Mikel Arteta ready to clear out Arsenal’s ‘passengers’ as they face Tottenham test
Sat - December 5, 2020
Mikel Arteta has a lot to consider these days, but he is already clear on one decision. The Arsenal manager is intent on a “clear-out” in January, as he feels there are two many “passengers” in the club.
Their football is certainly very passive right now, and devoid of any sort of drive. Among the most galling aspects of this Arsenal side is how few chances they create. Arteta wants some of the money from the clear-outs to go back into the team, especially to liven up that attack.
One of the major problems is that this side is someway off his ideal. It’s a lot of work with a lot of players that aren’t necessarily up to the level.
One obvious response to that, of course, is to coach them. That is what was supposed to mark Arteta apart, after all. Almost everyone you speak to in football who know him - including those at Arsenal, still, despite recent results - rhapsodise about his coaching ability; his effect on players; his vision of the game.
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It was certainly supposed to mark him apart from a generation of managers like Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese is currently making a mockery of arguments - some of them on these very pages - that Tottenham Hotspur had appointed a manager past his best, and Arsenal one for the future.
Circumstances are currently looking so much brighter at Spurs. They are looking at a title challenge, while Arsenal are right now looking up from mid-table and hoping they don’t fall further.
It has recently got dispiritingly bad at the Emirates, both in terms of performance and results. Any sense of progress has entirely stalled - along with so many prescribed attacks.
For his part, one of many major differences between the teams right now was how Mourinho was able to bring two decades of experience in the transfer market to bear. He knew exactly what he wanted this summer, and got it, in a way he hasn’t really enjoyed since 2014 at Chelsea. That is another factor in this resurgence. That is another contrast between the clubs. While Arsenal have had severe upheaval behind the scenes and Edu is still adjusting to a new role - with some agents still waiting to see the club’s approach, Daniel Levy knows exactly what he wants and needs with Spurs.