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Mikel Arteta resigns as Arsenal manager

By Tony Attwood

In a move that has taken the football world by surprise Mikel Arteta has resigned as Arsenal manager only days before he (or possibly Thierry Henry) was due to be announced as the new manager.

In a statement the man who played 110 games for Arsenal said, “A certain expert football analyst – for such men, I regret to say, do exist – made a remark about my lack of experience as a manager, suggesting that I would be forced to act as Wenger II, playing in the same style and simply using the same old players but just with different names.   That person has hopefully been eaten by an MEP representing UKIP by now, but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against me again.   For with my superior knowledge of the game, I have outsmarted the man by arranging to keep all the players that Wenger used and leave them with the same names. Pretty silly it will make these critics feel.”

In making such a comment Arteta has neatly summarised the practicalities of handling a load of competitive men aged under 35 all of whom are on mega salaries and have egos to match while handling a load of drunken men aged over 35 who are now eking out a living on a much smaller salary while claiming to be experts.   Such a situation, which besets many a man starting out on his managerial career is not something that is not too often discussed in football columns, largely because it is such a complex issue it would be difficult to fit into the big headline and 100 word summary that passes for the norm these days.  But perhaps it should be.

Each player needs to be made to feel welcome and wanted.  He needs to be nurtured and encouraged to give up many of the things his massive income can provide.  Likewise each manager needs nurturing too and protecting from the media and angry fans.  Indeed there is always pressure on each new manager to bring his own mark to the club and do things differently, even if some of the things done before were actually done quite well – as for example with Arsenal’s home form last season.

In effect it doesn’t matter who manages Arsenal or what he (or indeed she) does because the media will report whatever agenda they think is going to bring them lots of readers.   As indeed you may recall when Mr Wenger was appointed and a little while later the most appalling allegations about him were invented and a rowdy mob of half-baked journalists gathered at the foot of the steps of Highbury shouting, “What do you have to say about the rumours Mr Wenger?”

Mr Wenger’s reply of “What rumours?” so annoyed them that they were forced, very much against their will, to give up and go to the pub and then print the most biased reports of every single match thereafter.

The fact is that while many accuse Arsenal of having a “small club mentality” it is the correspondents that make such accusations who have that vision, reducing everything to endlessly repeated simplistic ideas until even they get bored and are forced to invent another notion even simpler than the first.   As one media outlet wrote during Mr Wenger’s first week at Arsenal, he missed a press conference because he had constipation.   He didn’t because there was no press conference, but if filled up another half page.

So if Mikel Arteta does indeed resign even before he it appointed it will not, and cannot possibly be due to a total misreading of the runes by the gentlemen of the press, nor indeed because Arteta thought “if this is what it is like before I join the club what is it going to be like after?” but rather a fault of the “small team” attitude of the club.  Likewise if the club were to sign a Mr J Evans as a backup player it would be a sign of “small club mentality”, as if an organisation can actually have a sentient response to an event.

Likewise if Arsenal don’t sign Dries Mertens but he goes to Tottenham, and if Jorginho goes to Chelsea it will be because Arsenal and Arteta were “too slow”, not because anyone at the club decided the player wasn’t the right fit given the players we already have.

So in many regards Arteta is onto a sure fire loser at Arsenal unless he wins a trophy that is counted as a trophy by those who decide such things, which means he will forever be chasing himself round in circles.  Win the FA Cup and well, we’ll just be back to the old Wenger days.  Win the Europa League, well, we’ll take notice when he wins the Champions League.   Win one trophy on average every two years, and yes again, that’s what Wenger did. Win the Champions League and suddenly we will find that only the new fangled Club World Cup counts for anything.  “Until we’ve won that we can’t count as a big club”.

Reiss Nelson is awarded “Player of PL2” for the season (which he just has been) and you can’t win things with kids.

Sorry Mikel, just remember before you sign.  There is no escape.

 

 

35 comments to Mikel Arteta resigns as Arsenal manager

  • CorporateMan

    So it is true Arteta is going to be Arsenal’s next manager? Can’t believe this! If this is not a recipe for disaster, tell me what is.

  • Tiny Tim

    You’re right, of course… Even if we got Guardiola with Allegri as assistant the ‘Gentlemen’ of the press would find an angle to belittle AFC.

    I find it amusing the continued articles maintaining AFC as scrooge on a bad day as far as transfers go. Haven’t they been awake in the last few transfer windows?

    As for Mikel the manager, it’s a huge risk. Whilst we gambled with ‘Arsene Who?’ and won, like any gambler, the art is knowing when to stop.

  • DM

    When do the ‘Being back Arsene’ brigade begin marching?

