After Three Years, do Arsenal Fans now trust Mikel Arteta’s ‘Process’?

Three years of Mikel Arteta’s Process by Goonerboy

When Mikel Arteta was confirmed as Arsenal’s manager, I remember earnestly looking forward to his first interview, I had feelings of adventurous excitement, anxiety, and great fear.  I thought Arsenal Football Club would experience the most significant ridicule of our lifetime – we were languishing in the bottom half of the table under a more experienced Unai Emery, and it was difficult to imagine that a complete rookie could turn things around.

Yet, in his third year, Arsenal sits at the top of the league in December.

If you compare where we were before Arteta was appointed and where was are now, you see a club and a team with Arteta’s process and authority from top to bottom. The journey has not been smooth in any way as we went on to make so many unwanted records – I remember the red cards, the losing streak, terrible referee and VAR decisions, and small margins going against us, and it felt like the process was doomed to fail. The disharmony among the supporters became unbearable, as once again, #ArtetaOut was trending almost every match day, it was a really dark time for the club and the fans.

I detest so many things about modern football operations, and one of them is a lack of patience emanating from a huge sense of entitlement, especially from young fans. It is always about the immediate future, a desire for quick success and glory, which means managers and to some extent players are always under immense pressure to deliver. Only a few fans remained objective in their assessment.

Like some thinking fans, Arteta recognized that to get Arsenal back to the top, a lot of things simply have to change; the mentality, the culture, and the connection with the fans must be mended. Now, to change the mentality, we had to change most of the personnel that was part of a rotten culture.

In my opinion, Arteta has gone on to oversee one of the biggest rebuilds from the ground up in recent years. I am glad the club didn’t give in to the impulses of the fans, they instead believed in the process and vision of their man, we now have a clear direction and sit top of the league.

Make no mistake, our recent progress is not just down to the additions of Jesus and Zinchenko, it has been coming, we have gone on winning runs, what we have lacked was consistency and belief, which is to be expected from a young team. I can’t explain how happy I am that people are now praising Mikel who has endured a rollercoaster three years but has held his own, trusted his players, and never shied away from challenges.

The process that was maligned and ridiculed is now being applauded and even emulated. You don’t have to believe me, just go to other fans’ forums and see what is being said about Mikel Arteta’s process. I have seen Chelsea and United fans forums saying their clubs should look at what Arsenal has done with Mikel and follow suit.

Having said all that, if you ask me for my personal major highlight and what I am most impressed with beyond football, I would say the connection between the fans and the players. The fans are consistently transmitting positive energy to the players, and players feel supported even when they struggle or make mistakes, which has created an intimidating atmosphere for visiting teams, I can confidently this is the best atmosphere since the Emirates era, thanks to Mikel Arteta.

Despite this, Arteta is not perfect and still has a lot to learn. The development and progress must not stop now, we are not there yet, but we are certainly on the right path. We have a great opportunity this season and I believe in this team to go all the way. If Arteta has done all this in three years, I just can’t wait to see how far we can go under him, perhaps we can be fortunate enough to lift the EPL this season, what a sight that would be!

Whatever happens, long may the process continues, I am confident Arsenal is quickly going back to the top because we’ve got Super Mik Arteta!

What is your major highlight in Mikel Arteta’s reign so far?

Do you now completely trust the process?


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  1. Excellent article. It’s difficult to argue against the process when you are top of the league. However the hardest part for Arteta will be to convert this into silverware. Your point about the atmosphere is spot on but my highlight is some of the spellbinding football they are beginning to produce.

  2. For the first time in 14-15 years, we actually look like we can challenge for the title.
    Don’t think we will win it this year, but the young team Arteta & Co, are building looks very promising for the future.
    For me this is the best plan to challenge those with much more money, I have seen Arsenal come up with, and we are on the path to implement it.

  3. I would say it’s more an Arsenal process as a whole ,to me the plaudits should go to Stan who as opened up his cheque book having backed Arteta thus far with 400 million to spend something Wenger and Emery never had the privilege to use .
    On Arteta,is he revolutionary?not in my eyes his first 2 seasons still linger in my head and what I witnessed so until this season is over and we see what it brings I will hold out on any applauding.

    But I will say I have started to enjoy watching us again something that as taken nearly 3 years to achieve,so that’s a start on my own personal view of Arteta and the club .

  4. Good to see him winning and establishing himself. If we end up winning the EPL this season, that will be one of the most ridiculous feat to ever be achieved by a manager in his first job taking over a team that hasn’t challenged for the league in years with one of the most toxic environment any new manager would want to be in.

    I remember my article defending him and using the rookie intern vs the senior officer at a company analogy. Great to see it’s worked out so well so far. Never lost faith in him and what he wanted to do. Shame some fans never saw it and some still argue he stumbled upon tactics and stuff, like he didn’t make it clear from his first interview what he was going to try to build.
    Onwards ad upwards

  5. Arteta is to be applauded, but the author left out a few vital parts, implying it was solely down to Arteta.

    It is a club, and it took a combined effort from top to bottom to turn around, it was not done by 1 individual.

