Why I believe Arteta is the perfect manager for Arsenal

Arteta article by The Aussie Gooner

What will ensure our beloved Arsenal are successful? That’s a question I’ve asked myself often. Of course, the question recurs in my mind because I love the club. But the question also comes from a desire I have to reduce the complex to simplicity. If only everything could be so formulaic.

The truth is that there are so many factors that go into what makes a club in the Premier League competitive. Ownership desire and investment, the manager, the players that have been acquired, the depth of a squad versus the match schedule.

But I think that singularly, the most defining factor is the manager and his/her vision. Whether the owner is hands-on or not and whether they are willing to invest or not, I think the most defining factor is the manager. It’s the manager who is working with the players, who knows them and what motivates them. The manager implements an identity.

An identity that relates just as much to the way the team plays on the park, as well as how they do life day in day out. The manager sets the vision and the transfer policy. Yes, the board may not back the manager up, but the manager is the one who convinces them. The manager is the one who compromises with the board and makes the final call on who to buy with limited funds. The manager is the one who implements a philosophy.

And what do we, Arsenal fans, want in a manager? I don’t know what we all value as a collective, but I know what I value. I want a manager who loves the club and is not merely doing a job on a career path. I want a manager who is resolute when it comes to what he wants on the pitch as well as off it. A manager who knows how he wants his players to carry themselves. A manager who knows the attitudes that he wants his players to have and not have. A manager is a good communicator to various stakeholders, the players, the board, the fans. I want a manager who is a lifelong learner. A manager who is always gleaning things from his colleagues, always tweaking things but not disrupting the flow of what he wants. I want a manager with passion.

I think, at Arsenal, that we the fans are in a privileged position to have seen what we don’t want. Arsene Wenger epitomised innovation when he came to the Premier League but respectfully, he lost his touch towards the end of his tenure. And I believe that perhaps it was because he stopped being a lifelong learner. He was reluctant to change systems of playing in favour of what he knew. Our defence was a shambles. Additionally, we saw a lack of enforcement of desirable attitudes in the club with players being favoured despite their lack of fight. Mesut Ozil comes to mind. There seemed to be an indifference in the club when it comes to relationships between the manager and players. The players ‘loved’ Wenger up until the end of this time, but is that authentic when ‘anything goes’? Of course, they loved him if he didn’t enforce any expectations or keep them accountable.

Emery did not communicate his desires effectively it seemed like. And on the side of the pitch, I always longed for him to stand up and shout. I wanted to see action from him. I wanted him to get up the players, to yell. I wanted him to show some emotion even if it was because he was unhappy with the players. And then when he fronted the media, he gave the fans nothing to connect to. Every time he spoke, especially after a loss, I was left angrier than after the loss. There was never a desire to share with the fans the real reasons things were going wrong.

And that’s why I make a case for Arteta. Yes, he’s not as experienced as Conte and Allegri. But he has all the things that we have been missing in the last decade. His passion on the side lines! I love watching the bench cam just so I can watch the outward demonstration of his inward desire to win. I love that he’s young, and that he knows his team is not perfect but he’s innovative. He has found solutions for some of our issues. Most notably, he was improved our organisation in defence. We’re a much more steely team under his leadership.

I love that he’s clear about what he wants his players to be like. He holds them accountable for their actions on and off the pitch. As a result, he’s slowly relieved our problem players from their duties. Again, Mesut Ozil, Guendouzi, David Luiz, Willian. He did so whether it was his decision to bring those players in or not. He was not bull-headed enough to overlook the misdeeds of the players on the second half of that list despite the fact that he brought them in. He got rid of our captain. No exceptions. Aubameyang is a Barca player as this is written.

He’s personable enough to have players playing for him, motivated to exert effort for the shirt. But at the same time, he’s not so personable that he cannot be calculated. He has leaned out our squad. So many of our mediocre players have been either sold or sent out on loan. Kolasinac, Torreira and Chambers to name a few.

And when he speaks to the media, he gives the fans information. A clear communicator who does not feed us meaningless catch phrases. He’s disclosed reasons for poor performances and made no excuses, but had been shrewd enough to hold some cards close to his chest. If anything, at times I’ve felt that he’s naively disclosed too much information. But I’d rather a manager who naturally empathises with a fan than with the politics of the game.

