Opinion: Why is Mikel Arteta being judged differently to Unai Emery and most other managers?

Mikel Arteta is overseeing a disastrous campaign at Arsenal, but the blame seems to be on the players.

The club’s senior players are constantly being criticized for their performances while the youngsters are being praised.

Interestingly, critics of Arteta are few even though he is the team’s leader and manager.

I find it intriguing that there has not been that many former players or pundits who blame the rookie manager.

Most of them seem to think he is good enough for Arsenal and with the right players, his team will become Premier League champions.

But Arteta is in his first managerial job and hasn’t earned that sort of trust.

I know some managers have spent years in England and haven’t won the FA Cup, but how much more time will that buy Arteta?

He is managing an Arsenal team that has given him almost every player he has asked for, including Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard, yet the results are not getting better.

I’m curious, if we crash out of the Europa League and cannot make it to Europe next season, would that also be on the players?

What else can we hold Arteta responsible for if not for the performances of his players?

An article from Ime

Tags Dressing room revolt mikel arteta


  1. McLovin says:

    This is a question that baffles me too..

    Apparently Emery was wrong choice and rightfully sacked. But MA just have an inferior squad.

    1. Durand says:

      Of course he is being judged differently.

      Wenger finishe 5th and 6th with “deadwood” but got the sack.

      Emery finished 1 pt off 4th, Europa final, then 8th in December and got the sack.
      (Still with deadwood)

      Arteta hasn’t had a sniff of 8th this year, fell to 15th than stagnant at 10th & 11th. After removing so much of deadwood, 7 players he picked to bring in.

      Yet he gets a free pass still.


      For all those wanting Wenger and Emery out, how do you justify keeping Arteta? And based on what?

      Not more time, because neither of his predecessors got that with better results.

      1. Semaj says:

        So you would have kept wenger and emery ?

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Wenger had to leave sooner or later. Emery was symbolic of deeper issues, was not supported by the Board and senior management (head coach with no say in transfers, stopped from enacting discipline) and then disgarded prematurely (thrown under a bus) by these same people to move the spotlight from themselves.

      2. Semaj says:

        I seem to remember after fergie’s first season at united there was talk of removing him, results were so bad. look how that turned out.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          The big difference was Fergie came to Man U after winning the title in Scotland as a manager. This is Arteta’s first managerial position.

  2. Reggie says:

    Emery had sime success and a history but was deemed not good enough for us. Arteta has no history but did win the FA cup, a worse league record and no visible improvement and is judged differently, i dont get it. We moan about our club being inconsistent but so are our fans.

  3. allezkev says:

    Arsenal have given Arteta almost every player he’s asked for, that’s amazing , how do you know this, who is your source, some ITK off of Twitter I suppose?

    1. RSH says:

      I agree. But club resigned Auba (was a huge deal), got Thomas Partey, Odegaard, Gabriel was reported to be our primary CB target of the summer by reputable sources. He’s certainly not been treated badly, and club has supported a rookie manager very well. And nothing is getting better, only worse.

  4. Adega Olatunji says:

    The only problem Arteta has is that he is too partial and sentimental. The players he formed caucus with are not good for the club. Xhaka, Willian and so on. But the ones who are better he picks issues against them.

    1. Reggie says:

      Arteta has looked no further than yesterday in his judgement, he had a massive chance to look to the future and chose the past. Get someone in who can get the most and trust our young squad of talented players.

  5. Grandad says:

    “critics of Arteta are few” ?Not on this site.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Spot on.

      Textbook strawman argument.

  6. PJ-SA says:

    No idea why….MA has also not improved any players

    Saka and ESR were already brilliant to be fair and ESR only got game time initially out of absolute necessity, not by MA choice.

    Any player thats needed guidance or correction has just been immediately shunned. Strong management maybe but good management? Definitely not.

    Continuously tinkers with the team no matter the run of form. Keeps flogging dead horses like Willian while our potential future rots on the bench.

    Has a huge ego, cannot accept to be challenged. Released a lot of players without any compensation for the club. Name another big club that does that?

