Mikel Arteta’s biggest successes and failures at Arsenal so far

A look through Arteta’s brief reign as Arsenal boss…

Mikel Arteta’s first season in management has been brought to a pause in the most dramatic and unexpected way possible amid the shocking outbreak of coronavirus all over the world.

We all hope things can return to normal as soon as possible – and that includes seeing Arsenal on the pitch again – but for now, we thought we’d take a quick look at the things Arteta has done well, and what he’s struggled with so far since replacing Unai Emery as head coach.

Success – Improved defence

This is clear to anyone who’s watched us since Arteta took over – the defence was all over the place before but was clearly a priority for the Spaniard to fix, and he’s done that. The likes of David Luiz and even Shkodran Mustafi have improved a great deal, leading to five clean sheets in our last seven games.

Success – Lifted the mood

Everything you hear from Arsenal players in the media recently suggests they are far happier and more aware of what they’re supposed to be doing now that Arteta is in charge. These quotes from David Luiz paint a particularly promising picture of how things have changed in that respect.

Success – Smart transfers

Ok, there’s admittedly not much to work with here, but Pablo Mari has looked a smart signing on loan despite not being a big name who had top clubs queuing up for him. According to The Athletic, it seems Arteta had the final say on this deal and made him a priority, so credit to the Spaniard for helping find such a gem.

Failure – Europa League humiliation

Make no mistake about it – this was a pretty horrendous result. From 1-0 up on aggregate after the away leg, there’s no way we should have thrown this away. Of course, Arteta can’t take all the blame as that late horror miss from Aubameyang could have made all the difference, but we should never have been in that situation in the first place.

Failure – Ozil and Pepe

It would admittedly have been nice to see more of an improvement from these two players in particular. While most of the team has stepped up a level, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe continue to frustrate. Ozil’s superb performance in that 2-0 win over Manchester United proved something of a false dawn, while Pepe has still only blown hot and cold and not always managed to even make the starting XI.

Failure – Aubameyang saga

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract is still not sorted, and the Sun suggest we’ve accepted defeat on that front. Again, Arteta cannot take all the blame here by any means, but it’s a shame that he has perhaps struggled to sell his vision to such a top player at such an important time.

Tags Mikel Arteta


  1. I wonder how people just wake up and decide yo write crap articles such as this.
    You already know his failures and shortcomings, the same Ozil who’s over his peak and already in decline that has improved a lot better under Arteta than he’s been for the past 20 months.
    The same PEA who’s negotiating his contract with the club, Arteta is responsible for the negotiations?
    So many senseless posts lately

  2. To attempt to blame the Auba contract situation on MA is surely a sick joke and nonsensical, as well as being plain wrong! THE TROUBLE WITH ONE CLEARLY OUTRAGEOUSLY STUPID STATEMENT IN ANY ARTICLE, IS THAT ONCE READ, OTHERS ARE THEN MOST LIKELY TO RIDICULE THE WHOLE POST. That would also be wrong, as much of your post was good and sensible but oh dear, blaming MA for the Auba situation. Dear, dear, dear!

  3. I’d like to see Martinelli play more, but sure MA has his reasons. Disappointed with Euros, but I’m reaching a bit and being picky.
    Overall, I’m thrilled with Arteta, and pleased to say that it appears management has got that right so far.
    Hope they take his advice with transfers next.

  4. If Auba wants £300,000pw to stay then I suggest he is a mercenary regardless of if he buys into Arteta’s vision.
    If he wants to be a trophy winner then Arsenal is a work in progress and Auba needs to move on as he is approaching the twilight of his career.

    Regarding the Olympiacos game it was disappointing to lose at home but considering how awful Arsenal were in the autumn, MA did well to lift that rag tag mob up to play more cohesively anyway

    All of this now seems so long ago.
    A new man learning the ropes has done well so far. Many others have tried football management and failed. Arteta looks promising and hopefully will make it to the top

    1. At top gunner
      How so when we concede less goals play with more balance and have more shots + clear cut chances per game. Kmt what a fan you are.

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