Mertesacker reveals Arteta role in landing him Academy job, calls for first team patience

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Per Mertesacker says an intervention by Mikel Arteta played a vital role in keeping him at Arsenal when he approached retirement.

After Manchester City recruited the Spaniard to Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff, the midfielder told manager Arsene Wenger and CEO Ivan Gazidis to find a future role for the German as he wound down his career on the pitch.

Heeding the advice, the pair took the unusual decision of appointing the German to the role of Academy Manager a year in advance of the end of his final playing contract.

Despite having no experience, Mertesacker took up the position in the summer of 2018 and has been learning on the job ever since.

In an interview with The Beautiful Game podcast, the BFG explained how he came to take on such a prestigious position.

“Seven years after that entry point [joining Arsenal], Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis drove that conversation.

“First they asked if I wanted to stay at the club. What helped was the year before, Mikel Arteta had left to move to Man City and I think they didn’t want to lose another player who could make a difference, in their mind.

“I think Mikel actually said to them, ‘If you don’t want to lose a good person again, you know, offer this guy something!’

“Arsene drove it, he asked me if I wanted to stay at the club. Obviously, I asked my wife, who is obviously important. The ‘government’ then agreed, yeah, we want to stay in England actually. We are settled after seven years. And then they offered me the job.

“It was a bit overwhelming actually, I have to say. There are a lot of [more] experienced academy managers that throughout my time now.

“My motivation was, I’d seen academy players going into the dressing room and I thought to myself, I could probably make a difference here to prepare them a little bit better for what is required to achieve the highest level and not to think that you’ve achieved everything by getting to the first team dressing room, it’s how you challenge the status quo. How do you ask questions and challenge people who have been successful for 10 to 15 years, I hadn’t seen that [from an academy kid]?

“I thought, let’s make sure when I do this, that I have this constantly in my mind. It’s good. It’s not a knock, Arsenal’s academy has always been great in producing players but I said to myself I want to make a difference and take this seriously. I think Arsene knew what he’d get from me in terms of commitment to the job that I didn’t know but was willing to learn from day one.”

Mertesacker also outlined why he hopes Arteta gets the time he needs to progress a first team project that could a few years to yield on-pitch success.

“You always want the shortcut, you know, ‘bang’ straight back into the Champions League, straight back into being successful,” he said reflecting on the aftermath of Wenger’s departure in 2018.

“I think even myself, realising and working now with the academy, going more long term and developmental, I think we see kind of similar-ish traits in the first team, and I hope that Mikel gets the time that he needs.

He added: “I want to be successful tomorrow, I want to go back in the Champions League tomorrow, I want to speak to people and say, ‘listen, we have got the best club in the world who challenges for titles every single year’. That’s not the reality. I think the earlier we get on the train of ‘we are in a big, big transition still’ [the better].

“To have sustainable success there needs to be some trust. I’m all for trusting people. Mikel Arteta, and I perceive him to be the right person, lets give him the trust and the development squad that he can take to the next level that will achieve Champions League football, maybe in two to three years.

“From a club person, that’s my take basically at the moment, because I’ve worked with Mikel very very closely.

“I know how much he wants it, I know his work ethic, I know how intense the squad works at the moment to get to a better level. I think we all have to swallow disappointment at the moment, which I’m keen to change, but the environments that we are going to deliver in the next years will be key for our success.

“The stakes are very very high, and I understand that there is a lot of criticism, but some people need to swallow that and try and grow with it, and Mikel is someone that does that.”

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We’d definitely recommend you watch / listen to the full interview. As usual, Per speaks candidly about the state of the club.

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Jacques

“The government” Lol, got to love BFG’s sense of humor

Sir John King

It’s a way of speech in German, referring to ones wife. Die Regieriung. But I bet Per can use it, tongue in cheek, in English too.

Jay

What is with this patience malarkey they’re wheeling out every week? Patience for what exactly? We’ve scraped two wins against the worst teams in the league, have scored one goal in open play in 5 games, and suddenly Arteta’s the man again. This club man. Even Spurs sacked Mourinho despite finishing 7th and reaching a cup final. We reward a guy getting 8th and being knocked out by Emery with endless patience and zero pressure.

