Was Piers Morgan really right about Arsenal? (Opinion)

Piers Morgan has continually criticised Mikel Arteta, the January transfer window and the direction that the club is headed even when Arsenal were in a rich vein of form, and while I hate to admit it, he may have been proved right.

Piers wasn’t alone in being surprised that we ended up allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave without a replacement being brought in, and it is easy to agree with him on this one. You could potentially argue that Calum Chambers leaving without being replaced left us too light at the back also, as highlighted in our last two outings also.

It is the controversial journalist’s opinion on Arteta which has received a strong backlash throughout the campaign however, with him calling for us to try and take advantage of Chelsea’s recent ownership issues to try and lure Thomas Tuchel away from Stamford Bridge, before even calling for #ArtetaOut & #VieiraIn, which proves it wasn’t just the Spaniard’s inexperience which he disagreed with, whilst pointing out issues with the club’s disciplinary issues and style of play under the 40 year-old also.

He even called out our dreadful record under Mikel in his column at TheSun back in January, calling for him to be sacked also.

He wrote: “For all his tough guy talk and endless “trust the process” bull****.

“He’s been in charge for two years and 114 matches now — and has a win record of just 53 per cent, less than Wenger’s, whose last decade was woeful, and Unai Emery’s.

“Yes, he won the FA Cup within months of taking over (thanks to two goals by Aubameyang). But for a club like Arsenal, it’s winning the Premier League and Champions League that matters and on which real success should be judged.

“In Arteta’s first half-season, we finished eighth. Last season, we finished eighth again and didn’t qualify for any European competition for the first time in 26 years.

“This season, despite Arteta splashing out £150million on new players, we’re sixth and already out of both domestic cups.

“If we don’t make the top four this season, and even that “achievement” seems such a lowly ambition for a supposed big club, then he shouldn’t be given a pay rise, he should be sacked.”

While many Arsenal fans have questioned Arteta’s role at Arsenal this season, mostly at the start of the campaign and probably during the last week, Piers has remained consistent with his criticisms of the young manager, and you have to admit, some of his opinions which many disagreed with at the time, now appear painfully true.


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  1. No Piers Morgan will be proven wrong. We had to get rid of players in the January window. It is a gamble which was necessary to free up space for the summer window. Mikel had faith in the players at his disposal. Unfortunately their inexperience let them down. With some additions in the summer We will improve. By the way all the blame being laid on Mikel Arteta, did anybody hear Granit Xhaka’s interview. It was the players who let us down. Why did they not follow the instructions?
    We have to place the blame at the players feet.

    1. Xhaka has let this club down for years but worse than his playing regularly is the decision of managers including arteta to pick him regularly .. the freeing space argument is best left to discussion around the mad hatters tea party … wonderland stuff where sadly too many Arsenal fans have resided for the last year

    2. Quit blaming the players. It was Arteta’s own inexperience as manager that let us down. Give Xhaka a break too; he wanted to leave for Roma but it was Arteta who refused to let him go. Arteta, as manager and final decision-maker, carries the can for the final results at the end of the day. He MUST be held responsible.

      1. I have been warning of arteta’s limitations for 18 months .and calling for his exit for 12 … but xhaka is possibly the worst long serving player I can remember at this club … arteta’s refusal to let him go is unconscionable.. but doesn’t annul the mans abject footballing abilities

    3. @Dboy
      It was Artetas lack of experience as well as tactics and man management that let AFC down.
      There , I fixed it for ya…

    4. Place the blame wherever you want DBOY. Whichever way we look on it, it is not pretty reading. Above Spurs for so long and then bottled it. Have the highest net spend in the top flight this season and on defense and still concede more than when Luiz was in the team last year. Whose failure is it, I would say Edu, Arteta and the players all have some blame. Moreso manager for being egotistical and think all he say is gold. I really can’t see arteta improving after getting a free season to make his mark and completely blew it. But I guess his loyal followers will always find ways to shower him with roses.

    5. I am just tired of this guy
      Just imagine at a point not having a preseason was used to justify this scam, unbelievable what excuses that keeps springing up every season, I am sure next season will not lack excuses
      They keep pushing it and believing every next season will be better, I just pity most people who have decided to leave in hope rather than reality

  2. If we had played the spuds when we was ment to we would probably be talking about the CL next season ,but NO The club thought it a great idea to postpone with one covid case and with the spuds playing sh1t and now here we are .

