The two sides of hiring Mikel Arteta as the Arsenal manager By Muha Anko Anko
Well it is becoming apparent that the new Arsenal head coach will be Mikel Arteta. It is also very clear that the chief executive Ivan Gazidis rates Arteta highly, and if the reports are right, he has convinced the other members who also have the enormous responsibility of replacing Arsenal-s most successful manager, Arsene Wenger after a mixed 22 years at the helm. What also is very visible is the obvious division of the Fans on the imminent appointment of Arteta. But that’s not my main agenda for today.
I will go straight at it and give the positive sides of Arteta
#1He is not Arsene Wenger.
Despite the expectations of him continuing the philosophy of progressive attacking football, it is clear that he ain’t Wenger, or at least he is not planning to be. One of Arsene’s biggest downfall was the fact that he refused to change. Well Mikel seems like a very open-minded coach on that front.
#2He is unknown.
Well this could and will go two ways about it.
People fear what they don’t know, because they don’t know exactly what to expect. As previously mentioned, Arsene was well beaten before even the match began because every other manager knew exactly what to expect from him.
No one, bar Arteta himself knows exactly what kind of formation, or tactics to expect from him, while he knows the inside and out of almost every manager in the premier league right now. This works to his advantage because he can surprise everyone this coming season by his innovation and it may take sometime for other managers to learn him and know how to stop him. Look at Conte in his first season for example, yea it took him time to adapt but once he settled with his formation, the rest of the premier league could just try to stop them.
#3 He is a one on one coach.
Well the LMA manager of the year Pep has been on record singing praise to Mikel Arteta, but one that really caught my attention is the one he spoke at Sky sports Monday night football this week. Pep went into more details praising Arteta’s one-on-one coaching abilities and crediting him for Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane’s improvement. “Mikel Arteta helped both of them,” he said. “They work together after training sessions, doing some drills close to the box to practice the situations which happen in the game to make them comfortable, to make them believe more in what they are going to do. Because in the end, when they have the quality to dribble, they have to use it.”
Well as much as most of us have given up on Iwobi, I bet we can all see from the Ox how much a good coach can make a difference in your performance. The likes of Bellerin, Wilshere and even Welbeck who seemed to have stuck under Wenger may yet come good.
#4 he is adaptable.
Well one of the main reasons Guardiola took Arteta under his wing was his experience in the premier league.
As quoted by Goal.com writer: “Brian Kidd is officially listed as City’s assistant manager, the veteran coach kept around, ostensibly, to provide Guardiola with optics on the various quirks of the English game; particularly difficult away grounds and the demands of the Christmas schedule.
Yet Arteta’s knowledge in this area has been invaluable to Guardiola in the past two years, especially as he had only just hung up his boots when he made the move into coaching.
The quality of his information regarding City’s rivals was one of the driving factors in the decision to put him in charge against Arsenal, and his former boss, Arsene Wenger, whom he may now replace having become the preferred candidate of the Gunners hierarchy.
Arteta himself said back in 2014.
“I think you need to adapt,” he said. “You can have an idea of a system, but you need to be able to transform it depending on the players you have – how much pace you have up front, how technical your team is, what types of risk you can take and whether your players are ready to take those risks. “It’s important to analyse your players because you can’t always play the same way. There have to be different details and changes in how you approach things, and you have to look at how you can hurt whoever you are playing against. Is there something they don’t like to do? If so, we’re going to make them do plenty of it.”
#5 – last but not least – he is a good communicator, something very important for a successful manager. Guardiola also believed that Arteta, after just a few months working with a new group of players and indeed his first months as a coach, knew exactly how to transmit those ideas on a match day.
Indeed, Arteta’s most important contribution to City has been how he communicates with the squad. More often than not he has been the one charged with taking on board Guardiola’s demands and filtering them through to the players. He was the one who explained to Fabian Delph what was expected of him in his new role as a hybrid left-back/central midfielder.
He has spent hours getting the message across to the centre-backs, spelling out exactly how they need to position themselves on the pitch and how to shape their bodies when they receive the ball. Arsenal defensive organization has been a huge issue, Arteta may just be communicating what he has been fed, but you must learn a thing or two from such information, and for you to be able to communicate it effectively, you must have understood every bit of it.
Well now to the flip side of it.
#1 He is not known..
Here I am talking of experience, the fact that majority of the fans are not very thrilled with his imminent appointment, it’s because we don’t know him. We would all be over the moon if we had Allegri, or Pep, or even Jardim, why? Because we know what they are capable of. Well for all we know we could be having another Andre Villas Boas who came highly rated only for him to be fired by two London clubs in a span of 3 years.
#2, he is not Wenger nor Pep.
Well as much as we all gave up on Wenger, even Konstantin must admit that many of the current Arsenal players came to the club to play under Wenger. Yes he failed miserably, but he was instrumental in bringing in the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, and even Mkhi. Yes Mislintat may be in charge of recruiting right now, but top players are attracted by the manager. For example if right now we are supposedly bidding for Seri, assuming another manager like Pep, or even Klopp register his interest, where do you suppose he will go to? Arteta or Klopp? Add to the fact that we are not in the Champions league, top players may run out of reasons to join us.
#3 Commanding respect.
Well some of the Arsenal fans may have started to accept his appointment, but this cannot be said for the players, some of which have won more trophies, have more experience, and also just recently used to earn more than him as their teammate. Let’s also not forget he is going to coach some of his former teammates who benched him. Will they heel to his directives? Will they trust his judgement? Will accept to be benched by him?
#4, the support of the fans.
Well we may not be there to save a goal, score or even assist a goal, but it is well documented that the fans play a huge role in any successful sporting team leave alone football. Before he was even mentioned, the fans pushed Arsene out the door, and it took them just over a decade to get him out. Then they were all united in giving Wenger a send off, now even before the season begun, they are already regrouping in to the same old AOB and AKB, only that now it’s not Arsene, it’s the ArtetaOut Brigade, and Arteta Knows Best.
Well credit to those who stood by Arsene, despite it being painfully obvious that he was past it, at least he had a successful past unlike Mikel here who comes with Zero balance. So it may be harder for him to hold on – maybe long enough to prove us wrong.
#4 Arsenal defense,
Well Pep may have won the league with a record 100 points, but Liverpool and Manchester united recently showed City’s defensive flaws, conceding 8 goals in three matches. This may not be Arteta’s fault, but if he is getting credit for his advises to the Champions defensive communication, he also should be getting some of the blame for this. He was never a solid defensive midfielder nor a defender, how on earth can he sort out a team that has the weakest defense in top 7 premier league standing last season?
#5 finally my last of this, is he is not a passionate touchline manager like Klopp, Conte, Mourinho or even Pep is. He looks like a calm communicator who may just sit on the bench for 90 mins – even when the players need to be uplifted by their manager on the touchline. It may not be very important, but it plays a huge role in players mind when you see your manager on the touchline pushing you.
Well those are the good and bad according to me. Of course someone said that no one is a sure bet, and if he will be appointed, I will give him 100% support and I hope the rest of us will too. But for now according to you, which of the above outweighs the other?
Thanks for reading