Arteta accused of not improving Arsenal players as expected

When Arsenal made Mikel Arteta their latest manager, one of the exciting reasons why the club’s fans thought he was the right man for the job was because of the work he had done with Raheem Sterling.

Several reports at the time claimed that while Pep Guardiola was the Manchester City manager, Arteta was in charge of player development and he had turned Sterling into the goal-scoring machine he had become.

We all expected the Spaniard to transform the likes of Nicolas Pepe, but he is struggling to do that.

While the likes of Pepe and Willian have looked out of place, Sterling has continued to flourish and it looks like the role of Arteta in the Englishman’s development was overrated.

Mail Sport’s Ian Herbert has now laid into Arteta’s time at the Emirates and claims that the team has hardly done better with him as their manager.

He also suggested that it now looks clearer that Sterling’s development was down to Guardiola than the Arsenal manager. He writes:

“If they had done their homework on Arteta, rather than approach him because he was young, Spanish and formerly one of their own, they’d have learned that he was the one who encouraged Sterling to operate closer to the six-yard box and look to score every game, even if that meant missing two or three chances.

“Unfortunately for those who yearn for a competitive Arsenal in the mix, it’s beginning to look as if Sterling’s transformation was more about Pep Guardiola than his former assistant. We were expecting a similar change in Nicolas Pepe by now, though the abiding memory of Arsenal’s beige performance at Burnley was the Ivory Coast winger kicking thin air instead of the ball which Kieran Tierney had teed up.

“Nowhere near good enough. Arteta is a reasonable, amenable and articulate man but his superficial appeal cannot take away the fact Arsenal have one of the most expensively assembled strikeforces in Europe, with Pepe (£72million), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£55.4m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£52.7m). Yet they have scored 35 goals in 27 matches.”

Tags ian herbert mikel arteta


  1. We aren’t doing any better under Arteta, we are doing worse. It is one of the most expensive frontlines Arsenal has ever had. We have a glut of young players, the like of which we haven’t seen before. He trusts on experience over youth. We are playing the worse football to watch, i have ever seen. He is not what people thought he is and we are reaping everything he is sewing.

    1. Arteta is an apprentice. He can not give what re does not have.

      You can not trust xhaka in your team and get good results.

  2. I just think MA lacks experience,I’m sure if he had some more years under his belt as a manager and not just an assistant coach he’d be doing quite well.

    Look at Gerrard in the Scottish league. Rangers are a big team but not too big to hone your skills at. There’s still a lot of pressure to succeed there but not nearly as much pressure as he would have as a Liverpool manager. He’s proved himself at a decent level and is looking ready to make the step up to the EPL if he’d fancy it.

    MA will come right in a few years I’m sure but we don’t have the luxury of time, we’ve already been playing catch up for 15 years on our rivals.

  3. Reggie
    MA didn’t come together the front line he inherited then
    Under 3 different management the majority have played and look what happened to the former managers..gone
    Player’s fault or management fault
    MA is our manager for now so let’s stick with him

    1. We never had trouble scoring like we do now and we are dipping to even lower lows than under previous managers, his win record is the worst we have had for decades and decades.

  4. The timing of this is a bit off – Pepe is starting to look a good player now.
    It’s also a bit harsh to blame MA for the cost of the players who were signed before he became manager. The only one of those 3 who’s played worse under him is the 31 year old Auba, but most strikers of his type don’t stay at the top for long after 30 and even now he’s looking like he’s over his dramatic dip in form somewhat.
    In fact, aside from Auba, is there an individual player who has been worse under Arteta? even Mustafi looked good at the end of last season. I guess the only other one I could think of would be Willian, if you compare to his last season at Chelsea? Understand I’m leaving myself open because of our league position, but overall I don’t think anyone has been worse – either the same or better. May just show how reliant we were on Auba’s goals?

