One key reason why Arteta is the perfect choice for Arsenal

One key reason why Arteta could be the perfect choiceby ThirdManJW

After the sacking of Emery, every name under the sun was linked to the Arsenal job, and for varying reasons. Some wanted Mourinho because of his outstanding CV, and discipline. Some wanted Nagelsmann because of his age, and style of play. Some even wanted Wenger to return! As we know, it was Arteta that got the job.

Despite his inexperience as a manager, the one key thing Arteta had over the other candidates, was that he spent 5 years at Arsenal as a player, as recently as 2016. So Arteta was here during our deep decline. Although he had no managerial experience, crucially, he had first-hand experience of problems specific to Arsenal. I think the board looked at this as a very important factor when appointing Arteta.

In regard to understanding our problems, Arteta played in Arsenal teams that were battered, and humiliated fairy regularly. He would have experienced the weak mentality, poor discipline, our defense (specifically, our CBs) getting no protection, no accountability, any central long ball bypassing our entire team, and so on. Our attack has suffered, because Arteta put everything into sorting out these problems first, but rightly so.

I don’t think it would have even been possible to play free flowing, expansive attacking football, whilst simultaneously trying to solve our chronic defensive issues. Chronic being the key word. It hadn’t been the odd poor season, a short-term problem, this had been going on for well over a decade! Our defending, and weak mentality had been so poor, for so long, that it had become part of the culture of the club.

So, given what he experienced at Arsenal as a player, it’s easy to understand why Arteta has been ultra-defensive since day one. Arteta’s cautious, pragmatic approach to games has also been vindicated with the performances, and results. Under Emery, and Wenger, we got battered a lot! Only once in something like 43/44 games under Arteta’s management has this happened. And not one time have we been torn apart against the top teams. In fact, we’re going toe-to-toe with them now. I think 7 wins from something like 14 games against the top six teams, including beating the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool in finals to win a couple of trophies being evidence of this.

Although Arteta has focused predominantly on our defending, he has acknowledged our attacking issues, and is actively trying to improve that area. Whilst our poor defending during his playing days with us will have shaped Arteta’s approach to the Arsenal job, I wonder in time, if our attacking game will do as well? Despite our long regression under Wenger, we still played exciting, attacking football, and surely that would have rubbed off on Arteta as well. If he can blend what he has learnt from the defending and attacking side of the game, and find balance, we will be in great shape!


Tags Arteta Wenger


  1. This might correct observation yet a wrong reason. Arsenal is centre for all manner of experiments. I think it had to do with a person who would accommodate such empty schemes such as building youthful players as opposed to assembling a team that would compete now that endeared Arteta to Arsenals project. You see all in the way he gambles all through. I am not satisfied that he is good enough a good manager to give Arsenal the success that has eluded the Emirates for decades now. A team that can’t shoot at the opponents goal is the culture he is cultivating! What a shame!

  2. Arteta is a good coach. He was a good football player. He has learnt under good coaches from Moyes, Wenger and Pep.

    Though things are going pretty slow on his road to success I believe in a few years time we will click.
    He has not yet found his first 11 cause of some factors like inconsistency, lack of quality squad, injuries.

    Things will fall in place with time.

  3. Give Klopp or Pep or Mou or Brendon or Allegiri the following team and ask them if they could avoid relegation.
    Soares, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac
    Xhaka, Cabelos, Elneny
    Willian Laca
    Then think of the problems facing Arteta.

    1. They are all internationals and two of them world cup winners

      However, they will do the same….

      rebuild the team

      build the core/spine with a team of youngsters and blend some experience heads

    2. Now give them this team and see if they would be in the top four:
      Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney
      AMN, Partey,
      Saka, Balogun, Aubemeyang

      Subs. Martinelli, Elneny, Lacs, ESR, Holding, Mari, Willian, Soares, Willock, Nketiah, Willock.

      Then think of the opportunities facing Arteta.

    3. Loose Cannon, the above list of players looks like something picked blind folded from a lucky dip with no rhyme or reason which just tells us how bad things have been allowed to get at Arsenal since Arsene Wegner lost interest. Ozil actually stands out because he was a key player in three FA cup wins. I wonder if even Burnley’s manager could put the above group through boot camp and have them sweating blood in order to successfully avoid relegation.

