Do Arsenal regret appointing Emery instead of Arteta?

Would Arteta have made Arsenal real title contenders if he were appointed when Wenger was sacked?

Hello family, good morning and happy holidays! Today I want to talk about what would have been, if Arteta was chosen as our manager when Wenger was sacked instead of Unai Emery. Now, this argument was started by an Arsenal friend who I met on one of these numerous Arsenal supporters Whatsapp groups. After our game against Leeds United, the group got bubbling; many fans in the group were obviously excited by our slim victory over Leeds United. However, in the midst of all the euphoria, my friend asked: “If we had hired Arteta instead of Emery when Wenger was sacked, we would have been genuine title contenders by now”. Do you agree?

Now, I am not one to second guess events but once in a while, I like asking myself questions like “if the circumstances were different, would I have achieved a better result?” yes, as humans, we always seek the best way to get things done, but most times, we don’t get what we want, do we? In football, when a new player or a new coach is hired, the atmosphere around the club becomes an atmosphere of expectation and hope.

The club management, the players who have been at the club and even the fans, all believe the arrival of a new coach or player would herald good things for the club. When we hired Unai Emery, we probably felt we had gotten the man to help us get to our promised land. Emery tried his best but somewhere along the line, he got stuck.

His first season at Arsenal was a good season if we are to be honest. During the course of his first season, Emery played 22 games unbeaten; we beat some big teams and we got to the final of a European competition. What better way of starting your Arsenal career as a coach of one the biggest club in the world. In his second season, for reasons I can’t really pinpoint, Emery made a mess of the good job he did in his first season. With so many games being lost and stories of players and fans not being in support of his continual stay at the club, he was asked to leave. He was relieved of his job as coach of Arsenal.

Arteta was appointed manager of Arsenal after weeks of negotiation. In the interim, Ljungberg was made a care-taker coach until the club gets their manager. Freddie probably was not ready to coach a big team as at when he was in charge. He tried his best but at the end, the tasks were too enormous for him to; he even asked the club to be fast in appointing their manager, so that he could get away from the spotlight. Can you blame old Freddie? The club is a big club and you need to be prepared mentally to work in a club like Arsenal.

Now, After 4 games, Arteta seems to have turned the tide to Arsenal’s favour and the mood everywhere is that of happiness. However, my question is, how long will this feel good factor last? As expected, when a new coach is appointed, everybody sits up and wants to create a good impression right? When the players get tired of the coach, will Arteta still perform his magic?

Sylvester Kwentua


  1. I remember in Emery’s first months where he had some good / encouraging matches against Chelsea, City, Spurs and Liverpool where the high press, fight and intensity were very visible.
    But I don’t know how it all went down suddenly.

  2. Emery had managerial experience and had won the EL. Towards the end of Wenger’s reign Arsenal we’re very much in the doldrums and missed out on CL so Emery could have been a good choice. However, the quality of football on offer wasn’t great even though we kept getting results. It all went pear shaped in the Spring and a miserable loss to Chelsea in the EL final cemented a dire end to the season.

    The new season started a little better but even I could see that there were internal issues affecting the worsening results.

    I don’t know if Mikel Arteta was ready for the big time earlier but staying with Pep at MC I believe would reinforce further his understanding of what he needed to be to make the top rung as a manager.

    He has all the strength of will from what I have seen so far to make it at the top level. Praise and the hairdryer treatment too. He has made the players believe in themselves and his methods and this is exactly what was lacking under UE who got himself muddled and in the end lost the dressing room and the fans too

    The wait for ME to arrive was painfully slow but so worth waiting for. A re-energised team and fan base has followed and I don’t believe we will fade – just get stronger with time.

    He is able to make himself understood which poor old UE couldn’t

  3. Let’s hope Arteta’s appointment is good at the end.

    Positive signs are there to see, hopefully the energy levels from the boys don’t drop.

