Arsenal’s inexorable crawl towards a new manager is ongoing. By all accounts, it’s probably mostly maybe inevitably probably could be Mikel Arteta - he was interviewed by Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy late Sunday night. Well, the pair of Arsenal execs were spotted leaving his house at about 1.20 AM Monday morning, at any rate - maybe it was just movie night at the Artetas. It’s the holidays, so maybe a double bill of Scrooged and Nightmare Before Christmas? Or Elf?
Anyway. It was widely expected after that meeting that an Arteta announcement would rapidly follow, but here we are, a day and change later, and...nothing. Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that Arteta has talked to Arsenal, and has confirmed that Arteta is, in fact, “an adult and can make up his own mind”, which is a pretty resounding endorsement from such a renowned mind as Pep Guardiola.
So while we wait for Pep’s Adult to make up his mind, we’re left to wonder if anyone else is still on the shortlist. No Arsenal executives have been seen leaving Mauricio Pochettino’s house, there’ve been no Sir Chips signings at Max Allegri’s favorite coffee shop, and Carlo Ancelotti just took the Everton job, so it would appear that all of the eggs marked Arsenal are sitting in the basket labeled Mikel Arteta.
So why the delay? I honestly don’t know. I know contracts of all kinds can take some time to work out, and I also wonder whether part of the delay is so that Mikel can identify a staff he wants to bring with him, at least in part - with all of Emery’s staff save Steve Bould gone, there’s a pretty big vacuum at the top, and Arteta will want some friendly faces around to help him hit the ground running. But that’s all speculation.
All we know right now is that Arteta seems very high on Arsenal’s list, and that Arsenal don’t seem to be very good at this whole “let’s hire a new coach” thing. Either way, we will hopefully have some clarity soon, and Arsenal can get on with the business of getting back to their best.
UPDATE 3:30 PM
Things are heating up. We’re starting to see mention that Arteta’s taking the job, and more intriguingly, this showed up not long ago:
Spanish coaches Rodolfo Borrell, who is also currently at City, and Domenec Torrent, who has worked with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the Etihad Stadium, are two being suggested as likley to move to Arsenal as part of Arteta’s staff [@SamiMokbel81_DM]— Arsènic™ (@MrArsenicTM) December 17, 2019
This is simultaneously kind of amazing and also a possible explanation for the delay. Arteta taking Borrell with him from Manchester and also bringing Domènec Torrent (late of NYCFC, until this season, but still drawing a City Football Group paycheck) along as well is quite the coup. It could explain why things haven’t been finalized yet, because City would probably drag their feet on that level of talent drain as much as they could for as long as they could.
Either way, this looks to be hurtling towards a resolution fairly soon. Stay tuned.