The imminent arrival of Mikel Arteta at Arsenal is not necessarily something to be optimistic about. There are a number of reasons why. For example:
1. Highly-regarded number twos don’t always make good number ones. Ask Brian Kidd and maybe even Steve McClaren.
2. Arteta’s philosophy is similar to Wenger’s in that he’s not going to adapt the team to suit the opposition.
3. At 37, he’s quite young to be taking over a top club, if that’s what Arsenal still are.
4. Most of the players would prefer Ancelotti, apparently.
5. Ljungberg is also a young inexperienced coach and he hasn’t been able to rescue Arsenal, so what makes anyone think Arteta would fare better?
One thing is certain: it is going to take a monstrous effort from the coach (whoever it is) and the players to turn this sinking juggernaut around.
It was disturbing to see that De Bruyne of Man City was discussing how Arsenal forwards don’t tackle back. Unless they do, results won’t improve. You would think they’d have the sense to see that, but perhaps not. Anyone watching Ozil kicking his gloves away like a petulant schoolboy must know that Arsenal are a basket case currently.
Sam Allardyce claims he could fix Arsenal’s defence. I’d give him the job on a temporary basis because Ljungberg may have got the team playing with more enthusiasm, but that’s it.
I’d even consider bringing Arsene Wenger back, as surely he would be more likely to turn fortunes around than Arteta and Ljungberg combined.
Unfortunately, the players’ choice Ancelotti has not been approached, so may be in the opposition dugout managing Everton this weekend.
It promises to be another performance to be forgotten by Arsenal, unless there is some kind of miracle. That’s why the odds are that it will get worse, before it gets better.