Have Arsenal struck gold again with Mikel Arteta?

In Arteta, Arsenal Might Have Struck a Goldmine Again by AI

“Arsene Who?” Blared that iconic headline in 1995. 19 trophies later, including several doubles and an unbeaten league season, everyone knows the answer to that question. Arsene Wenger captured minds, the zeitgeist, and England with a prescient, liquid approach to football unlike any other. Despite a fall off in the latter years, Arsene Wenger has cemented a legacy and a generation with his consistency and ideals.

Football has since changed. The landscape has tilted, inexorably as always, towards money and the state. State-sponsored football clubs now loom more than ever. Billionaire-boosted clubs have shot to the forefront. In fact, every little change to football has seem to favour only the richest and the biggest. And we ask ourselves where the soul of football has gone. Has it retired with Arsene Wenger and the 2014 World Cup and what is this shiny, broken thing that has replaced it? Is it another 350,000 pounds-a-week footballer in crutches?

Mikel Arteta met with none of that irreverence that met Wenger’s appointment. Doubts? Yes. But as a skillful ex-player who has studied under the greatest modern coach in football, he has been given far more goodwill.

Arsenal before Arteta had grown lethargic, both on the field and off it. Wenger’s once golden touch had grown archaic and arthritic. Football had caught up and was threatening to leave Arsenal behind.
While fresh changes are being done off the pitch, Arsenal needed a change on it. Arsene Wenger still played a vibrant brand of football but new tactical developments had left it behind, making it brittle, vulnerable and easily repulsed. Mourinho, with his low-block counterattacking football, always bested Wenger while he struggled hard to hold at bay the likes of Pep Guardiola with his modern interpretation of Juego De Posicion. Arsenal needed a tactical rejuvenation. A new infusion of style that adheres to the legendary legacy of Wenger.

Unai Emery spoke about being protagonists but his Arsenal conceded over thirty shots to the likes of Watford. While fitness improved under the Spaniard and a lot of youngsters were blooded, the club remained in a post-mortem gauze, still trying to find itself. This was crystallized by Emery’s constant reshuffle of tactics and personnel, the imprecise vague speech, something something about protagonists.

Midway through a disastrous campaign, Mikel Arteta was given the job, and almost immediately, he began to peel back the gauze. He was lucid and confident. He spoke in certain terms. He had a vision of what his team needed to be and what needed to change for that to happen. Arteta asked something of everyone. From the fans, he needed their unwavering support, that sense of unity and the power in it. From the players he asked for commitment. They were going to try to do something and they needed to be focused, to buy into it. Else they have to be gone. From the executives, Arteta asked for the same. For them to buy into what was coming, what he intended to do. To give their very best to it. He needed their support, their respect.

Those are the demands of a protagonist, of a leader with a dream. The entire club had to reorientate itself around this vision. Arteta may not be the managerial revolutionary that Wenger was, but his intensity indicates he could be a coaching genius with complete self-belief in his ideas. Pep Guardiola hired him to be his assistant for a reason.

Since 2001, Arsenal have not beaten the Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea in the same season. Only months into his tenure, Arsenal have won the FA Cup trophy. Formerly maligned players are back to it. Skhrodran Mustafi looks salvageable, after all. Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been used in several complex and interesting roles. The team has morphed from ball-hoggers in the early part of his tenure to impenetrable counter-attackers in the COVID-era. Arteta is incredibly flexible, tactical, and sure of himself.

He knows what he wants. He wants to win and he knows how to win. All he asks for is for everyone to be on the same train; then maybe we can all go to El Dorado together.

Agboola Israel

39 Comments

  1. Ackshay says:

    Arteta is a young coach who has a good idea of how he wants his team to play and the man management skills to make the players understand his play style. Getting the squad to believe in your system and focusing on improving themselves to fit the system better is one of most essential task of a coach. Also if the fans can actually see that the coach is trying to implement the certain style and tactic they will be more lenient and trust in the process. Emery was unable to do that for certain reasons and it showed on the field and he slowly lost the fans and the players and when that happens it’s game over for a coach.

    With time he will get better with more experience gained, his substitutions and reading of the game which are not exactly good will improve. As he grows in stature he will be able to demand more of the club and board.

  2. ozziegunner says:

    Let’s not put too much pressure on Mikel Arteta, by building him up and then some people taking the first opportunity, if and when the team stutters, to put him down. We should wait and see whether he gets the support of the Board and senior executive in this transfer window to keep the players he needs and bring in the players he requires to play the style of football and implement the tactics he wants for Arsenal.
    This support was not granted to Emery and combined with the injury toll he faced, particularly to defenders, led him to have to constantly rejig the team. In addition, he was in the end a poor choice, because of his difficulties in communicating effectively in English (his fourth language).
    My concern now for Arteta, is not only the level of competence of the management at Arsenal above him, but also the apparent entrenchment of agent Kia Joorabchian to control Arsenal’s limited transfer budget in selection of transfer targets.

