• Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Arteta under pressure to lead Arsenal out of slump

  • Published at 01:42 pm August 23rd, 2021
Mikel Arteta

Arsenal face a tough League Cup clash at in-form West Brom Wednesday and then face EPL champions Man City away Saturday

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta appeared to be the perfect fit but now the Spanish manager is being assailed by fans across the world, including the President of Rwanda, after the Gunners' worst start to a league season in their 118-year history.

The 39-year old is being targeted by increasingly disenchanted fans who have turned their ire from unpopular American owner Stan Kroenke on to him.

The boos which emanated from the home stands following Chelsea's 2-0 win Sunday - Arteta appeared to be the only person not to hear them.

Arsenal face a tough League Cup clash at in-form Championship side West Bromwich Albion Wednesday and then face Premier League champions Manchester City away Saturday. 

Kroenke at least untied the purse strings in the close season despite the Gunners facing a Europe-free campaign after finishing eighth.

Arteta has so far spent £130m ($177m) but an early return of no points and no goals in either of their league games has already got the fans concerned that another season of mid-table mediocrity awaits.

Their disappointment with Arteta is all the greater because of his Gunners' pedigree, something that his predecessor fellow Spaniard Unai Emery lacked.

The former midfielder's experience at having played under Arsenal's legendary manager Arsene Wenger from 2011-16 and serving his managerial apprenticeship under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City marked him down as the ideal candidate.

Arsenal were keen to lure him away from City in 2018 when Wenger left but had to wait till December 2019 to secure him after Emery failed to fire up the side.

Arteta made a good start, winning the FA Cup in 2020 with victory over Chelsea at Wembley but there has been little to cheer since.

The Spaniard can point to extenuating factors for the disappointing start to this season like losing key players such as Alexandre Lacazette and £50m signing Ben White due to coronavirus.

He bridled at the scathing assessment last week of the President of Rwanda which is an official sponsor of Arsenal but former players believe that his team are serving up mediocrity.

Former striker Ian Wright shook his head in bemusement at the latest display against Chelsea - Arsenal's 20th Premier League defeat in the 60 matches Arteta has taken charge of.

Sol Campbell, who won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups under Wenger, says Arteta is probably safe for the moment because the club spent so much time and energy on getting him.

However, Campbell is worried by the lack of steeliness in either the defence or midfield, which was painfully exposed by Chelsea.

Roy Keane, not known for his patience as a player, manager or pundit, lays the blame instead at the feet of the senior players.

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