There are many things Mikel needs right now, but oddly, the most important staffer he lacks might be a PR person
- Event: The Carling Cup. Not important.
- The moment: Very important.
- The strategy: Do something different.
- Things to understand: Arsenal play Chelsea on Sunday.
- The Execution: Use a trophy no one cares about to focus attention on something the fans care about.
The DON’T DO list:
- Play the bums that let you down over and over
- Ignore Saliba
- Put the most promising kids on the bench
- Play outrageously average players and pray they do some good
Mikel Arteta absolutely fucked a huge moment in his career by leaning into players that have shamed the club consistently over the last 8 years.
The obvious approach to the City game was: Accept you will lose. Play the kids. Focus fan attention on the Chelsea game.
He didn’t do that. He invested in a shite starting 11. He leaned on bums that have 6 months on their deals. He ignored Saliba, again. He raised a middle finger to the kids.
I have been a big fan of Mikel.
Ignore everything else you read. The Spaniard has a tremendous rep in the Premier League. Dave from Thurrock might have an opinion on his coaching merits, but the reality is, you need to ignore his proclamations of what ‘elite’ is because let’s be real, Dave has struggled to do anything in his life that comes close to the word…
Problem is, Mikel is letting these people own him. They are right about his shitty season. As it stands. Mikel and Edu should lose their jobs. That is not extremism. That’s just straight up facts.
Reality is, Vinai should also be fired. The only reason he’s not getting shit-canned is he has one more chance to make a better decision.
THE BIG CHANGE
There’s only one move that matters right now: Arsenal hire Ralf Rangnick
Ignore the fact this view is coming from me. I have made a bet that went wrong. But I’m just a writer. I suggested a coach that would change Arsenal. That coach came in, won a trophy, then landed a promotion. It went to shit for a number of reasons. I would not have supported the decisions that fucked him.
However, I accept it’s probably gone too far to save now.
Ralf is my suggestion because he makes sense on too many levels.
Firstly, I know people in the game that tell me he’s desperate to bring his vision to the Premier League.
Secondly, he has a soft spot for Arsenal.
Sometimes the most obvious decisions seem like the weakest.
Not in this one.
Ralf Rangnick is the most qualified person in the world the take on the Arsenal mess.
Edu is a joke. All the leakers Arteta is trying to destroy have been telling me that Edu is AVG since he joined. He’s too focused on things he’s not good at. He hides. He’s just a pretty man in a very white shirt. There’s no fucking plan.
Vinai believes in him.
What does he know?
Let’s look at Edu and some of the decisions he’s been part of:
David Luiz: £200k p.w THEN 1 more year after being shite
Pablo Mari: We barely use him. He was signed on a perm deal after we offered David Luiz a year two.
Cedric Soares: Southampton thought he was going to a lower div club. We gave him about £90k a week for 4 years. He’s nearly 30. He is 3rd choice. How did this happen?
Willian: Chelsea made him an offer of £120k p.w. Player said he didn’t want to leave England. He was captive. We offered to double his salary. We added an extra year to his deal. WINGERS ARE ABOUT PACE. THEY DECLINE AFTER 29. Who sanctioned this? Footballistically, how? Business-wise, how? The BACK DROP WAS OZIL in his final year.
What did all these players have in common?
The same super-agent Edu has… Kia.
Conflict of interest? Yes.
Lack of creativity from Edu? Yes.
FUCKING EMBARRASSING. Yes.
Endorsed by Mikel? Yes.
Edu has terrible taste… Mikel seems to be on the same page.
Why am I bringing this up right now?
Well, Rúnarsson is a byproduct of having a shite Technical Director.
Emi Martinez was a standout player last season. He commanded his box. He was an elite shot-stopper. He was a fucking beast. We bombed him off. Mikel and his staff didn’t want to keep a player that didn’t have a data-set larger than 15 games.
Who did they sign to replace him?
The worst shot-stopper in Ligue 1. The worst keeping xG in France. BUT, he could kick.
Le Grove had reports in week one of Rúnarsson being at the club that he was utterly shite. The keeping coach, who I hear many struggle with, endorsed him.
Arteta knew he was shite. Why did he play him against City? He was a disaster. Leno didn’t need a rest. There was no reason to start a player the coaching staff knew was a joke.
It was a SHOCKING decision, again.
