Remind me again – What is so special about Mikel Arteta?



Another week and another defeat, what else is new?


I recently re-watched Arteta first interview after being honoured to be a coach of this great and esteemed club. In it he was calm and assured. Presenting a picture of a person who have a vision, plan and confidence of carrying them to fruition. The state of the team when he took over was not unlike (perhaps even better than) that of Arsene Wenger’s and one would be forgiven to think in his interview in a subtle way, he painted himself as Wenger’s second coming.

We all know the history. After Wenger took over not only did he made an immediate impact that season by improving on the table position from the season before, he went on to win the double on his first full season, while at the same time revolutionise the English football by his training methods and diet. Things that have been adopted by world soccer in general to this day, started at Arsenal.

While it was a great club in England before Wenger, Arsenal was not a global giant it is today. Wenger put Arsenal in a global map with his attractive brand of football. The Arsenal as we know it today, is a house Arsene Wenger built.

During his reign Arsenal was a successful and respected club, chief among his achievements being the one and only Invincibles. The club saw profits and its value increasing every season and moving to a new state of the art stadium.

After his departure, Arsenal went for a proven and successful manager in Unai Emery. He proved himself to be a capable coach by going on a 22 unbeaten run, reaching the Europa League final and a 5th placed finish an improvement to his predecessor. Had it not been for player politics Arsenal would’ve finished in the top 4 and probably won the Europa League.

Unai Emery’s undoing was not his tactics or problem with the language as it is generally alleged. A coach with bad tactics or lack of communication does not go on a 22 unbeaten run in the toughest league in the world and reach a Europa League final, all in his first season. He was pushed out by player’s politics and completely lack of protection from the management. Perhaps he had proven not to be the ‘yes man’ they had expected him to, and they too wanted him out.

Which brings me to Arteta. The board saw him as a qualified candidate to improve upon his predecessors shortcomings. Which criteria did they use is a mystery to be classified in unsolved archives?

Under Arteta we have gone from finishing in the top 4 (with top 6 regarded as the worst outcome warranting our most successful manager resignation) to be a mid table team, with no sign of improvements. From participating in Europe every season to no European football at all come next season. From being profitable to making financial losses. From increasing in value to decreasing in value.

There is not a single thing that can be said to have improved under him as a matter of fact we are much worse comparing to his predecessors, in and outside the pitch.

Yet we have people who are praising him and the improvements he has brought. Please lend me your crystal balls, because those improvements cannot be seen with naked eyes. In him people have found a shield to throw insults and digs at the great Arsene Wenger to the point some calling his tactics the best they have seen, and that Wenger is now learning from Arteta. Unbelievable!

Some in the comments have asked time and time again without a brave soul to provide an answer, and I join them in asking, what is so special about Arteta? What is so special about him to warrant being shielded from criticism even though he is on course to set a record for the worst results in our history? Why is the board so protective of him from player’s politics, when they gave a cold shoulder to a far better and more experienced coach Unai Emery?


What was the point of firing the former?

Perhaps some will say because he won the FA Cup but failing to follow it up with any progress shows that the achievement was nothing more than a fluke.

Some are saying we have improved tactically which shows they are know nothing about tactics, because improved tactics improve the results not the other way around!

If you like him because of his great hair and charms, then I’m sorry to break it to you pals, great hair and charms don’t win you the league. Just look at Guardiola.

I have nothing against anyone who likes Mikel or dislikes Wenger if that is where it ends. But to make things up, deny the obvious and twist facts just to have a dig at the great one does not sit right with me.

To say our team under Arteta is showing improvements when languishing in the mid table makes me wonder if those who say this are in denial because they have found burnt bushes after Wenger’s departure, instead of the flowery garden they had envisioned.

Highbury Hero


  1. As I see it at Arsenal, the issue is more player related than coach related
    No less than 4 positions are lacking good players in the starting 11. Solve that and then talk about the coach

    1. And what is the style of play these good players should be playing?

      You’ve seen our team play this season. Describe our style of play?

    2. Hope, you exhibit ignorance, managers are there to make players fit the tactics. Those who fail are sold or done away with. Arteta does not have idea on how to do what, a complete novice learning on duty.

  2. The joy on my face reading this. I’ve not finished reading but I can’t hide my excitement. Probably one of the realest articles I’ve ever read here. Spot on HH, I agree with everything to the T.

    1. Thank you Kstix for your wonderful reply. As a person who truly believed from the bottom of my heart that we have a manager capable of challenging for the title it is very disappointing to see we cannot even move from the middle of the table. It was truly a self fooling fantasy.

      1. Fantastic article HH, a honest questioning of “the process.”

        I’ll just leave this here;

        “Trust the process” hire a coach with no experience, no resume, no accomplishments.

        His job is to rebuild a club when he has no experience building anything!

        But some fans are slated for having doubts or complaining.

        1. Thanks Durand.

          ”His job is to rebuild a club when he has no experience building anything!”- this point makes me wonder if they are serious in this rebuilding narrative.

          I was one of those who slated others for having doubts but there come a point where one has to concede that others were right.

  3. – He gave us an FA Cup within a short period of time
    – He’s made the team more solid defensively
    – We produced more good crosses
    – He’s got rid of the deadwood

    1. How did Arteta make us solid, I guess u don’t know football… That Fa cup was a fluke… even me still suprise how Arteta still arsenal manager.

      1. He made us more solid DEFENSIVELY. That’s the key word in the comment. Repeat DEFENSIVELY. Beating Chelsea & City in the cup was no fluke.