No wonder nobody thinks this is a serious club

eddymc2

While I particularly don’t like a seeming reluctance from some quarters to ever criticize Arteta when he gets things wrong, haste (or a lack of patience, in a way) us a big part of why Emery ultimately failed. ““You always want the shortcut, you know, ‘bang’ straight back into the Champions League, straight back into being successful,” he said reflecting on the aftermath of Wenger’s departure in 2018.” That kind of sums it up. We wanted an instant impact, so the strategy was to get the Europa League’s master, win that, get back in the big time. And once that… Read more »

Nketibag

Realistically we were one stupid Xhaka penalty against Brighton from reaching the CL that year. We missed it by one point and reached the EL final to boot. Some of the players and definitely the manager were not the right fit. But the club strategy was not flawed per se and they nearly pulled it off. Chelsea have used this kind of ‘instant impact’ strategy for years to shortcut their way back in the CL time and time again. They are reining European champions and we’ll make the Europa conference league if we’re lucky. I’m not going to say the… Read more »

eddymc2

I still think it was flawed because things work differently at Chelsea. There, they can throw towering sums of money at the problem until it works – short-term is okay in their circumstances. We don’t really work like that so it’s not exactly reproducible. Until such time as we’re in that spending tier we need solid plans and massive luck far more than they do.

Nketibag

It is easy to look in hindsight and say it was the wrong choice, but at the time our squad was setup in a way that it was the only direction we could take. Wenger left Ozil, Ramsey, Kos, Auba and Lacazette. That is not a long-term team, it is a group of experienced internationals who should be looking to get top 4 and back into Europe straight away. The squad was setup for this instant win-now or nothing strategy. Hence why they got in Emery and not Arteta then. Chelsea, they game the system and are just better run,… Read more »

Daveo

We’ve thrown towering sums of money at the problem. The issue is not the throwing of money, it is where it is thrown. We’ve been terrible in the market in the last decade. There have been a few good purchases, but way way too many disasters (i.e., Mustafi, Xhaka, Willian, Sokratis, Pepe, Mihki, Lucas Perez, Cedric) and equally as many terrible contracts handed out (i.e., Ozil, Xhaka, Luiz, Cedric, sadly I think even Auba at his price can only be decribed as another addition to this list). I have hope we have changed our direction (finally) to start spending wisely,… Read more »

Noni

Let me get this straight. You’re basically saying we should be higher in the league because our net spend is higher than the other big clubs, and you even provide a link to prove it. On the surface, that makes complete sense… until you click the link and see Aston Villa are second and Brentford third. So by your logic, Brentford and Aston Villa should be our fellow Champions League place contenders.

I’m afraid your analysis of the data is a bit reductive, and isn’t really looking at the bigger picture.

Daveo

That is the most absurd bunch of waffle I’ve ever read. The whole point was rubbishing the idea that it’s unfair because Chelsea can throw money at the issue and make it go away, when that is exactly what we’ve been doing… Just very poorly. I never said that entitles is to anything (champions league), but using the excuse that we don’t spend like the big teams is nonsense. I world actually prefer if we spent much less but made much smarter signings (sambi, tomi, tavares, even ramsdale now we know he’s #1)

UGooner

Yes, Arsenal have got a number of transfer deals wrong, which has cost us dearly. The difference between us and say Chelsea, is that they have been throwing money at this over a long period of time- almost 2 decades, while Arsenal have always left gaps in the team unfilled, and given sub standard players way too many chances. Chelsea spend over 60m on Kepa, and what did they do when it didnt seem to be working? Meanwhile some including rival fans complained we spent too much on our ‘back up’ in Ramsdale. Yes, we need to sign the right… Read more »

Daveo

And by second and third on the list you mean alphabetical order…grand piece of research there.

One thing for sure is we are by far and away the most consistent performers alphabetically in the league.

matzi

while this is a decent measure – transfer fees, we need to remember that wages, add-ons and incentives are huge part of the cost as well. I reckon Arsenal are no where close to City, Utd or Chelsea

SarcasmB0T

Here’s food for thought – Xhaka, Mustafi, and Pepe (I like Pepe, but…) were all around 23 when we purchased them. So were Torreira and Kolašinac.

“Buy young” is not a strategy in and of itself.
You still need to buy the kind of players you need, assess their potential well, and try not to overpay.

Let’s hope we did that.

Heavenly Chapecoense

They buy many big players with less than we spend. We buy plenty of young players so we can hide behind the development narrative.

