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15 Sep, 30 tweets, 9 min read
People often ask me why I am so willing to defend Arteta like he's the second coming of Christ.

Today, I will answer this.

This is why I believe Mikel Arteta is the best appointment Arsenal have made since we hired Arsene Wenger from Japan over 20 years.

(a massive thread) Image
Just look at some of the signings we've made at his behest:


I have no words to describe how transformative these signings are. No words or I'm going to be writing poetry. This is extremely good talent ID, especially with the state
of the club when Arteta arrived. We LACKED technical ability. We couldn't keep the ball in any phase of the game. Up front, we had Pepe and Aubameyang. At the back we had Sokratis and Holding.

This is why Emery resorted to a 3-4-2-1 knock it down football. It was TERRIBLE.
Arteta has came in, identified the problem, and over 2 major windows, FIXED it.

Why do you think we spent so much on Ben White, a centerback who I regard as a T3 ball-handler in his position in the league?

This is only the start.

Let's go on to the next point.
For years we have dealt with a discipline and culture problem that even Arsene Wenger was unable to control.

You could see how it affected results. Players downed tools, mocked their coaches, showed up for training late or not at all etc. We had become a joke of an institution. ImageImageImageImage
Arteta came in with big guns firing. He knew what was wrong. He knew about the massive attitude and behavioral issues—he was captain only a few years ago.

All he was talking about when he was hired was the need for a new culture. Either you are in or you are out. We needed that. ImageImageImage
Fans don't get it. They do not see these things and so do not know how it affects stuff. But you can get an idea of it if you have ever tried to lead a troublesome group of people before.

Even if only 1 is antagonistic, the goals of the group become really difficult to achieve.
At Arsenal, it was the very best players, the stars, the influential ones, that created this culture. Alexis Sanchez. Mesut Ozil. It was why Papa Wenger couldn't get an handle on it. These two players dealt with the club in every possible way. It was terrible. ImageImageImage
It is this terrible club culture that Mikel Arteta has took on as a rookie coach. We should be so much more grateful for it. The likes of Mourinho, Conte and Pep couldn't do much better than what Arteta has done.

You can almost tell who has a good attitude by who is playing. ImageImage
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was playing really well until suddenly he couldn't get in ahead of Bellerin anymore.

We didn't understand it until this window. That was when it made sense. AMN had been antagonizing the project, looking out only for himself. I did a thread on it recently.
People find it easy to make judgments from the outside. Have you ever tried managing 30 professional football players + over a dozen members of the technical staff + hundreds of other non-technical staff as well as the executives? Keeping everything together? Have you ever tried? Image
Management is exceedingly complex and fans usually do not have access to enough information and context to make simple judgments in the moment. Maybe over time you can read in between the lines and make isolated deductions but you can never really tell.

Fans lack this humility.
Look at the 'AMN is banished and would never train for Arsenal anymore' news when it came out. Everywhere was on fire.

Only later did it became clear that it was for a week or something and meant to be a temporary punishment, which was later reduced to days.

Why rush to judge?
In any case, look at the types of players Arteta has signed since he came in:

Partey, a consummate good boy and player. Odegaard—captain for his country. White—hardworking boy who made his way up from the bottom. Tomiyasu—consummate professional. Lokonga—captain material at 21.
Ramsdale—leader and happy-go-lucky young man.

Arteta not only fixed our technical issues, he also fixed our attitude issues in one stroke through his signings. It is, for the lack of a better word, genius.

My job as AI is to recognize these things faster than most people.
The next reason why I utterly support Arteta is that he is a genuine top coach and tactician. He reminds me very strongly of a young Thomas Tuchel.

Let me show you, too.

Players who have CLEARLY IMPROVED since Arteta walked in the door.

Rob Holding
David Luiz
Emi Martinez
Shkrodran Mustafi
Granit Xhaka
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Nicolas Pepe
Bukayo Saka
Gabriel Martinelli
Eddie Nketiah
Emile Smith-Rowe

All of these players did better than they ever did under Unai Emery. Even the likes of Holding and Mustafi.

It is nothing short of magnificent.
Of course, Arteta has already been praised since he was at City for improving top players like Sterling and Sane. We know that he is a good coach. And based on his work at Arsenal, he is clearly a great one.

Tactics are another area where I hugely admire Mikel Arteta.
I have made a previous thread on Juego De Posicion football and made previous tweets about how, in this age and day, to win anything against the big boys, you must have a stable possession system capable of dominating opponents and sustaining pressure throughout 90 minutes.
Look at Tuchel's Chelsea. They do not appear very creative, do they? Klopp called the counterpress as the best playmaker in the world but I call bullshit. Sustained pressure is the holy grail of attacking football, and the counterpress is a part of it.

By sustaining pressure on
the opposition for 90 minutes, for rarely allowing them to 'get out' of your lock, you get the chance to constantly attack them for 90 minutes.

Anyone who has played football before can tell you how frustrating it is to be part of a team who cannot touch the ball. Dreadful.
Sustained pressure allows you to constantly attack, to constantly work on the opposition block for as long as possible. Ultimately, they will make mistakes, your attackers will pull out something and you will get a goal.

That is how all top teams play nowadays.
The problem is that there are not many managers who have a system for sustained pressure that is good enough at the elite, elite level.

The likes of Koeman, Lampard, De Zerbi, Louis Van Gaal etc are not as good at creating a system to sustain pressure like Pep, Klopp and Tuchel.
It is a HUGE problem. There are simply not enough elite sustained pressure managers around for every club. Sarri and Pirlo are another example, although Sarri is slightly above average. But they are all not good enough.

