Has Arteta bitten off a bit more than he can chew?

Arsenal have had their worst start to the season in 50 years, and although we all know about the injuries and Covid infections that have plagued the club in the last month, there have been whispers that there are other problems in the dressing room and at management level.

Although both Vinai Venkatesham and Edu have made long missives in support of Arteta’s long term rebuilding project, the fact remains that the Gunners are still botttom of the table with zero points. According to David Ornstein (as reported by Football.London), the fact that Arteta himself pushed to be jointly responsible for incoming signings and calling himself “manager” may have been a little too much for a novice to handle.

“Mikel Arteta’s promotion to manager was something that I think Arteta himself was in favour of. Clearly, there’s been huge conversation about this. A lot of people at, around, outside Arsenal close to the club feel this was a big mistake,” Ornstein said.

ENGLAND – DECEMBER 21: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (R) sits alongside Arsenal Technical Director Edu during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

“Even if it was going to happen, you still needed a really respected, powerful operator. Whether it be Sanhelli or somebody else, who can provide the shield for both the technical director and the head coach/manager.

“Who can be the figurehead of that operation, who can front up to the executives, who can front up the media, who can work the corridors of power, who can deal with everything, football, and non-football, that allows the head coach/manager to just focus on their role.”

It was always the criticism aimed at Arsene Wenger that he had too much control of every part of the business at Arsenal, and it seems that Arteta is trying to copy Le Prof’s style without any long term experience of the job.

Could a part of the disruption of our first three games before the window closed been caused by Arteta being immersed in our transfer dealings rather than concentrating solely on training?

Darren N

Tags Arteta Ornstein


  1. “Could a part of the disruption of our first three games before the window closed been caused by Arteta being immersed in our transfer dealings rather than concentrating solely on training?”

    We all know despite the fact the performances were horrible, he had nearly the full spine of the squad missing.
    Perhaps, that’s why Wenger insists Arsenal are in good shape, and we only need to wait to see what the full squad performance would be like.

    Also I don’t buy this crap the club is trying to sell through Ornstein this time around.
    Unai Emery was the coach and had to focus only on training the team and managing his players and look how that turned out.
    He couldn’t get the players he wanted and we had that con man Raul wasting money and making shady deals to bring in players the coach didn’t ask for.

    Truth is the club is rotten to the full core.
    Only reasonable change would be from the owner, changing the owner and weeding out every fragile mental personnel at the club. Basically getting rid of personnel’s that’ll be considered weak just like Pep did City when he came, just like Klopp did Liverpool.
    Only difference is between Klopp had intelligent people who got rid of those deadwoods for reasonable transfer fees.

    Over there at Arsenal, everything is a struggle. It even requires a war to get rid of certain players.
    The manager has his shortcomings, so does Edu, Vinai and the rest of the board.
    IMHO they all bit more than they can chew

    1. I agree with you
      And the signing has shown the players bought were the exact thing we needed not for fan fair or show off.
      Time will tell if the players prove the manager right or wrong.
      I don’t buy the idea of headcoach

    2. Ahgain en example today with elneny but maybe arteta sees him as a long term solution lol. They could have make room for youngers and get some fee. They did not. Kolasinac, elneny, nketiah ? We only sold the better one in joe willock.

    3. Agree about Edu and Vinai, average people that can run an average club happy with a mid to above relegation team, happy to stay alive each season in the EPL with no major vision/mission. Mikel on the other had is a serail winner let down by the board and players and now a miniscile section of the fans. He started well with the FA & CS wins but was let down. Still he has to weed out some of Wenger’s non performers and then we are good to mount a serious title challange.Good to know Leno, Kolasinac,Elneny, Eddie, Laca,Torerra will be gone next summer, Xhaka, Pepe, Holding and Chambers should be moving too. Our title challange is for the 2022/23 season, and Mikel has assembled a brilliant squad – Ramsdale, Tommi, White, Tierney, Tavares, Partey, Sambi, Ode, ESR, Saka & PEA.

      1. Half of your comments are on point while the rest are not,when arteta came on board he won the FA and CS which players? With the players he inherited after rhat what happened he tried to nail his authority by fighting with some of the players what is now the results very bad.take Chelsea for instance when tuchel take charge of the team what did he do, did he gate rid of any player before nailing his authority no ,he go with same players he inherited and blend them together can you see the results?the are now European champions while we are fighting to qualify for Europa league now I pit the blame on arteta because he has the full backing of the board.