ChickPEA

We’ve always been one Xhaka penalty from doing great things…

Wrighty's hats

So true

Qwaliteee

Exactly. When was the last time you heard Chelsea ask their fans to “be patient”……..? Or come to that, any other big club in the Premiership? Fat Frank to Tuchel is a perfect example of how it should be done. No “Frank needs more time”, just “on your way, mate, welcome Thomas and thank you very much for the Champions League trophy. If Arteta was the current Chelsea or City or Liverpool or United or Leicester or Tottenham manager, do you think ANY of them would allow an available Antonio Conte to sit in a Sky Studio twiddling his thumbs….?… Read more »

Homer

Rubbish.
Chels are run by the oligarch/ex-Russian bag man Roman, with essentially limitless finances.

Its a totally different club and the comparison is inapt. And while I would like Arsenal to enjoy success on a similar level, I do NOT want Arsenal to be “like Chelsea.”

Qwaliteee

’Limitless Finances’….?!!

In that respect how are we now so different to Chelsea? We have just spent £150m in this window! That’s pretty Chelsea-esque wouldn’t you say?

Where we differ is how we conduct our business in hiring and firing. And whether you like it or not, Chelsea are far more pro-active than us.

ALL the major clubs are.

Don’t worry, we won’t be ‘like Chelsea’ for a very very long time my friend.

When it comes to decent management and the major pots being handed out, we will be as over the hills and far away as ever.

Leon

Well, Chelsea is more proactive introducing one player in summer 2021: Lukaku (28) + loan of Saul (26). Arsenal is less proactive introducing 6 players: White (23), Odegaard (22), Ramsdale (23), Tomiyasu (22), Lokonga (21), Tavares (21)

I wonder what is your definition of being proactive?

The strategy of Chelsea is completely different to ours, but the proactivity is not the issue at all.

Qwaliteee

Seriously mate, are you being deliberately obtuse? Read my reply to Homer again – I’m clearly talking about Chelsea being more proactive in the hiring and firing of management – not the procurement of players (although when they need to recruit they leave us for dust) Besides, one team has just made top four and won the European Champions League and another, with fairly similar financial resources of a billionaire, has just finished eighth for the second consecutive season and has no European football to speak of. Which team is going to be busier in the following transfer window….? I’ll… Read more »

thw14

I agree with this nuance… patience is important, but patience with the right people. Emery was a defensible appointment against whom the pressure campaign was started *during* an unbeaten run. He eventually made enough mistakes, and had mistakes foisted upon him, to make his position untenable. Arteta is a more difficult appointment to defend, unless you’re romanticising “knows the club” to a pretty extreme degree. I don’t think this squad is three years away from CL football. The manager… based on last year and the first three games of this year, he is well more than three years away from… Read more »

Viju Jacob

Into the 6th match of the season it was clear Emery was a bad choice, notwithstanding your ‘ *during* an unbeaten run’. He was a small club manager who can be stubborn with his players, but was a disaster in PSG with him crossing swords with Neymar. That should have alarmed the owners enough that he cannot handle big players. They did the same with Arseta and it’s not going to end well.

Viju Jacob

Instead of Emery working with what he had, he criticised Wenger and it was Good Ebening from then on

Azeez Is Good

I think all that’s being reasserted is that we spent a hell of a lot of money on young players because the club believes that Mikel is the man to kick off a new project.

So to sack the man after three not so great performances would be short sighted and rather daft.

If a manager was sacked after losing to Chelsea and City, most teams would be on two managers a season.

Hank Scorpio

The fact is, Arteta has been here for quite some time and largely served up mediocrity. Throughout this time the squad relative to others has been top 6 quality. He doesn’t get to hit the reset button because we bought younger players. Anything less than Europa League this season and surely his position is untenable.

Azeez Is Good

Yep. That seems a fair objective. So you agree he deserves a chance to prove himself with a squad he has played a large part in assembling?

Hank Scorpio

It’s not about being given a chance with the squad for me. The players were top 6 quality before. Arteta’s hubris is the main reason we were relegation fodder for half a season. Unless there is something fundamentally obviously wrong, letting him start this season then sacking him after 3 games would be the height of foolishness. No excuses now. It’s about results. Realism is needed also. We’re not top 4 material at the moment but we are most definitely top 6. I’ve said before we can’t buy our way out of this. Arteta needs to improve too. Let’s see… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Mate, you already know what’s going to happen. Truth be told, we all do.

