Arteta ‘Doesn’t Know’ If We Have Money To Spend by Dan Smith
When Arteta was hired I called him a cheap option. Like Emery, someone so grateful to get such a high-profile job he was willing to tolerate working with owners with zero ambition. That’s why Allegri wouldn’t be interested in the post. He would want a realistic chance of eventually challenging for the title, something you would realise in 5 seconds talking to the Kroenke family is not possible. Luis Enrique has admitted that was his thought process.
I maintain the criteria of appointing a manager shouldn’t be based on who accepts mediocrity, which seems to be the action plan post-Wenger. So, after his Liverpool post-match interview I’m starting to have hope that at least we have a coach who is willing to challenge his owners.
We had just beaten the Champions, but our boss smartly was not going to let the result paper over any cracks or let any Gooner forget just how far we have fallen behind a team we used to often finish above.
Were his words deliberately timed?
This is a man who has been taught by Pep Guardiola who is demanding in the standards he expects at Man City. By pointing out there is only a certain amount of coaching you can do to close a 40-point gap, Stan Kroenke was being publicly put on the spot like never before.
Uni Emery was a yes man. Even Arsene Wenger was happy to take the brunt of any criticism, his employer exploiting the Frenchman’s love for the club.
Arteta is making it clear how far he wants to take the Gunners but is now asking those who pay his salary to put their money where their mouth is.
Of course, I’m not comforted hearing the Spaniard say he doesn’t know how much, or even if, any funds are available this summer. Yet it’s more clarity than we usually get.
From a selfish point of view, it’s a genius way to keep the fanbase onside. He’s saying he agrees with gooners, he shares their frustrations, he too believes the squad needs investment. If that doesn’t happen, he’s essentially pointed us into the direction of who we should be demanding answers from.
Of course, he might ‘not know’ the financial situation, based on a Pandemic that no one could have seen coming. As things stand, we don’t know how long there will be empty stadiums so it’s hard to calculate incomings and outgoings.
Yet Arteta must have asked for that heads up when he was originally interviewed? Did he say what the recruitment team wanted to hear to land the position? Has the hunger inside made him unwilling to see the side he captained in 9th position? Did he overestimate the limitations of what he was working with?
Or did he always plan to try and change Silent Stan’s mind?
A month ago, the answer to our defensive problems was to extend the contracts of those already there. I asked whether Arteta was tactically making that decision, or was it a reflection of the level of our ambition?
Don’t get me wrong I don’t have any faith we will do anything in the transfer market to ‘be excited about’.
Meanwhile Chelsea are making great signings, and you know Man United will throw money around again.
At least though I know we have a manager who cares and isn’t scared to question what is going on above him.