    The clear problem with Arsenal has always been the board and not the manager. Any idiot could see it, apart from the ‘Arsene out‘ morons.

  • Ed

    I used to love your site and the scrutiny you guys bring to poor refereeing choices and the problems in the refereeing community. This ongoing boring rant about how the media will be biased so what’s the point really doesn’t add anything though. You guys used to write interesting articles that had merit in themselves. Now you just write things which rail against the other, be it the media or Wenger outs. Very dull sadly.

  • markyb

    I think you are mistaking this for the fake news sites called the British press mate

  • ahmed kabiru kumbotso

    great idea i love him

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Why would the Arsenal board want to talk to Thierry Henry after holding talks with Mikel Arteta who is the preferred person of the big shots at the AFC board they want to see appointed as the new Arsenal FC manager? And that their wish has ostensibly been rubber stamped by the former Arsenal manager, Monsieur Arsene Wenger in his recent comment in the media on the appointment of Mikel Arteta as the new Gunners boss. This is despite his earlier comment saying he’ll not comment on who should be appointed as the new Gunners boss to succeed him at the club nor make any input in his appointment.

    Had the talks held with Mikel Arteta by the Arsenal board not convincing to necessitate the board holding talks with Henry to see if it will be convincing and possibly hold talks with some other candidates too who haven’t ruled out themselves out of becoming the next Gunners boss?

  • Arteta according to me he doesn’t have the quality to teach arsenal completely.so the arsenal board should seat down and not make a mistake to appoint Mikel arteta.they should appoint Luise Enrique or juventus coach allegri.simply because Luise Enrique is a experience coach and can take arsenal into a good position.

  • Chan

    The idle mind is the devils workshop

  • George

    Seriously, we sacked our best ever manager, a man with huge experience and we think Arteta (with less powers than Wenger) is the solution? This is our ambition? This is what will take the club forward and compete with the big guns?

    Laughable to say the least… I am really worried about Arsenal. Gazidis is a power obsessed megalomaniac that will ruin our great club… I can’t believe this has been the master plan all along. Wow…

  • demigoad

    Why hate journalists so much? Sounds like bitter jealousy. Water off most other people’s back. You take it so personally.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I was always afraid you’d lose the plot in a post-Wenger era… I hope you can let your bromance with Le Boss ease a bit, and not invent & imagine problems for the new manager.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Demigoad, perhaps because of the way they have abused our club over the years?

  • AFC Nemesis

    Interesting to see the way many of those who abused Arsene Wenger and wanted him out are now starting on Mikel Arteta. I have read numerous Arsenal blogs where the ‘know-it-alls’ are making wild claims about everything. There is a type of fan (Arsenal Fan TV or the mob at LeGrove are the best examples)who seem to just live to moan.

    According to the ‘know-it’alls’ the only reason Arteta is coming is because he’s the only one who is happy to work with the £50m budget (??) the Manager is being given. Also, according to the ‘Know-it-alls’ Arsenal aren’t an attractive proposition and top Managers won’t be interested in Managing Arsenal. According to the ‘know-it-alls’, Allegri is at a much bigger club than Arsenal. Ramsey and Lacazette must be sold immediately. These are the same people who called Giroud a donkey and wanted to replace him with Benteke, with David Moyes as Manager.

    We have some truly terrible fans.

    My thoughts?

    Football support is no longer what it used to be. The modern fan is convinced they are a professional football manager, a tactician, fitness expert, contract negotiator and motivator and therefore everyone else is judged to be inferior. Unconditional support no longer exists. The thought that you support your club through thick and thin and refuse to abuse players and manager is alien to them.We have a type of fan who unfortunately will never be happy. Which means the media will continue to play them and watch as they abuse our club, rubbing their hands with glee.

  • markyb

    Snake, how apt

  • he can do some thing football is all about creativity and lucks it has less to do with experience if not where are experience obtained if not given a trial wake up guys from a sleep and give him the contract wait to be supprised

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In this Arsenal board’s effort to appoint a very competent Gunners boss to succeed the departed former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger will be for the AFC board interview panel charged with interviewing all the candidates who have been shortlisted for interview and interview all the candidates to enabled the panel know the best out of the shortlisted candidates and recommend him to the broad AFC board to given the job.

