I started following Arsenal in the late 90s and from that day to this day I have known Arsenal to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. Arsenal features in the Top Ten of any list involving big clubs whether it be the richest clubs, the most valuable clubs, clubs with the most revenue, clubs with the most fans and even clubs with the highest wage bills, with the history and success to back it up.
Watching other members of those illustrious Top Tens winning their respective leagues, cups and champions league or at the very least have no trouble qualifying for the champions league, I and other fans who are not happy with our current state have every right to be displeased. And most importantly we have every right to say so without being called haters, deluded, moaners or having agendas.
What is the difference between the ‘Arteta in’ and ‘Arteta out’ brigades? Just a difference in opinions. There is no point in calling each other names as we are all as bad or as good as each other.
There are two conflicting views regarding where we were, where we are and where we are going with Mikel Arteta. Some believe he is the right man for the job and are satisfied with the progress he is making and call for the others to have patience and give him time to deliver. Some are in the view that he has failed to improve from his predecessors and that enough time has already passed for the club to go with a proven and more experienced manager if Arteta fail to deliver European League football.
Each side has compelling points in defense of their views. I am with the latter view (or shifted to as I was in support of Arteta until I realized we are going nowhere) and I believe it is the correct one.
While he had a promising start, Arteta is failing badly this season. In trying to defend him some myths have been built around him to justify or defend his lack of progress even though the truth is the table never lies.
MYTH 1: ARTETA IS STRUGGLING BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.
This in my opinion is not an excuse at all. The pandemic has affected all teams not only Arsenal I don’t see why it should be used as an excuse to accept failure.
MYTH 2: HE INHERITED A BAD SQUAD.
No he didn’t. The squad he inherited had no problem qualifying for Europe and until they downed tools on Emery were challenging for the title and probably were on course to lift the Europa League trophy. They have bad attitude as the sacking of Emery shows but they are not lacking in talent. They don’t suddenly become bad just because Arteta is failing to get the best out of them or not implementing tactics suited to their strengths.
He inherited a bad situation not a bad squad. Considering how we are told on a daily basis that Arteta have won the dressing room and players are playing for him the fact that we are in the mid table says a lot about the manager capabilities then. If players are playing for him the bad situation he inherited from Emery has been resolved.
MYTH 3: HE GOT RID OF DEADWOODS
No he didn’t. The so called deadwoods were paid to leave or terminated their contracts by mutual agreement. Arsenal did not recoup any of the money spent on those players. I don’t see how this can be attributed to Arteta and painted as an achievement. Terminating player’s contracts can be done even if the club does not have a manager.
Even if we give him that, what has he achieved by getting rid of the deadwoods? We are worse than we were and someone pointed out the deadwoods have not even played this season except for a couple of Mustafi appearances. So what has he achieved by getting rid of the deadwoods?
MYTH 4: HE HAS IMPROVED THE DEFENCE..
And killing the attack in the process, the so called improved defence is shipping goals and losing matches. Currently we are sixth in goals conceded and way below in clean sheets. Mourinho was famous for killing attacks in favour of defence and won all trophies to be won by his infamous defending tactic. What has our improved defence achieve? Remember we are worse than we were.
MYTH 5: THE REBUILDING PROCESS.
I hear a lot of rebuilding process but I still don’t understand what we are rebuilding for. It’s not like we have been relegated to start the rebuilding process. When Mr Arsene Wenger resigned it was because of failing to achieve top 4 in two consecutive seasons.
Failing to achieve top 4 and prior to that many had wanted Wenger out because we were not winning the league shows that Wenger was not considered a top coach anymore. In other words Wenger was the problem and not the players, the owner or the structure.
The owner, the structure and the players were good enough to win the league all that was needed was a new coach and few additional players to challenge for the title.
Unai Emery was on the right track until he lost the dressing room. Why then Arteta struggle should be masked as a rebuilding process? We were never in need of rebuilding. We were in need of capable manager to achieve something according to the capabilities of players we have (top 4 at least in my opinion).
I am not happy with where Arsenal are and going at the moment. Mikel lack of experience or lack of coaching talent is obvious for all to see. It was a gamble that is not paying off. I won’t have patience because Arsenal is too big and stable enough to ask for patience now. I will be patient when the time and circumstances call for patience and I don’t think now is that time.
We cannot say Ferguson was given time and look what he achieved. That was in 1986. A lot have changed now. The reality is that nowadays when you are left behind it is very difficult to catch up. We don’t have the luxury of waiting in the “hope” that Mikel will come good. By the time we grasp the reality it might already be too late.
There is still time for him to secure European football through the league or through the Europa League. If he fails to achieve that the club should go for the experienced and proven manager. Brendan Rodgers is my personal favourite if available but there are a lot of managers who can achieve something with the current squad or even more with a few additions.