It’s just that some of us are more prepared to see things as they really are more than others.

Arteta is not up to the job and employs a failed system of boring football.

End of.

Andy

this is what serious clubs do. banter clubs spew money on short term fixes without any long term strategy.

myrtle

No. Banter clubs hire a manager with zero experience to lead the youngest team in the league.

Vaibhav Pandey

You speaking as if he runs your country and is driving up taxes 😀

Qwaliteee

Mate, I don’t know whether you attend games or not but as a match attending fan base, we’re paying top dollar for an absolute shit show at the moment. I’m only glad I took up the club’s offer to postpone my season ticket until next season; I especially felt for those poor buggers who made the trip to Manchester City. That must have been a fucking long journey home. My empathy goes out to all our match day supporters, home and away, who are currently spending their hard earned cash to watch what is ostensibly sub standard fare, week in… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

It can be painful to be a fan, it’s true 🙁

Vonnie

They seem to be enjoying themselves without you, supporting the team!

The Beast

Yep, they even stayed behind to applaud the team. Which was a nice touch even if just to confuse the pundits that were expecting boos.

Qwaliteee

The boos after the Chelsea game, clearly audible on Sky, must have escaped your ears then.

If we lose to the Spuds at the weekend, pin ‘em back at full time – and then tell me everyone’s ‘enjoying’ themselves….

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

“we’re paying top dollar for an absolute shit show at the moment”

Which is why I gave up my season ticket after that shit show against Monaco in 2015, and haven’t been near The Emirates or any Arsenal merchandise since.

Qwaliteee

Our defence back then cost us heavily. Especially the following season – we did more than enough attack wise to win the title – it was the defence.

Including, funnily enough, a BFG currently calling for ‘patience’……

Daveo
Giuseppe Hovno

What is with this patience malarkey” Yeah that about sums up your post 😀

Qwaliteee

But the guy’s got a valid point. Do you see Liverpool fans or City fans or United fans or Chelsea fans or those fucking cretinous inbred Spuds, being told by their respective hierarchies to ‘be patient’……..? In as much that we pay for the most expensive season tickets in the whole of Europe (yes, Europe, not just England, or the UK) I think that the Arsenal powers-that- be have got more front than Southend. Brass necks and an (worryingly increasing) cowering fan base. If I was a fan of any of the other big six (Hell, if I was a… Read more »

Sone

Absolutely agree, Arteta is a great example of how managerial changes can have a huge, immediate impact. He came, lifted the mood and won the FA cup and that was absolutely wonderful, but things have not worked at all, and now we are in a situation where an entire season was wasted and we’re in danger of wasting another one. Top 4 is a pipe dream and whether we can compete with teams like WHU, Leicester, etc. is yet to be seen. The football we have displayed so far indicates that we are going to struggle a lot. I truly… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Well said.

An oasis of honesty, amid a parched desert of fucking awful forced jollity.

A Different George

QED

Partey in the back

The BFG’s comments serve to distract. We can all get on board with being patient with a rebuild; however, it’s not the Manager’s to rebuild the organization. That is the organization’s job. The Manager’s job is to set up the team to win games. I believe the team is underachieving, that we may not have top 4 talent but the talent is head and shoulders above the rest of the league outside the top 4. The fact that we are not in Europa league this year, and are not currently in the top half of the league, speaks volumes. If… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

You make some good points. For some reason I can’t help it, I just keep hoping for MA to succeed (I guess lately I’ve been mostly holding onto the promise of the new setup, with the special players brought in), and giving him chances to prove that he can carry out his vision. But, if we lose to any more lesser teams it’ll be extremely disappointing, and if by Christmas we’re not on a proper upwards trajectory (in terms of points and playing style) then I imagine I will have run out of reasons to continue backing him as manager… Read more »

Dodgem

Jesus man!

Qwaliteee

Yeah, Jay has an alternative opinion. That’s called democracy. Good, ‘innit…?

Qwaliteee

I couldn’t agree more.

The hierarchy seriously need to STFU until such a time that we’re at least in the top half of the table.

This small club/ pub side mentality is getting on my tits.

This is Arsenal, not fucking Luton.

Viju Jacob

My point precisely…he did an Emery on Emery with his tinkering in the first leg.

