Arteta mustn’t make the same mistakes as Unai Emery

Arteta, find that set XI or kiss goodbye to Arsenal! (Opinion)

There is no doubt that Arteta has come in and rung the changes in a positive way, and there is no doubt that he has a squad full of talent at his disposal. But I am failing to understand why he is unable to find the best 11 and stick with it!

With the squad depth that he has in front of him, it shouldn’t be very hard to find that perfect 11!

Fans on the outside can see what will work, so why can’t the man who did a successful job as Pep’s number two, find the formation, tactics and the team selection that will suit?

No wonder the players are struggling to find rhythm and create anything, if the personnel is constantly going to change then they will be questioning who they will playing alongside, and passing to, from game to game. Uncertainty is the worst thing to have for a team and right now – that is our problem.

How we have gone from struggling to defend and banging in the goals, to becoming solid at the back yet struggling to bang in any goals is beyond me. Why can’t we have the balance? Why is it so hard to notice what needs to change?

I have said and always will say leaving Ozil out was a big mistake, not that one man can change a whole team, but what he would add is different to the likes of Partey, Xhaka and Ceballos combined, but with that now I guess we won’t ever know!

If Arteta is not careful he will slowly morph into Unai Emery, where he failed to find a set XI for each game, and in turn that then cost him game after game and a trip to the exit door!


Shenel Osman

Tags Arteta Emery


  1. I like what Arteta is doing with the team defensivily,the thing is now to propel the team forward with what we say in the game against Leicester in the first 45mins I hope its a sign of things to come and we can sustain that in 90mins and every game from now on

  2. Arteta came in and won 2 trophies with the same players Emery had , I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season in that we would finish top 4 something I wouldn’t have said if Emery was still here .
    IMO he was an awful appointment that if the board hadn’t acted when they did the damage he caused could have been a lot worse than it was at the time .
    Remember the board came out and said we went through the toughest time in our clubs history with him in charge that to me speaks volumes about his time here .

    1. As usual Dan kit, you avoid any context whatsoever, and only tell half the story…if that!

      The actual truth is: Emery, just like Moyes, walked into extremely difficult jobs, and Emery’s, a lot worse. Taking over from the most successful managers in the respective clubs history’s, who had been there for decades, was always an uphill task. Emery’s situation was far worse, given the long regression the club had been in, along with a gross mismanagement of finances, and the worst Arsenal squad in over 30 years. He inherited a mess! At least Fergie left Moyes a Championship winning squad!

      Coupled with that mess, was the huge transition the club was going through off the pitch as well. I am not excusing Emery’s performance, because although he slightly over achieved in his only full season, there weren’t too many positives looking ahead, and it just fell apart in his second season, and was rightly sacked. Although I will add, the club refused to back him in the transfer window, so it was only going to end up the way it did. Looks like Emery was right on wanting Zaha, over Pepe though!

      So although Arsenal were in a state when Arteta arrived, Emery hadn’t been in charge long enough to cause chronic problems at the club. Of course Emery has to take some of the blame for being our manager, but the board didn’t back him (fair enough in a way, as they didn’t appoint him, although why not just sack him at the end of his first season then?), and Emery inherited a mess.

      There are deep rooted problems at Arsenal, that will take years to fix. I said back in 2018, that it won’t be until 2021 into we start getting to grips the squad side of things at the very least. That is what we are seeing.

      Not to say that Arteta hasn’t been making mistakes himself, because he has, but unlike Emery, I can see a plan, and some progression. Which has been backed up to a certain degree with trophy success.

      1. And once again you jump on my post acting all superior ,why would I waste my time talking about a subject which as been to death ?ill leave that to you and you can bore us all over again .

      2. TMJW, as well Emery had to “tinker” because of the injury crisis, particularly with long term injuries.
        Unfortunately, I have become disallusioned with this site and am taking a “holiday”.
        I thank all the thoughtful and polite people for their contributions, whether we agreed or not.

        1. ozziegunner I know exactly how you feel! The frustration that all thinkers have on this site full of reactionary hotheads who will not apply their brain is almost unbearable But I am detemined to stay and fight for the existence of thought and intellect.

          Good luck to you in whatever you do and I have much enjoyed debating with you over the years and think you an intellectual giant.

        2. Hope to see back again ozziegunner
          You have always been interesting to read and have always responded to posts in a polite manner

        3. Ozzie, We might be the two last arsenal fans who still believe emery was and is a good manager but the players failed him and the board didn’t back him sufficiently and he was pressured by the fans. So please, don’t leave yet

      3. Also, Emery didn’t work out at Arsenal, but it wasn’t as if it was an awful appointment like you’re making out.

        Rubbish managers don’t win 3 European trophies back-to-back with a club like Seville!

