Analysis – Arsenal’s fascinating journey after three years under Arteta and Edu…

Three Years and Rising by Peter Doherty
What a difference three years make. Of course, basking in the afterglow of a good victory over West Ham, the feeling is one of positivity around the Emirates. But that is a small element of a very fascinating journey that our club has undertaken in the last three years under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta.
On Boxing Day 2019, Arteta oversaw a dour 1-1 draw with Bournemouth that reflected the directionless nature of Arsenal FC. The club had been drifting since the tail end of the Wenger era and Unai Emery proved incapable of reversing the trend.
Freddie Ljungberg’s short stint as the chief was uninspiring and highlighted how deep the problems ran within the club. The hierarchy then decided to pursue a coach with absolutely no experience in management, and this was seen as a further insight to the complete lack of ambition that they held for the future of the club. The pictures of Edu leaving Arteta’s apartment in the early hours confirmed that Arsenal were going to take a punt on a novice. The mood around the Emirates was destructively toxic and expectations were low.
Arteta’s first game in charge had a back line of Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis and Saka. Xhaka, Torreira and Ozil were the midfield, and Reiss Nelson, Aubameyang and Lacazette were the attackers. The utter transformation of Arsenal in the interim is reflected in the fact that only two of those players are now first team regulars. That is a remarkable statistic.
Another fact worthy of recognition is how the players who have departed from that team have played at a considerably lesser level since. All of this is an indication of how much surgery was required in order for Arsenal to become competitive. Arteta had a huge job on his hands from the start.
The road ahead proved to be as rocky as the situation would have suggested. There was huge divisions in the playing ranks and a lot of players were disgruntled. Arteta showed his courage in his decision to confront the Ozil situation head on and freeze our highest paid player out. This could have backfired and demonstrated that Arteta meant business.
There was a massive and ongoing clearing out of deadwood whose wages were draining the club of its resources. Then there was the major investment in largely untested players at the level that Arsenal would be expected to compete. Every move involved an inherent risk, but Arteta had a vision that he was adamant he was going to pursue. Potential failure lurked at every corner and two successive eighth places and a capitulation for fourth at the end of last season may have pointed to failure. But something was changing.
The profile of the squad had changed from aging players on bloated wages, to young hungry players determined to prove themselves. The playing style emerged in bursts, but remained frustratingly inconsistent.
Academy players in the shape of Saka and Smith-Rowe in particular gave the fans a sense of attachment to the team. These were backed up by the potential emergence of Nketiah, Nelson, Balogun and Patino.
The new signings had character and were obviously playing for the jersey. Ramsdale’s personality endeared him to the faithful, Odegaard’s industry and vision, Martinelli’s skill and tireless running, Gabriel’s passion, Tierney’s fearlessness, and gradually a connection began to emerge between team and fans.
Outcasts who were previously derided like Xhaka were welcomed back into the fold as he proved his commitment time and again. Finally there was something to believe in.
What had been the most toxic environment in the Premier League was morphing into one of the most supportive and, unbelievably for Arsenal, the noisiest. This was no accident. Arteta had pursued this connection as a main focus from the start. He referred to it with regularity in interviews. He nurtured it by getting us an anthem. He knew that it was critical. The fans were key.
Three years on and Arsenal are seven points clear at the top of the table. This stat is misleading as it might represent an over extending ambition that we will remain there until the end of the season as we are still a work in progress.
But one stat that is very revealing is that in 2019 Arsenal were twenty six points behind Liverpool, and now sit fifteen points ahead of them. Comparing ourselves to the rivals that we would expect to be competing with, gives an honest appraisal of the progress made. What is revealing is that the expectation is that Arsenal are not peaking yet, but Liverpool have peaked and are in need of a minor overhaul.
The turnaround has been remarkable and it is only fair to give credit where it is due.
Arteta and Edu… take a bow.
Peter Doherty

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55 Comments

  1. 3 years of struggle, 3 years of criticism, 3 years drama and building totally anew. So worth it, glad to have been there from the start backing and supporting the process. Not a single moment of doubt, all credit goes to the coaching team as well. Everyone who’s made sure this project would bang.
    We’re not league winners yet, but we’ve put ourselves in the best position to do so. Remember all the articles and cries of “The manager responsible for our worst start in Premier League history” by a certain writer who takes pleasure in looking for negatives all the time?
    I’m not reading or hearing “The manager responsible for our best ever start in Premier League history” now.
    It’s supposed to go both ways? No?

