Arteta shows the next part of his process, but don’t go overboard just yet

Arteta Shows Next Part Of The Process by Dan Smith

Even before our winning penalty on Sunday I was ready to write how we had seen the next step of Arteta’s plan at Old Trafford. I don’t judge things as black and white as only judging things on a result.

All you can ever be is the best version of yourself. While I don’t believe our owner has always done that, I believe our manager has those standards. In our defeats at Anfield and the Etihad we were not. We showed too much respect to the opposition, focused on their strengths instead of what we do well.

In winning the FA Cup, our rookie boss showed he could organise a team to be tough to beat. While doing that he demonstrated that he could get the very best out of limited resources.

In the semi-final in particular the Spaniard changed the mentality of a squad who had lost belief under Emery. Our coach was honest enough to admit the huge gap between us and our rivals, but that didn’t mean he tolerates defeat; it simply means you find new ways to win.

If, like me you grew up with Arsene Wenger, you were not used to the Gunners tactically changing based on the opponent. We wouldn’t have been able to comfortably see out a 1-0 win away from home a year ago. That’s come from hard work on the training pitch and man management skills to make players believe.

The next stage of our development was to press the ball and win it back quickly. You can tell our boss has been mentored by Pep Guardiola. Even back in his Barcelona days, Pep prioritised retrieving possession within seconds of losing it. United couldn’t play out from defence because of how well we pressed.

It begs the question of where was that urgency at City or Liverpool?

Yet yesterday’s result will only encourage our players to carry on that work ethic every week.
Aubameyang said something post-match which I think a section of our fanbase need to listen too. Our captain spoke about ‘trusting the process’ the new regime has introduced. Part of that process’ is being honest enough to admit we have limitations.

We wouldn’t have hired someone who’s never managed before if we were not prepared to take little steps.

We employed someone with a vision, smart enough to know that due to not having the unlimited funds he had in his last work place that this will take time. It might mean every window he’s allowed to insert one piece of the puzzle but at least he has an ethos, something Emery never had.

He of course can’t publicly admit it but Arteta will expect inconsistencies from this group, he knows there will be bad days ahead.

This was never going to be a case of wave the magic wand and all will magically be fixed. That’s why I’m happy he wasn’t pressured into changing his methods.

Some Gooners wanted Auba down the middle. It’s natural that they are so passionate to see us return to our former glories, now that the defence is fixed, they want us to fast track to the free-flowing style that is part of our DNA.

Arteta though is like that strict teacher at school, refusing to move on till he knows what he has taught you is embedded in your head. At the moment, his lesson is defending and a high press and if he has to sacrifice our attacking threat until we get the foundations correct, he will.

Some might talk about the chances the likes of Lacazette is missing, but you can’t underestimate how much work rate by the front three was crucial to our win. Again it takes man management skills to get strikers to defend from the front. I wouldn’t be shocked if our manager is willing to sacrifice goals for the sake of that hard work.

The reason I was so quick to question those predicting a title challenge and winning a Champions League in three years is because if we give Arteta time, I believe we might have someone special. Yet by comparing Arteta to Mr Wenger after a couple of wins, it only creates hysteria when he loses.

Let’s try to not get carried away when we win, so we don’t be too negative when we don’t.
Let’s Trust The Process.

Dan Smith


  1. Very well said Dan.We are in a transition period, when we will undoubtedly have ups and downs, but clearly, every player has bought into the high work ethic which is fundamental to what Arteta is trying to achieve.Rotation will be necessary to keep players in prime physical condition to maintain a high pressing system but with young players full of energy, like Nelson, AMN, Nketiah ,Willock and hopefully Saliba and Martinelli, I am optimistic for the future.

  2. Well fought win. It wasn’t just scraping a lucky win, we were in control of the game from start to finish. I don’t remember a single dangerous attack from United?

    Anyways, we were close vs. City. We had 2 of the best chances but couldn’t capitalize. Same with Leicester.

    Our defense is working, our attack just seems to miss that final edge. We could create more chances yes, but we do have chances to score and we simply must bury them.

    On to Molde, which shouldn’t be a problem. I hope we can open the floodgates against Villa who have been shipping goals in lately.


  3. I’ve never held back my support for Arteta and what he’s trying to do.
    I’ve seen a whole lot of it and I’ve read a whole lot of it.
    Only delusional people will keep popping out and bashing the coach when we lose a game.
    It’s sad that some fans would be okay if the team loses a game just so they can bash the coach.
    Since yesterday I’ve waited to see if the likes of Top Gunner and Mogunna would come credit the coach for his game plan and selection, but till now both are yet to say a word. Yet whenever we lose they’re everywhere bashing and criticizing the coach.
    Anyway Man United are yet to win a single league game against us in our last five meetings.
    Let’s keep that running for more years.
    Hopefully now we can win our next set of games and pick up momentum.
    If we can gather up points in the next set of games.
    We’ll be in good position for top four

    1. So Eddie bashing the players, especially the whole offense, is the same as bashing the coach right.. Also suggesting other formations, other players, other style and so forth. That’s bashing the coach as well.

