Opinion: Arsenal’s inconsistency is a managerial problem which the right motivation can fix

Arsenal has just ended an inconsistent season and there is a lot of blame on the players for delivering poor performances.

Some fans and pundits think the players are simply not good enough to help the club achieve their goals.

It is accepted that Mikel Arteta is leading a group of players who aren’t up to scratch.

This same group of players was presumably responsible for Unai Emery’s poor stint, even though we blamed the current Villarreal manager then.

The inconsistency that these players showed under their former manager is still their problem today.

But I believe that the manager is still the difference between a team that can stay consistent in delivering fine performances and one that cannot.

I say this because I have noticed that Arsenal players almost always perform at their best when it seems a loss would cost Arteta his job or prove too much for their fans to take.

For example, we won our last five league games of the season, including a win at Chelsea.

We were also unbeaten in our last six games of the campaign in all competitions and that says a lot about what these players can achieve.

What we need now is for Arteta to get these players motivated to win every match or sack him and install a manager that can achieve that.

An article from Ime

Tags mikel arteta


  1. Ime, what do you constantly re- write what is always essentially the same article?

    We all know your take on MA. Many of us share it but to keep on repeating a point already widely known is pointless. There are other more relevant topics to write about, esp given that we know MA is not going to be sacked this summer at the very least. So please ”just change the now boring record” ! Will you !!

    1. Hello Jon, why not simply ignore the article? You must not comment… We all know you are king Solomon of our time, but don’t always show yourself.


        1. Jon fox

  2. The only way to fix the “managerial problems” is to get an experienced manager, a man who can “manage”, who know what he is doing out there along the sideline. And it should be done now – in the summer. Not in December, when it’s to late. Now, to save the next season. Arsenal can be back in Europe in a year with a good coach. Maybe in Champions League even.

    1. We had vastly experienced managers in Wenger and Emery, and that didn’t work. Maybe that’s why the board decided to go with rookie this time around?

      1. ThirdManJW, were you sleeping when Wenger was incharge we were in Europe in every season we played under him and only missed out on Champions league in last fo his two seasons. You have no clue about football.

        1. over 20 seasons in Europe and the European cabinette is still empty save one cup won decades ago.Villareal, one attempt and one cup!
          Just being in the competition to make up the numbers and be the whipping boys makes no sense at all.
          And experienced managers – Ancheloti, Poch what have they won in the EPL? And top managers like Conte or Allegri want to work with top players to achieve their goals and ambitions, not with some past it over the hill footballing prima donnas willing to throw their toys out of the pram at one little frown by the manager.

          1. The tragic thing to me LC is that when Arsenal probably had one of its better chances under George Graham, English clubs were banned from Europe, because of the behaviour of Liverpool supporters.

          2. LC, when you said 20 years staying in Europe without any trophy does not matter you lost me there. If this is what your understanding is about the dynamics of the game that being in Europe does not matter then you leave no point for argument.

        2. @Logic

          I’m more a fan being competitive, rather then ran just competing in competitions. It’s like praising a once great tennis player, for never getting past the last 16 in a grand slam for so many years in a row!

          14 years straight of not competing in the league, last 7 years in Europe a joke, and 9 years straight of winning nothing, so I definitely was not asleep during those long periods. Wish I was!

          Obviously we have different views on what is acceptable at a big club. From what you say, clearly you’re happy just taking part, whereas I actually want success, and at the very least, we compete.

          So I would say it’s you that have no clue about football, or certainly no clue about what constitutes as success.

