If you were Arteta, would you leave Arsenal if Barca came calling?

If You Were Arteta – Would You Leave For Barcelona? by Dan Smith

Mikel Arteta has gone from being linked with the sack before Christmas to now being rumoured as the next Barcelona manager.

The presidential elections at the Nou Camp are due on the 8th of March and given the turmoil on and off the pitch, this year’s is as crucial as any in the club’s recent history.

It’s traditional for candidates to promise various things to supporters to garner votes.
Usually those discussions involve Messi’s future but according to RAC1 Joan Laporte wants Arteta to follow Ronald Koeman.

Given that the Catalan giants are 5 points behind top in La Liga (Atletico have a game in hand) and lost 4-1 at home in the first leg of the Champions League last 16, the Dutchman’s future isn’t safe, even if there is more an acceptance that the club are in transition.

Whether it’s right or wrong, Barca have a dressing room who hold influence over who is in power. The senior players will forever be grateful to Pep Guardiola and therefore might not mind working with his apprentice who would have been taught the Barca way.

It’s believed that if Laporta gets re-elected for the second time it will increase the chances of Messi staying (although for the first-time senior figures are doubting the financial sense of keeping the Argentine).

Laporta has the trust based on his previous tenure. In many ways he was the man who promoted the model of promoting within. Not appointing the most experienced names as head coach but Barcelona men.

That’s why Arsenal being 10th wouldn’t be held against Arteta. Arteta was part of the club’s youth team and his mentor is Mr Guardiola, someone who Laporta would listen too.

If club legend Pep says Arteta is the man to take Barca forward, then that will be enough. Plus with the Man City’s boss’ help Mikel could quickly point to the restraints he has to work with (an owner with zero ambition) and add that even with them he won the FA Cup.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 21: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City bumps fists with Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on February 21, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

I believe Arteta has a lot of respect for Arsenal, but if an offer came from Barcelona it would be heart vs head.

His heart might say he’s at the start of a project at the Emirates and he might have loyalty to a club who gave him his first job. His head might say ‘how often do you get the chance to manage one of the biggest clubs in the world’.

As a former player, he’s smart enough to know the fickleness of the sport. He will know there were gooners who wanted him gone in his rookie year and that will only increase if this time next year we are not in the top 4. At that point would Barca still be interested?

Taking the emotion out of it, I believe Arteta is an ambitious coach. So he needs to ask himself the following ……..

Can he ever win the Premiership with Arsenal? In my opinion not under the current owner.

Is he more likely to win La Liga with Barcelona? In my view 100 percent.

It’s not as rosy in the Barca garden as it has been in the last two decades, but there is too much pressure from fans, the media, the dressing room, etc to let any President do anything else but build again.

As a fan owned club, a Stan Kroenke type at Arsenal wouldn’t work in Spain.

At Arsenal it will be always two steps forward, one back because the Kroenke Family earn so much off TV revenue they no longer care where we finish. Arteta will never be allowed to compete in the transfer market with the Manchester clubs or Chelsea.

For example, we finished in our worst position in 25 years, so our manager asked for a number 10 to make us better. Instead of Aouar, he had to wait till January to get a loan signing but only after we had slashed the wage bill. That’s the best a Billionaire can do? He’s worked that way since he joined our board so isn’t going to suddenly change now.

Arteta might have more credentials than you think.

In the short term Barca need someone happy to bring through youngsters. Something Arteta has done in North London.

He clearly wants to play the style taught to him by Pep but doesn’t have the quality to do that at Arsenal, but he would in Spain.

Equally, he felt the need to organise his defence at Arsenal first, which is something maybe Barca could do with.

I know there are some readers who would be happy to see Arteta jump ship while others rate him.

I want him to succeed but don’t think he will under the current process so logically jump before you are pushed.

Especially if you are jumping off a sinking ship to a sexier one…

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. This is very hypothetical but from the way he’s acted so far my guess would be that he’d want to complete the arsenal “project” as much as he reasonably could before moving on (which probably translates to 3 years), regardless of who came calling.
    I think he’d be foolish to move now as he hasn’t proven to anyone, including himself that he can be a success, and Barcelona would be a massive jump in terms of pressure imo

  2. Good morning my fellow gooners

    I would personally hope he stayed and to see the job through
    Its a big pull to go back and manage a team where it all started for you.
    The expectation of Barca are far and above what we have so hopefully his head will say no whilst his heart would say yes.
    Chopping and changing managers for us would be a step backwards regardless of people calling for his head now.
    We are moving in the right direction but time is needed and a lot of time and patience at that.
    A new man coming in would then decide he needs to overall the squad again. More wasted time and money down the pan.
    People forget..First job. Still learning his trade and mistakes, even big ones are going to happen
    He is still a coach learning to be a manager.. a big difference in life
    Next season will be telling for us and I for one are expecting a big one..
    Onwards and upwards

  3. Personally i hope its true and they do take Arteta he may do the job with the world class players to work with he could win trophies there and would be similar to his work with City where he will never have that luxury at Arsenal despite him saying it’s a long term project unfortunately his intentions may be right but he has no chance of succeeding while the present owner is in charge so if he does get the opportunity he should grab it with both hands!!