    2. 1st one yes, I agree kudos to him
      2nd, duh. Did u see holding star gaze at sterling yesterday? Really solid display
      3rd crosses to who?
      4th xhaka, willian, elneny, bellerin are still in the team so I don’t know what u mean by All

      1. Aubameyang and Lacazette are supposed to be able to convert some of the good crosses into goals, as what Liverpool’s trident did. If you have time, please watch this excellent analysis about Liverpool’s crosses and their trident’s heading ability, starting at 04:30:

        1. GAI, How good are Auba and Laca with their headers? The team doesn’t have good headers, but they keep on crossing the ball. Why? Tactics is not about just the setup but playing to the strength of your players and getting the beast out of them. Stop making excuses for MA’s incompetency as this falls squarely on MA.

    3. You have to do better than that GIA.

      – Based on his performance after winning the FA Cup, this achievement belong to the category of the Wigan and Portsmouth triumphs than with other great teams. If this achievement is so impressive he should have followed it up with a better performance in the league and the cups where he has already been knocked out.

      -Majority agree with you but 11 defeats out of 25 don’t speak solid defense to me.

      -For what and for whom? If after 25 games players still keep crossing to the defenders the manager’s tactics should be questioned.

      -Those deadwoods under more capable coaches used to deliver Champions League football and Europa League at their worst. Their failure to perform speak more of the manager than their talents.

      1. The season has not even finished and in your mind you’ve already relegated arsenal to the lower division, just because you hate the coach, really nice
        Maybe arsenal should re-employ wenger and end all this bad blood and also help those who just can’t move on

        keep up this hate write up

        1. I don’t hate the coach. I don’t like him either. If he get results I will sing praises for him but up to now he hasn’t done anything worth praising.

    4. I agree
      Before Arteta we collapsed to embarrassing score lines against the top teams. We much more defensively sound now, we also compete more. Don’t forget Arteta has only had 1 window which he brought in Gabriel and partey which I think are good additions. William is terrible and I wish they wouldn’t sign old players on long contracts. The other issue is that who is running things at arsenal? We have no idea. I have always stated our issues are deeper than the players and coach. The ownership is the biggest problem. Clubs with ambitious owners win things. Clubs with the opposite like us and Newcastle are screwed as our ownership doesn’t have a vision and doesn’t demand success just ROI.

    5. Don’t you rather think you are making mockery of yourself and arteta with these claims… The only fact in your claims is winning the fa cup… The rest are all fallacies….
      We’ve conceded 26 goals in 25 games…. An average of a goal per game…. Yet you claim we are solid defensively…. What sort of solid are you talking about bro….
      We produced more good crosses … How does that even sound to you…. Isn’t that laughable 😀😀😀…. When has producing crosses become an achievement to be related with great clubs like ours…I never knew our team is full of manufacturers of crosses…. ridiculous…..
      And he’s got rid of the deadwood….bro…. You should be deleting this s***….cos on list of that deadwood…..arteta’s name should be coming first….

    6. After your comment, I don’t think it is worth to read your comments the next time. You are not neutral. See how current managers of Everton & Chelsea make immediate difference to their teams. Anyway, I don’t blame managers, I only blame the owner not passionate & not ambitious; treat Arsenal as business & not passion.

  4. Please can you post this on twitter on arsenal account for people to see clearly… Arteta that cannot manage average players and those players should be ashamed of what they did to Emery including the board… please paste this on twitter, on arsenal handle.

  5. Now done reading the article in its entirety and I’m still nodding my head in agreement. Although despite that I know wenger was and is Arsenal’s greatest ever manager till date, I still think Arteta has the bad sides of wenger’s traits. Stubbornness. We see that in Willian being given chance upon chance in the hopes that he has a hidden KDB locked somewhere
    Killing Martinelli’s talent in the process. Saliba, balogun etc. Arsene did this too alot, he had favourites who were regular flops. But he kept playing them regardless just like Arteta. His substitions just like Arteta’s were nothing to write home about. In fact one would look at Arteta’s coaching style and say he borrowed a page from Arsene’s coaching book, however, he only borrowed the bad pages and not the good ones that saw us play free flowing attacking football. Arteta is more like a poor man’s wenger than a guardiola’s protégé.
    Emery was a better coach and spot on that the language was not a barrier, it was purely player politics that flushed emery out. Marcelo bielsa of Leeds doesn’t speak English to an English majority squad, yet they play well. In football, I don’t belive there’s any language barrier, it may impede a little but that was not why Emery who would have done better if he was given the chance Arteta is being given, was kicked out.

    1. 👍 Kstix, agree with you about the players downing tools and lack of support and patience for Emery, who has gone on with life overachieving at Villarreal.
      I would recommend you read up on one Herbert Chapman, bought to Arsenal when the best manager in England from Huddersfield and who built the Arsenal brand. Arsenal under Chapman in the 1930’s before his untimely death was a world renowned club. Read about the “Battle of Highbury, 14 November 1934 when England beat Italy 3-2. Italy had just won the 1934 World Cup, in which England did not compete. The England team contained a record 7 Arsenal players, since equalled by Liverpool FC.

      1. Overachieving at Villarreal ?
        Last 5 games
        -4 Draws
        -1 defeat
        Villarreal actually came 5th last season with teams around them playing at a higher standard to that of this season
        Looks like he’s doing exactly what he did here it’s just that Villarreal have less expectations.
        To say he’s overachieving is abit over the top .
        I will add we are actually in this mess because of him .

        1. Dan, you are wrong on both counts. We are not “in this mess” because of Emery. Emery’s only failure at Villarreal has been not converting draws into wins. Take a look at the age of the Villarreal squad he inherited and they are now a year older. Just hope Arsenal in their current form don’t draw Villarreal in the Europa League. Go back to throwing darts at your Emery dart board, rather than facing the institutional issues of poor financial and player management at Arsenal.

    2. Lol!
      Not to defend the poor results under Arteta, but to think that just fourteen months after his sack, some folks have forgotten how bad the Arsenal team was under Emery is an undervalued tragedy.

      Credit where it’s due, and criticism where it’s due. That Mikel Arteta is probably not ideal for Arsenal isn’t the same thing as Emery is such a great coach.