    Media reports have had it that Patrick Vieira was already spoken to by the AFC board and they’ve also held talks with Mikel Arteta too. And are about to hold talks with Thierry Henry on the same issue of appointing a new Arsenal manager before the World Cup takes place this summer. But are these 3 candidates the only ones all former Gunners the Arsenal board will interview for the job? How about Luis Enrique, the former Barca boss who hasn’t rule himself out of getting the Gunners boss job like Allegri, the juve’ manager had ruled himself out? Would the Arsenal board not interview Luis Enrique too to find out if he can successfully work with the board to move Arsenal FC forward to the next level beyond the level Monsieur Arsene Wenger, their former Gunners manager was able to move the club to? Or should I think the Arsenal board want to conduct the interviews progressively from the least experienced candidates to the very experienced one among the lots they’ll interview?

    By the way, is Mesut Ozil massive £350k/w wages a stumbling block to appoint a new Arsenal nanager with re known high profile credentials of being a major Titles winner, as he may demand for wages in the region of £380k/w so as not to be on the same wages earning level with Mesut? Which if the Arsenal board even try to but him on the £350k/w of Ozil,’s weekly earning he reject it to be insultive to him to earn the same wages with the player he’s managing?

    Okay, it can be argued that when Luis Enrique was at Barca, he earned far less than his former player, Lionel Messi earns at Barca. But Messi is Barca Messiah. But is Ozil Arsenal Messiah? How many major Titles of the Premier League and the Champions League has he led Arsenal FC to win since he has joined the club? Nil.

  • Hey don’t know it Ed. We’ve obviously still got you as a reader.

  • Andrew E

    Good article. I think this anti-Arsenal thing goes way back to the Herbert Chapman era when we were winning the league for fun. If the second World War didn’t intervene we would have probably have won it 10 times on the trot. It’s been there since I first supported Arsenal about 60 years ago. I can even remember Ian Ure (Arsenal centre back in the 60’s) being described by some hack as ‘resembling a cart horse rounding Tattenham Corner’.

    The abuse Wenger got when he joined us was vicious and personal and his response superb, but he has suffered at their hands ever since and so will any future manager. Two teams that barely get criticism are Tottenham and Liverpool who last won the league 57 and 28 years ago respectively. But that is the way it is and will be forever and ever amen. But honestly I don’t care because it is a great feeling when we stick it up them from time to time.

    My apologies if I have bored anybody by going back to the distance past.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I don’t really know all that Arteta did or learned at MCFC but he seemed to be a bright enough, or at least articulate enough, player when he was here.

    The issue of whether our new manager is experienced enough is unanswerable as long as he is compared to Arsene Wenger. Indeed, how much experience is enough? I suggest that people will form that opinion only after they have decided that Arsenal is or isn’t doing well.

    And, I would suggest that experience can be easily confused with other things such as ability to teach, philosophy of play, quality of players, support from the fans, quality of the opposition, quality of referees, direction of the board, and ability to attract new players…errr…everything else that contributes to a winning club.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Should I edit my comment for clearity and repost it? Admini, please I think I should.

    In this Arsenal board’s effort to appoint a very competent Gunners boss to succeed the departed former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger should be for the AFC board interview panel charged with interviewing all the candidates who have been shortlisted for interview and interview all of them to enabled the panel know the best out of the shortlisted candidates and recommend him to the AFC board to be given the job.

    Media reports have had it that Patrick Vieira was already spoken to by the AFC board and they’ve also held talks with Mikel Arteta too. And are about to hold talks with Thierry Henry on the same issue of appointing a new Arsenal manager before the World Cup takes place this summer. But are these 3 candidates the only ones all former Gunners the Arsenal board will interview for the job? How about Luis Enrique, the former Barca boss who hasn’t rule himself out of getting the Gunners boss job like Allegri, the juve’ manager had ruled himself out? Would the Arsenal board not interview Luis Enrique too to find out if he can successfully work with the board to move Arsenal FC forward to the next level of major Titles win beyond the level Monsieur Arsene Wenger, their former Gunners boss was able to move the club to in his last 14 seasons at the club? Or should I think the Arsenal board want to conduct the interviews progressively from the least experienced candidates to the very experienced one among the lots they’ll interview?

    By the way, is Mesut Ozil massive £350k/w wages a stumbling block to appoint a new Arsenal nanager with re known high profile credentials of being a major Titles winner, as he may demand for wages in the region of £380k/w so as not to be on the same wages earning level with Mesut? Which if the Arsenal board should place on to earn, he’ll reject it and considers it to be insultive to him to earn the same wages as the player he’s managing earns?

    Okay, it can be argued that when Luis Enrique was at Barca, he earned far less than his former player, Lionel Messi earns at Barca. But Messi is Barca Messiah winning major Titles for the club for a decade. But is Ozil Arsenal Messiah? How many major Titles of the Premier League and the Champions League has he led Arsenal FC to win in the last 4-5 seasons he has joined the club? Nil I suppose.

