Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Wenger: Intelligent Arteta has great future ahead

Arsene Wenger believes Mikel Arteta has a great future as a coach ahead of him but also made clear that the Spaniard must assemble a strong team around him to cope with the pressure of life as the main man in charge.

It’s widely expected that Arsenal will confirm Arteta as the club’s new head coach before the weekend, a role that he came close to being handed when Wenger left the club in the summer of 2018. On that occasion, Arteta was overlooked in favour of Unai Emery.

Having spent over 35 years as a coach, Wenger, now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, knows exactly what it takes to succeed at the highest level and believes his former captain has what it takes.

Always the diplomat, Wenger stressed that until the Spaniard is confirmed in the role, he’ll continue to back fellow ex-Gunner Freddie Ljungberg, currently holding the position on an interim basis.

“I am an Arsenal supporter,” Wenger said. “And at the moment I support the manager in charge and the manager in charge is Ljungberg. When Arteta will be in charge I will support Arteta.

“He (Arteta) is intelligent, he has passion, he has knowledge, but Ljungberg [does] as well.

“I believe that Arteta has certainly a great future, he has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that as well he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level and he will have to get surrounded well.”

As far back as 2015, when Arteta was still playing in Arsenal’s midfield, Wenger backed the Spaniard for a role in the dugout.

Here’s what he told Arsenal Player: “Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing. He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right.

“Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.

“I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.

“You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us.”

Back in the present, Wenger was asked about Arsenal’s recent struggles – we’ve won just two of our last 13 games – and appeared to suggest that problems could be fixed quickly with the right recruitment policy.

“When I left the club was in a very strong financial position and they bought many players in-between – they have not all worked out,” he said.

“I believe that it’s not a question of time. The change can be very efficient very quickly, it’s just about the right decision-making and that’s all that it’s about in football, it’s about good players.

“We speak about the success of Liverpool, of course they have a great manager, but you have to say as well that in the last three-four years, they bought the right players.”

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SB Still

I actually Wenger should be in, as part of the hierarchy. In fact, should have happened many years ago. Wenger should have been the new Dean and Klopp the new Wenger. That’s been my wish from the time Klopp battled the money bags in Bundesliga, the same way Wenger in Premier League.

Now as Arteta is an unknown for the head coach role, I hope he is that new young evolutionary manager. Time will tell.


Ancelotti managerial history and win percentage
Juventus 55
Milan 56
Chelsea 61
PSG 63
Real Madrid 74
Bayern Munich 70
Napoli 52

Winning many triples including the champions League multiple times, and taking Napoli close to winning serie a multiple times!

A brilliant manager with track record is available yet… Everton can afford him and arsenal can’t. Instead, to fix our worst start in 37 years, we turn to Arteta.


Arteta is also 37, so he knows he’s gotta fix this.

Canuck Gunner

No doubt he’s a very experienced and successful manager, but the win percentages need to be taken into context. At Bayern, both Pep before him and Heynckes after him had higher win percentages. Blanc succeeded him at PSG and had a 73% win percentage. Sarri had a 66% win percentage at Napoli before him. Hiddink had a 73% win percentage at Chelsea before him. Absolutely not saying Arteta is the better choice, just saying Ancelotti brings no guarantees and I’m not aware of him turning around a team in the level of crisis we are in. I’m cautiously optimistic and… Read more »


Will top players want to move to arsenal for Arteta during this rebuild? Ancelotti has contact with players from those teams he’s managed (all top clubs), and I’m sure many would want to join him again. Ancelotti has managed many players that I’d love to have at arsenal as part of our rebuild!

Canuck Gunner

That may be true. Can’t say I’ve followed his managerial career that closely, but would be interested if you know which past players he had brought to his new teams and how many of them joined despite very little chance of the team being in a European competition.
I guess we’ll see who he brings in at Everton.


Thiago Silva
James Rodriguez

All top players signed by ancelotti from previously working with them at other clubs.

Ancelotti also signed the original Ronaldo for AC Milan *swoon

Canuck Gunner

Maybe Arteta will convince half the Man City squad to come with him – and pehaps take a pay cut as well. Ahh, one can dream….