      For Pete’s sake, even a host of his former players complained about him. It wasn’t just AFC.

      Wenger was forced out because he was clearly past his time. He seemed unable to keep up with newer football systems, and he seemed unwilling to reinvent himself. And this is coming from a faithful supporter of Arsene the Great.

      So, if you want to criticize Mikel Arteta, which I think you have the right to do so, then do it rightly.

      1. LoveB4Knowledge, I think you missed the point. The Author is just showing the hypocrisy of some of the JA’s readers and contributor’s. The same people that wanted AW and UE for the bad team performance are now the one’s that defends MA the most while he has the worst record than his two predecessors.

    3. All of you fail to see Artets,’s shortcomings: he is novice picked before fruition. Was Pep’s teaboy and still is. Has no idea how to apply foot all tactics to a collection of players with varying talents and ability.
      Give job to any experienced manager and they would give you top 4 with those players. It’s how you apply the tactics and Arteta is oblivious of how hence spouting tosh like: ” We had more possession and more crosses” etc.
      Let’s agree we.need a proper manager not a learner

    4. It’s great to see someone else making the same Wenger comparisons that I’ve been preaching for quite some time…it’s baffling to me that this isn’t discussed more, which is probably due to the fact that there are still so many from within the fanbase who are unwilling to even recognize, or have simply chosen to forget, the obvious failings of the post-Dein Wenger…Arteta exhibits far too many of these flawed traits, whereas I would much rather see him adopt a bit more of a pragmatistic approach like his more recent mentor, Pep

      1. Arteta is always praised to have wonderful hair even when he was a player. I wouldn’t know that since all hairs look same to me! 😉

  6. Arteta has done a massive job

    He has a vision which will be manifested if given time

    We are more assured of a positive result against big teams than before

  7. Not to mention mention the cost of MA to Arsenal from gifting players for free to spending big money on the likes of Auba and Willian and the purchase of redundant and often injured players who are not contributing.
    Imagine the impact that will have on the club for years to come.

    1. Agreed LCW and you have made a very important point when he is praised of getting rid of the deadwood when all they did was paying them off. They even had a chance of getting a fee for some of them but refused.

  8. To be fair, he’s been horrible. We’ve never been this bad in the Premier League era and more often than not, it was because of him, his player selection, and his lack of man management.

    However, I’ll give him one thing – he made our defense more stabile. And if he could have gotten off his high horse sooner and played ESR as soon his injury ended, we’d be in much better position.

    This way, we’re just 3 points better than last season and we’ve conceded 8 goals less. However, compared to Wenger’s WORST season, he’s 8 points behind. So, yeah. The worst manager by far.

    Regardless of all this, I’d give him another season to prove us wrong just because we won’t get a better coach to replace the Spaniard. Unless Bielsa suddenly decides to take over. Otherwise, I can’t see a single ambitious coach accepting to work for KSE and Walmart FC.

    1. Don’t forget that we finished last season in August and started the previous in the same month, almost without holidays and preseason preparations, never happened before. We are playing same number of games in a shorter time span, due to the pandemic. Not particularly beneficial for a young manager in a struggling club, with lots of internal and external obstacles…

        1. Do all teams been on the same negative trend like us, have they had a total shake-up on all levels prior to the lockdown. We were in a terrible situation when Emery got sacked with lots of internal and external obstacles. Not many teams were in our position, we were in really deep sh*t, and it easy to forget…

  9. Well, under Emery we conceded approximately 1,4 goals/game and we were very exposed. Now we are conceding approximately 1 goal / game and we are conceding less chances. Only two teams have conceded less goals than us in the league (ManCity and Chelsea). The difference between Chelsea and us is one goal. We are a mediocre team slowly getting better, to continue our development do we need to recruit better players, which I believe we will do next summer. From my point of view Arteta is doing a good job in a very difficult time. By the way, how many of our players are good enough for ManCity, Liverpool or Chelsea, not many I suppose…

    1. And during AW’s twenty two years, we let in 0.9 goals per game – yet we are told by the Wenger knockers we never had a defence!!!
      That start covers all his games, including CL by the way.

      1. I have very much respect for Wenger, and went to the Merci Wenger game against Burnley, will never forget it. In the 2016/17 season did we concede 1,16 goal / game and in 2017/18 1,34 goal / game, and more or less the same in 2018/19. My point is that we are moving slowly in a right direction during a very complicated season. With same number of games in a shorter time span, never happened before. Being a relatively new manager in a club in total chaos with the pandemic and lockdown can’t have been easy. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to replace A. Wenger after 22 years. We are more or less experiencing the same problems that ManUnited have gone through, in addition did we also have to face the pandemic etc…

  10. Highbury Hero- a very very good article that has perfectly summed up where we are as a Football Club, which is likely to see us finish out of European Football next season.
    Will Arteta see out the season? Yes because it’s pointless changing now. Will Arteta be here next season? This depends on a number of issues. He must show in the remaining games we have left a pattern of play that will include ATTACKING as well as defensive tactics. Yesterday’s display was insipid and gutless. A total embarrassment.
    Arteta needs to show he can introduce these brilliant kids we have at the Club and guide then through the early stages of their career.Emery did this with Saka, yet this manager would rather have TWO GOALKEEPERSin a European Matchday squad than give Balogun the experience. Also,Arteta needs to do whatever is required to get Martinelli and Saliba on side. All he has done to date is alienate the pair of them.
    The last and most obvious issue he needs to sort out is who goes and who stays. He should be demanding the money required from the board. If he gets it, the don’t waste it on the likes of Willian. Get young eager prospects who are there to make their names not add to their pensions.
    Arteta is solely responsible for this sh*tshow of a season. He had a lot to do to be even considered for next season

      1. @ahmad73- yeah I see your point and cannot disagree. I just feel the board will support the manager through this season and expect him to turn things round. Is that the correct decision? Who knows. But Arteta has let both the Club and himself down badly this year.

