Mails: Arteta is like the Diaby of managerial appointments

Date published: Tuesday 22nd May 2018 1:26

Keep it coming to


Mikel Arteta is like the Abou Diaby of managerial appointments
Dear editor,

Arsenal – the fans, the new trio in charge, Kroenkes present and future – have absolutely got out of jail with this Emery appointment. That is blessed relief you hear, not elation.

Mikel Arteta is like the Abou Diaby of managerial appointments – the near complete lack of actual minutes has invited some to paint their wildest fantasies on to his lego-haired blankness. That is not a knock on either, who are just trying to make an honest living in the beautiful game. It is an indictment of the pie-in-the-sky thinking that has infected parts of the Arsenal fanbase.

To hear some tell it, Arsene’s greatest achievement was the net spend and the magical 16 year olds – does anyone remember that this man was, first and foremost, a winner? None of the other things would be remotely relevant if he didn’t come into the league and lay down new markers for success. He did so based on a track record of success abroad, not just because he talked the right “values”. I do not understand how we have got to the point where pure philosophy nearly trumped actual experience. The best of plans rarely survive first contact – Wenger suffered through that reality, and so would literally anyone we could have appointed other than Arteta, Vieira and Henry.

Amazingly, we now hear of Emery failing to “manage” Di Maria, Cavani and Neymar in the wake of leading them to a title (!), where Arteta’s improvement of a single player in a comparably cash flooded team is held up as enough proof of his ability. I mean, that sums it all up. This is “potential”… not as a factor, but as a fetish.

The club has made several bad decisions to get to this point. This whole episode has reeked of trying to “seize the narrative” back with one high-profile roll of the dice. No, thank you. Get the sensible decisions right. When forced to sell a creative player to a rival, get a replacement in ASAP (Mkhitaryan – good). The attack isn’t working, get a great striker in Aubameyang – good. Defense in tatters? Make a defender a priority – seems to be happening.

We don’t need to unearth the next Messi, we need to avoid disasters like the summer of Petr Cech. And we didn’t need to replace Arsene Wenger, we needed to avoid the base idiocy of following him with a guy who has never managed a game.

Praise the lord.

TG, Arsenal


Emery, can you bring Rabiot with you?
I must say, i was a bit worried with all the Arteta rumours and now this new development, makes me feel much better and hopefully.

If PSG coach(Emery) is announced as an Arsenal Coach, can he sign and bring Rabiot with please. I know the Defence is what we real need to look at but i would welcome Rabiot and i am sure Ramsey/Mustafi will fetch a good sum and then we can look to get 2 solid CB and a Keeper.

Lwazi(Cape Town)


So a former Sevilla manager takes over in North London. Hmmm, has that ever happened before??
Matt Carr, Spurs, Wilmington, NC 


To all the Arsenal fans concerned about Emery’s underperformance in the CL… It’s not really a problem you need to worry about is it?!
Chris W


Getting excited about the Gunners
Looking forward to new momentum. To a coach coming in and really challenging the players, hopefully  improving those playing below their levels. To seeing how a tactically minded coach addresses the imbalance in the Arsenal squad.

Looking forward to seeing how this new power sharing structure works. To breaking down some of the slightly daft conceptions of how a football organisation should function.

Looking forward to being about to shout ‘Unnaaaaay’ again (almost) unironically. Got a lot of time for someone who gives a good presentation. Who likes tailored instructions and individual plans.

No matter what happens, Emery is unlikely to take us lower than 6th (just too much quality in squad, too big a gap between the haves and have nots) so celebrate the progress and newness.

This is exciting. I haven’t been this interested in Arsenal for years. Not necessarily over-optimistic, just intrigued and hopeful.

So a plea to my Twitter feed. Be excited. Wait and see what happens. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll just go again. And stop whining. You’re making us look like utter mugs.
Tom, (people also need to calm down on Emery-ates puns) Walthamstow


A Mailbox prediction comes true…
In the afternoon mailbox of Monday 23rd April, (one month ago FYI) someone who must be extremely well-connected to Arsenal wrote this:

“As for the replacement, I think Arsenal already have this in place and are just waiting to make an announcement… The person they wanted became available and they very quickly moved and got them… There are a load of candidates being floated about but to me the most likely candidate has to be Unai Emery. Worked wonders at Sevilla, did well at PSG, and pretty much within a week of him announcing he’s leaving PSG then Wenger’s announcement was made.”

Who was this sage who had the inside scoop of the goings-on at famously media shy Arsenal? Did Ivan Gazides himself pen the missive? No, it was me who wrote it, and this letter isn’t to boast or brag (these brackets are, nurrrrr, I called it. Boom!) but to highlight what seems to be something troubling, or wrong, or even rotten, in the media.

I’m just a footballing layman, a casual fan. I read Arseblog, I read Amy Lawrence, I read Nick Miller’s live reports, and I read Football365. I also watch maybe two matches a week, and I also enjoy a “Futsal Skillz” video on Youtube. And that’s the extent of my footballing consumption.

