Arsenal are in dire straits with an increasing pressure from some fans to sack Mikel Arteta, who is determined to reignite the Gunners.
Arsenal Must Be Brave to Reverse Form as Pressure Grows to Sack Mikel Arteta
Arteta Vows to Turn Around Gunners Form
The club are 15th in the table, with 12 games played and seven games lost. And they’ve only scored 10 goals.
Believe it or not, these are the current statistics of the mighty Arsenal. Times have certainly changed and the footballing world is far gone from the glory days of the Gunners.
However, in their current form Arsenal aren’t even playing like a top half of the table team, let alone a top-six club.
Mikel Arteta said in his latest press conference:
“We are not winning football matches and I have to put my chest there and you have to hit me,”
“You have the right to hit me because I’m not winning.
“So what else can I do? Put my head down, work harder and try to do things better and improve. That’s how we have to approach things, in my opinion.
“It’s natural. I accept the criticism and it’s part of the job.”
Now the question is, does Arsenal bite the bullet and sack Mikel Arteta or do the problems run deeper than that?
The quick and easy answer is yes, of course, their problems run deeper than that.
Ever since Arsenal’s move to the Emirates from Highbury, fans were promised top-level football and consistent challenges for silverware. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for the Gunners.
By all accounts, club owner Stan Kroenke takes a laissez-faire approach with running the team and is more concerned with keeping Arsenal profitable rather than having them be a top team.
In a recent interview with Dutch presenter, Kaj Gorgels, former Arsenal striker, Robin Van Persie said that the club attempted to persuade him to stay with them by showing him their positive numbers.
This is indicative of the problem at Arsenal. At the end of the day, a businessman wants a return on his investment, but a club of the size of Arsenal has more than enough resources to be profitable and ambitious at the same time.
FA Cup Could Save Arteta’s Job
Now do the Gunners have an Arteta problem or is it a personnel problem?
It’s important to mention that this is Arteta’s first managerial job in football. He was Pep Guardiola‘s assistant at Manchester City which ultimately gave him the credentials to take over from Unai Emery last December.
Early on in his tenure Arteta had the team playing better than under Emery. However, that could come down to the team having a clean slate which often happens when a manager gets sacked. Then came the FA Cup win.
For many, this is what turned fans into believers. Arteta’s Arsenal defeated Manchester City and then Chelsea in the final to lift the FA Cup. To be fair to them they did play well in their FA Cup run, one must mention.
Now is the FA Cup enough of an insurance policy for Arteta at this very moment? It’s not as simple as yes or no. Arteta joined the team when they were in a rocky situation and never had a full pre-season going into his first full year as the manager.
Not to mention, Arteta is inexperienced at this level. Objectively speaking, this season is one of the toughest seasons for a manager to have their full first year at the helm. The fixture congestion has proved a nightmare for even the highest level of managers.
Arsenal’s Poor Football on Display
With all of the benefits given to Arteta as a precursor, at the end of the day the team has been horrible nonetheless. Arsenal’s squad might not match Chelsea’s, Liverpool’s, or Manchester City’s but it’s not a squad full of amateurs either.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a proven goal-scorer; Thomas Partey is a top-level midfielder; Gabriel Magalhaes has proven to be an excellent signing in central defence; Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka are young promising talents that are part of the future of this side.
All that being said, the team has failed to create chances. They look lifeless and void of any creativity. The team never looked this bad under Unai Emery or in the latter days of Arsene Wenger.
This could be a sign for Arsenal to sack Mikel Arteta.
Does an FA Cup win really give Arteta all this good grace? The team is five points above the relegation zone, scored one goal in their last five Premier League games, and are winless since November 1st.
The team are in dire form, there are no two ways about it. Finishing in the top four might already be too unrealistic, even at this point in the season. Arteta’s Arsenal has Southampton, Everton, Manchester City in the league cup, and Chelsea in his next four games. If the team doesn’t show positive signs in these games then he’s surely gone and that’s if he doesn’t get the boot in the next few days which is a possibility.
The Arsenal Project
Arsenal is a club that needs to commit to a rebuild. Signing players like Willian and giving a long term contract to Aubameyang showed their lack of a plan.
There are two options for the Gunners; either go all-in on the youngsters or break the bank and bring in 3-4 world-class players that will slot perfectly into the team.
The latter option isn’t very feasible but the current decision-making at the board level is one step forward and two steps back. Arteta isn’t putting out a side that showing many positive signs. If the team was losing but putting decent results together then there could be light at the end of the tunnel but at the current time, this is not the case.
The club might not have much of an option but to sack the Spaniard.
If they are to sack him then the plan must be crystal clear. They need to know exactly what manager to bring in and exactly who they’re going to let go of and bring in. Otherwise, it’s useless to sack Arteta and just being the same cycle all over again.
Those managers might not be the perfect appointments but they are options nonetheless. Find a plan, give the manager resources and time, and stick to it. Arteta might be the martyr due to the tough circumstances behind the scenes but he’s no victim.
The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder has simply not been good enough. It’s a complicated situation but the club is having a horrible run of form.
In modern-day football that’s all it would take for a big club like Arsenal to sack Mikel Arteta.