    1. Jay Ghunowa says:

      Arteta transition to the future is not so easy going to take time .when the time come he going to deliver what he working on fan need to be very careful. Don’t expect too much. We have to be patient. All the way gunners .

  3. Top Gunner says:

    Arsenal in playing boring football. Its manager lacks experience in such a way that he acts like an army commander

    1. Eddie says:

      Lol…. An Arteta article for you to jack off to all day. Run off to the toilet bruv, grab your cream and go obsess about the man. Nobody even takes you serious anymore.
      Emery awaits you at Villarreal

      1. Githari says:

        Say that again buddy…it’s still not loud enough

      2. Top Gunner says:

        We are not here to insult each other, but share ideas on the direction that Arsenal is taking. I dont think that if I differ from you then I become an enemy. Let the truth be told. Its the first time that Arteta is managing a team. Since Wenger left, Arsenal is playing boring football

      3. ozziegunner says:

        Eddie, who’s that aimed at?

    2. Val says:

      Numpty!
      Yea you would still have that vampire running the team, be open and concede the most amount of shots on our goal in history from a side that has been relegated.
      You are quite clearly a fool and know nothing about how a football team needs to work to be successful

      1. Mohammed says:

        Boring or borewrist that is not an issue, we all saw how Mourinho pack the box for 60minutes in Chelsea vs Bayern champions league final and he got the results. So the important thing here is the 3 points which can cause the coach sack if he didn’t get.

        1. Sid says:

          Di-matteo was managing them at that time.

    3. Jo-Gunz says:

      You got me confused and for the first time in my life I checked the dictionary for the real meaning of boring.
      I think I feel safe now.

  4. Kklin says:

    Lovely article by Agboola Israel once again and i agree with every word except am not so sure about the not beating the Manchester clubs plus Liverpool and Chelsea in the same season since 2001. Really? You were kidding right??

    1. Eddie says:

      Bruv even I can’t remember when last we beat all 4 teams in a season. I’ve pointed this out a couple of times. It really could be 2001, I mean he surely made his research before writing right?

  5. Eddie says:

    Arteta will turn out like gold if the board actually supports him. A young manager with vision and hunger looking to write his name in the sands of time. That was the exact reason I was against bringing any of the old coaches. We needed an Arteta or Lampard because they’re very hungry and they’re smart.
    There’s a long way to go for Arteta. The journey to glory ain’t gon be smoothz but I plan to hang on because I’ve seen us begin with a headstart. I trust what he’s trying to do.

    P.S. Like I’ve been saying despite all the rumours that we are getting Coutinho and that he was in London. Arsenal won’t sign Coutinho. The reason they won’t is because of Mesut Ozil. If they’re able to move Ozil on, they might go after Coutinho. They don’t want both similar players o high wages at the club. At least now The Athletic has confirmed Arsenal ain’t chasing a deal for Coutinho. Our midfield interest remains Party, who we’ll eventually pay his release clause if player exchange doesn’t work out.
    For a creative midfielder, ignore rumours that Arteta’s choice Is Coutinho, Arteta’s first and important choice is Aouar. Kia is the one trying to convince us to get Coutinho.
    Arteta wants Aouar, he and Pep identified Aouar while he was at City. Can we pay Aouar’s transfer fee? That’s the problem

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Eddie, that’s my worry with the apparent influence of Joorabchian on Sanheili pushing for another high cost high maintenance player.
      Players brought in should be based on what they bring to the team in terms of upgrading positions and addressing imbalance in the squad, not who their agent is.

      1. Eddie says:

        Ozzie I’m afraid this is what we’ve become, it won’t change anytime soon. We’re stuck with Raul’s contacts.
        At least if the fraud wants to be running our transfer, he should bring in Aouar who’d be a major steal

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

  6. David afekinzo says:

    Good day all Gunners around the world,today might feel like every other day,but it’s not its a special one…cos have always believed in the course of reality… of course still have the believe of imaginary..but life has to move on as programmed by God..So for MA I guess at the moment nothing is more hopeful than having him as our manager…cos he has learnt from wengers mistakes latter years in his coahing era at Arsenal…and sitting side to side with the so called great guadiola, which he actually he’s regardless of what you think of him… bringing out the best in players in that team we all thought were over hyped etc Raheem Sterling..who his at par with The hope of the club at the very moment which is the obvious Truth..very very true and might better his scoring record since arriving at the club…Auba of course…so as an optimist who has supported this club all my etire life regardless of the situation…MA has the right idea to move us where we belong at the very top…keep his tactics and adopt new ones as the game changes by years follow… might even be greater trophy wise than the greatest manager in the game of football in my time…my opinion though,many believe that,but always judging him for not winning the champions league…not Every great does… Ask the greatest football players who never did😋😋😋😋 always be remembered…Aserne What!!!!!!….Godblesd you Aserne Wenger…in my country alot other people thinks he is a share holder in the club…😂😂😂😂 Arsenal till death do us part..have a lovely day ahead 😗😚

