Something rotten is going on at Arsenal. The dressing room is toxic according to headlines on NewsNow. Ex players are blaming current players, Edu, Mikel Arteta or all of them. Players were arguing during the game against Everton and one or two of them have gone behind Mikel’s back to complain about him. Aubameyang isn’t really injured either, he’s either been dropped or simply doesn’t want to play, depending on which newspaper you read. I’m sure if one was to dig deeper, there’s other stuff going on too, again, depending on which news outlet you or I choose to believe. Just how much of this is smoke or a raging fire is something probably none of us know for sure but it’s clear something isn’t right at the club.
It’s a good time to kick Mikel Arteta because the football his team is playing is pretty dire. The players he’s picking simply aren’t performing. Players like Pepe, Aubameyang, Willian, Bellerin, Lacazette simply aren’t doing enough for the Spaniard.
There are decisions to be made by the club but the first thing is to decide who is at the very root of Arsenal’s problems. Is it Edu, Mikel Arteta, or both of them? Or is it the players? Maybe it’s a combination of all of them. Or the owner, after all, they haven’t been mentioned for a while.
In my opinion, it’s a bit of a chicken versus egg situation and I’m glad it’s not me having to sort the Arsenal problems out.
I suppose the question one has to ask themselves is, would a different manager, a more experienced manager for example, be able to get more out of the squad than Mikel Arteta is getting? Is Edu failing in his role for supporting the signing of Willian even though he was most likely to have been behind the signing of Thomas Partey, Gabriel, Mari and Cedric?
I certainly blame Arteta for selling Emi Martinez because he really should have been Arsenal’s first choice keeper off the back of last season’s performances. It matters not whether any offers came in for Bernd Leno, Emi was our in form keeper and Leno should have been the one fighting for his place. If the club was so desperate for the £20 million Aston Villa paid for him, why then give Luiz and Aubameyang a new deal, or give Willian such a ridiculous deal? In any case, Martinez, if he insisted on leaving, should have been sold for three times the amount Villa paid. At least!
Another gripe I have with Mikel Arteta is his persistence with players who continue to let the side down. Especially when he options within the squad. If Tierney, Saka, Gabriel and AMN are prepared to run themselves into the ground, why can’t the others? Put faith in those who want to work hard and throw the others under the same bus they are trying to throw him under.
The Mirror suggests several players are frustrated at not playing alongside ‘big characters’ Mesut Ozil and Sokratis after their exclusion from the squad which I find amusing. Sokratis is a big character I’m sure but the last person I’d want fighting my corner would be Mesut Ozil. Football isn’t based around playing with your mates, it’s about having strength and grit on the pitch. Determination to get results, willingness to take responsibility and make things happen. When the chips are down, a manager needs players who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work. Yes, that’s Mesut isn’t it? Not! He might be a lovely guy and all that but Granit Xhaka probably is too!
Despite the ongoing issues at Arsenal, ‘a source’ at the club has reportedly told The Mail that Arteta is going nowhere for now and in January, the board will back him in the transfer window. A creative midfielder is on the list apparently.
We all love a new signing but he has to be right. A strong personality who won’t be swayed by the rotten apple/s already in the squad. He has to be someone who is ready to walk into this first team and take the game by the scuff of the neck and make a huge difference in a way Fernandes did at Utd, and Alexis did a few years ago. Arshavin too.
In the meantime, if the few, and it’s only a few according to reports, continue to moan and groan about Mikel, don’t play them.
See you in the comments.