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Why Arsenal fans need to be patient with Mikel Arteta

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Why Arsenal fans need to be patient with Mikel Arteta amidst the appointment of Arsenal Legend Per Mertesacker as manager of Arsenal Academy

Here is my truth: Football is a more complicated game than the average fan appreciates. The average fan is rarely in touch with tactical schemes apart from general overlays such as ‘We play counterattacking football’. Results are the ultimate determinant to judge things.

Not only are most fans in the dark about the nuts and bolts of winning a single game, they are in even further darkness with methods of continued and sustainable winning. Why can’t Mourinho win leagues again? What happened to his formula that didn’t happen to Klopp and or Pep?

Not only are fans in gross darkness about sustainable winning, they are in a blackhole when it comes to club building and leadership, which involves years of planning.

Football is a very emotional sport. It compels people to talk about it. Even if they know absolutely nothing of the game. Most fans mock their girlfriends and old parents when they talk about the game. But to people who really know the game, everyone is kinda dumb, relatively.

Mikel Arteta can be as good as he wants but as it is his first job, he’s not got the respect in the bank to be dismissive of relationships with players. He’s also not a ‘big’ Arsenal legend who would get some respect off top.

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Not convinced he has the strength of personality yet. The great coaches all have loads of charisma when you think about it. They have exceptional football brains, but they’re also intensely brilliant leaders. I’m not sure if Mikel Arteta is that. He doesn’t seem particularly inspiring.

A top football mind who has poor people skills isn’t an elite coach. You need both. If you’re just a top mind then your best role would be secondary. Compare Mikel Arteta to Pep or Klopp? Even prime Jose, or Ferguson. Someone like Cruyff or Del Bosque. Just immensely interesting people.

Maybe its different behind the scenes but even publicly you need that to get the fans on side. They’ll back a manager they like when he’s losing (ie Wilder at SHU). You don’t even need to be eccentric, a polite, good guy can be charismatic like an Ancelotti too.

Like I said, it is the unrealistic expectations + pressure. There are 2 oil clubs in the PL + United. Arsenal simply cannot continually operate like they do or they will be ruined. Their financial firepower is stronger under the Kroenkes full ownership but they can’t build a super team overnight, even if they have the money. If it fails, they are done.

Rather, since Arsenal have already got a bunch of unusually good u24 players, they should continue playing them, move out the deadwood, then supplement and replace with stars. And this talk about ‘projection’ will stop.

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Saka’s quality speaks for itself. Smith-Rowe is clearly a great talent. Odegaard has put in Player of the Season shifts in La Liga and is widely recognized as one of the game’s best talent. Martinelli is a future Brazilian international. Saliba is a Ligue 1 regular at 20. Gabriel is already a nailed-on starter.

Lokonga has been extremely bright so far and was the captain of Anderlecht. Ramsdale is one of the most experienced young GKs around. Tierney is Tierney. This is a dream bunch of youngsters. It is literally out of Football Manager. These are extremely experienced youngsters with measurable quality.

Only Chelsea (helped by a transfer ban, an enormous youth system and loan army) have a fully comparable bunch of starlets (with the same high-level experience in all of Europe) to Arsenal. It is not a joke. These youth players are already better than most of the 27+ players in the squad.

Arsenal need to create a new cultural theme. They need a new fairytale. These kids are it! Get them playing together, supplement with few first team signings and you have a great team in no time. Trust the process.


Arsenal are not just trying to improve their senior squad, they are seeking to revamp the entire club from top to bottom. This explains the many changes in staff over the last few years at all levels. Mertersacker’s appointment.

Leeds have and are doing this under Bielsa. This is their 4th year. Same for Potter at Brighton. The funny thing with this revamp is that even if a coaching hire is not good enough, it doesn’t stop the team from improving in quality from year to year.

So maybe another coaching hire of the same philosophy can extract more points from a 2nd year cycle team, it ultimately doesn’t matter. You don’t rush to fire your 1st or 2nd year cycle manager, even if you will ultimately replace them. Why?

Because if you do that, you create instability in a construction project. Ride it out. Wait for the 3rd year cycle to do anything major. If you were wrong, you create a little decisional instability in your long-term project.

Even if you are convinced that Mikel Arteta is not the right rebuilding manager, a 3rd year cycle under him will allow for an impressive squad. So, ultimately, Arteta’s hire represents an uptick in the longterm fortunes of the club. I am convinced that Mikel Arteta is the right manager.

Not only do I believe that he is the right rebuilding manager, I also believe that he is competent enough to lead Arsenal to be a more competitive team against their rivals. For instance, his positional play system is objectively better than Ole/Bielsa, no arguments. He sets up his team better than any PL manager bar Pep/Klopp/Tuchel.