    I like the fact that Arteta expresses his discontent whenever they play out of plan, that’s a good sign of a modern day coach.

    I believe we won’t regret having Arteta as our coach.

  4. I think this is all coming way too soon. Sure, Arteta looks like a brilliant coach and seems to have turned things around for us. However, I think Emery also looked alright until he stupidly prioritized EL over third place finish. And he never really recovered from there on.

  5. ClassyGunner, I have to disagree with you, regarding things looking alright – we were playing awful football, hadn’t got a clue as to what team was going to turn up, what tactics were being employed and what players were flavour of the week, when trying to explain these obvious errors.

    Just look at what MA has created/done/achieved in just a very short time – compare that to eighteen plus months of the club spiralling out of control both on and off the pitch and there can be no comparision whatsoever in my opinion.

    Just a footnote of course…UE was sacked, here today gone tomorrow…AW resigned, stayed on for 6 months in order for the club to make the right appointment and 56,000 gooners saluted him at his final game at The Emirates – “merci arsene” – lest we forget.

    Funnily enough, Mikel Arteta was AW’s choice to take over, but our famous CEO, gazidis, once again ignored his wishes and the rest is now history…as they say.

    1. Ken- AW was SACKED.He did not resign.He had a full year left on his contract when he left and remember this is a manager who reminded everyone as often as he could that he never broke his contract.
      Wenger stayed far too long and was inexplicably given a new 2 year contract.He had lost the dressing room, and many of his few remaining marbles. Some of his decisions in his final few seasons were beyond belief. He refused to listen and paid the price for it.
      If enduring 18 months of Emery is the price we have paid for Arteta, that too will be time well spent.From a Manager who lost it, to one who never had it, we now have a young Coach with ambition, desire, and direction.
      If Wenger had maintained those three principles he would not have been sacked.

      1. And Ken-55,999 fans might have stayed on to cheer hm at his final game at the Emirates.I most definitely did not. As you know I was at Huddersfield for his final ever game the week later and photographed him walking away after he applauded the AFC fans at the final whistle.That photo was to make sure he went. It’s a pity I wasn’t able to take it years earlier.

        1. Phil, please define the meaning of the words “getting sacked” as you see it.

          My interpretation is being called in to the office, told you are no longer required and escorted out of the building…as I have, unfortunately had to do many times and, no doubt you have as well.

          I have never had printed T shirts, praising the said sacked individual for his years of service, I have never presented said individual with a unique gold presentation award, I have never arranged a farewell “thank you” celebration consisting of 56,000 gooners (I didn’t count you in the first place!) for said individual and I didn’t see thousands of individuals outside the workplace, standing in line for over two hours to sign a “thank you” book either…have you ever done anything like that when SACKING somebody Phil?…funnily enough, nor did The Arsenal when UE was ACTUALLY sacked?

          In fact Phil, can you give me one example of how we saw the club sacking UE, with your perceived view of the departure of Arsene Wenger? Now that would be interesting, not our personal views here, just the actions of the club.

          Now, as to your point of AW insisting he always saw a contract out, have you even considered the fact that he realized he had taken the club as far as he could?
          That was why he told the club he would be leaving at the end of the season, giving them six months to find his replacement…meanwhile still getting abuse from a small section of the fans – not the 56,000 majority of course, or the thousands who couldn’t attend the game either.

          Of course, this man you deride, actually stated he wanted MA to succeed him after UE was appointed, but good old gazidis dumped on him yet again and appointed UE…I assume we both accept that scenario and the disastrous months that followed?

          The photograph showed just what a man he was, even acknowledging the fans as he resigned with dignity and respect from, not only the gooners, but also the fans of Huddersfield…what was it they were chanting to our fans Phil?

          Now I wait to see if MA can achieve anything near the successes that AW brought to the club over twenty of his twenty two year reign, certainly no manager past or present comes anywhere near him…as the facts are there for you and I to see when we both go to The Emirates.

