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Arsenal Appoint First Manager since Wenger

Mikel Arteta has been named Arsenal manager today after winning two trophies in his past two matches

Arsenal Press Conference
Arsene Wenger has been grooming his young padawan for this takeover since 2011
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal Football Club have resurrected a position that was exiled following Arsene Wenger’s departure. Part of the restructuring of the Post Wenger (PW) era was to disperse the power that he had from one position to multiple positions. We can now confirm, this idea was a complete failure!

Arsenal tried new adding positions to allow the formerly known position of manager to become ‘Head Coach’. Ivan Gazidis hired Sven Mislintat away from Dortmund to become Head of Recruitment and Raul Sanllehi to become Head of Football relations. The three were to become the Dream Team for AFC’s decision-making moving forward. But, first Ivan Gazidis bounced for Milan. Vinai Venkatesham, who has been at the club since 2010, and was previously Chief Operating Officer was appointed Manager Director following Ivan’s exit. That exit was followed by a power struggle between Sven’s recruitment and Raul’s agent approach. Sven took the first flight back to Germany seeing no way forward with this set up. This left Vinai and Raul at the helm and while the pocket book may have open in the summer of 2019, our Head Coach at the time (He Who Must Not Be Named), was doing anything and everything besides being a coach.

Thus, the days rolled on in London with Raul and Vinai in charge. He Who Must Not Be Named was ousted after the most dismal Arsenal performances in decades, but not before Raul could lose creditability with supporters, for not only backing the Head Coach, but actively looking to extend his contract.

Enter Mikel Arteta, who although announced and courted to become Head Coach at Arsenal, has never once conducted himself as such. This is a man who knew what a Manager was supposed to do at a club of this magnitude and history. Mikel has had a direct line to Stan and Josh Kroenke, previously this was not the case with He Who Must Not Be Named. As Raul worked as the intermediary between the sides during his tenure, speaking of Raul, whispers of his agent based approach grew louder and louder inside and outside the club. KSE appointed trusted lawyer, Tim Lewis, to be their eyes and ears around the club at London and survey all departments. Unfortunately, it was not long after this appointment that Raul’s days became numbered once inflated payments were discovered and not in the best interest of the club. Vinai is now the Chief Executive of Arsenal Football Club.

The phrase “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” gets thrown around a lot in society, I believe Arteta has demonstrated that he would not conduct himself to the limiting title of Head Coach, but rather move in a direction that is aligned with being a manager. Thus making today’s announcement not only a very easy one, but one that is only confirmed in formality since Mikel Arteta has been performing that position since he was hired on December 20, 2019.

Currently Mikel Arteta’s contract runs through the 2023 season. He is currently averaging a trophy, once every 14.5 matches. I’d like to take this time to acknowledge while Mikel Arteta has not delivered us back into the Champions League yet, in his past two matches he has added more trophies to Arsenal’s cabinet than Harry Kane has in his entire career.