Arteta arrives. BE EXCITED

by .

It finally happened, Mikel Arteta has returned home to manage The Arsenal. I’m over-joyed, you should be too.

The Spaniard turned up in a sharp suit, he looked the part and delivered an electric press conference. The sentiment amongst a fractured fanbase was unanimous in its positivity. We’re all excited to have a coach in place that speaks our language, literally, footballistically, and spiritually.

First and foremost, Arteta is here to fix the culture of a club that’s been going off the rails for the best part of 10 years. He said he felt low after coming here last week to give us a spanking at The Emirates. He’ll have seen that the team was flat on the pitch and he’ll have felt the toxicity in the stands. He has to change both those issues, but clearly, he recognises that the two are intertwined… not in a chicken and egg situation, in a great-football-means-great-vibes with the fans kind of way.

We have to try to engage everybody, I have to try and convince the players about what I want to do, how I want to do it, they have to start accepting a different process, a different way of thinking, and I want to get all the staff and everybody at the club with the same mindset.

We have to build a culture that has to sustain the rest. If you don’t have the right culture, in the difficult moments, the tree is going to shake, so my job is to convince everybody that this is how we are going to live, and if you are going to be part of this organisation it has to be in these terms and in this way.

And after that, we can talk about other things. Obviously now we need an immediate impact, we need to start winning games, we need to start to raise the level of confidence of the players, and finally we need the fans.

A culture is a set of desirable behaviours or actions you expect from a group. The trouble we’ve had over the last decade is there has been very little direction. A culture has to be in service of something. If there’s no vision or philosophy to believe in, it’s very difficult to expect players to behave in accordance to whatever views of culture we have in our own heads as fans.

A lot of us have pondered aloud ‘what is the Arsenal way?’ I think Arteta is about to bring some colour to that. He wants fast, free-flowing, attacking football. He wants players to be accountable, he wants to create a ruthless culture built around high performance. That was never clear under the last regime, or the one before that.

What I’ve learned mostly is that you have to be ruthless and you have to be consistent and you have to fit every day the culture of the club to create a winning mentality.

To sustain it is even harder, so every day is important, every act is important, every organisation is important. His work-rate is incredible, how inspirational he is to people is incredible.

But for me, the secret is that the people, the players and the staff, have to believe what they’re trying to deliver. You have to be able to transmit it, and people will buy into that.

The above is so important. Don’t just live your culture on warm summer days, or when you fancy it. Every day is important, every moment is an opportunity to prove yourself. This is what high performance is all about. One broken spoke at the highest level takes the machine off the road. He has a lot of broken spokes to mend, both amongst the playing staff and the backroom team.

I thought he handled most of the questions really well. He saluted Arsene Wenger and his impact on his own career. He celebrated the history, style and values of Arsenal, likening us to Barcelona. He held his hands up to the lack of experience accusation. He doesn’t have it, it’s a weakness, but one that he wants to address with passion, great ideas, and energy.

What I love, love, love is how much he wanted this job. He mentioned that he always yearned to return, he sees us as his club. He has Arsenal DNA.

When Arsenal knocks on any door, it’s difficult to say no. When it knocks on my door, this is my house and it makes it very difficult.

It was a very difficult decision, it’s true, but also I felt that the club needed someone to appoint. I saw that and they transmitted that.

They were so convinced that they wanted to go with me, that I had to take the challenge.

Love it. He is grateful for the opportunity. He respects the shirt. He desperately wants to make us great again. You bring in Jose, he’s bigger than Arsenal and he’d let you know. You bring in Allegri, he’s above the job. You flunk out with Nuno or Martinez, the ceiling is low, you’re going nowhere. Arteta is the future of football. Listen to him talk about the game here.

“Football is about habit & angles. It’s much more simple for a player if you can process the image of where your team-mate will be before receiving the ball.If I am in the kitchen and I know the glasses are always in this cupboard, I get my glass of water more quickly.”

He’s talking about cognition in football. Players learning patterns and movements so complex systems become second nature. Owning territories, seeking out playing signals, sensing danger. He’s painting complex ideas with simple words, can you now see why Emery had such a rough time?

He’s only been with us ten minutes and he’s asking where the drones are at so he can see training sessions from more angles. He’s an innovator, a deep thinker, and an absolute obsessive. The Athletic had a piece about him living on his own and people worrying about him because he’d have loads of games on TV with Beautiful Mind like tactical diagrams all over the place.

Now, cute stories in the media mean fuck all. Being young isn’t a skill. He still has a huge job on his hands. A great press conference isn’t going to win him points, it’s just a good start.

Reality is this: He is going to have a very rough 3 months. We’re going to lose games. He’ll fall out with players. There will be Youtubers shrieking about how they’re abandoning the vision just so they can be the first. As fans, we can’t cave, we have to show faith. There is an idea here. We are on the path to better. By the end of the season, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing a sharper identity. If we have a great summer, we will be competing for top 4 next season. From there, who knows where we could go.

We just need to keep the faith, accept the job is a big one, and believe in a new manager that is burning every drop of blood he has to make this work. I’m also hoping that Edu, who has taken ownership of this decision if his .com interview with Raul is anything to go by, is in lockstep about what the plan is. We need him to build an elite staff around Arteta, from what I gather, there are lots of moves in the pipeline, but some clubs are being tough about releasing staff. Steve Round is the assistant, he knows Mikel from his Everton days. We also have an exBarca goalkeeping coach. Most importantly, we have to address some of the player problems. If Xhaka is off in January, who is the dynamic midfielder we have lined up to replace him? If we’re losing big names in the summer, do we have a robust list of players we want to backfill? Who are the kids he’ll bring in?

I sound like a full-kit-coach-wanker saying this, but I believe great coaches make statements early on by bringing an unexpected kid through the ranks (Wenger > Anelka), making an average player great (Conte > Moses), or by killing a senior player (Mourinho > Mata). I pondered if Xhaka could be the average player, but I think he lacks physicality and pace. AMN could be an opportunity? ESR looked very good the other night, maybe he’s the kid? Could the senior player ready for the axe be one of our star strikers? Could Arteta revive Mesut Ozil?

So many questions. Reality is, this time, we have a world-class coach built for the Premier League. If Arteta can’t extract greatness, as he appears to have done with some big names at City, then the player isn’t going to work for Arsenal.

I am nervous about this hire. As they say in politics, it’s easy to be in opposition. I’ve been in opposition for 18 months, not really expecting Arsenal to make an incredibly bold and ambitious move. Now they have, I have to shut the fuck up and back this until the end. I’m confident though. Settling for a has-been would have been regressive. I don’t want a super-agent bitch at our club. There was no way we could have waited until the end of the season. Arteta is a very smart risk, he’s our moon-shot, the upsides to this are electric.

So in the words of Josh Kroenke, be excited, this is the next chapter we’ve been waiting for, it’s going to outrageous amounts of fun, I can’t wait to share the good times with you. He’s in the stands today, his first game in the dugout will be Bournemouth, his first home game, against Chelsea, which I will be at!

See you in the comments. x

946 Responses to “Arteta arrives. BE EXCITED”

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  1. Spanishdave

    Freddie wanted to prove a point with his youngsters rather than win the game.
    He’s as bad as Emery was , get rid.

  2. Dream10

    Linked to Dries Mertens in one of the Italian papers today. 8.5m fee in January or free in the summer.

    It’s a no from me. Will be 33 in May. Past his best. Shot rate on the decline and doesn’t have the power or pace to separate from his marker. Especially at 5 foot 7

  3. Ishola70

    Dries Mertens was a recommended signing on here three or four years ago when he was being undervalued as a player at Napoli and wasn’t a guaranteed starter there.

    Then he hit his very good form not long after.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Wonder if a bargain move for Mertens is because we’re selling Aubameyang and Lacazette to raise funds and don’t fully want to rely on Martinelli at ST?

    Nketiah is nowhere near so any suggestions of bringing him back are stupid.

    You manage to get near £100 Million from Aubameyang and Lacazette, then add on that the charity that Hertha Berlin are apparently giving us (believe it when I see it) you’ve got money for a total midfield refit and a very good CB.

    As many others have said, I think Martinelli will end up as our starting ST in the not too distant future anyway.

    Ina ll honesty the way they are playing I’d rather see him at ST than Aubameyang and Lacazette right now anyway.

  5. Victorious

    Currently watching Atalanta whooping Milan badly

    Good to see Gazidiz,the oil sales snakeman is still well on track in wrecking havoc to every club he comes in contact with,Feel for their fans

  6. Marko

    As many others have said, I think Martinelli will end up as our starting ST in the not too distant future anyway.

    Love the lad but he won’t. Not soon anyway. Jovic and him could be on the cards and I’d be okay with them replacing Auba and Laca. Absolutely no to Mertens but I’ve got no doubt it’s just a rumour that one.

  7. CG


    “””….I have confidence in Arteta, he looks primed and ready for the fight, but it won’t be easy.”””

    My confidence is already wavering in him to be blunt

    (I give you though he is up for the fight.)


    there is footage of Arteta walking into the locker room after the match at Goodison Park.

    Edu goes in first
    Arteta follow him
    The Fat Spiv third.

    this has To Stop!
    Its effects the dynamics of the player/manager relationship.

    the players wont have it,
    They Cant be themselves when lackeys are in there every game.
    (Thats why morale is so low,)

    Arteta and Arteta alone goes into that Locker room.

    you imagine Fergie, Cloughie, Wenger, Ancelotti, Jose, Klopp allowing this?

    If Arteta continues to allow this practice- he will go the same way as The Clown.

    And don’t get me started on the appointment of that serial looser Round.

    Cutting Edge coaching at Arsenal – My Arse!

  8. CG


    “””CG turning on Arteta so quick? My god I’m shocked””””

    Arteta is sitting on a juicy 3.5 year deal.
    He is basically bombproof.

    he should set the parameters he wants out immediately.


    He should not be in conversation pre match with the Teck Deck and he should not be following the Teck Deck into the Locker room. He should demand he is back at London Colney – Teck Decking the youngsters.

    And he should be aspiring to employ an experienced winning no.2 who will challenge him not a pudding who wont!

  9. Edu me a favour


    You really believe that edu and Raul going into the dressing room is going to directly affect things in the long run ?

    Maybe , just maybe it will be Artetas training methods and philosophy that affects the players , you know , seeing as they will be training 5/6 days a week and they’ve seen Raul and edu for a fraction of that.

    Employees will always interact with those above them at some point in their working life , at the end of the day everyone above them is there boss , so why would it change their relationship with their direct day to day boss ?

  10. MGooner

    Arteta with the right attitude.

    I hope he can surprise us an win something in his 3 years – at least an FA cup. Hopefully a top 4 qualification too.

    Hope the owners support him with fresh capital. We badly need to address our midfield and defence. An we need funds for this.

  11. Dissenter

    Good to see that Pierre is casting out Freddie because he had the audacity to call out Ozil.
    I won’t be surprised if Pierre has already blacked out Ljungberg‘s face from the team photos of the invincibles.
    Never seen a man crush such as this.

    If Arteta doesn’t sideline Ozil then he too is doomed

  12. Marko


    You’re an idiot

    He should not be in conversation pre match with the Teck Deck and he should not be following the Teck Deck into the Locker room. He should demand he is back at London Colney – Teck Decking the youngsters.

    You’re a total idiot

    And he should be aspiring to employ an experienced winning no.2 who will challenge him not a pudding who wont!

    Yes that’s what he needs a first time manager with no experience really should be hiring someone who challenges him. Did I mention that you’re an idiot.

  13. Dissenter

    Martin Ødegaard will go back to his home club, what other career move could be possibly have.
    Have you heard anything concrete about who constitutes Arteta’s back room team.

  14. CG


    “””””You really believe that edu and Raul going into the dressing room is going to directly affect things in the long run ?”””””

    Name me one great manager that allows it?

    And I name you a lot of bad ones that do……

    Imagine George Graham allowing David Dein to walk in every game?

    Edu didnt even knock on the door yesterday

    Thats so discourteous to the players and Freddie its unbelievable!

  15. Dissenter

    You deploy projection a lot to compensate for whatever shortcomings you obviously have.
    You keep throwing the word ‘obsessive’ around when it’s obvious that you’re avidly preoccupied and irreversibly bound to Mesut Ozil.
    Start working on your Turkish, you’ll need it at some point.

  16. Marko

    Martin Ødegaard will go back to his home club, what other career move could be possibly have

    I dunno a club could sign him from Real? Far fetched I know but a club who’s loaned him out the last number of years and who gets linked to Paul Pogba and Donny Van De Beek every transfer window could be inclined to sell. Did I just blow your mind I think I did. Maybe Leicester will sign him. Swap deal for Chilwell at City perhaps.

  17. Marko

    Imagine George Graham allowing David Dein to walk in every game?

    You don’t know that it happens every game.

    Edu didnt even knock on the door yesterday

    You’re a total idiot.

  18. Dissenter

    Are you that dim?
    When a-player goes back to their ‘home club’, that 100% means the club that owns their contract and loaned them out in the first place.
    Maybe you could try comprehension before recycling your oldies.
    His home club is Real Madrid, he’s been on a long term contract since Jan 2015

  19. CG


    You can call me idiot as many times you want.

    tell me then why are Arsenal midtable after shelling out £250 million post Wenger?

    tell me then why our soccer is constantly a stain on the beautiful game?

    tell me then why technically we have got worse since the The Teck Deck arrived?

    and tell me why the morale about the place is so low?

    Ill tell you why

    Because since Wenger left- we have complete imbeciles running the show.

  20. Bamford10


    “[Emery] should have been shown the door the moment we were getting close to double figures off top 4. Poor Arteta has a huge task to have us finish the season respectably.”

    If the problem was Emery and not the squad, and if the squad is a top four quality squad, as you and a few others seem to believe, then it actually should not be all that difficult for Arteta to finish the season “respectably,” provided we define “respectably” in a reasonable manner.

    We are in 11th now, yes, but we are only 4 points off Wolves and 6th place, and 20 matches remain in the season. If we have better players than Wolves and a better squad than Wolves, it should not be that difficult for Arteta to make up the difference between us and Wolves and to get us above Wolves. I won’t say that he should be able to get us into 6th place because Spurs and United will be competing for 6th as well, and I assume you acknowledge they are worthy competitors for that position.

    To build on this, I think we can use the above to formulate a reasonable definition of finishing the season “respectably,” and it would be this: finishing 8th or better, and finishing above teams that you and others believe are inferior to us squad-wise, e.g., Brighton, Palace, Burnley, Sheffield, Newcastle, Everton. I won’t put Leicester in this list for obvious reasons.

    If Arteta is able to accomplish the above, I would say we will have finished the season respectably. While no Arsenal fan will be happy with finishing 8th, given what has gone on this season, and given the competitiveness of the PL, I think finishing 8th and finishing above teams people feel we are better than would be acceptable, respectable.

    The problem, however, is that the squad is not what you think it is, is not as good as you think it is, is not a top four squad, is not a better squad than Wolves have. And THIS is why Arteta will find it difficult to finish the season “respectably”. This is simply not a very good group of players. That, in my opinion, is the principal problem, and that will become more evident with time.

  21. Edu me a favour

    “” Name me one great manager that allows it?And I name you a lot of bad ones that do……Imagine George Graham allowing David Dein to walk in every game?Edu didnt even knock on the door yes”””

    Ok go on then , name me the bad ones that do that and let us know how you can back up that knowledge

    Tell me how you know that GG didn’t let DD walk into a room before him

  22. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ffs CG

    We have spent 200m after Wenger left, not 250m, seen you try to rewrite those facts before. 26m of those was for next summer.

    That sum isn’t enough to totally revamp a whole squad of aging/weak/average players.
    Everyone with any sense said this was going to be a 3-5 year job to get the squad up to a decent level again.

    We’ve been forced to lower the ridiculous wage bill a lot, and need to do it even more so have to be overly reliant on youth, great for the long term maybe but not the short term.

    What exactly did you think Edu should have accomplished in terms of transfers or our football strategy since he was hired in August?
    Talk about shortsighted and impatient.

  23. Bamford10


    “Because since Wenger left- we have complete imbeciles running the show.”

    Sorry, but this is nonsense. Sanllehi and Edu are serious, intelligent, competent men. They may make a mistake or two — everyone does, even the best — but they are smart, ambitious guys, not imbeciles.

  24. Valentin


    Don’t worry Marko is vouching for the competence of Raul and Vinay, the same way he was initially vouching for Gazidis and how until very recently vouching for the competence of Emery.
    You know you are into a winning argument as soon as Marko takes the opposite view.

  25. Champagne charlie

    “Martin Ødegaard will go back to his home club, what other career move could be possibly have.“

    Well thanks for that, I’m aware he’ll be back to Real after his loan given that’s how loans work.

    I’m referring to beyond then, he’s had a shit time at Real, been bounced about on various loans and now found his game at Sociedad.

    Is it really so difficult to envisage he’ll fancy making a move in order to get some of that good feeling on the permanent? Likewise, he’ll no doubt have various clubs sniffing about him.

  26. Bamford10


    “Because since Wenger left- we have complete imbeciles running the show.”

    Also, are you implying that we were in better hands when Wenger was running the show, making all decisions, determining who to sign, who to sell, how to build a squad, etc.? Are you implying that Wenger was better or more competent at running the club than Sanllehi and Edu are? I hope not. Wenger was horribly incompetent in his later years in every aspect of what he did.

  27. Valentin

    When you think things could not go any worse, The Harvard genius Bamford10 is back spewing more non-sense on how Raul is being unfairly judged.
    Between Jeff “I am so anti-Wenger I was anti Wenger before the invincible”, Bamford “Brighton has a better squad than Arsenal”, we really have some weird fans.

    Clubs have spend less than Arsenal since Wenger, yet have overtaken us. Yes money is an issue at Arsenal, but the bigger issue is that money has been wasted on inferior players and on strengthening the wrong area of the squad while neglecting the defensive side.
    We have unnecessary pay rise to Xhaka, Elneny when we should have tried to ship them out.
    We also wasted valuable time on dithering the sacking of Emery when it was clear that things were not working out.
    Al those poor decisions are on the current management. To state that they have made good decisions when we are in a worse state than when they arrive is the definition of deluded and agenda driven selective blindness.

  28. Champagne charlie

    Can anyone else smell a wager being brewed from a basement?

    Emery was the overriding issue, it’s why we’ve regressed since his inception, and why he was sacked. But to quote a good and reasonable poster “Emery wasn’t the issue”.

  29. Champagne charlie

    Wolves have a better squad than Arsenal haha this sort of talk is actually genuine sentiment from some people.

    Deary me, tiddlywinks must have gotten old because the fan base is getting a right influx of clueless.

  30. Bamford10

    I don’t watch AFTV, but when I have watched it, I have quite liked it, quite liked a number of the guys who talk on there, quite liked a lot of what they have said. Which is not to say I agreed with everything any particular guy said, but I found them honest, smart, articulate (in their own way) and entertaining. All AFTV is is devoted fans with opinions expressing those opinions. Just like Le Grove. I, for one, fully support the AFTV bunch, and I do not support those who tried to bully and intimidate them yesterday.

  31. Dissenter

    I suspect that Martin Ødegaard will be at Madrid till he is as old as Benzema today. The lad was reported to have arrogance that matches Zlatan when he first went to Madrid at 15 years old, apparently refused to train with Castilla.

  32. Dissenter

    Let the unpleasant memories of Emery drift away. There’s a new order to embrace.
    You are just going to open scabs and no amount of Kevlar will protect you. You are misjudging the mood around here.

  33. Spanishdave

    The owners are totally responsible for the clubs set up.
    However as we all know they no diddlyshit about football and therefor they get all kinds of shit from the various directors whose main agenda is to take a nice salary and feeb more bullshit to the owners.
    They are not all bad but it’s far from an elite set up as the top have no idea what’s happening at the bottom.
    Arteta is now at least a focused coach and if he is strong then hopefully things may get better.

  34. Rambo


    I guess Wenger was performing miracles then finishing worst 6th with this poor squad you constantly go on about. He did not even have Auba, had to do with Giroud for the large part.

  35. Frank

    Be excited but keep in mind this is a gamble. A better option would have been waiting until the summer when a greater pool of appropriate head coaches would be available and/or willing to move. However, in lieu of that, Arteta is the best option but a gamble. Having made this choice hopefully the Board will fully back Arteta. To me that means the board needs to hire the staff he wants and do it quickly regardless of the cost, within reason. Also, hopefully, Arteta has negotiated a position at the table on deciding what players get sold and what players are brought in. If not supported he will be replaced in 2 years time.

    Fans need to be patient for the remainder of this year and next. This is a poorly constructed team and the situation is in reality a rebuild not a retooling.