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Tuchel Explains Arsenal mistake in promoting Arteta to First-team Manager

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08 Sep 2021
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Thomas Tuchel’s explanation of being a head coach has given a possible explanation for the mistake Arsenal made by promoting Mikel Arteta to first-team manager.

In September 2020, Arsenal confirmed Mikel Arteta had been promoted from head coach to first-team manager.

This decision was scrutinized at the time considering Arteta had been in the role for less than a year and had finished in the worst league position for more than 20 years.

Yet Arsenal’s CEO Vinai Venkatesham, who himself had been recently promoted to the position, spoke with confidence about the club’s choice.

He revealed, “Edu and Mikel will be working together to head up the first team operation. So in terms of how that will work, going forward, Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they’ll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important. Whether analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they’ll be looking after those areas together.”

“And they’ll together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that’s players that we’re going to buy, whether that’s players that we’re going to sell, whether that’s players that we’re going to loan.”

Arteta finished his first season in charge of the club with 9 wins, 6 draws, and 5 losses from 20 games Premier League games. A win percentage of 45%.

The following season, Arsenal won 18 games, drew 7, and lost 13. The Spaniard slightly increasing his win percentage to 47.4%.

However, the position of 8th in the table remained the same and the club failed to pick up silverware or qualify for Europe.

Furthermore, in the first 14 games of the 2020/21 season, the initial period of Arteta’s tenure as first-team manager, they won just 4 games. Drawing 2 and losing a staggering 8.

The struggles Arsenal have faced on the pitch to progress under Arteta could be put down to the inexperienced coach being given far more responsibility than he was ready for.

Interestingly, just a couple of weeks prior to the UCL win, Tuchel spoke in an interview in which he described his delight to simply be a coach.

Chelsea’s director Marina Granovskaia has been responsible for the acquisitions of Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and, Romelu Lukaku amongst a whole host of other signatures.

Similar to Arsenal technical director Edu’s former role prior to Arteta’s promotion, Granovskaia is the sole figurehead of the Chelsea player transaction department. Tuchel has been able to focus on coaching whilst Granovskaia has sorted out the buys and sales.

Arsenal may look back on the decision to promote Arteta to first-team manager, putting him on a level playing field with Edu, regretfully.

It is unclear who from Arteta and Edu holds the most power and whilst Granovskaia has the ability to recommend the removal of the head coach, Edu’s task of implementing the first team philosophy looks devoid of the power to do the same.

It seems ludicrous that the man whose job is to make decisions to ensure Arsenal’s progression and philosophy continue lacks the control to make a choice.

An existing power struggle at Arsenal has impacted first-team performances which appears obvious from the successive 8th placed finish and an awful start to the current league season.


  • arsenal
  • chelsea
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Thomas Tuchel
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