    Im sure he could be a good manager one day, but all this is doing is ruining Arsenal and MA potential future management prospects

    We are in a shambles. League is the best representative of actual team performances, not knock out comps.

    Many fans seem to support MA more than Arsenal itself, joke.

    1. Davi says:

      How do you know he has a huge ego and cannot accept being challenged? It’s a point I’ve seen thrown about a lot but I always found it a hard one to understand. (And note that people used to say the same of Wenger – I would say they are both stubborn, but in all honesty successful people often are, so it’s not a bad trait in and of itself)
      For one thing, no one really knows the truth on a lot of incidents, but Arteta has always been humble and taken responsibility in defeat and the players he’s gotten rid of have been identified as problem players (Guendouzi and Ozil in particular) for some time.
      I think the manager has to be in control, and that does mean sometimes excluding players that challenge your authority (e.g. Ferguson with Beckham or Stam) – people will walk over you if you let them. I don’t have any evidence for this either, but it appears that might have happened to Wenger and Emery at times, which explains a lot of the problems we saw.
      That’s not to say I agree with everything he’s done, and you make fair points – just pointing specifically at the “ego” point

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Many of his press conferences he states he doesn’t know how we lost. He claims the training is perfect during the week and the team stuck to the game plan. So in his opinion he is baffled as to how we could lose. This irritates me because if you think your training is great and game plan is 100% right then where is the need for MA to improve in his own mind?

        It’s my opinion but the way he’s handled “out of line” players. I personally prefer a manager that tries to improve and work with players rather that just shunning them. If it persists then yes kick them out the team sure.

        I think he lacks assertive but strives to prove he is strong, hence the immediate blocking of players.

        1. Davi says:

          That’s fair enough, I don’t quite agree but see where you’re coming from

          1. PJ-SA says:

            I do agree with you that he has shown he can br a strong manager which is something we have been missing for decades. I’d just like to see it mixed with a little more man management thats all.

            I’m glad about players like Ozil, as you mention, that he pushed out but I think he’s kept some players under his wing that should’ve also been pushed.

            Anyway I guess we both want what’s best for the club. Cheers Davi


    2. Semaj says:

      Name another club that has as many shit players as arsenal? Thanks Arsene.

    3. Semaj says:

      Please tell me which of the players improved under wenger and emery. We bought poorly and it is effecting us even today.

  7. Sean M says:

    It’s a fair question and one with an answer that is hard to articulate (from an MA supporter’s perspective).

    Aside from a handful of awful performances (the Liverpool game springs to mind), my feeling is that points have been lost much more due to individual errors at both ends than bad collective play, as was the case under Emery.

    To Devil’s Advocate myself, I’ll add that I’m not sure it was until MA took over that we all started to realise how below par the squad is. Emery was judged on the last 10 years but MA hasn’t/isn’t.

    Ultimately, a manager needs to perform according to realistic expectations of what a team can achieve. Perhaps under a different manager, we’d be hovering around 5th. Perhaps not. Until I can say that our performances are more related to the manager than the players, I’m willing to stand by MA. I felt that was the case under Emery, I don’t feel that’s the case now. But it is just an ineffable feeling.

    1. MartinelliTheBench says:

      Everyone keeps mentioning individual errors and it’s getting old. Every single goal conceded by any team is technically down to an individual error somewhere along the line.

      If we keep having so many individual errors is that not something a manager should be correcting? Team loses focus leading to the errors, is team focus not the responsibility of the manager?

      Our squads really not that bad, just another excuse of MA fans. There are teams zbove us with worse squads so please explain the logic?

      Arteta has had more than enough time to show improvement, he’s shown the opposite.

      1. Semaj says:

        Team is not that bad? If our players are so good, why can’t we sell them? Under wenger we bought ‘Technically good players’. Were any of them LEADERS? Everyone knows we are not good enough.

    2. Reggie says:

      My question to you is Arteta getting any extra out of this squad, whatever yours or mine is of it, the answer is a resounding NO!