  4. Arteta was favored for the managerial role because of Pep’s influence. Nothing more. He was believed to have gathered experiences here and there.

    He’s a good coach but not the type to not make errors.

  5. Hes a good choice to build up a team of youngsters…..

    we are at rebuilding process with heaps of young players coming in and adding a blend of experience

    hence hes a good choice to build up a team of youngsters…..

  6. Didnt i just read article Arteta claiming team cant win anything and lots patience is needed?

    He has the best team in over decade.

    belllerin Gabriel Holding Tierny
    partey xhaka
    pepe Auba Saka.

    Plenty options all over pitch but experiments, incapable to realize we had way better option than Luiz as CB til he got injured.

    Only patience needed is for him to experiment til he grow to a coach he is in devellopment stage, not a year yet.

    Arsenal team can beat any team in Europe, of course fight for EPL title.

    why Leicester thren wolves can move and stay above us each season, as Southampton seems to go for as Everton?

    They have real coaches. Look what happened to Reds with Klopp, it took time but he was going up, not further down we ever been…Look at Spurs today. Mourihno came same time as Arteta…Look at spurs today…

    Please enough of that ridiculous artetamania, we lose or draw sunday and we be 15th or 16th spot

    He knows that and it is unreal to read such articles praising such an awful realty to finish 8th, stand bellow 10, in 12th, in verge of falling 15th and bellow.

    You should start looking at facts and reality; we have best team and worst coach, explains our position.

    1. “You should start looking at facts and reality; we have best team and worst coach, explains our position.”

      You will not let up your hatred of Arteta will you? We are FAR from having the BEST TEAM, and even further from having the WORST COACH.

      You wouldn’t know FACTS AND REALITY if it bit you in the Arsenal….

      Its time to change the record, Mogunna. You are fast becoming the most annnoying commenter on here repeating the same rubbish time after time. THAT IS A FACT for you…

      More of your FACTS… “why Leicester thren wolves can move and stay above us each season, as Southampton seems to go for as Everton?”

      Leicester finished above us last year for the FIRST time since they won the title
      Wolves finished above us last season for the FIRST time in decades
      Southampton and Everton finished BELOW us last season, and BELOW us the season before, AND the season before, And… And… And..

      Do you want to clarify your statement?

      Your problem is you keep repeating your so-called FACTS with no reasoning or REAL facts to back you up. Try and actually talk about facts and I may strt listening to what you say…

      1. We talking about last year and where we at and heading tomorrow with a draw or lost…

        with all due respect, if you cant admit that Wolves and Foxes have coach with more experience, therefore making it better than and difference with Artera, you only fouling yourself.

        The all world can see that and it is not serving fans to state opposite.

        They then dont get why and blame players and sad.

        How can you state he is best coach for this team? He is not at team’s level in every ways…

  7. Southampton as Wolves before them is a prime example of the difference a coach makes with a midtable team.

    We have a way better team and bigger club, cant even compare.

    if we have playerd and cant do it; we have a coach pb, not players.

    common sense…

    1. Mogunna your last words are “common sense”. Sense is a word meaning something you would not even recognise and common means shared by all. Since you are human and do not have any, sense then common sense does nort even exist; it is merely a misused phrase.

      You should stop the constant carping caused entirely but your own stupidity and tone down your constant criticismof our fine emanger OR I for one will declare all out verbal war on you and I can make mincemeat of you sunshine.


      1. Now if I were Mogunna, I would insert AW for MA and your name for his Jon, with regards to supporting the manager… only his beef is over eleven months, while you claim yours was over ten years… funny old game 😎

        As for MA being part of a team that was “battered and humiliated fairly regularly” if Mogunna is being attacked for not using facts, perhaps this statement from TMJW should also be under scrutiny – in fact that’s what I’ll try and do – look at the results while MA was an Arsenal player… watch this space.

        As for MA being the right choice, I think Durand’s comments show the mature and sensible opinion that we should be following.
        After all, it was him (among a few others) who first started questioning UE and we got the same hair dryer treatment Mogunna is now getting.
        Funnily enough, it was TMJW and Jon Fox who were amongst the last to see the problems, but that’s another story of course.

        1. kEN Your first paragraph perfectly captures the fault in Mogunnas beef against MA which is over a few months only, after two trophies too,whereas mine was over a decade of drift after a previous decade when I fully supported AW.


