Arsenal did not expect to be in the hands of Mikel Arteta right now. But since they are, it’s safe to say that this is still the honeymoon phase.
Last summer, few would have expected that Arsenal would change managers two more times before the end of the year. Unai Emery seemed like he was laying a foundation, but once he lost the players, there was no way back. None.
From there, Freddie Ljungberg was supposed to see us through to the end of the season to give the team honchos a chance to reassess the manager situation in the summer. Freddie did not last. We had to jump the gun and throw Mikel Arteta into the job without any transfer time to work with, nor any resources.
He was living on the fumes of Unai Emery, with the players already at the club. And as we’ve seen, it’s been a learning curve. Players like Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have gone in and out of Arteta’s good graces with the former stuck in the bad and the latter now in the good.
Many more have followed similar trends, but as the season winds down, we have to keep something in mind—this is all a run-up.
Say we don’t make the Champions League. That’s perfectly fine. In no world is that a bad thing. It gives us a chance to reset, not unlike Liverpool, who are doing pretty good since their Jurgen Klopp rebuild, wouldn’t you say?
Everything that is happening in the here and now is a bonus. Wherever we finish in the table is pretty much irrelevant. All we want is to start building a little momentum going into next season, when Arteta will have a chance to clean house (like Emery should have), and start the team the way he wants it.
I call it the honeymoon phase. As long as he doesn’t lose the trust of the players, which he absolutely isn’t going to do, he has complete and total immunity to do what he needs to do for these last few weeks of a tumultuous season.
Come what may, the right man is absolutely in charge and a lot of the right pieces are in place.
Which just means that while results are fun and obviously we’d rather see wins, the key here is to set a foundation for what’s to come, and what’s already coming.