Arteta could emulate Solksjaer but needs time and money to rebuild

Mikel Arteta Might Follow Ole Gunnar Solksjaer Path. by AI

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has a weird air of Sir Alex Ferguson about him. The scintillating comebacks, the increasingly pithy quotes, fast wingers, big midfielders and that air of inevitable luck. What about the obsession with English players and the dull start to his Old Trafford career? It all appears obsessive and calculated, some weird creepy fix that turns beneath the zip. It wouldn’t be so surprising if a little Ferguson statue is found above the toilet door in Gunnar’s Manchester home, woven from dry grass tweeds from the Carrington Training Center. The man wants to echo the legend so bad.

Mikel Arteta has been a little different. For Arsene Wenger, football is meant to be an art, an intimate romance between the ball, the players and fans of this love story. Despite graduating from La Masia, handling the logistics of Wenger’s romantic dinner dates with football as a screening midfielder and setting the cones for Pep Guardiola, the Basque native has a different, less romantic approach to football. Football is an education, a science, something to be approached at with method and careful manipulation.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 03: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal takes on Kevin De Bruyne of Man City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

You cannot try to play ‘romantic football’ against a Manchester City with Mohammed Elneny against Ilkay Gundongan. You cannot imitate the big bullies of football and press for 90 minutes with Shkrodan Mustafi. It makes no analytical sense. The numbers say it will rarely work. What you can do, instead, is try to phase in a new attitude, a new culture, new devotion towards hardwork and effort. Root out the rats. Bench the subversives. Burn the infidels. Raise the standard, the commitment, the running, the sweat. This is not an art school anymore and slack painters need to adapt to sawing, buzzing and drilling. The foundation must be quite solid and the temperature right or else there is no point in trying at all.

This is all reminiscent of Wenger’s iron fist upon his hire at Arsenal. No more beers with the lads after games and no more fizzy drinks after training. Cut out red meat and eat strange cuisines from Japan. Sleep for a minimum of eight hours. Chew properly before you swallow or you won’t play. We must keep the ball and pass the ball. Damn the newspapers who have never seen a passing triangle.

This approach has dividends in the long and short term. It is the right approach if you want to renew an institution. But if enough players baulk and there are too many rats, you will have a most dreadful time as seen by Arsenal fans this season.

Luckily for both clubs, their administrations have a knack for sticking with managers and traditions. Ole Gunnar, notoriously termed “P.E Teacher” by football Twitter, is making United the most competitive it’s been since Mourinho’s toxic steroids. Arteta has fixed, in a less than one season, a chronic pain in Arsene Wenger’s latter Arsenal. He also won two trophies in 6 months. He has shown more immediate promise than Ole Gunnar and this is why the Arsenal hierarchy think very highly of him.

Apart from the free signing of Willian, which was sensible at the time and driven by the board, Arteta has not brought one attacking player to the club. When he had a chance to sign one on loan, he went for Martin Odegaard. He has also brought in Gabriel Maghalaes and Thomas Partey as first-team options. Like Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Arteta is slowly showing himself as someone who can identify and recruit top talent. Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari, two squad additions, have already proven to be very decent acquisitions.

Not only does Arteta identify top talent, he is showing another sign of a good manager by improving the players he has. The entire defensive setup has improved. In midfield, Granit Xhaka is tearing it up and Mohammed Elneny has looked at times like a player reborn. Further forward, Bukayo Saka is having a transformative impact on the right wing. Nicolas Pepe has magically rediscovered some of himself after being moved to the left. Alexandre Lacazette is having a good goalscoring season. Emile Smith-Rowe is playing like an elite talent and only Aubameyang has dropped levels off since signing a new contract. Arteta has clearly improved many of these players.

Ever since facing Chelsea, Arsenal have been playing good football in all their games. They are no longer easily bullied and can go toe to toe with anyone. Individual errors and shady refereeing decisions have affected recent results but on pure football terms alone, Arsenal are OK.

