Why Arsenal can attract any World Class manager if we wanted

Arsenal manager is a dream job for almost any manager

by AndersS

 

In the ongoing discussion about whether Arteta is the right man for the job, it is regularly put forward that Arsenal can not attract a world class manager. The reason being Arsenal aren’t ambitious and we don’t spend enough.

Presumably a world class manager would decline taking the job, if he can’t get funds to invest in renewing the squad to his liking. Underneath this argument often lies the accusation, the real problem is our owner’s lack of spending and this has also hampered the chances of PL titles for Wenger, Emery and now Arteta.


A bit along the same lines, is the argument that Arteta was chosen because he comes cheap compared to other choices.

 

In itself it sounds like a logical chain of argumentation, and it has the added benefit, it points the finger at a presumably greedy, ignorant filthy rich American and frees our greatest manager ever, Wenger, from any responsibility for lack of success in his later years, and for any responsibility for our current state of affairs.

 

The only problem is, the actual available facts do not support the argument.

 

First some “boring” facts.

 

Only the Manchester Clubs have been allowed a higher nett spend on new players by their owners than Arsenal have by our owner over the latest 5-10 years. Here are those facts:

 

 

Top 6 – Investment (nett transfers) in squad – 5 year history (2016/17 – 2010/21)

1) Man City – 626.5 m

2) Man Utd – 557 m

3) Arsenal – 343 m

4) Chelsea – 293 m

5) Tottenham – 227 m

6) Liverpool – 120 m

 

Top 6 – Investment (nett transfers) in squad 10 year history (2011/12 – 2010/21)

1) Man City – 1022 m

2) Man Utd – 947 m

3) Chelsea – 497 m

4) Arsenal – 473 m

5) Liverpool – 336 m

6) Tottenham – 168 m

 

Note:
If you wonder how Tottenham can have a nett spend for the last 5 years, that is higher than the nett spend over the last 10 years, the explanation is, they actually had a negative nett spend in the period 2011-2016. Meaning they sold players for more than they spent on new players.

 

 

The tables show the facts, and there are some obvious conclusions:

 

1) We have not been held back by lack of spending for at least 10 years. We have invested a lot, and as we are also a very high salary paying club, we simply spend plenty on everything, and we should have been able to compete for the PL title, at least on a regular basis

 

2) Clubs like Liverpool and Spurs, which have arguably gone from being behind us to being ahead of us in the league, have spent much less than Arsenal. Also they have both managed to attract world class managers, despite their spending record

 

Another interesting fact is, when Klopp came to Liverpool in 2015 his yearly salary reportedly was around £7 m and we were paying Wenger around £8 at the time. So Klopp came to Liverpool despite the club’s recent history of investing much less than Arsenal, and despite being paid less than we paid our manager.


We can also see, it is not as if he was promised a higher spend going forward, because Liverpool have indeed a much lower nett spend than us, since Klopp took over.
We can conclude Liverpool attracted and retained a world class manager despite paying less and despite investing less than us.

 

While Pochettino couldn’t be classed as a world class manager when he came to Spurs, he managed to get them from being behind us to overtaking us on a much lower budget. Meaning that Spurs retained him, once he had become a well renowned manager, despite a lower budget, and Spurs also have attracted Mourinho, who, no matter if you like him and his playing style or not, must be called a world class manager.

 

I would also like to add, Everton have attracted Ancelotti, despite being a smaller club and a history of spending many times less than Arsenal.

 

So why couldn’t we have employed a world class manager? Nothing to do with lack of funds.

 

We chose to stick with Wenger, when maybe we could have made a move for Klopp, attracting him with not only a better salary but also more money available for investing in the team.

We have simply been outsmarted by Liverpool, when you look at it in hindsight. The same goes for other clubs, we are currently struggling to get above.

 

But it is not only about Liverpool getting a new exciting manager with a modern playing style at the time, while we chose to stick with, what we had. It is also about how the money has been spent. We have invested much more in the team, and our record signings in this period have been, Laca, Auba and Pepe. Our 3 most expensive players have been acquired in the years, where Liverpool have moved ahead of us. In the same period Liverpool sold arguably their best player at the time, Coutinho, for around £100m and they spent most of that money on their record signing, Van Dijk.