    The season is still long, and this team has shown they will work for every win and work for any bragging rights unlike the previous spoilt squad we used to have and the entitlement fans used to have by expecting us to win every game just because “we are Arsenal.” Now even when we go down, we see the players fighting to fix it because they know “We are Arsenal” doesn’t mean shit if you don’t work for it on the pitch.
    I’ve always said we ain’t entitled to 3 points, top 4 or league titles just because fans keep this delusion of “We are Arsenal” so it really feels good and heartwarming to see an hungry team with manager all working hard everyday to get those points fans used to think we are entitled to.
    The next four games will be another phase of test, one that if we maintain our hard work and come out on top, then by February we’d be guaranteed title contenders without a doubt.
    We play Brighton (A) Newcastle (H), Tottenham (A) and finally Manchester United (H). Tough tough games, but confidence I have is that this squad knows what’s required the belief and hunger to do it is there.
    Long may it last

  2. Good, well written article. It reinforces the fact that systemic change takes time, patience and unflinching commitment. Arteta and Edu have been uncompromising in the efforts to lift the club back to the pinnacle in which it belongs and without the deep pockets of certain rivals. Hopefully the process will stay in the memory of those fans who couldn’t see the forest for the trees .

  3. Progression is confirmed by the fact that Arsenal have only lost at home in the league three times in this calendar year, and unbeaten this campaign. Not bad.

  4. When games against Brighton and Newcastle are won it would very difficult to pretend we’re not in a title race

    1. Yes… upcoming 2 fixtures are pretty tough
      Newcastle is on roll
      Eddie Howe is doing wonders with Newcastle without any major investments…
      Next Summer Newcastle will invest heavily in market and become another title contender

      1. Arsenal are flying at the moment and the best part is they will only get better. I’m so excited for the coming seasons.

  5. Yes, I still remember how Ozil’s fans hounded Arsenal for releasing him and similar things happened when the club did it to Aubameyang. Many clueless fans/ pundits couldn’t see Arteta’s/ Edu’s potentials and were bashing them without providing any suggestions

    Luckily, their negativities and noises didn’t affect Kroenke’s decisions. Kroenke and a few knowledgeable people saw something different in Arteta/ Edu

  6. GAI, it’s a lesson to all of us. Always do what pleases you and not someone else. The have the right to speculate or criticize but if you know you are right about something, always stick to that plan.

    I remember some fans bashing Edu for not signing £40m Buendia 😂😂😂

    1. That summer it was “Buendia Buendia Buend……”
      The recent summer it eas was “Bissouma Bissouma Bissou….”

      1. Actually Arteta WAS after Buendia, it was well documented. Villa bid more and got their man.

        So ridiculing Arsenal fans for wanting Buendia is also ridiculing Arteta wanting thr same.

        1. But was Arteta as obsessed with Buendia like some Arsenal fans were?
          It seems like Buendia not that of a major priority. He was a player on a list of many targets.
          But the over sensationalism and obsession with Buendia by our fans was very irritating..

        1. I still beleive tielemans would be a great signing..He can provide cover and steel to our midfield.He suits arteta ball

      2. Well….. it all depends on the coach, style of play & how the player is utilised. Brighton are no way near Spurs in terms of standard & football but he (Bissouma) shone for the former. He still remains a good player in the middle of the park. I’d rather he signed for Arsenal as opposed to spurs. They really have nothing to offer, no apology!

