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Man City set sights on Arteta

By Steve Ferns :  25/05/2010 :  Comments (60) :
There's a lot in the press about Man City looking to bid for Arteta. It seems to me that they are once more trying to use the press to unsettle the player. To put out the stories that he's the missing piece that he can bring them onto the next level and that he will be richly rewarded.

I am not in the least bit concerned by this latest bid to unsettle Arteta as all the recent noises from him have been along the lines of how happy he is here and that our recent treatment of him during his difficult injury makes him feel obligated to us. Surely, if we choose not to sell him, then he will stay.

However, the burning question for me is just how well has he recovered. He seems to be becoming more injury prone with age, even before the knee injury. The 2006-07 season, where he played in 35 out of 38 league games, seems to be the exception rather than the rule. And it seems that he misses around 10-15 league games each season.

I also think he's lost pace, although he had little to start with. Perhaps it's too early to tell but the flexibility that saw him weave and pirouette away from tackles seems diminished and I fear that maybe Arteta is not the player he was. Perhaps then, we should consider a bid.

There is always the chance that, with a pre-season under his belt, following a long summer of rest, that he may be every bit the Arteta of old. Also, the diminished Arteta showed on his return from injury just what an important player he is for us. Also, there is more to Arteta than his tricks and turns and that maybe he could be an even better player by being slightly more direct as there is less need for him to hold up play than there was in the past, with far more ball players in the side these days.

A further thing to consider is what selling Arteta – even if he actually is diminished — would represent. Everton would be signalling that they are prepared to sell their best players, and people will look at Lescott and even Rooney, and then believe they can take Rodwell, Fellaini, Jagielka et al from us. It may also unsettle those who remain, such as Rodwell, who must have signed amidst guarantees over the club's future ambitions and I am sure the vision given to him was not one of a selling club.

I hope Arteta does return to his very best and that he signs for 5 more years too. Atletico will still want him at 33, I'm sure!

Reader Comments

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Ian Kearney
1   Posted 25/05/2010 at 14:48:56

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I didn't see any evidence that he would not return to his best, he looked right on the cusp of in fact.

Even if he lost a little flexibility, that stopped him weaving through players, it would really matter; it's his ability to control and orchastrate the midfield that matters most.

If City want him then we should demand a king's ransom, that's if he wants to go; if he doesn't, then no sum should be acceptable. We can't replace him on our current wage structure. At least not immediatley.

Col Wills
2   Posted 25/05/2010 at 15:16:09

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Man City might as well come clean and buy the whole Everton team as they seem to think the only way to beat us is to strip our team one by one. Next thing you know, it'll be that mascot of the big set of hairy balls they'll be interested in! iI can see it now — "Mancini swoops for Mr Testicles"!
Ciarán McGlone
3   Posted 25/05/2010 at 15:24:41

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Another conspiracy eh!

If we lost Arteta i'd be gutted... But that's what footballers do — they change employers for a bank balance the size of some African countries. Unlike Pienaar, I reckon Mikel would walk into a CL team...

If he goes, no doubt we'll bully someone financially smaller than us into relinquishing one of their best players... Much like we've done in the past.
Charlie Percival
4   Posted 25/05/2010 at 15:28:35

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I actually think Arteta played better post injury than pre-injury. Remember, he won't be fully fit until next season anyway. Why would he start doing his pirouettes and putting unnecessary pressure on that delicate knee? Let him build it back up to strength, then you will get your Zidane-like moves back, Steve, that you crave!
Danny Burke
5   Posted 25/05/2010 at 16:17:19

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There is NOTHING wrong with Arteta, he has not lost a thing and with the desire to get back and play he is arguably better than before.

He is the most important figure at the club besides Moyes. City can do one!
Steve Guy
6   Posted 25/05/2010 at 16:12:09

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Conspiracy or no, I do think Man City are targetting key Everton players as they see us as a real threat and are buying tactically. Is Arteta a great player? Yes, he is... at Everton. Could Man City afford a better player than Arteta? Yes, they could and probably will as well.. because they can. Could Everton afford a better player? No, even with the money we might get for him.

This is Moyes's Number One task in the next few weeks... get Arteta signed up for another 4-5 years.

