Did the January window prove Arteta was the cheap option for Arsenal?

Did January Prove Arteta Was Our Cheap Option? by Dan

I wrote before Xmas that was Arteta simply the cheapest option? Some asked how would I know, pointing to the genuine reputation our ex skipper has built up as a coach. So, I decided to wait till the end of January for evidence.

You see, when I used the word ‘cheap’, I was in no way referring to our new manager’s salary, nor doubting his qualities. I was questioning did our recruitment team identify him because they genuinely thought he was the best possible option, or did the criteria change when they spelt out their ambition?

Remember how we were told Emery was top of a shortlist of 50? Let’s put that into context.

A vacancy at the Emirates could be/should be an appealing one for most managers. Yet an Allegri, Ancelotti, etc are winners. They don’t join you unless they think they have a genuine chance of winning titles, which means investment.

The moment they heard the plan to fix our back 4 was by loans, they at best would have withdrawn their interest, or at worst, laughed in our faces.

Arteta on the other hand is a rookie, and you’re not getting a bigger club than us for your first job. For him, the reward of success is worth the risk of a rubbish transfer policy.

It’s like Emery, he wasn’t getting a bigger job than us, so tolerated the lack of ambition for the sake of getting a high-profile post.

I’m not asking the Kroenke family to spend money like Man City. I just believe in any situation in life, you should be able to look in the mirror and say you 100 per cent tried your best. Have our owners given this club the best chance possible to do the very best it can?

Worse, some gooners are defending this, maybe wishful thinking because they want to believe Arteta represents this new era. He can only do so much, he’s not a miracle worker.

How does he compete with a Man United when they spend over 50 million on one player while we can only loan players? I read some comment on how many United signings have flopped, like that validates us.

History shows the more money you spend the better chance of success. United or Chelsea will be champions before us purely because their American/ Russian owners will throw money at it till it works.

Yes, Martinelli is an example of a bargain, Yes, we have talented youngsters. Yet as I write this, we are 6 points off the relegation zone in February so let’s not pretend there are not players out there who could make us better.

Yet some still argue that there is nothing wrong with our transfer policy.

Where were we before Stan Kroenke, where are we now? Yet he’s got it right with how he runs our club.

In my lifetime, we have never been in this position at this time of the year.

A club he claims he wants to be challenging for titles is 12th right now and will go below Burnley if we lose today.

Has he panicked?

Has he paid over the odds to try and rescue our campaign?

Is he learning from mistakes?

Nope, he gave us two loans.

Just think about that…

Watch how Man City will respond to finishing 2nd, now compare how our owner has again done the bare minimum when the squad needs help.

Wherever it’s hiring a manager or recruitment, he will always put value over quality.

If being 6 points above relegation doesn’t make him care nothing will.

Dan Smith


  1. Dan, you state that in your lifetime we have never been in a position like this – how far back does that go and are you referring to league position, transfer money or what exactly?

  2. Dan you’re overreacting.

    I think it’s fairly obvious that Arteta was always no. 2 on the shortlist. We held extensive talks with him before appointing Emery.

    You want to spend £30m+ on a CB now when we have Saliba coming in summer? So come summer we’d have Saliba, Sokratis, Mustafi, Chambers, Holding, Movrapanos and Luiz as first team CBs? I think the loan signing of Mari is shrewd business. If he’s good we’ll buy him and sell Luiz, Mustafi or Sokratis. If he’s poor he goes back to Brazil and we get Saliba.

    Arteta is still new and is still getting to know the team. Everyone knows the January window is not the best time to make big purchases. Cover at RB was important considering Bellerin is our only real RB. Would you have bought someone in attack? I wouldn’t. Yes we need to strengthen our midfield though I’m sure you’ll agree we need to offload some players first and I believe Arteta is still deciding what to do in the middle of the park.

    We all know Kroenke will not invest his personal funds in to the club. This has been made pretty clear over the last few years – Arsenal is a self sustaining business. And we’re still buying players for £60-£70m. We just have to be a bit smarter about it than other clubs. If you want to support a team that’s just going to throw money at players til it works go and support City or Chelsea.

  3. Also, I can’t believe how you compared us to Man Utd. Are you serious? I 100% prefer us making cheap but well thought out, calculated signings that will stabilise the team as opposed to spending hundreds of millions on overrated players that obviously won’t fit in at the club. Don’t you?

    Are you saying you don’t think we’ve improved as a club since Arteta took over? Because I think you’d be in the minority. Of course we’re not where we want to be yet. But it’s clear (for me anyway) that Arteta has the man management skills and tactical awareness to get us there. He has improved the mentality and culture at the club enormously since he arrived. I expect us to finish mid table this season and am excited to see what happens come summer.

    We are still in transition since Wenger left and we all knew it was going to be a difficult time. I think you need to give it more time and see what happens over the next few seasons.

    1. Sergio way too early mate to say we have improved as a club
      I rather do it like Man U
      I rather know every summer my club will spend
      Law of averages , eventually you will find that gem

      1. We would all prefer our owner to do more. Quite a bit more
        But he doesn’t so we have to get excited over scraps instead

  4. I honestly thought that when Kroenke was buying into Arsenal it would be a new and exciting era for the club. A rich American who would invest in us the way that Abramovitch had done with Chelsea. I could envisage CL finals and the best of world talent wearing the Arsenal shirt. Instead he has shown no ambition and the appointment of Emery who failed at PSG proved that to me. Not only an absentee owner but one who on the face of it knows nothing about football.

    Spurs is jointly owned by a man who like Kroenke lives abroad. Levy is the other joint owner who does know about football and is the CEO.

    Liverpool have board members who are Liverpool people.