Before Mikel took the job at Arsenal I was told he was a bit of a shit as a person. Very vindictive apparently. I assumed that was because he struggled with fitness in the last year of his career. I assumed he would become a better person.
The dismissal of William Saliba from the squad looks like he’s just being mean.
Mike Arteta is happy to give the 17th worst shot-stopper in Ligue 1 a chance in another game, but he won’t play Saliba over the mistake terrorist that is Mustafi.
Saliba might be shit. He might be broken physically. But can you really tell me he’s less likely than Musfafi to make mistakes? A player who has been criming on the football pitch for 10 years? A guy who is out of Arsenal in 6 months.
Another story? Apparently, Kola, a player on 120k a week, is meek. He’s a known bottle-job. The club know he can’t play big games because he’s scared. How is he landing minutes?
Why is Balogun on the bench when we are trying to woo him? He ran the channels when he came on. He looked… a threat.
Why is ESR not starting when he looks better than Laca even against City? He created a chance immediately. He has energy, legs, and movement. Wouldn’t you prefer to see him over Lacazette?
How do we have a young manager willing to die on the same hill Emery and Wenger did?
Vinai thinks his strength comes from ignoring reality. He truly believes his shitty Deloitte three-phased approach will save him. It won’t.
True power is realising you are in a hole.
Making monster decisions when your back is against the wall is what defines proper leadership. Recognising the big move is hiring the person most suited in world football to solve your massive problems might seem basic, but that’s the job.
Vinai, is about to show himself up as an amateur by pretending the right decision is to back someone he knows is shite.
He promoted Arteta because, in my opinion, he doesn’t believe in Edu. However, he’s backing what is most comfortable for him personally because he learned under a self-preservationist who had Wenger to hide behind for 10 years. Wenger was different. He could be average and survive in a league of 4. Edu and Mikel won’t.
What he should do? Hire Ralf Rangnick.
This move works on two levels.
Firstly, I hear Ralf is desperate to try his brand of football in the Premier League. Not only that, I hear he very much likes Arsenal.
He is available.
He would take the job.
We need to move fast because the Fenway Group is setting up a company called RedBall. Billy B is joining. They are trying to be the first floated sports entity that finds value in sport. My assumption is they are offering him a big deal.
How to use Ralf
The beauty of hiring him is as #1 is you can fire Mikel and let Ralf coach.
Mikel deserves to be sacked right now. However, he’s potentially a great long-term. Ralf raised Hassenhutl and Nagelsmann. If he thinks Mikel is shite, he’ll fire him and bring in someone elite when he understands what is going on.
What we avoid
If you bring in Ralf, what you avoid is hiring a bum like Roberto Martinez. You get a Sporting Director that can be a manager. You hire a visionary. You get some ‘been there, done that.’
Whatever happens, you move forward.
The problem we have right now is we’re running hard with Vinai, who doesn’t have a clue.
He doesn’t see the opportunity with Rangnick, because he doesn’t see the failure of Edu.
He’s a Deloitte Consultant that knows Big Oil better than football.
We need someone in charge who recognizes when an idea has failed…
Arteta, right now, has failed.
It is very rare you can escape a poor decision with a visionary.
There are three on the market.
- Luis Campos.
- Paul Mitchell.
- Ralf Rangnick.
The German has always been my preferred choice. He’s a football CEO. He’s done it over and over again. We need to move fast, otherwise, he’ll be snapped up.
Edu is a bum. Fire him. He’ll never be elite. Vinai, ask your staff if you don’t believe me, OR, look at the shocking decisions Raul’s guy has made with our money.
Beating Chelsea 5-0 on Sunday won’t change anything. 10 wins in a row won’t make Edu the right choice. We are in bad shape however the short-term shapes up.
I read a thing I liked.
‘When is the best time to plant a tree?’
’20 years ago’
Same could be said of football.
‘The best time to hire a football CEO?’
‘2 seasons ago.’
We need to be bold, we need to hire the best in the business, that’s Ralf. I hope we don’t blow it.
What, you want MORE content? Check out the podcast I recorded with Alex and @iJohnnyCochrane (his How’s Your Father podcast is here). We had a tough chat about the ramifications of moving on Mikel Arteta. It’s a tussle of strong opinions in a difficult episode. ENJOY!