        1. I think you may be right that the board will support him but possibly for the wrong reasons. If you consider that the Owner and the top management are not football orientated in the slightest then the only reason that they would give support is to ensure that the financial objective of keeping the market value of Arsenal Holdings at its present level is maintained. In this case i suppose it is irrelevant who is the manager. I think that until the lockdown is over and fans return to the stadium no change of manager will be considered by the board. However at that point if AFC continues to play as at the moment then the manager will go. The fans can to some degree influence decisions by their attitude in the stadium and/or not attending matches. After all revenue is all.

          1. PatH, the empty stadia are helping Arteta; imagine the reaction to the current style of play by a capacity crowd at the Emirates! It certainly would be no library.

    1. Thank you Phil. Regarding Martinelli with proper coaching we have our own Mbappe here. Mikel is failing to unleash this weapon especially when we are struggling in attack.

  11. I think too many fans significantly underestimated the rebuilding job Arteta took on and how long it will take. It needed a cultural change at our club and it will take a few more years to achieve it. I doubt if we will challenge for a top 4 spot for several years. Covid is an important factor and if other clubs such as Spurs are taking a bigger financial hit than we are, We could be back sooner. I hope the board stick by Arteta for another year or so, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was sacked. The next manager will then get support for 6 months before fans turn on him because results remain poor and then he will be sacked. The board need to stick with their plan assuming they had one and ride out the storm.

    1. As stated above Emery wasn’t given the same consideration. Wenger also wasn’t asked what he needed to rebuild, not helping himself in 2015 by not buying any outfield players, only Petr Cech.

      1. ozziegunner, was that the season, 2014/2015, where we finished 3rd in the league and then improved to finish 2nd the following season?

        Also the season we won the fa cup and, the following season got through to the quarter finals?

        Also, the season where we got to the knockout stages of the CL and the following season got to the knockout stages once again?

        Wouldn’t you agree that “just signing Petr Chec” needs to be looked at with a little more clarity?
        Not saying that we couldn’t have done more in the transfer market of course, but following that lone signing, we didn’t suddenly become relegation bound, knocked out early in the fa cup or CL did we?

        1. Ken, my point is that Arsene Wenger missed a great opportunity to move on with building a team capable of winning the League. Arsenal always appeared to be those two players short every season.

          1. OG, sorry I misunderstood the point you were making then.
            I believe that AW felt that the 14/15 sesson showed him that his squad was improving (4th the season before, second consecutive fa cup win and knockout stages of CL yet again) and he kept faith with those outfield players.
            Hindsight is a wonderful thing and don’t forget we finished 2nd the season after.

          2. Ken, the year we finished second was to Leicester City and with an upgrade Arsenal would have finished first given we beat the title winners home and away. That season was also impacted by the injury to Santi Cazorla, who had no cover.

    2. Agree with the enormity of the rebuild, so why hire an inexperienced rube for such a tough task?

      A cheap option, a yes man who will sell the owners narrative.

      1. The club may have made a wrong decision when appointing Arteta due to his lack of experience, but the plan was drawn up and the decision made and changing things at the first sign of trouble seems pointless to me. I think Arteta was an interesting and exciting choice. I doubt if a big name manager would do better without demanding huge funds which won’t be forthcoming. It was and Is an enormous job for Arteta and would be for anyone else. This summer will see more comings and goings and I suspect it will mainly be loans rather than transfers. I hope Arteta is given more time to develop his ideas.

        1. “first sign of trouble” means different things in sacking Arsenal managers:
          Terry Neill, lost 10 games in a season.
          Bruce Rioch, interim manager?
          Arsene Wenger, finished 6th, lost Europa League semi final.
          Unai Emery, finished 5th, lost Europa League Final, lost 3 of 8 games in second season.
          Mikel Arteta????

    3. I am sorry mate but we have a better squad than most Pl teams. Our players are good enough to have finished in the top 4 this season. The decisions he mate at home against villa, wolves and Leiceter cost us 9 points that’s the top 4. When we started winning he drops the ball for the F A cup against the saints and the moral of the squad goes down the we lose 3 in a row. WILLIAN what is he doing insisting on playing him?

  12. Arteta just need to leave our team, what I hate so much about him is his in constituency with those players…

    You see Arteta coming up with the rightful players in small game’s, but when it comes to big games, he kills everything even afore the game with his starting lines up..

    Why starting pepe and odegard in an intense game like that of yesterday?
    And he knows that odegard is new in that team,he is yet to understand those guyz and settle down,he went ahead to start him in a big game like that….

    Imaging pepe that has been a big time flope since his arrival @ arsenal being started in a big game like that, what impact did pepe had all through before he was substituted?

    Whereas we have lacazette, smith Rowe and martinelli on the bench…

    Arteta just need to go,that guy is incompetent to lead that team..

  13. Ok, so, if one cannot see the obvious shortcomings of the administration running this club, then i dont know what. They have been out of their debt and this ultimately transpires onto the pitch. Arteta needs to build a new team! This does not mean ride it out until deadwood comes good. They need to shift all of them and start fresh, because they are not good enough! It was probably the hardest job in football to turn this ship around, with our demanding fanbase out of touch with reality. It is a 2-3 year fix and we are almost halfway there. Mikel needs another window or two, depending on the level of investment. Sometimes one has to take a step back to move forward.

    1. His new team will have Willian in it and no martinelli. We have players good enough for too 4 this season just bad management that why we are breaking every bad club record under arteta. To be given time doesn’t mean you get us relegated because we believe some day you will get us promoted and win the treble. The article we are commenting on is spot on. I wanted him gone 5 games into this season because I could see he is a coach an assistant not a manager.

