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Ornstein: Arsenal to back Mikel Arteta & give Spaniard ‘a lot longer’ in the job

Ornstein: Arsenal to back Mikel Arteta & give Spaniard ‘a lot longer’ in the job

Arsenal to keep faith in Arteta

After Arsenal lost 2-1 to Everton on Saturday afternoon, further questions were asked as to whether Mikel Arteta should remain as manager. The Gunners have now picked up a win in just one of their last ten Premier League games, leaving them languishing precariously above the relegation zone, with a tough test against Chelsea to come in their next fixture.

The January window is now fast approaching, and Arsenal will be expected by both fans of the club and from outside to make serious additions, in an attempt to save their season. The role set to be played by Arteta in such decisions, meanwhile, has become a little clearer over the last few hours.

The Athletic writer David Ornstein has revealed that he believes the club intend to keep faith in the Spaniard, ahead of further difficult fixtures and the transfer window in January:

“I think they are going to stick with Mikel Arteta and give him a lot longer. Now we know in football you believe in someone until you don’t. We saw that with Unai Emery because Arsenal were behind him until they sacked him,” Ornstein said.

“But I do think that Mikel Arteta is going to get a lot longer than this. I don’t think Arsenal want to be chopping and changing managers. There is no guarantee that a new manager will come in and solve this problem.”

“Many of the problems are deeper, they’re underlying and they are cultural. To do with the standards and the behaviour and things that have set in over years going back to the Arsene Wenger reign, the Unai Emery reign and now the Mikel Arteta reign. We are not excusing Mikel Arteta here but these are deep-rooted issues.”

For and against

Whether or not Arsenal should remove Mikel Arteta from his position is a difficult question to answer. Yes, their form is horrific, so much so that the Gunners are in serious danger of becoming part of the relegation conversation. If Arsenal were to sack Arteta, though, the next question would be who comes in? And how do they change things?

When it comes to managers that are available at the moment, would any want to come to an Arsenal side which currently sits so far down in the Premier League, with notorious restrictions on spending?

And if, by some miracle, a world-class tactician was to be obtained, could they produce results with the current crop of players available to them without significant investment?

Such questions, at this stage, seem a little redundant, considering the fact that Arsenal look set to stick with Arteta. It is therefore important to consider the reasons for such a decision on the part of the club’s board. As mentioned, Arsenal’s squad is not in the healthiest of positions. Players are underperforming on a consistent basis, and have not looked in top form for a significant period of time.

The likes of Thomas Partey have been injured for much of the season, hindering the capital giants in a major way. Others, such as Nicolas Pepe, Granit Xhaka and Gabriel, have all been sent off at pivotal moments of games. Had Arsenal managed to keep eleven men on the pitch, the outcome of such outings may have been very different.

Ornstein: Arsenal to back Mikel Arteta & give Spaniard ‘a lot longer’ in the job

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Thomas Partey of Arsenal is challenged by Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 01, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Arsenal failed to sign a significant creative player in the summer window, despite pursuing Lyon’s Houssem Aouar. Mikel Arteta decided to leave Mesut Ozil out of both his Premier League and Europa League squads for the season, with this combination having left Arsenal without any senior central creative players whatsoever.

Whether this decision was made solely by Arteta is unknown, but he has certainly taken full responsibility for it.

There comes a time when a manager’s position becomes untenable, but that has evidently not arrived just yet for Arteta. After Chelsea, Arsenal have a run of fixtures against sides they would typically be expected to pick up points against. The results of such games, aided by activity in January, could have a major impact on whether or not Arteta lasts as far as Arsenal’s Europa League tie against Benfica in February.

5 times in the last 6 months Arsenal’s senior figures have has misled their fans and left the club fighting for Premier League survival.

Man City believe Guardiola is ‘best man’ for job & remain confident Spaniard wants to stay put


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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