All the reasons why Arteta should NOT get his 1 Year Extension.

I more year - Arteta here in one of 7 PL appearances in 14/15

I more year – Arteta here in one of 7 PL appearances in 14/15

With reports emerging from within the media of club captain Mikel Arteta signing a new one year contract extension, I have to ask the simple question – What purpose is served by the retention of his services?

The argument I’ve heard from some supporters is that his experience is vital if we are to be successful during the coming season but I would strongly challenge this theory by questioning whether a squad containing two World Cup winners amongst others, would significantly mourn the loss of a player who made only seven league appearances during the last campaign and has for some time looked like a player with his best days behind him.

Not a squad short on Old Experienced Heads – 2 WC Winners!

Not only does our squad contain world champions Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil, thirty and twenty six years of age respectively, but also thirty three year old recent signing Petr Cech and his thirty four year old compatriot Tomas Rosicky, who are joined by Santi Cazorla (thirty), Nacho Monreal, Matthieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny (all twenty nine), Olivier Giroud (twenty eight), Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott (both twenty six).

29, 29 and 28 – We are not light on experience

It should also not be ignored that Kieron Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny (both twenty five), Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck (both twenty four) and Jack Wilshere (twenty three), are all established internationals, whilst I have deliberately excluded the names of David Opsina, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini from the list due to them either being expected to request a move or in the case of the latter two, because I consider them surplus to requirements, which confirms the theory that our first team squad would be bereft of experience should Arteta be allowed to depart, as no more than a fallacy.

Whilst Arteta is undoubtedly an intelligent individual and one of the squad’s elder statesmen, it is evident even from the outside that a leader in the Tony Adams mould, he is not.

Arteta is no Tony Adams!

The emergence of Francis Coquelin last season demonstrated the importance of having a defensive midfielder in the side who is able to cover ground with both pace and fluidity, two qualities that Arteta sadly does not have in his locker and although he performed his role commendably during his first couple of seasons to help steady the ship following the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas for which he has my gratitude, he has never been of the highest quality that I’d associate with a team harbouring ambitions to win either the league title or the Champions League and whilst it could be argued that as a club we weren’t set up to challenge for those trophies at the time of his arrival, I now believe that we are in a position to take the next steps that would enable us to do so.

Le Coq has shown us the need for mobility at base of midfield

Le Coq has shown us the need for mobility at base of midfield

Although it would take away a lot of his natural game and he’d have to curb his attacking instincts, playing Wilshere in the holding role would be a preferable alternative to Arteta, although not an ideal solution especially when taking into account his own fitness concerns, should Coquelin suffer any long term injuries and when an attacking midfielder is considered more suitable for a defensive role within the side, the writing really should be on the wall for a player of Arteta’s age.

No reason why Jack cannot play there when required

What concerns me is that Arsene doesn’t appear to recognise the need to add another defensive midfielder in the mould of my first choice William Carvalho, who can also play in central defence, to our ranks or share my preference of playing Wilshere from the players currently available in our squad, in the role.

However, it is my opinion that we will not challenge for the top honours should we be forced to revert to relying on the likes of Arteta or Flamini for that matter, to form the base of our engine room, which would also have a detrimental effect on both Monreal and Mertesacker who’s form improved by no coincidence when their lack of pace was given significantly more protection by Coquelin’s presence.

The perfect addition for this writer – Carvalho

It is also believed that Wenger considers Arteta to be future coaching material but this should not have played any part in the decision to offer him a contract extension as a player, after all, his reported current annual salary of around four million a year by far exceeds what the manager earns in a year, let alone a member of the coaching staff, at the majority of clubs and I am of the opinion that it’s not necessary to have Arteta performing the role of a glorified cheerleader in our squad, even if his new deal has been agreed on reduced terms.

So please Arsene, continue to demonstrate the new found ruthlessness you gave us a glimpse of when you selected Walcott in place of Giroud for the FA Cup final and replaced Ospina with Cech this summer, by continuing to ship out the deadwood to free up wages and valuable squad places for the players required in order to take us to where we have the potential to go in coming seasons, as the late great Bill Shankly once said:-

“Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling, aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor….”

Thanks for reading @GunnerBirchy

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15 Responses to All the reasons why Arteta should NOT get his 1 Year Extension.

  1. Brian Dawes July 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    We are just so lucky to have so many punters and bloggers amongst the Arsenal fnas who know far more about what’s going on in the Club than Arsene Wenger…….If Wenger says Arteta is worthy of a new contract for whatever reason that is fine by me.

    • Dave Seager July 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      For me as well Brian but I will not censor writers on Gunners Town or enforce a house view. I am very anti Blogs or sites that are one extreme of the other and would rather represent the whole fanbase and their views. Hope you are well and have you read Geordie book yet? Dave

    • Nick Birch July 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      Brian Dawes, writing a blog is all about sharing an opinion, you know, that thing that everyone is entitled to?

