Fans rally behind Arteta hype as evidence mounts he’s quite good (long read)

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Well, what a response to yesterday’s post, but before we get into that, let’s talk about some of the action that happened last yesterday.

President of Arsenal Internet, Lord of The Meme, King amongst information elites… Sir David Ornstein, dropped the news that the club had released longtime club medic, Colin Lewin. The man has been with us for 23 years, an incredible length of time. He was Head of Medical Services but was moved on yesterday.

This is sad. I had the privilege of meeting Colin Lewin in 2011 when he gave me and some other bloggers (I met Goonerholic) a tour of the medical facilities. The article is here and it’s still interesting today. I think I was invited, because back in the day, the argument around Wenger mostly centred on injured players, and how bad his luck was/how bad our medical team was. My argument was that injuries were sometimes about luck (impact), but most of our problems were soft tissue and preventable. The problem was Wenger overtraining players and fatiguing them (in the hope our players would be fitter in the last 10minutes), hammering a small squad and not rotating, combined with a lack of interest in using data properly. 3 years later we signed Shad Forsythe who could help with those issues and never looked back.

Anyway, it’s sad to see him go. I really feel for the good people left at Arsenal at the moment. There’s nothing worse than a regime change. Everyone is on edge, bullets come when you least expect it, and it’s terrifying.

Some other media outlets are reporting that Steve Bould won’t sign on under a new manager. I’m not surprised, he’s at the stage in his career where he needs to manage a club, and I’m sure there are plenty that’d be willing to give him a chance.

One thing is for sure, the club are being absolutely ruthless about getting back to the top. Raul Sanllehi is not mincing his vision (maybe the first Darren Burgess bullet with Colin), so I expect to see more changes in the not too distant future, and my hope is they are all for the good.

Again, all of this points towards a club that has a decentralized power structure. We’re not hiring in a manager who will bring 50 of his guys through the back door because he’s a so-called big name. We’re going to run like Barcelona. The Director of Football will make the decisions about the setup on the footballing side. He’ll hire in specialists who will build out teams and report into him. He’ll also be moving on surplus players, another area we’ve barely spoken about in the melee of craziness.

Sven Mislintat will control recruitment and player identification. It’ll be fascinating to understand how he’ll work with the whoever we bring in. He’ll not just be scouting, he’ll be monitoring our first team and making decisions with the coach on who we sign and let go, hopefully using insights gleaned from data sources (something we know Wenger either ignored or was really bad at).

Yesterday’s article went off the rails, the busiest day of the year for the site. The great news is the feedback was incredibly positive. Excellent that it coincided with Allegri declaring he’s likely to stay with Juve unless he’s fired.

This would be a bold move for Arsenal. Arteta could be our Pep Guardiola or Zidane. All the key attributes are there. He’s been a Premier League player, knows the league, has been a captain, is emotionally attached to Arsenal, has a goal of becoming an elite manager (one that he seems to be pursuing with vigour), cut his teeth with Manchester City after saying no to Spurs, he was a critical part of a backroom team that just delivered 100 points in the league.

The Poch said this in his book, Brave New World.

“He will make an exceptional coach,”

This is what Oliver Kay (great read) dug up from City spies.

“Extremely bright, great attention to detail, on the same page as Pep when it comes to how the game should be played,”

“Very good communicator, does a lot of one-to-one work with the players.”

“If you listen to what people say about Mikel, he has helped them get better,” another source says. “He is one of several coaches working behind Pep, but Pep wouldn’t have appointed him if he wasn’t convinced Mikel had some special qualities to bring to the party.

You only have to look at how he presents himself to see that he’s not a water carrier.

You can read snippets of where his head was at when he was 32 years old.

My team-mates are always going “What are you going to do Miki? You’re going to be a manager, you should be a manager!” I know what the job means and I know how hard it is, especially when I look at the boss and see how many hours he puts in here. You need to sacrifice your family all over again, which I’ve done since I was 15. But I would love to manage a squad of players and staff – I’ve got it inside me, it’s true, and I want to do it. First of all I want to make the most of my playing career, because I’m 32 and in this game you never know whether you’ll end up carrying on until 34, 35 or 36. After that, I’m certainly going to stay involved in football because I think I’ve got something to add. I would like to prove myself, and prove my ideas about managing and encouraging people to do things in the way I believe is best.