If he went, it would be for the money because I think he would play half a season in a larger squad and still not get in the Spanish national side of which he dreams. Lescott all over again, although in this case we'd miss Arteta.
Roger Domal
7   Posted 25/05/2010 at 16:17:22

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City are floating so many trial balloons that they may need to close the airport in Manchester! Milner, Arteta, Boateng, Georgie Best.....jeez.

The Lescott thing worked out for pretty badly for Joleon. He didn't really distinguish himself on the pitch before getting hurt. And it ends up to be a good piece of business by our manager (right now...can't predict the future).

I say Arsenal and Man City fight it out for him and may the worst team win. I trust Moyes to go find the next Arteta.
Stewart Littler
8   Posted 25/05/2010 at 16:17:27

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All I have to say on this is that the potential of Arteta alongside Fellaini (both fully fit) is the key to Everton in 2010-11. There is no price on that IMO.
Mark Murphy
9   Posted 25/05/2010 at 17:39:35

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"City were involved in an acrimonious battle of wills in last summer's transfer window but emerged victorious by prising Joleon Lescott away for £24m"

Oh yeah - we really came off worse in that one eh?

Hope he doesnt go but every player has his price and, if they want to give us silly money again, I'm sure we'll get over it again!
Mike Gwyer
10   Posted 25/05/2010 at 17:35:42

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Arteta is Everton. End of.

Fuck, if he goes, we may as well all bus over to Eastlands — we can take the rest of EFC and then win the EPL.

Personally, I hope this is media madness or most probably Arteta's agent trying to get more cash for his man; otherwise, I can see Moyes popping over to City and kicking arse.
Charlie Percival
11   Posted 25/05/2010 at 17:58:34

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Remember, a point most people are missing: Lescott wanted out... Arteta doesn't.
Charlie Percival
12   Posted 25/05/2010 at 18:00:24

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If Arteta ever leaves, it will not be to City. I can even guarantee that. He's a sensible guy.

He would either go to a Champions League club, or a club in his homeland pushing for Champions League.
Conor Waters
13   Posted 25/05/2010 at 17:54:25

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Not to jinx it, but i reckon Mikel is made of stronger stuff than Pienaar. He seems genuinely happy at Everton and has proclaimed it many times in the media when other possible suitors were swarming about. He'll sign an improved deal and that'll be the end of that — if anything, he's seen first hand what a bad move it was for Jolly.

And as far as his perceived 'diminishing' qualities, I too feared that he wasn't the same player when he returned from injury this season. His initial performances were visibly rusty, with some slack passing and clear indecision, especially in 50-50 tackles. But he was just back from a hefty year-long lay-off, FFS. Of course he'd be rusty.

And it wasn't too long that he was back to his best, in fact, if not better. Between his return to the team and Landon Donovan's cameo, it's no wonder we finished the season on a high.

Mike Elbey
14   Posted 25/05/2010 at 19:07:46

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One thing I cannot understand — why didn't the Arabs just buy Everton?

To date, they have spent well over £250m on players alone and they are still no better than us. This is on top of whatever they paid for Man City. They have already given us £24m for Lescott and are now willing to part with what would surely be more money for Arteta. They are also rumoured to want Jags — that means they would have spent £75m on buying players that, if they had just bought us, they wouldn't have needed to spend!

I hear people say 'but Man City have their own brand new ground'... However, they don't — they rent the ground from Manchester City Council. Indeed, the Arabs have allegedly been trying to buy the ground from the council since they arrived so the ground argument loses some weight.

As I say, why the hell didn't they just buy us!!!

Sorry, back to the thread. We must hope like hell that Arteta is made of better stuff than Lescott and Pienaar because, if we were to lose him, I fear it would signal the end of this current team. I believe Pienaar is replaceable but Arteta has shown since his return how much we missed him. Let's hope his big mate Cahill can have some influence on him. If we were to announce Arteta had signed another contract, it would feel like signing a player!!!

Jamie Tulacz
15   Posted 25/05/2010 at 19:45:18

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Would like to think that Tata is more loyal than most — the sounds coming from his agent are encouraging at least. Don't think he'd lost much when he came back at the end of the season, but that could be explained by coming back from a long-term injury.

