Paddy Power football ambassador and Liverpool legend Phil Thompson thinks the writing is well and truly on the wall for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard’s side sit rock bottom of the Premier League going into the international break with three played, zero points, zero scored and nine conceded.
The 5-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City last weekend was brutal to watch for the Gooners as their side were completely played off the park and looked bereft of ideas. Granit Xhaka got sent off for a trademark lunge in the 35th minute when they were already 2-0 down and things just continued to get worse and worse.
While Thommo thinks there are huge problems at The Emirates, he does think Arteta is a good coach. However, time is rapidly running out for him to turn it around, especially after spending £150m this summer.
“There’s something not right at Arsenal,” Thommo told Paddy Power News. “I feel as though Mikel Arteta has lost the dressing room
“The results are not going great for him, and no one knows what the plan is.
“I feel as though some of the big players at that football club are pulling in another direction and I don’t think that helps anybody. Arteta has got to be strong.
“He’s a good coach, but he’s got to be firm with these senior players not pulling their weight. Results like the Manchester City game are not forgotten.
“Every team can go up to Manchester City and get beaten, but it’s the way they did so.
I would think he has until Christmas to turn results around.
“Arsenal have been one of the great institutions of the Premier League era, particularly when you look at Arsene Wenger and what he managed to achieve. They are a long way away from that now.”
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Seven Sisters Road…
In the other half of London things are all rosy. Their talisman Harry Kane is staying after being denied permission to join City and their new boss Nuno Espirito Santo sits top of the table with three wins from three.
The mood couldn’t be in starker contrast for Arsenal’s old rivals. And, following a very strong start, Thommo is starting to believe in Spurs’ top-four chances this year.
“Tottenham fans will be delighted Kane is staying,” the former England defender continued. “They say Daniel Levy was a tough negotiator, Kane signed the contract, and he’s still got three years left on it.
“Levy is still in the driving seat, no matter what. They’d have to take something ridiculous to even entertain a conversation of Harry Kane leaving.
“On the flip side, even if they paid £150 million, and were to lose Harry Kane, who are they going to get in? They’re certainly not going to be anywhere near Harry Kane quality.
“With Harry Kane, Spurs have a chance of finishing in the top four. Without Harry Kane they’d probably struggle to finish in the top eight.”
Kane returns to international action this week as England head to Hungary for a FIFA World Cup Qualifier while the break might come as sweet relief for Arteta and Co over at The Emirates.
Arsenal take on another newly-promoted side in the shape of Norwich after the international break with anything other than a win unthinkable for The Gunners while Spurs head to Crystal Palace looking to maintain their early grip on top spot.
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