Arteta urged to be patient in bid to bring Arsenal to the top

Paul Merson has claimed that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has further to go after this season, and has urged the club to patient with what is being built in north London.

The Gunners have outdone expectations this season, jumping from bottom of the table after August’s opening month of fixtures, to sit a comfortable fourth in

‘Not really, not with the team he’s got. I think he’s building a team at Arsenal.

‘If you were looking at the team and they were all 30, you’d think you might need to jump here. You’ve done your job, get out.

‘But this team is only going to get better and better. I think they’ll go again in the summer transfer window, buy young players again, a new centre-forward.

‘I think they are in a cycle. In a couple of years’ time, Klopp and Guardiola probably won’t be at Liverpool and Man City.

‘Chelsea will be a force for the next couple of years but when players’ contracts start running out, I’m not sure how they will be able to sustain it [under new owners].

‘So you’ve got to wait and be patient if you’re Arsenal and Arteta.’

While it is usually pretty easy to disagree with Merson, he is spot on here. Klopp and Pep will not be around forever, and not only does our club have so much further to take this team, but our transfer policy in recent seasons means that we have much further to go if we continue to build year on year like we have done.

Do you believe that he top four is as far as Arteta can take us in his current surroundings?


Tags Paul Merson


  1. Football management is often fine lines and inches. Or maybe just luck and timing. Emery got one full season to get top 4 weighed down by a full 15 game European run and missed top 4 by one point. Arteta is in his second full season with no European commitments and may succeed by a point. So who is the better manager Emery or Arteta? Maybe they both are decent but flawed? The Emery sacking and the two 8th place finishes clearly taught the club a lesson and so they have a more realistic expectation and time frame which Emery should be thanked for and which Arteta has quite clearly benefited from. The next step is to set reasonable title aspirations and time frame. For me a title once every 4 years, top 4 at least 3 out of five years and Champions league once every 7 years is a tough but reasonable expectation for a club of Arsenal’s size.

    1. For me the one thing that was flawed was the squad they both had to work with. I don’t believe Emery suited premier league football. For and experienced top flight manager Emery was a disaster.

      Even though Emery made signings the only one still in this squad is Tierney. The others have faded away and did not compliment the squad we had. Leno, Torriera, Guendouzi, Cebellos, Pepe were not good enough, lacked key skills or too indiceplined.

      When you look at Emery’s 2nd and final half a season in charge, we were down in 15th when he was sacked in January. His style of football was questionable, we conceded 20-30 chances even against lower level opponents, playing out from the back was a disaster because of the donkeys we had in defense he should have known that from the off, then that humiliation in the Europa final. There was no progress from a decent but disappointing first season.

      Arteta took over and got us to 8th which people use against him but given where we were shouldn’t and won the FA cup. But then the following season we finished 8th again, one thing needed to change and it wasn’t the manager. It was the squad and the way we were run in a football sense, players had to be moved on no matter the cost.

      The sqaud was too old, there were too many little cliques, too much money in wages going out, too much indicepline in the sqaud, we were conceedeing too many goals and relied too heavily on Aubamyang to score as last season and the first part of this proved. It was an absolute shambles and a large percentage of our fan base couldn’t see it. This was 4 years in the making not when Arteta turned up.

      Arteta and the team had to fix that, fix a disorganized unbalanced sqaud. Make us more battle ready, tighter in defence and a much more cohesive unified unit. Opposed to the team of individuals Wenger and Emery brought in. Thank good a different transfer strategy has been employed. Signing players who are young but not too young where they have no experience in senior football.

      This season is a massive plus for Arsenal football club and long may this continue

    2. fairfan you really puzzle me Sometimes, as in your above post, you speak so much sense that I think you have a fine brain, Even though my own expectations for our club are a little less demanding than yours. Not a whole lot, just a little.

      Other times however, eg when recently you told us what various people were saying to themselves, your comments come entirely from your own imagination and have no basis in reality at all.
      Hence the enigma you are. But at least, unlike some, you are never boring.

  2. Chelsea 1 Brentford 4.
    Man United 1 Leicester 1.
    As I have said it is not the games v the top 6 which Arsenal have to win. It is the other fixtures which define the season. So for the top 4 candidates this round is typical.
    Man U v Leicester
    Palace v Arsenal
    Westham v Everton
    Tottenham v Newcastle.
    All should be won by the top 4 candidate.
    But already United have dropped two poinrs and are Conference league bound. Unless other teams also drop points in this “easy” round.
    This season Arsenal has dropped very few easy points. Brentford away with illness and injury. Everton away. Burnley at home but very little otherwise. Arsenal can in fact get top 4 with out taking a point off City Liverpool or Chelsea or for that matter United. In fact you can win the title without beating any of the top 5.

  3. No he could very well edge the third spot by a short nose.

    You are spot on Fairfan, Arsenal has learned tremendously well from the Emery situation, as I notice while I was nervous after the first three matches, the hierarchy was solid behind the gaffer.

    I also learned we shouldn’t keep our fingers on the trigger, Emery was doing extremely well with kids too,

    I must admit though Arteta team always look harder to beat, I know we have invested heavily in the defensive part, but in recent times despite our best intrest we always look too open.