City are welcome to next season's away kit — I'll pay them myself to take it off our hands!!
Kevin Gillen
16   Posted 25/05/2010 at 21:00:10

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Great point, Mike Elbey! (14) It does make you think, doesn't it? As for Arteta, he is just about the most technically gifted individual ever to don a blue shirt. Worth the admission money alone in my opinion. No wonder City are after him after his performance at Eastlands this year! I would hate to see him go just as much as I would hate to see Pienaar go.

The realist in me says he will stay and Pienaar will go. I do like what Moyes says though. We have been very prudent as a club and seem to have learnt from the Rooney sale. If anyone comes knocking, they ain't arf gonna need a big chequebook.

Andy Riley
17   Posted 25/05/2010 at 21:30:56

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I think we should learn from the Lescott saga and basically use the media to scare City off. Everton should publicly and loudly announce that Arteta is happy at Everton, is under contract to us and has no desire to leave, especially to a non Champions League club which, after Everton, would only be a downward move.

However, the club are realistic and accept that every player in the world has a price. Mikel's is £60 million and ask the Arabs to put up or shut up — a bit like Arsenal have done in putting an £80 million price tag on Fabregas!

Danny Burke
18   Posted 25/05/2010 at 21:28:22

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Good point about the Arabs buying the wrong club. I can't see Mikky going to City, if he went, it would be for CL football or back to Spain.

I've said this before but Arteta not being in the Spain squad still baffles me (good as their midfield are); he is probably the most gifted player I have ever seen in the Royal Blue jersey (I'm 28).

A fully fit Fellaini and Arteta in the middle would really be worth the admission money alone, so hold on at all costs!

Phil Bellis
19   Posted 26/05/2010 at 00:55:32

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Mike... as Dave Roberts will tell tell you ad nauseum, no-one will buy us because we've not got an unobstructed-view stadium with hand-dryers in the bogs, an adjutting supermarket with self-serve checkouts and ample off-motorway parking space for all Cheshire drivers.

Sarcasm aside, that's a really good point you've made — whoever came up with the `let's buy Man City' idea should be minus at least one bollock.

Brendan O'Doherty
20   Posted 26/05/2010 at 01:31:14

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Unthinkable. Beyond contemplating.
Eric Myles
21   Posted 26/05/2010 at 02:18:12

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Mike Elbey, tha Arabs bought City 'cos they were for sale; we aren't, so nobody can buy us.
Ste Traverse
22   Posted 26/05/2010 at 03:14:53

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I wouldn't sell that club a virus, let alone our best player.
Michael Parrington
23   Posted 26/05/2010 at 03:52:29

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Arteta has been a class act in the past and seemed to be coming back to full form. It would be a loss to the side if he went somewhere else.

I had a bit of a concern that, in the little bit of time that we saw him and Fellaini on the pitch together, they seemed to want to occupy the same area of the pitch. Hopefully I'll get to see them on the same side together next year to see if an understanding between the two needs to develop.

So far I think Moyes has done a pretty good job in securing the key players of the future to extended contracts, and those players have confirmed they want to be a part of Everton's future. Hopefully both Pienaar and Arteta want to be involved, otherwise they may as well both leave and at least give Moyes the chance to use the cash to find some suitable replacements.
David Chait
24   Posted 26/05/2010 at 08:02:08

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Mike Elbey thoughts exactly... would have been cheaper to buy us and build a stadium than buy city and have to buy our team!

I actually wish they wanted Pienaar as much as they did Lescott... that would fund Moutinho .. a far superior player... Either way... as long as we get 20m for any of our players we can buy better... its the bedding in period that is troubling...Personally I just don't think Arteta is going to go anywhere... and with that I begin to pray!
Matthew Mackey
25   Posted 26/05/2010 at 08:40:02

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Regarding the Trash with Cash i'll use the words of SAF....."I wouldn't sell em a virus"

Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 26/05/2010 at 09:15:45

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Regarding the Trash with Cash i'll use the words of SAF....."I wouldn't sell em a virus"

Could equally apply to that red faced git too.
Bradley Nolan
27   Posted 26/05/2010 at 09:11:17

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City have bid for 20m for Milner, they haven't actually bid for Artetta (why?). Putting out rumours about an alternative target is often used as a tactic in bargaining. I think Milner is their real taget but Villa want to hold out for the maximum amount, Artetta's name is being used by City to make Villa accept their next offer. See Upson for Lescott last season. They'll need Milner to keep their home grown numbers up as they let some of their squad go this summer.
Chris Stewart
28   Posted 26/05/2010 at 10:11:49

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Its not long till the World Cup and the papers wont need to fill their column inches with speculation and bullshit.
Chris Butler
29   Posted 26/05/2010 at 10:53:31

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I'd let him go, he hasn't shown any evidence that he's recovered. I think that the time's come to let him go. £20 million is worth it as Petrov would only cost about £3 million. He's faster than Arteta and until Robinho he was a terrific player.