Perhaps it’s my memory’s imperfection, but I don’t remember the Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic signings having anything to do with Ancelotti. Does he have a reputation of being involved in transfers a lot?

And all in all, the win percentage stats of managers before and after him that Canuck Gunner posted showed that even if the differences don’t reflect poorly on him, they don’t show great promise either.

Dr. kNOw

Top players will move for the viability of a project. van Dijk is a classic case in point. Klöpp went as far a showing him how he would fit in tactically when they were tapping him up. In other words, there was a plan, and a lot of conviction from the club and the player. Enough conviction for Virgil to throw his toys out of the plan to force a move (albeit in January), and enough conviction from Liverpool to pay £75m for him. That’s a figure that even Man City baulked at. The project is central, and the key… Read more »


Koulibaly, insigne to start with, napoli basically giving players away now, and I’d love a few of those bayern munchen players too.

Who is in Arteta’s black book?


We can afford him, I think the issue is more that he’s seen as someone that can turn a group of great players into a great team. Whereas what we need right now is whole rebuilding job. He’s also probably an old school manager who would want more control than our board would be willing to hand over. Just speculating obviously.


Oh why didn’t we make those banners to counter the ones of the WengerOut idiots?! Will always be one of the greatest regrets of my life.

Flavoured Rice

I see Aubamayang’s brother has been running his mouth criticizing Arteta already for having no experience. I hope he is not a mouthpiece for Auba. What we absolutely must do is get behind Arteta. His job is massive but as fans we can make it easier. As for the players… If they don’t support him then I say get rid of the lot! I never rated Emery and his drab brand of football but I can’t deny the players also threw him under the bus with their shit efforts. If they don’t step up for the new man then get… Read more »


Maybe Arteta could bring Pep along as his first-team coach.

David C


Maybe Arteta could be player coach and fix our midfield too!

Cultured determination

Yup. He could partner edu.

A Different George

You know, Pep wasn’t too bad as a holding midfielder.


I did actually think that Pep would end up at Arsenal some time back(after Wenger).

Dr. kNOw

He did a funny!

? All hail! The jolly Fat Man… ?


I’m worried about the amount of negativity (“not ambitious enough”) towards the Arteta appointment. It’s a gamble (like all the other appointments would have been, bar Poch) – but an exciting one, and bold like the Wenger appointment. I’m super hyped 🙂


Arteta is nothing like the Wenger appointment. Wenger had managed three teams including Monaco for 9 seasons before joining arsenal. Wenger was an experienced manager in his prime, Arteta is not. To become great at anything it takes thousands of hours, learning how to deal with situations and problems. No one has a magic touch that knows what to do without going through this process.. Arteta has been assistant coach for 2.5 years to pep managing a brilliant team playing great, not a team striped of confidence. The guardian reading liberals love a sentimental appointment and are happy just to… Read more »


No ambition to win, zero standards, what a joke of a club we have become, sad to see.


I won’t defend the way the club is being run. But please give Arteta a chance, he’s done nothing wrong except wanting to try and help us when we’re totally shite. Great guy if you ask me. And I know it’s not like the Wenger appointment in terms of experience, but both appointments are/were bold, and I like that compared with the normal manager merry-go-round.


What are you on about ” help us out ” he’s doing it for the wages and to further hes own career.

He wasn’t that good of a captain, wasn’t the greatest of players and only been Peps no 2 for 2.5 years and the only reason Pep made him no 2 was because he speaks perfect English and has knowledge of the premiership.
Given the chance who wouldn’t accept being the head coach of Arsenal Football Club!


Not having much experience is the only good argument you have, here.

Being a good captain is unnecessary. Being a good player is not needed, either (Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho, Klopp et al. were not spectacular players, nor even a professional in the case of Mourinho).

Pep made him number 2 because of his abilities. Pep’s English is good enough. There are plenty of English-speaking Spaniards available.

Not saying he’ll be good, but to use false arguments to put him down just because you don’t like him is really dumb.


Cheer up mate its nearly Christmas.


