And I mention this now as today’s Mundo Deportivo has a report on our manager saying ‘Arteta has been left alone’.  It is not players, they argue, but structure.

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The newspaper talks about the structure put in place after Arsène Wenger and most of his staff were asked to leave the club in 2018.

The article argues that after Mr Wenger went the top man at the club (be he called coach or manager or anything else) was supported by the director of academy, the sporting director and the operations director.’

Then, as the article points out, by the time Mr Arteta came on the scene we also had Edu as technical director – Edu having done that job with sensational results with the Brazil national team, which had been below its normal high standards before he came along.

But then, when the pandemic hit, the Kroenkes got worried because their entire investment package is in sports companies like Arsenal, although in America and they’ve all been suffering.

So in panic restructuring took place, but without any real plan.  As a result Mr Arteta started to have more power placed on his shoulders – which was unreasonable given that this was his first job in management.

In fact it is suggested that chains of command broke down all together, while Mr Arteta, the novice in all this, was given even more work.   What’s more, since he then had success in guiding Arsenal to yet another FA Cup trophy, he was made to look like a second Mr Wenger (what with his triumph being more FA Cup wins than anyone else in the history of football).  So he got more work!

But the question arises, who handles transfers and contracts?  The entire network of spies had been wound up, and it is not clear how much has be made of the new developments that Mr Wenger introduced in terms of an array of people analysing players form around the world on video, and the use of new technologies to measure the performance of each player’s every movement.  It is quite possible that in the course of the changes much of this has simply been lost.

It is said that Mr Arteta is in charge of contract renewals and who to sign.  Yes Mr Wenger used to do that, but he was already highly experienced as a manager by the time he got to Arsenal.   

The English media regularly treated him as knowing nothing, and having “just come from Japan.”  But by the time Mr Wenger came to England and took on virtually every responsibility in the club he had won the French league, won the French cup, and been runners up in the Cup Winners Cup. He was not a novice.

So Mr Arteta is learning on the job, and those with him are doing the same.  In that regard his figures for the last 20 games are not too bad.   The argument is, “give him time,” but for goodness sake get more people in to support him.

Arsenal’s malaise