    Why leave out Edu’s contributions, as if he hasn’t played a significant role in bringing in players.

    Why not mention Josh Kroenke who has not only overseen this rebuild, but was selling the idea with confidence before Arteta got his feet wet.

    How about Stan Kroenke who spent over 400 million and showed patience and faith in an unproven manager.

    Perhaps the author will write several equally glowing articles on Edu, Josh, and Stan mentioning their contributions with the same gusto as Arteta.

    Fantastic job being done by Arteta, but let’s not ignore the enormous amount of patience he has been shown and the 400 million that neither Wenger or Emery got over their final terms as manager.

    1. When he was failing in his first and second season, u blame only Arteta? Why didnt u blame kronke and josh or Edu. Now dat he is doing well, he should not take the credit alone. Hav u ever ask yourself why they didn’t emery much time but gave Arteta more time, what are they seeing in Arteta? Or what is he doing right? What plan did he present them that easily convinced them believe so much and invest.
      Just accept it.. Arteta is good and they (kronke, edu, josh and majority of the fans) saw it and get behind him and the team

      1. Actually I did also blame Edu, Kroenke’s and the board as well. Not surprising that you would assume such, as you would pretend to know my reactions to Arteta’s first 2 years.

        I’m happy to debate with anyone, but I will not further respond to comments such as yours. I merely commented it is a team effort, something Arteta himself has voiced, yet you have chosen a different tact.

        Not sure what you find hard about respecting a different opinion, rather you choose to attack as if you are personally offended.

        1. The writer share his opinion, U share a different opinion and I also share my opinion in support of the writer. But Somehow u concluded that mine is an attack. Its OK.

          1. @Savage
            Well you did make assumptions spreading them as facts.

            You said,” Why didnt u blame kronke and josh or Edu”.

            You made the assumption here and passed it as fact. I agree with Durand and have little time for people like this.
            Twisting everything to suite your own agenda.

            On topic, I will wait to see where we end the season and how far we challenge City before deciding to trust the process.

            Let’s remember the process resulted in two 8th place finishes, purchasing Willian,giving Auba a mega contract, letting Saka,Martenelli and Saliba run down their contracts.

            1. Scavenger
              You picked up on the exact point I was making, and know what I was referring to.

              Never did isay Arteta was undeserving, merely he didn’t do it alone, something Arteta himself said numerous times.

              Can’t debate someone who creates assumptions to use against someone to fit their narrative.

              It’s the twisting my opinion and putting their words in my mouth.

              1. Hey @scavenger…
                On JustArsenal we have a rule that you don’t try and start arguments for no reason. please remember that…

                Everyone has an opinion and are entitled to it, and it can change over time. Live and let live, as Paul McCartney said….

    2. Correct, author clearly had an agenda they are trying to pass.

      Also failed to mention him being a checkbook manager for the most part.

      Before receiving huge financial backing he was failing miserably with our two works finishes of 8th and 8th.

      One could assume with a checkbook book that he is mid table level based on those finishes.

      1. SAVAGE, what an odd comment to make!

        Whyever would you think that I, of all Goooners , as a committed and well known (on JA), HUGE ARTETA supporter, would object to questions that ask we Gooners for our best moments under MA.

        It makes no sense at all, what you ask me. Very odd post!

          1. No SAVAGE! As your original post makes obvious, it is YOU who gets me VERY wrong!

            And that is NOT OK either, as I do not appreciate those who try to misrepresent me. It is dishonest!

            1. @jfox! How can I misrepresent u when I dnt know u? I only knw and take from what u write here on JA. How is dat dishonest? Perhaps u are the one misrepresenting yourself

              1. Good question! I would rather ask, WHY did YOU misrepresent me in your original post -which you DID DO -especially as you admit you do not know me?

                I realise that as a non English as first language speaking person, your grasp of English is not good, so I allow for that.

                But I will not be deliberately misrepresented, even by ignorant folk!
                You wrote, in case you have forgotten , ” I thought you hate that” (about someone asking questions).

                That is untrue , so you chose to misrepresent my views and now you have the cheek to ask HOW you misrepresented me!
                Either you are daft or dishonest. Or both perhaps!

  6. One look at the table + considering how that was achieved this season, it would be difficult for anybody to argue that it hasn’t worked, so well done Arteta. I think it’s far from over too. Another couple of transfer windows and it should look like what he is trying to get to.

  7. It depends, does the process include huge budgets every transfer window? If yes then I trust the process.

    Biggest current issue is contract management, still horrific.

  8. Soon as I began to see “on the cusp’ youth being targeted/used was when I felt confident about the process/Arteta. And looking at him building our defense first while ridding us of certain individuals and taking a hit on them financially, I got on board with the idea of the process/Arteta. But it took time and Edu had to target the right stuff for us to reach our now top level.

    One thing I only realized this season, I didn’t realize that Arteta is so tactically astute, more so than others, he does have a lot going on in any given fixture

  9. I think what I most love about the process, is the mentality change, from pressing, the never give up attitude, the wining mentality, the harmony among the players.

