Arteta deserves respect for the positive changes to the culture and squad at Arsenal

Respect to Arteta for the cultural changes at Arsenal by Jonbo

In a results based industry such as football, a manager’s performance will be assessed mainly on results, and sometimes performances as well. E.g. Mourinho has been the most successful Man Utd manager since Sir Alex, but his style of play was hated by the majority of Utd fans.

Especially at big clubs like Arsenal, a manager will need to start delivering pretty quickly… with some exceptions. At the time of Arteta’s arrival, Arsenal was one of these exceptions.

Our club had been completely mismanaged by Wenger/Gazidis under our absent owner Kroenke for years upon years. The club was a complete mess when Emery came in, and for others like Raul at board level. Mistakes were still made by some, although I feel Emery overachieved in his first season given the mess he inherited and the injuries.

I actually liked Emery, but I feel things imploded for him because he didn’t go after the cultural issues at Arsenal. As a new manager, he gave the place a temporary lift, before the same old problems started kicking in again.

For me, since Arteta’s arrival, and in working with the likes of Edu amongst others, I have loved the fact they decided to tackle the deep rooted problems first. Arteta has, and still does divide opinion because of the results and performances, but surely there must be agreement on the remarkably positive changes to the culture and squad at Arsenal?

There will be signings this summer, and probably a few more outgoings, which will mean in just 2.5 years since Arteta’s arrival, almost a completely new starting XI, and squad. That is some achievement in such a short space of time, and it was needed.

Another area that needed improving was discipline both on and off the pitch. We work much harder now, and actually perform as a team, rather than relying on individuals. I think it’s fair to question if Arteta is too harsh in regards to discipline off the pitch, Auba being the latest example, but again, we needed this. And maybe the discipline seems harsher than it actually is, when we’ve been so used to the soft approach, and giving players all the power.

I would rather have a tough disciplinarian, than go back to how it was before.

So while it’s fair to question the results and performances under Arteta, one has to respect that he has put the club’s best interests ahead of his own. He knew that going for a complete rebuild, and ostracising some players, would actually make life harder for him in the short-term, but that it was actually needed to yield long-term results. Which we’re seeing.

And it’s easy to see why respect is needed. If Arteta were to leave tomorrow, he would have left the club in a far better state than what he inherited. He could have done what Emery did, and just worked with what he had without making any major changes, but he knew that to truly change things, he had to get to the root causes of our problems, and that meant ripping everything apart and starting afresh. If a new manager comes in tomorrow, he has a far better squad to work with, that has so much potential. The attitude is better, as is the work rate and discipline.

Arteta has come in for a lot of criticism from some Arsenal fans, but I feel a lot of it was very short-sighted. “Trust the process” has been mocked constantly, and even I was questioning this “process” at times, but I think we can all now see it starting to bloom. It did need time.

I am still not 100% convinced Arteta is the right man to realise the potential of our squad, and I would have liked better results, but I have huge respect for Arteta making the changes that were needed.

I don’t think some will ever be convinced of Arteta because of the results, and performances, but for those fans, can you at least acknowledge the good work done in regards to rebuilding the club’s foundations, and putting together a whole new squad with lots of potential? And we can actually defend these days as well!


Tags Arteta respect


  1. Credit for taking us where we currently are. Top 4 is in our hands. Can’t fire him now so let’s see where we will end up come May.

    While getting rid of overpaid, underperforming players is great, but it really takes no skill to pay players to leave or letting them go for free. So no credit is due there, that’s just bad business.

    So far the only successive sale has been of Willock. Other sales have been disasters. And if the news are to be believed, the imminent peanut sales of Guendouzi/Mavropanos will also add to that ‘horrible business’ racket.

    1. Jonbo, well written fella 👏👏. Arteta reminds me of George Graham with his discipline, which is what the club needed.

      One thing I have noticed with people who mock Trust The Process on social media, is that most of them have only been fans since the Wenger days.

      1. And there are in a miniscule minority, just a few who can be counted on the finger tips here. They are upset as their golden pal Ozil was being corrected and sent away, hence the grudge. Who cares for them? We support our club our manager and those players willing to put in shift every time they walk onto the pitch. Shame for these men, our boys Saka, ESR rescued us last season and none blamed the players.

      2. I have been a fan since the wenger days, but i don’t agree with the arsenal hate or bashing that most arsenal fans seem to do now. Most of the Arsenal content creators also complain all stream long, no matter how well Arteta does. Its starting to bore me.