  4. My moral lesson of yesterday is.

    As long as these 9 players are fit they should always start for us in the premier league games.

    These 9 players are the core and bedrock of our team.

  5. I was massively impressed by the performance of our players against United. We played with energy and commitment unlike the game against Leicester when the players didn’t just turn up.
    When ever we play with such zeal, the opposition can’t cope.
    Please let’s keep it
    Villa next. COYG!!!!

  6. I will happily say good bye to Xhaka, Luiz from the starting 11. I think Elneny has taken Xhaka’s place.
    I wonder the re-birth he had in Turkey with Besiktas.

    Arteta should stick to this squad against Man.U except for injury or loss of form.

    Lacazette will find his mojo soon, I believe.

    1. Let’s not get carried away with Elneney
      Brilliant yesterday but can he do it consistently
      Think Xakha hasn’t done allot wrong under Arteta

  7. Onto Molde players selected should play their best to keep the starting premier league 11 on their toes.

    This will be my preferred line up for Molde on Thursday.

    Nelson, Nketiah, Pepe,


    Xhaka, Ceballos,

    M-Niles, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Cedric,


  8. An excellent Article Dan. I was saying yesterday during the match and before we scored that even if we lost the match, I was still massively impressed by how we played. We were aggressive, our midfield was fluid. Elneny and Partey’s chemistry was top notch, Gabriel and holding were very solid, even Tierney had the freedom to drive forward without any fear of leaving the back exposed. The back passing stopped.

    I have been very critical of Leno but he’s improving on his back passing and set pieces as I saw him training on that earlier last week. Like what I admired about martinez, I saw Leno kicking out the ball sometimes instead of the playing out from the back all the time. Well done Leno, more of that. Our forwards are the last piece of the puzzle to be fixed and we’re going to be soaring hoping our key players stay injury free. Thank you for making us believe again senor Arteta. For a minute there, I was thinking there was no aggressive tactic from Arteta but that game especially the first half is arguably the best football we’ve played under Arteta bar unlucky finishing from our forwards.

    1. That’s all we ever want
      To be able to walk away and say they gave 100 percent and were proud to wear the shirt

    2. Your first paragraph sums up my exact feelings after watching the first half. The team played like they actually believed and wanted to win. That is all I want to see from my beloved team. I can take an occasional draw or lose with that sort of performance.

      Long may it continue.

  9. Our defense improved massively under MAbut our attack is suffering. Apart from Saka, who is still young, the other three is providing average performance.
    Auba, Lacca and Willian needs to step up.
    So does Pepe and Eddie otherwise, MA will have to provide a chance to the likes of Nelson, Willock and Balogun.

  10. Nice article Dan
    I was over the moon
    I couldn’t contain my joy when I heard the final whistle

    And we’re making it look average
    Man utd had back to back victories against last season’s champions league finalist and semi finalist
    They had momentum
    Yet we made them look really poor

    So guys this is a massive win for us
    Not just the win
    Also the we managed them game was tremendous

    There’s room for improvement attacking wise
    And surely it’ll come

    Great work from the guys and the management
    Trust the process guys

    Onto Molde
    COYG 💪💪💪

  11. Dan…

    I love your articles! When I see an article written by you, I do not pass by like I do for many others! Another great piece from you! Please keep bringing on those well-thought-out articles of yours!

    In statistics, we do not base our analysis on outputs alone as we would normally do in a deterministic function, but instead we try to study the process that produces the output, and then we base our analysis on the process instead. Consequently, all we need to do as a thinking fanbase is to analyse the process at work and study its characteristics! I have always said and I will continue to say that Arteta’s process is absolutely spot on, and I am glad many are beginning to see same, even though they are only excited because of our win against Man U, and may change immediately a bad result comes along.

    I look forward to an article that will analyse for the fan base how trends work, and inform us that blips along a trend doesn’t necessary mean the trend will or has changed…

    Once again, beautiful piece!


  12. I trust the process!!! I remember also what people said here after the MK Dons friendly.. it’s good to finally see Mo get the praise he deserves!!! I have always supported him from day one.. Expect big man Granit to be a regular alongside Partey in the 343 formation.. we have so many good midfielders!!! Coyg!!!

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