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Why Arteta as manager wouldn’t take Arsenal forward

OPINION: Former Gunners midfielder’s main idea as a player seemed to be to pass sideways

17 May, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Mikel Arteta is among the favourites to be the next Arsenal boss

AS Mikel Arteta is lined up for the Arsenal manager’s role, you can understand why some ABW (Anybody But Wenger) fans are reconsidering which tribe they actually belong to.

There’s a lot to be said for bringing in a young man with fresh ideas but Arteta’s main idea as a player at Arsenal seemed to be to pass it sideways. Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny would rejoice at this choice.

The joke doing the rounds, of course, is that Juventus’ Max Allegri was contacted and said he needed a transfer bank to bring in five new big names, if he was to become the next Gunners boss. Arteta instead agreed to work with Alex Iwobi and Xhaka and the board speedily readied a contract.

CONGRATULATIONS to Manchester City on reaching 100 points. It only took £770million (on the current squad alone) to do it.

What’s amazing is that despite such wealth they have not been able to match Arsenal’s Invincibles, a team which conversely was assembled using youth development and clever scouting. Arsene Wenger, for all his faults, never relied on gratuitous spending to win, and yet his unbeaten record stands above a three-figure points tally.

City fans won’t admit it, but the rest of us know: a financially-doped team has finished miles ahead of everybody else, and it’s boring and predictable.

• ARSENE Wenger said some silly things during his 22 years as Arsenal manager but one of the comments he is most roundly mocked for was suggesting that finishing in the top four was akin to winning a trophy.

People used to wave around inflatable “top four cups” in his face. Nudge on a few years and step forward Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has yet to win any silverware with Spurs. “Finishing in the top four means more than a trophy,” he now tells us. “We tried our best to finish above Arsenal and Chelsea and it means a lot.” That’s really flattering, that Arsenal are the target, but I wouldn’t swap the three FA Cups the Gunners have won in the last four years for a few group games in the Champions League.

AFTER a mess of a season at Arsenal, there is one big reason to be cheerful: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The great irony of Wenger’s departure is that it comes at a time when the club has finally secured the striker he has been missing for perhaps seven or eight years.

The manager waited and waited for Theo Walcott to come good, and seemed happy to stomach Olivier Giroud’s inconsistencies, but struggled to find someone who may regularly hit 25-plus goals a season.

Auba’s start at Arsenal has been quietly prolific. He could be a big, big hit next season.


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