    2. Oh my what a sad time that was! In fact I was one of the mob that bashed Edu based off a few minutes of Buendia’s highlights in the championship and twitter hype! Praying him sticking with Nketia makes me look like a fool again in March! I’ll happily take that

  7. I have never experienced The Emirates this pumped up. The noise, the crowd never stopped singing from minute 1 to the last minute. There seems to be so much optimism around the club in long long time.

    Even when West Ham scored, I thought the fans were going to get a bit discouraged, but no, the moment we conceded that goal our fans just turned the noise up a notch:
    “And It’s Arsenal,
    Arsenal FC,
    We’re by far the greatest team
    The world has ever seen.”

    The noice was giving me goosebumps inside the stadium.
    It was rocking and buzzing.

    And it was amazing to see wenger’s name being echoed around the stadium, and he gave the fans a wave to acknowledge them.

    A Beautiful time we seem to be in as a club at the moment. I don’t want it to end.

    1. Wow!! Even reading ur comments right now gives me goose bumps…. It’s a great time to be an arsenal fan not bcos we are top, but bcos of the way we are playing and d team giving their all for the shirt

  8. Needless to add that Peter, the bright man who wrote this astute and perceptive piece, is firmly among the more intelligent Gooners.

    I do not doubt that back in Dec 2019, we Gooners ranged from those who strongly objected to a so called “novice rookie”( I will not embarrass those who constantly misused that silly description, by naming them) to many others who expressed certain doubts as to the clubs choice but were preparedto give MA the benefit of seeing how he went .

    And then there were a few others who INITIALY said little, but watched for a while to see whether or not MA tackled head on- or not – the obvious decay in attitudes in our dressing room. And whether he would- or not- get those who had at one time huge reputations, but who were not even interested in being PROPER teamplayers ( which meant sweating blood for the team in every game ) get such harmful types out of our door ASAP.

    , And then there wewr still other Gooners who , like myself, had long been calling on our previous two managers- not counting Freddies tiny short stint as caretaker – to get such idle and self centred types out long before MA even arrived and who saw EXTREMELY CLEARLY the immense harm to team harmony and to any chance of sustained team success, we had while such “snakes” were allowed to remain at the club.
    Indeed I myself waged a long campaign against allowing such a poisonous snake as Ozil TO BE AROUND AS LONG AS HE WAS.
    I said well before MA arrived, that if I l could wave a magic wand and get all the remaining “dross” gone, in a moment of magic, then I would do so

    But of course I am only a mere fan and it was left to MA – after INITIALLY failing to see how MUCH harm Ozil had done for many previous seasons of idleness and faking injuries- to FINALLY force that snake out of our dressing room.

    When it finally happened, I was thrilled beyond words. For I could then see that MA had the all important CHARACTER AND INTELLIGENCE to see how much and for how long our beloved club had been harmed . Not only by Ozil but also by such as Walcott , Mykitaryan( for a far shorter time, obviously AND by the slack culture of ill discipline that such as Xhaka and the other “clutch of dross players” were doing in full view of both AW and Emery. And some were still doing it after MA arrived.
    I do not wish to give anyone the wrong impression that I was thrilled with the choice of MA when he first arrived. I wrote that he would not have been my own choice but that as he was the clubs pick, then we had to give him enough time, to either prove up to the job OR to not do so.

    After a year and more of no tangible better results, I also expressed my personal doubts that he would be a great success but I also said that he needed MORE time to change that decay and that so many on JA who were constantly undermining him , were being hasty , reactionary, unthinkingly immature and were themselves putting unnecessary pressure on him.

    I stand by that view still here and now. I honestly never thought, after eighteen months in the job,even afte rtwo years, that he wouls be as good as he is.

    I also constantly called for the head of Xhaka as I , together with the great majority of other fans, could see the damage Xhaka was doing by his recklessnes, by red cards and pens etc. I was STUNNED that MA HAS PROVED ME SO VERY WRONG and that now, this season, having change his role in thteam , Xhaka has becone a key player.

