Has Wenger been planning for Arteta to coach Arsenal for years?

It now seems more and more certain that Mikel Arteta will be Arsenal’s new ‘head coach’ and for all intents and purposes it would seem that Arsene Wenger has been planning for the Spaniard to take over for quite a few years….

When Arteta was sidelined with a serious injury, Wenger gave the midfielder a one year extension to his contract, despite the fact that he was unlikely to play, and during that time Arteta was studying (at Arsenal) for his FA coaching badges.

When that contract ran out, he was offered to remain at Arsenal as well as his offer from Pep at Man City, but he chose to widen his experience before taking on a permanent top coaching job. At that time Wenger revealed what he thought about Arteta’s coaching ability. Le Prof said (in May 2016): “First of all he was the captain of the team, so he has leadership qualities,”

“He is a winner and he is focused every day to do well.

“He has an impact on his partners. That is a little bit difficult to explain sometimes, but I believe he is highly focused on football. He has a passion, like Spanish people do, for the game.

“When you get to 30 you start to envisage your life and your future without playing football. Slowly it matures inside you and there was never a doubt in my mind, the way I see him behave every day, that he would finish in football, and I think he will do very well.”

So it looks like Arsene was more than aware of Mikel’s potential, and after guiding him through his badges under his own tutelage, perhaps Wenger also agreed that he should go and work under Pep Guardiola for added experience before coming back to take over Wenger’s position at the Emirates?

So do you now think that Wenger had a big say on who should be his successor – and planned for it for a long time?



  1. Elliot says:

    I wonder who his staff would be?

    1. Elliot says:

      Actually, while im here, why is our transfer budget 50m? Is that just a bullshit rumour or what?

    2. RichSAAlao says:

      @Elliot laughing out loud!!! Aah ah ah

  2. Anko says:

    I thought he refused to stay at Arsenal and went to Man City, plus he deleted all the pictures he has as an Arsenal player

    1. Anko says:

      And why did the board do interviews with proper mangers, only to let them go because of money. This is why am very angry with them. They do not want to spend money, they always believe we the fans should mange whatever they provide in terms of players and now manger. They are looking after their profits. S…t board

      1. Malcolm Townsend says:

        Please tone down the swearing Malcolm….

    2. RSH says:

      why is our fanbase overreacting to an Instagram page? I dont really understand it. His playing career was over and he deleted everything that was there prior, even if it wasn’t Arsenal related and just a basic sponsor post. Why we getting upset over some petty nonsense?

    3. RichSAAlao says:

      Thanks for the archival recollection.
      Trully, truely, many have not forgotten this Arsene discussion but the most pragmatic
      should be based on thorough experience as Head Coach or manager in a smaller club.
      Gazidis’ blatant brand mgt mentality is a joke taken too far if it comes down to Arteta.
      If Wenger suggesting Vieira is the only reason Patrick is not in the forefront to be appointed ahead of Mikel, then I. G is not a serious man, he does not understand the brand. Probably why Arsene is bn talking of preserving the legacy and value of the club that has been there even before he came 22 years ago.

  3. jon fox says:

    Put that way , you have to conclude that Wenger certainly thought he would manage a top- club one day. Perhaps twenty years too soon though at Arsenal, for Arsene!

  4. Kenny Rolfe says:

    MIKEL WHO!!!!!!!

    1. jon fox says:

      APPARENTLY HE PLAYED FOR US FOR FIVE YEARS AND CAPTAINED FOR A COUPLE. Just about remember him and his “nice ” hair! Eat your heart out BELLERIN!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        You know what Jon, I’m gradually coming round to these new ideas. Like you Allegri was always my first choice then maybe Enrique or Simeone but they’ve all seemed to have turned us down one way or another. I firmly believe that Raul and Sven are now running the club, deciding who we buy and who we sell. I feel quite happy about that and to let them run things because already I like what they’ve done. I think whoever comes in be it Arteta or Vieira or even Henry, all they’ll be doing working under Raul and Sven. If it’s Arteta, which looks reasonably certain now lets hope he’s learnt enough about defending from Pep to make us a force. Don’t know about you but I’m beginning to see some positives especially with some of the new players mentioned.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          I know I’ve stuck my neck out here a bit, lets hope it doesn’t get bitten off.

    2. Godswill says:

      Arsene who then.

  5. Chet says:

    Even before the rumor sprang up earlier in January, I have always believed that Arteta was learning his trade at Arsenal.

    I knew somehow that he will coach or be considered as a potential replacement for Wenger..

    I pray he succeeds and also keep playing the beautiful game here.