We may not be convinced by our ownership and their desire for success as translated into silverware, but Arteta seems to have negotiated well, along with Edu to make suitable investment in the last summer. And really, when it comes down to it, Arsenal Football Club may change hands again in our lifetime, but I want a manager who expertly negotiates to leverage advantage in terms of spending. In the end, a good manager does not just have a great tactical understanding but is also able to bridge his vision from his mind to the boards’.

I think Arteta is just what we’ve been looking for. He’s what’s been missing from Wenger and Emery. He’s bringing back the identity of the club that Arsene and Graham instilled before him.

Behind Liverpool and Man City’s success is an amazing manager with those variety of skills that are rare to have in combination. I’d rather Arsenal have a manager with those arrays of skills, than be like a club with a rich owner and a manager revolving door.

Chelsea’s identity is Abramovich. I’d hate for Arsenal to become a club that is just an extension of its owner. A good manager knows what represents the club… a good manager is ultimately one who becomes one of the fans.

The Aussie Gooner!

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  1. He still needs to improve our passing variation in the final-third and be more pragmatic by having a super-sub on the bench

  2. Morning all and first and foremost my heart goes out to all the Ukraine nation
    The sheer shock and suffering you are experiencing and we cry with you
    When will we as human beings ever learn by our past mistakes.
    MA was not my first choice when he was appointed and still has much to learn but the more games he clocks up the more experience he will gain.
    Personally I think he doing a sterling job considering the hand he was dealt with at the beginning of his reign.
    Some question our style of play which isn’t terrible but can be better at times but points on the board right now is the most important thing for us

  3. Truth is, if he get us top four, he could be what we need, if he doesn’t, he is no better than what was going on before. He has more given to him than any other manager that i can remember and thats a long time and our losses in the league are still huge in numbers.Position in the league trumps every bit of opinion or recommendation. After 30 months (come may) he has to deliver, otherwise, with the help he has had, there are no excuses. The excuses stop, the results will tell us answers.

    1. Agree with your comments. If he can get us back into CL then he is a manager taking us somewhere.

      Otherwise he is worse than the previous 2 who were in European football and finished higher in the table.

      The table never lies, and don’t understand how Two 8th place finishes qualify as progress.

      Well done so far this year, top 4 is in our own hands, we are captains of our fate now.

      1. Durand, thats how i see it. I stick to facts, other managers were sacked for not getting CL. Arteta has had more time and more money than either Wenger or Emery (neither got more than 2 years out of CL) so its not unreasonable to use the same gauge.

        1. That’s why I agree with your take. I apply the same standard to all 3 managers, so I remain consistent in my opinions.

          No excuses come May. With the money, control, and slack Arteta has been given he should at least be challenging for 4th.

          5th I think he will stay, 6th for me would be a disappointment considering our position now and games in hand.

  4. Liked him as a player, thought he was maybe out of his depth coming to Arsenal for his 1st ever Job in management when he arrived as we were in serious trouble.

    He stabalized the club, settled everyone down and gave Auba freedom to do what he does and that’s score goals, which then led to FA CUP & Community Shield but a terrible 8th Place Finish and only in Europa League due to Cup win.

    Had a terrible 1st season & thats not a problem as he was a rookie and had the FA Cup to give him time to which led to nothing but another 8th place Finish and alot of underperforming stars on big money or brought in for big money. Then we started this season the way we did but;

    Through out all of this he cleared out all the older underperformong players on big wages for whatever reasons, stuck to his guns with the youth and spent alot in the past summer to start a rebuild which even I thought none of these signings are going to get us anywhere near the top4 but here we are.

    We have slowly improved and we can all see it, we have made quite a few new young bright stars in this squad for minimal spending bar £50m on White. Our defence is 3rd best in the league and we are 2 points off Top 4 with 3games in hand over UTD and if we can win those games in hand then 2 points behind Chelsea in 3rd heading into final 10games or so.

    Cup runs we won’t speak about which just makes u realise its squad depth with actual players to help was the problem. We are posed now to spend big in the summer regardless of where we finish but being in the Champions League gives us alot more options with better quality players to choose from and where these top players may look at Arsenal as a possible place to play.

