Arsenal Football Club have gone from 1 manager in 22 years, to 3 within the last 1 month. Safe to say, things have been turbulent at Arsenal this season. Approaching Christmas, we find ourselves sitting precariously at 11th - 8 points away from the relegation zone and 9 points off 4th. This is our worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.
It is important to introspect and ask ourselves this question.... How did we get here?
The answer is a complicated one - It is a combination of a multitude of factors that just haven't clicked. For a club to reach its true potential, many aspects across different roles need to click. A good example is the current Liverpool side. Ambition from the top, quality recruitment and a splendid coach who fits within the structure and philosophy of the club in Jurgen Klopp have fused to form one of the best teams in the world right now.
Arsenal are in a similar situation to what Liverpool were in before Klopp took over in 2015. Look at the side Klopp had back then, as opposed to what he has right now. A lot of turnover with respect to the personnel. The players who fit into his philosophy have stayed at the club - the others have left. Players who wanted out like Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho were sold. That is something I can see Mikel Arteta doing. In addition to demanding nothing less than '120% commitment', I can see him creating a vision, a style to fit that vision and building teams based on that style. It is a process, nothing will happen overnight. But we need to see steady improvement.
We are not in a position for short term fixes. Someone like Carlo Ancelotti for example, is undoubtedly a great manager - but can he rebuild a team from scratch and get it to compete over time? When you look at his record, he has made great clubs win some of the biggest honors, but never an average club (that's what we are right now) become great. There is a difference. It is important to look at the coach that fits your requirement in the best possible way, than going after the best manager out there purely based on trophies won. Mikel Arteta is the ideal candidate for our cause for several reasons, which are enumerated below:
1. His past connections with Arsenal - Knows the club really well
2. Proper leader throughout his career
3. Great tactical mind - Wanted by Guardiola and Pochettino as assistants for a reason
4. Huge impact at Manchester City - Helped in developing the likes of Sane and Sterling
5. Knows the Premier league really well
6. Great communicator (Fun fact: Also knows 7 languages)
7. Has a positive style of play in mind and wants to implement a culture at Arsenal
If you read these things individually, it may not sound too appealing. But look at all these factors as a whole and you have a really interesting candidate right here. The only downside to Arteta is his lack of managerial experience in the top flight, but everyone has to start somewhere.
For example, Pep Guardiola's first top flight job was Barcelona and his team became the benchmark for others wanting to implement an offensive style of football. Lack of experience could also be a positive - Arteta will bring in fresh ideas of his own and imprint that on the face of Arsenal. It will take time for other coaches to figure him out.
Right now, Arsenal's squad has too many holes. We need a couple of quality centre backs. With Xhaka seemingly on his way out of the club, we need to sign a top central midfielder. Getting in a new creator is of vital importance with Mesut Ozil in decline. With Aubameyang potentially leaving due to lack of Champions league football next season, we'll need to sign a quality striker.
To sum it up, a major portion of our squad requires surgery. Only players who are good enough and '120% committed' to our club should remain. That is the culture Arteta wants to implement. He needs to be well supported by those above him, but most importantly, the fans need to get behind him.
I'm really confident that over time, Arteta will prove to be a fantastic appointment and improve us on multiple fronts. Looking forward to the start of the Arteta era this Thursday, away to Bournemouth. COYG and Merry Christmas!