  3. Some of the senior players have played for three managers at Arsenal. I don’t think the fourth manager can improve their confidence and they’d better find a new challenge elsewhere to be motivated again

    We can motivate the rest of them by replacing the manager, but December will be the best time to do it. Chelsea did it several times and got several trophies from those abrupt moves, because it was like give big warning to their underperformers

    Unfortunately, we don’t have Abramovich’s money to sack the manager every one or two years. Chelsea paid Conte 26.5 M to leave and Spurs paid Mourinho around 30 M, so we’d better wait until it’s much less costly to replace the manager

    That is if Arteta can’t bring us to top six in December, but we will likely reach our target if most fans stop asking for his resignation and sacking

    1. GAI, “improve their confidence”? What these players need is a swift kick up the arse, by an experience manager (backed by the Board) to instill discipline, train hard, work on skills, play for each other and the Club and earn the money they are paid.
      Look at the wage structure and see how many Arsenal players are on £100k or more a week wages, compared to other clubs above and below Arsenal on the EPL table
      What has been tolerated at this Club for too long is a group of pampered, mentally spineless, overpaid, so called “professional” footballing prima donnas, who demonstrate little personal pride and certainly no pride in playing for this once great Club.
      It is an absolute disgrace, that these players get to use the same dressing room graced by so many great physically tough and mentally strong Arsenal players of the past.

      1. Great comment, I agree! The easiest option is to blame Mikel for everything. Next what? The tea lady catches a flu, hold Mikel responsible?

        Like to add, investigate and sack all those who hired these players. Arsene got the boot for his share of contribution of failed players.

      2. Wenger/ Emery are experienced managers and look how it turned out, so better stick with Arteta for now

    2. OHHH boy, whats top 6, we aint playing mid week games!!!

      we should aim for the top spot, the EPL glory, worst comes to worse, top 4!!!!

  4. Ever thought that getting use to a different style and approach may be part of the issue.
    Look at the foul count. Look at the number of yellow cards. Look at the number of tackles we put in this season. Goals conceded much lower.
    Arteta was criticised for the number of red cards we have had since he came in. Fewer fouls and yellow cards yet the second most red cards says an awful lot.
    The pre-season is a big factor this year. If Arteta can reduce the number of goals conceded yet again this coming season and increase the number we score then after a couple of new additions the top four may not be as far away as people think.

  5. What I can’t understand is the constant repetition of subjects which are differently refrased. Another is reporting that this or that player interest Arteta without telling where money to buy them will come from. No word about buying some other club’s reject inspite of their constant failure. I am fed up with this.Arsenal Pravda which never.criticise.club or manager.

  6. I would say he’s starting to fix it isn’t he? Final 24 games of the season we were 2nd in the table. 3rd best defense over the whole season as well.

    It was that shocking start that cost us. If Arteta can fix the attacking, then we will be a very strong team.

    1. Did we get a champions league spot with our 2nd place since boxing day? No? How dare they!

      At least they should give us a Europa League spot being joint 1st since Easter. No? How dare they!

      Well being 1st since the start of May they should give us at the very least a Conference League spot. Even that they won’t give? How dare theyyy!!?

      With all our troubles of being 2nd since Christmas, being joint 1st since Easter and being 1st in May we get nothing? Where is justice in this day and age!! So sad 😞

      1. Highbury Hero

        Nice one. We may have a great stadium. Sadly the rest of it, manager, board and owner are not up to the stadium.

        1. Thanks Sean, I think it would do them a lot of good if they could learn from Chelsea on how to do things properly.

          I don’t like Chelsea and I am disappointed with their success but they are doing a good job.

      2. I’m merely pointing out that fans like yourself are constantly complaining that there’s no improvement, when clearly there has been, and over a sustained period. We’re not about a handful games here!

        Poor season overall, but we’re on an upwards trajectory, and that’s something very positive to take into next season. Defense is sorted tactically, just needs improving individually, which will happen in the summer with Saliba and a new RB. The big concern is can Arteta sort out our attacking?

