Arsenal must borrow ruthless Chelsea tactic after Mikel Arteta failure


Arsenal need to borrow a tactic from rivals Chelsea if they want to stop the decay at the Emirates.

And show Mikel Arteta to the exit door at the end of this season.

Blues’ boss Roman Abramovich wastes no time if he feels that his club is falling short – with a succession of high-profile bosses feeling cold steel on their necks in double-quick time.

Since assuming control, the Russian – like some villain in a James Bond movie – has booted out Avram Grant, Phil Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo and Maurizio Sarri within one season of them being appointed.



Mikel Arteta has failed to bag qualification for European football
Mikel Arteta has failed to bag qualification for European football

Ruthless? Well, yes. But no-one’s now moaning that Frank Lampard wasn’t given time, are they?

Over in the red half of north London, it’s time for whoever it is these days that makes the decisions – it looks like the owner’s son Josh Kroenke has a big say – to copy that lesson.

Is this a knee-jerk reaction to a thoroughly underwhelming Europa League semi-final display this week?

No – just the last straw and confirmation, if it were needed, that the rot truly has set in.

In 2019, the club finished in fifth with 70 points. Last term, eighth with 56 points.

This time out, decent closures to the season for Aston Villa and Leeds could relegate the Gunners to a bottom-half finish.



Chelsea have improved hugely since replacing Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea have improved hugely since replacing Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel

European football won’t be delivered for the first time in 25 years.

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The downward trend is obvious.

Twelve months ago, a bright new dawn was supposed to be on the horizon as Arteta – or should that read his players – defied the odds and landed the FA Cup.

The pressure was off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang & Co. No-one expected them to defeat Manchester City and Chelsea in back-to-back games to land the pot.

But, perhaps revelling in the role of underdogs, they delivered.

It’s been a pattern repeated throughout this season.



Arsenal were defeated by Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final
Arsenal were defeated by Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final

Victories at Manchester United, over Chelsea, Spurs and Champions League-chasing Leicester City have been undermined by defeats at home to Burnley, Aston Villa and Wolves.

Even in the last eight days the inconsistency has been highlighted. Newcastle weren’t given a kick. Villarreal went through with Arsenal enjoying just two shots on goal in the return leg of the semi-final.

That dressing-room is being allowed to get away with footballing blue murder, turning up when they feel like it.

Money has been spent. Rotten, scattergun recruitment is at the heart of it. But that’s another story.

Arteta is in his first frontline job in football management – charged with corralling a band of desperados who have too much for him. Sat there on huge contracts, waiting to see what he comes up with next.

They need a firm hand. They need someone like, for instance, Rafa Benitez – who, ironically, pulled together a disgruntled support-base at Chelsea and delivered a trophy amid supporter unrest – and this was when fans were allowed in the stadium.

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Many fans are calling for Arteta to go
Many fans are calling for Arteta to go

The Spaniard knows the score. Get his big players onside on the coaching pitch, bash them into shape and get results quickly. From a platform of positivity any manager gets the green light to effect change.

But don’t wait. Ex-Gunners’ centre-half Martin Keown said that Arteta needs to start next season strongly. Why wait if the clock is ticking? Take positive action. And take it now.

Arsenal’s too big for Arteta at this stage of his managerial career. It’s time for them to admit defeat quickly – and let one of the big boys clear up the mess.





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