To me this is much of the problem in a nutshell. We have spent loads of money on 3 attackers, who, although they are very good players, never have been able to strengthen our team in unison, while Liverpool put their money into exactly the missing piece they needed.

 

To complete the picture, we have been a high salary paying club for years. Only some of our highly paid players, have simply not been the strong backbone of the team, which the highest paid players really should be. We have also done a very bad job with that side of management.

 

So where we are now, is very much the consequence of Arsenal not being well enough managed both on and off the playing field, despite those in charge have been very well paid and have had the necessary funds to achieve more than we have.

 

As for the claim that Arteta was chosen because he is a “cheap” option. I find this claim not only to be somewhat insulting, but also to be without any logic or much real thought behind it.

Reportedly Arteta is paid around £3.7m, which is of course just under half of what Wenger was paid. But a yearly saving of around 4-5m on a managers salary makes absolutely no sense, if there is any belief Arteta is less likely to achieve our goals than a manager paid 8-9 m. There is so much extra revenue in better results, that extra 4-5m on this salary is “a drop in the ocean”. Let’s at least give our owner the credit, he is clever enough to work that out.

But there is also another side of this. While Wenger had pretty much achieved a position to be in charge of coaching, contracts and player investment, we now have different set up, where Arteta is concentrating mostly on coaching and we have put in Edu alongside him (or over?) to strengthen the overall set-up. So we still spend quite a lot on coaching and on staff for contract management etc.

 

The conclusion is, Arteta has the job as manager, because he is believed to be the right man. Not because we can’t afford or can’t attract names with the best CV’s. It’s as simple as that.

But how can it be, that a man with only an assistants role on the CV got the job in the first place?

I see many reasons:

We had two world class manager before him, who couldn’t get us back into Champions League, Wenger and Emery. Yes, Emery’s CV is to be classified as world class in my opinion.


If you look at Man Utd, they have spent much more than us on players and sacking 2 world class managers, yet they been far off achieving their targets.

Both the above suggest, a world class manger is no guarantee for success, and other solutions can be looked at.

When Arteta was hired there seemed to be a trend in believing a former player for the club with manager ambitions seemed to be a promising answer, i.e. Lampard and Solskjaer.

Arteta not only played for us, he did so under Wenger, which could be perceived as an extra bonus in terms of culture and unity.

Finally, Arteta seemed to have done well and learned a lot from Guardiola, who is considered to be among the 2-3 best mangers in the world.

 

I believe this is why Arteta has the job at the moment.

Whether he will prove to be the right man is still an open question, and how long he will be given, is of course also open.

This season can both finish in a clear failure and in a big success. If we lose to Prague in the EL, and the rest of our PL campaign continues with several games like the recent ones against Burnley and West Ham, I would say we must do something else. If we win the EL, and improve our PL position, surely we will be happy, and any talk of sacking Arteta, should be laid to rest for a while. But all in between those 2 extremes leaves room for discussion, I think.

 

Arsenal is for sure capable of attracting almost any manager free on the market. I don’t see why not. We are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and we have not fulfilled our potential for at least 10 years, despite spending enough to do it. A managers dream job, almost.

 

Finding the right manager is a difficult task, that has no manual with guaranteed success.

 

What I would like to see, is Arsenal coming out stating, what results we are demanding from our manager and the rest of the people in charge.

Luckily for Arsenal, I am not in charge, but if I were, I might put these targets forward:

 

Premier League – Never out of top 6. In top 4 three out of four seasons. Challenging for the title at least every third year. Winning the league at least twice in 10 years.

 

Europe – No seasons without European football. When in CL must reach quarter finals and minimum a semifinal every third year. When in EL at least reach semi-finals.

 

Domestic cups – Winning at least one every four years

 

Other – Always among the top 4 scoring teams in the league (this to set a target for entertainment)

 

If you have read it all, I apologize for taking so much of your time, if you haven’t found it worthwhile.

