Can any manager sort out Arsenal’s problems?

A manager may not really be our problem by Lagos Gooner

I don’t really feel comfortable writing negative stuff about Arsenal, but when things are not moving on fine with Arsenal, I find it hard keeping quiet. Arsenal is in a serious hole right now and it is only natural that genuine Arsenal fans are bothered and are just hoping that things start getting better for the club.

When things started getting out of hand during the reign of our greatest manager of all time, many people were of the opinion that we needed a change of manager badly! The reasoning then was that with a change of manager, the club would gradually find it’s form back. He had become stagnant as a coach and should be eased out of the club, ‘so that Arsenal can move forward’. This was people’s thinking. But were they right in their thinking? Well, events after the resignation of Wenger, suggests otherwise.

Ever since Wenger, we have changed coaches twice! Each of the two coaches that have been at Arsenal, are coaches that came with pedigrees. Emery came with a lot of trophies to his name. He had coached PSG, a big club in France, the previous season before he came to Arsenal. His arrival at Arsenal was heralded as one that would return the club back to winning ways. Emery hit the ground running as manager of Arsenal; he signed players he felt he could work with, he bought a new goalkeeper for Arsenal to sort out the issue we had with the goal keeping department and he was all set for a fresh challenge.

He began the season with two defeats, back to back but as soon as he was done with the second defeat, he went on a run of 22 games unbeaten in all competitions. He had such a good first season and that made fans dream of a better second season of him being in charge of Arsenal. The defeat to Chelsea in the final of the Europa league, didn’t change fans expectations about him, although the defeat was painful. We all know how his second panned out right? So no need reminding us of what caused many fans sadness and bitterness.

Emery was relieved of his job in his second season in charge for not being able to motivate the team to do well. He was rightly sacked, if I may say. After him, Ljungberg was saddled to handle the team until a new manager was going to be appointed. Ljungberg tried his best but then, the task was too much for him to handle. He struggled to make an impact until he was eventually replaced by Arsenal’s new manager, Mikel Arteta.

Mikel Arteta came with so much promise and potentials and his coming was seen as the coming of a messiah. Seven games into the season and Mikel has won just 1 game and drawn 5 games. The fans, who were excited over his appointment last December, are starting to question if he is really the one to take Arsenal to the next level.

From all I have pointed out, it seems getting a manager would not solve our problems. But if a manager cannot solve our problems, who can?

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua


  1. I have lost count of the number of times I have commented on this subject.Like others of my vintage,we recognise that there is not a Manager on this Planet who can,within a short period of time, reignite the fortunes of our Club.It will take MA time to eliminate the weaknesses he has inherited and being a realist, I will be very pleased if we can finish in the top 7/8 in the League.I could list almost a dozen players who are clearly not of the quality we need and that excludes any youngsters which to me means “under23”.There is absolutely no point whatsoever in harping back to Wenger and Emery .We are where we are.Our current league position is an accurate reflection of the standard of our players .In his short time in charge MA has made us more resilient than we have been for years.This is one small step forward in what will be a long and difficult journey ahead.

    1. You and me both, Grandad. There is no comparison between the quality and depth of squad that Arsene Wenger inherited from Bruce Rioch and the one that Unai Emery inherited from Arsene Wenger. The deterioration in quality and depth from Wenger’s peak years coincided with the sale of shares in Arsenal to Kroenke and the forced departure of David Dein. Scouting and recruitment has regressed since this time, culminating in the parting of ways with Sven Mislantat and Steve Morrow. Players like Gilberto Silva and Patrick Viera were not replaced with similar types; Arse Al going for smaller, technically gifted players, who were constantly bullied in midfield.
      Sylvester also promotes the false premise that Emery had the opportunity to upgrade the squad he inherited, when he in fact requested players and others were recruited instead by the Board and he was expected to coach those.
      Hopefully Arteta will be supported in the summer transfer window financially and given a say in the players scouted and recruited to address the obvious deficiencies in defense and midfield. It is completely unfair to judge Arteta or any head coach otherwise.

    2. Yet more sage comments from perhaps the single most astute person on this site. Grandad always gets at the truth and does not get sidetracked by irrelevant nonsense as so many do. I salute you Grandad and your regular and constant wisdom!

  2. Good article Sylvester,

    No matter who they appoint as manager, as long as he is not backed to recruit the missing elements that he feels can help him deliver the trophies we all cry for, the situation will remain the same.

