Arsenal can’t sack Arteta because who else would want it? Is Merson right?

Is Paul Merson Correct? By Dan


Paul Merson has a reputation as a pundit of really exaggerating to emphasise his point. I remember an example where his analysis was Mertesacker was slow, Salah and Mane were fast.

Most viewers would have agreed but he went too far, saying if BFG played he predicted it could be 8 or 9 and that it would be impossible for Liverpool not to win. The game ended 1-1.

Like most ex-Gunners he’s obviously concerned how far his former club have fallen. On this weekend’s Soccer Saturday he was critical of our situation and questioned how things would improve.

Again though he goes over the top.

When asked if Arteta’s job was safe at the Emirates he suggested it was purely because ‘who would want it’, describing Arsenal as a ‘great club’ but that managers want to work with ‘good players.’

He’s half correct.

I refuse to believe that since Arsene Wenger left we have hired our first-choice targets. The recruitment team will claim that both Emery and Arteta topped a shortlist of approx. 50 applications because they happened to interview well.

In reality any coach with ambition is only moving to North London if they think it’s realistic to build a title winning squad. The moment an Allegri hears the transfer budget, he would withdraw his application. Enrique literally confirmed this.

So in reality your choice of candidates is left with individuals so grateful to get a high-profile position they are willing to accept the limitations.

Let’s not falsely educate the next generation of gooners though. If Stan Kroenke wanted too, he could make being Arsenal coach a post that the very best in the world would be interested in.

A chance to live in London, off the pitch a well-run business, world class stadium and training facilities, decent academy, massive fan base, proud history, etc.

Yet in the summer it’s very likely that the Manchester Clubs and Chelsea will compete for the likes of Haaland, Grealish and Kane while our net spend will be approx. 50- 80 million.

Several companies follow the model of investing huge amounts to make more in the long term. If we don’t adopt that policy soon, we will be left standing still, with the gap growing bigger.

Some will pick out stats that suit their argument saying we recently spent more than Chelsea, conveniently ignoring the embargo at the Bridge and any net spend influenced by our rivals ability to sell a lot better.

The fact is the Kroenke family have had power behind the scenes for about 15 years, so saying well done for buying Pepe for 70 million after overseeing a decline from Champions League Final to 8th is a bit odd to me.

I’m old enough to remember an 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford convincing him to spend a fraction of the money recouped for Nasri and Fabregas.

I recall being top of the League at Xmas one year and us not finding 2 million for Schwarzer, forcing us to stick with Almunia.

The likes of Van Persie went on record claiming he didn’t agree with the direction of the club. To prove it he won the title with Man United while we banked the money.

Famously our stingiest moves cost us Luiz Suarez and Higuaín.

More recently Ramsey was allowed to leave for free and we are still waiting to replace his goals.

When we needed a centre back, we replaced Koscielny with Luiz, making the position weaker.

Knowing Ozil was left out of the 23-man squad he did nothing to bring in any creativity.

For the third January in a row we only loaned players while slashing the wage bill.

In that time in the same month, Liverpool brought VVD and United Bruno Fernandes.

He’s the only top flight owner who got players to take a pay cut to protect staff jobs …. then still made 55 redundancies.

Why do you think Alisher Usmanov took his shares to Everton? On our board he realised Mr Kroenke had zero intention of building anything. The TV contracts being so much revenue that Stan Kroenke no longer cared where we finished. He would make money regardless.

The notion that he’s not responsible because he’s not involved in day-to-day operations is so naive. In any corporate environment an owner has targets and projections to meet. If you fail, saying you chose to put your feet up in America and stay out of things isn’t an excuse.

If the wet floor sign wasn’t put up at Asda, a person slips and breaks their neck. They sue the company, not the staff member who last mopped up. A court wouldn’t say, ‘well the CEO wasn’t in the store, so he has zero accountability.’

Arsenal simply are a failing company yet are still charging customers the highest ticket prices.

Morally it’s so wrong that I pay the same to watch a mid-table side then I did for one who were always in top 4.