          A question to you old chum! Do you consider what Mogunna is doing is the act of a true supporter or not?

          1. Jon, tell me how you clarify a true supporter?
            Knowing our history, supporting through thick and thin the players, managers, club and fellow fans – even if one doesn’t agree with EVERY view, decision or outcome.
            Supporting wherever possible, with direct action such as attending games and prioritizing this above everything else (apart from family of course), not attacking players personally and support them when they wear the shirt.
            These are just a few of my thoughts.

            I don’t agree with Mogunna and his personal attack on Mikel Arteta – just as I didn’t agree with yours on Arsene Wenger – each to their own, but will concede the time difference is wholly relevant…perhaps the top four finishes and CL qualifications that have since eluded our club, has made you think about what was achieved during that decade you saw as “wasted years” or “the lost decade?”

            That’s also another reason why the period of eighteen months under UE should be remembered as well, especially for those who, like Durand and Phil, were pointing out problems as early as during his twenty game unbeaten run…something that MA has done wonders with – but it is on the pitch that we should be judging MA, as he himself is doing by the way.

            We all have our own views, but it is important to be consistent with them and, if nothing else, Mogunna has stuck to his beliefs…as you did yours – so I don’t see any difference between the two of you to be frank – just the different way the views are put across using the correct vocabulary etc.

            I believe that the use of the English language is not Mogunna’s first choice and that, along with his evident passion, sometimes makes it difficult to follow his line of thought.
            I cannot see what on earth challenging him over a “verbal war” would achieve, we just need to believe that Mikel Arteta will produce the results that will make Mogunna change his mind over the next eighteen months.

            What worries me more, is the claim that MA played in teams that were “battered and humiliated fairly regularly” are, seemingly, unchallenged by you – as two fans who are aware of the need to know the history of our club, why do you let this obvious misleading statement pass without question?

            Isn’t THAT a part of being a true supporter?

            1. What you said regarding my comments about managers is absolutely true. I did question Emery early, mainly based on his comments to fans that he was not fulfilling. For example
              1. He said he’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0 because he desired to play attacking football.
              2. He said he looked to create friction with top players in clubs
              3. He expressed desire to change Arsenal’s fundamental philosophy and shape it in his image.

              You can find these if you search, like I did over 2 years ago.

              I pointed out and commented on Emery’s failures and avoidance of these “pledges” he made to fans; as well as his awful management, leadership, and ever changing formations and their failures.
              I was called plastic, not a fan, WKB, to name the polite names. I held him to same standard as Wenger was judged, I was consistent & put club before manager or player.
              Thanks Ken for correctly pointing out my opinions and stance, and overall consistency. Supporting yet questioning is healthy for fans, we do it for owner, players, even each other on this forum; managers should not be exempted.

              1. Absolutely Durand and didn’t those of us who agreed with you get the hair dryer treatment for putting forward our views?!

                Much the same as Mogunna is being pilloried now, I would suggest.

                It does seem that fans either forget what they said, change their views (nothing wrong with that if they recognise it of course), or judge others differently if their views are not the same as their own.

                I honestly don’t question or challenge for the sake of it, but I do have a fairly good memory, especially when it involves our club, JA and it’s contributors.

                1. Very true Ken you suffered similar condemnation for agreeing with the position. Name-calling doesn’t bother me a jot, but I am pleased when respected contributors appreciate my consistency and universal treatment of managers.
                  It helps establish a healthy& respectful debate. We have had disagreements in the past, but they were always passionate yet civil; the reason I comment on your posts Ken.
                  Lately we are of a similar mind, and I have frequently passed on commenting because I mirrored your opinion on topics, but lacked the eloquence of your delivery.
                  Unfortunately my plans to travel to London were thwarted by pandemic last Summer, and appear to be off for this Spring as well. I would love to talk Arsenal over a pint with you and Jon, travel permitting with pandemic.

                  1. Just let me know when your over Durand and, if possible a pint to follow the game – one way or another a ticket will materialise for you!!!

                    Keep safe and yes, we did have some good debates my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed them!!!