What a joke too many of the supposed fans have become.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Question their opinions mate, not their love for Arsenal


That’s quite difficult at times.


Love has to be hard else it is not real.

Reality check


Antagonizing Guardian readers doesn’t really help your argument. You can make your point without being arrogant about your perceived expertise in football related business. BTW, Arteta has been with Pep for 3.5 years not 2.5.


And the knuckle dragging daily mail readers just want Sam Allardyce and a clear out of anyone a shade darker Nosferatu?

The Voice of the Noise

When Julian Nagelsmann became manager at Hoffenheim, he had only the experience of managing their U19’s. He also hadn’t really played professionally, his career ending at U19-level due to injuries. He took Hoffenheim from near relegation to top four and Champions League in a season and a half. And now he is considered one of the most promising managers in the world. Mikel was a seasoned, professional footballer, captain of this club, turned assistant manager to one of the greatest City sides in Premier League and has received huge accolades for his work there. Not saying Arteta will be a… Read more »


Hoffenheim are a small club and can afford to take such risks. They are never going to attract or afford experienced managers, so have limited choice. Because it worked once or twice isn’t a compelling argument.


I remember when that little club, Barcelona, made the ridiculous appointment by appointing a youth coach with no 1st team management experience. What a joke they turned out to be. Also, that other small club, Real Madrid, appointing a manager with no experience in Zidane, they barely won those multiple consecutive Champions Leagues. What jokes those clubs are to make such bold appointments of young forward thinking managers with no experience.


They’re not compelling arguments in themself, but sufficient to rebut your original arguments, which are: 1) Wenger had more experience than Arteta. 2) Mastery takes thousands of hours 3) You hate Guardian readers The rebuttals are: 1) There are cases where inexperienced coaches make it, which is not to say Arteta will, but easily dismisses your certainty that he won’t be good because of lack of experience. 2) See number 1, and who’s to say Arteta has not already spent thousands of hours doing activities that coaches need to do (e.g. leading a team, reasoning through tactics, leading training sessions… Read more »


Great example. And another one is the way Pep himself rose to prominence. It seems that with managers, like players, the special ones are identified early. Also it seems that Freddie is looked at that way by many. The way Jonker took him to be his #1 with very little experience, the way Arsenal really wanted him back and made him the U-23 coach with little experience, the way he was switched with Bould, the way he was made caretaker with hopes he could carry us to the end of the season. I firmly believe Freddie will prove to be… Read more »

The Voice of the Noise

Yes exactly, Freddie shows promise himself. But hopefully he’ll start out with being a fantastic assistant for Arteta for now, ’cause his knowledge of the squad and especially the youth is vital for a new manager coming in.


Why do you always have to bring political leanings into your posts?

They’re pretty worthless at the best of times and considering your political input, even less so.

Monkey Knees

Rob, you must be gutted that JC isn’t running the country now, eh!? Chin up ?


How can this get 40+ thumbs down ??
This statement is absolutely correct.

We are in such a mess at the moment it’s going to take a lot of experience and a hell of a lot of time to put right.
Arteta isn’t the right person just another stop gap like Emery.


We likely aren’t an attractive destination for top up and coming managers with experience – think Ten Haag or Nagelsman nor for someone like Pochettino who will have a job at Bayern, Real etc waiting for him. That leaves us with managers such as Ancelotti who would likely require a lot more investment than we are willing to make and hasn’t really pulled up trees lately anyways Arteta isn’t a stop gap – it’s us taking the chance on someone who both Pep and Pochettino thought so highly of they offered him jobs as soon as he retired. He might… Read more »


Ancelotti managerial history and win percentage
Juventus 55
Milan 56
Chelsea 61
PSG 63
Real Madrid 74
Bayern Munich 70
Napoli 52

Winning many triples including the champions League multiple times, and taking Napoli close to winning serie a multiple times!

A brilliant manager with track record is available yet… Everton can afford him and arsenal can’t. Instead, to fix our worst start in 37 years, we turn to Arteta.