      1. Semaj says:

        no arsenal coach has been able to improve this lot, they are making the same mistakes. the payers are not good enough. Even Klopp had to get rid of players to lift Liverpool

    3. Seroti says:

      He was brought in to cut-out the individual errors leading to goal. He kept insisting the players to play from the back when he knew some of the defenders does not have the ability to do so, Rob holding have been out-jumped by 3 different players shorter than him to score against us, Gabriel has committed more errors leading to goals and yet he kept them in the team, all this a managers area to oversee. It’s his duty to create a formation or tactics to cover every individual errors to help the team out.

  8. Declan says:

    He’s not judged differently, perhaps people just believe in the project and are not looking for instant success after all the mismanagement over the past years.

    1. Franklyn Oladipi says:

      When I saw the 9 defending in the six yard box, in open play I knew something was wrong in the game plan. We buy a good 7 and put him to play at 10. Arsenal is too big a club for anybodies. first job.

    2. RSH says:

      I hate this “believe in the project” stuff. What project? What exactly is he doing to stop the mismanagement that we’ve seen over the years? Because it seems to be just as bad as previously. He may have a project in mind, but the execution is going horribly wrong.

    3. Reggie says:

      So how far down the pan are we supposed to go in your mind before, you see what he is doing is or isn’t working. All you can go on is blind faith, if that is your point. The truth is facts are we are slipping and facts are there isnt any improvement yet. I like to deal in facts not hope.

      1. SueP says:

        Declan said people’s minds – not necessarily his

    4. ozziegunner says:

      Declan, but why wasn’t Emery supported from day one to the same degree, when tasked with replacing Arsenal’s longest serving manager?

  9. Simba Murerwa says:

    Arteta has no defence against how the team is under performing. He has managed three transfer windows and that is enough to build your own team. How do you build for the future when you play finished old horses like Luiz, and Willian ahead of young explosive talents like Martinelli and Saliba. You can’t loan out Torreira and Guendouzi whilst you have only Xhaka, Elneny and Partey as experienced midfielders. Guendouzi was punished for fighting for a team mate surely that doesn’t make sense. He won the FA Cup but Emery also reached the Europa final. Winning a cup final or losing is by fine margins. The team is playing so bpring football it’s not related to our history. Whatever fans and pundits might say the buck stops with the manager. He chooses the team and team tactics. So far the team is going backwards. We rightly deserve our league position.

  10. Adega Olatunji says:

    I have given up on the man called Arteta since he cannot see that Martinelli should be playing regularly if not injured instead of Willian. I even heard that he’s planning to sell Saka to buy Odegaard, what a coach we have in Arteta. All blames to Mr Kroenke

  11. Peter says:

    Until MA starts to believe in the players like Martineli,Balogun,Azeez who can put his tactics into use until he gets his own players in,these so called experienced players in his team would continue to make him look stupid. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  12. Davi says:

    In all honesty, where would we have been under Emery if Auba hadn’t been scoring so freely? Were we not very heavily reliant on his goals at the time? I think this season has basically shown what would have happened as he’s regressed so much.
    Is that down to Arteta’s tactics? Or is it his fault for not identifying the possibility that he would drop this season? I’d probably go with the latter, but how could this have been addressed given how difficult it was to fund a decent central midfielder?
    I certainly would echo a lot of people who think Martinelli should have taken his place in a lot of recent games, but aside from that, I really think Auba’s drop in form has been the major problem this season compared to previous ones. We haven’t had an extraordinary goalscorer to lean on and it’s exposed the rest of the squad – or do people think we played better football under Emery? That’s not my recollection..

    1. MartinelliTheBench says:

      But Auba was scoring thats the thing and that’s partially down to the manager.

      We were way more consistent under Emery and considering he could barely speak English that’s not bad. We had a structure under UE and you could see a plan at least. For me that’s the difference.

      Remember Emery was in a new country which is quite an adjustment. Arteta not only has been in England for over a decade he also played for Arsenal.

