How can Arteta succeed while the club is so unstable?

The idea that Mikel Arteta could, in his second season, be Arsene Wenger’s equal is silly. Arsene Wenger is a legend of the game and one of the ten best managers to walk a sideline in the last twenty years. That said, the club has gone backwards, though I would not lay blame at Arteta’s doorstep. The Spaniard is not a fraud or poor manager, but he is leading a club that, behind the scenes, is in disarray.


The recruitment department is completely remade, or more accurately, unmade. From Arsene Wenger’s strategic, if not always successful or appreciated approach, the club has swerved from Guru Sven to a committee to sacking the entire department to relying on agents. The club may have landed good targets this summer, but we paid a premium for them.

Arsenal, unless they change their entire approach to running the club, cannot really afford to take an approach to team building by signing large numbers of high-priced players, but they invested a huge amount in the contracts of Willian, Aubameyang, and Partey.

The pundits and others constantly point to Mesut Ozil’s contract as the reason Arsenal cannot sign players. This is utter rubbish. While Ozil is expensive and does make a lot of money Arsenal have more invested in the center back position (Mari, Gabriel, Saliba, Chambers, Holding, Luiz, Mustafi, Mavropanos) than in their supposedly overpriced #10. Most clubs carry four center backs, Arsenal have eight, including their high priced signing from last season that their manager insists is nowhere near ready to play for the team. The transfer fees of these eight, plus their salaries, dwarf the cost of Ozil’s contract.

Player management – Here is where the disintegration of the club is most evident. Look at a series of blunders that are hard to believe, never mind explain.

Aaron Ramsey’s exit was a huge blunder. The contract was agreed, the player was willing to sign, and at the last moment, it was pulled, supposedly on Unai Emery’s orders. That seems unlikely, as Emery seemed to have very little influence on transfers. Ceballos, his purported replacement has played well in stretches, but is inferior to Ramsey in every regard.

The Ozil situation. Under Wenger, Mesut Ozil would still be in the team, still contributing his particular brilliance, and still be critcized for not working hard enough by people too limited to understand what he’s doing right, to understand his real but relatively minor limitations. Emery and Arteta lack the clout and credibility to get the club to stop being a bunch of idiots on this issue.

It is the club who have decided not to play Ozil, and anyone who believes it is for football reasons is an idiot. Arteta has been pushed into defending the club’s stance on Ozil and it could cause the same kind of implosion for him as it did for Emery. Remember, the players in the dressing room know that Ozil is better than the men playing ahead of him, even if they do not say so and even if the manager claims otherwise.

Arteta’s backing of the club’s public stance will work fine so long as the team performs and wins. If the team stumbles and they lose, the same questions internally if not from the media, will be asked – why is one of our best players not playing. Emery lost the dressing room over this and other, similar man-management issues. Arteta, though more suited for the job, could suffer the same fate.

The public criticism leveled at Ozil from the manager and the club has clearly angered the German, and he is determined to make them suffer by staying right where he is, earning all that money, and daily reminding the team of their stupidity. Arsene Wenger himself has pointed out that Ozil should be contributing to the team. He’s not. Arteta showed he understands Ozil’s value last season when he played him continually, trying to save the season. Now he’s fallen in line with the brass and it might cost him dearly.

Let’s look more closely at transfer spending. Unai Emery spent a lot and got little for his cash. Arsenal brought in Partey this window and he looks the real deal. Willian was a smart signing but will not contribute beyond this season (the reason Chelsea was willing to let him go), and Gabriel, though the club is leaning awfully hard on the teenager, looks like a genuine find. Runnarson is impossible to judge, but seems a low-rent buy for a club like Arsenal, while Cedric Soares is a step down from where Arsneal need to be. Pablo Mari looks like he might fit in at some point.

When in the last twelve years of his managerial career did Arsene Wenger ever get the kind of money either Arteta or Emery got? Never. His results were, however, superior in nearly every regard.

The owner’s son has assumed greater responsibility for Arsenal, and while Stan the Man was never a well-liked figure among Gooners, his direction, philosophy, and commitment to a certain model for doing business, was clear and unwavering. His son is less well-understood, as is the limits of his authority and the direction he will take the club. This is leading to uncertainty, decisions not in line with Arsenal traditions, and instability.

Unstable clubs rarely prosper. The lack of stability at Man U since Sir Alex’s retirement has led, despite massive spending, to huge under achievement. The same is happening at Arsenal. How long it lasts and how bad it gets will not be down to Mikel Arteta, but he will be the public face of it; for better or worse.


Tags Arteta board Wenger


  1. He can’t understand that he is not a coach yet; or would learn & experiment elsewhere as everyone else does…

    Can’t compare him to Emery. Wenger is in another league; a football legend!

  2. Emery was a coach with some experience, can’t compare him to Arteta an assistant with zero experience…

    Wenger can’t be even brought in; he is a legend, more than any player will ever be at Arsenal. The achievement makes the best coach & manager in football history ..Sir Alex knows it, what Wenger done for Arsenal is way beyond pitch he made us best team to watch in EPL and Europe…

    1. Emery did not BUY PEPE Emery did not want him the board wanted him did someone get a backhander for it DON’T blame Emery he had no freedom the board held the reins and as for OZIL he does not work hard enough for some reason and I do not know WHY?

