Revealed – Arteta’s Three Year Champions League-Winning Plan


The 3 year plan

As ever, there has been a small bucketful of Arsenal news and rumours every day this summer.

By far the most interesting and insightful piece of Arsenal news has been washed over.

I think it’s the core of Mikel Arteta’s plan.

Five days ago a journalist asked Willian what persuaded him to sign. As all new players he said the expected but he also said this,

“When I talked with the manager he told me why he needed me for three years.

It was that he first wanted to qualify for the Champions League and win it by the time I left. That was what I wanted to hear.”

Interestingly, I haven’t heard anybody state that they think that this is ridiculous. Frankly, nobody is commenting on this at all.

Ordinarily, this is the sort of thing you’d expect David Moyes to say and therefore become an eternal meme.

If most any other coach who had just finished 8th would’ve been about to tell a prospective signing this, we would hope that someone would tell him not to. Beg him not to. Why? Because it sounds patently ridiculous and hugely unrealistic.

So, why did Willian go for it?

Not only that but he believes in it to the point where he told us what was said.

Why are we linked to Houssem Aouar? Thomas Partey? Thiago Alcantara? Phillipe Coutinho?

All established Champions League players who could go to far bigger clubs.

Why did Gabriel choose Arsenal when Utd reportedly offered twice the wages AND CL football?

Why is Aubameyang re-signing?



If we get two of Aouar, Ceballos, Partey and Alcantara we would have one of the best midfields in Europe.

We already have one of the best strikers in the World.

We’ve just bought a Centre Back partnership that has the potential to become the best in Europe for a generation.

Does anyone in Europe have 2 goalkeepers better than Leno and Martinez?

Would you be surprised if Tierney got to this level too?

What about Pepe? Is it reasonable to think that a decent first season could turn into a more consistent second season where like many overseas imports, he makes huge strides. Everyone sees the talent. Is it to much to expect for him to fulfill it?

Tell me a team in Europe that has not just a talented group of young players, but a group that are actually being trusted in a big European team?

I tell you what I see.

I see a fanbase that are being shy in their expectations. A fanbase that are still Wengerized by the thought that you can’t have success if you try to integrate more than 2-3 players at a time.

How about this….

You could sell/loan let’s say 8 first team squad players plus 5 more non-squad/loan/Academy players.

You buy/loan 9 players and almost complete the rebuild in one season.

You may not fulfill the groups potential that next season as there is natural adaptation but equally you don’t have to ask 2-4 first team players to adapt in 21/22 and 22/23 either.

You expect this coming season to be better knowing that the following season they should power out of the blocks as you’ve had to make minimal change and none of it to the first eleven.




Here is an example based on current talk…


AMN £20M

Bellerin £25M

Kolasinac loan

Holding £15M

Mustafi £10M

Sokratis £5M

Guendouzi £30M

ElNeny loan

Ozil loan

Torreira £25M

Lacazette £30M

Balogun £8M

Greenwood £1M

Total: 169M


Dumfries £20M

Ait Nouri £15M

Gabriel £30M

Mari £8M

Ceballos loan

Alcantara £25M

Partey £50M

Soumare £20M

Willian free

Total £168M

Net spend : We make 1M profit 😊



You may think this is hugely hopeful. I may agree.

I also have a strong sense that this kind of squad detonation is exactly what the club is attempting to pull off.

  • Keep both keepers to keep competition high.
  • Upgrade at right back first choice.
  • Upgrade squad option at left back.
  • Sign two CB’s that could be a staple for a generation, surrounded by experience to guide and support. That’s done already.
  • Completely modernize and upgrade midfield.
  • Add creativity both coming from midfield and in front.
  • Retained our 20+ goals a season man supported by second season versions of Pepe, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli and Nketiah.

I haven’t even added Coutinho who I think is possible or the two that I would’ve gone for in Cavani (free) OR Griezzmann (loan).

So, back to the beginning….

Why is that Willian quote so interesting?

I think that Arsenal aren’t doing this rebuild in stages. I think they have gone for a three year plan…

20/21… compete and get Top 4.

21/22… challenge for PL and establish in CL

22/23…. expectation to be good enough to win one of the PL or CL

If you still think I’m nuts, ask yourself this….


The Mighty Lyon

Is it too much to ask for Arteta’s Arsenal to be able to be at the level that this years semi finalists, Lyon and Leipzig, got to this year in the Champions League, in three years?

Arsenal fans are so accustomed to being let down we protect ourselves from these dreams.

I’m not expecting the above to happen and threatening levels of upset if we don’t, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

Our 8th placed finish included beating Manchester Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Wolves and Liverpool.

That’s considered the harder part, right?

I think we can do this again and I certainly think we can greatly improve against teams lesser than these five.

The club is changing extremely rapidly off the field. Add it all up.

The detonation is happening.

The improvement might be more rapid than we first thought.


