Edu and Arteta simply must not make the same mistakes as they made last January


By  Ibiniyi Victor

The hugely productive and cohesive relationship between the Arsenal bosses Mikel Arteta and Edu Gasper has been fundamental to the progress recorded thus far by the club, both on and off the football pitch.

The management also deserve credit – firstly, for recruiting the now flourishing duo and secondly, for reassuring the gaffer of their faith and trust in him by offering him a new contract right in the middle of a losing run last season. I believe many will agree with me that this was an anomaly given the level of cruelty these football managers suffer when things start going wrong. There is no better way to show faith in a manager than this, and as a result, the manager has been able to focus even more on growing his team without bothering himself about the security of his job.

And yes, the work done thus far has been impressive but definitely not without some blips and mistakes along the line. Actions, either good or bad, have consequences and while some management/managers’ actions have resulted in the success or failure of their teams, it is not entirely difficult to admit that the failure to sign adequate cover during the last winter transfer window somehow cost the club a champions league spot at the end of the last campaign.

Many would argue that the players themselves are to be blamed for the failure, given the fact that they had their fate in their own hands, but one or two more additions might just have gotten us over the line.

As fate would have it, Edu, who has now been promoted to become Arsenal’s first ever Sporting Director in recognition of his tremendous work, and Arteta, the gaffer, both find themselves in an almost similar situation as the previous season. And what are the similarities here?

  • The winter transfer window is almost here.
  • The team is in need of a striker (after the injury to the hardworking Gabriel Jesus) although last season’s reason for a striker was due to Laca’s poor form.
  • There is a need for a worthy backup to the injury prone Thomas Partey.
  • There is a need for another winger to cover for Bukayo Saka either when there is a need for rest or there is a blip in form.

How the duo has decided to rank the listed problems in the order of their perceived importance, or whether they see them as problems at all, remains to be seen, but there is no denying that the situation is similar.

The top four was the goal at the beginning of the season and the team is very well on course to achieving that target and this time around, an even better result than fourth position.  I am resisting the urge to mention anything close to suggesting a title challenge as these are still early days. But this is football after all, anything can happen, but whatever happens between January and the end of the season, there is no doubt that these two men will play a major role in what will be.

Mistakes are of course meant to be made but also meant to be corrected ‘if one is willing’, and these two important people – Edu and Arteta are no exception. They have made their mistakes in the past (during the past winter transfer window) and the have another opportunity to correct those on an even grander scale – grander scale in the sense that this might just ‘maybe’ be an historic season for the club as regards the premier league title.

I mean, the top four was what you bargained for, right? But you find yourself in a position of a title challenger. What could be grander than that? But whatever will be the end to Arsenal’s story this season, these two Arsenal men will be held accountable – be it for criticism or credit.

Ibiniyi Victor


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  1. There were no mistakes last winter. You think that you know more than them what the team needs. When was the last time you spent with the team on the training pitch at Colney or in Dubai or in locker room or you saw and analyze the data from each player form? Hate to burst your buble but we, the fans, do not know nothing because we are not with the team. We only want the things that we think are right based on other team spending or winning or our ideal team to have two player per each position. Trust them and watch the great performance from the team.

    1. There was no mistakes last winter ?
      In Jan we were in top 4
      End of season we failed
      But there were no mistakes ?

      1. @Daniel Smith – why don’t you go and be Arsenal’s manager? You think you are more capable? I do not see you winning friendly game.

  2. An article that seems written by a fan with much sense and perspective. I do however take issue with Ibiniyi when he says last JANUARYS FAILURE TO BUY were mistakes by MA and Edu when we failed to bring in any replacements of quality at all.
    I blame Kroenke and I’ll explain why that is obvious, at least to me.
    I do not accept that two people so much in the know as MA and Edu FOR ONE MOMENT, believed the squad last JAN was good enough for their own wishes. Or to make serious improvements . That is abundantly clear!