Would be like a retailer selling a horrible dress for 100 pound when another store offers you 60 for a designer label.

While we are run this way, Merson is correct in saying that we won’t attract a world class manager.

We will simply repeat the cycle of a manager so grateful he accepts limitations, we slash wage bill, loan players, while fans falsely convince themselves our next youth prospect is fantastic (because they play for Newcastle and West Brom?)

I wouldn’t word it how Merson does, but he’s correct in that we are a great club but not one that anyone with any ambition will want to touch. No mistake though, we are a big club who just don’t act like one.

That’s what frustrates the majority of us. All the resources are there, but we just choose not to go that extra level.

We refuse to be the best version of ourselves and that’s the worst attitude to have.

Do you agree with Paul Merson?


Be Kind In The Comments


Dan Smith

Tags Arteta Kroenke Merso


  1. No. Arsenal aren’t the biggest spender in EPL, but they will support the manager if he has big potential

    On the contrary, Arsenal should be the dream job of any high-profile manager because of the less pressure to win major trophy. Anybody wants stability and Mourinho used to make an envious comment on Wenger because of it

    1. “ Less pressure to win a major trophy “. Are you sure PAL?
      Try telling that to Wenger. This fan base demands success which is why Wenger and Emery were both sacked and Arteta will be following them at the end of the season.

      1. Wenger was allowed to stay for more than fifteen years without EPL, CL or EL trophy. Whereas Emery was ridiculed publicly by the players and the fans, so he has obviously lost the dressing room

        1. You obviously never attended TheEmirates anytime from 2012 onwards PAL- a Group was formed called the Black ScarfMovement determined to get Wenger removed due to the obvious decline. Don’t believe for one minute Wenger list the fanbase in his last season. The FA Cup wins papered over cracks that were there for years. It’s vital Arteta is not allowed any more time. He is clearly incompetent

          1. We’ve still got one more leg to play in EL Phil, so let’s support him for now. We could always slate him once we get kicked out of EL

            I believe many high-profile managers would like to join us. So no worries, we can replace Arteta in December

  2. I have a strong suspicion, with informed opinion beginning to emerge as I have posted elsewhere on JA, that Mikel Arteta will begin next season as the first team manager of Arsenal Football Club.

    The above will apply regardless of final league position this year (given will will not be relegated) , and whether we land the Europa or not.

    1. Lmao…. Wait, there are really fans who think if we lose the Europa that Arteta won’t be here next season?
      LMFAO… Dude’s assessment by the board and the rest of us begins next season.
      Oh and Krish you can come tell me that I’m not objective and I kiss MA’s ass, but it still won’t stop me from starting my own judgement of him next season.
      Get in line 😌😌

      1. Quote

        “Dude’s assessment by the board and “the rest of us” begins next season

        it still won’t stop me from starting my own judgement of him next season”

        Yeah I said this long ago it’s all about you and TMJW. Others are wrong to want Arteta out because they are not happy with the results now but you will he right when you want him out at the time of your choosing.

        1. Cringe all you want, I’ve never told you you’re wrong for wanting him out.. the only issue I’ve ever had with you is your negativity all the time.
          Don’t care that you want him out or in, it changes nothing for me.. but you see the moment you start being a buzzkill in every article, doing nothing but spreading negativity, it’s bound to brush off on some of us… Ain’t nobody got time and energy to be consuming your negative vibes everyday.

          I’ve always acknowledged AKBs and AOBs, never told anyone they’re wrong, you won’t see me screaming for you or others to have patience with him. I’ll say my views and defend him as long as I have my own beliefs.
          So your wrong and right conspiracy is bullshit

          1. ‘ ‘the only issue I’ve ever had with you is your negativity all the time”.- lie.

            ” but you see the moment you start being a buzzkill in every article”- another lie. I don’t even comment in every article and I have stopped commenting on matchday articles long ago.

            ”Ain’t nobody got time and energy to be consuming your negative vibes everyday”- another one. I would like to see you say this to Phil also if you are brave enough or not a hypocrite.

