Graham Potter's Arsenal and Mikel Arteta claim speaks volumes after brutal Chelsea sack decision

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is the fourth longest serving manager of a Premier League club in the division, behind only Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Thomas Frank. The Spaniard has survived three-years and three-months as Gunners head coach since being appointed as successor to Unai Emery.

Graham Potter's Arsenal and Mikel Arteta claim speaks volumes after brutal Chelsea sack decision

In that time the side managed two eight-placed finishes to begin with, mounting pressure on Arteta despite an FA Cup triumph in the mix. A race towards top four last season showed progress, but falling at the final hurdle and missing a return to Champions League football brought further questions over whether the manager could get the side over the line.

Fast forward nearly one-year on and the north London outfit are top of the league, eight points clear of their nearest rivals in a huge title race. It's testament to the head coach and his staff that they've been able to bounce back on many occasions to find themselves in their current position.


“With me [the board] were really supportive, but at the end you have to win football matches because you know that if the run continues that it is unsustainable,” Arteta said earlier this season. “I knew I had to win against Norwich and win against Burnley [last year], and then everything helps and the environment starts to get better, everybody is more confident and you can keep going. We depend on results, unfortunately.

“I always just focused on how to turn things around, how to make the team play better, to be more efficient, get players back because we had 11 players out of the squad in that period so we needed players back as quick as possible as well. When you have a close relationship with managers which I had - in Spain, some in Italy, some here – of course you get in touch, sometimes they give you support like we all do when someone is going through a difficult [period]. Maybe not on the phone, but just at least a nice text of support.”

The whole process shows how unified the club has been in making that journey back to the top, with processes that have clearly worked. It only takes one glance across London to the west to see just how sour things could have turned if Arsenal hadn't handled things quite as smoothly.

Rivals Chelsea announced their dismissal of manager Graham Potter on Sunday night, despite the money spent bringing him in from Brighton a few months ago. The Blues are in dismal form, sitting in the bottom half of the table after a messy year both on and off the pitch.


Potter was backed by the board to do a job and even quoted similar circumstances at Arsenal, saying: "You can’t stop the questions and while the results are like they are, I accept them. It’s part of the job. We were talking before the game about watching All or Nothing and Arsenal, two years into Mikel’s reign he’s close to getting the sack and people are wanting him out and it’s a disaster. And now things have changed a little bit, and that’s just the way it is.

“If you look at Jurgen’s situation [Klopp at Liverpool], they haven’t got results and all of a sudden people want him out, that’s just the nature of football. Obviously I haven’t done enough at this club to have too much good faith, and I also accept that.”

A clear difference between the situation at Arsenal and Chelsea has been the unity and clarity with which the project has had at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners made clear strategic decisions, especially in the transfer market, that helped them build a squad to compete over time.

While the backing of Arteta compared to Potter is something to point at, the reality is that the former was supported as the right option and other clubs can't simply copy giving such faith to a manager and expect it to work. Everything behind the scenes has to be right and for Arsenal, they found their balance, which has translated to the support for the head coach as questions circulate over the project at Stamford Bridge.

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