This Must Be The Place

Undoubtedly, he is a good manager. But, in your list above, can you point to him being put in a position he would be at Arsenal at the moment?


He was also fired after losing the dressing room one year into managing Bayern and this season with Napoli floundering domestically. He largely has managed very expensively assembled squads that just require more of a laid back approach. That is the exact opposite of Arsenal where we are staring down a rebuild with some of the mentally weakest players you will ever find still in the squad


Ancelotti is the past, Arteta is the future, why would we want someone old and totally unsuited to the club or the task when we can have an exciting new talent who knows the club? Misery loves company they say, you seem to be in the wrong place, there are lots of negative blogs that would suit you better.


just like the thousands of hours it took Pep to become a top coach…. One year with Barcelona B and he got the top job.
From Wenger’s comments Arteta has been thinking along these lines for a number of years, and educating himself behind the scenes. No doubt it’s a gamble and could be a disaster, but there are enough young ambitious coaches around to suggest that if he has the talent experience he could do a great job.

A Different George

Do you prefer The Sun?

Bould's Eyeliner

And player-assistant coach for 2014-2016. Then immediately tapped up by Guardiola and backed by Wenger.

With our current squad, his understanding of how to partner with Ramsey from player days, and Torreira-Gendouzi, I see huge chemistry potential in Arteta’s distribution-based expertise as a midfielder, and fixing Arsenal’s spine: the spot between the centerhalves and the holding midfielder.


“The guardian reading liberals love a sentimental appointment”

Shoehorning your political biases into making tenuous and irrelevant commentary on the club, do people take your views seriously?

(By the way, plenty of Guardian readers commenting against it, so even your evidence is shite)


Let the re-building begin. Again.
I’m not concerned. No, i’m not. Did not want any of those managers touted by the media really.


Arteta knows exactly what it is like to be in an Arsenal team that capitulates. Perhaps he had ideas back then but could not really get them implemented. He has also seen a very talented City side capitulate too so I’m very eager to see how he addresses this. And above all I hope it works.


I do miss him!


My view is that there has to be something people see in Arteta. No real experience but Pep wanted him as a coach. Arsenal interested twice in taking a huge risk. Everyone starts somewhere and maybe those that have a better understanding of football really do see something special.

I would rather have someone with incredible potential than an average manager who has experience.


I feel I’m jumping the gun here but it is nearly January… I would love if Arteta could force Vinai and Raul to get in some capable, fast, young and energetic fullbacks. It can’t be that expensive. I don’t see us getting a CB when we have 7 of them on the books (counting Saliba). We could let hector and Tierney recover properly and fight for their places. Who knows? Hector could be off to Juve in the summer anyway. City, liverpool, Leicester all have very prominent fullbacks its clearly something we’ve been lacking severely, basically since Hector got injured… Read more »

Dial square

I’m not sure full backs should be a priority now, or anytime soon…

The Voice of the Noise

If Leicester had both of their fullbacks injured like we have with Tierney and Bellerin, they’d be left with Fuchs on LB and either Justin or Amartey at RB.
No way would they be playing as well as they are now, if that had been the case.
Same argument could apply on Liverpool, if they lost TAA and Robertson.


Worried about Tierney, looks like a injury prone player?


We will sell Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi, and probably one of Holding/Chambers in the summer. This means we have room for Koulibaly and Upamecano. If we move Auba for Ceballos and $70mil in the summer that covers one of the two CB. We will be good with Laca and Eddie as our main strikers next season. We will also move Xhaka and Kolasinac. So we should prioritize an expensive DM like Partey, and a quality LB and RB. Hector and Tierney need competition in their prime, not aging stars or young prospects to battle with. Guaranteed that Arteta has made… Read more »

Reality check

Frightening and exciting, I am all in with Arteta untill he has proven he’s not up for it. People at the club rate him for a reason, they know him quite well and believe in his ability. They already had a coaching job offer from him before Pep plucked him away. Imagine, the best manager in the world hiring a completely untested guy as his right hand man. I am sure they weren’t close enough that Pep hired him to give him free coaching lessons. He must rate something about that inexperienced guy who helped him coach one of the… Read more »


Pep hired Arteta because he’s Spanish, hes knowledge of the premiership and English football plus fluent English.
The coaching side came once he was employed.
Being a good coach doesn’t necessarily make a good Manager Arteta would never have experienced the stress/ pressure and scrutiny he will be under as Manager of a big club like Arsenal.
Plus he wasn’t the best of captains and wasn’t exactly a great player he only played 110 games for Arsenal.
Please dont think we are getting Pep no2 .