    I am giving you some examples. We blame Emery for not performing well but deep down we should remember that he asked the Board to recruit Thomas Partey, Wilfried Zaha and Upamecano but none of them signed for our beloved arsenal.

    The same applies to Arteta, by the time everyone could see that our midfield is not clicking it was obviously clear that we needed at least a box to box and attacking midfielders to create the goal scoring chances for the strikers.

    The board has tried to fix the defence which used to leak goals every weekend. But is any one going to complain if a 5m and 1m recruitees fail to deliver?

    This was the right time for the board to support Arteta and help him build the team he thinks can bring back the glory days at the Emirates.

    It is not too late though, they can still support him with marquee signings in the summer transfer. But surely Arteta is the right manager to take this club forward.

    Once a gunner always a gunner.

    1. Midfield should be the concern next summer…we need two box to box midfielders and a ball playing physically dominant defensive midfielder if we want to play 433 next season
      One thing is certain neither Xhaka nor Torreira can play in a 433 formation

  3. I’m looking beyond management level to ……….

    Stan Kroenke became a shareholder in May 2007, was appointed to the Board of Directors in September 2008 and became the majority shareholder of Arsenal Football Club in April 2011.

    Josh Kroenke joined the Board of Arsenal Football Club in December 2013.

    Sir Chips Keswick was first appointed as an Arsenal director in November 2005, and replaced the outgoing Peter Hill-Wood as Chairman of Arsenal.

    Arsenal Football Club’s longest-serving director, Ken Friar OBE has been a mainstay of the Club for more than 60 years.

    Lord Harris of Peckham was appointed to the Arsenal board in November 2005.

    M A has recently alluded to “changing the dynamic” at our club (I for one couldn’t agree more).

    Given the Gentlemen listed above a very, very difficult task.

  4. Dear Sylvester.
    Unfortunately Mandrake the Magician is not available in the pool of football coaches anywhere in the world,because that is what is really needed in Arsenal at the moment;Arteta can only work with what he found and I thing in the short time in charge I believe that he is fixing the most urgent problem:the porous defence.He certainly needs time and help from the board in the summer.In the meantime he needs our support.

      1. God nearly answered our prayers. Xhaka was supposed to go to Germany and Ozil to Qatar. Who blocked this moves? Its Mikel Arteta. So we should blame him for this mess. How can he fight to keep players who can’t change the game during tough times

    1. Hi Invader Zim.

      Couldn’t disagree more.

      True fans bother to care and comment on a daily basis – hopefully constructively whether agreeing or disagreeing.

      I would follow (and I do literally follow) The Arsenal in the southern league if necessary.

      But not debate, and yes sometimes question as well as support, the going on’s at the club ???

      That is, and always has been, part of football my friend.

      Admin – shut the site forthwith !

      1. AJ, sensible comments, apart from your surely last line, which is surely sarcasm and as such, OK. Shutting down debate for all (because of a few low witted people, SUCH AS INVADER ZIM) is what tyrants do. This site is run by free thinking Admins who are the polar reverse of tyrants, thankfully! Nor should they even ban him but allow others to show him up for the fool he is. THE WIDER THE DEBATE ,THE GREATER THE POOL OF KNOWLEDGE FOR ALL.

    2. @ Invader Zim- as fans we have every right to question the Clubs and Owners decisions. The sooner they take on board that without the supporters there is no Arsenal Football Club the sooner they might realise they need to start taking decisions that improve everything at the Club from top to bottom.
      Appointing Mikel Arteta is the first step, we all believe. They should realise that when the whole of the Arsenal Fanbase , with the exception of @ Ken 1845 , wanted Wenger gone , he was out. If Kronke believes he is offer than this Club I can only guess at the level of abuse and demonstrations he will receive.Another season like this one and he will have found out

    3. Invader Zim, That is the sort of ill thought out comment thatseeks to excuse such crimes as fundamentalist terrorism. Blind adherence to a rotten to the core regime is not right; it is stupid and regressive. Shame you are not bright enough to know this truth. If something is at fault and plainly to all,is not working, mere acceptance of this and “blind faith following” is puerile, backward thinking and , well I wil leave it there and hope that you may, just possibly MAY,think deeply about matters before you post again. I do wonder at your IQ level though!

  5. Certainly not the bloke in the picture next to Mikel Arteta.He is one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in.