This was his philosophy 3 years ago.

My philosophy will be clear. I will have everyone 120 per cent committed, that’s the first thing. If not, you don’t play for me. When it’s time to work it’s time to work, and when it’s time to have fun then I’m the first one to do it, but that commitment is vital. Then I want the football to be expressive, entertaining. I cannot have a concept of football where everything is based on the opposition. We have to dictate the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative, and we have to entertain the people coming to watch us. I’m 100 per cent convinced of those things, and I think I could do it.

Here’s his view on a system.

I think you need to adapt. You can have an idea of a system, but you need to be able to transform it depending on the players you have – how much pace you have up front, how technical your team is, what types of risk you can take and whether your players are ready to take those risks. It’s important to analyse your players because you can’t always play the same way. There have to be different details and changes in how you approach things, and you have to look at how you can hurt whoever you are playing against. Is there something they don’t like to do? If so, we’re going to make them do plenty of it. Then the most important thing for the manager is that, the Friday before the game, you imagine what’s going to happen on the Saturday. And if what happens on Saturday is not what I had planned, then it’s not been good enough from me.

Even back then, he understood you have to work with what you have, you must to pay attention to the details, and the players have to buy into it.

I also thought this John Cross story about Arteta was pretty funny.

He was nicknamed “Coach” by his team-mates during his five years at the Emirates as they could see his determination to move into management.

That nickname was not necessarily meant in the most flattering way — some players thought he was too ‘busy’ and always trying to interfere in decisions.

Firstly, I find it very hard to care about the opinion of many of our players over the last 10 years, we’ve been in sharp decline, anyone willing to help the mess should be given a gold star for effort. Secondly, if you read the Pep book by Ballague, he stated that Pep and Mourinho used to do exactly the same at Bareclona with Bobby Robson, reworking his tactics on the sly.

Mikel will be an entertainer, so we’ll be taking the game to the opposition and focus on buying in players who can dictate the game.

The major difference between then and now is that he’s worked from the ground up with the greatest manager in the world. He’s dealt with big personalities being told they’re surplus, or going to become bit part players. He’s helped identify weaknesses in young upstarts and been credited publicly on improving them. He’ll have been there at the training ground helping Pep identify what needed to happen to deliver on the mission of winning the league in year two, when the whole world was saying they couldn’t do it the beautiful way.

When you put that all down on paper, you might not be 100% sure of what’s coming, but damn, you’ll be excited and you’ll want to give it a go.

Arsenal fans have sat on their hands for the best part of ten years making inane excuses for our slow decline as a club. We’ve bottled countless league titles, we didn’t get out of the last 16 of the CL for 8 years in a row, we signed terrible players, we didn’t sell underperformers, we were consistently out thought by top 6 teams, we never, ever learnt from our mistakes.

  • ‘Mate, it’s only June, give it a rest’
  • ‘That won’t be the last of our signings, it’s only July’
  • ‘You get the best deals at the end of the window’
  • ‘No point in moaning, best shut up and support the lads’
  • ‘He’ll do something in January’
  • ‘Judge him in May’
  • ‘I think he knows what needs to be done’
  • ‘Hazard said Gervinho was the best player he’d ever trained with, actually’

Rinse. Repeat.

Arsene Wenger taught us that winning was secondary to values, and we fell for it.

That’s why I know the fans won’t be divided on Arteta. It’s almost impossible not to progress the club because the baseline is so low. Put a system in place, tighten the defence, implement a pressing philosophy, hold players accountable, run proper video analysis, practice how you play at 1-0 up, 2-0 down, how you attack a corner, how you play out from the back, how you break down a deep block, how you switch systems after 10minutes, build a winning culture and rewrite the values of the club to suit the era. (Ryan Mason talking about the things Arsenal haven’t had, and he’s a Hull player)

Arsenal are a mess. If they hire Arteta, they’re hiring a brilliant young coach, and they’re building a team around him.