    Of course, unlike Ozil, Auba, Walcott etc , Xhaka always had guts galore. He took on our crowd when it turned against him and was on his way out of our door, when MA, with insight lacking in we all, transformed him into a key player whom we now all rate highly.
    I was therefore dumbstruck with awe at how MA had achieved what AW, Emery and PRACTICALLY NONE OF US, had seen as being possible.
    As time passed under his managership, I became a regular constant MA supporter and said so very frequently.

    It took time and certainly did NOT hapen in an instant – far from it – but as a wise and older than most fan, I could clearly see the marked change of direction, the magnificent intolerance to fakers and those who played for themselves, but not for the club. I could also see how , despite Covid destoying the transfer market and making the sale of our “dross” all but impossible , how driven MA is and how he was going to succeed, come what may. And my friends so it has proved, though there are of course some who still cannot see what is plainly in front of MOST of our noses.

    And what do I DRAW as the moral of this long diatribe? That Gooners come in ALL shades of thinking and also of unthinking.
    And on that final thought I will now end!

  9. I wouldn’t say it’s been fascinating ,it’s been at times horrid to watch and depressing and the worst football I’ve witnessed as an Arsena fan ,this season as now changed that tide and alot of that praise should go to Stan the man ,having now opened up his wallet and given Arteta the freedom to now spend as he sees fit .
    Let’s hope we carry on this form till the end of the season .

    1. It’s so very very important that we recognize how crucial the owners belief in the process is…Arteta was given the the most priceless asset a good manager can get….time
      In the words of the Matrix character Morpheus..
      ” we have found him,he is the one”
      Mikel is so much better than most of us know

    2. Don’t suppose it has ocurred to you Dan K , that as with the Glazers and FSG, both USA private billionaires , that KSE may well be trying its best to get Arsenal in a position where a sale to the highest bidder would be considered? To maximise the sale price, KSE as astute business folk would first ensure Arsenal is top and in healthy condition!

      KSE WILL OF COURSE FIRST DENY THE CLUB IS FOR SALE, AS THAT WOULD BE TO SEE THEIR RUSE BEING SEEN THROUGH!
      You may say thats just speculation and indeed it may be!

      But then again , the possibility of it not being only speculation, but true, has occurred to some of us.

      After all, KSE would walk away clear, with many billions in profit, to compensate them for recently loosening their purse strings., to the tune of part of ONE billion. Its called business sense and I for one, have never denied BOTH Kroenkes are financially cunning and aware. Multi billionaires are always way ahead of we ordinary mortals, where making HUGE money is concerned.

      The aborted idea of a ESL showed close observers how true that was and still is.

      And they will ALL have seen how CERTAIN clubs, which are run by sportswashing states, can afford to blow private billionaire owners way out of the water.

      1. Jon, if I’m correct, Silent Stan had the opportunity to make a handsome profit, when we were not in the position we are now, just eighteen months ago, but he refused to sell then as well.

        You may well be correct, but it doesn’t change the fact that MA has had the complete backing of the owner in every aspect of his management.

        Dan K is correct in his view that some of the earlier football was dire and uninspiring – I remember the Burnley game in particular, where I sat in my seat for 89 of the 90 minutes, wondering where we were going!!

        At this moment in time, I think the Kronkies are acting in the correct manner and long may it continue.

        1. Hi Ken, good to see you back, I was wondering if you were ok.

          My view is that there’s a difference between 18 months ago and now – the new FSR rules and the Newcastle takeover. And there’s the Chelsea sale as well.

          Kronke will have noticed that Liverpool and Man Utd owners, other US business investors, are considering cashing in their chips. Likely reasons are as above:

          1. Seeing Chelsea’s sale, the price they could get now for a successful club may have surprised them.

          2. They see the new FSR Rules…

          3. The emergence of another state-owned club which means theres likely to be more in future.

          When a business is competing against people who probably don’t care about making a profit, they’re not on a level playing field.