      2. Verbal war?? Mincemeat?? Oh dear…are we at primary school??!!

        That is Mogunna’s opinion and although I don’t agree with it, this is a site for all opinions.
        I don’t see why he should be attacked just because you don’t agree with it.. but then this is you all over…

        1. Yes Sue very much on point. Some people think they have a monopoly on rightfulness so they don’t even listen to other opinions.

  8. This season in the PL, Arsenal must start clicking soon or else top 4 or even top 6 will soon be out of sight, considering how well other teams are playing. Goals have been drying up and MA and the rest of the team must find a solution for this asap. MA should integrate youngsters like Balogun, Willock, ESR more into the first team, they are more determined to score and win as compared to the senior players. We are slowly sliding down in the PL and this is not the real Arsenal we all know, MA should give back our real Arsenal, play attacking and dominating football, which is possible by integrating the youngsters into the first team. Play fearlessly and start the winning trend by winning against Wolves this Sunday.

  9. Patience is key! Arsenal needs rebuilding! Let us give Arteta the chance. How are we sure another Coach will turn the team to Winners overnight?

  10. Third Man JW, It is not us ordinary , proper SUPPORTERS who you need to convince about Arteta but the constantly critical ones who never find ANYTHING to praise but want MA out and sacked,who we all need to convince.

    I accept of course, as many other will do too, that many of these types are not REAL suppoters, since they do NOT actually support but only ever carp and criticise from the safely of their keyboards but these types are dangerous.

    The reason is because if they keep up this naive and harmful campaign to get MA out, as they openly call for his head(and we all know exactly which ones they are!), he might well conclude that he does not need not deserve this nonsense from fans claiming to be real Gooners and walk away to take his potentail genius to another club.

    I just want these fake Gooners to stop right now or go support another club instead. Because they certainly are NOT supporting OUR club.

  11. We talking about last year and where we at and heading tomorrow with a draw or lost…

    with all due respect, if you cant admit that Wolves and Foxes have coach with more experience, therefore making it better than and difference with Artera, you only fouling yourself.

    The all world can see that and it is not serving fans to state opposite.

    They then dont get why and blame players and sad.

    How can you state he is best coach for this team? He is not at team’s level in every ways…

  12. I think most commenters on here are reasonable and fairly criticize Arteta. He needs to show real progression by the end of the year. What do I mean by “real progression?”
    His style of play needs to be obvious, young players have to show improvements, consistency needs to happen, tactically adapt in second half of games, and be competitive against top clubs.
    It won’t happen overnight, but 18 months is plenty of time to display these types of improvements. Wenger couldn’t adapt and seriously regressed his last two years, Emery had no identifiable style or consistency and was tactically struggling. Arteta should be held to the same standards and be given the same time frame.
    I actually like Arteta and hope he succeeds, but I don’t blindly follow any manager or player, and 18 months is fair to judge his tenure of the club. We’re no Real or City, he’s not going to get 25 players or even 11 players that fulfill his heart’s desire.
    He can build a core of starters that identify and execute his tactics, but Kronke will never fund a lineup of his heart’s desire. It’s his job to improve the players he has, develop youth into productive contributors to the squad. If he expected more than this, then he should have stayed at City and waited until Pep moved on.

      1. Thanks Sue, I’m trying to remain both optimistic and realistic. I believe Arteta can be a great manager, but his “greatness” should be beginning to show after 18 months.
        I like to think I have been equally critical of Wenger, Emery, and now Arteta. The former two had clear signs of regression and it was time to go. Arteta is now having his turn in the barrel, and hopefully the same standards should be applied by the club.

        1. 18 months is ample!! I agree with you, Durand, I want him to succeed also, as we’ve been in the wilderness for long enough!!
          We’ve all been critical of AW and UE and rightly so, we all knew when it was time for them to go and it won’t be any different for MA. If after 18 months we’re no further forward, then I’ll want to know why!!

    1. Every thing you have written makes sense to me. It is far too soon to clamour for change of manager.

      Having just seen Liverpool draw this lunch time, this season is proving to be difficult to call. Even the best of managers and teams have wobbles.

      1. Good views Sue, SueP and Durand – I even thought pool might have lost today SueP!!!

        Your last sentence SP sums up everything about the game of football – so simply put but so telling in it’s truth.

