Mikel Arteta has hardly had it easy since he took over from Unai Emery over a year ago, and he has had to make wholesale changes to the attitude of the squad and, more importantly, the quality and mindset of his team during Arsenal’s massive rebuild.
You have to admire his vision and capability to make the unsavoury needed changes, but he has handled it so far with dignity and resolve, but he has made it clear that there is still a long way to go to get the club to where he wants.
Arteta told SkySports: “We are planning everything for the summer, the same with the board, with [chief executive] Vinai [Venkatesham], with [non-executive director] Tim [Lewis], and with the owners,”
“We are very clear on how we want to do it.
“When you have to change 10 or 12 things in one window [as in January] it’s a lot, and that has some consequences with what has happened in previous months and what is going to happen in the following months.
“We still have to do quite a lot of things to do, but we will get to the point, hopefully, where it’s just ticking off a few things and the stability is there, because you need that as well to be consistent and be competitive.”
He obviously still has big plans for the transfer window, but he also makes it clear that promoting youngsters to the first team must be part of the forward thinking needed. He continued: “It’s about doing things in the right moments, when they can shine, when they protected and when they have the right players around them as well,” he says.
“It’s not about playing all the young players in every game, but we are putting a plan together, so they have space around the squad, space in the team, and we have the right flow between the players so they can become really important at the club. That path is being created.”
I personally am impressed with the work Arteta has done so far, and he obviously has a vision of where Arsenal are going. But it would appear that us fans still need to be patient, because his vision is not looking at a short-term success but planning for a long future of continued success.
Are the fans willing to be patient enough to let him do his job?