Many fans find it difficult to focus on the football when results are not so good but that is why they are fans. Good football is what produces results in the long run and based only on that, Arsenal have been doing very well in the past 8 games. People overrate the quality of the club. We still have Rob Holding and a weakened Bellerin as first-team options. Our substitutes after Xhaka and Partey is Elneny and a loan player. A 19 year old has been our best attacker this season. A 20 year old is the only attacking midfielder we have that is good. The senior players upfront are playing for contracts. Much is still very wrong with the quality at the club.

This summer was going to be a clear out before COVID. We need upgrades to two defensive positions, three substitutes for Tierney and the midfield, a new striker and maybe one new winger. That’s about 6 new quality players. That’s how much of a rebuild we need. It might take two summer windows to get it done. But at the end of it, just like Manchester United now, we will be a beast of a team. We have the right coach for that. All we need now is the quality…

Agboola Israel

14 Comments

  1. PJ-SA says:

    We’ll need a lot more:

    Diving Cheats
    Penalties
    Transfer Budget
    Officials in our Pocket

    to emulate Man U

  2. McLovin says:

    Well, in the summer we need a new:

    back up LB
    back up GK
    back up RB (or 1st choice)
    new CM
    new CM/DM
    Winger
    Striker

    I assume Luiz will not be given a new contract and Ceballos will return to Real. And I assume:
    Luiz -> Saliba
    Ceballos -> Torreira or Guendouzi (other one sold)
    Laca, Xhaka, Elneny, Chambers SOLD

    So yes, a lot of rebuilding regardless of who our manager will be.

    1. McLovin says:

      Nelson probably loaned. Runarsson too.

      Nketiah probably sold.

      Willock and AMN, jury still out..

      Willian, probably trying to offload him.

      Chambers, Laca, Xhaka, Elneny, Nketiah should bring us 70-90£ million, unless we give them all out for free lol.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Man United were patient with Solskjaer and they’re reaping the rewards now, maybe because they saw Solskjaer hadn’t lost the dressing room yet. I believe Arteta also still has the support of his players, but the main problem is the impatience of some fans

    1. Manraj says:

      I agree.. Arsenal has the most pathethic and impatient fans among other FC..

  4. Jakes Mradu says:

    The title says nothing……..all managers need time and money to rebuild……and you cannot rebuild without time and money……..and that doesn’t mean Arteta is emulating Solksjaer………😀

    1. jon fox says:

      Jakes How refeshing to hear non sensational plain truth without hype attached. As YOU RIGHTLY SAY, all managers need time and money.
      Why JA choose to make the Solkjaer comparison I HAVE NO IDEA, though by now I am used to their sensational type headlinesfor articles that actually say nothing of substance at all.

  5. Fire says:

    Agboola…

    I cannot walk by such a brilliant article as this without saying thank you! An article most needed at a moment when many minds are down trodden following the present run of poor results. Yours is simply a birth of pure insight and understanding!!

    Many who desire instant gratification may never understand the daunting task before Arteta or any other coach they may so desire.

    I pray and wish the best for our great club, as well as for Arteta. I am convinced if given time and support to mold his own team, surely there will be brighter and glorious days ahead! However, this will not come without such gloomy days as we have at the moment! I hope we all see it through together. It is always easier to slide down to negativity than to climb up towards positivity, but for those that persevere, it will surely be glorious days ahead.

    Hope to read another brilliant article from you! Stay safe! Stay positive!

    Cheers!!

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Agboala Israeli, good afternoon and how are you? But to think on what you’ve said, are you sure of all that you’ve said and talked about of Arteta becoming a Ole Gunar Solkjaer at Arsenal turning the club around to truly start competing for title wins in the next two seasons times if he’s given money to sign the players he wants and needs?

    But was Arteta not given money by the Arsenal board last summer and winter windows to sign Maglhaes, Partey, Soares, Mari and two goalkeepers. And he signed Willian on the free but on a reported very high wages that was given to him to improve significantly on the sad performance that the club had in the PL in 2020.

    But despite the fact that Arteta has signed seven new players for Arsenal in the last two transfer windows, no significant progress has been made by the club in the Premier League this season as Arsenal are currently placed 11th in the table after playing 23 matches with 15 matches left to play, and have already lost ten times this season in the PL.

