As with all things Arsenal, rarely these days do things just ‘happen’ quickly, so it’s probably come as no surprise to any of us that the Mikel Arteta situation continues to rumble along. And like I said yesterday, none of this reflects well on those in the administration side of the football business. That’s because Arteta was known in 2018. If he was the clubs first choice then they’d have done all of this week’s ago. Instead they’ve let it drag on. It’s just another item to add to the concerns that I have about their ability to turn us into a competitive football team again.
Which is why I can understand the volume of online column inches currently being dedicated to how much of a challenge he has on his hands, because right now it feels colossal. Defence, midfield, transfers, egos, sagas (Özil and China, Xhaka and his loss of captaincy, etc); that’s just a a few of the issues that we know about. Lord knows what other problems are bubbling under the surface.
But it does at least appear as though he will be the man to take the job. Unless he suddenly decides what a poisoned chalice it really is and calls off negotiations. According to Arseblog though it looks as if it’s practically done and we just have to wait for confirmation that the two clubs have agreed a release fee. Pep sounded like he was pretty sure on the situation now and so you wonder if it will be turned around in time for the Spaniard to be in the Arsenal dugout on Saturday at lunchtime. The game is in the North West against Everton so it’s not as if he’ll have far to travel to get there!
And then the hard work begins and, looking at our fixtures over the next fortnight, it really is some going. Everton away, Bournemouth away, Chelski at home and United at home. Hardly the easiest of runs, is it? He’ll barely have any time to get his ideas across and I suspect it’ll be just like a game of Championship Manager from the 90s. Pick what you think is a good team and hope they can do something different to what’s come before. Although with some of the trash we’ve got in our team – particularly in defence – that seems like quite a feat to get this ramshackle bunch of failures back into winning mode.
That can happen though. Look at Duncan Ferguson. He got three points at home to Chelski, one at Old Trafford and and suddenly they’ll be going into this weekend’s game 100% as favourites this weekend I’d expect. Especially given how shocking our away form is and how much ill-discipline we show in defence and attack. An organised team prepared to do the hard running will get plenty of chances against this Arsenal side and with the team not looking like it’s got any ounce of discipline or shape about it you’d expect Everton to cover space and cause us problems. More on that in the coming days as the team news comes out.
There’s really little else going on at the moment. It’s all Arteta Spiel and so I wonder if a decision will be made and announced in the next 24 hours, at least so he can meet the players and get himself re-acquainted with the club.
Catch y’all tomorrow.