To me at least, Unai Emery was always extremely obvious to replace Wenger, and you didn’t need to be some kind of footballing soothsayer to see it. PSG announced he was off; Arsenal then within days announced Wenger was off; Emery himself then remarked that Wenger would be a good choice for PSG. It was, to me at least, almost transparently clear who the next boss was.

So how did no one, let me state, in the professional journalistic sphere, with sources and contacts and years of experience and direct access to managers, agents, owners and players… NOT get this story? How has a world class, treble-winning, Europa-League obliterating manager with the pedigree of Unai Emery… taken our media by surprise like this? Not just surprised either. Angered them. This has angered our media.

Now admittedly, over the past week even Arseblog, who I think are a very reliable source of Arsenews indeed (and still do) started talking as if Arteta was a foregone conclusion, so over the last week I too have been thinking that maybe Arteta was en-route. However Emery was announced last night and the obvious, clear choice has been confirmed.

So what does this mean? Who “broke/leaked” Arteta? Was it someone within Arsenal? Was it an agent? Was it Arteta? Was it a case of all these journalists just kinda agreeing that Arteta would be a good choice and thusly a snowballing force of will gathered pace? More worryingly maybe, was this driven by gambling sites who had Arteta at 7/1 and Emery at 60/1?

I think something very cruddy indeed has been exposed in the British press. I’m not sure what, but the one thing I do fear now is that Emery is going be given the same treatment as Arsene “WHO?” Wenger. Sigh.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite (Swindon Emeryte J)


Poor Santi!
It has been buried in all the media speculation about our new manager but sadly Santi Cazorla has left Arsenal.  When Cazorla played he utterly transformed how effective Arsenal were and I’m convinced that his absence in the past two years is the major reason for Arsenal’s downfall.  In a similar vein to Tomas Rosicky, when he played it was joy to watch and when he didn’t the entire team was just flaccid.  So thanks and farewell Santi, Arsenal’s number one transfer target should be someone who plays with a smile on his face.
SC, Belfast.


Trophies or qualification?
As a United fan I found it amusing reading this morning’s mailbox, with so many going against Taxon from Singapore’s stance of Champion’s League qualification being a bigger achievement than adding to the trophy cabinet.

Just 12 months ago, United were getting a lot of stick (particularly from Liverpool fans) for finishing 6th in the league and the silverware in additions were not considered to be a good consolation. Fast forward a year and opinions are now that the joy of winning something is better than league placement, and that United are in the bottom half of the table in accomplishment because there is no new silver going into the cabinet.

It’s funny how popular opinion changes so easily based on what happens down in M16, even 5 years after the title was last presented there.
Mark, Radcliffe (for the record, there is definitely more joy in winning silverware than finishing in specific league positions)


No Peter Reid, no Tim Sherwood?Utter nonsense.
Matthew (ITFC) clearly never read F365 during its peak PFM days.

No Peter Reid, no Tim Sherwood?Utter nonsense. Reidy should probably be at no1 on the list, not missing completely from it.


Real Madrid is not a ‘not so strong’ side
Mamoon S, could you please tell me what makes this Real Madrid side ‘not so strong’?

They have won 3 of the last 4 Champions Leagues and are in this year’s final. They haven’t lost any major players and their one ageing star still has plenty left in the tank.

What qualifies as a strong side if not that level of success in the recent past and present with pretty much the exact same players playing at the exact same level?
Nathan, Newark


Dear John-Paul, Armagh

I’m so sorry to hear that even your friends and family recoil from hearing you express your feelings. I realise for some that engaging in this way is difficult but it’s 2018 ffs and it’s just not acceptable anymore.

Whilst never suffering serious depression, I’ve had my ups and downs over the years and remember only too well how certain people (yes even those meant to be the closest you have) react to hearing about downs, struggles etc from a “man” – and my advice to you would be to at the very least distance yourself from these people – and at the most, just cut them out of your life. It’s hugely difficult to do but it’s *so* much better for your everyday peace of mind. You deserve more.

These people are a dying breed and you my friend are the future, so keep the faith, keep talking and find new, decent brave people to be your real actual friends and family. To quote my teams motto, you will never walk alone my friend.

ps re actual football, getting very nervous about Saturday, the missus even dreamt we lost 2-0 and that has freaked me out slightly…still can’t really call it either way, just hope it’s not won/lost on a dreadful error (player or ref!)
JJ, Suffolk (LFC)


I’d like to thank John-Paul for his mailbox entry. It is good to talk but people shy away because it is outside their comfort zone and they do not know what to say or how to handle the situation. Hence the ‘man up’ or ‘have you tried the Samaritans?’ extreme ends of responses.

Education and understanding is the best way forward but it will always be a low priority for the government and for the NHS as it is difficult to quantify the successes and justify costs. There will not be the step change needed but a trickle down effect where forums like Football365 allow men to talk and feel less isolated. Then these football fans can talk to other footballs fans and our children and slowly breakdown the barriers.

Also we need to support each other, check out groups like Lions Barber Collective.
Blue Chelsea Blue


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