If recent reports are to be believed, Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has placed Mikel Arteta’s name on his shortlist of future managers should he win the election scheduled for 7 March.
The 38-year-old is currently in his first managerial role having left Pep Guardiola’s staff at Manchester City to take up the top job at his former club. Up until now, his tenure has been one of ups and downs, although he’s already won a major trophy despite having been in charge for just short of 15 months, guiding the Gunners to their 14th FA Cup at the back end of last season.
Despite Arsenal’s underwhelming league position, the general consensus appears to be that Arteta is a very talented young coach, still learning his trade and that he’ll go on to have a fantastic career – however, he still has much to prove.
The north London club may not have to worry about fending off interest for their boss in the immediate future, but there’s nothing to say that that will always be the case if his tenure at the Emirates Stadium proves to be a success longer term.
In recent years the Arsenal faithful haven’t been afraid to make their feelings towards the club’s ownership, KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment), known.
An orchestrated effort by a number of prominent supporters’ groups and influencers saw the #WeCareDoYou campaign launched in the summer of 2019 in which they highlighted the club’s disappointing decline, prompting a direct response from Josh Kroenke.
In 2018 the American company took complete control of Arsenal, and for the time being their priority will be to see the club return to the Champions League, but are they willing to financially back the club to push on for the titles the fans desire?
That remains to be seen but at present; the global pandemic has had an impact on businesses and sports clubs all over the world, therefore the fans are likely to be a little more tolerant of what could have previously been perceived as a lack of investment.
Poor recruitment and overspending on average players is arguably what has led to the Gunners’ decline, so money isn’t always the answer. But having enjoyed great success under Arsene Wenger in the late 90s and early 2000s, this fanbase demands the very best.
It’s been suggested by former players that the club have lacked ambition in years gone by and that’s arguably what led to the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Alexis Sanchez to rivals domestically and on the continent, to name but a few.
Arteta may go on to improve Arsenal significantly and restore their status as a Champions League club, but there’s no guarantee that if he does so and his ambitions are not matched, he’ll be as loyal as Wenger if Barcelona – his first club – come calling.