Arteta needs to rebuild Arsenal and the type of overhaul Arsenal were and are in need of is massive because of three factors. Firstly, the club has stagnated in terms of personnel that don’t fit together and that’s been quite evident this season when they played like strangers. Secondly, the investment in quality players in key areas has been poor, which has resulted in Arsenal limping from one season to the next like a wounded animal. And lastly, the attitude and fitness has been allowed to fall way below the expected levels.
Unai Emery had managed to get the players during his reign to sit in a room talking about football and watching endless DVD’s rather than putting in the hard work on the training pitch. The Spaniard had created a toxic atmosphere that gradually ensured that he left behind a fractured and critically damaged team spirit.
Those ready to point the finger at Arteta for the lack of points must realise that he inherited a mess of colossal proportions, Arsenal had no shape, no fight, no desire and they tended to fade drastically from the 60th minute onwards, allowing the opposition a free run at goal late in the game.
The problems he encountered with the team were across the board from front to back, but thankfully not in goal, where Bernd Leno has excelled. In fact, the German has been the side’s most consistent player this season with only the odd mistake to his name.
Not only has Arteta had to appoint staff to help rebuild the team, but he has also had to work personally on the damaged players with shattered confidence in an attempt to patch up his injury ravaged side.
I don’t know what goes on at Arsenal but they have probably 75% more injuries than any other club on the planet and have done since Wenger was in charge. Historically, fans were resigned to a the fact that half the team would be missing by December every year.
Emery didn’t exactly run the players into the ground and perhaps the intensity of the training sessions after the endless hours of classroom studies didn’t help the cause. So when people are calling for Arteta to go, they clearly aren’t looking at the bigger picture and believe me the rebuild won’t be complete for possibly another two transfer windows.
Arsenal have no engine in the middle and need a mixture of playmaker and defensive warrior. They can’t provide the service to their strikers or their biggest threats to the oppositions goal and they are still at least one or two signatures away from a decent and robust defence.
The club are rumoured to be working on deals for players coming to the Emirates and the inevitable departures, and it remains to be seen if the club are actually going to support the new coach or allow the team to drift on for another few seasons without competing.
The only reason that Arteta will want to go as far as he can in the Europa league will be to generate more cash. They can’t possibly win it with what they have against decent competition.
As for the supporters currently doing cartwheels over Manchester City’s Champions League ban, which might allow Arsenal to qualify in fifth place, they need to wake up quickly. What’s the point ? Arsenal aren’t good enough at present.
The size of the task ahead is probably the same as Wenger chose to undertake in 1996, with the new coach having to renovate the club from bottom to top.
Arteta is a much tougher cookie than many give him credit for and he has an emotional interest in bringing Arsenal back from the brink. Don’t bet against him.