Pep also brought Arteta in because they are friends that go way back and he trusts and respects him. I’m not sure why you would say he was not the best of captains? He is reputed to have had a lot of respect in the dressing room. Some of Pep’s quotes on him: “I’m pretty sure, yes,” said Guardiola when asked if Arteta could succeed him as Man City boss, per The Times. “He will have success, yes. But he decided to stay – thanks – but everyone decides what he’ll do in the future. Sooner or later it’s going… Read more »

fala njie

Hopefully he’s learned from Pep that you need great players to win in today’s game. He’ll do well but we have to be patient. He’s our former captain and has always shown class. If Pep and Wenger vouch for a guy I’m inclined to listen. COYG let’s back Arteta if appointed.

Dan nichols

he has real problems and if we dont buy in january we might flirt with relegation (i dont think we’ll go down). He needs to get in some premiership old heads, even if they arent quite top 6 players, in january imo. the premiership experience we have lost in relatively recent times includes Giroud, Walcott, Cech, Monreal, Welbeck, Ramsey, Koscielny, Ospina, wilshire, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Alexis. Ok they arent top top quality players but they know basic things that may not be traditions in the same way in slower leagues. how to take a breather, how to waste time for substitutions,… Read more »


Subject change: wasn’t that Villa v Liverpool game last night an absolute farce? If the Scousers couldn’t play a decent side for that game then they should have been disqualified and we should have played at Villa Park last night instead. What was the point of a bunch of Academy kids turning up for a match that they could never, ever win? If I had bought a ticket for that game I would be demanding my money back today. The entire competition has been demeaned by this ridiculous fixture. The real Liverpool team were effectively neutered and the match was… Read more »


Well at least Villans tried to be fair and put Grealish on the bench 🙂


I normally don’t care about this competition anymore after we are out, but this time I would prefer a Top5 team to win it, simply because then the EL slot given to the winner of this cup will be awarded to the 6th or 7th in the league. (Depending on who wins the FA Cup) This could still be beneficial for Arsenal. But what happened yesterday should have been expected after EFL played hardball with the fixture date. Liverpool just showed them clearly what they think of their competition. Also I am not sure if too many Liverpool fans are… Read more »


What were they supposed to do? The problem is that fixtures are coming fast and furious for them. This month they played on the 4th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, and then again today the 18th. That is a ridiculous rate and the various football associations should get together to address this.


The whole of Liverpool team is in Qatar for a game today…Regardless they put their second team against us and we lost on penalties.


Tbh it says more about us that we couldn’t beat them when we played them given that they care so little for it!


Liverpool want PL real bad and is not prepared to lose it by tired/injured players.

A Different George

I don’t see how you can blame Liverpool, unless you think they should have sent the academy squad to Qatar instead. The blame is surely between the League/FA and FIFA for this absurd scheduling.


Ideally I’d have liked Rafa to be our next Manager, but either way we need to get behind Arteta. He’ll have a big job on his hands and needs to sort out our defence and defensive midfield ASAP but we need to give him time and our support. I’m hoping the Board will do the same and free up funds in the summer to recruit. COYGs… 🙂


Yes, would have liked to have Rafa also. Obviously, Arteta is a greater risk, but I also believe in what Arsene says above. Mistakes on recruitment were made, (interesting admittance) but all it would take is a few good buys in the right positions, and this team would be a whole lot more competitive than it is now.


Wish we would have made this decision 18 months ago instead of having to go through the Emery period. Definitely a risk, but far prefer this type of appointment to someone coming in as a caretaker.


He understands the importance of playing for the club. For me this means everything. If a potential manager doesn’t understand who we are then they start on the back foot.


