Morning all.

I’ve just read an article, a really bad one by the way, which tried to compare Graham Potter’s start at Chelsea with that of Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. I’ve no idea why the two are being compared in the first place because there literally is no comparison in my opinion. Other than they’re both in their 40’s. Just in Mikel Arteta’s case.

Potter and Chelsea have so far been a terrible partnership which of course, I hope remains the case. Potter says he can turn things around, publicly anyway and cites having a bloated squad not helping his cause. Mikel Arteta had a bad start to his reign, said the article, but not a word written about the squad he inherited, the last ten years of decline, the atmosphere within the stadium. Or the vast number of players who really weren’t all that good and a few others who looked like they really couldn’t be bothered.

Arsenal hadn’t finished in the top four for a number of years which must have had an impact on transfers. Meanwhile, over in west London, money wasn’t an issue.

Last five years of spending – from the internet:

1) Chelsea: £-654.21m
22/23: £-480.38m
21/22: £5.79m (3rd)
20/21: £-166.86m (4th)
19/20: £98.57m (4th)
18/19: £-110.23m (3rd)

2) Manchester United: £-540.23m
22/23: £-203.26m
21/22: £-99.5m (6th)
20/21: £-56.45m (2nd)
19/20: £-134.87m  (3rd)
18/19: £-45.8m (6th)

3) Arsenal: £-485.64m
22/23: £-148.94m
21/22: £-120m (5th)
20/21: £-59m (8th)
19/20: £-94.58m (8th)
18/19: £-62.71m (5th)

Unlike Chelsea, Arsenal went about their transfer business slowly, probably because FFP dictated they had to and this wasn’t helped by so much transfer money being missed out on because other clubs either didn’t want our players or didn’t want to pay for them. £72 million Nicolas Pepe is another who is likely to be sold cheaply this summer, or walk away for free the following year after another season on loan. That’s football though, that’s what can happen when there’s a change of manager.

Arsenal have never had a chequebook manager or owner. Yes, the club have spent a lot of money recently but I think the club has more than got value for their money. Had Arsenal said to Edu and Mikel Arteta, “you can spend £600 million within your first two transfer windows’ – I’m pretty sure the improvement we’re now seeing would have come in Mikel’s first full season and not his third. Instead, we’ve had to wait, scratch our heads as some of the contract extensions which were handed out, raise eyebrows over one or two of the signings and even wonder why certain players were or weren’t getting playing time. Unlike Potter who has seen his owner spend £600 million, give or take a pound or two over the last two transfer windows yet here he is moaning about having a bloated squad, having to leave players out of the squad and the detrimental effect that’s having on the squad. What did he expect when he said yes to a club which has been spending money like it’s going out of fashion since the Russian took over back in 2003?

I like Graham Potter as a manager because of what he achieved at Brighton but I think he’s out of his depth at Chelsea. Not because he’s a bad coach/manager, but I don’t think he’s used to handling big egos. He’s more of a small squad club coach/manager in my opinion, with players who want to fight for their place, their teammates and their manager. He can try all he likes to earn the respect of his players but if they’re not happy, he’s not going to win that battle all the time those same players are at the club.

Mikel Arteta had his own battles to win with players but they came off second best really because if they didn’t get on board with his ideas, they were gone and the club is all the better for it. All that was wrong with Arsenal football club, and had been for a number of years, is now right again. I’m not saying this because we’re top of the league but because watching Arsenal has become a pleasure again. Seeing every player work hard for each other, to read or hear positive comments from every player instead of just a few, to see The Emirates full again and in full voice and to see as well as hear a manager who really cares about the club he’s managing, his players and the fans. The progress, or “process” might have been slow but if spending £600 million within twelve months takes a club where Chelsea are right now, I’m glad Arsenal are doing things the way they have and still are.

As for the comparison between Potter and Mikel Arteta goes, as said, I don’t think there is one..

Catch up in the comments.