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I wanna hear from "TONY",c’mon TO,do you think our tata should be performing week after week,is it feasable to expect this?
Stefan Tosev
30   Posted 06/11/2007 at 17:36:43

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chris
I wlll put it different you say that Arteta is playing only one minute in these games. Answer me what was the team (except Mikky)contributing for the all 90 min - three goals in 10 games? With Arteta +10 more - this is what I see and what I feel. I dont care about the players you mentioned because they are not Everton players and beside that are playing with better players then what we have here.
I will suggest something take your time and do a little research - What have Lampard,Fabregas, The RS contributed against Everton and the teams of the "big four". Come up with some facts and then we can discuus it, ok?
george brooks
31   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:28:01

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You’ve got your work cut out for you there chris,good luck,speak in clear english you fool.
george brooks
32   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:33:01

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By the way,i’ve just re-read john lloyds post,and i agree,if "I" caught our tata in bed with my bird,i would go the local taj mahal and get him a chicken tikka masala with pilau rice and all the trimmings,and help him eat it the following morning,although he woud probably say(just guessing)thanks for that "i’ll call yer"
Dave wilson
33   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:35:20

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Stefan

I suggest you should do the research mate your posts are nonsensical
What have Lampard and Gerrard - assuming you mean him when you say RS - done against us ? have you got all nite ?
Fabregas is just 20, yes 20 and If I’m not mistaken he scored the goal that puts him top of the goal scoring list against Man u on Saturday - unless you dont consider Man U top 4 ? count his assist - if you’ve got all night
Your response to Charlies observations bordered on hysteria,
where does he slate him or want him sold ?
He calls him his/our favorite player and urges Everton to keep him
We all love Micky, but your claims that he’s been instrumental in omly three victoies in there years against the top 5 - 3 out of 30 matches - hardly blows Charlies point out of the water
Stefan Tosev
34   Posted 06/11/2007 at 19:31:35

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Dave wilson

I dont know what do you want as an answer I dont claim anything just facts from the 13 goals last season scored against teams from top 4 Arteta has hand in 10 of them that’s it and for me this a decent performance.

I took my time and watched the highlights/read the match reports and came up with these numbers and just urged Chris if he have time to give us some statistic and then to discuss it. There were no hysteria, no name calling I want really to see how does Mikky compare to the players chris mentioned
Matthew Lovekin
35   Posted 06/11/2007 at 20:20:15

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Here’s how good Arteta is....

I live 270 miles from Goodison so can not financially get to the ground as much as I like. However I was at the opening game of this season against Wigan. Now I am a massive fan of Arteta’s skills and rate him up there with the likes of Ronaldo, Giggs, Joe Cole and anyone else you would like to mention. However...

Everton were leading 1-0 with about 10 mins to go, and Arteta was taking a corner by the Gladwys St and Main Stand. The corner was cleared to a Wigan player on the opposite side of the pitch and Wigan broke quickly down the other side. I said to the person next to me "watch Arteta now". Wigan got a cross in and the ball came back to the Main Stand side and with Lescott out of position, Wigan were through on goal, until guessed who had chased back, held up play, and then won the ball on the corner of their own penalty area...yes, it was Arteta.

Some Everton players had been caught out of position, some had just given up on chasing back, and although Arteta is not the fastest by any means, he was the only player there, after he had just taken Everton’s corner about 10 seconds earlier, to stop Wigan equalising. That says it all about Arteta, great player all round.
Micky Norman
36   Posted 06/11/2007 at 20:40:34

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I just wonder how those games would have gone had Mikel NOT played? The lad is the nearest thing we’ve had to Alan Ball since 1970’s. That’ll do for me.
Phil Jones
37   Posted 06/11/2007 at 20:30:29

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Stenfan, Chris and Charlie... let’s be reasonable. First of all, a fish grows to the proportion of its environment. I think we can all agree that Everton is not in the same size league as the so-called top 4. He has flourished here because he has been given every opportunity to run out in the first team, and Moyes (correctly) gives him free reign on the pitch. This season we’ve seen a couple more midfield playmakers come in (Tommy and Steve Pienaar), and it took Mikel a second to settle, but now we should see him raise his game. He will improve, and his performances against the top 4 will also, I believe, as pressure is taken off of him. It is true that he has simply been shut out games against the top 4 in the past. It’s a simply strategy, really: if your opponent has only one consistent dangerman, then shut him down. And he was; Mikel was the most fouled player in the Prem last year, and I believe the year before as well. In theory, with Pienaar on the pitch with him, and Tommy in the wings for a sub appearance, Arteta should get more opportunity to get free and make things happen.