Since this is a still uncommon coaching style, clubs have
to take risks on the younger generation of SP managers. Graham Potter at Ostersunds. Marcelo Gallardo at River Plate. Roger Schmidt at PSV. Ten Hag at Ajax youth teams. Julian Nagelsmann at Hoffeinheim. Hansi Flick and Mikel Arteta as assistant coaches. Those types of risk.
Arsenal took a 'risk' with Arteta and we came out WITH AN ELITE sustained pressure manager.

I am not joking when I say that we have one of the very best tacticians in the world. Arteta's system is impeccable. It is good enough to FIGHT for the Premier League title.
Of course you still need the top players to really do that but his scheme has every single ingredient required to compete with Pep's, Klopp's and Tuchel's schemes.

You may have concerns about one thing or the other but I assure you that it is a player deficiency not tactical.
IN CONCLUSION: Arsenal have always had extreme good luck in hiring managers. From Herbert Chapman to Graham to Wenger, we were born with that thing where we just identify and hire an amazing manager from nowhere.

Mikel Arteta is the next one on this great line of coaches.
We will succeed with Arteta, it's written in the manuals and the stars.

In fact, from next season, I believe that Arsenal will be competing for the Premier League title with Arteta.

When Arteta said that he wanted to win one of the big 2 in 3 years, he knew what he was saying.
They mocked him like they mocked Wenger when he prophesied that Arsenal could go invincible throughout a season.

Arsenal fans don't know what is coming upon them. The revival is almost complete. We are the new Liverpools. Hug your mamas and cry into your shirt.

We are back.

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More from @nonewthing

14 Sep
Any Arsenal fan who watched the Bayern v Barca game can immediately tell that Arteta is a far superior coach to the likes of Ronald Koeman.

Structurally, our shapes are so much better than the rubbish Barca had tonight. We are so incredibly lucky to have Arteta, you will see.
I was not really impressed with Nagelsmann's structures tonight. His Leipzig were far more interesting. But it's early days, yet.

People don't see how incredible Arteta as a rookie coach is but they will. He's actually amazing if you know what to look for in a top coach.
Whenever I remember that it is Arteta in charge, I actually smile. It's like having a young Tuchel manage your club. His is more difficult due to the league strength and cultural issues at Arsenal but he is so good all the same.

Only a matter of time, lol. Next star manager.
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep
Tacticos often mistake a coach adapting to the profiles he's got as some baffling tactical choice or philosophy pivot. This happens with analysts, too.

'Pressing is a means of chance creation. Why are Arsenal not pressing more? At least Klopp did it in Liverpool's first year.'
Team rebuilds are different from club to club. Arsenal were notorious for being defensively inept when Arteta came, conceding an unholy amount of shots every game.

You think that is the kind of atmosphere to instill a gung-ho approach? Especially with a coach who wants control?
You have to make choices with respect to your situation. Arsenal needed a steady ship at the back. That is what Arteta instilled immediately—top coach. The profiles of defenders in the squad were not conducive to pressing high anyways: Sokratis and Mustafi.
Read 12 tweets
12 Sep
People who use results without context to judge teams have the worst ball knowledge around.

Was Pirlo bad or was it Juventus that were bad?

Juventus are a little like Arsenal before this transfer window: lacking in the necessary elite technical quality to meet their ambitions. Image
The way out for Juventus is to admit the state of their squad. This means that the manager get ALL THE excuses in this world until the team is infused with sufficient quality. Just like with Ole, Klopp and Arteta.

The best way to successfully compete is to play with sustained
pressure. Find a coach who can do that and give him the keys. Depending on the characteristics of the coach you may or may not let him dictate signings. Ole and Arteta are exceptional in this regard as both are amazing at identifying talent.

Lock in for the scrappy results and
Read 9 tweets
11 Sep
Football is amazingly nuanced. In the mishmash of the game and with macro factors above macro factors, recorded events are not necessarily the best version of the truth.

Saying X Player did X number of this does not equal to a useful take. It only shows a basic take on the game.
A lot of our attack against Norwich was ran through Pepe. Anyone who has watched Liverpool or City or even Chelsea know that it is a different game if Mahrez, Salah, Hudson-Odoi see as much of the ball as Pepe did against Norwich.

He created a decent amount but that statistic is
not proportional with the amount of the ball, chances and situations that we had with him. A top forward produces more with so much. Even if you argue that what he created was proportionately sufficient for you (which I strongly disagree with seeing as he was indecisive), you
Read 12 tweets
11 Sep
Don't get it wrong. Today's start at RW was another massive opportunity that Arteta handed to Pepe to prove himself as part of our future going forward—and he absolutely ruined it.

Another infuriatingly wasteful performance from the most expensive player in our history.
Do not be surprised when he gets dropped for our next games. And do not accept the stunning mediocrity that Pepe, a 72 million euro acquisition, has to offer. Half of his touches result in an offensive transition for our opponents. This is anathema to the way we want to play.
We want to play and win games by sustaining pressure on the opposition, by locking them in their own halves: that is how we ought to play; that is how top teams play and that is how we can get back to the top and Pepe absolutely ruins that for us. Unbearable.
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
Timed Outlets, or How Pep Guardiola Wants to Redefine Possession Play.

(a thread/?).
Possession football has had a long and conflicted history. From historical highs under Wenger's Invincibles to the stodgy, despiriting football of Van Gaal's United, coaches and fans alike have praised and panned possession play. One unique exception has been Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola is regarded as one of the finest tactical minds in the history of the game. His keen appreciation and extremely successful coaching of possession play has resonated deeply across all tiers of football.

In recent years, however, a sense of staleness has creeped in.
Read 38 tweets

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