  2. I guess after winning the FA Cup, the decision makers at Arsenal allowed there emotions to cloud their judgement

    I have no problems losing to Chelsea and Man city. But the Brendforth loss was simply unacceptable.

    1. Real change will only happen with a change of ownership. An owner who wants a successful football club would only employ staff at the top of their game who would increase the chances of achieving success on the pitch. There is too much wrong with the club to have any success in the foreseeable future. This is what happens when an owner who does not value success on the pitch employs staff who are not fit to do a proper job.

      1. Oh well said!!! The precise argument I HAVE BEEN TELLING ALL AND SUNDRY FOR MANY YEARS PAST!!

        OUR MANY PROBLEMS BEGAN THE MOMENT KROENKE FIRST BOUGHT IN and long before he took 100% control, though that has made things even worse.

        Elite football clubs cannot be run like Tesco or Lloyds bank, etc.

        They need emotional support from the owner and that the owner buys in for love of the club AND for the sport they play.

        Neither of these remotely apply to the dreadful and damaging Kroenke

      2. Spot on!! This will now probably appear, together with my orininal ad longer post that has once again not appeared when I first post it. Usually my first and socond posts suddenly appear together, as one.

      3. 👍 👍 👍 KS&E are the problem in not competently selecting a Board and senior management team to manage the financial and player assets of Arsenal FC. The appointment of Mikel Arteta is symptomatic of this lack of competency.

  3. Wait until Arteta signs his own CF. Remember that experienced top managers like Ancelotti and Mourinho were worse than Arteta

    1. @ GAI, in all fairness, the owners have supported Arteta as far as spending is concerned.

      Aubameyang, Lacazette, Balogun and Martinelli are top quality strikers.

      Mancity and Liverpool dont have that target man upfront.

      There is no excuse for Arteta. He is NAIVE and ARROGANT as well.

      Arteta simply does not know how to get the best out of this squad.

      1. GAI
        How can being 20th be any worse ,I don’t remember Jose or Carlos being worse Arteta
        Hopefully when he gets his CF as you put it he will be managing somewhere else .

        1. Ancelotti and Mourinho couldn’t get any trophy during their last stints in EPL

          Arteta and Edu were very good players at Arsenal. I’m sure they’re trying their best to bring us to top four, because they seem to love Arsenal

          1. @Sue : It doesn’t matter, because Ancelotti flopped at Everton and ran away once he got an offer from Real Madrid

          2. Of course arteta and edu loves the club lol. This is the most funny argument i saw on this site LOL, killing me. Nothing personal GAI. We all love arsenal, i can find dozens of players with better player record than arteta at arsenal and that loves the club the same or more. Is this an argument to appoint them. Freddie was a better historical player for us. Did the club waste any time with him ?? While he had already some coaching experience on his own contrary to arteta. Vieira was in line too. More experienced coach,better player. Yet they had no opportunity. So i wont feel sad for arteta if he wont get more time to show some
            team progress than 2 years !!!! Yes great managers dont win all the time. But it seems to me that under arteta we did not do better than before he arrived after 2 years. He had more backing than emery and could change more players. But at this point i agree with you lets let him change all the team and finish the work he started and conpleted at 90%. But i am sorry i am not sure it will really crazily change everything. Lets see

          3. Gai… Yes he may have flopped, doesn’t say much about us though does it; their first double over us in donkey’s years!! Let’s hope we don’t face them (RM) in Europe (😄) as CA has Arteta’s number – no chance of that right now!!

          4. GAI, Ancellotti and Mourinho didn’t break virtually every poor performance record at the Clubs they went to. Arteta has!