  4. Dodgy times at Barca presently, more so than usual, as their offices were raided by the Catalan police yesterday and four arrests were made regarding financial irregularities. Whether this has any bearing on the elections situation, who knows but considering the worldwide economic problems because of Covid, it could be another big problem for Barca especially as they have huge debts already. I don’t think Arteta would leave us presently, but who knows in the future.

  5. No, i dont think MA would want to leave us for Barca now.
    He has complete backing from the owner and board here and he will be given some sort of time to achieve what he and the club wants.

    Will he get that sort of backing at Barca?? doubtful

  6. BYE ! 👋

    I’ve already packed his bags

    He may very well do better at barca. But the truth of the matter is we are bang average atm. In the middle of the table and we don’t look like winning g anything

    Blah blah blah time.money etc. Yes it all counts but I just don’t see arsenal excelling anywhere. Our attack is average at best. Our defence is maybe a bit better than average. Midfield decent. I do t see that arteta has improved the team since wenger or uni emry.

    I feel like arsenal have gotten so bad that we now accept averageness from our team. And manager for that matter.

    I really do hope arsenal and arteta can turn things around but I just do.t see it I’m sorry.

    1. @shortboygooner, thanks for elucidated points but how can Arsenal compete with the big boys in this trade with a foolish n frugal Kronke whose primary intention is only to make money. There are times when you need to dig deep into your wallet to achieve the very best (or compete with the very best). That’s not the case for Arsenal at the moment. When you pay peanuts, you will definitely get a monkey. #kronkeout. We need an investor who’s a gooner fan and has our best interests at heart. Undoubtedly he will make money, but needs to invest as well. We need solid players to come through.

      1. @kingdavid

        I absolutely agree with you.

        Your not wrong and we can all see that most likely until kronke goes it will be a very tough job to win at arsenal.

        I think this adds to part of the reason we won’t win under arteta. I mean we have seen what big money can get you with Frank over at Chelsea. He done a okay job. Some could argue better than arteta as.they looked stronger on the league others would so no as arteta got a trophy.

        But at the end of the day we neede an experienced manager who can grind out results. And get the best from our team. I dont think we have a bad squad or a great squad but we certainly should not be 9th at the moment.

        Arteta has made some brilliant and some mental calls. I do beleive he gets it wrong more than he gets it right and just as people get unsettles he turns things around for 1 or 2 games and goes back to the rubbish we see.

        I think a better manager would have us finish in the top 6 possibly top 4. On our day we can beat any team in the league bar Liverpool and City. I think we should be atleast matching Chelsea spurs utd and Leicester. And with the top 4 money be being able to build.

        I justbdont see this happening with arteta as he doesn’t have the money or experience to bring the bestbout of the players

  7. Upon seeing the article headline, I dreaded what I was going to read in response.

    However, well said Davi, Alanball08 & Danny.

    Balanced well put views, with which I for one happen to agree with much said.

    @Danny – your last line re’ our current ownership is SPOT ON !

    Arteta needs to be judged when managing HIS team, not the largely sub-standard one he inherited due to year upon year of neglect.

    1. Plus Val.

      Wow, the “give the man time” camp really do have a voice.

      Good to see – in my opinion (and no, I’m not PLASTIC ?1?1?!)

  8. Similar to AJ, I was expecting a lot of negativity but nice to read the comments.

    As others have said, MA is not the type to up and leave if a bigger team comes in. Regardless, it may be the case that Barça is where Arsenal were at the beginning of Emery’s first season: old guard slipping off and a lot of inadequate squad players left to fill the void. Whether it’s Koeman or somebody else, Barça have some bright la Masía stars, Messi and a squad of overpaid average players with a corrupt power struggle at the top and mountains of debt. Rebuilding Arsenal is a walk in the park in comparison.

    My support for Arteta isn’t necessarily built on improvement/success (although I personally do like the direction we are heading), it is the recognition that the grass is not always greener. As much as fans may pretend that “all we need is a renowned manager”, they will hopefully admit that there is absolutely no guarantee of that.

