Arsenal fans need to accept we are still in transition

Fans need to accept, we are still transitioning by ThirdManJW

We are all aware of Arsenal’s recent struggles, and understandably, pressure is mounting, and some of us are getting itchy feet. It is easy to see where the lack of patience is coming from, given it was pushed to the absolute limit under the Wenger/Gazidis reign. But I feel some fans have forgotten that we are still going through a transitional phase, and haven’t accepted just how deep rooted our problems were under Wenger/Gazidis.

Many have questioned Arteta’s lack of experience, including myself at times, but then again, Emery was extremely experienced, and look how he struggled. As I said 2 years ago when this transition began, it will be a minimum of 3 years just getting to grips with the squad, let alone everything else going on behind the scenes. There has been an unbelievable amount of upheaval over the last 2 years, and let’s not forget that our main negotiator left in the middle of the last transfer window!

It’s impossible to put a timeframe on any transitional phase, but Arteta has only been here 11 months, and even during this short period, there’s still been plenty of change. Yes, he’s made mistakes, just as Emery did, and our new board, but generally, this is part of the process. To only expect an upwards trajectory during a transition is ridiculous! There are going to be many ups and downs. Hopefully mistakes/success will lead to some consistency at Arsenal. Once that is in place, it will be easier for any manager at our club to be successful.

I honestly feel that we’ll be in a much better place once the 2021 summer transfer window is over. We will finally be rid of the dead wood and will then have the ability to make some big changes, what with the money that will be freed up.

We are going through a huge transition, we are trying to completely undo the culture of the Wenger/Gazidis reign, and create a new one, and this can take many years.



  1. The absolute truth leading to the present day problems at AFC. Experienced and novice, both managers have similar results in the league table. I reiterate that we should get rid of Bellerin, Kolasinac, Luiz, Soares, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Laca, Nelson, Willian – that is a team of outfield players if we ever want to make it top four.While some are squad players, but serious teams have better and cheaper squad players. Never should we see Torrera, Cabellos, Mavo in AFC jerseys.
    The silver lining is that we have AMN, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Saka, Martenelli and Auba. Pepe will come good with better midfield. players.Holding, Willock, Guendozi, good for the bench.Leno no issues, he would be better with quicker MF players for transition.
    It will take seasons to get rid of Wenger’s collections, so remain calm irrespective of the table position, stay healthy, and live to see the new era once all the trash is binned. Even Pep is struggling with the wealth at his disposal, so do not berate Mikel for not being able to grind results with 10 mediocre players starting every week.

    1. Elneny has played well and we haven’t seen much of Nelson so I would hold on that. Bellerin has been better and he seems to be getting back some of his speed.

      And who is going to take the rest and what do we get to replace them? We won’t be rolling to the bank with a huge chunk of change from the rest.

      But we are in transition. Arteta has had one summer transfer and I think that he did really well.

  2. The consistent required results are yet to come. As fans we should be patient.
    Rome was not built in a day and so Arsenal FC should not be built on sandy foundation.
    Men at work

  3. It all takes time, Magic Mikel needs a few years transitional period to sort the mess out which Arsenal are in!………………I know this as next Friday It will be 45 years transition in marriage for me and my little nest of vipers never won me the FA Cup in her first season!

  4. Well stated….. the fact that we won some trophies and matches should be an encouragement to trust the process……we have a rookie coach who is working hard to move us back on top……he has upgraded the defence and gradually working to sort out our midfield …..all in the tougher league and within the current world wide pandemic ……the players are mentally becoming a team…..the physical part is still evolving…….so is the team…….the coach needs about three years before we can judge his work…..till then let’s support him and our team…..

  5. We been making transition for 2 decades with young player growin into first team.

    Foundation and story Wenger wrote are Arsenal people love & know about.

    To try to undo this is to destroy Arsenal ADN and best assets.

    We have a great team and only transition needed to be made is at coach level. We went from Wenger to Emery to an assistant coach who has no clue.

    Diea is to take it from where Wenger left at and move forward; we cant without a top manager.

    Villa & Westam wont make top 10 but City & leeds instead.

    Anyone took look at list of coach this top 10 features?

    It is a coach competition going on and these 10 are all very good & top coach

    The Rookie is brilliant germanic coach at Sothampton, then no need to introduce José, Jurgen and all of them…

    Coach makes a all difference; Leicester, Wolves, Saints or Leeds are not squads as good as ours or Man U; but they have better coaches. When city got guardiola or Reds Klopp, they aiming to win major titles.

