Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Mikel Arteta for 3.5years. The former Arsenal captain takes over from Unai Emery who was dismissed last month while Freddie Ljungberg working in the interim.
The talks and eventual confirmation of his appointment was greeted with divided emotions from Arsenal faithful; some are elated at the appointment being that Arteta worked under Guardiola and is held in high regards by his former boss for his tactical nous. Others believe his lack of managerial experience will bring more doom than glory to Arsenal Football Club.
Arteta, though a novice in football management, will be able to deliver success at Arsenal, but to do that he will have to do the following:
SOLIDIFY THE DEFENCE
The Gunners have been porous in defence for some seasons now; they conceded 51 goals in Arsene Wenger’s last season and conceded the same amount in Unai Emery’s first. They have let in 27 goals in just the 17 EPL games they have played this season so you could only but imagine what the ‘goals against’ ratio would look like at the end of the season if nothing is done to stop the rot.
Arteta will have to input some form of solidity at the back. He will need to work on improving Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers while also getting a DM who could screen the defence, something Lucas Torreira is capable of doing if giving the right orientation.
INSTIL WINNING MENTALITY
It has been a worrying norm to watch Arsenal concede easily, giveaway leads and drop their heads when they concede.
These are all symptoms of “Confidence Breakdown” or in plain terms, “Lack Of Winning Mentality”, an attribute that shouldn’t be synonymous with a big European club – which Arsenal are…, or used to be…, or supposed to be…, somewhere in there – and this will have to be worked upon before the gunners can return to their glory days.
CREATE AN IDENTITY
The Europa league runners-up were known for their passing game during Wenger’s tenure. This made it easy for them to bamboozle opposition defenders with their movements and work out beautiful, technical goals.
After Wenger’s resignation, Emery came on board with his high tempo pressing game which was quite successful at the start of his Arsenal career. But at the tail-end of last season and beginning of this, the North Londoners have been shabby, trying effortlessly to start up play from the back which on most occasions lead to defensive errors and more worringly, goals. The match against Watford cites a good example of such.
Arteta will have to input his own pattern of play and try to get his players to buy into this pattern, one that won’t be as stupidly risky as the one Emery brought in. His time playing under Wenger for five years and assisting Pep Guardiola for the following three years afforded him the opportunity to learn from two of the best tacticians in the world, we’ll have to wait and see how much success that knowledge will bring him.
Let’s face it, there are some players at Arsenal who are not capable of playing for a top four club and there are some who aren’t just interested.
Both categories of players have to be flushed out of the team and replaced with energetic, determined, hungry players who are set on achieving success.
There have been plans to replace the deadwood at the club in times past but the opposite ends up being the case; the club ends up purchasing more players who are well past their prime.
The likes of Mesut Ozil, Sokratis and David Luiz will need to be replaced with much hungrier players in their position for Arsenal to achieve success.
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