Qwaliteee

A false nine in an away leg of a European semi final.

Pathetic.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Totally agree with you. These “although I had no experience, I got the job” guys think the club is about them. What a complacent attitude? If we fail, we talk about the future and get more time for ourselves.

Me from Here

You got to love the intelligence of BFG. While I’ve not been very impressed by some of our results, I really want Arsenal to be very successful under Arteta and BFG. They may not be homegrown, but they both came in a season we were in serious trouble and gave their all for the badge. Hey, BFG and Mikel, the third guy in that picture needs to somehow find his way back to the club. I hear he smiles a lot and can just maku us smile every time. Just do it, even if to just make that picture perfect.… Read more »

Sachin

Santi please come over for the newer three amigos: Saka, Ode and Emile.

Goonshow

Good lord but it would be a wondrous thing to offer Santi a swansong season… or iust a half season from Jan! Look what CR7 has done gor Manure

Naked Cygan

“I think the earlier we get on the train of ‘we are in a big, big transition still’ [the better.” I totally agree with this, but in the meantime, we can’t let that be an excuse to play sh*t and use it as an excuse. We have to get the basics right and stop making the same stupid mistakes every time. Let’s hope the new signing can give the team the boost it needs. It is early days but I have been very impressed by Tomiyasu and Ramsdale so far. They are hungry and proud to play for us, whereas… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

I don’t disagree about some of the older players, especially in the past, but looking at the squad from the last two games, what is really cool is that out of those who got on the pitch against Burnley , i don’t think any of them, even the older players like Auba/Pepe/Partey can be accused of taking it for granted and not working hard

Partey in the back

Partey is obviously still injured, he was struggling to get back on a number of counters. We need to be careful with him.

Me from Here

I think players like Ramsdale and Tomiyasu feel privileged to play for the Club, that’s why they give their all for the badge. We have had players that think we are lucky to watch them play. Arteta does a lot of things wrong but he recognized that we have too many entitled players. Also, I don’t want to hear our fans say: We are lucky to have a player. Players are lucky to play for Arsenal

Daveo

I feel lucky when I don’t have to watch Xhaka play.

SarcasmB0T

Then again, he brought in a lot of those entitled players and relied on and handed out contract extensions to others. Willian, Cedric, Xhaka, Mustafi (who he’d offered a contract to and registered over Saliba even though he was injured), Mari (no sure he’s entitled, he’s just not good enough), Ceballos, Luiz. The list is by no means extensive. Indeed, my biggest gripe with Arteta last season was his tendency to rely on “experience” whenever possible. It completely blew up in his face at the beginning of this season (duh) and now he’s frantically backpedaling – until the next defeat,… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

I don’t know that a manager can be too heavily faulted for trying to lean into the experience of players – after all, they were the ones who should have been stepping up the most and showing him, and us, how good they were. They were supposed to be performing better than they did – not trying to putting them down, but quite a few players weren’t in their best form for long patches last season. However, I would agree that when those experienced players weren’t performing to a good enough standard, he could have switched things up a bit… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Mate, the players probably have ‘stepped up’ and done everything that was being asked for them. Let me ask you a question. How many times have you seen one of our players break quickly on the wing at speed, deep into the opposition’s half, only then to check back and either lay it backwards or sideways -breaking down the counter attack in the process…….? Plenty of times, right…..? That, my friend, is the players remembering what the gaffer has told them to do, not necessarily what they want to do. As I have said on here more times than I… Read more »

Qwaliteee

*Being asked of them.

Sachin

We were lucky to see Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Lauren, Toure, Wenger wear our crest on their chest.

I get ‘Club Above All’ in principle, but let’s not get self-important.

Sometimes, individuals > team.

It’s not just Arsenal, every big club has had emblematic players.

Tomorrow if Saka / Lokonga / Odegaard / Balagoun turn world beaters… and spark an entire generation’s imagination. I say spoil the shit out of them. Appreciate the good stuff. Because who knows tomorrow you might get Gallas, Sanchez or Guendozi for club icons.

Vonnie

An incredible interview with the BFG, he’s such an amazing person and the work he’s doing in the Academy is excellent. He’s insightful and very honest, what he says is from the heart. I’m glad we’ve got people like him and Mikel who really care about the club, Per’s got it right with the Academy and Mikel will get there with the first team. Our fans at the matches are giving the support that the players and manager need, I believe we’ll finish the season well.