        1. That was for Dan kit, Ozzie, and good call, I forgot the horrendous injuries that hampered him as well. Would have easily got CL if it wasn’t for that.

          I wasn’t acting superior Dan, just pointing out key facts you failed to mention when bashing Emery.

          1. But the facts have been said time after time ,why would I write an essay because we all know you would try to counter everything that I would put in it as if they were true ,but we know you distort the facts to back up every agenda you have on here .
            Same for me I could go over your post up top and counter everything that you stated but it would be my opinion against yours and facts get thrown out the window .

            1. There’s a difference between to fact and opinion Dan kit. Fact is that Emery inherited an absolute mess of a club, which Wenger played a huge role running into the ground. Yet you never blame him? Its always Gazidis, and Kroenke, and apparently Wenger had no responsibility at the club according to you.

              Thanks Jon! I have no issue with opinions, in fact I love them, but facts are needed at certain times, especially when looking at why someone failed or succeeded. One needs to tell the whole story and not cherry pick.

              1. Actually arsenal being a mess of a club is your opinion not a fact
                My opinion is if Wenger was there we wouldn’t have finished 8th
                Ramsey would have extended his contract
                Ozil would be in the squad
                We wouldn’t have sacked 55 staff , etc

      4. TMJW, Hurray for context and a true analysis of the days since AW left. I just think that those who cannot -or rather will not- see the vast improvement in so many team areas since MA came – have their own clear agenda , many of them based on wanting Ozil in the team, which they will not forgive MA for ruling our for ever, mercifully for the club.

      5. Arteta is the problem because the style which arsenal is playing now is boring full of square passes ,that’s why arsenal are nolong attacking ,no goals by lacazette and abeaumeyang due to lack of creativity…..!!! Xhaka is as useless he prefers giving goals to defenders all the time than partey who could supply the balls to strikers….

  3. Six games into the season, I think we can name 90% of the starting 11 . Is your problem that he can’t find his starting 11? Or that you’d prefer he tinkers with the players you want. Because as it stands, if he changes to whatever tactics and players you want, that would still contextually register as tinkering. Wouldn’t it?

    Please point out the tinkering.

    I do admit there are tactical issues, but most of them seem to come from a lack of chemistry and a lack of confidence. It’s odd that our defenders and defensive midfielders are showing more confidence on the ball than our strikers. If a Hector Bellerin can perfectly control a 40 Yard pass in the opponents box under pressure, why can’t Laca or Auba? Also, what do you the fans who claim to know actually know? Even simply using my eyes, Xhaka plays more final third entry passes than say Ceballos and yet you’ll claim removing Xhaka would get the ball forward more. Fans eh!

    1. I hear what you saying about Elneny but he is no playmaker !! why is it everyone is over looking Smith-Rowe ??? he is a play maker !! yes he is young but so was Saka and look what happened to him when he got a run of games !! Wilshere was young also and look at him until he got injured !! We are struggling for a creative player but we have one of the best youngsters around that is exactly what we need but wont get the game time !! Lets hope he plays thursday and shows Arteta what he has been missing !!

      1. I’m a huge believer that creativity can come from anywhere. My comment was premised upon the idea that Arteta continues playing with his fullbacks so far up the park, and his wingers inside the box. What he’s trying to do makes a lot of theoretical sense to me and is only being failed by the lack of chemistry upfront. The numbers upfront mean that the opposition defense is stretched so thin that they need to drop at least two midfielders into their own box just to equal the numbers. If the ball moved fast enough, that would mean the single central midfielder only has one fellow midfied player to contend with. I don’t know if you see what I’m ( or Mikel) is painting. The current issue comes up when Auba or Laca get the ball. They’re not threatening. They need to spin off their marker, play that one- two. Use the numerical advantage. Draw fouls. Create chaos. Now that I just said chaos, that would be the key. We need to use the numerical advantage to create chaos.

        To answer your play maker query, it’s not that the ball isn’t getting to the attackers . The attackers aren’t using what’s given to them.

  4. Leaving Ozil is one of the best decisions ever made. The problem with Arteta is that he cannot spot talent. He might have worked under Pep, but it doesn’t mean that Pep is the best. You give Pep Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and say he’s the best. There’s no competition in those two leagues, and the two teams had the financial muscle to buy any player. Give Pep Burnley or Fulham, lets see if he’s the best.
    Arteta likes the tried and tested materials like Willian and Partey. Our coach lacks experience and knowledge

    1. A young coach in his first management Job, I’d imagine playing it safe would be in his best interest but more to the point, how many central midfielders really are better than Partey in the world? If you can get him, why not? Was Gabriel an obvious tried and tested player in your opinion?