      2. I totally agree, naive, inexperienced and arrogant. I have a partner like this, which is why i’m dumping her !

      3. Balogun.. A player we havent seen play and was awful the first time he did but somehow you know he is a top quality striker.. Martin has been a headless chicken recently..Laca has never scored 15 goals in a season in England.. so much for top quality…

        1. Mark, these fellas will call white black and black white if it pleases them to berate all the good that Mikel is contemplating. Some still hold the grudge because he disbanded the clique and threw the ring leader and their golden boy out. These are the hallmarks of a great leader, zero tolerance to non sporting issues. Martenelli considers himself at par with CR7, inflated ego after joing our beloved club from some unknown Ituano! Laca – an expensive flop of Wenger, got rid of the better Giroud (FA, EL, UCL eventual winner) and here we are licking our wounds with Laca who cannot bang more than 15 goals an EPL season but happlity collects his wage. Pepe – every season seems to be “his season” and the end of it, we languish in 8th!

      4. GAI- Arteta’s tactics mean whoever we have as a CF will not get the right service. I used to believe we became very predictable and stale under Wenger before he was sacked. Arteta has taken us to even lower levels.

        1. Phil, modern CFs play like a pivot nowadays, to bring his teammates into play. He doesn’t necessarily score plenty of goals, but he must hold the ball for the team and provide some aerial threats

          Look at Conte and his CFs at Juventus/ Chelsea/ Inter Milan. Most of our CFs can’t do hold-up play like Vucinic, Costa, Lukaku and Dzeko

          1. Ok – so bearing in mind Arteta had all summer why did he not get rid of both Aubamayang and Lacazette and bring in his own CF? He has dad plenty of time to introduce a style of play don’t you think? Yet here we are, 18 months later, and even Arteta seems clueless as to how we are supposed to be playing. And we wonder why the players are under-performing.

          2. @Phil : I believe no club was willing to meet Arsenal’s valuations of our senior CFs. Arsenal bought them for more than 100 M, so I can understand if Arsenal would like to get at least 50% of that money back

          3. Did not arteta decided to keep auba and laca ? I am not sure he knows what he really wants. Some players played, then it seems he does not count on them. Then play again. If he had a clear vision, it would have been clearer from way earlier IMO. But lets see…

      5. Aubameyang’s, Balogun’s and Martinelli’s link-up/ hold-up plays suck, whereas Lacazette’s aerial ability is almost non-existent and he’s very slow

        Man City’s/ Liverpool’s systems are very stable and mature. They also have good headers, whereas our forwards’ aerial threats are almost zero

        Arteta is a bit naive, but a little bit of arrogance is required to build the players’ confidence

    2. You’re the bes GAI.! Used to disagree with your opinion. Just realised how smart you are. Remind me alot of my big brother. IMo you’re even qualified to be one of the directors of the AFC. They’ll surely benefits alot from your thinking. My 1st ever comment on justarsenal.com been dedicated just for you. 😁

    3. GAI, how on earth do you come up with Mourinio and Ancellotti were worse than Arteta? We could have Lakaku in our team and Arteta would still get less out of him than he is capable. Do you not see the way he has us playing football?

      1. Reggie, Ancelotti and Mourinho couldn’t get any trophy during their last stints in EPL. Moreover, Ancelotti ran away once he got an offer from Real Madrid

        I was more horrified by our defenders’ inabilities to deal with simple crosses in Manchester. We could’ve done much better with a great CF like Lukaku

        Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke bought Lacazette/ Aubameyang, so Arteta must get enough budget to buy his own

        1. Yes but wenger was here for long. Arteta bought i think a lot of his “own” players 😅… Even if we come up being decent in terms if atats and wins, until now, our displays and way of play is boring and rather inefficient in terms of goals.

    4. How about he buys his own club. I have never had a coach getting his own players to do well in all my years of supporting arsenal until Arteta comes around. All these excuses for a limited coach like Arteta is dumb. Even Pep didn’t get his CF before he delivered his first trophy. Will he suddenly becomes good and deliver epl, facup, corabo cup and quality for cl if he gets his cf

      1. Guardiola has more experience and is obviously a better manager. We shouldn’t compare the inexperienced Arteta with the best managers in the world today, such as Guardiola, Klopp, Tuchel, Flick and Nagelsmann

        Rather than comparing our unstable system with the very mature systems of Man City and Liverpool, we’d better follow the tactics of the unstable big clubs like Chelsea. Abramovich always destabilizes Chelsea by changing the manager and the players every one or two years

        Notice the consistent characteristics of Chelsea’s CFs since Abramovich came, such as Didier Drogba, Demba Ba, Michy Batshuayi, Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata, Tammy Abraham and Romelu Lukaku. Most of them are strong, good in the air and in hold-up play, allowing them to hold the ball in the opposition’s area despite their team’s unstable system

          1. Kroenke could also replace his manager and players every year like Abramovich, if he has enough funds to do it. Unfortunately, Arsenal have been losing money in the last three years, instead of getting profit

            That method will set us apart from poorer EPL clubs. I don’t like it, but it will force all Arsenal employees out of their comfort zones and the fans who have no time to wait would more likely see a major trophy soon

          2. Because they didn’t sack the manager losing them money by not getting into Europe. We are in the top ten teams in the world on tranfer fees in last 3 years. Kranky has been putting his hand in his pocket, the problem lies in his trust of ability or mistrust.

      2. Haha. Buying his own club. Lol. Great comment. I agree that he is probably limited in terms of coaching.probaby decent/good but as many are. Not a guy that climbed ladders like houllier or sarri… or wenger. He would not have climbed them. But he will probably be average and do decently here and there like many other ex players.

  4. Completely out of his depth ,he should have worked his way up not been given it to him on a plate ,which we are now suffering for .

    He’s only here so the club can save face from all the mistakes that have been made ,I would understand keeping him on if there was improvement and a style of play we can get behind ,but this tactical genius as one way of playing and it ain’t pretty or affective

    It’s horrible to see where this club as landed and he is not helping .

    As soon as we get rid the better .

    1. Tactical genius 🤣🤣🤣 i believed that at the beginning. He tricked everybody with his 2 FA cup games and the Community shield. Since then he has not shown any tactical genius, more tacticals disaters (being outsmarted by emery was the worse i think, sadly, he was lucky it was covid time). The way of showing up against Man city with that brand new defence and only one DM. Damn. We can argue about injuries. Thats right. But come on, AMN or sambi were there. What the hell did he came up with that 3 man defence plus cedric, this awful signing he made. Anyway. We spend a massive massive amount. Lets see. Now some suggests we need to wait for him to get his own CF orherwise it is unfair to judge him.. LOL. So what ? we wait until christmas or next summer ???? give him 40 or 50m more to buy what he will find on the market, without being able to offer UCL football ? Because if he fails now, that is because auba and laca are not his own signing ??? 🤷🏻‍♂️

      1. I never for one minute expected us to run away with the league, but what on earth is stopping us from playing decent, entertaining football?!! This has always been my argument. 3 games in and we haven’t scored a single goal – I’ve never known a drought like it!! The floodgates had better open on Saturday, or I riot 🤣🤣

  5. Arsenal had two central defenders on loan. Before splurging on White,he shd have considered recalling one .
    When you are in a problem,you try to get the solution from within the club.
    From what I have read,they put in quality displays.Maybe MA knows better.
    This weekend will let us know his judgement

    1. Malaysian gunner The German club have bid for him his release clause is just £3 million he scored 2 goals in his first 4 games

    2. Yea thats what emery had to do and almost clinch UCL with what he had. I agree 100%, he had saliba and mavro that are way above the quality of players he fielded against Man city which is really annoying. Though i not against the white signing. But as you said… At least he could have included Nketiah in the deal for 20 or so like it was suggested. Instead eddie will leave for free next summer after playing dome garbage minutes. Very sad but thats hiw the club do for many years so i am assuming thats what we will keep doing lol. Elneny last example from today 🤣

  6. There is no argument that Arteta bit off more than he can chew. Why the owners chose a complete novice to blow the budget on is beyond belief but only goes to show the shower of shite that is carrying this club to the depths of hell. Our team/club is in the wrong hands, we are a bloody laughing stock and like a freak show in the Premier league circus.

  7. Deadful man management skills
    Continuous and inconsistent change of team tactics,shape and personel
    Inability to communicate team tactics clearly
    Lacking the humility to take the blame for his mistakes and failure to learn from those mistakes…instead blaming and ostracising others
    Surrounding himself with a coaching team who are not fit for purpose
    Getting embroiled in power struggles within Club hierarchy.
    Inability to motivate his players to actually be the sum of their parts.
    Failure to build upon a good start in a team that was effectively starting again from a fairly low level.
    Each of these Arteta failures demonstrate that Arteta is not capable of moving what is essentially a fairly talented group of players to a level which would mean that Arsenal are at least consistently competitive once again.
    He needs to be removed ASAP as the subsequent improvement will only be a temporary one due initially to better player availability.

    1. You have made a number of statements which are basically assumptions based on your perception of where Arteta has gone wrong.Unless you are employed by Arsenal and have access to the dressing room and training ground you cannot provide factual evidence to support a number of the issues you raise.Like you I have been frustrated by a number of the errors of judgement made by Arteta on the pitch and in the transfer window.Despite this, given that we have faced the two best teams in the League at a time when we were under strength, I am prepared to cut Arteta some slack, and for me, and other reasonably minded fans, the season starts on Saturday.If we fail to pick up at least 4 points from our next three matches, there is a fair chance that our Manager and Edu will be shown the door , when you and others who cannot see the bigger picture can begin rejoicing .

      1. We cut Arteta plenty of slack during the course of last Season.We watched turgid ponderous displays time and time again.We saw little to no improvement…in fact many player’s performances actually regressed.Whilst we as supporters realise that this Arsenal side will always struggle to beat teams which have been developed over time using superior resources…We cannot accept that we should be beaten in such a lack-lustre fashion…We cannot accept losing 13 games in a season again…We cannot watch players being played who make no effort or don’t know what is expected from them on the pitch…This is down to the “so called” Manager.All of my criticisms of Arteta are plain to see providing you’re not wearing rose-tinted spectacles.

        1. Very well-reasoned and insightful comments Joel….of course, Arteta apologists will be incensed by the whole “ASAP removal” narrative, but those of us who agree with your rationally-deduced sentiments will undoubtedly understand that the comment in question was just a logical outgrowth of your completely justifiable frustrations…keep it coming!!

        2. Agree joel, we will do well to better 13 loses after our dismal start. Under Arteta to only lose 9 more games before the end of the season looks too much for him.

          1. Reggie, Terry Neil lost 11 games in a season and was sacked. Mikel Arteta loses 13 and is still here to get another season. The incriminating photos must be good! 📷🎞️

    2. Joel
      These accusations levelled at Arteta are all unsubstantiated or inaccurate.
      The conclusions lack validity and are illogical.

  8. Arteta has clearly been a ‘failure’ at the job. Both his managerial and tactical coaching skills are not working. He should have taken on a few years of full management at a lower club first. Learnt to do the job properly. Now the only way is to replace him with a big winner, like Conte, (see should have been Rogers during summer) or a real football long term like Eddie Howe. I don’t think Arteta has the humility for the job and seems to hold grudges that directly affect the team. No manager in any job should be holding grudges.

    1. I disagree.
      Arteta has the required confidence needed to manage a team like Arsenal.
      This suggestion of “grudges” is manufactured and I don’t believe he holds grudges in the manner that you have insinuated
      We need to see how the team performs over the next few weeks. We will then be in a better position to judge Arteta’s own performance.

  9. I’m between a rock and a hard place regarding Arteta. It was either brave or completely naive of the club to give him the job. Certainly, a stint in the Championship or doing what Steve Gerrard is doing in Scotland would have been preferable before taking on a club the size of Arsenal.

    There have been positives and also negatives. I’ll focus on the positives by way of a change as the daily negativity drives me round the bend. He won the FA Cup. Was it just luck? Several young players have extended their contracts and players such as Partey were signed and Auba was re-signed to much delight. Whether the plan as outlined by Edu is successful or not, it at least shows that there is one. Several players who I’m glad to see the back of have gone.

    I’ll wait to see if Arteta gets it right over the next few weeks as I readily accept the failings on the flip side. Im not ready to presume it will be a failure but I’m fully aware that he has taken on more than his current limited experience brings to the table. Very bumpy ride ahead I fear and only a thumping win over Norwich will ease the current unrest.

    1. Agree with what you put Sue but a thumping win over Norwich should be expected with the resources we have over lowly Norwich. Unless we lose, it isnt about Norwich but the next three games in total.

    2. Nice post SueP. I agree with the general premise that he has bitten off too much either because of arrogance or naivete.

      Glass half full – feel both he and Edu have learnt from earlier transactions and have had a good transfer window.