  6. mikki says:

    Soon arsenal fc will becomes a thing of the past because they have no ambition……. Who is arteta?no experience, it’s crystal clear now we still to be fighting for top four at the beginning of the season instead of employing a coach that has experience so we can mountma title challenge, rip arsenal

    1. paul says:

      mikki let me ask you what is experience ….. Alot of young successful coaches u see today were able to be known due to the chance they were offered by their club. 4get d experience first of all you most have the talent, the ability to influence ur team….. den u can b successful ….if arteta is a arsenal coach 2moro I will back him …. Someone has nt written exam and you said he had already failed d examination. It totally unacceptable..

      1. mikki says:

        I do agree with your opinion on this but arteta lacks all experience to lead arsenal right now,and i still strongly believe that arteta will be influenced by the board and Mr Wenger…. Arteta can be for the future but if he is employed and became successful I will be happy

      2. John0711 says:

        Yes but you have to take part in education to have exams
        To get a degree you do three years yet to manage Arsenal the criteria is a lot less

    2. RSH says:

      we were never going to challenge for title next season. Have you seen the players we got? This is one of the few times top 4 should be our target. No manager can make this squad into title winners in one season unless they have Man City type of spending power.

    3. bello says:

      Mikki…remember when real madrid made an inexperienced zidane manager?…lets give arteta a chance

      1. Highbury44 says:

        But Real Madrid had a decent squad of players and not lying 6 th in the league

  7. Ken 1945 says:

    I think I see what your trying to achieve here Admin.
    Lots of ifs and buts in the article, but all leading up to one thing:
    Now watch as all the Arsene out people will have another reason to knock the man, while the other side will defend him to the hilt.
    The result will be hundreds more hits for the website of course.

    If Arteta joins, it will be the choice of Kroenke junior and Gazidis, with the final say coming from Kroenke senior.
    Nothing to do with Arsene and nor should it.
    Wenger and most of his backroom staff have now left, it’s history, so why can’t we move on?
    Wenger has commented on many players ( such as Henry) who would one day have the ability to manage a football club.
    If the decision is Arteta, then so be it.
    My season ticket renewal has already been made and I look forward to supporting The Arsenal again next season.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Spot on Ken. This article really pisses me off. Wenger is gone, for better or worse. What’s the point of tarring Arteta as a Wenger appointment if not to keep the AOB/AKB foolishness alive? Time to stop this pettiness and get behind whoever get appointed. Rant over.

    2. GoonerP says:

      My My Ken!
      You are so very cynical!
      I quite like the way that Mr Admin has made a very convincing argument for his closing statement. It is up to us whether we agree or not.

    3. jon fox says:

      Not totally with you this time Ken, as I do think the Admin is right that Wenger definitely saw manager material in Arteta. Partly through injury , admittedly, his playing career here was nothing to write home about, putting it mildly. So I do think Wenger saw something in him. Whether he ever thought Arteta would manage US one day, though, is impossible to tell. Surely we will never know, unless, which is very unlikely, Arsene makes such a statement publicly. I have virtually accepted that he will be our new manager , mainly because some bookies have suspended betting and they rarely do this without good reason. I suppose I will in time come round to accepting him, if it is confirmed. But right now I do think he is a huge risk , as anyone would be at a huge club, who has never previously managed. If it does prove to be the right decision , Gazidis will get huge credit and he will be well aware of this. Also, and more likely though, is the polar opposite and he will also be aware of what will follow if it proves a bad choice. I am a gambling man but I would never take this gamble , personally!

      1. Trudeau says:

        I’ve no doubt that Wenger thinks Arteta is going to be a good manager. That’s not what this article is suggesting. It’s suggesting that Wenger has pulled a Fergus and anointed his successor. Without a shred of evidence. I don’t think it serves any useful purpose. As an aside, I agree with you that this is a huge risk and not one that I would take if I was Gazidis (or Arteta for that matter). But if it happens, Arteta has my support 100%

        1. Ken 1945 says:


          That is my point exactly.
          Just another opportunity to split the fan base.
          Likewise I have said from the moment Arsene said he was leaving, I would support whoever is announced as the next manager.
          Even if, in my humble opinion, there were so many more qualified names who could have been appointed.

          1. Ken 1945 says:

            I should have added that if it does happen, then goes wrong, of course, it will be Wengers fault.
            If it goes well, Gazidis etc will claim all the plaudits.
            As sure as night follows day:

          2. GB says:

            Hey, at least the acronyms AOB and AKB wouldn’t need to change ?

