It has been widely reported that Arsenal have made Mikel Arteta their prime candidate for the head coaching position. In fact, photos have surfaced of Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy, two of Arsenal’s financial chiefs, departing Arteta’s home after the the Gunners fell 3-0 to Manchester City on Sunday.
This particular duo meeting with Arteta would suggest that things may be progressing quickly in a deal to bring the former Arsenal player back to the Emirates. Venkatesham, the club’s managing directer, and Fahmy, Arsenal’s contract negotiator, are normally brought in to take care of financial issues regarding fresh contract offers.
If Arsenal decide to offer Arteta the job, it would be a massive gamble by the north London club. The Gunners are sputtering at the moment and will need a head coach/manager to make an immediate impact on the squad. Of course, this is possible with Arteta, however, the 37-year-old former midfielder has never managed a team before. There is an uncertainty as to what the Spaniard can bring to the table.
Back in 2018, there were even rumblings that the Arsenal players didn’t want Arteta to replace the outgoing Arsene Wenger. While some of these players have since moved on, and this story could quite easily be filed away with other rumors, it would be interesting to see how this group of Gunners feels about a potential Arteta appointment.
In this particular situation, Arsenal could be better off going after a more established manager. Previous rumors have suggested that the Gunners were also keen on Massimiliano Allegri, Brendan Rodgers, and even Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone. It could theoretically be easier for an experienced manager to help dig Arsenal out of their current hole, rather than a freshman head coach without this experience.
The Gunners possibly passing on one of these more knowledgeable managers could also suggest that they might not be able to afford a big name for this role. Financial issues, as well as a struggling team, could trim the club’s wish list down quite a bit.
The unknown is clearly what makes this potential move for Arteta a bit unnerving for some. With other well-qualified candidates out there, the Gunners would be taking a major risk with their former captain. This would clearly be a high-risk, high-reward situation. On the other hand, everyone already knows what a particular experienced coach would immediately bring to the club.
Nevertheless, both Wenger and Pep Guardiola have backed Arteta to succeed as a head coach going forward. His leadership skills and intelligence have never been questioned. The backing of two of the greatest minds in the sport this century should help ease the minds of Arsenal fans around the globe.