Ex-manager backs Arteta and reveals unrealistic cost of Arsenal revival

Date published: Sunday 14th March 2021 3:26 - Neil Foster

Former Arsenal manager George Graham feels Mikel Arteta needs to spend a huge amount of money for the club to return to the top of English football.  

It has been 17 years since Arsenal won the Premier League. Arsene Wenger managed to guide them to three league titles but it has been slim pickings in recent years.

Unai Emery failed to make much of an impression but Arteta did secure the FA Cup last season. However, it is in the league that the north London faithful want to see an improvement.

The Emirates outfit currently sit in mid table, with little prospect of pushing for a European place next term. That would have seemed unthinkable during the Wenger years.

Graham seems a fan of the current manager but believes he needs to bring in quality to aid those he already has.

“They have got problems, but they can rectify them with three players,” he told the Daily Express. “Arteta is doing a very good job. But while he has improved the players, he has only improved them to a certain point.

“They have got to have natural ability to get to the next level. Arsenal have outstanding young players, but they need help. Quality players around them to show them the way.”

Graham urges board to back boss

Arsenal were always financially cautious during Wenger’s time at the helm. They had to watch the pennies after spending big on the new stadium.

But they have loosened the purse strings in recent seasons. Nicolas Pepe arrived for £72m while Thomas Partey cost £45m.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette also cost in excess of £40m each but Graham feels they need to dig much deeper.

“They need to go out and buy two or three players, each costing £75m to £100m,” he added.

That seems unlikely to happen, especially with no possibility of Champions League football in 2021-2022. And the man who won two league titles with the Gunners has urged the club to strengthen at both ends of the pith.

“Alexandre Lacazette will get you a few goals here and there, but if you want top quality you want an Ian Wright or a Thierry Henry,” he continued. “Arsenal needs outstanding strikers.

“Then at the back they have just got to get rid of these stupid mistakes. If individuals keep making these mistakes, eventually you have to think, ‘maybe they are not good enough’.”


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