I get it, you’re pissed off. I am as well. We all are. Arsenal are a club edging closer and closer to breaking point. This isn’t because of Mikel Arteta, though – in fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s in spite of the Spaniards effort.
I have every faith that Arteta is the right man to take us forward in the long term and bring back the glory days. This current form slump isn’t the fault of Arteta, it’s the players and the higher ups at the club.
Have we as a fanbase chosen to forget several facts? You can’t expect Arteta to immediately set the world alight – he’s only in his first full season of management. Jurgen Klopp needed several transfer windows at Liverpool to build the team he wanted. Hell, even Pep Guardiola needed a season at Manchester City before his team really clicked into gear.
Arteta has also shown what he’s capable of already. That FA Cup win doesn’t happen if Emery or Ljungberg are in charge. Emery was winless in two-and-a-half months before his sacking, we can’t cut Arteta loose after his first difficult spell.
It’s obvious that several of the players are not good enough. There’s too much deadwood within the squad that has built up over the past few years. Our team is in desperate need of a complete reset.
What DT says here is spot on. There are about ten or so players who aren’t good enough to take us to the next level. It doesn’t matter who Arsenal were to bring in should they sack Arteta. Pep, Klopp or Marcelo Bielsa wouldn’t be able to get much more out of these players.
Arsenal’s team isn’t creative enough to challenge for honours. During his doomed spell as interim coach, Ljungberg gave the players full control – complete freedom to express themselves on the pitch. The team won one game out of five. Arteta isn’t culpable for this stale, stagnant, squad.
The men and women upstairs are, however. Arsenal’s transfer strategy for the past few years has been odd at best and downright haphazard at worst. The continued arrivals of over-the-hill defenders has proved costly. The arrival of players who are close to leaving the peak stages of their career, even more so.
Many of Arsenal’s signings recently have little to no resale value. This leaves the squad full of average names on big wages that don’t want to leave. As a result, money for younger, better signings is hard to come by.
A good example of this is Houssem Aouar. The Frenchman wanted to join Arsenal, and Aouar’s club, Lyon, were willing to sell. However, Arsenal refused to part with the £45 million that Les Gones were asking for. The club, however, were able to give 33-year-old winger Willian a 3-year-deal of upwards of £200,000 a week.
Who’s to blame for this shoddy squad management and inability to offload players? In my eyes, it’s Edu Gaspar. Arsenal’s technical director. Following Raul Sanllehi’s departure during the latest transfer window, the former Invincible became the man responsible for Arsenal’s transfer dealings.
Ironically, the club did most of its transfer business following Sanllehi’s redundancy. While the signings of Gabriel and Thomas Partey have been astute, Edu’s inability to offload players such as Xhaka, Mustafi and Ozil proved to be costly.
Transfer dealings aren’t Arteta’s fault. He’s been given £72 million to spend on three senior players while his rivals have been given hundreds of millions. What’s he supposed to do with a squad who probably couldn’t create a Gmail account?
The Spaniard isn’t immune from criticism, however. The continued selection of players like Bellerin and Willian is strange, particularly the former. The absences of Saliba and Ozil are doubly so.
Despite this, sacking him isn’t the answer. Sacking a man who is in his first full season of management one year into a minimum five-year-long project is stupid. It won’t solve anything. If anything, it’ll plunge Arsenal further into crisis.