    Saliba returning to a new deal will save us so much as our defence has been super but adding William to it will make it an even stronger unit.

    I think he’s done well considering the circumstances he’s been under since he arrived to where we were a mess, last season and this season getting rid of so many players and basically pushing the reset button and doing what he’s doing now with what he’s got at his disposal is commendable.

    Maybe he is here for the long haul and considering the advantage we have now for Top4 he has to get us back into the UCL to get this new deal. What a chance, we won’t get a better one plus you heard the Emirates the other night was rocking with that winner, the Fans are right behind the whole club here again for the 1st time in a long time. I think even Mikel will know he has a massive chance to make his own career here.

    1. Sorry but that FA cup has nothing to do with Arteta.. Same how Chelsea’s first UCL has nothing to do with de Matteo! It was all the players! Hows Auba after Arteta had the time implemented his system??

  5. Not a bad peice of article Pat, we here in Jamaica share our sympathy and in solidarity with the Ukrainians death before dishonor, the biggest mistake have seen Arteta make is with the Saliba situation am hoping this is just a one off thing where he had got it all wrong as it was abundantly clear the kid got talent more than even some that was in the squad (Mustafi) for example, he seems to know exactly what we need am convince by that I like the marquee signings he attempts to get even though we fail I cant fault him for that and he seems determined, I must admit only Neves from Wolfe I wasnt convinced about in which now I had hope he didn’t went all out for as the guy is an Arsenal type of player with his passes and premier league experience and do has a little steal, am beginning to trust his process, three notable 50 million player two in Midfield and a marquee forward and we are certainly on our way come summer

  6. Aussie Gooner, Firstly BRAVO! A wonderfully and rightly optimistic article from a writer with clear vision, an acute brain and a fine way with words.

    I write on JA regularly and am a pro writer too.

    I laud your piece as one of the very best I have ever read on JA and hope and pray you will stay with us as a regular contributor, thus much raising the AVERAGE standard ofmany articles on this site. I feel sure that most Gooners will appreciate this article but ask you not to take a fan overview of your piece from two of the blinkered views expressed above this post.

  7. Personally I can see Arsenal finishing in the top 4 this season as I have said that the teams in contentions are less consistent compared to us. However, in a case where we don’t finish in the top 4 he would carry most of the fault due to how shocking we were earlier in the season and the several poor decisions he made. Luckily for him, the teams in contention for top 4 aren’t consistent and thus giving Arsenal a great opportunity to finish 4th. If we finish outside the top 4 I refuse to accept that mediocrity and make excuses for him. At this point in time top 4 is in Arsenal’s hands and we better not miss it. I defended him last season when people tired to paint a picture that Emery’s Arsenal was better than his just because he knocked us out of the Europa and now its his tiem to seal his part of the deal.

  8. He was my first choice before Emery and I’m glad arsenal went back for him. Arteta was an assistant coach who Pep leaned on and Wenger too even though he was a player. Yes there will be mistakes but the kroenke’s have their man and we fans should support history in the making in a few years. Expect Champions league trophy in 3 years.

  9. Behind Man city’s success is money yes they have a top manager but without the money they spent in no way would they be where they are and pep would not have touched Man City if they didn’t have a bottomless pit of money. I remember City in division 2 playing the likes of Macclesfield and Walsall and now you hear players saying they always dreamed of playing for city lol.

  10. Super article Aussie G. Very easy to say when I echo your sentiments but even if I don’t it was both well written and contained some very astute observations. And all without resorting to bashing those with opposing opinions.
    I particularly liked that you managed to stay focused on the less “tangible” aspects of his tenure – his ethos, beliefs, communication skills, learning curve and how these have and will continue to benefit our team going forward rather than being distracted by the more short term and obvious yardsticks of points and position. Contrary to some comments here, I feel that is a completely separate argument for another day.
    Great job, AG!

  11. Top article. We have needed a man in charge, a proper leader who sets a vision and builds a culture where everyone wants to be a part of. He has had to undo so much of what was rotten at Arsenal and he has done it expertly and quickly. He now needs time to work with his players who all share his vision and values. I think he will take us back to the very top

  12. Really good article this. I think people sometimes forget just how bad we`d become before Arteta rocked up. In Emery`s last few month we were an absolute shambles, we were allowing the opposition 25 – 30 shots at our goal every game. We were actually lucky not to be in the relegation zone, our performances certainly merited it. The rot set in long before Emery though, Wenger (2nd best manager in our history) allowed a bad culture to develop within the club and it transmitted itself to the fanbase. To many big time Charlies who were happy to collect a fat pay check and not put in the hard yards. I think Arteta`s greatest achievement so far is changing that mentality by gutting the squad and building a team around hungry young players. We`re still lacking a bit of quality in 1 or 2 places but you could never accuse us of being a soft touch or not giving our all. The players are leaving everything on the pitch and coming off exhausted. And as a fan, that`s all I`ve ever demanded. You can`t win every week and you can`t win trophies every season but you can give a 100% every time you pull on the shirt.

  13. To take a phrase from a previous Gaffer “sometimes it is good to take a little distance”, good to have a helicopter view of things AG, if a bit of a romantic one

    On a balanced scorecard basis Arteta is a fine Manager, he gets more right than he gets wrong which should be good enough and is in most industries but top level professional football is not like other industries

    It’s completely about money, Bielsa going today is another indicator that staying in the Premier League for financial reasons is more important than anything else, protect the asset at all costs

    Now, I have never really got the Bielsa media love in but the guy should have been allowed to finish the season, if he was good enough for the folk that run Leeds at the start of the season he should be good enough now, from “a little distance” it feels a bit like when Arsene left but at least that was at the end of the season

    Top flight football Managers are not “one size fits all” solutions, they are a business variable, look at Chelsea, they change Managers like socks and have been far more successful than us since we were the Invincibles, Tuchel will probably be somewhere else this time next year

    Emery is probably a better all round Manager than Arteta was when he took over but not right for Arsenal at that time for whatever reason, he is back where things work better for him and doing very well again, I was disappointed that we didn’t at least let him finish the season

    I think Arteta has been what the Club needed for this period of our history, whether he is the right Manager to take that forward to a higher level next season is a fair debate but he has earned the opportunity and I’m sure would like a crack at it, he would get my ongoing support

    He is no longer a “Rookie” Manager by the way and would have a decent set of options on offer if he was to leave

    1. Good points well made Fingers and I think your point about the money side being the main driver these days is so true. Football decisions at Arsenal and Utd are made these days with a firm eye on the finances (which some would say is the correct way to be), but it’s no coincidence that the teams that are challenging for honours have owners that are not in it for the money – Chelsea and Man City. The only reason Liverpool are competing with them at the moment is because they got very lucky with their timing that Barcelona were stupid enough to give them £200m for Coutinho and Suarez which covered their spending for Van Dyck, Allison, Salah and Mane combined. They spent it well so fair play to them and they have a top manager. And if you think it’s a struggle now, just watch Newcastle disappear into the distance in a few years time 😯

  14. Very well written. I absolutely hated those Wenger days where accountability was lacking and the likes of Ozil strolled in and out of the team. I wish only the best for Arteta and Arsenal. COYG!

  15. so many Blinders moments in this article that I simply don’t know where to start my critique…so instead of providing a much-needed ray of realism, I’ll let you and your ilk a few minutes in the proverbial sun, which should suit you well considering that you’re undoubtedly already wearing the appropriate eyewear

  16. I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows
    I believe that somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows
    I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way.
    I believe, I believe

    As long as Arteta plays ESR!!!!

  17. To a large extent I agree with the article with a few differences. At times, Arteta’s man management is strange, given the situations of Saliba and Mavro. We are very thin on the defence with only 3 full fledged CB’s on our roster and we have to negotiate the entire remainder of the season with this. We shouldnt have let go of Chambers/Mari/AMN in the same window, leaves us a bit thin on the CB/FB department. Secondly sometimes his substitutions are a bit strange, specially when we need goals badly. I hope he starts bringing on Pepe earlier in games as a sub, if not start him as a CF. Other than that, mainly Arteta has done a great job as a whole and we are in the right mix for a top 4 finish this season and hopefully we get into the CL and along with that our Arsenal of the old.