  14. The funny thing some say give him until the end of the season and see. If we should lose on Thursday how will he Arteta motivate the players. People seem to forget star players are a major factor in any football brand. Just playing youngsters at a club as massive as arsenal is a big financial risk to take with the brand.

  15. Then again there’s the VAR issue.
    Luiz vs Wolves, no red card – 3 points
    Saka / Lacazette vs Villa.
    Villa a man down and we have a penalty – another 3 points.
    Stick those 6 points on our total and we are in the mix for 4th place.

    1. Short memory mate? What about the bad tactics for Leicester at home, villa, wolves at home, Brighton away and Leeds at home
      . Willian making a mess in all those games as well. These were matches we should have won on the day but he was experimenting with having the full backs go forward and having Shaka and Danny fill in at right and left back when they went up there. The buck stops with the manager. Our players may not be world class but they’re a top 4 squad given the right manager. He will be sacked soon when the results get worse mark my words.

  16. I respect the content of the article it is frustrating to watch Arsenal.

    The recent losses have been down to the team not taking chances (wolves) shocking referee decisions (wolves and villa) and individual errors (all games) also gulf in quality and class ( man city)

    Arteta is seen as someone who will change things around , yes we have offloaded players who were poor or disruptive. It has cost the club though.

    The club still has alot of work to do and they have made mistakes still. Xhaka should have been sold in the summer he isnt dependable enough, Willian made no sense as it was clear with older players on a free were not really good at analysing them prior i.e lichensteiner.

    Arteta had to make a decision on martinez to sign partey . That’s how we got the fund for him. The owner isnt putting his money into transfers.

    The mistake was sending torriera out on loan . He would have played many games this season and he is a good player far superior to el neny.

    Maitland niles even though it seemed he was happy to be playing Rb clearly wants a go in midfield , he is right to but bellerin isnt good enough as we have had to watch him all season and its dreadful . With AMN it hasnt started too well at West Brom and perhaps it may convince him to be a right back at Arsenal when he returns. Willock should be given another loan next season.

    El neny, bellerin , luiz, chambers, xhaka, guendozhi, willian, nketiah , lacazette , Runarson, ceballos, pepe (not renewed) all have to be moved on

    Arteta’s problems are with the squad he has.

    Yes players like Nelson and balogun should be given more game time as for martinelli alot of people are saying he is killing his development have a look at the games he has started he looks sluggish and rusty . Yes game time will help him improve but he isnt trusted at the moment.

    Aubemeyang looks past it but the contract decision arteta cannot be blamed for , if martinelli hadnt suffered his injury perhaps it would have been okay to let him move on. Lacazette was off form and he was linked away also.

    There is alot of work to be undone at Arsenal . Nicolas pepe shouldnt be at the club , he isnt good enough . Arteta and edu got it really wrong with willian

    Ideally we need at least another 8 players to leave . We brought in 3 players in the summer. One has flopped and he needs to be moved on. One player has arrived on loan in january .

    Many clubs with bloated squads will have the same problem arsenal have with players having contracts cancelled as by the summer clubs will still wont have the funds to buy players.

    Arsenal are relying on players who are not good enough, it’s that simple. Arteta said it would need several windows to fix . Not saying he warrants all that time , just at least let those players that need to go , go, and bring in carefully selected players.

    We have some good players but if they need to be rested then it’s just mediocrity or prone to errors . If we have sustained injuries we are relying on players who are not good enough.

    Prior to his last injury, marri seemed like a strong and dependable player. If they can get him and holding performing like they did before then maybe something can be salvaged.

    Bear in mind one thing, when kroenke was increasing his shares at the club there was many articles about how all his sports franchises were at mediocre level due to lack of investment from him.

  17. But still if we dont stop buying bencht players then we are better of staying at mid table not untill we start buying players who can change the game when it is out of our hands.

  18. Some people should get a job on TV or in the Papers as an Astrologer or Sayer. They are very good at predicting what will happen in the future and where will be heading in the future, not realising the present. Not predictions or hope, we are going down, we are dropping standards, we are losing games, we are dropping points and we play rubbish football to boot. Forget your inexplicable love for Arteta and tell me if any other manager was in this job doing as bad a job as him, he would be sacked. There is no transition, there is no holiday period and the manager is at this moment failing in his job. Look what is happening and in front of you and stop sugar coating it. We are not going anywhere but down.

  19. Highbury hero Arsenal problem isnt with arteta, the problem is with Kroenke and his stingyness with quality signings The rebuilding was needed over 5yrs ago
    Look at our squad and tell me how many would get in man city xi the truth is that we were a midtable team long before Wenger left and the sooner you get that the better

    1. Wes money has been spent, we have very good players, the way we are playing is not down to Kronk. I dont want himas our owner but to use him as an excuse for the way we are playing and the decisions that are being made with this team is wrong. The position in the league and all the defeats are down to Arteta not Kronk. Other problems are down to Kronk but the way we play isnt.

      1. We are a mediocre team with an average squad. In December did we have 9 CB’s, before offloading Mustafi and Papa. When Liverpool needed a top CB they bought Virgil van Dijk for £75 million. When ManCity needed a CB they bought Laporte, £57 million, when they needed another they bought Rúben Dias, £78 million, in addition do they have Stones, £50 million. We have bought 9, most of them aren’t good enough, some of them very young and not proven. We are up against teams buying world class players in all positions. ManCity could probably played two teams in the league and both of them could managed top 5. We aren’t close to be competitive at the moment, we need a better first 11 and a better squad. Arteta or any other manager will need at least two more years to make us title contenders. There aren’t many of our players that are good enough for ManCity, Liverpool or Chelsea. In spite of this I’m optimistic but it will take time and cost big money to make us great again…