    1. Oh dear Phil, youve joined that “vast majority” that ìs always included when one has a weak, unprovable and completely unprovable point.

      As is usual with those type of clàims, one ignores facts for fiction – for example the 56,000 fans who paid homage to our greatest ever manager at his last home game, oŕ the Huddersfield fans who realised what this man gave to the club…success.

      Now, I was going to bring this up in Athens, but let me ask you directly Phil, how did he manage the twenty years of top four and CL if we were in such a mess?

      Was it because we had such dross players since 2006 onwards – please just explain how it was achieved with a manager who couldn’t coach, defenders who couldn’t defend, forwards who couldn’t score, a player who is lazy, mentally frail, bleeding the club dry and a club being run by kronkie.

      I would suggest that, for those twenty years, AW gave our club a transfusion of CL and top four blood money, with an added
      injection of seven fa cup triumphs, more than paying for his salary which was peanuts to what the club received of course.

      As you know, I have asked this question many times, especially of two similarly minded PALS of yours, with no success.
      I await your reply to those five questions with baited breath – the answer could be, of course, that the “vast majority” just need someone to blame…as in the case with Ozil wouldn’t you say?
      The day he resigned, was the day “we got our Arsenal back”, the problem being that it’s the one that was there before he arrived!!!!!!!!!

      1. Ken , your post is a dissembling one ,as you are well aware or should be at least. Of course there was a great reception given to Wenger by almost 100% who were there. That was right and proper for what he did over his first half tenure and for his constant loyalty and his stature in football world wide. We all know that and that was well deserved too. He achieved a mighty high standard til 2006/7 but thereafter let a slow but increasing drift occur, but which you deny, the last two seasons apart, when you become a realist at last. “VAST MAJORITIES” DO OCCUR AND EXIST KEN. THE FACT THAT YOU ARE NOT AMONG SOME OF THEM, IN ARSENAL MATTERS, SAYS MUCH ABOUT HOW YOU ARE.

        But to outlandishly claim, as you do, by implication this time, but have often done in the recent past, that THAT affectionate reception meant that most wanted him to remain as manager, is clearly either a flat lie OR evidence that you are an obsessive, unable and unwilling to ever accept the obvious to(almost) all and clear truth. I still cannot decide which of those two possibilities you actually are, but I lean towards the latter, sadly. Not that the former would be any more palatable. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO STILL DENY A ROUND WORLD, WHO DENY CLIMATE CHANGE AND , WELL I WILL LEAVE IT THERE,BUT WITH A HUGE SIGH!

        1. Still seeing if Phil can answer the questions that you JF have failed so miserably on so many occasions that I’ve lost count.

          Of course “vast majorities” occur, I don’t need to be told that, so please stop trying to educate others as if you know it all.

          As an example of not being with the “vast majority” regarding UE, makes your claim about ” saying how you really are” look extremely pathetic, especially when one remembers how you were saying the mythical vast majority was right behind you until it suddenly dawned on you that you had got it completely wrong once again

          I have no hesitation in saying that I couldn’t give a £100 wager which possibility you consider me to be actually, as it has never crossed my mind and the complete falsehood that you introduce shows just how desperately you try to bring someone who has a different opinion down.

          In one breath you say that I agreed with you over his last two seasons and then, just a few words later, that most (meaning me otherwise it doesnt make sense) wanted him to stay because of the final farewell tribute – how truly bizarre.

          So, now that you have decided to comment, let me ask you, for what seems the 100th time, to answer the simple, uncomplicated questions about the clubs achievements, players and AW himself after 2006/7, as you have given that date for a reference.
          Im not disagreeing with anyones views on the players, the manager or the style of football – all I want is an answer as to how it was achieved, with all that is alleged being accepted ( for the sake of the discussion ) by the likes of you.

          Just simple and direct questions that, as a realist of your learning and experience, you should be able to explain with no problem whatsoever (long, of course, with Phil!!!) the vast majority are waiting, as up to now, no one has been able to give to a mere humble supporter, without the deep intellectual, always correct thoughts that you award yourself at every opportunity, an answer to….WATCH THIS SPACE TO SEE IF YOU DO.

          1. If the question was, once again based on your premise, but not mine, that thr club actually did well after 2009, with which I disagree, then you have had my answer many times. I do NOT think that merely 3 FA cups since the Invincibles now 16 years ago and 14 of Wengers years, werE at all good or adequate for a club of our size and standing. We did nothing of note in CL since the 2006 FINAL. Does THAT answer your repeated and boringly false premise question, then KEN!