  5. Arteta accused of not tying the players laces, not tucking them in at night, not reading them a bedtime story. Obviously the Arsenal players are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves.. They have lots of time, after the organized training sessions, to hone their skills. But the wally who wrote this article lays it the feet of Arteta!!! If the current Arsenal squad are so incredibly lazy and stupid that they do not have the common sense to take the time to improve their own skills, then I would ask – WHO brought them into the club?

    1. Thanks for this. Some of the other comments and criticisms are downright ludicrous.
      Blaming Arteta for a player producing an air shot from 10 yards??

      1. Most teams makes the most of their first touch, under Arteta, most of the players take an extra touch and the team is dull for attack because of it. From the goalkeeper outwards, they all hesitate to release the pass. And teammates are confused about when the ball is coming. The coach has a lot to do about team philosophy.

    2. Agreed! Y blame the manager wen the players themselves are at fault? I’m so tired of fans blaming managers…open ur eyes and look at wats happening on the field of play………. no manager is going to pick a team every week and expect them to win everyday. The invincibles are long gone…… rebuilding takes time so let’s settle for MA and give him some time instead of blaming

  6. Tuchel has made immediate impact , we expect the same from Arteta. 1 and half season is way too much to be still complaining . Arteta must not try to buy time , we have run out of time. buy it somewhere.

    1. Seriously? Do you know the kind of players he has under his belt compared to Arteta. Actually, Pep would finish the season 15th and the Tuchel would finish on 17th with these arsenal team. One mistake he made was to renew Auba and sign Willian which he needs to admit and apologize to the fans for.

  7. That was a big part of why Arteta was hired, according to the club anyway. They cited his working with and improving young talent, didn’t they?
    Saliba on loan, Willock on loan, Martinelli frozen out lately, Guendouzi shipped out. Can’t comment on others like Azeez who isn’t playing with the first team.

    Part of his job is to improve the young talent; club spent 60 million on Gabriel and Saliba. This lost season is the perfect time to have them working on their partnership and chemistry.

    Instead, Luiz is playing with no long term future with the club, Arteta favors an aged Willian over bringing Martinelli up to league standards, it’s a right mess to be honest.

    I don’t solely blame Arteta, Edu isn’t doing his job and making the youth development a priority, choosing instead to send them on loan.

    When we wonder why Martinelli, Saliba, Gabriel, and others aren’t contributing as they should next year, remember the time squandered during this lost year where we sat in 10th, no FA cup games left and the opportunities wasted.

    1. Sometimes I believe we’re brothers from different mothers Durand…I still believe that Arteta started to read his own headlines following the FA Cup, especially with our victories over Pool and City prior to the final…so instead of putting on his big boy manager pants and realistically analyzing those fixtures, which frankly weren’t well-played affairs by any of the clubs involved, minus about 25 minutes of the final, he instead mistakenly convinced himself, and others, that we were a Willian and a midfielder away from competing for things

      to be honest, being Pep’s assistant is akin to being one of Wenger’s assistants during his monopolistic tenure, as both were micro-managers who clearly weren’t concerned with the aspirations of their respective underlings, which is why neither has a viable “coaching tree” fact, .the most famous Pep assistant was Domenec Torrent, who was fired from both his managerial positions, in MLS and at Flamengo, in relatively short order

      this season should have been all about clearing out deadwood, giving our blue chippers significant minutes and properly assessing who had a future at this club and who should have been shipped out

      this was the perfect time to see how or if Gabriel and Saliba would gel together, what we had in ESR, maybe given Azeez a call-up or two, dealing with our myriad of contractual issues we have with some of our prospects, then targeting only players who have a clearly defined future role with the club.

      instead we re-signed Luiz, signed Willian, didn’t get rid of our deadwood until the winter window and totally mismanaged many of our potential future first-teamers…now we have a built-in excuse for next year, should Arteta remain at the helm, unless his plan his to keep Xhaka, Luiz and Laca, then we have even bigger problems

      1. We both don’t wear blinders, and hold managers to the standard placed on Wenger and Emery. We SHOULD be in the top half without a doubt.