      History has also provided evidence that Wenger has not also been correct in every decision he’s ever made, in the past he thought the likes of Stepanovs, Cygan, Squillaci, Silvestre, need I go on, were all worthy of contacts at the club so forgive me if I don’t think he’s always right….

  2. Olly July 8, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    He is a good captain off the pitch, he is by all accounts great with the Spanish speaking players & at a time when the club was low gave us great service.

    Giving him an extension is the correct decision. If we expect loyalty from our players we should also return it.

  3. Merlin July 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    arteta is very good as captain.he might also be an inspiration to the youth.

  4. Alex Field July 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    I love the way everybody jumps to Arteta defence this fellow who is being paid to get splinters in his bum for his so called leadership ? When where i must have missed that day.
    So he leaves a good impression on the youth why cant the world cup winning Mertesacker do that? or Ozil come to that or even Sanchez, None of them young but all of the with a great lot of experience and the medals to prove it
    Arteta hasn’t played for Spain above youth level so what can he impart to a guy who wants to know what its like should he even consider dropping down to under 21 once a full international cap is his well Ozil can speak about that problem even Theo at 26 isn’t exactly a young man any more so he to could advise
    I would also add LOYALTY doesn’t win you the prem and ask were nasri, clishy, rvp loyal after signing a new contract on the treatment table one good season and he is off the beloved Cesc a viper in arsenal bosom who bought out his contract he was so desperate to sit on Barcas bench!! yeah show the players loyalty LOL

  5. Sam Cresswell July 9, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    Echoes my own thoughts and you know what makes me laugh?

    These AKB’s who hang on every decision Wenger makes by not having an opinion of their own, if Wenger had let him go then the same people applauding him for keeping him would be declaring him finished but because Wenger has kept him he’s suddenly our John Terry in terms of his leadership.

    Pull your heads out that sand people!

  6. Victor Thompson July 9, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Hi Brian,

    I entirely agree with your opinion on Carvalho, but I am dismayed at the negative tone of your comments on Arteta.

    I have often criticised AW and I have to admit that he has us in a great place at the moment. If there was a constructive reason for dismissing Arteta, I have not seen it in your article.

    I am content to believe that AW knows better than you or me, what his reasons for wanting to keep him.

    Victor Thompson

    • Nick Birch July 9, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Victor

      It was actually myself that wrote this article and not Brian.

      Please note that I expressed my gratitude for the job Arteta did for us in his first couple of seasons to help steady the ship in the wake of Nasri and Fabregas both departing the club, just that I now believe his time has come to move on.

      I appreciate your comments but if replacing Arteta with a younger and better player is not a constructive reason for allowing him to leave then I honestly don’t know what is, it also surprises me that you or anyone else has chosen to focus on what you perceive to be a negativity despite references to the club now being at a point where we can seriously challenge for the title and Champions League with a few tweaks to the squad.

      You are right that Wenger will know his reasons for keeping Arteta better than you or I, that’s only logical as it was his decision after all but personally I think Carvalho is a step up from Arteta and believe it’s unlikely Wenger will add a player in that position now that Arteta has extended his contract, hopefully I am wrong in this respect in the same way that I hope Arteta is able to perform for us at a level that exceeds my expectations moving forwards.

      I have yet to see any responses to my article that disprove anything I have stated and I am still waiting for somebody to explain how we missed him last season when we were evidently a better side when he wasn’t available.

      Sam, I’m pleased you liked my article although the references to AKB’s are perhaps a little harsh, I know some supporters who disagree with me and are able to offer reasoning behind their view without hiding behind the phrase “Arsene knows more than you”, so I wouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush….

      • Victor Thompson July 9, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

        Sorry for the mistake with your name Nick,

        I agree that Carvalho is a huge step up from Arteta. I just don`t think it is constructive to overstate the reason for bringing a distinguished career to a close. I hope that we have seen the last performance in an Arsenal shirt by Arteta but I would not write an article singling him out in this way. That is why I do not see your criticism as constructive.

        I would be happier to accept that AW has his reasons for keeping him for another year ( not at the expense of a better player ) but because he sees his presence at Arsenal as valuable to the club. We may never know his reasons, but we cannot speak about Arteta in the same breath as RVP, Nasri etc. He was and still is a loyal servant of the club whose playing career is apparently at an end.

        Victor Thompson

      • Nonny July 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

        I just read this article for the first time today and what I understand from the writer if I am not mistaken is that he is just a fan like me and has no coaching badge or football management experience.

        One thing I know for sure is that Wenger knows the inner workings of Arsenal more than we fans. He selects the team and plans the formation and strategy he needs to win matches. He sees the players in training and knows the players he will need to start the season, Since AFC management has given him this job, it is our duty to support him and the players to successful

        Your write-up is like saying Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing by extending Arteta’s contract instead of signing Carvalho. With 3 League championships and 6 FA cups to his name, I believe Wenger knows what he needs to win another championship.