  7. Abdulchika says:

    Amazing read

  8. jon fox says:

    Before discussing the articles theme, I simply must express my wonderment at the magnetic style of this writer. I was deply impressed by his clarity and by how his words paint pictures. I am a fan of your writing style Agboola!

    It is also heartwarming to see such a keen intellect be more aware than most about what a diamond we have in Arteta. There are many shrewd Goners on here who are also well aware but sadly more than a few dullards – Top Gunner and Mogunna prominent among them – who even now have neither the wit nor intellect to see what others see.
    About the substance of the piece, I am in almost total agreement. My only slight quibble being with “Arteta met with NONE of that irreverance that met Wengers appointment”. I would say he certainly met LESS irreverance but not NONE.
    But this quibble is merely the nitpick of a pedant and the whole piece was superbly written, deeply impressive and left me wanting more, much more, from this extremely able writer.

    1. Admin Pat says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with you Jon, and I have encouraged him to write as often as possible ever since I read his very first contribution.
      The problem is that the lad has University studies to contend with and can only be hit and miss at the moment, but I am looking forward to being a long-term contributor.

      Also I’d like to give a big thankyou to Shenel Osman, who is also studying at the moment and sending great articles, and Joe Allysons who is on fire with his in-depth analyses. And welcome to ArsenalAfroArmy who is sending us some interesting insights.

      Maybe Dan Smith has got some competition for your favourite writer on here now…

      It is a good time to see lots of new interesting opinions on JA at the moment….

      1. jon fox says:

        Admin Pat, I am curious what Agboola is studying at Uni. Unless it is something vitally important, like medicine or an important science, he really ought to seriously consider writing for a career.I recognise a man with real language flair and a rare turn of phrase and a writer is also a noble calling. Please send him my best of luck for his future!
        As to Dan and Al on one hand and other REGULAR JA writers on the other hand, there is a real talent in being a top writer. You need far more than just language skills. You need a keen brain,the intelligence and ability to marshal and clearly convey your message. You also need self discipline as it can be a lonely calling and above all it needs to be interesting and /or stimulating.

  9. Grandad says:

    A highly enjoyable read written with great articulation and a certain flourish which is missing in lots of so called journalists today.One notable exception being Michael Atherton when he writes his wonderful articles on a game which I love as much as football.I do have to take you to task however on the matter of Mustafi being “salvageable”.You may consider him so, but in the words of the author of The House of Cards , I could not possibly comment.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Grandad, regarding Michael Atherton, the Australian Cricket Board suspended its captain and two other players for bringing the game into disrepute; the England and Wales Cricket Board recommended their players for MBE’s.

  10. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Agboola Israel, Hi! Your praise worship of Mikel Arteta is good going by what he has so far achieved for AFC as the Gunners head coach within the short period of time that he has taken over the mantel of control at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground. And this is despite him being a fresh graduate coach. Who has recently graduated from Man City’s senior football coaching school that is currently under the watchful eyes care and highly competent teaching and training hands of Pep Guardiola the Man City head coach and the general overseer of the school. So, let praise be accorded to who has deserved it. And at this juncture, Arteta deserved to be praised for his doing the Arsenal needful job for the club which saw his coached Gunners beating Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in a single season campaign in all domestic competitions last season. This is something that has not been recorded before in the history archive books of Arsenal. And additionally, Arteta guiding the Gunners to lift the FA Cup at Wembley last Arsenal season after beating Chelsea in the final when Arsenal needed to do the beating most to enabled the club to qualify for next season’s European football competitions is unparalleled football playing achievements made by Arteta and this is worthy of praise and giving him accolade kudos to say thank you very much indeed and well done to him for the good job he has done for Arsenal. Us Gooners appreciate it.

    So Agboola, under Mikel Arteta as the Gunners head coach, Arsenal on the field good results obtaining in all competitions next season will look to be promising in goodness for the club if us take into consideration his recent achievements for Arsenal last season as an encouragement to encourage us to be hopeful of seeing better days come to Arsenal again.