  5. More emotional and unthought through tripe from the fast becoming tedious Shenel.

    He fails to mention that most other clubs are also ringing the changes and more than in normal times, due to the effects the pandemic has had on a longer last season, an almost non existent pre season and many other virus related effects to training schedules etc.

    WHEN YOU JUST WRITE THE FIRST THING THAT COMES INTO YOUR HEAD AS SHENEL IS DOING MORE AND MORE and do not bother to look at context , perspective and at essentially what almost all clubs are doing, as are we too, then you are bound to conclude that he does not even want to find the real truth and, in tabloid journalist style, is ONLY interested in causing a sensation with no real regard for truth.

    SHENEL, I AM CLOSE TO GIVING UP EVEN READING YOUR MANY AND SHALLOW ARTICLES. If you won’t bother applying your brain, then I won’t bother reading your unthought through nonsense!

  6. Akk Arteta has to do is play Ceballos through the middle as the play maker linking play up and have Partey as the box to box midfielder and Xhaka as the holding player and play Auba as the Main Striker Saka wide right and Pepe wide left !! or be even bolder and play Smith -Rowe as the play Maker linking up play !! I think Smith-Rowe as a excellent player and yes his is Young buy so is and was Saka and look at what happened to him when he got a run of games !! The same could be said for Smith-Rowe but if he dosent get games we will never know !!

  7. Smith-Rowe deserves a crack, Yes he is young but so was Saka but look at what happened to him after a run of games and so was Wilshere young when he first started out and look at what a player he was until he got injured !! Smith-Rowe Showed last year whilst on loan what he could do and got rave reviews !! He deserve a start !! He is a playmaker and one of the best Young playmaker around !! i hope he gets a game Thursday and shows Arteta what he has and what Arteta has been missing !!

  8. The person with this article is either anti-Arteta or know less about football because still lamenting about the Ozil exclusion in the present pattern AFC cultivated is too old fashioned for hearing. Its obvious the premiership at large requires players to add little(if not much) steel to their games but the man called Mezut is not ready drained itself. Honestly people mentioning bring in Ozil, especially when the team lose point are damned annoying.

  9. Artera and Emery have one thing in common. They are both stubborn. Both do not play to the strength of the players. They are committed to their own style of play to a fault. That might work if they are given the time to recruit their own players but that takes years. Consequently they fail because they are never given the time. I question those who already think MA is tops. He needs to prove himself by winning championships or placing 4th few times. So far against city and Leicester he was outcoached. He was also outcoached against Moyes but we god lucky. Just give him time.

    1. I think you state an excellent point lcw, not playing to the strengths of his own team. Willian up top against City? Auba playing on the RW? Arteta has done wonders to organize our defense, but FFS he should ease up and give the players a bit of freedom on the attacking end.
      Trust in the talent and instincts of the attackers a bit more, and less orchestrating every attack like a dance routine. A manager doesn’t have to control every single facet of the game all the time.

  10. I would encourage the writer of this article to google and familiarize himself/herself with the five stages of project/team development. This, I am sure, will help the writer to understand and appreciate the time and effort required to build and maintain a high performance team. Please pay specific attention to the first stage – Forming.

  11. Not saying that it’s right, but Arteta plays a positional game in the same way that Pep has done. If you’re not familiar with it, Google it. It relies on players following the principles laid down by the coach and either sticking to their zones (and the roles within those zones) or, collectively as a team making sure that they follow their rotations (and cover the zones and roles allocated to other players as they move). The idea is that the lines of possession end up with players getting into attacking positions in numbers. They have to be very disciplined, very regimented and, basically, work their nuts off for the team. This goes from number 1 to number 11.

    Now, there’s no doubt that Arsenal need a central playmaker. If journalists were to be believed during the transfer window, Arteta desperately wanted (but, in the end couldn’t afford) Aouar, so he probably recognises this.

    There’s also no doubt that within Arteta’s system, Ozil is not the playmaker he’s looking for. Near bottomless pit of talent he may be, he doesn’t have the discipline or workrate that Arteta needs – and the system’s not one where you can carry people just because they have a few inspirational flashes each game. If one player doesn’t play the system, the whole thing falls apart. Not really a question of agreeing with this (really still too early to say, anyway), but I’m glad that the powers that be at the Emirates are backing the manager.

    Arteta’s probably hoping that ESR comes good, but the lad’s still a youngster without the first team experience that he needs. In the meantime, I think that he’s trying to get creativity from the wide players like Willian, Saka and Pepe, but that’s a bit one-dimensional and easily defended.

  12. Arsenal playes without attacking midfielders.
    Non of the 3 tried to breakthrough the defence of Leister and non of them has an attacking abilities like Wijnaldum or Madison.
    I don’t understand why we play with 3 defensive midfielders.

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