  20. Interesting article HH.Like most critics of Arteta you fail to recognise the long term damage during the latter part of the Wenger era, and to suggest that Arteta inherited a team which was better than that bequeathed to Wenger is distinctly arguable.Indeed, in terms of the defence Wenger inherited a very decent one whereas Emery and Arteta did not.The last decade has been a disaster for our Club in terms of recruitment.Comparing us with the likes of Leicester exemplifies the difference between competence and the opposite.Leicester, have never spent more than 25m on a player and have a net outlay which is a fraction of ours.This is the area which has resulted in our downward spiral and in this unique season our expensive trio of Auba, Laca and Pepe, who between them cost around 175m have completely failed their Manager.You have chosen to ignore the failure of certain highly paid players in your article, players who Arteta inherited.It’s so easy for fans to sit in their ivory towers and spout harsh words of criticism at Managers, and yet rarely, if ever have I read constructive comments aimed at improving our situation by offering possible solutions.Based on the players available to Arteta against Man City, and the fact that only two of these players would have a chance of getting into the City team, I do not consider a 1-O defeat a disgrace nor a disaster.Any Manager on the Planet would need time to turn around the fortunes of Arsenal and the fact that we are currently a mid table team is something you and other fans will have to accept for the time being.

    1. Have the players mentioned failed Arteta ? Why hasn’t Arteta failed them? They have all gone downhill since his appointment. Players whom Arteta didnt think were good enough this last year have left and many are flourishing at other clubs. I dont get your point when there is a point that it could well be the other way round.

    2. @Grandad- you state that in your opinion all three of Aubamayang, Lacazette and Pepe have “completely failed their manager”. This could easily be re-phrased as Arteta has “completely failed his three strikers”.
      It’s no co-incidence we have been far more of a threat offensively since ESR was introduced to the team on Boxing Day v Chelsea. Yet before this Arteta had the team playing without a recognised playmaker, and relied on two main tactical aspects for our goal threat. The first was David Luik being able to find someone with a long pass and 5he second praying Saka would conjure something up to create something. The team were devoid of any cohesion and consistency, had no attacking threat, and worst of all, the players seemed to have very little confidence in the way they were being asked to play.
      While I appreciate Arteta has without doubt made us tighter defensively, he has failed miserably to give us an attacking threat with strikers who have all proved they have goal scoring abilities.
      However much anyone recognises the job Arteta has in rebuilding and rebalancing the squad, it should never be forgotten this manager is also very much responsible for some ridiculous line-ups, tactics and player choice.

      1. @phil name one manager currently that will inherit this team and turn them into attacking and defensive machines in less than 1 year and 3 months
        You may think you’re a realist, but the truth is many arsenal fans are not.
        Its funny how we think sometimes, with the way the world is suffering, clubs are struggling too, check the top 5 leagues, some big clubs are in financial trouble and as well doing poorly(below standard) football wise
        For a novice coach(as we claim) MA is doing good, we may not see it but he’s laying good foundations for the team and until he’s sacked has my support
        Sometimes to go up, there’s need to go down
        Liverpool may be celebrating now, but not may of us would have wanted to be a liverpool fan 7 or 8 seasons ago when they were languishing in the league

        Lets face it except the new manager coming in will wave a magic wand and make all arsenals troubles go away, we will still suffer for things to get better


        1. Based on results, why didn’t the Board stick with Emery and support him given his CV. Why was he expected to come in, “wave a magic wand and make all Arsenal’s troubles go away”?
          Lack of consistency, fairness and equity?

  21. “our expensive trio of Auba, Laca and Pepe, who between them cost around 175m have completely failed their Manager.”

    Grandad: With all due respect your post is full of nonsensical excuses.

    You blame the players for failing the manager yet even the manager does not agree with you because he keeps playing them.

    Besides there is no such a thing as a player failing the manager because the manager is the BOSS. He can include/exclude players at will.

    Let’s mention Auba especially. The manager was the biggest advocate for signing him.

  22. Icw are you suggesting that the three players I mentioned have played well this season,?Are you suggesting that the fortunes of a Club are dependent on the Manager rather than the players?Nonsensical is not a weakness I have ever had levied against me, but perhaps you are sufficiently well educated and qualified to be an authority on the subject.

    1. I am not suggesting that at all. What I am suggesting is that the manager makes the decision to use those players over and over again so he must think they are good enough!

      When the manager gets rid of 8 players and signs his own, yes the fortunes of the club are depended on him.

      Of course I am not an authority on the subject and sorry If I offended you.

    2. Grandad, the players let Unai Emery down and he took the fall. Experience shows that a football club finds it easier to change manager, than address wholesale player changes.

  23. SPOT ON, HH! Finally, some perspectives, without blinkers. Arsenal is the ONLY club in the PL with a trainee coach, very hastily promoted to Manager. During Emery’s time:
    (A) Both Auba and Laca, often paired together, were scoring goals,
    (B) Emery is the one who walked the talk (Arteta’s) of giving chances to the youth – Martinelli, Saka, ESR, Willock, Guendouzi, Torreira etc.
    (C) Emery did NOT get the support of the Management in getting players for his high press style of football. Sanlehi brought in Pepe!!! Emery did not have the luxury of Gabriel as CD, Mari or Partey.

    Football is a result-oriented business. Arteta has failed! He has had 3 transfer windows and well-supported by KSE, despite COVID bleeding.

    Are Arsenal players any inferior to West Ham ones?? The latter has an experienced manager, scouted and recruited well and developed them to suit a winning system.

  24. HH, only just got round to plugging in to JA, so sorry for the late response.
    An excellent article, well researched and assembled.

    At last it seems that the fans who wanted AW out and were so unimpressed by his latter years, are finally seeing what a fantastic job he actually did… DESPITE his many faults of course.

    All the excuses about kronkie being the cause, are ridiculous, as AW worked with him for a decade and yet STILL managed top four and FA cup wins.
    In his penultimate season, he just missed another CL spot by one point and won the FA cup, but are still fed this dribble about UE inheriting a mess!!!