Qwaliteee

Come on then – money where your mouth is. Where are we going to finish? (Assuming Arteta remains for the duration).

I’m going for 8th.

Wrighty's hats

4th or 5th!

Vonnie

Fifth and a cup.

allezkev

5th

Tactical Gunner

We are the poor man’s City..
That has to count for something

Qwaliteee

No.

We are Arsenal Football Club.

In spite of all this fucking acceptance of mediocrity.

Tommmy

We were The Arsenal.
Now we’re a billionaire yank owned, soulless, poorly run franchise of The Arsenal.

Okay maybe that’s a bit harsh but it certainly feels like that at the moment.

Qwaliteee

No, I totally agree mate. This club signed its death warrant the day it sacked David Dein. The man who brought in Wenger, Bergkamp and yes, Kroenke. The thing is, Kroenke would never have recruited the muppets we’ve had masquerading as Executives and screwing us into the ground since, had Dein (and Wenger) still been here and allowed to continue his (their) good work. The stadium would have been paid off (to date, it still hasn’t) and our recruitment policy of players would have been much better. Wenger had an eye for talent but Dein made things happen and he… Read more »

SarcasmB0T

I’m not sure I understand what Arteta’s role was supposed to be.

“Arsene drove it,” but Arteta said “offer this guy something?”

Either Arsene didn’t drive it, or Arteta was simply stating the obvious, as is his want.

I’m sure they didn’t need Mikel to be reminded that the BFG existed, and that if they wanted to keep him at the club, they needed to offer him “something”.

Who am I kidding, they probably paid Kia Joorabchian £10 millin for being an intermediary relaying this brilliant piece of advice.

A Different George

Have you thought of changing your name to PedantBOT? Or perhaps LiteralmindedBOT? Perhaps it’s my problem–all these wearisome posts are actually sarcasm that I have failed to notice.

Qwaliteee

This ‘patience’ business is beginning to grate.

These guys need to realise that it’s now 17 years since this club won the title, six years since we challenged for it properly and five years without Champions League football.

Yes, we’ve won our last two games – hallelujah. But this fan base do not deserve condescending sound bites from on high. Repeated calls for ‘patience’ are just going to end up boiling people’s piss – especially whilst we’re fucking about in the lower half of the table.

Just let the results do the talking for a change.

Wrighty's hats

Hmm.. this might just be asking for an argument, but I wanted to comment and pose some follow up questions to you Qwaliteee. It’s part of football that media is involved – partly because that’s a whole business in itself, and partly because it allows us to hear what people who work within the club are thinking and planning. I would imagine a lot of club people just want to get on with their day (making the club better) and not having to sit down for these types of interviews – but it’s part of their job. I get the… Read more »

Qwaliteee

* Oscar Acceptance speeches.

Qwaliteee

Sorry mate, I did try to reply but Blogs didn’t publish my response.

He does that frequently.

You see, he doesn’t like my criticism of Mikel Arteta.

He probably won’t even publish this. Democracy at its finest, this site.

arseblog

I have no issue at all with criticism of Mikel Arteta.

If your comment isn’t published, maybe stop and think if there’s another reason.

Qwaliteee

I seem to remember it being a call for a little more honesty from the hierarchy in their pressers about how genuinely awful our start to the season has been, as opposed to all the plaudits and mutual backslapping that seems to be in vogue over what should be a routine couple of wins for this club.

Surely a call for honesty can’t be libellous? 🤣

Anyway, I’ll try and tone everything down in future; I keep forgetting, I’m not on the North Bank at Highbury anymore …..

Cheets 😉👍🍺

Ray's ice cream Parlour

Great interview – spend the time to watch it fully – I love the BFG !!! I am really looking forward to the academy providing first team players over the next 10 years – it’s going to be amazing…

bored

They joined during the season where we only got 7 points from the first 7 games. And we still made it to the Champion League.

Since then I have always used that as the yardstick, so 6 points from the first 5 games this season is still tolerable.

The last season we started okay but then had a string of bad results, and ended up with just 14 points from the first 14 games. And then Smith-Rowe happened. We should do a lot better than that this season, hopefully.