      3. Let’s see by the end of the season.. Let’s stop the hype train when we win and the hate train when we lose.. Arteta does not equal arsenal.. Let’s judge his league table position by the end of the season.. A long way to go

          1. I am saying if there is no actual progress and we bottle top 4 and end up being 6~8.. Then what’s happening is only a charade which needs to end.. If he gets top 4 or at least fight for it till the last round of the PL then I can say there is an actual process.. Because for now I am not convinced with him.. Nor with his Style of play and definitely not with his poor man management!

            1. That is your opinion, and everyone else is entitled to theirs.

              But remind me, what will your thoughts be if their IS actual progress?

    2. Why didn’t Emery do it it even Wenger so as rid off the problems Arsenal were facing. Pls give Arteta the credit he deserves DaJuhi

  2. Yes, but he needs to fix our offense problem first before playing against Brentford. We currently focus too much on defense

    1. Offense problem but we’re one of the top scorers in the league. Right now all what the team needs is just to win matches even if it’s 1-0 in all the remaining matches.

      1. No, we aren’t. We just scored 34 goals, whereas West Ham scored 44, Leicester scored 36, Aston Villa scored 31 and Crystal Palace scored 32

        If we compare our passing variations in the final third with Man City’s and Liverpool’s, ours are too monotonous

    2. OK lately ur turning from negative too irritating GAI I always like your opinion but crying about not signing a striker EVERY article is getting is getting ridiculous

      I understand ur frustration but leave it and move on not point cribbing about it now

        1. Gai, do you think Arteta doesn’t know he needs CF forwards? January transfers can be difficult sometimes and I think they tried to sign/loan a CF but it didn’t work out may be fees? What do we Arsenal fans even want. Our defense is gradually forming well if we do not lick in goals we have a good chance of winning matches even with the forwards we have. Three points is what matters wether it’s 1:0 or not. Losing due to bad defense always demoralise players. And that the coach is trying to fix.

          1. Loaning a CF wouldn’t cost much and the coaches could evaluate him before buying. Although we won’t need one if we’re as creative as Man City or Liverpool in the final third

  3. It took Arteta 18 months and 80 games to realise he was not managing Manchester City. After two successive 8th places Ateta was very lucky to get another chance. 6 new profile players were added in the summer 4 of whom Ramsdale White Tomiyasu and Odegaard have become regular starters. Tierney Gabriel Partey Xhaka Saka Lacazette ESR and Martinelli are the other regular starters. After a horror 0-3 start this 12 man squad has carried Arsenal into the top 6 and pretty much have to play every game till May. The club will likely ditch Leno Cedric Elneny Xhaka Nketiah Mari Bellerin Mavropanos Guendouzie Torreira and Niles in the summer. Arteta had a horror start but has turned the corner and has his 12 players plus Lokonga Tavares and Pepe with Salba returning we hope hopefully 7 more signings in the summer.

  4. Another really excellent article, Jonbo.
    It’s useful to treat this as a separate consideration to overall performance. Also interesting to note that we no longer have internal leaks like we used to. When we read of Arsenal matters now we can be confident that, unless it comes from an official Arsenal source it is pure media or fan speculation or provocation. Whilst I love reading all things Arsenal I much prefer to know what is fact and what is unsubstantiated gossip.
    You only need to look at Man Utd lately to know how damaging internal leaks can be to morale and reputation.

  5. I enjoyed your article and did so most likely because I agreed with it in large parts

    I’m surprised at how much Arteta divides opinion because I’m seeing a different mentality at work and not before time. It’s called team spirit.

    I hope the days of an Ozil type figure are long gone, never to return. Offering to pay the club mascot still riles me

  6. It will need a miracle for a 12-man squad to keep the momentum and go through 16 games successfully to be in top 4. It’s not doable empirically. Arteta has taken a big risk. He is a novice.
    With his spirit of considering every game as a cup final, the players will make errors like that of Martinelli last week or get hurt through injuries. Or even begin to under-perform. The players need rotation to survive.
    We can only leave everything to chance.

  7. Full credit to MA and the club owners for taking some MASSIVE bold decisions over the past year or so. Ousting the biggest earners (who have done so little in return) and moving out a large proportion of the squad on loans has made me respect them all the more. Even though I did (and still do) think they may regret leaving us a little light up front.

    Still, Ma is doing exactly what he intended to do, and that will hopefully continue with some decent quality coming in, in the summer. The only problem I can see is down to whether we finish high enough to qualify for CL? Without CL, we are less likely to attract the right players. This process could take more years depending on “The process”!