        Still no one has reasonably articulated why Arteta with 7 BETTER PLAYERS THAN EMERY is underperforming! Arteta has killed our attacking style and replaced it with pre-planned robotic movement.

        Players only praise Arteta, if you notice, because they know what happens when you speak up; Saliba, AMN, and Martinelli come to mind.

        Nagelsmann was the better choice, not an inexperienced pup basking in his ego. Table doesn’t lie, and Arteta & Edu have created a messy regression.

        1. he was the only manager left on my list once Tuchel went to Chelski…he might be a Tuchel protégé but he’s definitely developed his own distinct style and he clearly gets the best out of his players…I likewise agree with the whole lip service argument, as players are quick to throw jabs as soon as they’re out of the room, even when they’re just going out on loan

  8. Saliba was not ready.
    Willock is not good enough to play regularly at Arsenal.
    Martinelli has recently returned from injury; his recent displays show that he is not back to the level he was.
    Luiz is one of the better defenders at the club despite his weaknesses, so he plays. The frequency of games also means that rotation is inevitable.
    The only really justifiable criticism I can see is the use of Willian and even his performances have started improving.
    The real mess to me is that Arsenal had so many poor quality players that needed to be shipped out.

    1. Saliba seems fine starting at Nice, player of the month in his first month I believe. How do we know he wasn’t ready as a backup? Arteta said? Like weeks of playing Tierney as a CB? Or Willian as a Striker against City?

      Martinelli can’t come on for 10 or 15 min to get his feet wet and build up to competitiveness?

      So sorry but Arteta’s well is drying up, barely in goodwill in the bank. Emery outperformed him with a weaker squad.

      How can some want Emery out, yet think Arteta needs time? Based on what, league standings?

      If Arteta can’t crack the top 10 by end of the season he has to go. 18 months backsliding gives no confidence for the future.

  9. Problem is, a decreasing number in the fan base fully trust Arteta. For me , as someone who was delighted to see him get the nod,the first head scratch was his embracing of Xhaka, further doubts set in , such as the way he has sidelined certain players, ( was Gandouzi’s behavior that appalling? wasn’t he simply demonstrating how much it hurt to lose?) without offering them an opportunity to redeem themselves. Then other players have been given extended opportunities even though they are not Premier league standard. Another negative has been the quality of the football ,when creativity is sacrificed for a respectable result. Whether or not Ancelotti could have done a better job is hypothetical, however I think he would have employed a better group of assistants in order to get the best of his available players.

  10. Arteta out!I never seen an uglier football than Arteta’s football.It is hard on the eye,is Helenio Herrera’s “ catenaccio”-style.Robots instead of player,festivals of backward and sideway passing,no urgency at all even if we are 1-0 down with 3 minutes left to play.Playing snail Xhaka yet sending Guendiuzi in exile.Willian ready to collect his pension on the right flank.No dribblings,no one-two’s,no backheels,no shooting from distance,no free kicks,corner kicks executed in trees,no speed at all….what the hell is this ugly,uninspired,horrific football?Playing “ safe” for what?We are just above relegation zone-what is safety good for?Nagelsmann was the man,instead we passed on him just to appoint this inept and insipide “ coach”.Let’s be honest,Emry was a “ genious” compared with this inflated-ego “ coach”.The sooner Arteta leaves,the faster we can get the old-attacking-easy on the eye Arsenal back.I can believe I’m saying this,but Mourinho’s Spurs plays a better and more spectacular football than us.Mourinho,the king of the ugly game.So,you can imagine how far down we are at the moment.Arteta out,out,out!

  11. I am tired of seeing the style of play at Arsenal.We look timid from the onset and who ever told them that you spend 3/4 playing the ball in your own half and expect to score some goals.No wonder it’s easy for our opponents to apply a little pressure and we concede.Our players, simply put…dont want to be their own heroes.They are not hungry enough….I blame the coach but not entirely.He needs a little more time.Tired of watching our game with pain killers on the side 🙃

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