          2. 2No Jon – the questions asked have no premise, they are based on our history, that you are always telling everyone that they should know about.

            The questions were based on your assumptions that, from 2007, we had dross players, a manager with no defence, no tactics, devoid of any passion and fight…in fact a complete shambles…now if you want to take any of that back, be my guest.

            So, once again and using your words as being factual, how did the club, from 2007 onward, finish in the top four or above? How ďid we progress to the knock out stages of the CL more than not and, as our history tells us, getting to semi finals is hardly nothing of note and 3 fa cup final wins – “a club of our size”?…just reel out what your favourite comparision club, liverpool, did in that time.

            HOWEVER JON, you once again try to evade the questions that your own portrayal of our manager and players achievements have created:
            With all the dross and weak managment, how did they achieve what they did, whether you hide behind the fase premise claim is irrelevant to the question as they are FACTS Jon and you surely know what the word “premise” means.

            The only reason you resort to the cop out of a “boringly false premise question” Jon, is because you cant answer the questions – so no, once again and unsurprisingly, you have failed COMPLETELY to answer the simple question…how did they do it JON not what you think they should have done or if I think they did well, good try but not what the question was is it?

            TRY AGAIN and I note it is now 2009 and not 2007 – keep going to AW’s last two years and we will have an agreement.

          3. Ken, You are so wedded to your own opinion that Wenger did well from 2009 that you cannot conceive that others totally disagree and so you “BORINGLY AND CONSTANTLY” keep putting the same question, because you refuse to accept my answer. Apart from the deliberate insult to my right to my own free opinion and to state it, there is nothing else to add Ken. You believe Wenger did well since 2009, a year of your own choice btw. That is your inalienable right. I have the same right too, to believe the opposite and I do. I do not see the clubs so called “achievements”(your words, not mine) since 2009, as even adequate for a club of our size. If you choose not to accept the only answer I can give and which I have given many times, there is no point in further conversation , so I will leave it there, rather than insult you, as you did to me. Your own opinion is the premise I refer to. BUT I SIMPLY DO NOT ACCEPT THAT PREMISE AND NO AMOUNT OF REPEAT QUESTIONING BY YOU WILL ALTER THAT FACT!

      2. Ken-firstly there was 55,999 paying homage to AW at his last home game.I personally stood silent.
        In regards your comment Ken, if you read what I wrote it was “Mess he left us in “. I would have thought even you would find that hard to disagree with

        1. Oh come on Phil, what a cop out – you haven’t even attempted to answer my perfectly reasoned questions – am I to assume you also go under the sydonium of Jon Fox when answering questions that arise from your portrayal of AW’s lost decade?!?!

          I’ve been attacked by JF once again, the normal diarrhoea and platitudes regarding my well being, so I have asked him EXACTLY the same questions I asked you – surely one of you two “vast majoriterians (new trump word I admit)can answer them…by the way it was 60,000 as I didn’t count you and Jon for whatever reason!!!

          Have another go Phil and did you get an answer to why MA keeps selecting you know who?

          1. Sorry Phil, didn’t answer your question about what he left us in…a bad place mate and those last two years were awful, but his youngsters are coming through and you can’t deny that.

          2. Ken-I absolutely will answer your questions. Very short of time over the next couple of days but be assured I will reply on another thread at the end of the week, as quite rightly a question deserves a response.

  6. “The fans, who were excited over his appointment last December, are starting to question if he is really the one to take Arsenal to the next level.”

    The fans? speak for yourself Sylvester, I interact with lots of Gooners and I’ve never heard one tell me if Arteta is doing well or good.
    Just like Grandad pointed out, we all knew this was gonna take a long ride, after the Wenger period, Emery’s period made it much worse, It would be delusional to ask Arteta to fix everything under four months.
    So far we’ve conceded only 8 goals under Arteta, four of that were against Chelsea.
    So if nobody’s saying it I sm saying it, I hope you guys know under Emery’s last 8 games, we conceded 13 goals, so pardon us and don’t speak for us. Arteta so far has focused on fixing the defense since he came, everything he’s done had been to fix the defense, bringing in 2 defenders last month only proved it’s true.
    We all know our defense is the major issue, he’s fixing it, and doing good so far.
    Let him be, when we get done with all this, we’ll have a balanced squad and our attackers won’t have to worry bout defending every single time.
    Jesus!! it’s been how many months already?