          Financial stability rules are designed to prevent clubs going bust, not to promote fair competition – so giving money to a club is fine, lending it to a club… not so much.

          Which potential sale are you thinking of 18 months ago by the way? The other point to note is that the position 18 months ago was poor compared to the clubs we’re talking about above – Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd. They would want to make the club successful before selling for £3-4bn rather than £1-2bn.

          It may not be the case – it’s just one interpretation of current events. What makes it seem likely to me is that it seems odd for one US billionaire to be investing heavily when the others are looking at getting out, just as as the Oil countries buy in.

          I wonder how you would feel if Arsenal won the PL and were bought in a year’s time by a consortium which is doing a poor job of pretending not to be a country.

  10. The transformation over the 3 years has really been outstanding, even other clubs are taking notes on “the process” by Josh, Edu, and Arteta.

    It’s not just the growth of the players, but Arteta’s growth as well. From negative football, scripted movement and static positioning, to the free flowing, slick passing poetry we all love.

    Arteta has learned on the job, and congratulations to him for that.

    For example, early on when we got ahead we sat back and defended that goal and only counter attacked. Now we go for their throat and look to bury the game not sit back.

    This evolution happened through experience gained and lessons learned, kudos to Arteta for his development as manager.

    Why would our players not extend their contracts?

    1. Who is playing better football than us?
    2. Cohesive locker room and chemistry
    3. Look real contenders & convincing
    4. Connection with fans is real & strong

    Money and wages can turn heads, and some players may get bewitched. However, I believe none will leave this green pasture any time soon, and believe Martinelli, Saka, and Saliba will extend their contracts

    1. I’d question how much MA has “learned on the job” versus being able to shape the playing staff into something that can play the way he wants to play.

      Until this season the playing style was probably limited by what he had available. If you’re going to play a high back line then perhaps you need fast defenders. If you want to play a press, you need mobile, fit forwards and midfielders who are all prepared to work hard – I doubt that you could realistically play that way with Ozil and Aubameyang in the side.

      1. Good points
        Arteta was always clear about what he wanted to see from his players and how he sets up his team. He now has a better balance within the squad to allow him to develop his vision of how he wants the team to play.

  11. Arteta was the right coach to succeed Wenger…….that has been my believe when he turned the job down for Emery to be appointed. He will dominate the EPL and football with arsenal for a few years. This is just the beginning

  12. My twopence thoughts on a well constructed article.

    The “good old days” come to mind and memories are short now that MA is proving to be a terrific signing.

    The continued berating of players like Ozil (quote from Ronaldo… He made me the player I am today) who is STILL the only player to have been the top assist provider in the PL, Bundesliga, La Liga, CL, Europa League and World Cup, is ridiculous.

    The very fact that players like him and Aubemeyang (a previous Golden Boot winner) were given away because Mikel was unable to manage their egos, speaks volumes of the inexperienced MA.

    However, fast forward and his subsequent handling of Xhaka, ridiculed by the same set of fans who berated Ozil and Aubemeyang, shows how he was, very quickly, learning on the job.

    Remember also, the money that has been made available since MA took over three years ago – roughly £347,000,000 and compare that to Wenger’s average spend over 21 years of £349,000,000 or Peps £371,000,000 in his first 21 months and you can see why I believe more praise should be given to the Kronkies during MA’s tenure.

    Let’s not also forget the negative records that MA broke during his time…. this was down to him alone, as he had let go of 22 players, while signing 13 that made up the £347,000,000 quoted above… amongst those being Lokonga, Willian, Pablo Mari and Runarsson.

    It also needs to be remembered that, apart from Loose Cannon and Angus, everyone on JA has voiced doubts about Mikel Arteta and also the way he was given more “rope” than UE with regards to results and the transfer market.

    So now, we can observe the GIANT steps this remarkable man has made… not at a small club, but at one of THE biggest clubs in the world and while he was learning his trade.
    It is quite remarkable how he has changed the culture of the club, both on and off the pitch.