    4. Mihado says:

      Truly said

    5. John0711 says:

      Yes admin loves this

  8. Sean says:

    Arteta as our “HeadCoach” is just a name to paper over the real term of it…. “Puppet”. The board, Stan, Raul, & Mainslat will call all the shots behind the scene, he just has a job of training the players & that is whatever players these other lot bring in & not even Mikels choice!!

    Someone to do Wengers job is a big ask & big shoes to fill….

    1. Trudeau says:

      His job is “just” to train and get the best out of the players. Let me guess, you’ve never coached in your life have you?

  9. gotanidea says:

    I support Arteta, because I think he has learned a lot from Wenger, Moyes and Guardiola, but I don’t think the board would appoint him

    It would be between the unemployed managers, such as Enrique, Ancelotti and Emery

    1. jon fox says:

      You are clearly not up to date with what is happening. When bookies suspend betting on a market, which some have, it is because they have info not privy to all. Right now, I would be very surprised were it not Arteta. In case you meant “should” rather than “would” I agree with that. Accurate use of words is vital if you are to be properly understood. If you did mean exactly what you wrote , then I say you are wrong.

      1. gotanidea says:

        According to @kev, Allegri is done deal

        I wonder where that guy is

  10. Yunqmuan says:

    We need to keep calm guys let’s not forget the media wants to sell at all cost. Saying Arteta is the new boss and having only a 50million kitty might just be media wahala.
    As of today we know Low,Tuchel and Allegri are off the list let’s be a bit patient. Maybe in the coming days we should have articles on different coaches and their playing philosophy, potentials of the current team and possible signings.
    Three players I think we should consider signing:Manolas,Niangolan and Draxler.


    So it’s official, Arteta is our new manager ? Lol
    What angers most arsenal fans is not Arteta but the boards decision in rejecting managers with ambitions to actually win the league or champions league. This can only mean that the board’s goals are not the same as the fans. They might as well come out and say the goal for each season is to be in the top ten that way the fans won’t have to suffer the pains of false hope every season.

    1. Highbury44 says:

      Did they reject them or they simply didn’t fancy the job .I personally think Arteta was simply last man standing

  12. Yunqmuan says:

    I need to add that am new here with comments but have been reading articles here for years.

    1. jon fox says:

      Then why not actually give us your opinion? You never know; it might be of interest. Trust yourself!

  13. RSH says:

    I’m behind Arteta. Let’s give him a chance. We have no other option. I just hope the board gives him enough funds so he can create the team he wants.

  14. ThirdManJW says:

    It wasn’t so long ago that Arteta was playing with Ozil, now we’re expecting him to give Ozil the kick up the backside he so deservedly needs! What a joke!

    1. RSH says:

      thats one of my main concerns as well. Apparently he is assertive at Man City, but I don’t know if that will translate to his coaching. I really hope it does. I have serious concerns with the fact Arteta was around and played with a lot of these players. There should be no favoritism this time. If you don’t produce, you don’t play. Wenger’s favoritism killed us these past few years and it’s the exact mentality that needs to die. Unfortunately we just know nothing about how Arteta will approach the squad since he’s never been a head coach.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        The fact we know nothing about Arteta as a coach/manager is the major problem. He’s a huge gamble! I just don’t understand why he’s even being considered, on that basis. Ancelotti isn’t contracted to anyone, so the board haven’t even got the excuse of, “oh well we tried to get so and so, but the club wouldn’t release him”. Any manager is a gamble to some degree, but someone like Ancelotti is way less of a gamble than Arteta!

        Villas Boas had no authority amongst the Chelsea players, from what I have heard, because they all saw him as just Mourinho’s underling, which is what he was not so long before. It will be similar with Arteta, given he was playing with most of our squad only 2 years ago.

        1. Ozziegunner says:


    2. Highbury44 says:

      That’s the problem.I don’t remember Arteta being a leader or motivator as captain so how is that going to change as a manager.To me he is simply to young and not an ex player the squad would look up too and respect

  15. Sue says:

    I hope whoever it will be is announced soon… PSG have announced their new manager. Allardyce is off with Silva coming in. Jeez what’s the hold up?!

    1. Alkali says:

      They are planning on how to tell the fans that Big Sam is the new manager.

  16. Howard says:

    Here you’re again, always obsessed with Wenger even when it was clear that he was not taking us anywhere. I like Arteta and I pray that he succeeds but this your Wenger angle is your imagination.