    1. Eddie- Arteta has got it wrong in one game.Thats all. Bearing in mind we now look like we have at least a reasonable impression of a defence for the first 3-4 years ( and that’s without NO FIRST CHOICE FULL BACKS TO CALL ON ), just how much more were these fans expecting FFS?
      MA needs time and funds to do things his way. Surely any true and intelligent supporter will at least agree with that

      1. Phil, let’s hope Arteta gets the funds and input to recruitment that were denied to Emery.
        As for Invader Zim, his comments regarding his view of what makes a “true fan” were insulting to the majority of us. True fans care!

        1. Exactly OG- Firstly with MA getting the funds to buy the players HE feels we need and secondly on the pretty pathetic and quite absurd comment by Invader Zim.FFS is he for real?

          1. Phil, Invader Zim. Not a normal name and not a normal brain either, I’d say! He has the sort of blind loyalty to lost causes that terrorists commonly use. Not saying he is a terrorist, of course not,but the principle of unthinking blind faith and unquestioning, robotic like loyalty to a losing cause is the same. If our club is being badly mismanaged, as it was by the previous two full time managers, not counting Freddie, only a dim witted fan -or worse still- would blindly accept this. He is not IMO a true fan at all, whatever he may personally believe. True fans just do NOT behave as he thinks they should.

    2. We are definitely harder to beat and that in itself is a result. I agree give the man at least until the end of the season before judging him. It’s a slow process, look how long it has taken Man U even after spending hundreds of millions they are still fairly average.

  7. Totally agree with most of the sentiments being aired on this subject.

    We all know Mikel Arteta inherited a total bloody mess (this being the case for a number of years previously).

    He was passionate enough about taking the job, after previously being overlooked for the role when it seemed he had it in the bag – for me, that goes a long way.

    The man has made a solid start

    To a man and women, we were all griping about the defence.

    In a short space of time he has immediately addressed this particular issue, not only by organisation but “wringing” out of existing players more that we thought possible.

    The squad believe in Artea, I for one believe in Artea, and it seems many of us fans do and are willing the guy to do well and succeed.

    Back the man, and let’s see where we are when we are watching an actual “Arteta Team” – however, it will take time.

  8. The problem is managers. As long as they still believe in Ozil and Xhaka, Arsenal will have problems progressing.
    Emery bought good players, and promoted youngsters to senior team

    1. @ Top Gunner.

      Take your point.

      However I very much doubt if M A actually believes in the likes of Ozil, Xhaka etc, but simply needs them in the short term knowing very limited funds (and players targeted) were available in January.

      Arteta was immersed in a very successful environment for over 3 years, where very few of our squad would have got a look in.

      Going forward, surely many of the current squad will be moved out.

      1. Top Gunner, Emery and Arteta were employed as “head coaches”, not “managers”. They are expected to coach the players still on contract they inherited, plus others not necessarily scouted and recruited to suit their style or philosophy of play. This is a major issue.

        1. Interesting point, but would Edu and Arteta not liaise on new signings? It would be a rum do if there was no feedback/dialogue. If your fears are not unfounded then Arteta, whether he gets the backing of the board or not is a yes man to Edu. That would clearly not be in the best interests of the club.

          You obviously feel that Emery got press and mention this frequently.

      1. How many chances have they been given. These guys have reached their ultimate best, they can’t do better than this. Just sell they guys

  9. I for one can’t understand the confusion. Arteta brought us a system that suits our players and it’s clear for all to see that since joining up Arteta have not seen a proper left back and right back fit for the same game. I think Arteta’s overload system will work and that’s the main reason for signing Soares. I for one can’t wait to see Arteta get how we play after the break because Arteta is slowly bringing back our voices. I can at least say to an opponent must be a draw but arsenal is dun with losing! Arteta just needs to get his substitution sorted but with time he will learn. Onwards and upwards Ya! Gunners! Ya!

    1. Good comments Jag Son. With everyone fit and a full squad to choose from we have more than enough to get a EL place for next season. But it’s getting then fit and more importantly KEEPING them fit that has been one of our problems for far too long.
      I’m backing MA to get the job done this season and get us up to 5/6 position.He has made us tighter at the back for the first time in seasons ( early days I know) and he now needs to work on the transition through midfield.

  10. Let us be very patient with Arteta,,also the board needs to support arteta heavily in the summer transfer window.

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