    2. Bro Wenger’s a legend but not the GOAT. Pipe down on the praise. There are other greats of the game like Cruyff, Michels, Sir Alex (who is still superior to Wenger because of his showings in both Aberdeen and ManU), Jose, Ancelotti, Sir Matt Busby and many others along with modern greats like Guardiola, Zizou, Klopp, even Simeone to some extent. Wenger definitely is in that bracket but IMO it is impossible to identify one single manager and declare him the best.

      1. Sir Alex got lucky too…..he has the support of the board to get the players he wanted

        not to mention the support of the referees….theres always fergie time and penalties given when they are 1 nil down or goal-less

    3. some ex players make good coach, some good scout, some good managers and so on…

      not everyone becomes a good manager

  3. Wenger was not fired by Kroenke st all, or years ago.

    The fans over psst 3 years chased him from home he build for them.

    He left with so much dignity as image he made of Arsenal til his farewell.

    One day, these fans will realize we had a legend in football, an amazing story!

  4. “It is the club who have decided not to play Ozil, and anyone who believes it is for football reasons is an idiot.”


    Still it is not Mikel’s fault. He has to do his best with what he have. How can Mikel succeed when the club is unstable? He has to if one day we have to call him the great one otherwise he will end up just another average coach.

    Arsenal as a giant is the house the great Arsene built, Man utd is a house the great Alex built. You don’t mention even Pep or Klop names alongside those figures let alone Mikel.

    1. HH your actual point is not clear. Your post is puzzling as to what you are trying to say. CARE TO POST AGAIN IN PLAIN UNAMBIBUOUS ENGLISH SO THAT WE “PLEBS” CAN PROPERLY UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN VIEW?

      1. Simply just great men do not need the right environment and conditions to succeed. Great men create the right environment and conditions to succeed for example the great you know who.

        Mikel will succeed by his coaching and tactics not because of anything else.

        1. HH, Thanks for the clarification as I really had no idea what you first post was trying to say. I can agree wholeheartedly with this post.

  5. “It is the club who have decided not to play Ozil, and anyone who believes it is for football reasons is an idiot” I stopped reading here as people with different opinions (although based on facts) are termed as idiots.Stick with your fancy jersey merchant and we would have lost 8-0 to Villa due to one man less in the center of the park. Fondly dream of your stubborn arrogant “greatest manager” and we would be near relegation this year as there would be no improvement in defense and with the arrival of more talented teams like Wolves, LC, Villa. With limited competition he finished 6th when he got sacked, imagine now where we would be. Thank Goodness he was fired and we will never see him again at the Emirates.

  6. Not an article that wilL stay in tht memory, except that it insults the majority of us and calls us all “idiots”, as we dIsagree with the writers own view about Ozil.

    He did make a few of fair points, esp about the sheer number of CB’s all save PARTEY, bought by MA, as useless or next to useless AND also the as yet untried SALIBA.

    His insistence that “Willian will not contribute beyond this season” is written as it is fact, when it is merely this writers opinion and in my own view not based on enough evidence to carry weight.
    Most importantly I totally reject the writers contention that our club is unstable and think that is nonsensical, emotive rubbish!
    On the whole a poorly thought out article, albeit with some but not enough truths.

    1. So, now you have finished insulting the writer, can you give your reasons why you think he’s wrong lol

      1. Pat, Seems you have not noticed it was HE insulting us! Read it again PAT. Properly this time! I DID give my reasons for my criticism, which is not insult, but simply criticism. They mean different things, to those who completely understand English!

        YOU REALLY MUST READ THINGS CLOSER, as you miss so much! HE called we OZIL non fans, “IDIOTS”! SO THAT MUST INCLUDE HIS OPINION OF ARTETA, as he has sidelined Ozil. Do you think it right he calls MA an idiot then? CARE TO ANSWER?

        1. Coming from the same person who called Ozil fans ‘Weirdos’ for having a different opinion to his own…..

        2. It will be a blessing when you will take a break from this forum Jon. It feels like you have issue with every article and every person on this site. Being an Arsenal fan for 60 years does not make you right about everything….football have evolved so much but you are still stuck in 1960s.

  7. I do not think that the club is anywhere near unstable.
    Once Vinai Venkatesham assumed the position of CEO it was inevitable that there would be significant changes at the top management level. First the departure of Raul Sanllehi, possibly because of the errors of judgement in the transfer market and and the subsequent hiring of EDU as Technical Director. Not certain in my mind that this will bring better results Next the departure of Huss Fahmy the Contracts Lawyer and the redundancy of Scouting Staff. Changes at Board level have also occurred and the Data Analysis function strengthened to provide data on potential transfer targets. Venkatesham is a very experienced commercial manager and a Chartered Management accountant. He in my opinion, is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the given objective of KSE is that club be self-sustaining. This could result in some temporary instability but should have no effect on the playing side of the club whatsoever. Why are we suddenly instable because we lost a few matches.The possible problem is that there are players who think that they are good enough to get more playing time and are not getting it and it is having an effect in the dressing room.


  8. What I don’t understand is why Ozil is still at Arsenal.
    Maybe he should or maybe he should not be in the Arsenal starting line up: that is up for debate.
    Right or wrong, once it is decided not to even register Ozil to play he absolutely has to leave the club.

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