Arteta’s lightbulb moment can’t come quick enough

Manchester City 5-0 Arsenal

Anyone who was at the Emirates in April 2016 will remember just how painful it was witnessing our splintered fanbase openly disagreeing about Wenger. But when you grow up knowing nobody else, or at least knowing no success quite like it, it was easy to understand how it happened. With success came longevity. And love, and respect.

The word ‘legacy manager’ (or legacy fans, more recently) has been used derogatively, but that’s nonsense really: Wenger was a legacy manager because he left an enormous legacy, so arguing about his future, even to those who wanted change, felt at least in a small part like a betrayal.

But that was then and those times have gone. We will never see a manager last 20 years again, and more than ever, managers – even if successful – are two, three or four-year appointments.

Arteta will know this, all managers do. They understand the perils of the job, and if they go, they tend to be pretty sanguine about it, as they should be. As fans, we should be less emotional about it too. If it works – fantastic. But if it doesn’t – move on.

With two years of his reign coming up, he has no legacy to fall back on or buy him time. Real progress is needed, not in a year or two, but now. With £125m spent, he’s been backed to the hilt – and now he has to deliver.

It sounds simple

Obviously it’s not, and nowhere more so than at Arsenal, which has been in a state of flux for years. 

The frustrating thing, in many ways, is there’s a lot of good stuff going on. There’s the kernel of a really good, young squad, and it’s been added to judiciously. But the winning, scoring, free-flowing formula seems as elusive as ever. We’re flitting between formatations and tactics, resuscitating players who want out, and we’re still relying on players who’ve made one mistake too many but are somehow still making them. We aren’t creating, and we aren’t scoring. Obviously, getting three of his most important players back will help. But possibly only so much, without the winning formula that binds it all together.

But anyway, that’s his challenge. He’s got a month or two, and more likely till Christmas, to find the WD-40 for this squad. To find the lightbulb moment. The combination to the lock.

I hope he finds it. But if not, he’ll be gone and we’ll move onto the next man – and we shouldn’t be too anxious about that.  


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Antony

    Here’s a simple start. Never, ever, EVER play granit xhaka again.

  2. Oba

    Why wait till whether he get good result against Norwich, Burnley and Spurs. Why not let him go now, this is manager that have spent more than one and half years in his rein. Someone who do not know the kind of players that will improve his squad that ended in 8th position twice, now if Arteta remain till end of season is either Arsenal relegate or finish below 8th position, it already sure he will finish below 8th position and if Arsenal relegate no super quality Manager will come to manage the club and we beginning to languish in championship. Bring in Conte now this sunday and get him Declan Rice, bissouma and Maddison before window close.

  3. James

    Obama I’ve seen your comments on other blogs. Your so out of touch mate, it’s all very well saying we should be signing this that and the other. Do you think Rice and Maddison would want to play for us. I wouldn’t if I were them we really need to be so clever in the market. Players like Odegaard, Lokonga, Tierney and using youth players like Saka and ESR is the way we have to go. Until we become top 4 contenders again it will be tough to convince players of Rice and Maddisons caliber to come

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