Soccer

Is Mikel Arteta the right manager for Arsenal

John Sibley/Action Images, via Reuters
Ozil and Arteta Hugging. John Sibley/Action Images, via Reuters

The Beginning

Mikel Arteta’s time at Arsenal began in the Winter of 2019. After Spanish manager, Unai Emery was sacked from his job, following a 2-1 home defeat to the German side Frankfurt. Arsenal was in dire need of a new manager, and it looked like Arteta was the man they wanted. Arsenal fans were quick to criticize the then-manager Emery for his tactics and signings. But that wasn’t the only issue addressed as the club struggled financially and with the squad’s morale. After Arteta had spent over two years under the coaching wing of Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola. It was urgent as the upcoming fixtures had them facing tough opponents.

Arteta was appointed manager, and his start to his Arsenal manager career got off to a rough one, as he had to face championship contenders Manchester City at home. Although it wasn’t expected for Arteta to have an instant effect on the squad. He had to figure out a lot of players’ futures with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis, and Shkodran Mustafi to deal with. Or whether to use the more experienced players or the youth system that had players like Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka. As those two youngsters burst onto the scene. Saka really came onto the scene when Arteta finally gave him a starting role

Last Season

Last season was one to forget as Arteta looked to be on his way out of the club. After a decent start to the season, there were hopes of the team getting into the top six. As that was a common thing for Arsenal to qualify for European Football. But after beating Manchester United away, courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Penalty who just had penned a new three-year deal to stay with the club. It finally seemed for Arsenal fans that they were going to have a good year, but boy they were wrong. The Gunners went on a massive losing streak, that left them near the relegation zone.

With the struggles of Aubameyang and co, Arteta was on the books to be sacked. In came Bukayo Saka and Emilie Smith-Rowe, those two youngsters led Arteta to a massive 3-1 Boxing Day Victory over London Rivals Chelsea. The form did not stop there as they secured back-to-back wins against Brighton and West Brom. But it wasn’t enough as the Gunner’s struggled to get consistency. They didn’t manage to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years.

Now

After a very tough and draining season, the Gunners looked like they wanted to be very active in the transfer market. Especially with the Euros that happened over the summer, multiple transfer looked like they were going to happen. And Arteta’s side wanted to be the kings of the transfer window. Being linked with the likes of Martin Odegaard who appeared in the second half of the season for Arsenal, on loan from Real Madrid. James Maddison from Leicester City was thrown around the mix, Ben White from Brighton, etc.

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Arsenal went on to spend over 120 million pounds on new transfers, signing Ben White for a club-record fee for a defender of 50 million Pounds. Martin Odegaard joined Arsenal late in August from Real Madrid, for a fee of 35 million. Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares joined Arsenal for a combined fee of 27 Million. The final two signings were Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth for around 30 million and Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna for a fee of 18 million. Although it seems like it was a busy and good summer for Arsenal, it as if they went back to square one.

It looked as if Arsenal were ready to regain control of their club and headed towards a new direction. But after three consecutive losses to Brentford, Manchester City, and Chelsea. It looked as if Arteta was headed for a short stay this season. But after four consecutive unbeaten matches, Arsenal seemed to have gained a grip on the league. Fans will be eager to see if Arteta is the man for the job, this season may be his last.

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