            ”you won’t see me screaming for you or others to have patience with him”- that is what you are doing every time.

            You have said what you don’t like about me and it is now my turn to tell what I don’t like about you. You can’t state your opinion without complaining this fan this, other fans that. It is not a competition.

            Just state your opinion without whining about other’s opinions that you don’t agree with. There are a lot of things other say that I don’t like (for example I don’t like your negativity towards those who don’t agree with you as much as you don’t like my opinions.) but I know also there are a lot of things I say that others don’t like also.

            Another thing you have to improve for your own benefit is when people tell you something you don’t like just take a moment to reflect are they correct or not. You are not an angel and neither is anybody.

    2. AJ In my always considered opinion I agree 100%! Those fans who think his remaining will depend on winning the EUROPA COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG. They seem to deliberately ignore how Kroenke works and the decision is his not theirs , which is why I am so certain MA will stay.

  3. Reports out of the Emirates say the Arsenal board have lined up six Managers if Arteta fails to deliver a big trophy soon.
    The six are
    Piers Morgan
    Jodie Whittaker
    Boris Johnson
    Greta Thunberg
    Ty from Arsenal fan TV.
    Ariana Grande

    It’s all moot any way because Arsenal are going to win the Europa League and win all 8 of our remaining PL fixtures and Arteta will be given a contract extension through until 2045

  4. So sad indeed. Arsenal is a big brand with many supporters…..If only one invester would replace his magesty…the C.,..Family and put someone with an ambition…..we wouldn’t be talking about Arsenal. Its not a Manager….its money nowadays…go out and bring strong and quality players ……

  5. Artetas saving grace this season as been the fact that he won the FA cup last season if not for that i believe he would have already been sent packing .I also believe that if he does not grab the EL trophy he will be gone without that he hasn’t got a leg to stand on ,he’s already lost the majority of the fans and it now looks like the players have given up on his management style without those support there is no way back unless OFC he somehow does miraculously win us that trophy.
    As for no manager wanting to come here ,that’s a myth managers would jump at the chance to come here but that depends how ambitious our owner is.

    I say get Brenda Rogers in as he has a point to prove after his Liverpool’s days he’s premier league proven he conducts himself well and would sort the sh1t show we are seeing now even with his massive ego .

    1. Rodgers demands high workrate from his players all the time so those lazy ass players will never work hard enough for him except maybe in the beginning. His gameplan will fail, fans will be pissed then bye bye manager.

      Emery and Arteta both talked a lot about high workrate and pressing from the front yet we rarely see it. We can actually hear arteta telling them to go forward and press at time yet nothing.

  6. Are we a great club anymore? It baffles me how a team who have slivered under Emery but finished 5th, and now flounders with relegation candidates….and struggles in both the PL and Europa League under Arteta, can be seen as a great club. When teams have great managers they tend to be great clubs. With KROENKE as the low life owner, with Arteta as the ultimate ROOKIE inexperienced manager, who cannot relate to players. With Vinai Venkateshambles as Chief Executive in charge (he knows nothing about football), and a pathetic board….. are we a great club? We have a massive quality stadium a great history but are a mess from the top downwards now. We are run by imposters. Kroenke is not an ‘OWNER’, ‘ARTETA’ is not a manager and VINAI VENKATESHAM is not a CHIEF EXECUTIVE. To me they denigrate their labels. Kroenke is not an owner , he doesn’t love or focus on the club. Arteta is unable to make relationships and trust with players and is totally arbitrary. he ‘talks the talk’ and hooks people to make himself believable. False belief does great damage. In reality he is clearly not capable of the job. What kind of ‘Chief Executive’ is Vinai. What does he do? Sweet FA to help our drowning club. There are managers, who if we give them money and a project, could lift us. The shite owners, have not an ounce of intention to do do that, they are worse than useless. At least they could ‘make an offer he can’t refuse’ to Brendan Rogers and give him an incredible project….to save the club’s soul.

