It’s Time to Speak Less Mikel…. by Amagore
The most ironic thing about being a soccer fan is that no matter how poorly one’s team performs, or no matter the difficulties being faced by the club, one’s love for their favourite football club keeps growing. The resumption of football action around the world, particularly the English premier league, has brought something to help manage the stress associated with the biggest threat to humanity in the form of a disease called COVID 19.
Before the pandemic forced the EPL to take a break to avoid the widespread of the disease, something interesting had just been witnessed by the Arsenal family. After a streak of poor results under the tutelage of one Unai Emery, the Arsenal board decided to bring the club’s association with the three-time Europa league winner to an end. Unai Emery’s departure saw the club appointing a former player who left the club to join Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City. The journey to Manchester was one that ushered Arteta into the world of football management, having been touted as a future coach during his playing days.
On his first day back at Arsenal, Arteta did not hide the fact that he was back for some serious business. His attitude and posture presented a young man who believed in himself and his abilities to help change the atmosphere in the club’s dressing room. Having been part of the Pep Guardiola’s coaching team, Mikel’s arrival gave some of the Arsenal fans hope that the club would possibly be able to pick up the pieces and start performing competitively. However, a comparison with his predecessor suggests that there’s no progress since Unai left…
Maybe Arteta needs to be given a chance to bring his own group of players who will suit his style of play if ever he has one. In my opinion Arteta has been living in a glasshouse where he can see the desired things outside but unfortunately, he can’t lay his hands on them. I am not sure if Arteta will be given the financial backing to help him recruit his preferred players, but if the recession due to COVID 19 is anything to go by, Arteta may be forced to admire all the beautiful flowers outside his glass walls without plucking them out.
Arteta has suddenly come face to face with the effects of having a depleted squad due to injuries, particularly in the defence and midfield. The injuries to Torreira and Xhaka, who are currently the spinal cord of the team, has left him with no choice but to use players in unfamiliar territory which has left the team exposed and without a balance.
The continuous absence of Ozil due to the so-called tactical reasons makes Arteta a joke given how much the club is paying for Ozil’s services. Snubbing a player who is supposed to be the playmaker and giving a flimsy excuse about tactics, means Ozil is not good enough to deserve such a huge pay cheque – or Arteta is just a novice trying to find an escape route as he tries to manage the relationship with Ozil..
Arteta seems to be shooting himself in the foot the same way Unai did. We all know how cold the relationship between Unai and Ozil was, despite the former trying to paint a different picture whenever he spoke about Ozil. Arteta has betrayed himself by keeping Ozil on the bench even when it is clear that team lacks creativity.
In view of the team’s performances against Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion, Arteta needs to look at himself in the mirror and pinch himself one more time, like he did when he was appointed to be the Manager ,and wake up to the reality that something drastic needs to be done to get the desired results. The game against his mentor presented an opportunity for the world to see if he had really learnt something from Pep. The result was proof of how far behind Arsenal are in relation to complete sides like Manchester City. The game at Brighton was an opportunity to help regain the confidence, but unfortunately it was game that ended with tears for all Arsenal fans as the team succumbed in the last minute of the added time.
It’s high time Arteta learns to speak less and let his actions and the team’s performances and results speak for him. Mediocrity should never be a permanent feature for a football club of Arsenal’s stature.
Wake up Arteta and give us your identity.
By amagore @ZimArsenaldesk