The first sign of cracks at Arsenal have reportedly appeared with the squad unsure over boss Mikel Arteta, who is facing dressing room unrest.
That is the verdict from The Sun, who have an exclusive which has revealed “growing resentment from players” with the Gunners boss. It’s the first time really the spotlight has fallen on the Spanish boss after arriving from Manchester City 15 months ago. Arteta guided Arsenal to FA Cup glory and an eighth placed finish last season. But they have not fared any better this time around and face a battle to finish in Europe.
Apparently the players are “upset” they are being blamed for Arsenal’s problems instead of the head coach.
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. Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out on several occasions. Most recently he was omitted for the Europa League draw with Slavia Prague after the 3-0 defeat by Liverpool.
The forward was then ill and missed the weekend’s win over Sheffield United.
‘Arteta could be out of a job’
“It is believed the treatment of striker Aubameyang has not gone unnoticed among the players, with other top names suffering similar problems,” claims the report.
It’s claimed Arteta’s tactics, management techniques are being questioned. There is also a concern that Arsenal “lack of a team identity”.
The revelations will only feed rumours of Arteta’s job being under threat in north London.
Former Spurs striker Darren Bent thinks Arteta could be sacked if they do not improve their league position this season.
“The early signs were really good in terms of look how quickly he [Arteta] picked up a trophy. Yes, this season has been really inconsistent. But I don’t want Arsenal to turn into a club where they keep sacking managers – at some stage you’ve got to give someone a little bit of time
“The FA Cup papers over a lot of cracks and if Arsenal go out of the Europa League and finish tenth or eleventh, I think he could be out of a job,” Bent told talkSPORT.