  7. @Dan Kit- of course top managers will want to come to Arsenal. Arteta is trying his very best to turn us into the North London equivalent of Leyton Orient, but we have too much history and by far the biggest fan base in London not to ever be considered anything other than a big club. What this board and owner needs to start doing is acting like one.
    No more novices like Arteta has proven to be. Let’s get serious and show we actually mean business.

  8. Finishing out of European positions, no trophy, lowest points tally for over a decade, worse position for years, these are all possible scenarios to this season. Not acceptable and cant be defended. If this happens people need to realise that Arteta isn’t upto the job, he is failing badly.

      1. @Reggie- the only thing that has kept Arteta in this job so far is the fact there has been no crowds inside the Emirates. The fan base turned on both Wenger and Emery and both were sacked. Kronke no doubt listened then and would be listening now. THAT result and performance on Thursday would have been the beginning of the end.

        1. Correct! And please let me state, i would like Arteta to turn it round but i dont and cant see that happening because he has improved NOTHING.

  9. I agree with you Dan

    Arteta though should not have been on the shortlist after AW. A top manager should have replaced him

    There was no particular favourite of mine to get the job but it should not have been a novice at such a crucial time

    That said I think Arteta has done better better than I expected but it was not the time to take risks. He has the potential to do really well but should have been honing his skills at a smaller club first

    The chronic failures at senior level before Arteta’s arrival though have only exacerbated the situation and who would want to tarnish their hard won reputation now by coming to Arsenal if Kroenke won’t change direction? It’s not that good managers wouldn’t want to work at Arsenal.

    Hence I have called for patience with Arteta. ManU did eventually with OGS who took a while to get going and that was with a far better squad.

    If as many think, Arteta is allowed to carry on next season then he has to hit the ground running as even my patience will run its course if he cannot sort it out. The rookie manager won’t be a rookie after 2 years and that is time enough to grow into your job and show what you are capable of. But a lot depends on the owner too as he has presided over a catalogue of disasters

    1. SueP your last paragraph is the reason I stand behind him and the team no matter what.
      I’m not the type to accept failure, as I didn’t waste time in pointing out Emery’s flaws. I do know Arteta’s flaws and weaknesses, even though I’ve never publicly spoken about it.
      The only reason I ain’t treating him like others is because like you said HE’S A ROOKIE. I am not gon use the same standard I judged Emery an expert into judging him, he’s allowed to make his errors and learn from them, but from next season’s game 8 if he’s yet to make us a force, then I’ll withdraw my support.
      I tend to support them through thick n thin, I did Wenger and Emery, but the moment I lose that faith, then nothing’s gonna keep my support.
      So for now, I’m still behind him anf the team, hoping and believing they want to win the EUL too

    2. SueP- finally I can reply to the question you asked me on a thread that was over a week ago.
      You may recall asking who I would replace Arteta with, and I have no hesitation in naming Naglesman as my own preferred choice.
      I agree he is younger than Arteta, and still relatively inexperienced as a manager, and his brief CV does not include running clubs as big as Arsenal, which brings with it the expectations of a fan base that is demanding, but realistic. Wenger was here far too long, and Emery was never the right choice to replace a club legend. Arteta, initially, did everything that was asked of him. He seemed to unite a very divided squad of players, got us tighter at the back defensively, and made us competitive. Winning the FA Cup was a bonus nobody ever expected, and excited us to actually what he could do. Then the season started, and it’s been pretty much downhill since then. I’ve no need to elaborate too much as the last two games have told us all exactly what “most” have accepted since at least the new year. But the performances and results are not acceptable from ANY manager with a squad of players that should be achieving a Top 6 finish easily. Let’s not forget we have real quality in this squad, but Arteta has consistently found ways to make us play such poor, defensively minded football, still concede for fun, and score far less than this squad should be doing. He has found a get out of jail card in Saka, but that only lasts so long. He is finished, and I believe most supporters know and accept this.
      My choice to replace him is young, but has shown unbelievable tactical awareness and management skills with both Hoffenhiem and RB Leipzig. He favours the double pivot two in midfield in front of a back four, but gets far more out of less talented players both defensively and offensively. I deliberately watched the game they played at home to Bayern Munich last week and although they lost 0-1 they were by far the better side and okayed against probably the best club side in the world with no fear whatsoever. We lost 0-3 to Liverpool and played like a team full of frightened rabbits caught in the headlights of the M1 at night. It was embarrassing and what’s more it was not a surprise. We got what we deserved, and nobody expected anything different. Why? Liverpool have been beaten by every man and his dog the last few months, yet Arteta sends out a team that never laid a glove on them. That is unacceptable. If we lose to a better team then we have to admit they are better than us. But at least have a go. Total embarrassment
      So Naglesman for me. The board need to show him we have ambitions to be a big club again and just pay whatever release clause is owed. Show him we want him and he will come.

