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Mikel Arteta’s decision to abandon Arsene Wenger rule goes down well at Arsenal

The Spaniard has opted against following his former boss’s example when it comes to Arsenal’s recruitment as the Gunners reap the benefits of a summer of heavy spending

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Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal players after Claudio Ranieri accusation

Mikel Arteta only recently claimed that Arsene Wenger was his main inspiration for going into management – yet he disagrees with the Frenchman on one big issue.

While the former Arsenal boss was often accused of watching the purse strings too closely, the current manager is not shy of parting ways with cash if he feels the squad needs strengthening.

Wenger was a particularly shrewd transfer guru at his peak with an ability to spot an eye for a bargain, but would rarely splurge on his side during the window due to one rule he would try to adhere to at all times.

The three-time Premier League winner felt too many signings in one window increases the risk of destabilising the team – insisting he would always try to sign no more than three players per window.

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Arsene Wenger enjoyed huge success across his 22-year tenure as Arsenal boss
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Image:

EMPICS Sport)



Speaking in December 2015, the Gunners icon said: “Firstly [the demand for new signings] is most of the time to calm anxiety for the fans. It is reassuring to have a big name come in and, secondly, the media put you under pressure to get a new name.

“But let’s not forget that football is as well about cohesion, about stability. That goes a little bit against the demand of what people want, but I still think success is linked with talent and cohesion.

“You need competition, and competition exists if the numbers are not too short or not too big. When the number is too big, there is no competition anymore and it goes against the interests of the team.”





Wenger went on to claim that signing a lot of players could spark a decline in motivation from players already on the fringes, revealing: “If a player is No.26 in the squad, he needs three players to die before he has a real chance to play.

“That has an impact when he comes in every morning. He is down and he takes something away from the team.

“When the number is too short, he thinks: ‘No matter how I am, I play.’ And that is not good either.”

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These pearls of advice were clearly not heeded by Arteta, who oversaw the largest amount of spend in one window in Arsenal’s history last summer.

The Gunners forked out just over £140m on six new additions in the form of Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Despite being over double the amount of players Wenger would recommend on recruiting in one summer, it has proved to be an inspired decision from Arteta and his technical director Edu Gaspar.

After a disastrous opening three games in which many of the old guard featured while the new faces were forced to wait for their debuts – the Gunners have not looked back since.

Unbeaten across ten games in all competitions, every single one of the ‘summer six’ has played their part as Arsenal have enjoyed a meteoric rise off the foot of the table and into fifth – two points adrift of the Champions League places.








Mikel Arteta oversaw the signing of six new players for Arsenal in the summer
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Image:

REUTERS)



While Odegaard’s winner at Burnley secured three points and both Lokonga and Tavares have shown signs of early promise – Tomiyasu, White and Ramsdale have all been integral to this new-look defensively resilient Arsenal side.

Between the sticks, Ramsdale boasts more clean sheets than goals conceded since his Gunners debut.

The last three Premier League starting line ups have not contained a single star signed from the Unai Emery-era, while the only Wenger representatives come in the form of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland Niles are all graduates of the famed Hale-End academy – ensuring the rest are all Arteta-signed talents.

Had Arteta stuck to Wenger’s principles there is every chance Arsenal would still be languishing in the lower positions of the league, but six summer signings seem to have accelerated the Spaniard’s process.


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