  3. Yes Wenger should’ve left in 2008 but the way Arteta is struggling with this young team makes me appreciate how naturally talented Wenger is in knowing he’d have easily finished in the top 4 every season since he left. To beat Wenger to 4th there had to be a proper 4th place contender. In 11/12 he came 3rd when Chelsea were average and then when they improved Arsenal dropped back to 4th. In 15/16 he was 2nd when all top teams were average and then Arsenal dropped back the next season. From 16/17 the intro of Pep meant Wenger dropped down to 5th and then the next season Arsenal were so bad away that thry finished 6th. From 2018 the intro of the likes of Ole, Sarri, Lampard and Tuchel would’ve made Wenger finish 4th or 3rd because they were all inconsistent with their clubs and for Wenger to drop out there had to be consistent 4th place contender because the intro of Pep, Mou(Utd) and Poch worried him. This season I believe Wenger would’ve easily gotten 3rd place because there was no proper 4th place contender and Chelsea have been above average.

    1. Wenger would definitely had got us 4th place with these players no question ,and actually given us some good entertaining football with it .

      1. This isn’t a criticism on Arteta btw or some Wenger fanboy stuff. I just feel like if Wenger had no proper consistent competition for 4th place then he will always get 4th and no disrespect but Ole, Sarri, Lampard, Mou(Spurs) and Tuchel(20/21) would never beat him to 4th. The league has gotten stronger but his 4th place competition got weaker. The seasons 11/12 and 15/16 prove me right. Its good he left else if he wasn’t sacked in 2018 he’d have still been here.

      2. We failed to get in the top 4
        Eddie and Lacca scored what 5 goals between them?
        So how has he been wrong ?

        1. When did Nketiah start getting chances?? If Arteta was serious then he should’ve benched Laca long ago and even Aubameyang who never fit his tactics as a CF. Laca couldn’t go in behind and Auba couldn’t link play. In Nketiah he had someone who could do both yet ignored his preseason and Carabao form until recently. There are many areas where he was at fault and he has let the season be defined by those losses to Palace, Brighton and Southampton.

          1. I really appreciate your comments, and believe there’s a lot of truth to them, but Nketiah has only even looked decent in the past few games, and still he’s never actually delivered on his reputation as a deadly finisher – aside from one or two exceptions, mostly in cups, his goals have come from tackling defenders and the odd tap in, I still haven’t seen him beat a prem gk in a 1v1 situation (although his most recent goal was a nice finish tbf). Overall, I still don’t believe he’s done enough to convince me he could have performed as well as Laca did shortly after auba left. More hopeful, but still not convinced. So I don’t necessarily consider arteta not picking him earlier to be a mistake – it could have been, but at the same time, Laca helped us to win a fair few games without scoring, he just dropped off massively recently.
            We needed a new striker last summer, and failing that, in January. But hey ho

            1. I am not debating about Arsenal signing a striker in January. Nketiah this season had always been looking better than Lacazette and Aubameyang. The ony difference is that Arteta as I said Arteta ignored his preseason showing and in the Carabao. We even saw Nketiah in his cameos and he looked better than Laca. He has areas to improve in his game but he cant look decent out of nowhere. I was calling for Nketiah to replace Laca way before he did. He has done all what Laca did and better and if he started as much he may well have been the highest goalscoree in our team. The system itself hasnt created many chances for Nketiah. It is his movement and pace which has seen him get more chances than he should have. This is why I understand why Arteta wants Gabriel but at the same time he is overrated.

      3. Results aside,this is what I miss the most,our brand of football under Wenger.the “Artetaball” is just an insult and lack of respect not only to AW himself but also to our former players like Santi Ozil TR7,Wilshere,Giroud..who used to serve us great football,we used to have so many contenders for goal of the month every month.how far we have fallen,these days we can’t string 3 passes together.😭😞

        1. What do you think of the analysis though? I feel like any time any top team took their foot off the gas from top 4 Arsenal went higher under Wenger but when they improved Arsenal went back to 4th. This is why I used 11/12 and 15/16 as well as the seasons which followed them. The intro of Poch, Pep and Mou(Utd) worried him but from 2018 I feel like he would’ve gotten 4th because Sarri, Mou(Spurs), Ole, Lampard and Tuchel wouldn’t have done enough to push him out of top 4.