    He knows what “The Arsenal Way” means and has brought the players and fans along with him 100% (well 99. 9%) with the most attractive football this season and, most importantly, on a CONSISTENT basis.

    He comes across as an intelligent, passionate man at his press conferences and promotes our club in a wonderful way.

    We are now in a position where top four is a foregone conclusion (in my opinion) and not to win the PL would be a bitter pill to swallow…as it was when we finished 2nd to Leicester.

    I look forward to going to The Emirates each game and joining the fans in singing his name, so credit where credit is due – long may it last.

    1. Hreat read KEN , TGHOUGH AS YOLU HAV EWAL ALONG KNOWN i take atotally differnt view on your Ozil and Auba views But I not here to reopen closed old wounds, but to offer the idea that a few of us on JA are still not sold on Kroenke and Son as good owners for us.

      So, I ask you to scroll up this thread to my post to DAN k , timed at 4.57 today and then give me your thoughts , if you have any.

      To my mind, IF my idea , shared with several but not many others has legs, then the present mooted spend in Jan makes perfect sense.

      Simply put , my instincts are not to TRUST multi biilionaires to do their unselfish best by any club they own.

    2. An excellent article which reminds us of the difficulties faced by Arteta when he assumed command of what was a sinking ship with a motley crew on board.As fans we tend to focus on perceived weaknesses in recruitment without much thought to the daily grind of actually having to work with certain players in the knowledge that they were not of the calibre needed to bring about a renaissance in our fortunes.In essence, Arteta took on a very tough job and while he has made errors in judgement along the way, make me another Manager who has not?.No, our young Manager, and his important support team has done very well as is evidenced by the undoubted team spirit instilled to a talented and young squad who are all singing from the same hymn sheet.There are some huge hurdles to overcome if we are to win the best League in Europe, but even if we fall short, our young Manager has shown me the expertise,determination and dedication to bring home the bacon in the not too distant future.Finally I think it’s about time that his ‘rookie’ classification was laid to rest by all who subscribe to JA.The man has surely done enough with the youngest team in the League to have our utmost respect.

    3. ### The very fact that players like him [Ozil] and Aubemeyang (a previous Golden Boot winner) were given away because Mikel was unable to manage their egos, speaks volumes of the inexperienced MA. ###

      Wrong.

      As Peter Doherty rightly pointed out, none of the players Arteta let go are exactly lighting up the football world by their performances since they left. Do we miss ANY of them? Do you?

      You should read the most recent comments made about Arteta by Pep Guardiola, then you may understand that Arteta may have been inexperienced because it was his first actual managerial job, but he was precocious and far-sighted and the evidence is clear now.

      He presented the plan, and the board and technical director gave him the support and time to implement it, and it is wonderful to behold. He truly does not get enough credit.

      1. I respect your opinion – I happen to disagree.
        As far as I can remember, there are very few players who have left The Arsenal and gone on to better their careers… it’s not a MA experience, as it goes back to the days under Bertie Mee.

        I don’t miss any player that has left our club, as they mean nothing to me (footballing wise).
        I jut wish them good luck.

    4. Much to agree with Ken, a couple of points to question:

      1. Ronaldo questioned Ozil’s transfer to Arsenal because Ozil found so many passes that allowed Ronaldo to score goals – as we now see clearly, Ronaldo’s view is coloured by what’s best for Ronaldo. This was all in a slower tempo game in Spain, in a different time.

      2. Players (people) change over time. The successful ones can find it difficult to keep their feet on the ground. From what I could see, Aub and Ozil were not the same people when they arrived as when they left. It seems Ozil was told by AW that coming to Arsenal would be good for his career and I suspect he felt let down when that clearly didn’t happen. Aubameyang was always what I see as a “problem personality type”, waiting to cause issues in certain circumstances. Such people cannot always be managed, under some circumstances they have to be let go.

      Looking at Ozil’s career since and the bizarre antics in Turkey… the modern version of Ozil is not the same person to deal with as when he was making his way up in life at Real Madrid and before.

