Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal job is in jeopardy and only winning the Europa League can save the Spaniard, according to a fanciful report in Italy.
The Arsenal board are unhappy with Arteta’s progress with the Gunners and are already thinking about replacements. Arteta’s last chance of silverware this season is in Europe’a second competition. They face Villarreal on Thursday night in the Europa League semi-finals first-leg and the pressure is on.
Only glory in Europe will mask their terrible time in the Premier League. Arteta’s side sit 10th and are not in contention to finish in the top six.
That has led Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb to claim that the Arsenal hierarchy are “not happy with Arteta”.
They even state Paulo Fonseca, whose Roma side face Manchester United in the other Europa semi-final, is “one of the options left on the shortlist”.
Arteta has been at the helm since December 2019. The 39-year-old left Manchester City to succeed Unai Emery and guided the club to an FA Cup final win and an eighth-placed finish.
However, the progression has not been evident this season and the Gunners are 10 points worse off than last season with five games remaining.
The report comes two weeks after the first sign of cracks appeared with the squad unsure over Arteta.
Arteta facing ‘dressing room unrest’
Earlier this month The Sun, had an exclusive which revealed “growing resentment from players” with the Gunners boss.
It was the first time really the spotlight had fallen on the Spanish boss after arriving 15 months ago.
The article says “some” of the squad think the Spaniard is all “emperor’s new clothes”. A notion that Arteta talks a good game, but has not managed to deliver through performances on the field.
There is a feeling from within that Arteta is not taking responsibility and is instead letting the players take the flak. The report suggests that players have clocked the fact that the boss often responds to defeats by leaving out a big name the following week.
That in turn has lead to players feeling they are individually responsible.