    I believe MA is at a crossroad with the players and his tactics / loyalty to certain individuals who he personally signed.
    His treatment of some players, borders on a personality clash and not on what is the best for the club (Martinelli, AMN, Lacs).

    It should be remembered, however, that covid has played an enormous part in his managerial stay and, when he guided us to the FA cup win over Chelsea, I viewed that as a tremendous achievement… when one considers what UE left him.

    I don’t agree that the buck should stop at his door, following the city defeat. Tierney should have stopped the cross and Holding should have out jumped everyone to clear the cross… as both said players have done before in previous games – but I digress from your article.

    Let’s see what happens on Thursday with, hopefully, Partey back in the side.
    If we see another inept and defensive shambles, like the first half on Sunday, then I feel the club have to make a decision – as a supporter of MA, this is fast becoming a UE situation, both on and off the pitch.
    Once again HH, a great article.

    1. Thank you Ken. I was eager to read your thoughts. Though most of us disagree on the quality of the squad, I think it is better than 10th.

      For all of you who have faith in him, you deserve to have your faith rewarded. If not by winning the league or finish in the top 4 at least the team should show the right direction. It is up to Mikel to deliver on that. He has to pay back that faith by improving his performance because like you have stated in your last paragraph, at some point the faith and support will end if there are no improvements.

  25. A poorly constructed , biased and wrong headed article that told us no more than HH’s already well known personal prejudice against Arteta.
    It also showed his personal absolvement for all blame in any way in Wenger.
    All in all, not an article written by a thinker and no hint of balance whatever.
    You need to do much better than THIS HH, to be regarded as a proper writer.

    1. Thanks Jon, I see it’s an eye for an eye and no love lost between us. I have a long way to go to even be considered a writer. Even though it is not the one I promised (I have yet to finish that one) at least it has happened in your lifetime! So there is that.

      1. Strange how you have nearly 70 comments
        HH where as Jon I believe had about 20 on his last one .
        I’m not sure what a proper writer is TBH ,but your Article was well researched and well written ,I may Not agree with some of it but I would suggest writing more as you can see by the reply’s that you have interacted well with the normal crowd on here something some proper writers on here cannot do .

      2. Jon- respectfully. What is a proper writer in your view? This article from HH has quite obviously been very well received. So what actually qualifies you to judge as you have done?
        You need to remember PAL- this is a FOOTBALL site, it’s not your place to comment as you have however much you might feel you run this site.
        You don’t. If you did I wouldn’t imagine too many bothering themselves with such a bore as yourself.
        FFS- get yourself a life PAL
        Highbury Hero- don’t pay the old Rodger any thoughts. It was a very good article as everyone who has contributed will agree. Old Foxy seems to believe he is superior to everyone else. He isn’t. He is just a very boring old man

          1. Shame on you Jon – disagree with the content as much as you want, but don’t denigrate the writer because you have a different view.
            Perhaps you could / should give HH your views to his points.
            Apart from TMJW, I have noticed that, despite saying they are about to produce an article proving AW is the cause of all our problems, not one poster has produced one for discussion.
            I give TMJW full credit for that, so why don’t you counteract HH’s article with your own Jon, as I have done with TMJW?
            Then we can all judge you on your writing skills and your AW thoughts.

          2. Jon, you have a real nasty streak with anyone who does not follow your beliefs and can only reply to them with rude or put down comments. A shame because we all have different opinions and we may not agree but a weak person gets personal, sadly you are not on your own. Challenge the article and the post not the person. Because he doesn’t agree with your view that person doesnt lack brains, ideas or is a child.

          3. Thank you for your support and encouragement Dan, Phil, Ken and Kenny. Normally people strive to be popular but Jon goes out of his way to be as an unpopular as possible. I find it very interesting.

  26. What about the personality clash with Guendozi, Saliba and Torreira.
    Guendozi with Partey would improve us immediately. Why is Bellerin still even in the squad( ex roommate of Arteta), he’s useless.
    Xhaka is championship level yet he always picks him. Pepe is a bust,Willian is awful

  27. 99% of the hype came from him working under Pep. If he had never worked under Guardiola he would not have gotten near the Aresnal job. That’s really all this is. Us hoping he magically turns into Guardiola one day.

    1. RSH. Spot on. He has no record as a manager and I don’t think he would have been had he not be a former Arsenal player too.

  28. Interesting to read both sides of the debate. Jesus said that no pupil is greater than his teacher and Arteta has come short against Guardiola. Does this make Arteta an inept coach? I don’t think so. We shall not see Arteta’s impact until next season. For now let us content ourselves with a mid table position.
    Those who talk of big managers should be reminded that there are quite a number in EPL: Mourinho, Anceloti, Klopp, Guardiola, Brendan Rogers, Hodgson etc. Obviously not all of them will win the trophy. In our case we need patience because we chose the future over today’s success.

    1. David, well said regarding the “big named managers” you point out that will end the season with nothing…. just as I believe (although I hope wrongly) Mikel Arteta will.
      But, as with AW’s final season, a percentage of fans just cannot see the reality of football.
      Well said indeed.

  29. Well said David.Unfortunately some fans think this Club has a divine right to success whereas in the real World there are Global issues which are far more important than football and always will be..A sad reflection on Society today when people call for the sacking of a young Manager who last season won for them the FA Cup.Earlier today someone suggested comparison with West Ham, a team which is currently in the top four after a mere 35 years in the wilderness.I sometimes wonder if certain fans are actually capable of any thought before they press the keys.Maybe it’s my age but I think it’s time for me to say goodbye to JA in the hope that MA proves his critics wrong.If he succeeds in winning the Europa Cup this season, I expect they would still be baying for his blood.Over and out.