    Arteta’s coached Arsenal are already out of the Carabao and FA Cup competitions to Man City and Southampton this season .

    Us Gooners are waiting to see in what position will Arsenal be placed in PL table this season. And see if they’ll win win the Europa League Cup this season.

    So therefore, Arteta needs to do the needful that will see Arsenal finish in the top-four place or at least in the top-six placed teams. And win the Europa League Cup on failingly if I may add.

    1. Baba sagna says:

      The only key additions Mikel has made are Gabriel Magalhaes and Partey, Willian wouldn’t have been brought in if Pepe had played to the level of his talent, Cedric and Mari were brought in as backups and about 7mil or so was spent on both. Same with Ryan and runarsson. Gabriel was funded by Martinez sale and only Thomas was funded by the board. So how has he been backed? If about 70% of his signings are backups it means he has not even started the real rebuild, and the fans who dislike him(mostly ozilites) are already out with the Emirates cannons gunning for his dismissal. So sad😔😔😔😔

  7. Baba sagna says:

    BRAVO!!!! well thought out and insightful. Sadly most fans are never willing to wait for the goods to be reaped. They have learned to be impatient for success (they have been starved for too long) and turn a blind eye to the abyss the club was headed before Senor Mikel arrived. The rot in the club started with Arsene(much respect and my favorite manager forever) and I’m hopeful it’ll end with his trusted man Mikel.

  8. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Agboala Israeli, good afternoon and how are you? But to think on what you’ve said, are you sure of all that you’ve said and talked about of Arteta becoming a Ole Gunar Solkjaer at Arsenal turning the club around to truly start competing for title wins in the next two seasons times if he’s given money to sign the players he wants and needs?

    But was Arteta not given money by the Arsenal board last summer and winter windows to sign Maglhaes, Partey, Soares, Mari and two goalkeepers. And he signed Willian on the free but on a reported very high wages. This big sum of money was given to Mikel Arteta use it to sign new players to improve significantly on the sad performance that the club had in the PL in 2019-2020.

    But despite the fact that Arteta has signed seven new players for Arsenal in the last two transfer windows, no significant progress has been made by the club in the Premier League this season as Arsenal are currently placed 11th in the table after playing 23 matches with 15 matches left to go for them to play and they have already lost ten times this season in the PL.

    Arteta’s coached Arsenal are already out of the Carabao and FA Cup competitions to Man City and Southampton this season .

    Us Gooners are waiting to see in what position will Arsenal be finally placed in PL table this season. And see if they’ll win win the Europa League Cup too this season.

    So therefore, Arteta needs to do the needful that will see Arsenal finish in the top-four place or at least in the top-six placed teams this season. And win the Europa League Cup on failingly if I may add.

  9. durand says:

    I’m sorry but for me the jury is still out, and Arteta should have until the end of the year to show improvement.
    Wenger and Emery both finished higher, and both were sacked after 18 months of waiting. Arteta should be held to the same standard, and after 18 months if we still sit in the bottom 10 he has to go.

    I would take issue with some of the players you referenced Arteta as developing. Freddie coached up Saka as the player himself has said in past interviews when Freddie was coaching. ESR came into his own, maybe “polishing” by Arteta more appropriate. Xhaka always blows hot and cold, as we have seen over several years. Has ElNeny improved? I would take issue with that?

    Pepe has played better last 2 games, let’s see if his form holds before counting him as improved.

    Arteta has improved the defense, there is absolutely no question there, our shape is definitely better. But our scoring is now anemic, our play looks scripted, and we still have no identifiable style of play over a year into his tenure.

    I’m merely saying let us wait until the Summer to see where the team sits. People want patience and time for Arteta, but don’t extend the same considerations for players.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Durand agree totally. What has Mikel Arteta achieved during his tenure at Arsenal, that deserves better treatment than Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery? As far as patience is concerned, how much was shown Emery, when after the same number of games in charge, Emery had Arsenal 14 points better placed?
      Arsenal players are better than their current League position indicates. Arsenal currently pays Champions League wages for lower table mediocrity. Please compare the number of Arsenal players paid £100,000 or more per week, compared to other clubs. One of the big reasons why underperforming players are difficult to move on.

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