      MA also has a better squad along with the youngters being more developed.

      1. Davi says:

        On Auba – You are right that it’s at least partially the manager, but I’m just not sure if his age has caught up with him. He was great under Arteta at the end of last season, but not this. Whatever the reason, Arteta is not completely innocent as I think he has persisted with him too much instead of giving others a chance.
        On Emery, I just don’t see it. I never really understood the game plan (maybe that’s just me) and I always thought we were on a knife edge between being turned over and Auba scoring a goal or two to get us going. I think our best under Arteta has been much better and a much more distinct and enjoyable style, I think the trouble he’s had is getting everyone to commit to it in every game.

  13. Adega Olatunji says:

    I can’t believe it that there will still be any fan supporting arteta for these results and position. Truly Arsenal is no more a top team in Europe as some other clubs are mocking us

  14. Sean Williams says:

    There is a fantasy that Arsenal don’t just sack managers but Chelsea do. Well look what Chelsea are doing and have won. Arteta is just factually not good enough at being Arsenal manager. Not good enough. Isn’t the answer to replace him with someone who has a chance of being a success. Don’t we supporters deserve a decent manager?????

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sean, and Thomas Tuchel did not have as a good a record as Unai Emery at PSG; yet people come on here and state that Emery “failed” at PSG. Tuchel is yet to achieve more at Chelsea in his first season, than Emery achieved at his first season at Arsenal. Chelsea certainly have a better balanced squad at present than Arsenal had in the 2018/19 season.
      Losing 3 from 8 and being in 8th place in his second season, should Emery have been supported more, particularly in implementing discipline after Baku, to turn it around by the end of that second season? If he hadn’t then it would have been reasonable to sack him then.

  15. TR7 says:

    You know, maybe just maybe. Try think about it as for example Emile and Saka. Both young, both promising. What should we do with them? Answer is easy build a team around them. Then there is Mikel. Young, promising manager(won FA cup). The thing is…. If we sack him. He might turn up really good after 2 years. Right now Arteta got rid of almost all deadwood and he is left with youth promise, not good enough or underperforming players. And I believe that this is the process they always talk about. We don’t have oil money so we try to build quality young team, that is all signed by promising young manager. Just don’t expect immediate effect. Remember he still doesn’t have many loyal, good enough players and without oil money it will take time to sign them.

    1. Semaj says:

      Thank you!

  16. ThirdManJW says:

    From a pundits perspective, this is normal. Very rarely do you see them going after manager.

  17. A J says:

    I believe Arteta is being judged by a different criteria in terms of having a far greater remit upon walking through the door.

    The below reads as thought the clubs ownership see Arteta as the man to lead us into a new Era, or at the very least get us back on the right patch to former levels ;

    ” The Kroenkes remain fully behind their current boss and they are hoping to have him in charge over the years ahead.

    The Gunners’ owners want Arteta to turn things around in North London, and believe that giving him more transfers windows to build his squad is their best option.

    He is at the centre of a new era for Arsenal that they hope will come to fruition and improve over time,” the journalist said.

    They are building the project around him. The technical Edu and the owners, the Kroenkes, they hope that with time and with transfer markets – plural – that Arteta will prove to be the right man for them.

    He clearly needs different players and rejuvenated players. He needs to keep building that squad in a way that is moulded to his desire, otherwise it’s not going to work.

    He appears to be a really good coach, from people we speak to he is really highly rated, but I think Arsenal have a lot of work to do in the transfer market.

    “In terms of Arteta he is at the centre of what they are doing and their faith is follow behind him.”

    I would guess that the ownership have set their stall out in firmly STAYING with M A for at least the length of his current contract , arguing the job to hand (as described above) is definitely not short term given the mess inherited.

    In short “trust the process” looks long term, despite any kicking and screaming otherwise.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Yes, if they sack another head coach/manager after providing anything other than full support, the spotlight would fall on them.

  18. Apangu iddi Amin says:

    As we are here criticizing him yet Baca are quietly monitoring the situation so if we are not patient we shall soon regret

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs