News hit the tweetwaves via David Ornstein that Arsenal had 3 false negatives for the ‘rona before the Manchester City game. Sounds like our preparation was far from ideal. Not that we were going to beat City under any scenario, but you do have to say, lady luck has not been sprinkling magic stardust on this seasons re-opener.
It’s been interesting reading around the internet, taking in the various opinions people have on our two straight losses. I think most are fairly understanding that this particular moment we’re in far from ideal and has been exacerbated by the virus.
Think about the uniqueness of our shitty situation. We’ve had 3 major injuries in two games (3 impact). We have a suspension after another sending off. We have contract issues with 4 players that could be off at the end of the month. Arguably, our two best players have a year left to go on their deals. We asked all our players to take pay cuts and all the players know the club is in deep shit this summer, so there is rampant uncertainty that no amount of motivation would assuage.
This is not a normal situation for any manager to have to deal with, especially one with zero experience, but you know what, I’m pretty confident we’ll be better for it in the long run. Some of the criticisms simply don’t hold weight when you look at how other clubs are dealing with new managers that have picked up shit shows midseason. Carlo A is still behind us in the league, Jose Mourinho can’t make an impact at Spurs, OGS who has had quite a while at United is only 6 points ahead of us in 5th, and to repeat… Klopp took Liverpool 10th to 8th in his first season.
I still stand by the move to bring in Arteta. We’re a club that needs to find its ground zero and build back up with limited funds. You’re not hiring a Poch for £15m a year to make something from nothing. We hired in a young coach that understands the club. That’s important because it allows you get people onside quicker and you have some capital with the fans. I don’t think it’s in doubt that the vibes around Arsenal have been largely positive. Players, staff, and leaks I’ve had point to a united camp.
As a person, he seems like the right fit. He’s calm, has a good energy about him, and he takes absolute responsibility for the club. He doesn’t throw people under the bus, he doesn’t bitch about what he doesn’t have, he’s always positive. If you think that is standard, wait until Jose gets his feet under the table at Spurs
I also think he’s consistent in his approach. He has a set of standards that he believes in and so far, he’s holding players accountable. We haven’t had that for a long time. If you don’t put in a shift, you won’t play. If you throw a strop, you are dropped. If you perform well in training, you’ll land a chance. The key part of his more disciplined approach is that there is forgiveness out the other end. Matteo stormed out of a training camp, now he’s playing. Pepe was benched, then brought back. Mesut Ozil will probably land some game time. This sort of consistent leadership is more important than ever right now, when it’d be easier to just bring Aaron Ramsey in from the cold and make yourself look weak and dithery. Leadership is easy when things are going well, your mettle and resolve is only truly tested during that bad times. Arteta cannot cave on his values right now because that’d doom his tenure.
Also, it’s important to remember, the coaching is best in class. Sure, he’s not experienced as a manager, but that was always going to be the case. What he has is the ability to develop players, bring joy to the training ground, and innovate so everyone is sharp. One thing is for sure though, great coaching can’t stop players being dopes. It can’t stop Champions League winner losing his head because he’s upset about his deal. It can’t help a World Cup winner do dim things. It can’t make someone walk through walls when they can see the end of their loan deal coming.
The toolkit is more broken than ever, the world of sport has been turned on its head, we just need to escape this season without taking too many damaging head blows. That includes a set of vocal fans calling time on a manager that hasn’t hit 15 Premier League games yet.
That’s why Arteta has been given a long deal. The club are going to rebuild with a young manager that has it all to prove. Businesses do this all the time. It is absolutely standard practice for big tech firms to poach number 2s, give them a big title at a smaller company, and hope that the magic sprinkles come their way. That’s vision.
I think it’s the best decision Edu and Raul have made thus far, I just don’t think you’ll fee sexy about it until Arteta has been given time to weed out the dross and bring in players that fit the bill of where he wants to take the football.
Also, always worth peppering the propaganda with some reality. He’s a young coach, he will make mistakes, some of his experiments aren’t going to work… we will lose games. He’ll get it right in the end though, I think the base ingredients are strong enough, so I’m still excited. You should be too.
On that note, I’ll see you in the comments. x