  10. When Unai Emery was mercifully sack , they were two coaches available, Arteta and the very experience Ancelotti, but a vacancy was also at Everton, where the now gaffer had a similar connection if not bigger.

    Most pundits and fans alike thought the job at Arsenal was more of a man’s job and warrants the hand of the more season campaigner which dosen’t get bigger than Ancelotti himself,
    But is the decision by the owners to choose a a young coach who was still learning his trade over the season campaigner that impresses me most, not many business men who has invested millions in a project would be bold enough to call such a shot.

    Some think it was a risk and he’s not being smart in even considering the job and should have tried his hand at a smaller club where the stakes was much smaller first.

    I was a nervous wreck loosing three on the spin at the opening of last season, it was even touted by pundits that Arsenal is too big a club to let fail.
    But the gaffer has shown a level of boldness not seen in his peers.

    Yes I too believe in the process, the gaffer is confident, bold, smart and hungry and that he’s using to a telling effect at Arsenal

    1. I think they wisely saw that Ancelotti is at best a mercenary whose allegiances don’t lie with any club in England – so as soon as a club like Real snap their fingers, he’ll dump whoever he’s with and go running. Which is what happened to Everton.

  11. Naively, possibly, I was really impressed with Arteta from the outset. Ridiculous, I know, but he spoke and looked like a winner. Assertive and controlled -offering everyone a clean slate. Many will disagree that this happened, but I do. The ones who got sidelined were deserving of being sidelined imo

    I can’t deny that in year 2, I came close to throwing in the towel but suddenly pieces of the jigsaw began to fit around Christmas time. Out with several of the senior players who thought they were good enough, but weren’t and in with a different breed of player. I didn’t know much about Ben White but Arteta and Edu were prepared to spend big to sign him. That caused the usual what a waste of money digs and then he blossomed and was on the plane to Qatar.
    Like many an Arsenal supporter, I can expect the worst at times, but Arteta and the club have done so much to elevate the club on the path to real success once more and I’ve got fingers and toes crossed that the momentum has not been lost due to the World Cup

    1. I see things almost exactly as you do Sue. Is it not the greater truth though, that the Gooners who were best able to see the WIDER picture- meaning getting out that arrogant trouble maker Guendouzi, the slackers Ozil and Auba and instilling a great dressing room discipline , including PROMPT time keeping and things of that sort – could easily look beyond those first three losses that season and see more than just judging on top four or sack him!!

      Simply put, some Gooners are wiser, more wide and forward seeing and more intelligent than others. REALITY!

      1. Lol yeah,apparently even more forward thinking than Arteta himself.

        You see many knew he should not recruit Willian,but he did and it failed.

        Two 8th place finishes and then some huge financial injection in order to push to top of table.

        Let’s see if he splashes more cash in January, proving checkbook manager or if he keeps the squad as is.

        If he keeps it as is and wins league great job,fail and check book manager proved.

        Fact is some here love to claim higher ground and act intelligent and mighty, but they are just weak and try to twist things to make themselves feel better.

        We all know who they are.

        1. Willian didn’t work out at Arsenal which was blindingly obvious. He has returned to West London and looks a better fit at Fulham. Not all signings work out as hoped across the board.
          The board has backed Arteta. It would’ve been pointless not to do so don’t you think?

  12. Good article, but “trust” is probably the wrong word.

    I’d say that I’m impressed by what they’re doing and what they have achieved so far, but with a larger bankroll than most clubs have – although many clubs have been bankrolled and have failed.

    Also, the momentum would need to be maintained… if they (he, Edu and the backroom team) get a chance. I still have a sneaking suspicion KSE are fattening the goose for sale.

    The most obvious success has been having the nerve to get rid of the big name / big ego players. They had a rebuilding job to do and that’s close to being achieved, but it has to be said that rebuilding is not only about kicking out the bad apples, that’s probably the easy bit, buying well and moulding them into a team are two additional parts of a rebuild that are far harder than just booting out some players.

    1. Saw the report too, honestly am never worried about this lad as I knew once a pen was found the signing would be history.

      You mention suspicion Kroenke could be fattening the goose for sale, that could spell a really busy winter window for Arsenal, as maintaining our current status will be very attractive to potential or the Indian investors

  13. It’s easy to forget that Arteta is just 40 years old. And he is managing the youngest EPL team at first place in standing. We got great stadium, great finance and great history. What’s not to like?

  14. Considering the job he’s had to do, Arteta has, imho, been terrific. The process wasn’t just about trying to qualify for the CL, it was also about the overhaul of a squad that was on easy street. Now replacing those players wasn’t going to be cheap, but it works out at £12.6m per player, seeing as 27 players have been signed. Wenger spent £193m on 12 players in his last 2 years, but according to some people, he wasn’t allowed to spend the £’s.

    The match going fans have created a great atmosphere at the games, and the squad are playing for each other.

    Yes he’s made mistakes, but even seasoned managers have as well.

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