    I think the Arsenal board should remove all inhibitions that will inhibit Arsenal FC from winning the major Title of the PL and the 2nd European football Title of the ELC considered to be a major Title next in season’s campaign. A League CupTitle win by Arsenal too next season will be a welcome bonus win if we to win a treble next season. I hope I won’t be seen to be overambitious for my insinuating that Arsenal FC who is embarking on minor rebuilding this summer should win a treble next season. But the AFC board appoint the right manager, winning a treble Titles by Arsenal next season can become a possible.

  • 2Goonersin1(RiceNelson)

    We live in interesting times, as apparently no Chinese person has ever said (I know, I was surprised too)

    AFC Nemesis, I get the frustration with ArsenalFan TV et al., and I started switching off the radio at the merest hint of a fan phone-in years ago.

    But is it really a modern malaise, or have fans always been moany know-it-alls? Nick Hornby at the start of ‘Fever Pitch’, describing his first visit to Highbury in the early 70’s: “What impressed me most was just how much most of the men around me *hated*, really *hated*, being there….there was real anger (‘You’re a DISGRACE, Gould. He’s a DISGRACE!’…)…the anger turned into outrage, and then seemed to curdle into sullen, silent discontent… the natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score”

    I think about this and just smile when the latest know-it-all opinion does the rounds. Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

  • Gord

    Any team, in any sport, will find that picking any given person to be a manager is a gamble. Each picking is for some length of time. The successfulness of any given picking might be estimated from the length of time that manager is in the position, related to the duration the contract was supposed to be for.

    In the EPL, it seems managers are hired for durations of about 2 years, and typically fired within 1 year.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Gord, yes very true.

    I see another few managers have gone today from the PL.

    The Managers get the blame for everything and the media can’t wait to get another scalp. It never used to be like this but it’s getting ridiculous now.

    I blame:

    1. Click baiting media
    2. The overloading of live football
    3. Former players talking bllx as pundits
    4. Blogs
    5. Computer football games
    6. Fantasy football competitions
    7. Social Media
    8. Lack of respect in society
    9. Disloyalty
    10.Self entitlement

    Lets face it, Wenger was targeted by the media and throughout his reign he had abuse heaped on him. When we was winning we had the media counting down our red cards. During the stadium build and the huge financial restrictions it was the ‘4th place trophy’ and years without a trophy counted down. When we came out of the austerity and won 3 FA Cups in 4 years, the FA Cup was no longer a trophy worth winning.

    Those of us who understand football and know what Arsenal went through during 2005 to 2012, can reflect on the over achievement to finish top 4 every single season. Unfortunately, the media don’t want that narrative its an inconvenient truth. As for fans, unfortunately society has some less than intelligent people who hang on the medias every word.

    Some people have no idea how lucky they are to support this great club. They seem happy to ruin it for the rest of us due to their own self entitlement and stupidity.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    While I was beating about the bush on this blog on the Arsenal board of direcots’ preference to appoint M Arteta as the new Gunners boss, I’ve just read on the B/R blog Arteta has even agreed in principle to become the Gunners boss after holding talks with the Arsenal hierarchy’s big shots. But the announcement of his appointment is being delayed because of the rationalzation of the backroom staff at Arsenal that had to be done at the instance of Arteta that will see him bring in his own backroom staff and a deal is agreed before his appointment is announced. Hmmm. So, sometimes the media outlets can be right in their rumours as they’ve been saying for days that Arteta is going to be the man Arsenal will appoint as their new Gunners boss. And it has happened so.

  • AFC1974

    Who is your first choice Tony? I would quite like Arteta. I think this (potential) appointment is geared to work with our new structure, post AW. I don’t think that IG is really entertaining the established candidates, who, let’s not forget, started out as rookies.

    I think the Board will be patient (as we all should). SK will have no relationship with future managers, so the Board will also exercise more freedom to be decisive, if things go pear shaped. To that end, I don’t believe we will ever have very prolonged periods that split the fan base again.

  • Chan

    Hahahaha, can a ? change its spots?

  • kamiel

    I may be in the minority but my gut feeling is that Arteta is exactly the kind of appointment we should be making right now.

    I understand that fans saw Wenger’s reign ending as an opportunity to bring in an elite European manager to spend the money, win trophies, and overhaul the squad every 2 years Chelsea style. The fact of the matter is that the managers those fans considered ideal are committed to long term projects & goals, in cushy jobs currently, and thusly just not that interested.

    The more level-headed amongst us knew that would be the case. We also knew that the end of the Wenger era would be a bigger transition than the ones preceding. As such, a committed long term appointment is required to build upon the foundation, focus on development, curb excessive spending, and avoid having to become a club that constantly recycles its coaching staff.