… and here’s the best point. If he fails, it won’t take 10 years to make a change, and it won’t cost a summers transfer budget to do the deed.

A slightly different scenario, but look at PSG. They just hired Thomas Tuchel, a manager I’ve been purring over since the Mainz days. He’s never won a league title in his career. Why did they sign him? Because he’s a world class coach with elite ideas. They signed him on a two year deal. If it works, they’ll be playing unbelievable football. If it fails, it’ll cost them fuck all. Even the big clubs are turning their backs on ‘winners’, because winning things doesn’t always tell you who is and is not a great coach with the formula to take you to the promised land in 2019.

I also think from a business perspective, in a world of democratised football coverage, clubs are having to work harder for new fans. United has been offering up criminally poor football for 5 years now, it’ll hit their business model at some point, because a ‘brand’ in a fickle world only lasts as long the success is maintained. You’re not a big club if you’re not winning big trophies, and you can only fool the fans with big name signings for so long. If the product is shite, people will eventually stop buying.

Anyway, all very exciting. My nose is bleeding because I’m not used to this much progressive movement at the club.

What a time to be a Gooner… I hope you’re excited about the future because I certainly am.

P.S. Mesut meeting Erdogan for a photo opp? Fucking hell… a real lack of self-awareness when you’re repping Germany as your home country.


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Guns of SF
“Ive been following this team for a long time. Why would I follow a MLS team or city? That has no bearing on what I am stating.”

That’s the modus operandi of Aubergine/Northern
He’s been binned for this type of behaviors hence his multiple monikers. Just ignore him when he goes low.

Champagne charlie

Dissenter I’ve quoted risk a dozen times over, and I’ve also stated I prefer Allegri. People like yourself are that busy trying to fling mud at others you miss their input altogether. I want Allegri to take charge, have done for two years. But Arteta as next manager is something I can recognise as incredibly bold, and potentially very good. I see the risk, I appreciate the unknown. But there’s a lot of positive indicators out there, and I’m certain the guys are Arsenal have a more in depth brief than some sound bites and get to mull over. Before… Read more »


In fairness, you’ve talked up Allegri.
People just want Arsenal to do well. That’s the reason for this ruckus


I’m having a hard time pinning down what this crew of Ivan, his new hires Raul and Sven have done wrong thus far?

Barring potentially locking us to Ozil for eternity, which i’m sure Wenger was a party to. They’ve had a pretty fucking epic run in 2018.

Said it earlier, I think they’ve earned some latitude.


as for the rumoured choice of Santi as his no.2…

😆 😆 😆 😆

fuck me, we are a charity


Banter summer if Chelsea are able to land Pochettino without champions league.

Guns of SF

Bring in Allegri,, or Enrique, they will teach Ivan a thing or 2. Ivan is running the show folks…. we all know that. Sven and Raul were good but was it Ivan, or was it Josh K that influenced that decision? The coach is the most critical piece here. Im sure Ivan is thinking….. 1. How do I keep my job during the most critical part of Arsenal’s current history? 2. How can I deflect responsibility onto others when the team fails again? 3. How can I sell the masses – a dream instead of reality? 4. How can I… Read more »

Buckhurst Gun


I know the history of the club – I just don’t understand why you think Arsenal fans have no right to be demanding we challenge for titles and why you always bring up fans of other teams like they just sit there and take what ever their teams dish out – they don’t


Arteta would make a good coach. We have the examples of Zidane, Nagelsman and Pep to go by. Did anybody think Ali would beat Liston? Whomever is chosen let’s get behind him, but before that the banter on the best choice for the club must go on. Arsenal forever!!


“Banter summer if Chelsea are able to land Pochettino without champions league.

If Zidane leaves Real [of you believe the Spanish tabloids] then the money is on Pochettino to go to Real.

He’s already making impossible demands to Daniel Levi.


You’re usually someone who can do some debating, but the manner you’re deliberately deconstructing Arteta as a player is weird.

It’s honestly cause I’m tired of having the same arguments not debates. Charlie can I just say you keep mentioning that in his last year as a player he was managing the under 18’s I honestly can’t see anywhere that he was doing that much the last year nothing hands on or anything I just can’t find it. Also Henry also done some under whatever managing with us but you never mention that


His last year at Arsenal he made 14 appearances the previous year it was 11 if he was an under 18’s coach he must have been part time at best



I’m not putting much stock in the Spanish tabloids flogging the narrative of outing a potential 3 time Champions league winner, in his third season.

But weirder things have happened in Madrid.

Champagne charlie


Henry was coaching but Wenger wanted him to do just that and not Sky punditry. Henry chose Sky, I’ve said that numerous times. It’s the primary reason I laugh at his suggestions he wants to manage someday.

Why do you want me to say mate? I’m not making it up about Arteta coaching, but because John Cross hasn’t done an article on it it’s false? He coached at Arsenal, I’ll dig up something for you at some point.


Gambon-not sure your point makes much sense. It doesn’t really matter how many players a team sends to the World Cup but what the quality of the players are who are going and who are missing out. Eboue went to the World Cup. I don’t think that makes him better than Aubameyang. Likewise, Ramsey is more deserving than Ospina, Xhaka and Iwobi but they are all going. Of the players that aren’t going, Kozzer is injured, Aubameyang, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan are all clearly good enough to play but aren’t at competitive enough teams and Monreal and Bellerin are unlucky to… Read more »


Why do you want me to say mate? I’m not making it up about Arteta coaching, but because John Cross hasn’t done an article on it it’s false? He coached at Arsenal, I’ll dig up something for you at some point. It’s fine I believe you. You’re a stranger on a blog but I believe you wouldn’t make it up. I think you might be making a bigger deal of it but you’re making your point. I just think it’s funny that just recently I was sceptical about Enrique and Ancellotti becoming the next Arsenal manager and I was in… Read more »


He would have had to do some coaching to get his coaching licence. That’s the “coaching” that CC is referring to.
The club has full term U-18 coaches though.


It’s impossible for anyone to manage Real or Barca for more than 3-4 years.
It’s either the sack or a burn-out.
Those big clubs in Spain are toxic, the fans don’t play nice and have voting rights.

Champagne charlie

I think that you will find that many current and ex players have been taking their coaching badges at Arsenal and that will have included Arteta, Mertesacker,
Lehman,Henry, Pires and Ljungberg. If that is the case then they will have been
working with some of the Arsenal youth teams to gain practical experience.


Arteta in 2016 ““It is very hard to stop but I wanted to leave it. I wanted to decide, and I thought for the last few months that I wasn’t good enough to represent this club on the pitch,” Arteta said. “You have to accept it. It has been a long time for me to be playing football and I didn’t want to cheat them or anyone. It is time. I want to leave it like this and we will see what happens” He really said that ” It has been a long time for me to be playing football… Read more »


Has to sting, Henry chose the cash and punditry while Arteta made the decision to leave completely and work under Pep. A choice thats about to pay serious dividends. Had Henry chosen to stay and work with club, this hire could be a very different conversation.

Pretty apparent Arteta’s getting the nod, and likely soon.


Has to be a real tester living in that cauldron, but he’s proven his mettle both on and off the pitch. Would love to see ZZ win a third by utterly decimating Liverpool then walking. 3 for 3, total hero.


I do appreciate the calling time as opposed to leeching off the club for another year or two (ahem Jack, Abou) but no real mention of the under 18’s stuff but rather looking at training as a coach rather than a player. Look I’m not doubting for a second his ambitions to become a proper manager a successful manager my thinking as always been is he good enough NOW for a job like Arsenal. SHOULDN’T we be targeting an experienced coach rather