          1. Ken- He has signed a two year contract.He was taking us backwards which was there for all to see.His transfer policies were embarrassing us beyond belief typified by Xhaka and Mustafi at a combined £70m.He simply lost it but refused to see it.Our game had been all too predictable. The performances were being rewarded with thousands and thousands of empty seats. The toxic atmosphere wasn’t because of the match day programmes not being up to scratch were they?
            Did the board take note of the discontent from the fanbase? Of course they did.And Wenger was cordially invited to see out the season before leaving. A class act from the Club to a manager that despite his previous achievements had simply become too outdated and predictable. Ken- you can sugar coat it as much as you like but being asked to leave midway through a contract is not an endorsement.It is the Board informing the manager his services were no longer required.That is Sacking in my mind and most others I would believe.

          2. Why don’t you just leave it alone now Ken for goodness sake. I said the same to Phil. He was clearly sacked, though you won’t have it in your own pig headed way But move on for goodness sake and please stop trying to kid others, as you are kidding yourself, that he “resigned”. It is of no consequence now, so it is just stupid testoserone driven male pig headed pride , whichever way you, I or Phil or anyone else sees it. Who cares any more? Not me!

          3. But Jon, the point is, I actually do care…passionately as it happens.

            I find it amazing that while you give lectures to the younger fans about being aware of our history, your quite happy to re-write it with the actions from the club regarding Wenger.

            Until such times the likes of you and Phil can actually supply the facts regarding Wengers “sacking” I will be quite content to compare and discuss UE’s “actual sacking” as described on the Official Arsenal website to the acclaimed farewell and “merci arsene” described on the Official Arsenal website.

  6. Phil you are the one trying all your possible best to undermine Wenger resignation to a sacking, trying to convince others with sugar-coating scheme making it looks like he was sacked,

    The fact of his resignation is there to see except you just want to blind your self to fact,

    Aside from Arsen and Ferguson no other coaches was give such sending off except for few I don’t know about, in this modern world you don’t sack someone with such sending off,

    Mourinho,Poch,Conte they were sacked even with their accomplishments buh never got a sending off like that.

    To be fair Arsen should have resigned 3season prio his resignation

    1. Mihado, apart from two years instead of three, I agree with everything you say.

      Phil, now you go on at Jon Fox for not answering questions directly and here you are doing the self same thing!!! Then you use Jon’s “most other” line to endorse your thoughts…?

      What comparisions were there between AW leaving and UE getting the sack?
      Did you agree with the gazidis scenario?
      What were the Huddersfied fans chanting?
      Have you ever sacked a person, then given said person six months to do further damage as a class act?

      If AW was actually sacked, why has the club never come out and stated it as clearly as they have done with UE?
      If, as you say, they took notice of the fans, surely they would have done just this in order to show said fans how much they listened to them?

      Sorry Phil, your opinion is full of unanswered questions and if I worked for your company, getting the sack would feel like a six month chance to have a holiday, while being on full pay…any positions going for a young 74 year old?

      1. Ken-due to the fact I am enjoying the 30degree Mexican sunshine and am spending most of the day ogling 38inch busted beauties wearing the skimpiest bikinis ( and the women are not too bad either) I will pick this up on a later thread.
        It goes without saying I hold a completely different view than you do and look forward to giving you my thoughts again.
        In regards actually sacking someone who previously worked for me, then no, I did not give them the graceful and dignified exit afforded to AW from the Club.But then again I wasn’t paying someone NINE MILLION POUNDS a year in salary, which was paid to Wenger until the end of his contract. What a tightwad boss I was.

        1. Phil enjoy the sunshine and the cross dressing locals!!!

          I really would like to carry this debate on further, especially as you have now given me another line to pursue…if Wenger was sacked for not performing his duties (aka UE) why did the club pay him his full contract of a reported £9,000,000?
          No need to, but I guess you’ll say it was another courteous gesture by the club to a failed manager?!?!?