      1. Phil
        A fantastic reply. Nagelsmann is a great candidate
        The only fly in the ointment is that Kroenke would have to go back on everything that he has shown so far he is willing to do.

        1. Well SueP- I would like to believe that Kronke would finally back a winning horse. If he saw his manager was in touching distance but needed the funds for that “special talent” then that is when we will find out exactly how much this owner is prepared to back his manager. But that’s a long way off at the moment
          If you Google Naglesman, there are many numerous items that describe his tactics and management skills. Well worth reading

          1. Fully agree with you about Nagelsmann Phil. Love his style of management and football. Have followed his progress since his time at Hoffenheim where young Reiss-Nelson had a loan spell. Currently a clear 2nd in the Bundesliga only 5 points off Bayern and have lost 4 out of 30 matches. I have a feeling though that Bayern have there eyes on him for the near future. He is exactly the type of manager we need to take us forward with the style of football we have been accustomed to and he is no stranger to working on a limited budget. I believe our current owner and management will continue with Arteta irrespective of results this season to continue their ‘project’.

          2. Phil
            Been begging for Nagelsmann since Emery was fired. Everything you want in a young, vibrant, hungry coach that Arteta is not.

            Nagelsmann done an amazing job at yet another club continuing to prove himself as quality.

            Unfortunately we’ll trying riding this dead horse Arteta and likely miss the boat yet again with Nagelsmann.

            Svan and Nagelsmann could have really built something here, instead we have Arteta and Edu looking every bit drowning men.

  10. I constantly heard as a solutions from so many to our present state is ( money,money and money)throw more money in and get more good players… how about the coach(es) do their job and improve the qualities of the players we acquired and develop our youngsters. There is no one here that can deny that every single players we brought have a dip in form or become worse than they were when we bought them.Then what is the certainty that if we spend more and bring in good players our fortune will change. We keep labeling these players deadwood, average, or not good enough but when in reality we contribute or made them that. If Wenger lost the plot in his latter years, and Emery is not good enough then Arteta will never make it as a coach and will soon join his fellow failed coaches in front of the camera teaching real coach how it is done. People clamoring for Arteta to be given money and time to do what with exactly. Asking our strikers to be defenders and the defenders to the creative outlets of the team. At the moment Kroenke is not our problem because he is not the one that couldn’t organize and motivate his team to give better performance on Thursday after the sh””t show we witnessed on Sunday. We almost don’t show up every game until the second half or last 15 minutes of the game and I hope it won’t be the same today. We are in the same situation with Chelsea months ago with similar qualities of players. We know where they are today and where we are because of just one decision made by their owner. That is one thing I blame our owner for.

  11. Rafa Benitez would have been the right appointment after AW to bring stability before going for a young and upcoming manager after the stability period: as RB had PL experience and speaks the language and has tactical nous and has had success in Europe. He still is if MA is not deemed to be good enough in Dec 21 as he can work on smaller budgets.

    1. We missed a trick with Rafa but he is available now and i hope against hope someone at our club has an ounce of intelligence.