          1. Wenger never had to deal with the current strength of the top three teams. There were usually no more than one or two who can be considered comparable. However, we now have two teams that have reached tremendous strength in depth (in many peoples views they are the two strongest in world football) and a third which is just behind – and remember that third team are the most recent CL winners.
            Effectively, he too would have been fighting for fourth. Is it a guarantee that we would have made it with him? It is all too easy to look back with rose tinted specs and assume that because we were able to make the CL for most of his tenure we would be certain to make with him in charge now. Those managers that you mention, and their squads, would have always posed a serious challenge.

            1. To take Wenger out of 4th I proved using 11/12 and 15/16 and the seasons following that he gets top 4 ever since he left. Why? I believe that those weren’t supposed to be our finishes but because Wenger was consistent in 4th, anytime the top teams slacked he managed to ascend and then go back to 4th after they improved. In 2018 Ole and Sarri came in. Add to that Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal were bad that season but Emery gave it up for Europa. I do not see Sarri or Ole finishing over him that season because they were new and inconsistent and Wenger would probably have been better than Emery. Season 19/20 is even easier. Poch left for Mou in and there was a poor Lampard at Chelsea. Ole was still there. Mou didnt get suppprt and Wenger finishes over Lampard and maybe Ole to get 3rd. In 20/21 Tuchel comes in for Lamps but I still dont see him beating Wenger to 4th due to Lampard costing them points and Liverpool were average and Ole got 2nd. Wenger could’ve gotten 2nd ord that season. Ole was only 2nd due to Liverpool failure as proven this season. This season is easy. Wenger gets 3rd and if not surely easily 4th due to how bad Utd have been and the points cost from Nuno Conte transition.

            2. In between 2016-2018 where Wenger dropped out of top 4 he had better coaches relative to their team to compete with. In 16/17 and 17/18 it was Conte, Poch, Mou, Pep and Klopp. He came 5th and 6th respectively. Lack of stability at Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd since 2018 would’ve favored him. I also do not see Ole finishing over Wenger every season he had been here.

                1. Of course its not fact and I’m happy he has left but would’ve been happier if he left in 08. This was just a personal analysis which I firmly believe would likely have happened. Lampard, Ole, Sarri, Mou(Spurs), Conte(Spurs) were never proper competition to take him out of top 4. Tuchel is the one who could have. With respect to this season he easily gets top 4, either 3rd or 4th.

  4. I think some serious mistakes were made by an inexperienced coach.
    I think he has next season and that is it – assuming we don’t capitulate at the start like we did this season.
    I do not trust in this process of Arteta’s…

    1. Which phase are we in now?
      We had trust the project then the process, what’s next?trust the progress??

      1. I said this on another thread look at Eddie Howe at Newcastle been there 6 month and look at how they play we’ve had 2 years of Arteta but have no style of play. All we get is excuses and our coach a new contract. We will need a good summer as we are lacking in many positions and we need a good start to the season

        1. You cannot argue with this.
          Arteta has had enough time and financial resource and influence to shape a real team.

          I fear the reason he was chosen in the first place is why he will remain and see through his new contract..that is that there is no real desire for ‘football’ based success by our owner who is driving the club in a downward trajectory since taking the helm. Just another one of his mediocre sport franchise.

        2. We play at such a pedestrian rate even Xhaka doesn’t look as off the pace.
          Howe has shown it can be done in such a short space of time – while we wait… and wait…. and wait….2.5 years down the line! Top 4 was the target and he’s blown it. He’s lost 32% of his PL games – more than OGS and look where Ole is now- MA should consider himself a very lucky man. We really should be looking at alternatives, but knowing our board they’re probably readying another extension.
          I’m tired of the goalposts being moved for MA.. former managers have been slaughtered for the same thing – what’s so special about MA?

          1. It’s because the bar keeps getting lowered. Stan is happy to dish out contracts for what is deemed as failure at ‘big’ clubs that demand success ‘on the field’. Stan plays moneyball and isn’t in it to win it!

          2. Have to agree with you Sue. Why the contract extension? Unless they assumed top 4 was a certainty? Or they don’t give a toss? Losing 1 game every 3 is an achievement? That said, I think he’s here to stay, the ‘process’ must not be seen to fail!!

          3. Well Sue you are atleast finally seeing what some of us who think arteta is crap is seeing. You can’t have one match per week and can’t play better than that. Said it from last season,the team is not coached properly. The team plays school boy football. Arteta tactics are abc tactics. They are easy to figure out. Some will say we are sofa managers. But just imagine, if we can nitpick and see so many flaws, just think how easy it is for the managers that are paid millions each year to see the flaws. Arteta is years and I say YEARS away from being a top manager. We will endure these tough times though, but it won’t be forever. COYG

            1. Nitpicking is easy. All you need is a platform such as this. Anyone can sit at a computer and complain and dole out insults.
              Some of your comments quite clearly demonstrate why the accusation of armchair quarterbacking comes up.
              If your premise is true Arsenal had no business going to Stamford Bridge and beating Chelsea. They have some world class players; they are the most recent CL winners and they have a world class manager.