    1. Grandad, all of us on this site will probably disagree on something, some time or the other. Just Arsenal is just a medium for comment, release frustration and learn about a football club. To most of us a long way from the most important thing in the world.
      The loss of any person diminishes the site, because diversity of opinion is healthy.
      “Nil bastardo carborundum”

  30. Great article, HH 👍
    Fair enough we’re rebuilding, but 1 or 2 shots on target is becoming a regular thing, as is playing like we’re in a training session! 11 defeats already… wasn’t expecting this season to be so dire – the worst I’ve ever known! Our only hope now is Thursday night… please excuse me if I’m not feeling very confident!
    And fancy being put down by Jon, just for having a different opinion! The cheek of it! Anyone would think we came on here for an English lesson! 🤣Pathetic!
    You really are a nice guy, very witty too.. and such a valued member of JA!

    1. Sue: You don’t say a lot but you say aplenty.
      Unfortunately your weakness is English and you make Shakespeare turn in his grave every time you post.
      Regardless you are Ok by me.

    2. Thank you very much Sue! I take it as a payback from Jon for my comment in one of his articles. I just hope there won’t be an interest 😂😂

      Arteta should maybe take a page from Wenger who after a bad run of form would finish the season strongly to get our birth right 4th and give us hope for the next season only to repeat the same.

  31. Today, I can’t think of anything. With 11 defeats and more to come there’s little to say. I wish I could defend him on the beautiful football his teams always turn up to play, but that’s as rare as a rainy season in Broken Hill Australia. Is he building something for the future or.are we just being sucked in by the “trust the process” BS? For me it’s an intuitive feeling that he knows what he is doing and will come good, but as the season drags on I get the feeling that it may not be at Arsenal.

  32. Hang in there grandad. You should know by now that the people who support the same team as you or go to the same concerts may not always be the types you would like to be friends with.

  33. 11 defeats in the league is a sackable offense for a big club like us. Arteta needs to be sacked in the end of the season even if he manages to pull a miracle and win the Europa League.

  34. It is fair to discuss, whether Arteta is the right man or not.
    But please don’t use fake facts!
    Wenger was finally asked to leave (in reality sacked), because we dropped out of top 4 to 5’th and despite maintaining a lot of investment in new players and a very high salary bill, we dropped even further to 6’th.
    Our dropping out of Champions League and the high income, that comes from Champions League, but still keeping high salary players and a high nett transfer are the dominant factors for our econimic troubles. Nothing do with Arteta as such. Except that so far, he looks like failing to bring us back into Champions League this year. Just like Wenger failed in his last 2 years and just like Emery failed.
    And although we have no divine right to expect top 4 and to be a serious title challenger, the fact that we invest more in transfers and salaries than all clubs excpet Man U and Man C, does mean we should epect to do much better than we are at the moment.

    1. Some call it losing a dressing room. It’s when players do not want a manager and play bad on purpose to get him fired.

  35. The rebuilding process was always going to take over a year, since arteta’s took the reigns in December 2019 we’ve improved on the quality of player purchase, barring William we’ve bought well which is ‘Key. On performances on the pitch it has been so inconsistent but it is clear if we cut out our errors leading to goal and red cards we’ve had we have played better. I think this season was always going to be about clearing up the remaining mess and having a good summer window.
    Next season we will definitely be competing for a top 4 place, and dont forget we still have a big shot at winning the Europa league this year. We just need to get Partey fit without that guy we look so thin and sloppy

  36. Great article.. My thoughts exactly. I think that when a new coach was mooted, management went for the cheapest option.

  37. When speaking about Dick Emery and all his success, how much of that was because AUBA was playing for a new contract? Now he has it, it seems he has decided to rest on his laurels. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Michel Arteta that cannot be cured by Arsenal buying a top class goal scorer to push AUBA. However, since this is most unlikely to happen in the near future, people like the self styled “Highbury Hero” will be able to continue carping about Arteta’s performance. Let’s not forget. he is managing during a period where Arsenal have and are still dumping players to reduce the team budget. He has unearthed and brought thru, two nuggets from the U/21 team, but only two, since the rest of that squad, it appears, are not been good enough to make the senior squad. Please, Please Please, EDU, forget the back-up fullbacks and the extra midfielders you want to buy! Try to get Sergio Aguero on a free, or try for get someone else who can score goals, maybe from the Championship. Until this happens, whoever manages Arsenal will have the same problems, and the Highbury Hero can happily continue his carping!

    1. Funny you don’t like my username which is a tribute to the great Arsene Wenger. The Highbury Hero because of the Invincibles and all. Rest assured, next time I choose a username I will seek your approval and I urge others to do the same as well.

      Regarding Aubameyang playing for contract it can be said Mikel FA Cup achievement was down to Aubameyang playing for new contract too. Now that he has it we have been knocked out of the cup as well.

      You say we have bad players but the opposite might be true as well as others have already mentioned that it is Mikel who is failing to use them correctly with his lack of tactics.

      Even if we don’t compare with the big teams you can’t say Leeds, West Ham and Aston Villa who all currently sit above us in the table have better teams than us. A capable manager will have positive results no matter how bad the team is. That is what separates a good from a bad coach.

  38. What happened to Lampard should have happened to him a long time ago. He is not even a club legend or is he?

  39. At his peak, Wenger’s teams were a joy. Even after the ‘invincibles’ the Fabregas/Van Persie era was good, as was the Sanchez/Ramsey era. I do think Wenger stayed too long in the end, but we were interesting, sometimes brilliant, but defensively fragile in the end . Under Arteta we are a slowly sinking ship. Our play, tactics and results are horrendous, and some team related decisions are hard to understand. Of course Arteta cannot be another Wenger, he cannot even be another Terry Neil, who at least produced the genius Liam Brady and Malcolm MacDonald, Graham Rix, and Frank Stapleton to entertain us. Arteta is not even learning on the job………

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