    1. I am getting tired of this “man management” argument and stick people keep beating Arteta with.
      I do understand that we have been all conditioned for decades to accept poor attitude multimillionaire players behaviour.. We have come to accept players misbehaving and cause mayhem for their managers and team.
      “But so and so player is a global star, talented, we spent so much on him, he is highly paid so we should all just bow down and kiss his ring even if he keeps underperforming, disrespectful and has a very egotistical poor attitude. Just keep compromising so that he does not leave us”.

      No wonder player power and influence in football has become a joke and we keep complaining about it. I think it’s because of this over indulgence with these overly paid, overly pampered primadonnas that have no accountability, all they hav are yes men around them that tell them what they want to hear. These players can just decide to down tools in an instant in order to get a manager sacked. They can just decide to down tools because they did not get praised and worshipped enough by the manager or fans. They need to be pampered and told they are so amazing in order for them to put in performances that warrant their £million salaries?

      Some of us live in the real world where we make less in a whole year than some of these players make in 2 days. But we give the best we can at work. And if we don’t meet certain set targets or goals we get warnings and eventually get fired. No one will overindulge with you like these multimillionaire egotistical overpaid / over pampered primadonnas are.

      This is why I lost some sympathy for wenger at some point. He just over indulged / pampered these players to a point where they would misbehave and take advantage of his goodwill.

      Sorry but I don’t want to go back to such player over pampering. We have had enough of that, now it’s time for the players to pamper the club and us fans for once in their life by performing and giving back to our club. Tired of this player power rubbish that we constantly complain about but then we turn around and try to encourage it. It’s contradictory. Can’t have it both ways.

      I rate Arteta for this.

      He was that kind of player, just in the background and got on with it, never heard about him causing mayhem as a player. Did the job assigned to him with no drama. We were always told that Arteta /Sanchez were always the first ones at the training ground (setting up) and the last ones to leave.
      Very honest individual that was more worried and concerned about his job as a footballer than being a Social media celebrity like most. And this is reflecting on his managerial attitude and mentality. They say each team reflects its managers personality.

      And one more thing, these players have enough fawners / millions of worshippers on their personal social medias that fawn over them, always praising and telling them how amazing and out of this world they are. Their manager shouldn’t be expected to overindulge with them too. If a player is not happy at Arsenal then he should ask to leave or br forced to leave, now is time for Arsenal to become a serious club once again. We need discipline to be introduced. Lets try this different route and see how we get on.

      1. Goonster, Blissful realism and huge applause from me for being so spot on and telling it how it is!

  18. I have reason to believe as the song goes and you are entitled to that optimism. At the same time as someone who wanted Arteta in from the start, I really can’t see the bright sun shit da.. Yes, Arsenal are sitting in a good place compared to last season, but, but but, I am not convinced that we have bought world class players, improved our style of play nor have any confidence that Arteta has the man management skills or character to handle a squad of diverse personalities who may want more freedom to express themselves. As someone who saw the end of the Wegner era after that wake up humiliation of Manchester United knocking us out of the Champions League semi final, I still think you have some nerve to even mention Arteta with Les Professor. Despite the Kroenke’s Wegner still did everything he could to keep Arsenal among the elite clubs. His fatal misjudgment was not quitting after the FA Cup win.

  19. I see AFC are putting their prices up again for next season (even after getting rid of all those exorbitant player salaries).

    No doubt this increase is to help the poor Kroenke’s fix all those minor Emirate Stadium problems.

    I am sure the Arsenal fans will happily cough up the extra to help to the poor poor Kroenkes.

  20. Arsenal fans can be so unrealistic imo. Damn!!
    And, honestly I don’t mean this as disrespect.
    Truth be told, Arsenal will only get top four by sheer will and determination from the coach, players and importantly support from the fans.
    Definitely not because of the quality of their playing/coaching personnel. If we understand this, we will be a lot more realistic in our expectations.
    More worrying for me is the comparison with Arsene and Emery and the past in general. The quality of players who got them 4th nd 6th place in the past no longer exist and that’s fact.
    Going forward, this group want to work with young players and build from ground up. This takes time my people.
    Tbh, I think this group is ahead of schedule. Moreso, they’re playing better and there’s evidence togetherness. Ingredients needed for success in the long term.
    To demand 4th place like we’re better equipped than the teams around us fighting for the same spot is not supporting the team in the right way imo.
    I come in peace. #COYG

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