Fans often make a mistake in their assessment of managers. They magnify little things and make big conclusions. For example, playing Tavares at RB is a proof of Mikel Arteta being unfit to coach Arsenal. That’s stupid. An arguable micro error like that should not determine anything.

Another thing is hyper negativity. Deliberately creating doomsday scenarios in order to establish a false, toxic atmosphere about a manager’s reign who has won two trophies in no time. What next? Rebuild!

Xhaka and Partey were one of the best pivots in the league last season when they got a run of games. What Arsenal needed was depth for them. Not a marquee CM. CF never a priority with Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang there for now.

Arsenal started last season with no recognized 10. They only had David Luiz and Gabriel as quality CB options. Smith Rowe came in. And thy had to buy Odegaard. Luiz left. They replaced with Ben White. Plenty of deadwood to move on.

Arsenal are just maintaining the floor of the squad because of cycle. They can’t spend money on major problem areas like RB, CAM, ST and LW because : 1) They need quality in OTHER AREAS (CB, 10, GK etc). Money needs to go into plugging those, first. 2) Deadwood in those areas they need to upgrade. At RB, they have 4 players! ST they we have Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli, Balogun, Nketiah.

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How do you expect them to spend 50 million in areas they’re already stacked in, even though quality may be lacking? Should they ignore the obvious need in other areas? Sorry, Arsenal are not PSG and cannot spend 60 million on Hakimi on top of 5 other RBs. That’s not how you rebuild.

Because of the GK, CB and 10 situation, as well as the needed depth options at CM and LB, this window by definition has to be about Arsenal keeping the floor and getting out the deadwood so that they can properly spend money. Windows set up other windows. This one is about the future.

Say Arsenal end business right now and move on deadwood. Next season will be all about spending major money each on a new rightback and a new striker. My ONLY COMPLAINT is that Arsenal are not moving out the deadwood quickly enough. It will hamper them again in the future.

This window for Arsenal should be all about maintaining the quality of the team that got 2nd/3rd most points in the league from December (signing a permanent AM, backup for Xhaka-Partey, replacing David Luiz, backup for Tierney). Then get 10 deadwood players out so they can really upgrade.


Arsenal can’t do everything in one window. They’re are not PSG. If they didn’t do anything about it, they would have needed to start Holding, no backup for Partey, no backup for Tierney, no other 10 in the squad this season. Next season or maybe this season if they can shift the deadwood, they upgrade easily.

Arsenal fans need to be more secure. The kids in the first team now are all Champions League players. More and more incoming. Academy is pumping out high-grade talent like never before. All that is left is for them to move out the bums in the squad and continue to recruit properly.

You may not see it yet but Arsenal are clearly on the up and coming in the next 3-5 years. By that time, Liverpool’s current first team will be extremely weakened. Pep will leave City. Kane and Son combo will be dead. Lukaku and Kante in decline.

These teams will all buy new players for sure but the current competitiveness will be significantly weaker. No matter how many players City buy, do you think they are getting 90-100 points without Pep? Pep leaving alone will bring down standards. Look at the league since he came.

By that time, Arsenal would have fully transitioned into a top level team. They will be back at their strongest since 2006. And with the new owners, superstar signings like Pepe, Partey, Aubameyang will be a norm. No more selling anyhow.

Most Arsenal fans don’t realize that that the Kroenkes only fully acquired the club in 2018. 1st year, they dropped 72 million on Pepe. 2nd year, 50 million flat on Partey. 3rd year, 50 million on Ben White. These guys are ready to spend.

People need to realise that doing heavy investing without 100% ownership isn’t normal, nor feasible. Kroenke’s reputation in the NFL is one of the best, Nuggets one of the best ran organizations in the NBA. That family is good at sports.

Under total Kroenke ownership, the cliches leveled against Arsenal of not having/spending money is so lazy and misinformed. Their problem is that they didn’t hire the right fit of people to direct the club.

The individuals hired haven’t even been terrible they’ve just been unable to work in sync with continuity. The kroenkes have a lot of work to do but they seem willing to learn and adapt.

Arsenal are owned by a family from one of the most stable geopolitical backgrounds, part of a long-term portfolio intended to go down for generations. They can now spend money, finally, after pushing the current ownership of Everton out in 2018.

They have invested in the academy. They are producing some of the best talents in the game. Arsenal DNA runs throughout the whole club, from Mertersacker to Edu to Mikel Arteta. They have now established a unified playing vision and model for the entire club à la Cruyff with Barcelona in the late 90s.

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