• September 17, 2021

Exclusive: ‘What have Arsenal become?’ – talkSPORT pundits agree Mikel Arteta is ‘walking the plank’ and win over Norwich is a ‘stay of execution’

 Exclusive: ‘What have Arsenal become?’ – talkSPORT pundits agree Mikel Arteta is ‘walking the plank’ and win over Norwich is a ‘stay of execution’


Simon Jordan and Danny Murphy are in agreement that Arsenal are likely to part company with Mikel Arteta in the imminent future.

The Spaniard watched as his side picked up their first points of the Premier League season after scoring their first goal to condemn Norwich to defeat.

The 39-year-old must be feeling the heat at the Emirates

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The 39-year-old must be feeling the heat at the Emirates

Jokingly referred to as a ‘relegation six-pointer’, the fixture paints a dreary picture of where exactly the Gunners are at the moment.

Despite a hectic transfer window and injuries to countless players, it has been an arduous summer for Arteta and his backroom staff.

Losses to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City had left Arsenal rooted to the foot of the table and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike at the Emirates provided welcome relief.

Yet former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Murphy believes it is merely delaying the inevitable.

The Gunners secured their first win of the season at home to Norwich

AFP

The Gunners secured their first win of the season at home to Norwich

“I think he is walking the plank,” Murphy said on White and Jordan.

“I like him. I like the way he comes across, I like his humility, I like his work ethic, but ultimately it doesn’t take you far.

“You have to produce a winning side with what you have got and he has got some good players, it’s not like he has got a squad full of duds – he has got some really talented boys in there.

“I know they have had a few injuries and I have been trying to find patience in terms of why it has not been going well.

“They should be in a better position than they are. The next few weeks are key, the next few games.

“But I am just not seeing enough in the team and in the way they play for him to sustain a challenge to the big boys.”

Arsenal fans have not had much to cheer this season

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Arsenal fans have not had much to cheer this season

Arteta replaced Unai Emery as Arsenal boss in December 2019 and he spoke passionately about ‘competing for top trophies in the game’.

Yet lifting the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2020 has done little to allay fears that the club are slipping away from their rivals, with an eighth-place finish last season (behind Tottenham and West Ham) their worst finish since ending the 1994/95 season in 12th place.

When asked by Jim White if the win against Norwich on Saturday was simply a ‘stay of execution’, former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan questioned the lack of identity at the club.

“What are they?” Jordan asked. “What have Arsenal become?

“What are we looking at? We just keep wondering when we are going to see this translation of this polished person in the media to this polished football manager on the pitch.”

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