        Has it occurred to you that William Carvalho may not be for sale or even if he is, does not want to play in the EPL or come to Arsenal? Buying a player is not same as your normal by the mall shopping if you don’t know because you spoke like someone who believes that whatever player Wenger wants, all he needs is to pay for him and get him and this shows how shallow your player transfer knowledge is.

        You made mention in the comments section of some players Wenger bought that were not up to standard yet you forget the Vieras, the Henrys, the Pires’ and more recently Ozil and Sanchez all signed by Wenger. Show me a coach without a transfer failure if it is possible.

        Finally, can you remember one Andre Pirlo who AC Milan let go for free as he was said to have past his best. He went to Juventus and won how many championships for them is the holding role with the team built around him.

        Hence, do NOT speak with so much authority on a subject you have so little knowledge about.

        • Nick Birch July 14, 2015 at 11:32 am #

          Nonny, if you had taken the time to read any of the previous comments on my article you would have seen the one from me that stated this is only my opinion and at no time have I said it is anything other than that and as a supporter who pays out thousands of pounds to follow the team I believe I am entitled to have one as much as you or anyone else.

          As for never having managed professionally, you are correct in this assumption, however, I have never been a professional musician or a professional chef either but this hasn’t prevented me from being able to make an accurate judgement regarding an individuals ability to play an instrument or the level of their culinary skills, much in the same way my eyes allow me to make an observational judgement on Arteta’s ability.

          You mention that Wenger knows how to win a league title yet offer references to league titles won over a decade ago and FA Cup success which prove nothing other than the fact that he used to know how to win league titles and can win cup competitions so the jury is still out as to whether he still knows how to win them.

          It has occurred to me that Carvalho might not be available but as I also mentioned, he was simply my first choice and that my main thought process is that we need another player in that role to offer competition to Coquelin as Arteta simply isn’t that man, typically like all those who believe Wenger can do no wrong, you only read what you want to.

          As for the references to players that Wenger has signed who have failed, I mentioned them to prove a point to Brian in an earlier comment that not every single player handed an Arsenal contract by Wenger is of sufficient quality, in fact it’s an insult to my intelligence to suggest that I could have forgotten the likes of Vieira, Henry and Pires but I’ll point out that for every success there has been two or three players who haven’t made the grade.

          Like you mentioned, there are no managers who have a 100% success rate with their signings but the difference between Wenger and the likes of Mourinho, or in the past Ferguson, is that they are far more ruthless in accepting they have made a mistake and lets be honest, you don’t need to be a footballing mastermind to recognize the talent of Sanchez or Ozil, although you could argue it takes one to consistently get the best out of the latter, something Wenger has not done as yet although I am sure you will attempt to tell he he has.

          As for your comparison between Pirlo and Arteta, that’s like comparing a clapped out broken down Lotus with a brand spanking new Ferrari so excuse me if I ignore your request not to offer my thoughts on something that I’m passionate about, especially as I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to offer my own opinion instead of basing it solely on the managers judgement…..

  7. Victor Thompson July 14, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    Good morning Nick,

    I am surprised to see this comment. I think that if you check your replies to articles, you will find that I did apologise for the mistake with your name.

    This comment bears no resemblance to my reply and I think this time, you owe me an apology. This must relate to someone else`s comment.

    I simply said in my first comment that although I had criticised AW in the past, and in my second reply, that I hoped I had seen the last performance of Arteta in an Arsenal shirt.

    I did not profess to be an expert or of better intelligence or of experience than you. I was not in any way competing with you. I simply said that in my view you singled out Arteta, and you itemised a number of reasons why he should go. I do not find that constructive. That is my opinion formed from over 50 years of being an Arsenal fan. Criticising a performance is fine. That can be constructive, but to list a number of negatives as to why he should go is not constructive. It does not help the player as he cannot improve his performance because he would be gone.

    Since AW has probably not made the decision to extend his contract because of his likely contribution on the pitch, I think it is fair to assume that he made it for other reasons which are more related to his value to the club other than as a player.

    During his time with Arsenal he has not been their best player but he is a role model for young players, many of whom are strangers in a foreign land and I am sure that he is invaluable to them for guidance. He has been an exemplary professional and captain. Forget about the respective playing qualities but compare him to John Terry as a role model for his club. Tony Adams made the transition from being the street leader to a leader of men who represent the club by their conduct and ability. One could not say that about John Terry.

    I prefer to have Arteta as the on-field representative of Arsenal and sometime spokesman off it, than John Terry.

    I don`t know why AW kept him on. I am content that if it was for the reasons stated above alone, he deserved it, at least until we have someone to fill his shoes.

    By the way, I consider this reply to be constructive.


    Victor Thompson

    • Nick Birch July 14, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      Victor, I saw you apology which was appreciated and I didn’t reply to you comment after that, presumably you have read Nonny’s reply and mistaken it for being from me?

      Either way, I have posted a long reply this morning which is to Nonny’s post and not you sir.


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