        1. My main concern with Arteta Ken is his approach. He manages like he played; slow and safe, deliberate passing, and avoidance of quick give and go passing. He relies on static positioning and constructed scriped attacks to overload sides rather than rapid, free-flowing movement to unbalance defenses, pull defenders and creates momentary spaces to attack in.
          It’s his comfort level & he made a long successful career of playing that way; however I heavily question if it’s a recipe for success for a club. It’s too deliberate & predictable, stifles player instinct & talent, and doesn’t properly or fully draw out the strengths of players.
          I’m not a manager, never coached professionals; however I have an unbeaten record that continues to grow daily.

        2. Ken watching Brighton played that good against Liverpool have done it also against a Villa team that wiped the floor with us and won had me worried because of the we play. This is a team with lesser qualities than us. Tomorrow is another day to see if Arteta can be adaptive. I like what I saw in EL not because of scoreline and will be so glad if I see that tomorrow even when we lose or draw.

          1. Mobella, is there any “easy game” in the PL today?

            As Durand says above you, it is the adaptability of MA that is starting to be a niggling concern and, so far at least, it isn’t there for me.

            Of course, he has stabilised the defence and brought in two real quality players (Gabriel and Partey) that will be invaluable as we go forward.

            But it is the lack of creativity that is of concern – watching Everton/Leeds, the forward attacking play they are producing, is so obviously missing for us and the Wolves game will be a real tactical test for MA.

            Fingers crossed he gives the players more chances to express themselves.

  13. This team Arteta had for season

    bellerin Holding Gabriel Tierny
    Partey xhaka
    Pepe Auba Saka.

    He just never played it, erased Ozil.

    Pairing Luiz as main CB and defense leader with all our CBs ruined most our game.s until he got injured.

    As soon as he came out in molde, we were fine, didn’t we…

    Doing same with Willian displeyed all over attack. As RW, leaving Pepe and Nelson out.

    As a CF, makes space for Pepe and forces 2players outa their natural & best position; Auba to play LW and Saka as a midfield but really winger stepping all over Auba, with Tierny flying as well.

    All over sudden we have a traffic Auba gets lost on LW and of course, if Saka is played in middle, you cant play ceballos nor xhaka to neither hold middle nor transit & feed attacks,

    That is simply outa here as to replace Partey, a beast rock DM by Ceballos who he couldnt play to keep Saka.

    How can Ceballos fill Partey hole in defende midfield with a player who is not defensive at all?

    He should have simply replaced him with a more natural defensive midfield we have in Niles! who can also break lines, run forward B2B style.

    Im sorry to didapoint some but we have the best team and squad in EPL.

    Arteta says to be patient, for what exactly? We have the team and options; he experiments and learns job, in devellopment phase Lampard was in a smaller league as Viera and Gerrard are doing; 2 years before to feel ready for Chelsea as Gerrard for Reds.

    Pat efused job, as Frank & Stev’, they cant tisk their beloved clubs and blow their chances.

    Areta cant go anywhere higher after Arsrnal but go learn elsewhere and may become a top coach’

    I just have a doubt because of all his process is wrong, taking such job with no experience is as ignorant as his Luiz, Willian & no sense.

    You have Partey and Ozil in same team, and ban that option before to give it a chance? That a dream pair for any top coach who cant brlieve this mess, but not surprised; we have no coach, Arteta is not ready at all, specially not for a top team.

    City refused to give him position after Pep’s exit…They are not nuts, got Pep to win titles! Just as Spurs!

  14. Arteta changed the style of play, so there’s no continuity especially from academy graduates. It seems as if he played for Arsenal 3 decades back. Personally I still don’t think that Arteta is the right choice

  15. ThirdManJW
    Excellent article. About time we look more at the positive reasons why Arteta was chosen, instead of the unfounded and degrading claims we usually see; “The cheap solution”, “A Yes man”, etc., etc.

  16. As far as I am concerned even the end of this season would be too soon to judge MA. By bringing in Gabriel and Partey he has potentially sorted out a defensive frailty we have endured for many years. I am sure he realises he needs to add quality to our midfield which could kick-start our attack again. The January window will be interesting especially if we can land Szoboszlai?

      1. Liked your earlier replies but unfortunately ‘boys will be boys’. We need more women on this website to dilute the testosterone!😄

    1. Hi admin or any representative, if i may know, do u have any apps for your blogs? Or it was just me that left behind?

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