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11 Responses to Revealed – Arteta’s Three Year Champions League-Winning Plan

  1. night fung August 25, 2020 at 9:35 am #

    wonderful observation and analysis. supremely spot on. free of negative thoughts. marvelous. thank you. sincerely.

    • Mike McDonald August 25, 2020 at 2:51 pm #

      Very kind of you!

  2. bathgooner August 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm #

    Nice analysis. It’s happening. Forza Arteta!

    • Emilio Zorlakki August 25, 2020 at 4:20 pm #

      Totally agree with the sentiments in your post. However, we need to be a lot more cautious on the incoming and outgoings, as this current climate will be very restrictive.

  3. Arse August 25, 2020 at 2:21 pm #

    Curious why you would think we would splash on Dumfries after offloading so many HG players, I’d imagine if Bellerin goes we MUST go for a HG player like Max Aarons who would maybe cost 5m more than Dumfries.
    In your predicted first 22 we only have 5 homegrown players: Martinez, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, Saka, Nketiah.
    Martinelli could become HG in 2 years if he joined before his 18th birthday, Tierney doesn’t count because he is HG in Scotland, not England.

    I also highly doubt Martinez is willing to stay if he is only the cup competitions keeper, he said as much and so one of them will leave, no way Özil leaves on loan in my opinion based on the current situatuon either.

    The left back you mentioned sounds decent, I didn’t know about him but again I am wondering if we wouldn’t go for someone like Jamal Lewis instead. Liverpool were after him and weren’t ready to pay 20m. He would only be 5m more than the lad you mentioned.

    I think some of your valuations on outgoings are way off, Guendouzi no way we get 30m. Maybe 20 like AMN, Holding 10m max, already a generous fee for someone we bought for 1.55m.

    I like your idea of a massive overhaul though, reminds me of what I tend to do on Football Manager if I am managing Arsenal.

  4. Mike August 25, 2020 at 3:05 pm #

    I didn’t include some of our home grown players including Willock but you make a good point.
    I think you’ll find that Dumfries is a real target though.

    I think Leno isn’t ready to play and so by circumstance we may keep both. I’d keep Emi over Leno if pushed.

    Ait Nouri is more of a wish than what I think will happen. Got a feeling he will end up at Real Madrid.

    We should easily get these valuations IF there is a market. If players like Ramsdale go for £18.5M then it’s very possible. If there is no money offered then we may have to drop our prices.
    Also, depends if teams want our players before the mad scramble of the last two days. Might be worth it to them to buy now. Example is Villarreal will want Guendouzi as a starter and soon. PSG could wait.

  5. Peter August 25, 2020 at 4:03 pm #

    Absolutely spot on! A few weeks ago I was discussing with a friend of mine from Montreal who also is an Arsenal fan that with the names linked with Arsenal, if Arteta can get about 3 of those names then Arsenal should be penciled down as one of the favourites to win the EPL next season. He snared as a typical gunner cuz like in your words he’s been Wengerized. I have no doubt that Arsenal can win the EPL/UCL in three years if we sign Partey, Alcantara, Gabriel this season.

  6. James Russell August 25, 2020 at 4:45 pm #

    Interesting reading, and I agree with the sentiment that we are in the process of a big overhaul. The FA Cup win has shown us we have the right manager, taking us in the right direction, and hopefully good times are ahead.

    What I’d say is if we were to sell Lacazette I think we buy another striker. You have allocated his sale, but you have to replace the goals (albeit only 12 last season, but he get 18 the one before). Are you hoping for the wingers and Willian to score those? As you can’t put even more burden on Aubameyang.

    Whilst also mentioning Aubameyang, he is 31 now and will need replacing in two years most likely, which would be another striker gone. There has to be some kind of successor, and I’m not convinced Nketiah is the answer (I hope I’m wrong, I am a fan of his, but he is more an outright poacher and different type of forward to Auba). Surely we are better bringing in someone to play with Auba rather than telling him that you’re replacing a superstar, and we need you to now.

    Lastly, the competition for top 4 has to be factored in. I fully expect us to finish above Wolves, Leicester and Spurs next season, but Chelsea are strengthening massively (albeit need to improve defence, but looks like it’s happening), Liverpool are top 4 certainty. So you are looking at, and hoping, City drop off a lot, or that we can take advantage of Man Utd.

    I do love the positivity, but we have to look at what others are doing too.

  7. Sushanta Mondal August 25, 2020 at 5:36 pm #

    Sell bellerin for 25M and get an upgrade on him in 20M? Does the market work like that? Why Partey and Soumare both. they are similar…no? Where is Xhaka in your line-up?

  8. Lari03 August 25, 2020 at 11:43 pm #

    Very interesting take on what Arsenal might attempt to do.

    Adding intelligent players won’t disrupt the rhythm of the team. Especially a team like ours, which struggled to create chances from the middle.

    • Las August 30, 2020 at 3:23 pm #

      Ok, Ok I got it. But tell me than, would you rather sell AMN or keep him?!

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