But if you are up for it, please enlighten me with solid arguments for where I am wrong. I love to learn.

Also, I ask you to define, which measurable targets, you would set for Arsenal and our manager.

 

AndersS

28 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    Admin Pat- exactly what I have been saying for weeks. Which is- just how accountable is Arteta? When is enough? And this applies to ANY manager we bring on board at any time. Despite what some may feel, Arsenal is still a very very big club and a top position that will always attract interest from other Managers looking for a position. Arteta should be under no doubt that he is in this job to achieve minimum success. He should be explaining just how he has taken a squad of players, including SEVEN of his own choosing since arriving at Arsenal, down to a current position of NINTH.This squad should have been nailed on for a Top 6 position in this transitional season and we should be looking forward to progressing from there. Instead we are scrambling for EL through a seventh place finish (providing Southampton do not win the FA Cup) or actually winning the Europa Cup. While both of these end products be acceptable, nothing short MUST be seen as failure. And this Football Club has rewarded failure for far too long

  2. R says:

    Plot twist:

    We currently have a world class manager.

  3. gotanidea says:

    I agree with the facts you wrote and Arsenal managerial job is definitely the dream job for any managers in the world, because the pay is very high and the pressure is much smaller than other top clubs. Mourinho also made an envious comment about Wenger’s job

    Arsenal’s willingness to give Arteta plenty of time and power will also attract the high profile managers. Most people want stability and comfort zone

  4. Pepe says:

    Well written article
    I never believed that a club with our status and resources will find it difficult to attract a world class coach even if we are running a self sustaining model
    Everton was in a more bad position than we were yet Ancelotti joined them..
    All this talk questioning our ability to attack a world class coach is just generated by we fans as I have not seen any known world class coach turn us down…
    Arteta was the clubs choice for few obvious reasons money I don’t believe was part of the reasons

    1. SueP says:

      Pepe
      You mention Ancelotti but Everton are a club that are aiming for the stars. A hugely competitive owner and a new stadium on the horizon. No doubt he could see a vision from the owners for the future and is happy to join the process. I get the impression that Kroenke has very little vision to take the club forward and that has produced a poor showing from top to bottom – to include poor recruitment and contracts.

  5. Shakir says:

    A seriously well written article,good reasoninh 💯

  6. Wyoming says:

    Emery getting 5th by one point and making the EL final suggests this squad with several new additions ought to be on the cusp of top 4.
    So why are we 9th?
    May be we were too cocky after the FA Cup /Com shield double?
    May be we were lucky that covid wrecked the season and we beat teams who had checked out?
    May be the league is so much harder now with every team having a billionaire owner?
    May be our manager has yet to realize he is coaching Arsenal not the worlds best squad?
    Maybe our players are happy on big salaries with no pressure to win titles?
    May be we have been unlucky?
    This season depends solely on our EL success. 5 games from glory or remaining in permanent stasis a footballing purgatory always 3 signings and a new manager away from the title?
    In Arteta we trust because what other choice do we have?

  7. gooner4life says:

    Perhaps if players and management staff were paid bonuses for winning trophies instead of getting big salaries it might change attitudes and make them more determined to enhance their bank balance.
    When i was working we were offered incentives to encourage us to reach targets. The logic was simple to get the bonus you had to achieve the target- no target =no bonus.

  8. Lola says:

    Thank god alex fergie ain’t around, he would have called us a wee wee club any chance he got.

  9. Jimmy James says:

    We are on course to finish between 7th and 10th as well as a good cup run and that’s about right for this squad. It’s not as good as the squad Emery took to 5th. That squad had more proven top 4 players. I guess that Arteta was given the job because he was open about the problems the club faced and had a plan to turn things around over a 5 year plus period. Since Arteta’s appointment we have spent about £80m on players which isn’t a huge sum and unfortunately £45m of it was spent on Partey who has spent all season injured or struggling for fitness. Sacking Arteta and appointing someone who is supposed to be a world class manager will make little difference in my view. Without a substantial investment from our owner it will take years of buying and selling, making small improvements to the squad along the way before we can become a consistent top 4 challenging team again. This is what Totts, Liverpool and Leicester have done. Their lower net spend highlights how much better they are than us at buying and selling.