A sentiment I understand, but most likely one shared by any fan of any club. Rarely do you see fans of other clubs saying “well, I don’t really give a shit, we know our club sucks and has no tradition or heritage”


The man is just … class.
I wonder if the most of the #wegnerout people are now going “hmm, maybe he wasn’t really the problem – maybe it was a deeper issue, that Wenger just always took the flak for, because that’s the kind of man he is”.
I miss you, sir. You are, and will always be, a legend and credit to our club.


“A” legend? I think you mean “THE legend”! The greatest legend in our club’s history – the likes of Adams, McLintock, etc cannot touch him in that regard.
Sadly, the WengerOutBrigade aren’t man enough to admit when they’re wrong; they just have to be right. They’d rather win the argument than win the game or league etc.

Me from here

Everyone including fans, pundits, players, managers, has their says on Arteta. At this point, all that we can do as the fans of this great club is to support the manager. As for me, I support his appointment because this is a major rebuilding project and we don’t need a manager that wants to win now at the expense of the future. We have to be patient. Arteta will likely have to do what Pep did at Barca for Arsenal which is clear out many senior players with bad attitudes to succeed irrespective of skills. One of the major problems… Read more »


“One of the major problems at arsenal now is the attitude of the players.”


Could he be any worse than Emery? Arteta will have a low start point and if he’s a half decent coach should be able to improve on what we’ve seen so far this season. Give him a chance if it goes tits up we just start over. No coach is gonna become big success with this bunch of players, its gonna be a slow painful rebuild and the quicker we get a new coach and a squad overhaul the better.


Emery is still mentally scarred from that night in Barcelona.Any future employers should carefully take this into consideration.When some of the fanbase said he should of gone in the summer they were absolutely right.Arteta will put a system in place and the players will know where they stand regarding what is expected of them on the pitch.Hope everybody gets behind him because it can’t be any worse than what’s being served up at the moment.Watching Some reruns from just a couple of years back really shows how far we have regressed.


So many negative posts here my god guys ..it really really can’t get much worse performance wise so get behind arteta and stfu honestly…coyg


We where no longer in all that sound situation finanancially seeing quality players leaving cheap or completely free, and heavy contracts to fringe players like özil and Mikhteryan.

The team you left Wenger was basically a minefield from a financial perspective. You could say finance is not only about the squad, it is also a lot about CL football, which our CL lvl wage squad also missed out on.


It’s interesting that Wenger would name drop Liverpool almost as an example for Arsenal. 4/5 years ago, in Rodgers’ final season, they were in much the same position as us and now they are now considered the best team in Europe by many. But what’s particularly galling about them is that they’ve achieved this without outrageous spending on the level of City, United, PSG. In other words, they’ve achieved what we were meant to achieve and there’s really no excuse for us to be in the position we are in.


Right, not too much transfer fees by liverpool.
On what planet is this Liverpool you speak of existing, eh?

Excuse for AFC to be in a down cycle? Um, lessee: how’s about elite level sport is a game of fine margins, and things can go in unpredictable ways?

Example: AFC wins just one more of its last 5 matches last year, rather than the ball-less, gutless losses and draws, then its a different story now. Is it better and/or “cured” as a new super club? No.

Point is, predicting the future is easy.
Getting it right is the hard part.


I have my doubts but will support him, give him a chance. BUT I don’t think he will be offered as much time as perhaps a more accomplished manager. In a sense, he is easier to fire. Wenger may be right that Arteta is ‘intelligent’ but so is Wenger and Unai and neither have got to grips with this team. BECAUSE what we are lacking is a disciplinarian as well who can not just motivate with carrot but also instill a fear factor in the squad. Also noticed a veiled criticism by Wenger on the team assembled by Arsenal to… Read more »


“You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us.” This quote more than anything else is what gives me hope. As a Leeds Utd fan as a child, mainly because of the involvement of South African players in that team, I fell in love with the football that Arsenal played under Wenger. Somehow you hope that there are still… Read more »


Always love hearing from, whom will always be to me, the Boss.

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