    To put that lack of necessary spending at MA and Edu’s door is to my mind, a stupid comment by the writer.

    We all know that the best teams , in general, as there are exceptions in the short term, are those with top managers and who spend the most money. Witness Pep and City! No seruiously bright fan could ever think City would be as great as they are UNLESS the Sheikh had given countless millions to all the City managers including Pep, since Sheikh took over. That would be to deny anobvious truth; that most money brings in the most top class players And top class players, in great DEPTH( a vitally important point!!) make the top teams There can have hardly ever been a single Prem manager at any club , EVER, who has not WANTED MORE FUNDS from his chairman or owner.

    So to blame MA and EDU , was in my opinion the REAL AND ONLY mistake, in Ibiniyi’s otherwise fine piece. And before certywin anti MA fans reply that othe rsclubs hav espent huge money wirth no real success, DO NOT FORGET, that the OTHER part of my post was that TOP MANAGERS ANDTOP SPENDING MONEY ARE BOTH NEEDED , TOGETHER.

    We have a top class manager but not, as yet , ENOUGH REA Lmoney spent by own multi billionaire owner.Some yes, but not ENOUGH! Annd the ” some” we have used was wisely used and has led to our marked imrovement since JANUARY.
    Imagine what a lot more could lead to and please be realistic in your thinking!
    And don’t blame the wrong people, my intelligent fellow Gooners.

    1. Not true
      Arteta spent all of the window going after a player that didn’t want to come here so the funds were available it was just those 2 going after the wrong player .
      Simple really

    2. Oh how wrong you are Fox. If funds were not available to them last January, then how come we were willing to pay whatever it would have cost to sign Vlahovic? That means there was more than €80m to be spent and you’re here insisting there was no money. Very flawed indeed

    3. No, it was Kroenkes who would not provide the funds needed back then, that we still need now.

      Jon you maybe a little off here, there was money available in the war chest, but the effort was more on trimming the wage bill

    4. Nonsense…the board has been providing Money it’s stupid arteta and Edu who have been going for wrong players. Why did they sign lokonga?why veira for 35m when we already have odegard and smith to play in the same position?Even if the board gives them 1 trillion funds they won’t sign the right players..I believe Edu and Arteta are not the kind of people to take us forward

      1. Masika,Just the sort of unthinking, thick as a plank, type of comment that so ruins most social media.

        I also think you are not a Gooner at all, but a troll!

        No true Gooner would possibly write your complete nonsense about two men who have our club five points clear at the top.

        1. Sorry for using very cruel comments but that’s the bitter truth..or do you think Arteta and Edu can find for us a proper DM and a striker..?even if they’re given 1trillion war chest?😂

            1. I’m not a man city fan.. Just answer my question,can they find us a proper DM and a striker this January even if they’re given 1trillion transfer funds?🤣🤣or will they go for another left footed attacking midfielder 19yr old from Portugal?

  3. The pay rise and the brand new contract at the time was a master stroke, even the staunchest advocate shy away from the issue.
    Only a few brave dear to back the owners, as the ranting was relentless, oh what a difference a few months make.

    The failure to inject new signing was a gamble that went bad, but no one can predict for sure the impact those signing that were available at the time would have made, so I would say let by gone be by gone.

    The Kroenke already made the best signing in extending the gaffer contract, the issue is now to strike the rod while its red hot, by the addition of two to three top talent

  4. Last January window was a cock up. I don’t know if it was the Krankies or Edu/Arteta, but it cost us 4th place, for sure. Now we are 1’st, 5 points clear, we surely may never reach that again for years, so we MUST sign quality players in the Jan Window or it would be irresponsible negligence on the Krankies part….for sure. Are we a top team like City or are we going to give up at the first hurdle????