I can't believe Manchester City would be intrested though. City have enough players far better than Arteta in that position. The only club that would want Arteta would be Arsenal or Liverpool — neither of which are likely to get him.

Ciarán McGlone
30   Posted 26/05/2010 at 11:23:26

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What central midfielders have city got who are better than Arteta?

Brendan O'Doherty
31   Posted 26/05/2010 at 12:12:38

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Chris Butler - as the song says "there's nobody better than Mikel Arteta"....
James Stewart
32   Posted 26/05/2010 at 12:22:48

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Chris Butler that is the stupidest post I have read on here for some time!
Charlie Percival
33   Posted 26/05/2010 at 12:51:27

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Chris Butler, if you want a reaction, I'm not playing.
Alan Clarke
34   Posted 26/05/2010 at 13:07:54

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One thing we ask for from our Everton players is loyalty and commitment... yet, Steve, you're willing to discard one of our greatest ever players because he seems a bit injury-prone (I suspect having a shit physio hasn't helped).

Everton should in no way encourage any bids. If the player decided he wanted to move, I certainly wouldn't consider selling him to a rival — especially after the Lescott ordeal. I would sell him abroad for less money rather than sell him to those shitbags.
Peter Warren
35   Posted 26/05/2010 at 13:33:16

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Arteta is class, nobody comes near him in our team or city's - no surprise other clubs interested. I would be more concerned should Arsenal show an interest.

In terms of injury prone, I think a little harsh, generally - midfield players get injured - i.e. Piennar Fellani - at other teams Gerrard, Fabregas etc. I do believe gettign someone who is that level of class and doesn't get injured is great - but few and far between when playing on our league and would cost a fortune.

I would like Piennar to stay, but I'm really not that bothered either way - certainly he comes nowhere close to Arteta in my view
Mike McLean
36   Posted 26/05/2010 at 16:02:07

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@ Chris Butler: I think we're all waiting for you to point out which City midfielders are far better than Arteta.

You're a bit of a tease, aren't you?
Danny Burke
37   Posted 26/05/2010 at 16:06:13

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Chris Butler is that a wind up?
Phil Rodgers
38   Posted 27/05/2010 at 10:15:51

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I honestly think he is invaluable to Everton. The best player we have had in 20 years. But sadly if Man City really want him then he will go.

I saw a list in the paper a while back that showed what some of the players earned now and at their previous clubs. It was obscene. No amount of loyalty or decency can stop a man taking that kind of money. It's a bad time for football.

Chris Butler
39   Posted 27/05/2010 at 10:28:09

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Stephen Ireland and Gareth Barry I would consider being better central midfieders than Arteta. Lets be honest he hasn't been briliant whens he's played this season. People just like him because they remember how good he was when he was beating players left, right and centre.
Thomas Christensen
40   Posted 27/05/2010 at 10:34:06

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Chris Butler, you are one brave man. I take it you haven't seen much of Everton towards the end of this season when Mikel was back in the team.

For the record — Barry and Ireland are NOT better players at all.
Bram Oliver
41   Posted 27/05/2010 at 11:55:55

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I'm surprised so very few Evertonians have cottoned on to the real situation, in my opinion. Clearly the much reviled Pienaar was and is regarded as expendable by a club who thought they could bank on a midfield of Arteta, Fellaini, Rodwell etc next season. They were going to sell Pienaar to finance the aquisition of a striker, and some other playing staff... probably a goalie, knowing Moyes.

The dilly-dallying about the wage is a ruse to allow them to pawn off our best player, and make it look like his fault. However, they may not be able to resist the money Arsenal, or City will throw at us for the services of Mikel Arteta.