              1. And for one Chelsea performance, there’s always a Southampton, Spurs, Brighton, Newcastle never far behind…

        3. Last night game showed exactly,the impact both MA and Howe had on their team since being appointed.if you take the money spent and the amount of time, you’d be forgiven to think that Howe is the one who’s been at his club for over 2 years and spent 200M!

        4. Look at Ange Postecoglou at Glasgow Celtic, started late with no preseason, club had finished 25 points behind Glasgow Rangers, sold want away “stars” and brought in 12 new players at a nett profit to the Club, worked with existing coaching staff, rebuilt Club, including relationdhip with fans and won Scottish League Cup and Premiership in his first season. Manager of the season voted by both fellow managers and football writers.

  5. Arteta is a young manager.

    One thing a young manager should have is humility.

    Arteta does not have that. His ego writes cheques his body cannot cash.

    Adding to that ego is naivety. These 2 are receipes for failure.

    You lose an influential player like Aubameyang in January without finding a replacement.

    How was Liverpool able to get Diaz in the same window?

    We could have brought in decent strikers on loan.

    Also, why did he allow Chambers and AMN to go on loan and kept Cedric?

    Chambers can play as a right back and central back.

    AMN can play in midfield, right back and left back.

    Egoistic Arteta should have kept these 3 players for squad depth and sell them in the summer.

    Arteta is like a fisherman who goes to fish.
    And he is so happy he caught nothing.

    Harry Kane wanted to leave for Man city. He wasn’t scoring goals at that time of the season.
    But spurs kept him at all cost.

    I will wait till the last game of the season.
    Spurs might lose against Norwich. Anything is possible in football.

  6. What this young team is going through should help them grow a little faster and look at life different,they either win or learn.things will definitely come good sooner than expected.

  7. Arteta would get the credit if we had got 4th, the fact we didn’t he has to carry the can. His team, his tactics, his squad, his decisions, his fault.

  8. Hate to agree with anything sprouting out of Piers Morgan’s mouth, especially his dirty politics but on Arsenal issues he is spot on more often than not. This is not a club going places, unless of course you regard Europa League as some kind of achievement.

  9. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The only truth about it was the sheer lack of heart and courage. Arteta is simply not good enough. With two top players playing for Marseille, Saliba and Guendouzi, Arteta sent them away because of his big ego at the time. Had we have had them and a striker we would be playing in Europe. Exceptionally poor, emotionally contaminated, management.

  10. We stick with Arteta through thick and thin.

    The spirit of the team was already destroyed after the Spurs’ match. Arsenal has been robbed for much of the matches this season as always. The fans (some fans) are fickle and reactionary (they praise when we win and slaughter when we lose).

    And Piers Morgan is always talking rubbish. Idon’t pay attention to him.

    We stick with Arteta no matter what. And don’t be surprised we can still qualify for champions league.

    1. It’s obvious that MA has the biggest ego and therefor will always be right. His decisions around Nketiah and Not using him and allowing his contract to run down whilst utilizing Laca when he’s obviously on a goal drought and now out of contract too. And then allowing Auba to leave for nothing show how bad he is as a manager. Maybe Auba was never the issue? Auba loved the club. That’s why he signed an extension. All of a sudden (like many players at the club), they start dipping in form. Maybe due the fact they do NOT believe in the process?

      1. There we go again!

        Sorry to disappoint you. Aubameyang never loved this club (maybe only during Winter’s time he did), he’s only concerned about his money. Infact the reason we are in this mess in the first place is because Arteta pampered him far too long “just to please the fans..”

        For the records, Nketiah and Laca are in the same contract situation. The fans didn’t like Nketiah, and Laca was still carrying the team the period he was still playing regularly (not with goals per se though).

        Apart from few errors in terms of loaning out players, Arteta is doing quite an amazing job with these young inexperienced players. He should be congratulated and not condenmed.

        IMHO I still prefer Arteta to any other manager out there. If only the corrupt bunch (PGMO and their puppets) would just let us be, we should be talking about 1st and 2nd positions, not 4th.

  11. Arteta IS NOT good enough for the job. Simple fact. His decisions are emotional and not wise. Failure.

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