According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are hoping to appoint former captain Mikel Arteta as their new head coach before a visit to Everton on lunchtime. The Toffees are of course another one of the Spaniard’s former clubs.
Arteta appointment is not a major surprise
The appointment of Mikel Arteta as new Gunners head coach will not come as a major surprise. The former Gunners captain has been one of the favourites for the job since the north London club dispensed with the services of Arteta’s compatriot Unai Emery.
The initial reports suggested that Arteta wanted to stay as Pep Guardiola’s assistant boss until the end of the campaign. However, it now seems the job Arsenal job may prove too hard to turn down.
Media reports suggest that he has already talked to the City hierarchy about the potential move and that talks with the Arsenal hierarchy have also taken place.
Arteta was originally linked with the Gunners job prior to the appointment of Emery as the club’s head coach. It seems he will finally become the new Arsenal boss
A big job for the inexperienced
By all accounts, Arteta is an intelligent and promising coach. He has worked under Guardiola and must have gained a lot of knowledge from the former Barcelona boss. The City boss obviously rates Arteta highly too.
However, the big concern, if I was an Arsenal fan, would be Arteta’s lack of managerial experience. At the moment, the Gunners job looks like a rebuilding one, where all areas of the team, apart from maybe the forward line, needs addressing.
The arrival of the Spaniard as boss is not suddenly going to turn the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis into world-beating centre-backs. He may have some tactical approaches that could help defensively, but he is unlikely to be able to fix their leaky defensive instantly.
A lot more experience coaches have tried and failed to find a solution to the Gunners defensive vulnerability. If he manages to achieve that small thing, then he will be building solid foundations in north London.
He may also be able to bring the best out of the likes of Nicolas Pepe, who has underachieved since joining in the summer, and of course, mercurial playmaker Mesut Ozil, who has played a mostly bit-part role under Emery.
There is certainly plenty for Arteta to sort out in his maiden managerial role. He comes across as a nice guy, who is highly ambitious and motivated. For his sake, I hope he has not bitten off more than he can chew by taking the job.
Where can Arsenal finish realistically this season?
Looking at the current Premier League table, with the Gunners in tenth position, it seems unlikely that the team from north London are going to break into the Champions League spots this season. Arsenal are currently odds of 20/1 to finish in the Premier League top-four, so it seems the bookmakers do not believe the Gunners can revive their season.
Before Arsenal get back to where they want to be, challenging for the top-four places and eventually the league title, if appointed, Arteta has a lot of hard work to do just to make the team consistent.
If he is as talented as a coach as is believed, then the Spaniard may surprise a lot of people. However, he is a brave man taking on the Arsenal job as his first managerial role, because it is a big job in every sense of the word.
Will Mikel Arteta be a success at as Arsenal head coach?
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