Per Mertesacker gives Mikel Arteta crucial advice amid sack rumours while hoping the Spaniard is afforded more time at the club.
The expectations with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta were always high, due to the time spent working under Pep Guardiola. Many believed the former midfielder would bring in ideas similar to the Catalan, but barring a few exceptional moments, he has struggled to get to grips at the club.
The dreadful start to the new season made him one of the favourites to be dismissed, although Arteta has turned the club’s form around after consecutive victories. The rumours of a sack persist, despite widespread reports of the Arsenal board’s backing of their manager.
Arteta has experienced some difficult times at the club, going through player problems, tactical issues and squad imbalance. He used the summer window properly to recruit players of his preference, while the club has offloaded many unwanted stars since the Spaniard’s arrival.
Since the last two games, the squad looked better managed and balanced. However, another bad run of games will put the pressure back on Arteta. The next clash against Tottenham on Sunday will be crucial for the manager, which could either ease or increase the burden on his shoulders.
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Former teammate and current Arsenal Academy manager Per Mertesacker has offered his advice to Arteta amid those sack rumours. The former defender also hoped the Spaniard is afforded more time to develop his ideas at the club and achieve progress.
Mertesacker said, “He presented himself as someone who wants to lead us into these difficult moments, so I could only agree. But if I had known how he reacts to difficult moments – he needs to learn fairly quickly, let’s be honest. He needs to learn super, super quick because in football, and being the manager of Arsenal Football Club – if you lose three games on the spin, you are in trouble.
“You cannot have one or two moments of this; that’s the reality of the game and the football club,” he said. Despite those words of advice, Mertesacker wants the club to afford Arteta more time to better things and properly bring his ideas on the pitch.
He explained, “I hope Mikel gets the time that he needs. When you look at it from a case of ‘first managerial job – Arsenal Football Club’, where you would hope you have people with experience to know how to deal with these adverse moments, how to deal with successful moments like winning the FA Cup.
“I think sometimes it is difficult to explain but what Mikel gives you is a hell of a lot of experience as an assistant coach under Pep Guardiola – he wanted to make that next step, and people, hierarchies trusted him.”
From how things stand, a section of the media and pundits are vouching for the Spaniard to be replaced. However, despite the mounting pressure, Arteta has enough backing of the board to execute his ideas and oversee the rebuild to full effect.