    When leicester won, they had a very experimented coach in Raneiri. It was no luck, he had a game plan, Very italian with good defending and counter attack with Vardy as executor!

    They took it game by game in low profile and went all the way.

    Anyway, Arsenal has no issue without a disastrous management on & off pitch…

  6. Emery transitioned the team to 5th in the league and Europa League finalist.
    Arteta transitioned Arsenal to our lowest points tally and lowest league position in 25 years. He did guide the team to FA Cup success in empty stadium football after the shut down when the sting had gone out of the season. So where are we transitioning to? The Title? Top 4? Top 6? Top 10?
    How long will it take this “Transition ” 2 Transfer windows? Three? Four? We have been in transition since 2004. Sixteen years in “Transition ” 16 years we have been encouraged to be patient and trust the process. Pie in the sky comes to mind.

  7. Arsenal are not in transition, or undergoing restructuring, or enduring a ‘dip’ in performance. It means the club, both on and off the field, have gone backwards. Significantly.

    We are in transition.

    I love that phrase. It’s the favorite refrain from management officials in any industry when a risky strategy fails spectacularly and they are trying to deflect attention from their role in the disaster and squirm away from their responsibility for making it happen

    Pundits like to use it when they advocate for something on air and after they get their wish, the failure is, well, massive.

    David Moyes was pilloried by United fans and the press; to the point where he did not last the season. Ironically, no United manager since has done significantly better in terms of wins/losses, on-field success, or trophies. United are a non-factor in the current title race, languishing slightly above Arsenal in mid-table irrelevance. The team has been built, re-built, and transitioned right into mediocrity by a succession of supposedly superior managers who have, by and large done much worse with many more resources and infinitely more support, than Moyes was given.

    The Wenger-out mob, spurred on by pundits like Ian Wright, Tony Adams, Charlie Nicholas, Paul Merson, and Martin Keown; demanded Wenger’s ouster and, eventually, got it after Wenger finished 6th, his worst-ever performance as Arsenal manager and only the second time (albeit consecutive) result out of the top 4.

    For years these fans and their media enablers, insisted ‘top four is not good enough for a club like Arsenal!’ They mocked Arsene Wenger for suggesting that finishing in the top 4 was like a trophy. Since Wenger’s departure Arsenal have not returned to the top four, and last season, split evenly between Arteta and Emery, was Arsenal’s worst finish in decades.

    Arsenal have made a Pepe their record signing since Arsene Wenger was ousted and spent over £20 million on Partey, Gabriel, Tierney, Saliba, Torreira, and Leno. Blaming Arsene Wenger’s notoriously tight purse strings for Arsneal’s supposed decline, is proven silly, given the massive spending with no results.

    The mob won. The battle to ‘modernize’ Arsenal’s management has been won. Arsene Wenger is gone three years and he’s still being blamed. That’s the other aspect of being in ‘transition.’ It means the other guy, the guy with absolutely no control over decision making or player management or signings; is at fault.

    The truth is, the team, despite 16 first-team signings, is worse. Last season’s finish and this season’s current standing – closer to relegation than the top four, is proof enough.

    The management is worse. The over-reliance on player agents, the dismantling of Arsenal’s scouting network, and the megalomania of the executives is obvious in how the club makes decisions, like taking a big chunk of players’ salaries on a promise of not firing people, then firing them anyway. The inability to deal with the Ozil situation decisively (and no, paying the man £3o0,000 per week to sit at home and play video games to avoid paying the £50,000 in weekly playing incentives, or to punish him for refusing a pay cut, or to appease China, is not a decisive resolution), the fact that there are 9 center backs on the roster, with pundits going gooey-eyed over the rumor that Arteta is interested in signing another one!

    That is not only a fair evaluation of the fact, it is the truth. This is not transition, it is systemic failure, brought on by arrogance and ignorance, and supported by pundits more interested their ratings than the truth and fans who always seem to buy into overly simplistic rationalizations like;

    1. We’re in transition – (code for it’s Wenger’s fault)
    2. It’s Ozil’s fault – he doesn’t work hard enough – he hasn’t played all season, but his wages are such a distraction, Aubameyang can’t score!
    3. It’s Lacazette’s fault – he’s not playing, but regardless, he’s not scoring, so it must be his fault!
    3. If the idiots in charge made this one great signing I read about online… I have never actually seen the guy play, nor have I ever actually evaluated players at any level for real, but I know this would make the difference!