      3. HH, great comment but thirdman won’t listen he is as stubborn as his great manager Arteta. This Arteta club start hyping up stats when it suits them and when it does not then they say stats don’t tell the whole story. For every mistake Arteta has made sorry my fault every mistake everyone has made Arteta can not be balmed bacaue they have a excuse for it. I ask them even if we let go of all the stats and records Arteta has broken in wrong direction and only concentrate on your stats even then what is the point because these have lead us no where. We have not achieved any thing or won any trophy this season. This season was one of the worst season in last 2-3 decades but hey we were second in league after December, 3rd best defence in league and we gained more points then last season 😂😂

        1. Well I will never be as bad as Wenger fans, when it comes to s*** in their eyes haha! The guy doesn’t challenge for the league 14 years straight, yet some fans would claim he was always the right man to lead us! Delusion of the highest grandeur!

          I actually can understand it if Arteta were to be sacked this summer, and on some level, I would support it. My issue is, that Arteta IS improving as a manager, he will now have his first EVER pre-season, and he and the board have down a brilliant job at identifying the deadwood and getting rid of them.

          If we get new manager in, then it’s back to square one again. I’d like to give Arteta a little more time, to see if the upward trajectory we’re on continues.

          1. If the great Arsene was that bad and you don’t miss a chance to remind everyone about it, what is your justification of adoring Arteta with worse results?

        2. Logic I do believe seeing how much TMJW dislike Wenger, his defense of Arteta is all about like you said before, finding the grass is not greener after Wenger left.

          1. But this is the thing, I don’t adore Arteta. You’re now putting words in my mouth. You don’t work for CNN by any chance?

            I was very close to wanting him sacked at Christmas, before he started turning things around. Wenger fans NEVER wanted him gone. In fact, many said he should choose when to leave, so clearly those fans didn’t give two s**** about what was best for the club!

            Clearly you don’t realize that Wenger left the club in a mess, hence how bad things have been since, clearing his and IG mess up.

      4. @ Highbury Hero, always enjoy your comment.
        It appears that some fans still do not know EPL is 38 games.
        At the end, we were same category with Brighton, Southampton, Leeds, Aston Villa, etc.

        1. Thank you Benjamin and Sue. What I don’t get is why some think they have to defend Arteta? Is it that necessary? We are Arsenal fans and not Arteta’s!

          1. What I don’t get is how fans can judge a manager on just half a season of his first full season (many wanted him gone at xmas). So if we did what you guys want we’d change managers every 6 months if it’s not going well.

            And apparently you have knowledge of how football works hahahahahaha!

            Klopp, Fergie, Wenger, Poch, even Pep all needed time, but a rookie manager only gets 6 months? Hahahahaha!

          2. And you know exactly who it’ll be, HH, right on cue, drives me crazy! There are certain players they’ll slate until the cows come home, but you dare say a word against MA and bang they’re all over you like a rash!!

          3. Wenger won the double on his first season. Your hostility to facts is astounding.

          4. Right Sue and my apologies for late reply. It is not wrong to support Arteta if they wish so but others have the right not to support him if they wish so too. And to twist stats in Arteta’s favour I don’t understand why the need to.

            If he is still here at the start of next season of course we are all going to support him. That support will continue for as long as he make real progress and improve on the league position.

            Funny how Arteta supporters defend finishing 8th. Isn’t that accepting 8th is the best he can do?

    2. He has no idea how to balance our team, shown clearly by our great defensive stats and rubbish attacking stats! If he knew how to coach he would’ve improved our attack at some stage dont you think?

      We actually conceded in a lot of games and couldn’t score enough which is pointless to say we conceded so little if we don’t score more!

      Clean sheets are a better stat to look at than goals conceded. We got 12, tied with another 6 teams. Next 3 teams below us have 11 clean sheets and sit 11th-13th on the clean sheet log.

      1. Actually you’re factually wrong. Statistically speaking our attack improved post Christmas, but it still managed to go missing here and there.

        You’re right about balance overall though, and hopefully attack will look better next season.