Then the Everton midfield, shorn of possibly both Pienaar and Arteta, doesn't look as good does it?

And since everyone is shitting on Stevie P, has golden boy Mikel signed his new contract yet?
Tony J Williams
42   Posted 27/05/2010 at 13:13:42

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Has he been offered one Bram? Has he been offered a new contract twice and refused to sign? Has his agent done a "yes but no but yeah!" routine? Quite different circumstances, hence the differing stance in regards to people's feelings

If Everton sell Pienaar ro finance a move for Moutinho, I will be happy; if they sell Mikel, I will be devastated.
Ciarán McGlone
43   Posted 27/05/2010 at 13:32:11

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"Stephen Ireland and Gareth Barry I would consider being better central midfieders than Arteta."

Behave yourself.
Alan Kirwin
44   Posted 27/05/2010 at 14:02:41

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Ciaran, I think you mean "which" central defenders have City got who are better than Arteta.

Answer either way is none.
Christopher McCullough
45   Posted 27/05/2010 at 15:02:28

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Alan Kirwin, I think you mean which central MIDFIELDERS have City got that are better than Arteta.

Oh the pedantry.
Will Leaf
46   Posted 27/05/2010 at 15:21:55

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Regarding why the Arab group bought City, I've had the inkling they did it for ego reasons: Buy the club down the road from Man Utd and make City the better team. Honour and respect to follow.

If Liverpool presently was the all-conquering team they were in the 70-80's, I suspect they would have bought Everton for the same reasons.
Chris Butler
47   Posted 27/05/2010 at 15:42:57

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I would rather have Stephen Ireland in my team than Arteta, we're all entitled to our opinion. I've watched Arteta and haven't seen him run at anyone like he used to. Maybe it's due to being in central midfield. How many times do we get just outside the box where someone like Gerrard or Lampard would play a neat flick through or shoot? We need a more direct players on the wing and in central midfield.
Ben Jones
48   Posted 27/05/2010 at 17:27:53

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Hmmm, Chris, very questionable indeed.

Ireland can't even get into the City team.

He is a good player, but not Arteta's standard. And his personality is questionable, he'd never fit in our squad.

I'll never forget his look of arrogance when he scored against us last season at Goodison. All of the Park End wanted to tear his head off! Made me hate him and Robinho ever since.
Fran Mitchell
49   Posted 27/05/2010 at 17:57:26

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Ben Jones: "his look of arrogance when he scored against us last season at Goodison"

Yeah, what a tit. When Everton players score against other teams, I always remember them apologising to the opposition support for ruining their day.

Ireland and Arteta are very different players. Ireland if he came to us, he would be vying with Cahill, he isn't a creative midfielder but a direct attacking one. I would love him at Everton. At the expense of Arteta... no.
Ben Jones
50   Posted 27/05/2010 at 21:24:09

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Fran, what I mean is he went up to the fans with that look specifically. It was unnecessary and he tried to aggravate the fans, I could tell from his face.

Run off and celebrate, that's fine, but to intentionally aggravate the opposing fans is just wrong, I'd never condone an Everton player doing that, and I can't really recall any of them doing that. That's what makes Everton Everton in my opinion.

You're right about one thing though: "Yeah, what a tit."

I'd agree he's direct but I'd disagree that he is a creative player. Between him and Arteta, there's no contest. Arteta always.
Tony J Williams
51   Posted 27/05/2010 at 21:47:10

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Ben, I remember our very own Arteta doing accident, when he scored his first goal against Palace, he ran over to their fans — not knowing it was them!!!
Bram Oliver
52   Posted 27/05/2010 at 21:52:50

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We don't know what the hold up is in Pienaar's contract. There are salary issues, apparently to do with parity. Why not sort it out before the World Cup. It seems clear that the club hope that he will raise his profile, and they can cash in afterwards.