    1. SueP says:

      Perfectly put JJ
      What happens on the pitch filters down from decisions made from above

  10. siamois says:

    OT:speaking of manager Joe Montenuro is leaving his post as manager of the women’s team at the end of the current season!i just thought this was worth a mention in JA.

    1. Sue says:

      End of an era. He has done an incredible job. Let’s hope he goes out on a high by qualifying for the CL..🤞

      1. siamois says:

        He has Sue he’ll be difficult to replace but at least he gave the club enough time to find his replacement!who would be your candidate(s)?

        1. Sue says:

          Ideally I’d love to see a legend of ours takeover – Smith or Yankey.. a pipe dream I know!!
          How about you, Siamois? Apparently the search is under way….

          1. siamois says:

            And not because he is French (ok maybe) Gerard Prêcheur he was Lyon feminines from 14-18 won a lot he went to China for 2 seasons where he also won a couple of trophies but more importantly he is now back in France but his contract is for 20-21 only!

          2. Sue says:

            😄… a worthy successor, Siamois!

  11. Felix omojuwa says:

    All the world class managers started from a point, to me, Ateta is world class based on results and achievement within a short period and this season is not over yet. Yes like everyone world class managers inclusive, he fumbled some games; he is bringing the smiles once more and I know next season will be better with a better squad then you I can assure you and my fellow fans we will all confirm him WORLD CLASS.

  12. jon fox says:

    Ad PAT. I do disagree with you about our ability to attract a current world class world renowned name as manager. WHILE KROENKE OWNS US.

    Kroenke is th e decisive problem that prevented Allegi accepting the job instead of Emery. Top established world class managers know that Kroenke will NEVER financially support us from the position we are in today. YES, WE HAVE SPENT MONEY BUT CATASTROPHICALLY BADLY AND LET MILLIONS FLOW FROM THE CLUB BECAUSE OF GAZIDIS, SANLLEHI AND TO A LESSER EXTENT, WENGER, all of whom have made dreadful mistakes in both buying and selling, with the result that our squad when Arteta arrived was the weakest since around 1994.
    It is widely accepted in football thatvour ownr is totally without ambition for our club and it meand only an investnent to him , nothing else at all. There is no other Prem top famous rival of ours with a similar handicap. All our main trad rivals have owners who care for their club, apart from Man Utd, with the Glazers but they have a larger world wide fanbase and are richer in consequence but we do not. That is the key difference and is why no world class manager name would accept the job under Kroenke.
    THE BAD RUNNING OF OUR CLUB OVER THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS , FINANCIALLY, HAS MASSIVELY AFFECTED FUTURE SPENDING ABILITY, AS OF COURSE HAS COVID TOO.

    I see little relevance to today of analysing spending from years ago and what matters is how little of real money has been spend under MA. THAT is relevent but from 2011 is not.

    This site has a tendency to discuss matters from the fairly distant past and to wrongly predict the future from that past. As a realist I have always rejected that point of view, as WHAT MATTERS is now, not long ago. Just as match results from previous years have no bearing on todays team at all.

    This is an important principle to fully understand and I FIND ASSESSING THE FUTURE FROM THE FAIRLY DISTANT PAST TO BE FOOLISH AND WRONG. WHAT WE SHOULD ALWAYS DO IS TO PREDICT IT FROM WHERE WE ARE TODAY.

    On that basis, is is widely known that Kroenke will not back any world class managerial name with sufficient money and NONE OF HIS OWN and that is why none will come.

    Apart from which, there is no vacancy, nor will be ,imo , for the foreseeable future.