      1. Creio que Marcelo Bielsa Cairia como uma luva em nosso time. É um grande técnico que exige muito trabalho o tempo todo e sem contar que seus times jogam bonito e de forma ofensiva e precisamos disso com toda certeza.

    2. @Durand- you have been the biggest advocate for Naglesman. No doubt. I believe the way he gets the right players in the right areas at the right time is what he preaches. He will be a top top coach. If we miss the boat with him we will regret it

  12. Dan Smith, by way of correction Usmanov was denied a position on the Arsenal Board by Kroenke, despite owning 40% of the shares. He wanted to invest in better players ; however this was rejected by Kroenke and the Board.

  13. Great article Dan, although truly frightening. One thing it does well is to highlight that even though we are I think ALL now concerned that Arteta may not be the best man for the job, letting him go will not solve the following:
    We are 100% in the hands of an owner who does not care about the club as long as he makes money.
    We have to all intents and purposes no funds.
    We have a poor squad, and its getting poorer
    We are tied in to excessive wage contracts.
    We have a clueless club management.
    No successful club manager in their right mind, when offered this set up would commit to us unless they wanted to risk their reputation and careers for a lower than average salary and no transfer pot.
    I too would love Nagelsman or Rogers, but they are not crazy enough to come here under Kroenke.
    So honestly, although it may be appealing because he is not succeeding in his own role, and because he is the “face” of the club and so the obvious target, where would sacking Arteta actually get us?

  14. Emery was a sacrificial goat as any manager that would have to succeed wenger was pretty much doom to fail. I believe it is one of the reason arteta didn’t get the job initially.

    About Nagelsmann i would loved to see him at arsenal with his playstyle and experience in fighting against much richer club with bigger talents. But why would he joins us ? we are the titanic slowly and painfully sinking while the fans watch helpless.

  15. We may blame the Kroenkes, rightly so! We may blame Arteta, rightly so! But none of these guys are responsible for putting the ball in the net! Laca and Auba have missed chances upon chances this season, which no coach should be blamed for! Can’t we see that these players are not good enough! Simply put, these players should know that instead of sacking the coach, they will be sacked! Players should not be paid so much, and then allowed to form groups that determine if they like a coach’s method or not! If we sack Arteta, then we have passed the wrong message to these group of poor-quality players! It is like saying after a teacher puts his/her best to teach/train a student, then the student goes to an exam and refuses to choose the correct answers and fails, and then we all come out blaming the teacher! The blame lies at the feet of those players that refuse to do their jobs!

  16. PM suffers from what a lot of Arsenal fans suffer from……..

    He was one of many loud voices screaming for Wenger out. As if somehow Wenger alone was responsible for our inability to challenge for the title, and with him gone and a few clever signings we would be back at the top.

    We are now further from the top then we have been in a generation. There is no objective way to analyze it….. pushing Wenger out with out a solid plan was a mistake.

    Fortunately we still have the opportunity to get it right. Arteta seems to be a bright young managerial talent, however, he clearly is not ready to take a club like Arsenal back near the top.

    Let’s move on an find someone who can. There are plenty out there… we passed on a few when we gave Arteta a chance, and a few have been hired elsewhere since Arteta has been in charge.

    1. Justin, you are quite correct with regards to AW and Phil… but at least he has been consistent when judging UE and MA.

      I think every Arsenal fan wants /wanted MA to succeed and we were all behind him, despite worrying where the creativity was coming from.

      Fast forward to now and there has been no progression, rather regression, despite the fact that MA has recruited players of his choice.

      That is the actual fact of the matter and whether kronkie is prepared to give MA further time, is a mute point when discussing where we are at this moment in time.

      Of course, it is always difficult to admit one got it wrong and nearly all fans thought Arteta was the answer.

  17. Excellent article DAN full of the awful truth about the appalling so called human who legally owns us. As for Merson I don;t care for him at all. Sometimes he speaks the truth but often does not. Either way his opinion is irrelevant as what matters is how we remove this USA invisible man from ruining our club still further.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs