Arteta versus Conte? What a NLD victory! by AndersS
Signs were there in the preseason. Our first 7 games in the league also indicated big improvements. But the nagging doubts were there, especially among the Arteta sceptics.
Didn’t we just have an easy opening schedule?
Didn’t we falter at the first real test, Man Utd?
How those doubts were put to rest. Our all-dominating performance against the Spuds was nearly as good as it gets, and certainly up there with the best of times under Wenger.
The Spuds, who pipped us to CL football last season, and who supposedly in Conte have a far superior manager, and a much more improved team than we have, were quite simply at least one level below us in the NLD.
Before the season started, I had an article on here, suggesting we are following a plan, which in 2-3 years could give us a team able to contend for the title. It provoked many opinions, and the vast majority were saying I was being too optimistic.
Maybe I was too pessimistic?
We are leading the league after 8 games, and in the last couple of days, I have remembered, something said by Wenger quite a few years ago. If I remember correctly, it was around the halfway mark in the season, and we were leading the league. It was at a time, when doubts had set in on our ability to cope with pressure and the other big teams, and Wenger was asked, if he thought, we could win the title. His response was something along the lines: “As long as we are leading, you can’t rule us out”.
Despite the fact, we did falter, I still think it was an absolutely brilliant response. It is short and precise, and says it all. At the same time it in theory avoided putting too much pressure on himself and the team. It also avoided being too negative and doubting the team.
In the aftermath of our victory, I have enjoyed Arteta’s response to the press, when they want to draw him on being title contenders. The quotes indicate, he and the team are focused on further improving and nothing else. A promising prospect, if they can keep that focus.
There is of course a long way to go, before the final conclusions can be drawn. Personally, I still think, we don’t have enough to sustain an actual title challenge this year. And much can still go wrong. But for the moment, I think the NLD not only gave us the bragging rights, it also showed, this could very well be the year we finally get above the Spuds again in the league, after 6 years of finishing behind them.
As for Conte versus the Arteta project, Conte undoubtedly deserves respect for the results on his CV. But in my opinion, he is a manager with a short term focus, and normally short term staying power. If you add his trademark “negative” football tactics, I am happy to be on the boat captained by the less experienced Arteta with a much more positive football philosophy, and a promising project.
I hope, he can take us all the way. If not this season, then certainly within a foreseeable future.
Which boat would you prefer?
CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link…
Video Extra – Watch Thierry Henry tell us what he thinks about VAR!
Please enjoy, watch and subscribe to JustArsenalVids