  17. De-Ra says:

    Really?? Arteta??? Those thinking that because Zidane and Guardiola ( being past real and barca players ) have been succesfull should look at the star studded teams they inherited. Unfortunately, though we do have our stars (albeit few), we simply are not in comparism with real and barca, hence making this potential Arteta appiontmemt a huge freaking gamble! Even Zidane and Guardiola started coaching from b teams. Let me see…Arteta’s CV….assistant coach at man city…wow feeling so confident 🙁

    1. Ozziegunner says:


  18. Iwobi says:

    Let’s give him a chance…I have a feeling we have unearthed the next Pep..Plus he is highly regarded at mancity and one of the reasons for their success…So let’s stop hating even before he has started

    1. Highbury44 says:

      If he is highly rated why are Man City letting him go?

      1. John0711 says:

        Wasting your time most of these are the people who wanted wenger to stay

      2. Durand says:

        Highbury44 how true! If Arteta is sooo great, best thing since sliced bread, where are the other clubs in for him!!!

        Arteta is Everton man, not an Arsenal man. Think on this; Everton fired big Sam and they still passed Arteta over.

        Dude played for Everton, familiar with their club and traditions, and they still said not interested, no interview, not a sniff.

        If he is manager he has huge job to do, I’ll keep hold of my doubts and common sense until he proves himself. Fair or not, that’s life. If he benches Ramsey for lack of discipline, Ozil for disappearing, Xhaka for bad decisions, and Mustafi for being rubbish I’ll change my tune.

        For now Arteta is nothing but strong words about managing, but no experience to prove it. His description of his philosophy smacks of “cohesion” all out attacking, and pretty football before 3 points.

        Sound familiar?

  19. De-Ra says:

    Man this is so depressing. Just as excitement begins to build up, this spinless money grabbing shameless board are planning on messing things up 🙁 Its actually an insult on Patrick Viera, who i feel should be appionted, if we decide to go down this route, and thats a big IF. For freaking sake its one thing to be cheap, but to be cheap and lack total ambition is just messed up. Comon we aint even looking at Jardim 🙁 If Arteta ends up being appionted i for one would give him time, but the board should not be surprised if things go sour quickly! This is their chance to bridge the mighty gap with the fans and unfortunetly as it stands it seems to me they are giving us fans the middle finger with hot sauce on it 🙁 feels like a punishment for us complaining about our club’s falling standard. They would be wise to remember that without the fans football would be non existent! Again if things go sour…it might be empty Emirates 2.0 all over again. Lovely times 🙁

  20. georgie b says:

    If Mikel is to be our next manager, when would b the most opportune to announce it? I defer to the many knowledgeable members of this site.

    1. Highbury44 says:

      When some crisis in the world occurs so they can announce it without anybody noticing it


    Why going for the inexperience coach like arteta? We someone like enrique,allegri jardim or viera

    1. Barren says:

      @umar the other managers linked to us was never in the running it was all just to get us excited 4 nothing there’s no urgency to speak to other managers because arteta is our new manager ?

  22. antbadapple says:

    Had Wenger got to his final year as manager this may have given Arteta an extra year to gain experience (at Man City maybe) and wouldnt have been suprised if he was the one to follow from Wenger, especially if Wenger likes him so much.
    Having pulled the plug early it has bought into the spotlight exactly what & where is Afc going now.. if employing Arteta now, then getting rid of Wenger probably a misguided response to the negative environment. But on the other hand, the board still has the opportunity to make a ‘big club’ decision about where we are going and with who.., the model Wenger has been part of is not just going to be forgotten and would still be relevent to a club with only a reported 50m transfer budget.
    So who believes the board are going to get this right??? Im on the fence with that one !

  23. jon fox says:

    Now that Artetas appointment begins to look almost certain, rather than merely a possibility, there has been a noticeable shift in fans attitudes to him coming. Most are still against it but some have changed their minds and will give him a chance. If it DOES become true, many more will accept it. THAT IS HOW HUMAN NATURE WORKS. BUT I STILL DOUBT WHETHER A SIZEABLE MAJORITY WILL GIVE HIM A PROPER CHANCE. And for that reason, above all, it is a very risky appointment(if it does transpire).

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Spot on! It keeps the fan base divided, and undoes all the great work the board have done 2018.

      The board have come in for a lot of flak down the years, and rightly so, but they’ve had a fantastic year so far. They were going to sack Wenger unless he walked, and now he’s gone. They’ve removed some of the deadwood, and replaced them with top quality players. It’s debatable whether keeping Ozil was a good thing or not, but one could see the positives, although the wage hike was ridiculous. All in all, a good start to the year for the board, and they’re slowly bridging that divide between the club and the fans. So they need to keep the momentum going by appointing a top class manager. If they appoint Arteta, it’s like we’re back to square one!