  7. Getting bored with this Arteta players issues! Arsenal needs new owners and experiencced/dedicated management team.

  8. I find it so weird how fans like tmjw&loose cannon finds every means&stats to defend arteta at every given opportunity but at the mention of wenger whose worst season was better than arteta’s two seasons,they come out with their swords&daggers

  9. Ime, the literal meaning of your final sentence suggests that you wish Arteta to be sacked unless we win every match.I am sure you didn’t mean that as it would necessitate the installation of a revolving door at the Emirates and would soon result in the Liquidation of our Club.

  10. Just look at the way we play game after game and that tells you everything you need to know about training and our manager. He sets up and plays not to lose, not to win!

    1. Yes, it’s a fail safe mentality. Looks good on a stats sheet except to when it comes down to number of chances created.

  11. Arteta is clearly guilty of over-coaching; It’s no wonder the players are sometimes confused and unsure of themselves. He is yet to learn that trust, by itself, can be an effective motivation tool, especially for professional players.

    Can anyone explain why he spends so much time shouting instructions at the players through each game (non-stop), from start to finish? His Charlie Chaplin stand-up impersonations are becoming boring and predictable.

    1. Micro management style and it does now work
      I listened one match because they had a microphone next to him and I’ve got to say it was just needless shouting for the sake of it ,it sounded like he was talking to a bunch of 5 year old kids on a Saturday afternoon .

  12. Highbury Hero, you made me laugh. Good sarcasm. A season has 38 games. Let us see if we can do better this season coming. Some investments are needed though – or you will have to entertain us with a another language twist.

  13. This article represents the common, over-simplistic view that if you just change managers everything will instantly be better. These are the hopes of a child.

    Many, many clubs change their managers and only see a modest change in performance and league position. You’re more likely to win by recruiting the best players, and the clubs that spend more win more. That’s it.

    Arteta has given us a frustrating season, but the entire back room is in a state of flux. Too much turnover at the exec level has led to a fractured approach, with no unified purpose and vision. Problematic.

    We’ve seen that since Smith-Rowe has started playing in the number 10 role, we’ve won more points than anyone save Man City. That’s for two thirds of the season, not just 5 games. Surely there is an argument for providing stability to the team and trying to maintain that form. Continued over a year, that would be 2nd place.

    We’ve beat everyone in the top 6, there’s not as much to be pessimistic about as is claimed by negative fans whose answer after every single loss is basically “sack everyone”.

    Those are people who are just speaking emotionally and don’t understand football or teamwork in general. The stupid people are always the loudest sadly.

    1. Emery brought Emile Smith Rowe into the squad as a 17 yo and had Joe Willock scoring goals.
      Arsenal needs to give youth a chance, with good coaching and combined with selective imports of experienced hardened professionals.
      Arsenal couldn’t do worse.

    2. Very well said.Nice to hear from someone with a more optimistic outlook.Every football Manager makes errors of judgement as Pep Guardiola did by not selecting Rodri against Chelsea..At times Managers need to step back and become less hands on to get a better picture of what is going on in training and during matches.They should never be afraid to seek a second opinion ,not only from their support team, but from a respected ex pro player or Manager who watches from the stand where in most instances of is easier to identify problem areas.It just like watching a film ,where you get a better view from the balcony rather than the front row of the stalls.

    3. Breath of fresh air Stephan, not strictly true that we have beaten everyone in the top 6 unless you are talking about the FA Cup semi last season and the Community Shield but I take your point, we aren’t really close to Man City and Liverpool but not far away at all from anyone else who finished above us.

      All other points well made and I support them

  14. Arsenal problems is both a coaching problem, and that of players. Even Wenger in his last years as arsenal coach struggled for consistency though we still manage to go Europe. With more poor recruitment the problem persisted which led to the sacking of Emery. Some players are letting Arsenal down and not giving their best when it matters, that is why even M.A is struggling.
    What Arsenal hierrachy need to do was to clear out the under performing players and recruits more good players together with an experience coach who is capable of motivating the players. I don’t think if M.A belong to that category, but he has tried only to be frustrated by some players who under rated him because they played together as his collogues not in the distànce past.

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