If there’s any truth to Sokratis coming to us, then that’s upped my excitement for next season. Interestingly, he made his Dortmund debut at the same time as Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang so there’s built-in chemistry. He’s also a perfect mentor for Mavrapanos. Fingers crossed we find a buyer for Mustafi and bring in both Sokratis and Soyuncu. Something tells me we’ll sell Bellerin though. I’m fine with that if it improves our central defensive and midfield areas. I think AMN is ready to step into Bellerin’s position for next season. Playing Football Manager for a second, here’s my dream scenario.… Read more »


Forgot Nacho at LB

Guns of SF

we need a good dose of speed in the side. Bar, PEA and Bell, we are average to slow. Look at our predictable build up. its slow and involves too much sideways passing. We need a speedy winger… since theo and ox left… we are lacking in that area. Iwobi doesnt cut it… period. I would also like to see a proper DM- size 6-1 to 6-2. Taller back line extreme athleticism in the team. Sell Rambo, Jack, Xhaka- too slow get what we can for them now, before the real decline happens I hate Pool but look at that… Read more »


So an unproven untested ex average Spanish player is about to take the hot seat at one of the biggest clubs in Europe lol


Pedro – such a dishonest headline, agenda serving really – I’ve agreed with pretty much all you’ve blogged from day dot – but this really smacks of paid up Ivan ITK membership.

It is a flat out lie to say Arsenal fans are rallying around the appointment – the overwhelming feeling everywhere you look is dismay/discontent. At least be more subtle in your paid off pieces.

Paul Mc Daid

Arteta and Carzolla ,
Jesus Christ, Is the tea lady not available ?

Black Hei

“We have a billionaire owner but no one ever talks about that. So do City, Chelsea etc. Why is that we struggle to spend and attract the best?”

Our billionaire gets rich by milking Arsenal while their billionaire got black gold or gas flowing out of their ears.


I don’t blame Pedro for his agenda driven push of Arteta as he deserves all he gets for working so hard with Le Grove over the years. If the below is true, then I hope Gazidis is ready for all and any fall out from the fans. If it ends up with empty seats at the Emirates, then gazidis will have to fall on his sword. We don’t know how much of this is Krankies influenced either, but I doubt they will be supporting Gazidis if it goes tits up. It’s a very bold move that could set us back,… Read more »



I love you and your blog but you’ve been sprouting bollocks for the past 2 days. Arteta is a shit signing and I’d rather have Wenger ( or his dead body) over arteta.. arteta can prove to me that I’m wrong but not by taking over the arsenal. go work somewhere else first…


we need a type of manager who the players can get behind. we’ve seen a lot of managers come, and have the players play their hearts out for a season, achieve a high finish but ultimately let the manager down in the second season.


Fabianski back? Really @Bacary ??


““You have to be honest with yourself. That’s why I haven’t been upset with the manager. I have been upset with myself. When you can’t get it right and you have been through injuries and difficult moments at this level. For me, to play at this club, you have to be the best in your position. When you lose that, I think you should be away from this place. I have probably been here too long. In the last few months, I probably didn’t deserve to be here but at least I got the chance [against Villa] to stay in… Read more »


Fatso “It is a flat out lie to say Arsenal fans are rallying around the appointment – the overwhelming feeling everywhere you look is dismay/discontent.” I think you are confusing the real world with the Internet world. In the real world the Arsenal fans will support the manager… In the Internet world the plastic fans will criticise the appointment. The proof will be if /when Arteta takes charge of his first game at the Emirates….. My belief is the fans will initially give full support for Arteta and he will be greeted with open arms by the fans. My fear… Read more »


Na wa o! Good thing for me is that if it bombs, Gazidas is out. But the trend is for clubs to go for greenhorns not dinosaurs and I understand this based on the structures in the clubs. Success is recognized as more team based than just one man’s input. You have in modern clubs, the video analytics guy, the medical guy, the coaches who work under the manager and really help the manager, the scouting guy , in our case a competent Mislintat, the Director of football who makes contracts happen and manages over contracts of new and negotiations… Read more »



The fact that you call it “giving him a shot” is what worries me.

We are acting like a mid table club. I fear we are maybe trying to become one.


Arteta and Carzolla ,
Jesus Christ, Is the tea lady not available ?

Pat’s just been put in charge of contract negotiations…

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