    Experience in management is nice but it is also largely overrated. There are hundreds of experienced coaches out there like Allardyce, Moyes, Pulis, et al, who will bring us no progression at all. Meanwhile current generation coaches like Zidane, Guardiola, Pochettino and Simeone were all inexperienced and now look at them. Pep is considered to be the very best in the world right now by many. Zidane is closing on a 3rd consecutive Champions League trophy. Both were massive risks when they first came into first team management. And if two European superclubs can that brave, so can we.

    True, Arteta only has assistant management experience which is less than ideal. But success under these circumstances is not unprecidented either. I remember a certain “translator” named Jose Mourinho taking over at Benfica. And before you say Benfica isn’t as big as Arsenal, remember that he took over from Jupp Heynckes. Tito Villanova (RIP) is another who never ever managed before taking over at Barca and winning the league with a record points tally.

    Furthermore, I dont remember a single player in the entire Wenger era ever earmarked for management by the prof himself until Arteta came along. Not a single Invincible. Not a single double winner. And whatever the boss saw, Pep saw too. Enough so in fact, to make Arteta fresh off retirement and all, his first choice for assistant manager. Two glowing recommendations if I ever saw them.

    With Wenger we caught lightning in a bottle when others thought we were mad. Arteta we can do the same.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    So we, the great Arsenal divide are in total disagreement about –

    a. The merits/disadvantages of an hereto unidentified manager we have yet to appoint.
    b. The quantum of money available that we will be spending or not on transfers.
    c. The yet undetermined players we may need ;or who may want to come or not.
    d. The role and the desirable/undesirable qualities /traits of Ivan Gazidis .
    e. The generosity(or the inherent lack of )of our major shareholder.
    f. The English media /bloggers/ex-players/experts.
    g. Arsene Wenger’s legacy .

    So are we are all in agreement with this ? Or have I missed something ?

  • colario

    Dr. Brickfields, may be you have missed something.

    The new manager has already been signed and the board have fixed a date when the appointment will be made public. Or have I missed this point in your post? Its Saturday morning and I am not fully awake.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario -19/05/2018 at 10:09 am – You may not have missed anything , but since there is nothing on Arsenal.com , I’ll assume that the club are waiting for the opportune time to announce the highly anticipated appointment.

    Cannot be seen to be too disrespective of their highnesses and today’s royal wedding !
    News at 10 !

  • omgarsenal

    I am almost 100% certain that the Board and Gazidis have whittled down the available shortlist to 2-3 ideal candidates, and their final choice, as per the AFC tradition, will not be revealed until they have signed an entente and the Club is ready to do so…..maybe after the WC in Russia?
    Why do I say this, in order of rational, logical facts, here is my reasoning:

    1) The WC will offer any potential AFC manager the opportunity to see some of the best available players in the world perform under pressure, so negotiations to sign them will start immediately AFTER the WC,
    2) IF one of the candidates is currently coaching a WC nation, he will definitely want to wait until the WC is over in July, to be announced as AFC’s new manager4
    3) The negotiations with the new managerial choice must be undertaken and an agreement reached, which is always a time consuming process. A plan B must also be re4ady in case negotiations stall,
    4) There are new faces coming in at the administrative and coaching level (Per, et.al.) who must be prepared for their new roles, which is also time consuming,
    5) The deals to bring in new players and let some go is an ongoing and delicate process, compounded by their agents, the new manager’s preferences, the availability and willingness of players to come to AFC, etc.
    6) Perhaps Wenger’s blessing on the final choice will be sought, since the Club and he will want someone in who is familiar with the Arsenal way, but ready to also adapt and change what needs addressing,
    7) A July appointment will give the new manager 2+ months to prepare his squad for the 2018-19 season, which is not a great deal of time to build up the synergy and team chemistry needed.

    I could be way off, but it seems to me that this makes sense and fits Arsenal’s style. Wenger was signed in August 1996 and took over in September. The new manager will freshen up the squad, reinvigorate the defense (probably with new signings) and continue to promote the youth strategy AFC employ…..

  • Kiran

    Don’t Read it Ed. Its really that simple 🙂

  • Kiran, you have hit on a significant point. We are getting quite a few people writing in saying that Untold used to be good and now its rubbish. However the only difference between now and ten years ago was that then, people just said “this is rubbish” largely because we’d only just started. If people stopped writing in and saying Untold is rubbish, then I would start to be worried.

  • AFC1974

    Come on Tony, who do you fancy. Stop sitting on the fence!

    Don’t worry, i’m sure it’s an informed choice.