Former Arsenal man Michael Thomas has claimed that Mikel Arteta is proving him wrong and that the Spaniard can be a success at the club.
The former Manchester City coach won the FA Cup in his first season and is still potentially on course for Europa League success with the Reds taking on Benfica this Thursday.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the Anfield ’89 hero asked for the manager to be given time to carry out the job, similar to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Thomas said: “I was sceptical when he first came in, but to be fair to him there was an instant change in the team. When he cut out players who weren’t good for the team – I thought to myself ‘I like this man’. It showed he takes no prisoners and stamped down his mark on the team.”
“He still hasn’t got his players in and the squad he wants. You’ve got to give Arteta time; people laud Klopp but it took him time to put the team together that he has now.”
Will Arsenal play European football next season?
Arteta’s debut management role has thrown him into the deep end, however, it’s fair to say he’s swimming rather than sinking. His victory in the FA Cup final showed that he can compete with the best no matter the circumstances which hold him back.
The job at Arsenal has been a sizable one for a number of years now with recruiting and replacing a number of the first-team squad the top priority. It’s a job the Spanish coach has handled well as seen during last month’s transfer window. Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac were all shown the exit door with Arteta finally choosing to rule with an iron fist as opposed to a broom.
However, the next step will be the trickiest for the inexperienced manager, who now has to revive Arsenal’s status as Champions League regulars. It’s a feat both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery have failed to carry out, both much more experienced operators.
Arteta’s achievements so far has definitely proven he’s comfortable in the role as manager of Arsenal. However, the next step is a big one and whether he achieves his targets is yet to be seen.