    Take your pick. And don’t worry, people have the memories of sand fleas. If you’re wrong, you can always adopt the next excuse and pretend you were right all along.

    Of course, the team will still be performing poorly, but by then someone will float another excuse you can latch on to.

    1. paul35mm, what a fantastic response and a perfect example of the other side of the coin!!!
      I believe over 15 players have been signed since gazidis took over control and £300,000,000 has been spent on new players – yet those who wanted AW out, still try to use him as a scapegoat for what’s happening today.

      Of course we need patience, but let’s not forget Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Luiz, Willian, Suares, along with the humiliating performances like Chelsea in the Europa final, or the 3-0 home defeat by villa.

      It was time for Arsene to go, both from his point of view and the clubs… but to ignore the twenty years of top four finishes and cup wins and trying to blame him for UE”s catastrophic spell and MA’ s struggles this season, borders on the hysterical.
      It is always very difficult to admit a mistake, so those who wanted AW out a decade ago, will still blame him for all our current ills.

      Let’s get behind Mikel and judge him on HIS performances, not hide behind someone who’s been gone for nearly three years.

    2. Some good points.
      However, it doesn’t really chnage the fact, that we declined massively in Wengers last years in charge, does it?
      Do you have an explanation to why, we are where we are? And is it a permanent situation, or are we in fact in a situation, where we need to renew something (in an attempt to avoid the word “transition”)?
      Finally, Wengers’ age alone made it fairly obvious, that we would be forced to get a new manager sooner or later, and at what better time than after the worst season for xx years? Only better may time have been earlier.

    3. @paul, you my friend are one of the few fans here who lives in reality and in name of optimism don’t agree with excuse after an excuse. Great reply.

  8. Frank Lampard got Chelsea to finish in the top 4 and reached the finals of the FA Cup in his first season with 4-5 players from the Academy. Quality, training, tactics, formation and playing to your strengths is very important. Arteta has very little time, time is running out, Arsenal should start reversing their fortunes asap, or else we will be a mid table team.

  9. Arsenal wont win the epl or cl the next few year.Liverpool had to stick with Klopp for three years before he hit the jackpot.
    Where were MC an Chelsea when MU and Arsenal were slugging it out. Its only the massive amounts spent that enabled them to get to the the top. Of course there are other teams who spent big and got nowhere.The next 10 epl matches will indicate if Arsenal
    could be competitive.
    Football is a results based business and no manager is ever safe from the sack especially if losses pile up.

  10. finally some sense. so many supposed arsenal fans do not get this and expect overnight success, don’t understand all the good work getting done and ultimately don’t understand football. For me he is deff the right man for the club. was always going to take time and several transfer windows to sort out the mess he inherited. must be backed by fans and the board. last thing club needs is more upheaval and change of management again. lucky to have Arteta.

  11. Very hard hitting response Paul which highlights the abject failure of a raft of Management employed by our Owner.However, the inference that somehow Wenger should be absolved from criticism is not acceptable to me or many rational , sensible fans who are not part of the so called” mob”. The decision to show Wenger the door was in my opinion the correct one as any Man who sanctioned the signing of Mustafi and Xhaka for circa 70m has clearly lost the plot.He may have been influenced by the obnoxious Gazidis but he was way past his sell by date and should have recognised that fact and left earlier of his own accord as a means of preserving his legacy.Your comments concerning a “period of transition” are well made as, in reality we are still operating in deep water with little prospect of surfacing shortly.The failure of our recruitment team to do their job in a competent manner is one of the fundamental reasons we are where we are.Apart from Martinelli, Tierney, Gabriel , Leno and Partey the signings made during the past 6/7 years have in my mind been poor and reflect badly on our Club.There seems to be a lack of accountability within our Management structure and our Board of Directors need to take steps to bring about appropriate pressures to facilitate improvements from top to bottom.Amidst all this doom and gloom , I remain convinced that Arteta has the ability to take us out of the wilderness.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with what you have written Grandad

      How Arteta can be expected to put all those wrongs right in one season is beyond me.

    2. Grandad, Superb realism and heartening, though not surprising to see Sue P, a wise and mature person, also recognises that fact!