          Have a good rest of break, nice to debate civilly and I guess you haven’t got a place for me at your workplace!!!!!

          1. YAWN, YAWN, YAWN! Too much testosterone! Rather like that silly TV programme Pointless, who cares what might have been/happened. In the fast becoming distant past! I only care about now and next. But then I have had more than enough “juvenile” point scoring off of other aged “juveniles”. Why not say we should all GROW UP AT LAST ! Someone has to start growing up and this time it is down to me to suggest we ALL do so? Not so?

          2. Only if one sees your views as grown up and not pointless Jon – as you so obviously seem to think only you can make and others comply with.

            In fact Jon, it now seems Pat should call this site the !justjonfoxarsenal” as you want to control, not only the number of posts, but the content and the allowed replies….what will your next demand be…ban anyone who disagrees with your idea of realism?
            That would most certainly be YAWN YAWN YAWN!!!

          1. No Budgie Smugglers for me, Sue, I wear Parrott Smugglers instead, it`s nice to look in the mirror and say ………..”Who`s a pretty boy!”…….without moving my lips!

          2. Time to release the Parrott!……….dont want him suffocating, plus the cat is chasing him around with his claws out and I`m in a cold sweat!

  7. When long term managers/legends leave a club they say the vacancy is usually felt and it turns out badly more often. Fergie is an example that gets thrown about quite often. We were warned by many, how most likely, all Emery’s efforts will be in trying to keep the ship steady.

    Arteta in now, it meant that he had over three seasons working with Pep, it would have been just over one season or just under two seasons. It’s difficult to know if Arteta would be the same guy we have now, it would’ve been directly after Wenger, we had the clearout of players, a lot has changed in the team since then. There’s less areas now that were in more urgent need back then, we have top strikers and we have some good young players, and the board has now went with a manager that believes in nurturing the younger ones. Martinelli, Guendouzi, Saka, Pepe, Willock, Tierney, Saliba, Nelson, Nketiah, Rowe, he would not have had these players. Also he would have been working with Gazidas in his first season I think.

    I believe he spent that bit of extra time more wisely, I don’t know that for sure, but if you believe he was the right guy within a season and a half of work over there, then doubling that time isn’t going to work against you, you’d imagine. This is a strange article though, we don’t know yet if Arteta is the right guy even now, there’s a lot of work ahead and we haven’t even started out yet. It’s great that the fans have confidence in Arteta and are happy to go along with good early signs, but we need the board and the owners to act more properly/capable if we are to resurrect The AFC!

    Also, it should be mentioned more often that Arteta did not just pick things up from one great coach, from an early age you could see Arteta picking things up along the way. He’s played in Scotland too. Wenger (of course) is a massive influence on him, you can see it with some of the triangles in the advanced areas. He is also his own man we can never discount this knowledge.

  8. Ramsey, Holding and bellerin got injured towards the end of last season and that was the collapse of Emery we drew and lost matches that we should have won. We got humiliated by Chelsea in EL FINAL.

    Emery overlooked the potential/ gap Ramsey’s departure left at Arsenal. He brought in Ceballos.

  9. What has Cebalos brought at Arsenal? How many games has he played? And how many has he missed due to injury?

    So we kicked off the current season just the way we ended,


    Koschieny,iwobi and later monreal.

    So we lost four best/ important defenders

    Above are the 6 players from our best 11 gone. Ozil was sidelined.

    This made Emery to become confused and make tactics that confused players that led players to look like HEADLESS CHICKENS.

    In short Emery messed himself up and we needed Arteta to come in and solve this mess, he has experience now and he knew exactly what was ahead of him HEADLESS CHICKENS waiting to be shawn the way to the frying pan to make good soup for you and me to enjoy.

  10. Of course they regret it, it has cost them a hell of a lot of money and prestige but no one was to know (even the i told you so’s) that Emery was going to fail. Arteta hasn’t been a success yet so the final chapter to this story cannot be written for a while.

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