Monday, September 20, 2021

Arteta in at Arsenal – good decision?

According to Sky Italy reporter, Gianluca Di Marzio, Mikel Arteta has now left Manchester City and will be appointed the new the Arsenal manager imminently. The former midfielder represented Arsenal 110 times as a player, can he be the man to steady the ship at the Emirates? As reported in the Evening Standard, he has put pen to paper on a three year deal.

This comes after pictures surfaced earlier in the week of Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured outside the home of the Spaniard. That meeting followed the Gunners’ crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arteta’s current employer, Manchester City, on Sunday.

Arsenal currently sit tenth in the Premier League and wins have been very difficult to come by of late – with interim boss Freddie Ljungberg struggling to find the winning formula. Since October 27th, Arsenal have won just one game in all competitions – form that got Unai Emery sacked.

Arteta has no experience

But is Mikel Arteta the man to come and right this ship? Given that he’s never managed before, it seems like something of a gamble from the Arsenal hierarchy. It seems odd that Arsenal pulled the trigger with Emery, sacking him back in November, without even having any semblance of a plan to replace him. A lot of pundits, including former Arsenal man Paul Merson, have been critical of this move from the Gunners.

Since July 2016, Arteta has worked as the secondary to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. They have enjoyed unbridled success there, including two fantastic Premier League title wins – but is that experience going to be enough to help lead Arsenal out of the chasm they currently reside in?

Given that experience, it seems likely Arteta will want to play a Guardiola-like style of football based around keeping possession of the ball. Much the way Arsene Wenger did in his time at the club – but do they have the team to do that? The midfielders are pivotal in a system like that – so the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira will have to step up to the plate.

As will Mesut Ozil, who could benefit more than anyone from this appointment. With Arteta’s guiding hand, Ozil will likely become the focal point of the team of once more – with Arsenal’s attacking moves flowing through him, much the way Manchester City do with Kevin De Bruyne. Is Ozil up to the task of playing that role? I’m not so sure.

Arteta will need to come and hit the ground running if he is to get the understandably tetchy Arsenal fans on board with the project. They love him in North London from his time there as a player – but as we’ve seen with Manchester United, being a fan favourite as a player does not make you exempt from criticism.

Will it be the right move for Arsenal? Let us know below in the comments.

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Kieran Harm
Kieran hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and holds a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton. He covers a range of sports, specialising in football and NFL. Kieran is a long-suffering member of the Toon Army as well as a very proud member of Broncos Country.

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