Rubic

So what actually “IS” a football club? I’ve been asking myself this question. What is Arsenal? Are Arsenal the players? Is Arsenal the manager and his backroom staff? Is Arsenal the board? Are Arsenal the owners? Are Arsenal the fans? Is Arsenal all those who came before in all those roles? Organisations exist because of the people that breathe life into them. From the players to the manager, to backroom staff, to the board, to the owners and to the fans. All of these individuals contribute to the identity of the club. When these things are in constant flux. When… Read more »

Daveo

What I want to know is how this comment do far down has 89 up votes and zero down votes. 🤯

J-Balls

I think Rubic has struck upon something, which is important to a lot of us. There’s nothing to enjoy about the managerial merry go round. We can see there’s a plan now.

Rubic

What do you think about my remarks Daveo? Are you glass half full or half empty?

SarcasmB0T

I’m not Daveo, and I’m not going to downvote your comment, as I find your opinion laudable, but I don’t think “young talented” managers belong on Premier League teams fighting for European spots – not unless they can perform at this level.

With Arteta, the evidence isn’t there that he can move this club forward at this stage of his career, and when you have a team full of young players, that’s a huge issue.

It’s a nice narrative, but the issue is, that’s all it is.

The football’s been shit.

Duno

Lol, you should change your name to BitterBot. Seems more fitting.

SarcasmB0T

Thing is, I’ve been consistent. I thought Arteta should have been sacked last December, and I haven’t seen enough to change my mind. Even when we’ve won games, we’ve struggled to create chances. I think the most important thing in football is to consistently create opportunities and we have literally NEVER done that under Arteta. Until we do, my opinion of him will remain low. I have no issues with “the project” apart from the fact that I don’t trust Arteta and Edu as the people in charge as I think they haven’t shown enough to be given this responsibility.… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

Who would you bring in to replace him if he were to be sacked?

SarcasmB0T

Realistically? I like the job Graham Potter has been doing at Brighton. His team consistently creates chances while defending well. Other than that, basically any of the many “Bielsa disciples” working in Europe – most of them are more oven-ready then Arteta. But I won’t pretend to know a whole lot about other coaches – I don’t. I just know that Arteta hasn’t really gotten his team to do what I think it needs to do – create scoring opportunities. By the way, I’m not saying I think Arteta will never be a good manager. He might well be. He… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

Interesting point of view, thanks for sharing. It might just be me and my pesky optimism but I’m going to give him a few more months to see where he takes this updated squad. I can’t argue that he hasn’t been able to get what he needs out of the team up until now, because points tallies are what count at the end of the day. And with a more experienced manager, maybe things would have been different. But also, if we had had a deeper squad last season, we could have avoided using players prone to frequent and extremely… Read more »

SarcasmB0T

You hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph. I’m one of those people who don’t have particularly pronounced highs and lows. I like to critique and over-analyze things and I think I’m past the point where a bad game or a bad run would make me feel genuinely miserable. I tend to see humor in things no matter what. On the other hand, I love the sugar high when we score a goal, so if the football we’re playing doesn’t lend itself to many goals, it doesn’t sit too well with me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Conte.

Daveo

I was merely pointing out the oddity of the votes on you post. It’s an anomaly. 117 people (and counting) now scrolled through all the message just to upvote your own philosophical musings? bit weird.

Jeremy DG

Good comment. I think as well the experience of supporting Arsenal is different for everyone (the same with any hobby). Some base everything on success and need instant gratification to feel good. Sadly these people will be disappointed 9/10 times because as good (or bad) Arsenal are, there are only a small amount of awards to go for every year with lots of good teams competing for the same prize. Then there are those who enjoy the journey. I’m one of those. I love a trophy as much as anyone but ultimately success for me is defined by how much… Read more »

'Silent'Gooner

Irony is, Arteta is yet to give an academy player their breakthrough. We have some great quality players, who should have been sent on loan. But instead they are playing U23.

Qwaliteee

The man is a bag of contradictions.

And that’s putting it politely.

Neil

I’d say the BFG has been doing an amazing job…. Saka, Smith-Rowe…

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

He had little to do with developing those guys (or their fellow graduates). That’s more to down to Andries Jonker, Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Gatting. Nothing busts my chops more than someone being given credit for the hard work of others.

Seeing as Per made most of his organisational changes in 2020, it will take some time (at least another year) to fully assess the impact he has had on the academy set-up.

Qwaliteee

Top post, well said. 👍🍺