      1. It has been regularly penned and stated that Arteta is unable to manage players with “egos”. The narrative has been extended to suggest that this is down to “inexperience”.
        Both of these perspectives are highly questionable particularly when one considers the circumstances under which two of the most referenced players seemed to have difficulties and then eventually left the club..
        I always felt that those who made such claims were either not being candid or lacked insight into issues which were hindering the club’s progress. To continue making these arguments with the benefit of hindsight is remarkable.

    5. ken1945, why you belief id add beyond reasonable doubt that Arteta failed to manage player egos baffles me. The said players are the catalyst to their own failure, listening and doing what the manager requires isnt about ego but rather unprofessionalism and rudeness . in team sport i believe you move in one direction and a common goal. if a team member pulls you back you give your best pulling them up and if they dont help you in helping them , if that even makes sense! you would have done your part.

  13. I expressed doubts that an untried coach was the right move but as soon as Arteta arrived I could see something much more than I expected from him.
    He got rid of those whose self importance was plain to see. I felt humiliated just as a tv viewer watching the EL final in Baku. At a huge financial cost, I know, but they were, one by one, off. The old guard needed clearing out and the experienced Emery couldn’t do it such was player power

    There have been bumps along the way and times when I thought that MA was not going to push on sufficiently to lead Arsenal back to CL football and challenge for trophies. I wrongly thought that we could get top4 last season but a new never say die aura has surrounded the team now. Top4 is looking much more promising.

    Credit to the club for having faith in Arteta Also to JK and Edu for allowing Sanhelli to leave with his so called reputation in tact after signing Cedric and Mari on long term contracts when they were just signed as 6 month loans. This was disgraceful- as was the deal that brought Pepe to the club and cost the club dearly.

    Arteta did make mistakes – as you’d expect- but he learned from two of the best and is beginning to show a welcome level of ruthlessness but also empathy with his team of what are mostly youngsters. I don’t think it has anything to do with him being unable to work with top talent. He has that in Jesus, Zinchenko and our younger players who would all fetch fine transfer fees. It rather demeans the talent that we have to say any different. £50m for White wasn’t peanuts. The Ozils and Aubameyangs of this world are no different to Ronaldo who all ended up putting their own value above the club they served. A lesson hopefully learned by our team going forward

    Whether Arteta can maintain the current level when City have such an embarrassment of riches remains to be seen but the rebuilding of Arsenal is well under way. A far, far better club from top to bottom than where it was 4 years ago.

  14. Kudos to Arteta for turning it around and bringing back the old vibe. And shout out to the owner for sticking with him and backing him in the transfer market.
    That being said, let’s not forget that the criticism wasn’t warranted. we saw dire football and lots of bad records broken under him. There were some glimpses of good football in his 1st two years but there were lots of dull moments too. Had Arteta been appointed right after AW, I doubt he would have lasted this long. In fact, MA benefited more from UE tenure as the club noticed the mistake they made when they didn’t give EU control of the team. Unlike UE, Arteta was quickly promoted to a manager so that he has more control of the team and have a say in the transfer of players. But the most impressive thing is his evolvement. He thought that when he took over, he can just change few things and make the team competitive again, but I think he changed course once he realized that his idea doesn’t work with some of the players he inherited especially the older established ones that have nothing to prove. You can see that by looking at the players he bought at the beginning of his term and the one’s he recently bought. He is a smart lad that can learn from his mistakes and hopefully going forward we can all enjoy the fruit of his labor.

    1. Well, I agree with some of your points and disagree with others.
      There is a difference between constructive criticism and the negative relentless negativism that pervaded sites such as these.
      Whether Arteta would have lasted if he was appointed immediately is impossible to determine.
      What I would agree with as that Arteta has shown the ability to learn and has evolved the team over time.

  15. So glad that a few of us on here trusted the process, as now it would seem that it’s beginning to bear fruit.

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