    Although Wenger perhaps stayed on a little too long, I’m proud to be a fan of a club that doesn’t react like Real and Chelsea to short-term difficulties, or to rely on rich sugar daddies. I hope we continue to resist these trends of modernity and stick with MA, at least in the medium-term.

  9. Not a good time to be in charge at Barca, with an aging team and SEVERE financial problems.Not a great time to be at Arsenal either it has to be said, but chinks of light are appearing to hopefully brighten up the horizon.If he is successful at Arsenal, Arteta may be a target for Barca, but not at the present time.

  10. 1. can he handle Messi?

    2. Barca is bankrupt. So what players are they going to give to Mikel?

    3. Mikel still has a lot of flaws and he can’t do that in Barca – experimenting things….

  11. If I were Arteta, I wouldn’t go to Barcelona as long as the old players like Messi are still there. Arteta’s system requires hungry team players and Messi’s stamina is simply not enough for high work rate

    Even Guardiola left after getting all major trophies with Barcelona and I bet he’d only go back after Barcelona release the uncontrollable divas. Arteta’s best chance to win a major trophy is with Arsenal, because he’s been building his own clique

  12. Arsenal ownership have full faith in Mikel Arteta & backed him to complete a ‘cultural overhaul’ at the club which included a number of first team players leaving in January & the summer.
    With further changes expected on the playing staff side this summer & a clear appetite to bring in more of his own players, Arteta’s time in north London won’t be coming to an end anytime soon.
    -Chris Wheatley.

    Hang in there boys, the AOB will dit and moan for more years to come.
    I laugh when I read fans talk about a new coach for me t season.
    More years of Arteta Out Boys moaning? It’s tiring, but inject it in my veins 😂😂

  13. Off topic, but tenuously linked with the future ability of any manger to mould HIS side (Arteta).

    Much of the Dangote “talk” has come from interviews held with the man some time ago.

    It seems this one won’t go away, with the following surfacing today ;

    “Arsenal could be set for a massive change at the top in the not-too-distant future, amid renewed speculation over the possibility of an imminent takeover led by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote. The 63-year-old, who is the richest African on the planet with a reported net worth of around £7.6billion, has openly discussed his desire to buy the club on a number of previous occasions, insisting back in 2016 that a move to purchase a controlling stake was simply a matter of time”.

    Even if this were any where near accurate – would Mr Dangote give M A the time he needs ?

    1. AJ that Dangote talk has gone for too long that I ain’t buying it anymore.
      I doubt the man can give Kroenke what he wants.
      Also, even if he does get Arsenal, I’m pretty sure he’d back Arteta financially in every way first

  14. @Eddie.

    Yes – we just don’t know if it’s all wind & *iss !

    Personally I have long felt we are in the hands of the wrong owner, and time for change (and a new dynamic) at the very top is long overdue.

  15. I stated in another thread there are arguments to be made from both sides; staying or leaving.

    Personally if we could get Julian Nagelsmann then Arteta can go. I’ve preferred Nagelsmann over Arteta from the start.

    Nagelsmann is far better man manager, plays direct attacking football, develops and improves players (young & old) and gets results.

  16. Before addressing the more important matter of whether MA would accept a Barca offer, this story, if true, shows the stupidity of those naive fans on here who want him sacked from our club. Their misjudgement and naivety astounds me but let that pass!
    So would he acccept an Barca offer then? l could understand the tempation to work for a club with ambition rather than stay under the appalling Kroenke, so no rational fan could blame him if he chose to leave us.

    That being said, I believe firstly that he will NOT receive such an offer and that even IF he did, he would turn it down.

    He would know that at BARCA he would soon be sacked no matter what, UNLESS HE WON the CL, la Ligue and emulated Pep’s status there.

    Whereas under Kroenke he is safe from being sacked almost no matter what. Some (dafter) fans do want him out but the wiser and more mature fans, PLUS our owner, will give him the time he needs to turn our oil tanker ship club around.
    Kroenke will still NOT back him – nor any other manager we might otherwise have – with enough money, but all things considered, I expect him to still be our manager five years from now and hopefully far longer too.

  17. So far on this thread there is a dearth of posts from those hasty juveniles who want him sacked and who say so constantly.

    I note that they are so embarrassed to think that the man they want sacked now seems to be wanted by a huge club like BARCA, which means they are thoroughly nonplussed and so are quiet with their usual nonsense. FOR NOW!

