Despite the generally positive response in the Gunnersphere to Arteta's appointment, the truth is it represents a massive gamble. I suspect the club had little choice. I have no idea who was on the shortlist if indeed there was one but suffice to say even Brendan Rodgers turned it down. Taking the Arsenal job currently would be career suicide for any top manager. There is a leadership vacuum, no vision for the future and a p*** poor set of players. Arteta at least has the advantage of fan support and believe me that is critical as I will explain later.
Good coach he may be but look at the set up he had at Man City - skilful, motivated players and a world class manager for starters. Arsenal is a s***show from top to bottom. For instance, who was responsible for doing the 'due diligence' on Pepe, a player we paid a club record for. Good player though he looks did no one notice his poor attitude and the fact he is a bad trainer. I could have done a better job.
It's a club that could easily sink into the Championship. When I started following Arsenal, Burnley, Wolves and Villa were top clubs. Later Derby County and Nottingham Forest dominated for a while, then Leeds. The fall can happen to anyone. Arsenal have been on the decline for a decade or more.
Yes we need a coach - that goes without saying - but the malaise is much deeper. We need someone who can be a leader and has a vision. Someone who can drag the club out of its mediocrity without spending lots of money. Arteta is going to have to rescue the Titanic singlehandedly. That's a mighty ask with the group of players he has at his disposal. More than half of them aren't fit to wear the shirt. Is Arteta capable of such a task? I have no idea.
I do think he has a good chance of avoiding a relegation battle if he is allowed to bring in a couple of players in the January window and can motivate the rest. This will be the Club's priority because next the renewal of season tickets for 2020-21 will be uppermost in their mind. Who is going to pay top dollar to watch the current dross? This would be disaster for the brand. Something that I suspect dear old Josh will be having sleepless nights about. A half empty stadium isn't a good look for sponsors.
My sincere hope is that the scale of the project will encourage Stan to sell up but if not I think the best we can look forward to is a return to the 80's before George came in, mid-table mediocrity with the odd decent cup run.
How the mighty have fallen.
Best wishes for New Year
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