  5. Last January was the catylist for failing to get top 4. Chasing the wrong player, when we obviously had funds available to get in a striker. The other failure was the way we couldn’t handle the pressure on the run in, players and manager. We didn’t need to do much last January but failure to do anything of note was the issue, lets hope the same doesn’t apply to this January. A little bit of cover and filling in is required with the correct players needed. Maybe a little thinking outside the box is needed but that doesn’t mean wasting millions of pounds either. Just clever acquisitions.

    1. Great response and thinking Reggie. The best way to describe how we lost 4th last season. It’s always down to the whole team working well together from top to bottom. We win as a ream and we lose as a team. No need to put the blame on this person or that group. Let’s hope that lessons were learnt and this season will be great for us all; Team and Fans. Up Gooners

  6. It is all about perspective.
    While Top 4 and CL foottball obviously is important, it is also obvious it was not considered crucial. As such, it was no failure to miss out on top 4.
    Arteta, Edu and Kroenke seems to be in agreement to only go for the exact players, they want long term.
    That seems to be the strategy IMO, and it seems to be working well.
    The situation may be slightly differen t now, as we may have a long term injury to an absolute key player. Whether that will make them deviate from the strategy, if no player to fit the long term plan, remains to be seen.

    1. Sorry, the last 2 lines, should have been:
      Whether that will make them deviate from the strategy, if no player to fit the long term plan is available, remains to be seen.

  7. I believe all managers would like to sign the best players they could get in each transfer window, but it’d depend of the club’s financial activities based on FFP and the club owner(s)’s willingness to spend

    If we don’t have a big budget to spend in January, I hope we’d at least loan someone or recall Balogun. Our transfer activity in January would likely affect our spending in next summer

    1. How can a team TOP of the EPL by 5 points and billionaire owners, not have the finances to make signings to win the league we are top of?????? This is just what we have been aiming for. Are we wanting to get there and then give up like we did last January, like wimps. Bizarre!

        1. C’mon wake up and stop looking for reasons to hold us back. An old Islington gangster once said to me ‘if you don’t shoot you don’t kill’…… sound like you’ve forgotten that we have to shoot. Do you want to win the league?

        2. @GAI The same FFP that Barca PSG and City have shat on and continue to? Come on FFP is just another excuse not to spend. BTW the 114M is canceled by club assets and what theyre owed by external parties thats why FFP is a joke, especially for big clubs.

  8. I hope the knowledge that was inside Edu & Arteta to get quality players that improve us in this campaign in the summer, knowledge will play its part again, so that they will get the right quality players that will improve them in this second half of the season. This World Cup break will really help Man City to regroup. I just wish God almighty should bless Arsenal with luck to win this season premier league.

  9. It’s simple: Bring in Depay to deputise for Nketia who knows what to do to keep our chances up. Then bring in a valid midfielder (probably Danillo) for Partey. Danillo has played senior football for at least 3 years and has been a regular in the last 2.

    Then sign a winger but that’s not absolutely necessary because ESR is once again fit and can deputise for Saka. So we can as well sign Mudryke to provide for more options upfront but Gakpo would actually be best option.

  10. I don’t see the need of blaming anyone for the past.
    Let’s focus on the present & future.
    It’s a time to show the maximum support to our team.
    As we know that we need a striker and a midfielder. Let’s hope that Edu & Mikel will bring the best ones and Kroenke gives the funds for the transfers.
    My belief is that this season we will win the EPL.

  11. Aarabat of Morocco to back up Partey then a top class forward. Realistically we need a winger and a striker however I can’t see us signing both. A good comprise would be Felix who can play off the right and upfront and would be a massive statement of intent from the club

  12. I think both Arteta and Edu have learnt from their experience in the last winter transfer window and will surely sign players in key positions this winter, specially given the injury to the influential Gabriel Jesus.

  13. I don’t think you can run a football club like Arsenal FC like you play a computer game. And you cannot ignore the facts. Moves and offers were made for suitable additions to the squad last winter but didn’t materialised because targeted players chose other clubs or certain demands were not met. Edu and Arteta put the club’s interest first before their ego or the whims of any fans. So I think your title is wrong.

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