      Glass half empty – I don’t feel he has shown that same ability to learn from his mistakes in man management

  10. I believe that Arteta’s hubris infection has to do a lot of negativity surrounding the club. It was his hubris that lost the semis against Villareal. It is also the reason behind every erratic squad selection and tactical decision.

    The man can’t control his unhinged and unproven belief that he is better than others. He really must be chased out of the club before he destroys it more.

  11. another desperate article trying to deflect blame away from arteta. if he had more time “coaching” we would play better.

    followed up by comments about how our owners are ruining us.

    the guy has no experience and it is clearly showing…… it looked like at first it might work out, but, truth is it has never worked out.

    new manager, and lets move forward. that is football.

  12. Ornstein is absolutely spot-on. No “project” can succeed without an effective sponsor at the executive level. Raul Sanllehi was hired for this role, but following his exit, it was assigned to Vinai. In hindsight, this was a huge mistake.

    All the rookie-mistakes and poor decisions coming from below are the direct result of this huge blunder; one big error at the top of the club snowballing into a “deluge” of errors below.

    1. This is not relevant to the discussion, QD. I thought we were just discussing the effects of leadership vacuum at the head of football operations.

  13. David Bentley, was part of the invisibles squad, however he himself is not referred to as a arsenal legend, now Arteta with the out most respect worked with one of the best managers for (only) three years, does this make him a manager as well, if it does the surely Mr Bentley is not only an invisible but an arsenal legend

  14. As a friend of the successful NFL coach Bill Parcells once said to him about his new team:

    ‘If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.’ ”

    As much as I have problems with Arteta, I have even more with Edu.

    In Arteta’s shoes I would certainly want a lot of input into who the new signings would be, since he has to mold them into an effective team!!!

    This article seems to be aimed at making Arteta the ONLY scapegoat for the current mess.

    1. Poor Unai Emery had to make a dish from the ingredients supplied to him by others, exactly supporting Bill Parcel’s comment.

  15. I don’t buy the argument that Arsenal are where they are at because of Arteta’s inexperience. I believe he just does not have a clear football vision nor the talent to spot talent or work with it in order to make players better. I worry about, Saka, Tierney, ESR and Martinellii and whether Arteta can give them the correct guidance. And NO! GAI, I do not want to see someone like Calvin Lewis playing for Arsenal. I hope the days of the bean stalk centre forwards are over. I’ve seen enough of those useless lugs playing in Australian football or soccer as it’s stupidly called here.

    1. Joe. S, one of the major issues regarding success of Association Football in Australia is the loss of the talent pool that plays other football codes, in particular Australian Rules. Those “useless lugs” you refer to are extremely gifted athletes, who would perform at any code of football they took up and concentrated on.

    2. I believe Arteta has a clear football vision and he has stated this previously. Translating the vision into performances and results is challenging however and requires the right players.
      I am not sure how you have determined his ability to spot talent. I have seen this type of comment thrown about with very little justification.
      As for his ability to improve players we have some testimonies from his time at Man City. to suggest that he can indeed improve players. From his time at Arsenal it ‘s not as clear cut. However, it seems quite clear that he will support and develop players with the right attitude.

  16. Ozzie , I didn’t mean Australian Football players such as Adam Goodes, Micheal O’laughlin, Scot Pendelberry for example who would have been great players in our code but chose to be big fish in a small pond but was referring to the left overs in the A League pool. The golden generation that produced Aurelio Vidmark, Kewell, Viduka Aloisi etc is gone forever and now all Australian football seems to produce is players fit for Scottish football many of whom are heavy of touch. Sorry, but it’s my version of reality. Perhaps the AFL is creaming off the natural talent but the coaching leaves a lot to be desired.

    1. Joe. S, Australia is behind the 8 ball because it has to support 4 competing football codes. There is an obvious talent drain due to the money available in AFL, NRL and Rugby Union and the tyranny of distance from the high paying leagues in football.
      However don’t give up on future Australian players yet.

  17. Arteta is not ready for any premier league team yet. He might have been a brilliant student in doing his coaching badges and have been a hyped assistant of Pep Guadiola but that just ends there. He needs to go cut his teeth in 3rd division teams and learn his way up. He can also go to Scandinavian teams and learn. He is a novice.

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