Pienaar may be seen as the asset to cash in, in line with the apparent one big sale a year policy. Heaping the blame on his shoulders may therefore be a tad unfair. It's also not going to look so great if Arteta has his head turned though.
Iain Love
53   Posted 27/05/2010 at 22:02:54

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PP = Pointless Post.
Most of our players will be linked with other teams, Arteta will always be seen as a good but not great player and will attract attention but no serious decent offers. If Citeh bid £25 mill, great... we will buy Ozil for £10mill, decent player 8 years younger, plus £15 mill for Donovan or Bangera.
Chris Butler
54   Posted 27/05/2010 at 22:44:37

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First of all, I actually believe that Arteta is a great player but not in central midfield. Pienaar has taken over his mantle of being our playmaker. We have Billy, Osman, Anichebe who can all play left wing presumably... why Moyes hasn't played him there recently.

All I'm saying is I would prefer a more direct central midfielder and put Arteta on the wings. Manchester City have signed Fernando Gago, a central midfielder I doubt that they're going to spend another £20 million plus on another one. The only club I believe he'd go to is one in Spain.

The only club that would be interested in him is Liverpool and as he's a decent lad I don't believe he'd leave. I think the whole moral arguement is flawed as in every other profession you'll work with people that are not particularly pleasant but only footballers are judged. Fellaini isn't an angel by any means yet we still like him.

So let's say last minute at Anfield 0-0 in the race for 4th place. Cahill scores 4th minute of injury time in front of the Kop and punches the corner flag we will a debate his actions now? Of course not. Stephen Ireland just scored at the opposite end from his supporters. He didn't run the length of the pitch like Gary Neville or Adebayor.

I would offload some of our talents if we could bring in top players. If we got let's say Micheal Carrick, Edin Dzeko and Landon Donavan with Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar and Yakubu going in the other direction, you wouldn't be happy.

Gary Hughes
55   Posted 28/05/2010 at 02:14:47

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Steve Guy... I agree with your paranoid ramblings. Arteta is an excellent footballer but, with limitless resources at your disposal, like City have, surely you would be trying to bring in the best that money can buy... Unless, that is, you realise that, regardless of how much money you have at your disposal, any player worth his salt looks at City as pleasantly smelling dogshit — unless your name is Lescott.
Ben Jones
56   Posted 28/05/2010 at 19:36:02

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Haha... really, Tony? Well, that's just pure stupidity from Arteta's front then.
James Stewart
57   Posted 29/05/2010 at 00:19:10

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Chris Butler: you my friend are an idiot. I am sorry there is just no other way of describing your posts.
Seamus Murphy
58   Posted 29/05/2010 at 12:47:47

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Chris — In Arteta's ten starts after injury this season he scored 6 goals and got 2 assists, as many goals as he scored in the previous season where he played twice as many minutes. I actually thought he came back better than before — I was delighted with how he came back so well. I think the reason we don't see him beating as many players is that he is not playing on the wing anymore — but that certainly does not mean he is not as good as before.

As regards your commment about City having "far" better players in that position. Steven Ireland is good but definitely not "far " better. I would take him but not at the expense of Arteta. And Gareth Barry is simply not better than Arteta.

And finally your comment about replacing Arteta with Petrov just tops it off — Petrov is also a good player but come on, think about what you are saying. He isthe wrong side of 30 and is an out and out winger — would you really want him instead of Arteta?

Christopher McCollough — Well said!!

Samuel Yates
59   Posted 01/06/2010 at 03:31:50

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Why are debating this? Its crazy.

Recent interviews show Mikel going on about how grateful he is we got him back from injury so quickly, and how much he is in love with the club. He even said his wife (FIT) is very happy in the city.

Now you're probably thinking, ha if there is money involved, like there was for that "ugly tit-head" Joleon, then he won't say no. But Mikel just doesn't seem like the type to be so fake and unloyal. He loves us; we love him... and I'm sure he will survive on £55k or whatever he is on a week. Plus, there is only one place he is going to retire at if he leaves Everton. That's Barca and I don't think Josep Guardiola is on the phone flirting with Moyes for him just yet!!

I say we need to be more worried about that little South African kid going than mighty Mikel.

Steve Edwards
60   Posted 01/06/2010 at 17:17:04

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I see that Man Utd are now being linked with Mikel. What made me laugh was the report that they would get him for £10m. Where's the £10m come from? He's still got two years on his contract and Everton are going to let him go for £10m? What a joke, cheeky bastards.

Moyes got £24m for Lescott and he's going to let Arteta go for £10m. I know Moyes is a pal of old whisky nose but come on. That alone tells me the report is a load of shite.

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