Arteta’s turning point? by Dan Smith
Call me a romantic, but in a few years’ time we could look back at Tuesday’s result at Stamford Bridge as a pivotal moment in the managerial career of Arteta.
Don’t get me wrong, no one is getting carried away with one win in our manager’s first 7 League games, but sometimes you reach a point where your performance is as important as your results.
We have fallen so far down the table that outside of the cups you can almost write off this campaign. We have had nothing to cheer for months, getting to the point where we just wanted to see the basics of players fighting for the shirt and even caring.
That’s why even without the victories, barring Sheffield United, many Gooners have been comforted by the early signs of the new regime. We were seeing details we hadn’t seen under Emery.
Even had we lost to Chelsea we would be again talking about positives that can be built on. Yet we know how harsh this game can be.
Without Bellerin’s equalizer the next days would have been spent talking about our defence, our ability to see out matches and of course further scrutiny on our coach’s win record.
While the squad has clearly responded to a fresh voice, the longer they go without results to show for their efforts the quicker they will stop listening.
Coming away from Dean Court, Selhurst Park and even when Chelsea won at the Emirates it was nice to be at a point where you felt unlucky not to be getting three points. Not like the rock bottom days of Brighton outplaying us on our own pitch.
I don’t want to pick on Emery, but I can’t help but think if he was in the dugout still, our players wouldn’t have the spirit to fight and stay in the contest?
Xhaka and Mustafi have both been open about how the recent atmosphere around the club has affected them mentally. Yet after his error Mustafi didn’t go hiding while Xhaka was inspired dropping back into the back 4.
I’m not going to commend fans for not verbally abusing their own, but the reason the away contingent stood by their team was because they saw those in red and white were giving everything they had, that’s all you can ask for. It makes me feel we have reached a real turning point.
Laca’s work rate makes up for his goal drought, Martinelli has that street fighter personality associated with so many South American exploits, while so many more are in their best form this season (not saying much).
Common sense would say that the longer Arteta gets on the training pitch with his new players the better they will become, the fitter they will feel, and more they will buy into new principles.
If Arteta takes us back to the level we belong (zero guarantees) we might all look back on this game as the turning point.
Be kind in the comments…