    Regarding throwing money at the team the way the two Manchester clubs have doesn’t necessarily bring the craved success. Good management from the top of the club ensures that the right people fill the roles within the set-up and this has been the undoing of ManU post Ferguson.

    When all is said and done, I am glad that Arteta has been appointed because unfortunately our owner isn’t prepared to go that extra mile. So far our rookie manager looks as though he has the vision and strength to carry us forward. Arsenal dropped a long way down and the road upwards is long. Regarding the loan situation I think that wasn’t such a bad idea. The proof of the pudding will be in what happens this summer

  5. Agree with you Sue.

    I remember when everyone was clamouring for Usmanov to buy Kroenke out. The guy’s now sold his shares and bought in at Everton. Talk about loyalty. Do we really want someone like that as an owner?

    1. Hi Sergio,
      I would have gone with Usmanov initially. He and Dein, who I rated highly, lost out. I am sure under Usmanov we would not be in the predicament that we are in now. I’m not sure if he had much choice but to sell to Kroenke but it is rather galling that he is involved with Everton who have turned the season around under Ancellotti. I feel Arsenal lost a great adminstrator, deal maker and Arsenal man when Dein left the club.

      1. 100% agree with you on Dein, just not Usmanov.

        And I’m not convinced Ancelotti has been as successful in his short time at Everton as you say. We’ll see what happens in a few months time!

        1. Indeed
          Annoying that Watford lost their impetus yesterday
          A win today for us and a Man City win and it will have been a good weekend

        2. Sergio like sure said Usmanov was the better option but he lost out, he had no choice than to sell. He even offered to bank roll some players we needed then.

  6. The effects of failure this time around is as result of : 1. Stinginess and reluctance of releasing fund for recruitments of quality players , and 2, lack of in-depth knowledge of Emery to identify the areas needed to plug . Instead of wasting the little fund on uneeded attackers and middle fielders, he should have feel the leaky defense. Lets see how Arteta manage the situation before casting him into dusting bin. One thing is sure Arteta is miles ahead of Emery with the result we are getting even with the same sets of players available to the two. With luck , couple with proper tactical approach, who knows Arsenal can achieve something this season.

  7. Ok, so I made the comment about some United expensive flops…and that wasn’t intended to validate our transfer policy.

    I think there’s a difference between PRICE and VALUE. Most fans think there’s a direct statistical correlation between both.

    I mentioned earlier that many Arsenal “flops” didn’t come cheap. We paid over £30m each for Mustafi, Xhaka, Pepe, Lacazette. I’m sure if we had paid less than £10m for each of them, some of you would be screaming that their underwhelming performance is due to their low price.

    My believe is that we’ve not been spending in the right way and we don’t cut our losses quickly. The club showed ambition in sanctioning the fees for Ozil, Sanchez, Aubameyang, Pepe, etc? That’s not being cheap. If we were astute in some of our other signings, even the funds we spent would’ve been sufficient to get us better quality. Are you expecting the Kronkes to be the ones buying players? They can only approve the money, it’s up the the management to pick the right players with the funds available.

    Let’s look at liverpool back 4… Trent (Academy), Robertson (8.5m from Hull), Gomez (3.5m from Charlton) and of course the big VVD. Let’s look at their midfield, they have very average players with no real creative talent there. Wijnaldum, fabinho, Keita, Henderson, etc, yet somehow they manage to dominate teams. Liverpool NET spend under Klopp is less than £100m since 2016. This goes to show that a club can be sensible in spending while still achieving success. Despite not spending insane, Klopp has managed to turn the team into a real formidable unit. Compare that to United trying to throw big money on so called “WC Players”.

    Yes for every Man City success, there’s also a Leicester and liverpool success. Excess spending is definitely not the ONLY option.

    You said Ancelloti didn’t join us because he wants a team that can win trophies? I’m sure you think he had a better chance doing that with Everton.

    1. For every man City there’s a Leicester
      Leicester exception to the rule
      Chelsea , City , Juventus, Barca , Real Madrid , Bayern Munich
      All big winners in last decade
      Guess what ….. Biggest spenders in their Leauge
      What I don’t get , you seem to be arguing our policy works ….We are 12th lol …..Is that not enough evidence ?

      1. Have all the teams above us outspent us? Go figure! You think success is down to ONLY how much is spent. Yes, spending is key but there’s a lot more and those “lot more” are where we’re lacking.

        1. Sorry the aim was to get into top 4
          Long term compete for titles
          That’s motionless own words
          Don’t think when we are 12th in Feb it’s crazy to say we needed more then Two loans

  8. The reason we did cheap is because over the last four seasons we have spent money, quite a lot of money, people have very short memories. We have dropped as a football club because we are not a CL club anymore, that was started by an ailing wenger and has carried on through to now. We have NO MONEY LEFT. No football club can spend beyond their means and that includes city and utd. They have created more revenues than us so can spend more. We didnt spend this winter because we have all ready spent it in the summer. And unless we get into thr CL, anyone who expects big spending this summer is deluded.

  9. We have an example of money well spent and money wasted, all in one window. Martinelli and pepe. Pepe might come good and justify his huge price tag, but again martinelli show that El cheapo don’t mean failure. Arteta was my choice before emery and people rediculed me when i pointed out the fact that emery didn’t win a single away game in his last season for Sevilla. I reiterate, not a single away win in his last season for Sevilla.

    I’m no expert, but it’s an obvious fact.

    I hate satan Kronks and his cronies…. But don’t question Arteta as an El cheapo manager. With all emery destroyed, he is rebuilding, and this winter window is supposed to be temporary fix window. Wait patiently for MA to guide us to the top of English and European league.

  10. Dan
    Nail on head. Loveless parents, disturbed child. Arsenal are like an orphan. Unloved by his parents.

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