FROM WENGER TO EMERY AND THE CURIOUS CASE OF 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?
WHY DID WENGER RESIGN AND EMERY FIRED? AND WHY WITH WORSE RESULTS THAN HIS PREDECESSORS IS ARTETA STILL ON THE JOB AND LOOK TO BE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL?
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.