4 reasons why Arsenal should let Mikel Arteta go
Mikel Arteta is under fire lately – the Arsenal job is seemingly too big for him
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been under intense pressure from fans and the media alike. The Gunners endured a disastrous defeat in the Europa League semi-final against eventual winners Villareal – against former manager Unai Emery no less – and failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in more than two decades.
At the very least, calls for Arteta to be sacked have greatly intensified. Some reports say that Arsenal are considering former Juventus and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri as a potential replacement.
Villarreal progress, as we are eliminated at the semi-final stage.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 6, 2021
On that note, let’s take a look at four reasons why Arsenal could be better off by letting Mikel Arteta go.
#1 Mikel Arteta isn’t a good fit at Arsenal
2020 FA Cup Final – the undoubted high of Arteta’s Arsenal managerial tenure.
The Spaniard became Arsenal manager in December 2019, amidst much questioning by fans and media alike, given his severe inexperience.
He was a capable assistant manager under Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and was part of City’s 2018 Premier League-winning and 2019 domestic treble set-up. With Arteta among their coaching personnel, City amassed 100 points in a season and became the first team to win the Premier League , FA Cup and League Cup in the same campaign.
However, the Arsenal job – Arteta’s first-ever managerial gig in football – may have come too soon for him. As a Gooner myself, I did not want him for this reason alone.
Unai Emery had to go as he was not sorting out the defence as required, and results were not improving. But to expect a managerial novice like Arteta to transform fortunes was probably a bit of a reach.
It was a highly peculiar decision to bring Arteta on board, one that wasn’t likely to bear fruit. Except for a stunning FA Cup win in 2020 against Chelsea at Wembley – the club’s 14th title in the oldest club competition in the world, there hasn’t been much else to show.
Granted, the 1-0 Premier League win at Stamford Bridge this season against a Chelsea team that reached the FA Cup final and won the Champions League was pleasing. Many fans were expecting an easy Chelsea win, but Arteta made Arsenal ‘park the bus’ to the tee to get the win. However, that doesn’t alter the perception that Arteta may not be the best fit at Arsenal in the long term.
#2 Arsenal’s defence remains a worry
David Luiz has been hot and cold at Arsenal, but Arteta decided to extend his contract.
Arsenal ended their 2020-21 Premier League season with the third-best defensive record. That is laudable, but stats can be misleading, and perceptions can often cloud realities.
Nevertheless, Arsenal are far from having one of the best defences in the Premier League. Part of that is due to years of poor performances and having poor personnel. A few Arsenal defenders, such as David Luiz, are notoriously error-prone and inconsistent with their performances..
Arsenal’s defence has been poor for years and was a major factor in the angst held towards their long-term Arsene Wenger. The perception was that the Gunners have had a poor defensive structure, and many defensive gaffes have been due to weak off-the-ball work.
Unai Emery didn’t do much to correct that and neither has Arteta. It was a major reason for the Spaniard’s eventual dismissal as well as poor results towards the end of his tenure.
Arteta initially did get Arsenal working harder off the ball. That was exemplified in his first few games at the helm, where Arsenal narrowly lost to Chelsea 1-2 at the Emirates and beat Manchester United 2-0 at home.
Good performances in the FA Cup in the semi-final (beating his old team Manchester City) and the final (against Chelsea) further added to that narrative. But that has turned out to be a false dawn.
A primary reason for Arsenal’s poor defensive displays is not just poor defenders but players who have a weak reading of the game and are susceptible to lapses in concentration at key moments.
In all fairness to Arteta, most of these players were not signed by him. The likes of David Luiz, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac, Shodkran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin have all played under Emery, and a few did so under Wenger as well. But Arteta extending the contract of David Luiz, despite his erratic performances, portrayed the Spaniard in poor light.