  8. I have always said when he achieves what he was brought to this club for, he will get the respect he deserves. Untill he improves on the league position of his predissessors, he cant earn respect. Finish 4th with this expensively assembled squad and the accolades and respect will rightly be given. If he doesn’t big questions need to be asked and answered.

    1. Reggie, our so called expensive squad is competing against clubs that can afford to spend £80mil on a goalkeeper who sits on the bench and in another case £100 million on a squad player. Arsenal are trying to compete with these clubs with a smaller budget. I think you are being disingenuous.

      1. Bang on with that!
        Pepe was the only truly big transfer.
        Last season we brought in several new up and coming ( except White) players and ManU bring in Varane, Ronaldo and Sancho

        1. We did spend 50mill on Partey, also on Ben White. Also u might like to check for a list of the most expensive goal keepers in the league. We’ve not spent has much as we do under Arteta on players before. On the exception of pẹpẹ, whom the coach never even wanted. Arteta has gotten everyone he wants. Never been given players he didn’t ask for

          1. Kstyx
            I know exactly who Arteta got and what was paid – well as much as we are allowed to know anyway.
            I wrote about this season’s arrivals particularly and not Partey who happened the year before that.
            What you have also failed to notice is that Emery lasted one full season only plus the few months up to end of October. Arteta is currently just into his 3rd year and has had more transfer windows.
            Why do I need to check the cost of EPL goalkeepers? Ramsdale is nowhere near the most expensive so I’m not sure what you are alluding to.

            How much did Arsenal spend on Ozil, Laca and Aubameyang? Quite a lot considering those transfers took place several years ago

        1. We spent more money last summer than any team in Europe and most probably the world on players. Our team has had massive expenditure and we have a 72 mil player a 46 mil striker, a 48 mil midfielder, a 38 mil midfielder, a 50 mil defender, a 30 mil goal keeper, a 30 mil left back and a 28 mil right back. Please dont try to make out we are not spending money like other teams, we are and we are expensively assembled.

          1. Were you aiming that at me Reggie?
            I’d say that when you fall behind in the EPL pecking order and want to get back there again then investment is vital. It might be a matter of fact that the squad is expensively assembled but unless those players are actually fit for purpose then I don’t think the amount spent is relevant. Bad business by previous managers and as many have mixed feelings on Arteta I expect he’ll get his share of the complaints

  9. Reggie, our so called expensive squad is competing against clubs that can afford to spend £80mil on a goalkeeper who sits on the bench and in another case £100 million on a squad player. Arsenal are trying to compete with these clubs with a smaller budget. I think you are being disingenuous.

    1. Has that team with an 80 mil goalkeeper ever been mentioned as a team by me or any other on here as a team we should be competing with. I personally have only ever said to start with we should be competing for 4th with the expenditure. Only Two teams have spent more than us in the last 6 years in the prem. If one anyway chooses to spend 80 mil on a sub goalkeeper thats their problem. My problem is we get out of this team what is being put in and all i have ever said is 4th place should be an easily attainable target and one that matches our spending. Stop making things up to suit an argument that is a fictitious argument put there by you. None on here yet think we should be competing with the likes of Man city or Chelsea this season but we should using your own logic compete with 4th. Competing with the top teams should come next year.

  10. another exercise in creative fence-sitting, or should I say fence-leaning, by the Kool-Aid crew…not sure if you’re trying to convince yourselves or those who’re still logically skeptical…either way it’s difficult to digest, as it’s like eating without chewing

  11. Jonbo While thoroughly agreeing with your refreshingly honest and astute article, I also know that there are a breed of fans on JA who will never let go of their warped and odd hero worship that many of these fans had for such as Ozil, Auba, Guendouzi and even the later regressingWenger years!

    I see these Gooners as preferring certain people, whether players or managers, to the whole club they profess to support and to the clubs long term benefit.

    I do, quite seriously, consider a number of these fans less than intelligent and extremely biased, both FOR their own heroes , even though their “heroes” let them down badly, and AGAINST our present manager who is transforming the laissez faire culture existing when he took over and massively improving the all important foundation for future success.

    That these short sighted Gooners are quite unable to see further than the current Prem table is hardly a surprise, given their own dull wittedness and agenda driven biases.

  12. It is indeed clear that Arteta has improved the squad to a large extent and for me the most important improvement would be being gritty and determined to win matches and the fight that the team puts out. But one thing on which I feel needs improvement still is our dismissals/red card issue which needs to be tackled asap as it costs us important points which would be crucial in our effort to be in the top 4. Another thing is our finishing capability per number of chances created and we need to improve on that.

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