    Agboola, do you know something? I was skeptical when it was being mooted that Arteta could be employed as the Gunners head coach when on the field results of Arsenal were not going the right ways and to the direction it should have gone to going by the Arsenal perspective when Freddie Ljungberg became the Gunners interim head coach after Unai Emery the erstwhile Gunners head coach was sacked. I try all what I could through posting my negative comments posting on this JustArsenalnews website forum which were against Arteta to discourage the AFC board bosses from appointing him as the new Gunners head coach then to takeover from Ljungberg who asked to step down as the Gunners interim head coach job appointment. And Arteta, who by the Gooners general opinions account that were to his favour and favouring appointing him as the new Gunners head coach saw the Arsenal board gave him the Gunners head coach job. And from then on I surrendered in my opposing Arteta after he was appointed and I’ve since moved on in my life. But he could prove me wrong to have opposed him getting the Gunners head coach job. And I will be glad for Arsenal FC and all of us Gooners if he proves me very wrong as he has current done before Arsenal last season’s campaign came to an end.

  11. Reggie says:

    Lets all hope so, our league form needs a massive improvement next season.

  12. Khadii says:

    Wow..
    I am sure you are very passionate when commenting, but you make it very stressful and depressing to read and assimilate what you write, because of your non-use or lack of punctuation marks where necessary.

  13. Malaysian gunner says:

    Wenger was stubborn and resistant to change. All the top teams know his style.
    As a result his record against them is dismal.Actually he shd have been fired in 2011.This and subsequent heavy losses shd have led to the sack.
    Since then Arteta has beaten teams
    Wenger had failed to defeat.
    Hopefully Arteta is the messiah
    Arsenal need.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Let’s not put Mikel Arteta under pressure by seeing him as a “messiah”.
      Like his mentors Wenger and Guardiola, he can’t do it on his own without the support of the Board, the senior executives (financial and decision making), the staff and the players.

  14. Knight says:

    And he is making a group of players who are ready to fight for him.When Xhaka was disgruntled,i didnt see many clubs lining up to buy him.Arteta convinced him to stay which means he will owe him that royalty.Same as Luiz,when everyone was calling for his head,MA stood his ground and said he needed him.Which other club was going to give him 90K pounds a week?Such kind of players will fight for their boss.Same with Mari ofcourse who people were arguing he shouldnt be given a contract because he is injured

  15. Ross says:

    I love this article. The positively drilled down article about my beloved Arsenal that I have read in a while….

    1. RSH says:

      agree, fun read. Lets go to El Dorado, boys! 😂

  16. RSH says:

    He’s got the positive feeling that has been missing for years and years back. I still dont expect any miracles, but I am very certain that Mikel is the right manager for this club. If he is supported by the board he can create a very competitive squad in the next couple of season. In the modern game nobody sticks around as long as AW did, but I do hope Mikel spends a significant portion of his career with us and can get us back to the top. I believe!

    1. Mike says:

      I don’t blame you RSH most people don’t know what they looking at untill years later. Silverware in little over half a season in the midst of a world wide epidemic, with players everyone and their dog wrote off. Interesting very interesting.

  17. RFrancis says:

    This is a great article. Well done Agboola. We were extremely lucky to achieve so much success in such a short period of time under MA. Going forward we need to patient with the process and work to realign the rest of the organisation, including the board, to this change in culture.
    I would like to hear yours thoughts on how we can restructure our academy to serve as a more effective feeder system for the first team especially at CB.

  18. Top Gunner says:

    Arteta has struck the gold in Arsenal. To be appointed as a Manager without prior management role

    1. Sid says:

      You certainly have different views than mine! I do agree with the article, because the way the players were demotivated pre Arteta, we sorely needed a good man manager and someone who can instill the love of playing back to this set of players who had almost become statues bar a few. Arteta ticks both boxes. He was an ex gunners captain, so definitely is a passionate guy and his man management skills are apparent from his city days where he vastly improved many players. The reason you may doubt him is because inspite of what anyone believes, Arteta is in his first managerial role and has way more responsibility than in his previous job. There is a certain adjustment period involved, and when your assets are at the state the Arsenal players were initially, many different combinations are often the way to find the one true formula for success with what you have. That is the reason we are where we are at the table. But even you can’t deny that he has improved the players considerably and now we are playing better Football. Arteta has seen the team, worked with them and has envisioned a plan for success, now it’s up-to the board to support him.

  19. Jo-Gunz says:

    It did sadden my heart when most fans seemed to root for Anchelotti over Arteta then, with swipes such as “cheaper option over quality” blah blah at MA.
    I’m glad the board made the right choice by having faith in MA and I believe he can be the best signing we ever made over a decade.
    He will help us pop more champagnes over the years and Auba will get used to lifting trophies.

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