BETTER WITH ARTETA
Arsene Wenger once said “Confidence goes down by the lift and up by the stairs.”
It’s fair to say before Arteta’s arrival confidence was down in the deepest, darkest basement with no stairs even visible. The players were arguing and seemed not to care. Fans were angry – which showed they cared, but were close to the next stage of disappointment: not caring.
The club had lost their identity. No style of football. Just a bunch of headless chickens running around cluelessly. Error after error, loss after loss.
A certain fan site (which I won’t name) spreading poisonous opinion to gather the ear of every opposition fan, making them money.
The board took too long to sack Emery, who had lost the dressing room months before; it was plain for every fan to see, but not to one board member. Then the sacking came with no manager lined up. A hard cry from the neighbours, who turned around from Pochettino to Mourinho in a few hours.
Arsenal are a club in turmoil, a money-maker for the owners, who have no relationship with the common fan. Fans fighting with each other, players arguing with fans – just a laughing stock from the outside.
Then came the appointment of Arteta. An appointment met with pessimism, cynicism and negativity from certain sections of the fan base: ‘ he has no experience’… ‘ he has never managed before’…
Three matches in and each performance better than the last has resulted with a 2-0 win over a Man United team in good form. The team is already looking happier on the pitch, working harder and gaining the identity of a well-organised, hard-working team slowly coming together.
We have found the staircase but there’s are plenty of flights to climb.
Arteta is in a good position. I think it’s fair to write this season off. We’re not going to get relegated, and top 4 is miles away. We are entering a massive transition period and Arteta should be given time and patience from all fans. There should be no expectancy from the fans; it has been downhill for a while and climbing back up will take time.
The main negatives for Arsenal are the same as they have for been the last 10 years: the defence and the owners. We are really lacking quality in the back line, we can only hope Saliba is as good as we have been told and that the board back Arteta and allow him to invest in the defence.
But the positives are many.
Arsenal have several top young players. Including Willock, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Nelson, Martinelli, Guendozi and Maitland Niles. They are all getting game time and should get a lot more through the rest of the season. Next season, with the experience gathered, will put them and the club in good stead. Arteta has previously been praised for helping develop the likes of De Bruyne and Sterling in his time at Manchester City – such a hands on approach will only help the youngsters.
Aubameyang and Lacazette will always get you goals. In the former Arsenal have one of the best strikers in the world. If Arteta can work his magic on Pepe and get Ozil back to near his best this could be one of the scariest attacks in Europe.
At 27, Leno is still young for a keeper and has already proved what an asset he is to the club – constantly covering for a leaky defence and making some important saves. With some decent defenders ahead of him he could go from strength to strength.
With the likes of United, Chelsea and Spurs all struggling to find consistency, there may be a slight opportunity for Arsenal to make up ground if they come into some form.
FA and Europa League
These are the two competitions Arsenal are still in. A good cup run – or dare I say it a win? – will do wonders for confidence, not least the fact the Europa league may give us a road back to the big time.
They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I like to think for many of these players who have experienced these dark times will make them more motivated to improve, so as not to be in this situation again.
He may be young and inexperienced, but he seems assured and is already getting his message across to an under-performing team that lacked confidence. His youth allows him to relate to the players more. He has worked under two of the best managers seen in this country under Wenger and Guardiola. He knows what is required to win from his time with Manchester City and has had success in improving individuals performance.