If you’ve paid close attention to social media for the past 8 months, you will have noted the mixed response to the appointment and stewardship of Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
There has been consternation in some quarters which have questioned Arsenal’s ambition in making the former City assistant the club’s coach. Others have been guarded, whilst the majority have shown the usual intelligent patience and expected common sense.
There seemed to be a failure to comprehend the enormity of the Spaniard’s task in the minds of the minority but perhaps, that has been addressed with the departure of the head of football Raul Sanllehi and the chaos left behind.
Due to circumstances, Mikel Arteta has now become the single most important person at Arsenal. Not just in steering them through the current crisis, but by providing consistency and continuity, which will hopefully assist the players in the new campaign.
Arteta had already inherited a team in shambles but it was then made worse by what Sven Mislintat described as ‘dysfunctional’ and a ‘mess’ behind the scenes. The spirit had all but gone, as Arsenal became a group of unmotivated individuals with little or no ambition.
Disagreements and splits in the camp, tension, and frustrations were evident until the day Unai Emery was sacked. No disrespect but he was the wrong man for the job after Wenger, the club needed someone relatable in the transition period. At this point, you envisaged a mass exodus at the earliest opportunity as Wenger once suffered when it was abundantly clear that trophies were no longer a priority.
Guendouzi and Ozil represent everything that Arteta’s side is not about. Lackadaisical, precious, unwilling to change with a patchy application, fluctuating commitment, and under the assumption that they are a cut above the squad. All of which feature extremely high on the list of the Spaniard’s pet hates. Both will be incredibly lucky to wear an Arsenal shirt next season unless 90% are struck down by a mystery ailment.
The Coach also had to iron out the rough spots in the squad, re-balance and re-educate his side to work as a cohesive unit in attack and defence. He had to establish and underline a code of conduct, whilst restoring the spirit and belief of a team that were on the express train to mediocrity central.
All this to deal with and Mikel Arteta still managed to win silverware in less than a full season, the FA Cup win against Chelsea, which indicates that Arsenal have the right man in the job…finally. Of course, he’s not going to win the Premier League, not for a while but within two or three seasons with the right personnel and backing, who knows.
Let’s just congratulate him on what he has achieved so far, grudgingly if you have to, but considering where Chelsea and United ended up, it’s no mean feat. Yes, they are in the Champions League, but do they have the potential to win it? Not really.
Arteta needs three seasons and as long as we can see the progress on the journey to become a competitive side, we should just go with the flow. The Gunners boss wants to put the swagger back into Arsenal’s play and I think we saw a hint of what the team could be in the FA Cup final.
I believe we are three or four players short of the quality required to give Liverpool and City a bloody nose in the Premier League, we’ve made them pay on the big occasion already. Mikel Arteta and Arsenal seem like a perfect fit.