Giving you a view of inside Arteta’s Arsenal by Eddie Hoyte
Seven months ago our fanbase would’ve given up on the UCL and admitted we are no good when it comes to getting a UCL spot. Today the same fanbase share unity, and belief, that we’re fighting for the UCL spot, and the improvement is second to none. All of this boils down to just one man – named Mikel Arteta.
I’m the type who loves seeing that I get my information right and straight from trusted sources. Now today, everything I’m pointing out here, all credit goes to David Ornstein, James McNicholas and Amy Lawrence, all reliable writers and sources. Now this a bit long, but not boring.
Arteta became our manager before the end of December last year, after settling down with his family in his new home, a new routine was developed. Pre-Corona era, he would get updates on training data and fitness updates on his phone every single morning. At 7:30 he’ll be at the club cafeteria for breakfast before meeting with other staff to go through training sessions, and discussions they already have planned the previous day. Updates from the doctor on issues and players fitness would be taken.
Players would arrive at 9:45 and pre-training meetings would take place. Meetings with individual players or positional units would be held on what’s required of them. At 11:45, the whole squad comes together for a meeting with the coach, who now takes everyone on his analysis, tactical setups, and key messages from Arteta before going on ahead to train. After each training session, Arteta would hold another short meeting with his assistants on training plans for the following day.
All these arrangements had to change during the Covid era which we find ourselves in now. Arteta, his assistants, senior players and the squad would keep in touch through video communications.
Shad Forsythe would then go on to see fitness equipment gets delivered to each and every player’s home with training programs. Sometimes online Yoga sessions were taken, at least it was confirmed by the media that Bellerin, Rob Holding and Saka took parts in these sessions.
Steve Round focuses more on trying to see and improve an elite culture at the club while also helping Arteta navigate through personal relationships linked with the job.
Albert Stuivenberg focuses more on tactical planning and technical issues.
Now, we all know Arteta is open minded and has no problem being diverse. We saw the reports of the webinars he had with LA Rams coach, England’s Rugby Union boss, and even a U.S military General. Arteta constantly remains open to broadening his perspectives and views, and most importantly on trying to change how we play, especially from the back.
Under the previous two managers, fans could tell we were shaky, sloppy and less confident while playing from the back. We struggled; I can recall how many times fans called for us to drop this playing from the back thing. Under Arteta it’s been a whole different experience and a successful one at that, previously the defenders hardly passed the ball around before coming under pressure, which saw a lot of misplaced passes into oppositions hands. Now the players are under Arteta’s instructions to commit an opposition player before taking a pass, therefore taking an opposition’s man out of the equation. Our goalkeepers are also under instructions for their positioning whenever we’re playing out from the back. All of these has seen us improve massively on playing out from the back, with more confidence and less mistakes.
It’s been evident in our games, all because of one man. Mikel Arteta.
Mikel Arteta has less influence on club decisions unlike Wenger and the Ivan Gazidis regime. Arteta has to work with Raul Sanllehi, Huss Fahmy, Edu Gasper and Vinai Venkatesham, sometimes the club scouts. The club still remains responsible for the sort of positions we reinforce, but with Arteta’s input, so he gets the players who suits his needs. If the clubs needs a midfielder, the type of midfielder Arteta needs has to be sought out and the same goes for other positions.
Sometimes it’s said that deals project themselves through our contacts or would you say Raul Sanllehi’s contact? The recent one which happened through Kia Joorabchian was the signing of Cedric Soares. It was brought by Kia, and the club had Arteta’s permission to bring in Soares as he’s the type of player he’s looking for, someone absolutely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
It’s fully known that the board and everyone at the club were impressed and supportive when they brought in Arteta. The club wanted someone who knew the culture of the club and it’s beliefs. Before signing, Arteta had met and discussed with Josh Kroenke, and we saw reports saying that Josh was massively impressed, Josh himself told David Ornstein in The Athletic: “When Mikel and I sat down one-on-one to talk about him coming to Arsenal, he walked me through things he’d seen on the pitch and took me through several things he would like to implement from a coaching standpoint”
“but really what we spoke about was club culture and setting a new tone. It’s going to take some time, We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but the culture is changing.”
Arteta has stayed massively impressive since then with his handling of issues, and how he convinced each and every staff member he met even at the club, passing strong fundamental messages, and his widely non-negotiable conditions including the whole mixture of Drive, Determination and Positivity. His public disciplining of Matteo Guendouzi after the Dubai incident was widely supported at the club.
Months later Guendouzi would be in a worst position, with Arteta reiterating every player must be on board with him or leave. He keeps getting support from staffs and pundits alike for his handling of players. Players like Ozil, Guendouzi and Maitland Niles would already know this. Niles being the one to bounce back first.
Arteta refuses to be told how to handle his own team and is a strong man who wouldn’t be manipulated by any means. On June 12 Arteta gathered everyone, looked them in the eyes and told them “This club needs a change in attitude.”
While Arteta understands that not everybody is as committed, as confident or as quick to learn, while he’s tolerant of that fact, there are lines he won’t tolerate being crossed.
The week before football resumed, Arsenal had a friendly game against Brentford. The players all eased off, made mistakes and lost the game. While it was only a friendly game, the nature of the loss made Mikel Arteta very furious, even though the result never mattered, Mikel reiterated “Those who don’t share my commitment to the highest standards, won’t be at Arsenal for long.”
Arteta demands professionalism at all times, and even though his methods can be seen as strict, he does have a sense of humour and unlike previous Managers at the club, he’s not addressed as “Boss.” The players all address him with “Mister” or sometimes “Mikel.”
The club’s code of conduct got a playful addition which he brought in from Manchester City called the wheel of misfortune. The wheel of misfortune comes in place when minor offences are being held, being late to meetings demands you spin the wheel and getting a punishment, from different ranges such as paying modest fines, cleaning the dressing room, cleaning the players boots or even cleaning the captain’s car.
His methods are so convincing and lately our current goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had this to say, “We knew Mikel would be a good manager when he signed here, but we didn’t know he would be this good,”
“He is incredible. He knows how to deal with experienced players, with young players. He gives us a game plan against anybody and gives us hope when we do the training sessions.”
So, all of this is Arteta’s Arsenal.
We have the full club and players supporting and backing him, I’m hoping the rest of the fanbase with doubts do step up also.
What areas of change are you impressed with the most?
Thanks for patiently reading, but don’t forget to… TRUST THE PROCESS, TRUST ARTETA.