Mikel Arteta Learned A Lot
A rookie coach just 12 months into his first job, Arteta is constantly absorbing techniques and information about how best to apply himself.
He learns about his players, what they can and can’t do, as well as what he himself can and can’t do. From the first day on the job until Boxing Day 2020, he will have learned no more than he did in the win over Chelsea.
Progressing as a coach and trying to move the club forward, he hamstrung himself this season by reverting to methods akin of managers losing sight of the long-term project. Fielding players who let him down, and then persisting with the same formula, his own development took a giant leap back. He was damaging the team as much as himself.
While many of the alterations on Saturday were enforced – who knows if he may have chosen Willian anyway – he’ll get home tonight and realise the error of his ways – we hope.
Wanting to instill changes into his team of late, the options he’d gone for proved fruitless. The ones he had to make tonight, however, altered the course.
Arsenal needed a turning point in the Premier League, one that having now arrived has refreshed Arteta’s mind. He had found his way into a rabbit hole and felt digging was the only way out.
Something will now have tweaked, a rope tossed to him, and if he doesn’t come to terms with his own misguided direction, then the penny may finally drop.