I admire Arteta; he is a studious man who played as a very good midfielder. During his time with us he was known to be a serious thinker about how the game should be played. When he retired, he was at the twilight of his talented contribution from Arsenal but good enough in Pep Guardiola to respect and take over the second string at Manchester City. In a short space of time he made an impact on how the plans of Pep were carried out.
If you think of how Wenger used to sit on the bench and gesticulate and scream into the ear of his assistant coach, Bould compared to how Arteta and Pep spoke to each other and clearly discussed how to deal with the position on field, it is obvious that Bould relentlessly chewed Gum and ignored Wenger, whereas it was clear that Pep and Arteta worked hand in glove to control the play in unison. That gave respect for both men for the way they conducted themselves and for the quality of football they constructed.
Wenger has in many ways taken what Wenger taught him and has moved forward on the back of that knowledge. It is a tragedy that Wenger did not maintain is air of being a professor ( as he was christened by the press ) but unlike Pep, was rock solid in his belief that he had the answer to all of our woes.
Wenger spent a lot of his younger years playing for or coaching French teams and he learned a lot of knowledge which in later years even persuaded some senior coaches who were either internationals for France and moved on, who took to coaching to seek Arsenal for guidance. Even some of those for whom he played with years before sought him out.
He managed Monaco and won the French Champions title in his first year. He moved to Grampus 8 in Japan and completely changed a team which was owned by Toyota and from being an average mid – table team he won the Japanese Title before he came to Arsenal. His knowledge of football made him a great coach and manager of men. His success in changing the type of football Arsenal played became so good to look at and effective on the pitch that even Continental teams tried to copy it. He played a mix of stoicism learned under George Graham and he was lucky to have the best back four in history and a brand of football using speed, physicality and deadly finishing to entertain the fans. It was so successful that people who were not supporters of any particular club switched the TV on more than any other club could get them to do. They were on Sky more than any other team because they drew the biggest audience
After 2004, the butterfly style began to falter. The Invincibles began to dissolve when the back four succoured to old age. They were replaced by successively younger and lighter than we were used to, and the Building of the Emirates stadium drained us of the money we needed to strengthen the team. At that time Man Utd. and Chelsea began to take hold of the premier league and Man City joined them. We were still capable of getting into the top 4 but the Billionaires who are now funding those clubs have a free run at the championship in the knowledge that Arsenal will not be an obstacle for them.
We have not seen such an icon of pride and pleasure for the Country since Nelson and the mighty Victory turned the minds of the French and Spanish to admit defeat. Strong and powerful as they were their ships had not developed nor were their tactics for sea-battle. It is ironic that our leader was a Frenchman and he had all the knowledge he needed.
Well, unfortunately our Victory is slipping away. I think that Arteta is the best possibility we could have to steady the ship and use improved methods to catch the others off guard. We are not rich, but we have riches in our young players and that is exactly what Wenger used to cajole and encourage, He loved to use the young talents and their natural speed to conquer the opposition. Our Spanish leader has the added bonus to have worked under the man who is the nearest one around to share Wenger`s Philosophies for how the game should be played.
I think we should all welcome our manager who will bring fresh ideas into the profession. I hope he can produce a solid defence and instil confidence in the rest of the team; that the ball will be moved from defence to attack swiftly and with plenty of movement off the ball. We don`t know how C19 will affect individual teams but I do know that we have another dragon to slay if The Saudis buy Newcastle Utd. We have to get behind the whole team. The fact is that Arteta is facing a harder task than Wenger did. Money is all that matters these days and if we intend to remain a top-flight club, the players will need our support.
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.