A week in the life of Arsenal Football Club 📅
David Luiz error leads to Man City opening the scoring 🤦♂️
David Luiz concedes his fourth Premier League penalty of the season 🙄
David Luiz is sent off 🔴
David Luiz signs new contract ✅ pic.twitter.com/kVM0kYJDku
— Goal (@goal) June 24, 2020
#3 Arteta’s poor game-management ability
A manager cannot control what his players do on the pitch. If a striker misses a sitter, that’s not the manager’s fault. If a goalkeeper makes a mistake in handling a cross, it’s not the manager’s fault fault. If a defender commits a professional foul to concede a penalty, the manager cannot be blamed directly for that.
However, the manager is responsible for selecting the right personnel and formations for games. He also needs to make the right substitutions and do so at the right moments to win or save games. He must have an active reading of the game at all times in order to maximise the players at his disposal.
But there have been many occasions where Arteta’s inexperience and tactical naivety have cost games for Arsenal, especially their 2020-21 Europa League semi-final against Villareal.
In the first leg, he played Emile Smith-Rowe as a false nine, which was a costly gamble in a crucial semi-final. That was not a position that Arsenal were not accustomed to and had little chance of success. Unsuprisingly, Arsenal lost the game 2-1.
The second leg, a must-win game for Arsenal, saw Arteta play a 4-1-4-1 formation designed to exploit the team’s offensive potential, as a goal was needed to progress. However, that meant Thomas Partey as the sole anchor man was exposed and pressed in midfield, and Villareal were able to control the game in the middle third and slow down Arsenal’s tempo.
Arsenal usually employ a 4-2-3-1 formation. At the risk of moving to ‘if-and-buts’ territory, had Mohamed Elneny and Partey formed a double pivot in this game, the result may have been a positive one for Arsenal.
It can be said that a more seasoned manager would not have taken such extraordinary risks in critical games. Even in earlier rounds of the competition, against Slavia Prague, Arteta introduced Nicolas Pepe late. Yes, Pepe did score Arsenal’s goal in the 1-1 first-leg draw, but the player was introduced too late in the game.
What compounds these baffling choices is that in the win at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s first since 2011, Arteta employed a formation that in part nullified Chelsea. It was essentially a ‘park the bus’ tactic that did the job for Arsenal on the night.
#4 Arsenal handed Arteta the wrong job at the wrong time
Tim Cook was well-placed to lead Apple after Steve Jobs’s death. He knew the firm’s culture, goals and strategies. Arsenal appointing Arteta was a mistake, though, due to his inexperience at the managerial level.
Managing a big club like Arsenal is pressure enough. But when said club is far from its peak, it becomes more difficult.
It’s akin to one managing Microsoft or Oracle in a slump. Both are huge, global players in the software industry, so hiring a rookie as CEO for either would be foolhardy. It would take somebody with a seasoned approach to manage the two companies, even when they are on top, let alone struggling.
Successful business management is often about managing and mitigating risk. Any appointment at any level is a risk. But that hould be minimised as much as possible. When Steve Jobs expired, Tim Cook replaced him, and had several years at Apple in senior positions under Jobs. He knew the culture, knew the firm, and thus Apple have sustained themsevels as a leader in the smartphone market.
However, when Unai Emery was dismissed, a managerial greenhorn like Arteta was appointed at the helm. That turned out to be too big a risk.
Arteta would have been aware about the challenges of his taks at hand. Was he a tad arrogant to take the job? Maybe. But it’s understandable in a way, considering Arsenal is a lucrative job for many managers.
However, more than Arteta, it puts Arsenal’s management, Stan Kroenke’s KSE, in poor light. Arteta speaks well, has an eye for being tactically flexible, and did win a trophy in his first season as manager. He could improve in the future if he gets a better team to work with.
Nevertheless, Arsenal took a gamble on Mikel Arteta – but bar an FA Cup triumph last year – that appointment has not reaped the desired dividends. Arteta appears out of depth at the moment, so it would be better if Arsenal appoint a more experienced head at the helm.
Please help improve Sportskeeda’s Football section by taking this 30-second survey.
Source: Football – Fairplay News
#reasons #Arsenal #Mikel #Arteta
Post views in last 5 minutes: 1 view