      I really hope it’s just media talk, like Benzema/Arsenal links EVERY transfer window! Haha

    2. John0711 says:

      Sorry Jon I have my own opinion it doesn’t change just because they board say it’s so. It’s up to Arteta to convince me I am wrong. Trust is earned not given we have suffered as fans for too long. We deserve a break. The only positive I can think of from the boards point of view if it goes ? is they will ask fans give Arteta time and worst case the fans will blame him and not the board

      1. jon fox says:

        No need whatever to apologise to me or anyone just because you have your own opinion. I did actually say, you will have noticed, that I thought he would NOT get a sizeable majority on his side. Clearly you are just one among many who think as you do. I ALSO THINK HE WOULD BE A WRONG APPOINTMENT. Further, I would not NOW be tempted back to attending games, as I had planned once Wenger finally left!

        1. John0711 says:

          Agreed Jon also I’ve noticed an influx of new people on her who support Arteta coincidence? I think not ?

    3. Arsene is Out says:

      I am against the appointment of Arteta all the way. I dont think he has any real experience that could warrant such an appointment. I guess they are looking for a head coach while the trio manages the team. Even then I think there are more experienced names out there such as Negelsmann and Viera

      So although I think this is a stupidly big risk the board is taking and actually unfair to Arteta and the players and the fans, We have no choice but to support him and give him a chance to prove himself.

      The only question here is what is a “proper chance” 10 games? half a season? A full season? Two seasons?

      The biggest problem is that Arteta does not have a lot of goodwill built with the fans like a Viera does. Viera with Bergkamp as assistant and they would get all the goodwill and time they needed to right the ship. I’m afraid unless Arteta creates a successful environment from the get go, the knives are going to come out.

      Including mine.

  24. Barren says:

    To me the board is not really looking at other managers! All the guys on the list looks like it’s not happening! Allegri,low,tuchel,enrique,JARDIM! Before Wenger resigned arteta was always 1st choice! I can’t wait wen it backfires at Ivan and Josh! I thought we weren’t going to make the same mistake utd made and is arteta going to be better than klopp,mour,pep and poch? We are officially an average team and are our glory days behind us? ?☹ I was watching Ivans press conference 2day the day Wenger resigned and it has arteta written all over it! Sven and raul no arteta is not ready but Ivan and Josh is pushing for him it’s pretty clear those 2 have no idea about football

  25. ks-gunner says:

    If Arsenal is up to work with a no name then why not getting some of our guys back? I have nothing against Arteta, but him coming means Henry and friends will not get the chance ever to work under our club. They all move away to other teams where we do hold the likes of Arteta. I dont know.

  26. AB says:

    I firmly believe that everyone here wants the manager to succeed. The argument is on the criteria of selection. If Arteta who has no management experience is selected, then the board is taking a gamble and playing with fans feelings. We all will still support him. What happens when he hits a rough road? Do we question the board or the manager? What if he doesn’t get the funds from the board? Will he speak up or sugar coat? Will he be tough on underperforming players and will the board support him there? In my jumble opinion, if Arteta succeeds, it will be a master stroke but if he doesn’t then fans are humans with different threshold when it comes to being patient and can become fragmented again which will be very sad.

  27. GB says:

    I hope it doesn’t happen. It’s Nagelsmann or Jardim for me.
    I really don’t think that Wenger had anything to do with Arteta being favourite and I hope it’s just the press picking up on Gazidis saying he favoured him. If it does happen though, it will be a huge risk.

  28. Andrew E says:

    Any new appointment will be a gamble but Arteta has zero management experience so the risk will be much greater. Another factor is the cost of appointing him as opposed to someone like Allegri who will certainly demand a huge budget not the alleged paltry £50m on offer.

    I still feel they will take the cheap option following our failure to qualify for the CL for the last two years. Whoever they choose should be supported but I wish that they would just get on with it.

  29. Bolivian gunner says:

    If Arteta signs for us, then AW will continue to be our manager. He will text Arteta the formation and tactics for the next game. We need to wipe out everything related to AWs philosophy.

  30. Tony says:

    I would like to see Vieira as manager and arteta as his coach think this could work well

  31. Dif Madara says:

    Pep said Arteta is very keen on details and has helped Sterling and Sane become more confident and with their final balls. Remember when Pep was suspended, he took De Bruyne from the wing to the midfield and city came from behind to beat us 2-1. Maybe he is the next big thing in coaching, why not pounce early before regretting watching him succeed elsewhere. He is a Cruyf student from his time at La Masia

  32. Ozziegunner says:

    Two years lost European Champions league income lost last 2 seasons; how many more years now in the wilderness?

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