    A think we may have stumbled upon Arteta at the right time,
    Another thing am impressed with Arteta is we have a clear way as to how we want to play.

    It’s so easy for most fans to become expert and tell you we need two strikers and midfielders and they are spot on

  4. I will never understand the critism of emery by some of our fan base. Our formal left back just came back to say how emery didn’t get enough credit why we are here. He was the closet manager to get us European trophy in 25 years and he did it in his first season despite inheriting more than half of the decayed squad. A comments up there discredit emery and even came up with lies just to rubbish him. Emery had his fault and I can’t imagine if what happened between auba and Arteta was in emery era. Apparently emery lost the dressing room, but we all praise arteta when dressing room rift started with players like auba an the other. Arteta deserves credit this term, but he’s surely Lucky to be here after that 2 poor seasons. Emery on the other side his doing perfect well with a low budget team. Won them their first euopean country already. Their league position might be awful, but man took his team to quarter final of UCL something our beloved Arsenal haven’t witness like for 7 to 8 years. Even despite our great form, we have very similar stats with that his team that cost less. Who bought saliba, martineli, Leno, guenzo, Lucas, Tierney and co and gave our academic players more time on the pitch in his short years more than arteta has done in nearly 3 years. The likes of Niles, willock, Saka, Iwobi, and many more had played in emery era couples of time. The only constant academy player in our current squad are just two and only one is a starter. So emery did more than he get credit for. Arteta is doing great as well, but we all see how long that took him and having no European football advantage that make it more possible.

    1. *in 25 years* forgot we lost the Ucl final to Barca. Which was 2006. That’s 16 years ago. Our only European final came with emery in charge and to even think the match was nil at the half time. But the second half was were the match was lost. I remember emery wanting players like nkunku, zaha, but thanks to the board they gave him pepe instead. What let emery down was the same that let wenger down which is the defense. And that’s what arteta took care of firstly. Emery and Wenger were too focusing on attacking football knowing we have poor defence. This is why we have more goals score with them and more goals conceded which is the opposite with Arteta. Score less goals and concede less.

    2. @Kaay
      Who knows how far Emery might have taken us had he been given the same time afforded Arteta…

      1. I like Emery but like I said I don’t know how well he might of done I’m not convinced he could have taken us forward. But on the other hand give him this squad and he would have faired alot better. The squad at the time let him down massively and did Arteta too at the start.

        For me he signings weren’t that great or inspiring either Tierney came in before he joined I believe and Leno. Ok he didn’t want Pepe and he was right with that call upto now. But as I said our style of play wasn’t suited to premier league football. We were conceedeing 20-30 chances per game. During our unbeaten run, we went behind in 70% of the games, coming from behind is very physically demanding. That showed as our form massively dropped at the key period at the end of the season.

        He’s a good coach but come to Arsenal at the wrong time

  5. The senior management took a responsible decision in supporting Arteta after the issues of the last few seasons.
    Edu quite clearly explained the strategy at the beginning of the season which was well-reasoned and balanced and suggested that careful thought had gone into planning. It was made quite clear that the new direction would be pursued with great vigour.
    The early poor results this season meant that many fans with overwrought emotions started calling for Arteta’s head. This perspective was supported by the views of a number pundits with a lot of media visibility but limited real football nous. Sites such as this also fed into the negativity. At certain points this season the site served almost as a mouth piece for those who had a negative view of the manager or the management team. Those who supported the manager at the beginning were sometimes subjected to disgraceful comments from others who are supposed to be fellow fans.
    Thankfully, there is a better understanding now of the changes that needed to be made. We are now beginning to see the results.
    Arteta’s role in building the team and overhauling the culture at the club has been crucial. However, I still see on this site many comments that suggest half-hearted acceptance rather than support.
    Arsenal are now in a good position to reach the CL. However, even if we don’t it would be in Arsenal’s best interest to keep Arteta. It would also be essential to continue strengthening the team whatever happens.

  6. Emery was and is a fine Manager

    He did some good things for us, made some good decisions but maybe was a bit too safe in his overall approach?

    Although he brought in some good new players he tried to achieve success with what he inherited and he may have done so given more time but I think towards the end it was communication that failed him, his players looked a bit confused out there, fans didn’t understand what he was trying to do and who knows what went on in the Boardroom, to be honest in the end it looked like a bit of a mercy sacking to me as Unai didn’t look like he was enjoying it and seemed to be losing the self confidence that Managers need

    He has got that back now in Spain and I am genuinely pleased to see that, I really don’t like Clubs sacking Managers during a season

    Bruce Rioch got a full season, did well in that season considering the mess he inherited from George and of course he brought in Bergkamp that season

    He also may have done well for us and brought back success given time but would he have done as well as Wenger?, we will never know

    1. Strongly agree mate

      The language barrier played a massive part.

      We looked very very open at times during Emery stint, some times you could see the goals coming and I just think it was just down to communication as you said some time the players seems confused.

      He is a very good and I won’t be surprised seing him back in the league doing well

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