Are Arsenal an Example to Follow for Manchester United?

A change in manager can bring about an immediate change in results that revive a club in the short-term, but have drastic long-term consequences. This is common for Premier League teams, especially those in the battle at the bottom of the table where they make a change out of their dire need to avoid the drop into the Championship.

On occasions, it can work like a dream – such as Eddie Howe’s appointment at Newcastle United, saving the Magpies from the drop. On the other hand, it can also fail in the example of Watford, who cycled through three managers, including former England boss Roy Hodgson, on their way down to the second tier. Whatever the appointment, teams have to be able to commit to a manager for the long term, and let him build his own philosophy regarding playing style and transfers.

Manchester United are one of a number of teams taking on his long-term project with Erik ten Hag, and the early Premier League odds of 6/1 are against them from reaching the top four in his first season. However, the club must not look at the short-term aims and focus on the long term, even though the results might not be pretty. Arsenal are a fine example to follow, and are now considered one of the contenders in the English Premier League tips to challenge for a place in the top four and potentially the title.

It has been a long road for Arteta since he was appointed in December 2019 to replace Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium. Although the Spaniard had initial success by winning the FA Cup in his first season, he has been forced to battle to retain his place in the dugout amid poor results. A return to Champions League football has not been forthcoming for the Gunners yet, but there are encouraging signs that the club are trending in the right direction.

Arsenal’s players now seem to understand the intensity and intricacies of Arteta’s system, which is not too dissimilar to the one employed by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. However, it did require total buy-in from the players, notably the senior ones.
When that was not the case, Arteta had to be decisive and act.

Perhaps the toughest decision that the Spaniard had to take was to allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club as his game and attitude was not suited to Arteta’s philosophy. It was an unpopular decision given his outstanding record in front of goal and the position of captain that he held at the club, but one that has allowed other players to thrive in his place.

It has paved the way for new signings such as Gabriel Jesus to hit the ground running with the Gunners. Arteta has a good core of players of a similar age that are focused on their task at hand, each one knows their role to perfection and are playing for the team and each other.

It is the breeding ground of success, and although the goal of the title may seem far off, they’re certainly putting the right fundamentals down for a challenge in the future, especially considering the age of the players in the squad.

Manchester United and other sides at the top should take note of Arsenal’s patient approach.

Watch: After Arsenal suffer one of their worst starts in Premier League history, Mikel Arteta attempts to inspire the young team with an emotional speech about his short-term battle with heart problems as a child and how he considers this Arsenal team his new family.