    1. Pepe says:

      There is no today without yesterday and certainly no tomorrow without today they are intertwined
      Players of yesterday still plays for Arteta and they are the ones who gave him his first and only trophy so far…..
      And how did Arteta inherit the worst squad since 1994 that is complete false burn out of Arteta’s defense

      1. jon fox says:

        Pepe, Your unthinking post is simply a cliche and does not address my salient and profoundly true pointat all, which it that the future is best predicted from the present, not from the past. The past is done and though RECENT past is connected, Ad Pats use of financial spending from as far back as 2011 is a complete and pointless waste of time and has zero bearing on today and the future.

        Frankly, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND EVEN WHAT YOU MEAN IN YOUR FINAL SENTENCE AT ALL, AS IT MAKES NO SENSE.

    2. SueP says:

      I agree with much of your post Jon as I have written previously that Kroenke has no ambition at all beyond a top4 position and at as little cost as possible.

    3. AndersS says:

      @Jon Fox
      I think Admin has missed bringing my name, but I am actually the writer of the post, and I suppose, I should be the one addressing your comments.
      Only, I am bit confused as to, where you think I am wrong.
      Basically, I have 3 points.

      1) The claim, Arsenal can’t attract world class managers is nonsense, because we spend too little for a world class manager to want the job.
      It is nonsense, because the facts show, clubs like Liverpool, Spurs and even Everton have attracted big name managers despite spending much less

      2) The connected claim, Arteta was chosen because he is “cheap”, I regard as more than doubtful. There are no facts to support this, and I see plenty of other reasons, why we chose Arteta at the time. They aree all in the post

      3) I would love to see Arsenal actually defining, which results a manager should deliver, and I tried my hand in putting it into words

  13. JW says:

    Another article from somebody living in the past.
    But lets say what is written above is currently factual.
    Does that mean we can attract, and pay for, any “manager” in the world? If so, here’s one for you….
    Lets get Erling Haaland as our player manager (with Arteta as his assistant). At least we would score some goals!!!!!!

  14. ken1945 says:

    What defines a world class manager?
    Titles, cups, transfer market activity, style, tactics, relationship with fans, player relationship?
    Was Pep a world class manager at Bayern, is klopp presently showing that his reliance on one or two players is his achilles heel, can we say that Mourinho is still the chosen one?
    It’s all well and good to have the aims and objectives written down in stone, but so many things outside of any managers influence can determine whether said manager hits those desired (and probably essential) targets.

    As for our club, to say that only £50,000, 000 has been spent by MA, is misleading.
    We are now “lumbered” with three years of Willian’s salary, the same with Aubameyang and the lessons of the past seem not to have been heeded by MA – who, as I understand, has the same power today as Wenger had once DD left.
    Another lesson that went unheeded, if I am correct.

    Salaries? If spuds want Mourinho out, it will cost them a reported £30,000,000 if that is what a supposedly world class manager, who is currently failing make no mistake, then the appointment of MA would make complete sense to kronkie… and who would blame him?
    If the past means nothing today, why are we classing ourselves as a big club?
    We will have failed for the last four seasons to be seen as a top four club, so why would we think a “world class manager” would want to manage us?
    Bitter and unpalatable truths, but truths nevertheless… in my opinion.

    1. AndersS says:

      As I am actually the writer of the post, I will comment.
      I totally agree, there is no fixed definiton of what is “a world class manager”, which in itself is a problem for the discussion.
      However, it is still a fact, Liverpool , Spurs and Everton have attracted big name managers, despite spending less than Arsenal, and when Klopp came to Liverpool, they were by no means a club with a constant top 4 ranking. Nor have Spurs been and I don’t even know, when Everton last had a top 4 finish in the lague. Yet. Ancelotti was attracted.
      So why on earth should Arsenal not be able to?
      We are one of the biggest clubs in the world, we spend a lot, and we have a potential to do much better, which any manger would love to fulfil.

  15. ken1945 says:

    Excellent article by the way, if not in agreement with all the content.

  16. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    Of course we could attract world-class managers, if we actually cared to do so…both Klopp and Pep would have almost assuredly taking the reigns if we had acted in a more timely and responsible fashion when it came to cutting the Wenger cord and if our owner cared whatsoever about winning things on the continent

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