    1. Just look at Barca’s managers list after pep.. They’re all average.. Barca wanting him means nothing.. Arteta is even below average.. Wish he could change my mind but there is nothing on the pitch to be so happy about. Keep attacking fans for wanting arteta sacked and be happy being 10th and breaking records (wrong kind of records). You keep saying you’re old and been supporting arsenal for I don’t know how long but the way you speak reeks of a teenager.

      1. Rashid👍🏼
        As it stands
        it will be a breathe of fresh air for barca to take one of our deadwood, we are in a rebuilding phase..
        The way people are attacked once you are not part of arteta’s brigade is getting so irritating
        You can defend him and like him, you can even make a case that he needs 3 or more seasons but that doesn’t make you any better than people who rightly is having a different view because our position,performance,decisions makes that a valid point..
        We have many futune tellers as arteta lovers always claiming that in 3 or more seasons Artata will be winning the Elite competitions with arsenal. Well that will be great that is the dream of every arsenal fan
        where the problem lies is in the present.. Is the present showing us to believe in the future that many people see’s Arteta attaining so far to many there have been so little to believe until arteta convinces many he will remain been critised and questioned

      2. Actually sonny boy, I am 70. You have not the life experience to even know which is my generation. I am not surprised, frankly. But I know yours, sonny!

    2. But of course Mr Fox- you are correct and everybody who does not agree with you are wrong. As always with you PAL.
      So I’m on here now. Been busy most of the day so first opportunity to look through the threads. I wouldn’t normally bother commenting but as you seem to imply I’m one who has kept quiet then I am happy to give my thoughts.
      Firstly, Arteta will not be going to Barcelona at this time. They are in a worst position than Arsenal and everyone knows this. And Barca will no doubt go for experience if they sack Koeman.In my opinion Arteta is doing a decent job at Arsenal, but not as good as he should be doing. Our squad is better than 10th place and everyone knows it. Even YOU PAL, but you are to far up Arteta’s arse to admit it. Arteta’s incompetence has cost us points, and an FA Cup place. He has been allowed to feel as though he is untouchable simply on the back of a surprising FA Cup last season. That may satisfy you PAL but it is far from what expectation levels I have for any Arsenal manager.
      So you feel Arteta will be here in five years time. Let’s wait and see shall we. My bet is that Kronke will succumb to fan power as he has already shown by sacking Wenger and Emery. If supporters were allowed into the Emirates this season do you seriously believe the fans would not have reacted to those embarrassing performances? You never go to games PAL. I do. And believe me when I say the COVID restrictions has saved Arteta so far. Without Europe next season he is on a very slippery slope

      1. Spot on phil couldn’t agree more trouble with jon fox is he thinks cos hes old he knows everything about the game and only his opinions are correct and those who go against him then get verbally attacked as i said previously if we had a owner with ambition to challenge for all the major trophies then Arteta would not have got the job and if by a miracle he did then would have been sacked ages ago and i still stick with my beliefs that he will not take us back to where we belong whether jon fox likes it or not tough ….!!

  18. Kudos Dan, nary a mention of you know who…baby steps…more balanced and reasoned approach, with a few much-deserved digs at our absentee landlord

      1. Still waiting for Vera’s “EPIC” article regarding you know who Dan 🤔
        As for MA and Barca, too many ifs and buts to sort out before we should even begin to think about it – good article Dan, why DIDN’T you mention David Dein?

  19. No! I wont. I hate to work under increased pressure.
    Moreso, Barca is not realy a good place to be as a coach right now.
    And if I was actually serious about ‘project Arsenal’, it will be more reasonable to see it through.

  20. If anyone seriously believes that Barca is interested in Arteta, then please contact me. I have a bridge with great historical value that is just right for you at a very reasonable price….

    1. It’s same as barca wanting iwobi
      This article came a month earlier
      April fool is around the corner

      1. Iwobi is not as far-fetched….after all, they did sign Song, and less shockingly, but only just, Helb.

  21. Probably not. Considering their expectations where second best is not good enough, Barcelona are in an even worse predicament than Arsenal. The pressure for immediate success would be immense, as is the impossibility of finding a new Messi and replacing such stalwarts as Piquet and Busquets. These players are generational. The Emirates where expectations are low provides a young manager with a comfortable environment to learn ones craft without additional pressure. Besides he won’t have Saka, Tierney or ESR at Barcelona.

  22. The key point here is that as long as he stays here he will work with the same budget players and limitations while at Barcelona things can change quicker than they will at Arsenal.
    The new board is imminent and with it a new ambition, finance and ability to improve the squad. At Arsenal you’ll always have this situation and not be able to change it so regret to say but if it was me I’d go. He played in their academy if I remember correctly so there is also a link there.

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