  12. A fish rots from the head down. Unless there is an ownership change at Arsenal nothing will change.
    The front office is a joke and the coaching staff is clueless (so far). Meanwhile we have no choice but wait patiently and hope.

  13. ICW ,as you are highly critical of the Coaching staff,perhaps you could let us know your selection and tactics for the match against Leeds bearing in mind current injuries and unavailability for Covid reasons?I look forward to your comments.

    1. Grandad: Thank you for asking.
      First of all it is not about who plays but rather how we play. Having a player on the active roster means he is qualified to play.

      Second injuries and COVID-19 are part of the game and affect everybody. Giving the coaching staff a pass because of injuries, suspensions or other unforeseen events is not logical.

      Third since the current style is not working, we should either acquire the right player to make it work or go back to the old style when we had success. Obviously our only option is the second one. I want to see MA succeed but I don’t think it will happen unless he changes course.

  14. Now its time for transition? But last month Arteta was regarded as the best thing that ever happened to Arsenal. Arteta lacks the football knowledge and experience. Emery left the team in mid table and Arteta ended the season in mid table. But pundits are signing praises for Arteta. Let’s be honest that the guy is failing. At the end the fans will blame Kronke for Arteta’s mistakes. Please don’t be brainwashed by pundits

    1. 👍…yup all MA supporters here will then start giving excuses that he was not supported in transfer market and we have some sort of disease running through club which will take years n years to cure. We have a very creative fan base sometimes I wonder if most of them work in marketing designing slogans 😂😆🤣

  15. Thanks Icw.On Sunday I was pleased to see Arteta switch to a flat back four from the defensive back three set which has more or less been in place this season.To me this is a step in the right direction, and I think you will agree that Leno and the back four did well and helped us dig out a point which we probably did not deserve.On Sunday our midfield was totally ineffective and until the appearance of Saka our front three , including Auba, was inept.With Partey ,Elneny and AMN operating in midfield I am confident we would not have been overrun and would have at least matched the opposition in that area.As to the our front men, their lack of running off the ball is worrying and while we may highlight a lack of creativity in midfield as our big weakness the guys up front have to find space in the final third of the pitch to make things happen.These are my brief observations on the Leeds game. Another poor performance, but our GK and back four did well.

  16. Whenever I’m attempting to find a solution to any problem I’m facing in my life I always follow one simple adage…don’t unnecessarily overcomplicate matters…look for simple solutions before pursuing more complex possibilities…in the case of our club, it starts at the top, by becoming more transparent regarding the myriad of issues that have plagued our organization for some time now…be honest about the Ozil debacle, the Pepe transfer, the weird signings of Cedric, Mari and Luiz’s resigning, the fact that we clearly signed Willian with promises of being a regular starter, the mishandling of Guendo, Lucas, Martinez and AMN, considering how easily the club forgave Xhaka, etc..and this is just for starters…when the supporters feel that there is an underlying current of corruptible and questionable activity permeating the club, combined with the lack of leadership shown by our absentee landlord, people start to question everything, which makes for a really unhealthy environment for all involved…secondly, do your due diligence when it comes to your hiring practices…be honest to yourselves about where you are as an organization, then look for those individuals who are best equipped to deal with the task at hand…this club had been functionally run by predominantly one individual for the better part of 20 years…as a result our organizational structures were largely antiquated…knowing this to be the case, it made absolutely no sense to hire incredibly inexperienced individuals to tackle such a grandiose undertaking…I like Arteta, and maybe he will come good in the future, but this was neither the right time or place for his first foray in the highly frenetic world of English football…likewise, this same approach should be used when recruiting and/or signing players…either you hire a manger that best suits your current crop of players or bring in the best possible managerial candidate then quickly start identifying what kind of players are needed to succeed then pursue players with those qualities before any unnecessary luxury purchases…if, as you suggest, we’re in an obvious transitional phase, why would we purchase or resign older players who play the same positions as other more youthful prospects…all of this suggests that we don’t have a coherent organizational plan for the future of this club

  17. Isn’t spuds and Chelsea in transition as well. Arsenal fans can not use money as an excuse anymore as well bec we have spent a lot in last two summers n Chelsea spent nothing last season. Why do we always have an excuse but not other teams..??? There is always an’s the owner then it’s the quality of players then it’s the mentality then it’s Wenger then it’s injury blah blah blah.

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