I don’t think Charlie was slating Arteta. It’s a fair question to ask, and we all love Mikel, so I can understand why Stefan jumps to his defense. Good stats, by the way. And Chirs, think about what you said... if Mikel is only involved for a minute or so per game (since that is all the time it takes to score a goal - your words, mate), then 3 goals in 10 minutes isn’t such a bad return. If that’s what you mean.... which it plainly isn’t. You contend that Mikel doesn’t raise his game on these occassions, but that is comparing apples to oranges. Gerrard has, on most occasions, far better staff around him and he gets more freedom to move because of it. Were Gerrard playing in the environs of, say, Fulham, you better believe he’d be shut down easily. But he doesn’t play for Fulham, he plays for Liverpool, where at any time on the pitche he has Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, et al to move the ball around to. The same goes for Fabregas. Be serious mate, I love our team, but I’m not blind.
Charlie Percival
38   Posted 06/11/2007 at 21:08:11

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Thanks everyone for your opinions. At the end of the day thats all they are and thats what makes football what it is. I agree with nearly everything everyone has said.

Follow follow follow
everton are the team to follow
cos theres nobody better than Mikel Arteta
Hes the best little Spaniard we know!
Russell Buckley
39   Posted 06/11/2007 at 23:13:01

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Don’t agree at all with you claim that Arteta is the only player we have who would play regularly for a champion league side. Tim Cahill has been listed in the top 50 players in Europe and has shown his class on the domestic and international stage. There would be plenty of clubs keen to pick him up. Also think Lescott and would make it
Paul Daly
40   Posted 07/11/2007 at 02:08:23

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.........Arteta- for some of the old guys...... think Colin Harvey.....now if he had a Howard Kendall to "mind" him....and an Alan Ball to play off him.........hmmmmmmm
Dan Miller
41   Posted 07/11/2007 at 01:59:52

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I think you misread Mikel Arteta here quite badly. To say he "goes missing" against the so-called big boys completely obscures the fact that, by and large, we - the team - have been 2nd best in games against the Big 4. This is borne out by the results - over a period greater than one or 2 seasons - yes, last season we were excellent in these matches either winning or leading in several but when did we last beat Chelsea home or away - or Man Utd away?

It can hardly be a surprise that Man Utd and Chelsea in particular have dominated matches against us - they do it to just about every other team in the PL. So, given these circumstances, it would be hard to imagine a game where Mikel imposed his undoubted ability since, amongst other reasons the opponents are:

Keeping the ball
Being more productive with it
Winning the match (ultimately or otherwise)
Ensuring that he, in particular, is limited in his influence on our game

If we are to get the best out of Mikel in these encounters then he needs more support from his teammates. I am not deluded in thinking we are right up there with the top 4 but we aren?t a long way behind them either!
Eric Lake
42   Posted 07/11/2007 at 02:57:11

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Wow this is a hot topic. I hope this remains open for the season long

Chris Macey wrote ?and an absolute disgrace that he is not considered for the Spanish squad.?

I am always pleased now when an Everton player doesnt get selected as it means no absence for that game from teh team squad; no chance of injury for that player? and no showcase for poaching our player. Is this wrong ? McFaddon is the exception as he should be sold now while he is buzzing for Scotland as it inflates his value and keeps him happy. I am hoping Yakubu wont be selected for the Africa Cup games.

I wonder when someone will start a thread on Andrew Johnson in a similar vein ? Is he overrated ? At the end of the season I wonder what his status will be. The great start he made to last season has seemingly fizzled. What are his assist stats ?

OBTW I think Arteta is great and his free kick that was met by Duncan Ferguson to score past Man U in 2005 is proof of his skills alone !


Dave wilson
43   Posted 07/11/2007 at 04:24:21

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Stefan

Fair enough, I think we’re all in total agreement, Micky is a wonderful talent, perhaps in the past he has been outgunned when top four teams had 7-8 quality layers in their ranks to our 1-2, but our squad is gradually improving and I hope Micky can show the world not only is he the equal of the Gerrards n Lampards etc, but he is better than them, I’d love him to start against Chelsea
Wayne Smyth
44   Posted 07/11/2007 at 10:22:32

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In order for Mikel(or any other player) to dominate games, he needs to have:

a) The ball.
b) Enough players around him on a similar wavelength willing to show for the ball.
c) Creative license from the manager.

When playing the "big 4", we dont have enough of the ball. And with the exception of pienaar and gravesen(& the yak?), I dont think we have players who will allow him to play as well as he can.

You also need to consider the managers instructions in these big games. It may very well be that Moyes will give Arteta much less freedom during these games, which is perhaps another reason why he doesn’t have the influence some people feel he should have.

As many posters have alluded to; when you have 1 dangerman, it is usually quite easy to nullify them. So, it will be interesting to watch Arteta over the course of this season as the new players bed into the team to see if he can raise his game further.
steve jones
45   Posted 07/11/2007 at 12:28:51

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Spot on Wayne.
I would add;

1) We need to play the ball on the ground (Which we only ever do in short spells though it’s gettting more) to get the best out of Arteta and play him.

2) His geniune & best position is central mid, Moyes moved him to the wings. In the middle he would get more of the ball & dictate games more (If we did point 1 as well!)

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