Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes the pressure will be on Mikel Arteta this season and next season after Arsenal saw their top four opportunity slip through their hands after a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle at the St. James Park.
Two second-half goals from Newcastle were enough to give Arsenal their second defeat in a week. Arsenal was in pole position to qualify for Champions League but two successive defeats from Tottenham Hotspurs in the London derby and a shock defeat to Newcastle United have made it almost impossible.
Tottenham Hotspurs are now two points above their rival Arsenal and have a better goal-scoring ratio than Arsenal. Antonio Conte’s side will only need a draw against bottom-placed Norwich City to book their spot. While Arsenal will play Tottenham loss before they can dream of Champions League football.
Jamie Carragher thinks Mikel Arteta could be sacked next season if he fails to deliver while competing in both Europe and the Premier League.
What did Carragher say?
Speaking on SkySports he said:‘’I think that is a problem, not just this season but I think it is a huge problem for Mikel Arteta and this Arsenal team going forward.
“Europa League next season, Thursday, Sunday. I think they have had their opportunity this season – a big one – having no European football. That was a big advantage for them.
“They are not in the four best sides in the country but they had an advantage on the other teams and they still haven’t made it pay. I fear for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta next season.
“I think it is going to be tough for him. I think this will be a game that will be looked back on when he eventually leaves the club. This is Arteta’s first job so he doesn’t have that belief behind him.
“If Antonio Conte has a bad time, you know he won the league at Chelsea, at Inter Milan. You have got that feeling that he has done it before and he knows what he is doing.
“Arteta has never done it before. That is not a criticism, it is just a fact. He needed that tonight.
“I fear for him next season and if Arsenal is seventh or eighth at Christmas time with them in the Europa League there is going to be massive pressure on his job.’’
Carragher also admitted that Arsenal was poor against Newcastle.
He added:” I thought Arsenal were awful.
“I have been a big supporter of Mikel Arteta and this Arsenal team because since I have started at Sky I have got sick of saying the same things about Arsenal.
“I was sick of it myself. I enjoyed seeing young players I could get behind. I think the fans could get behind it.
“They almost accepted they would not be challenging for honors but there was something building. But that performance today was bad. That was a cup final today, we know how important the Champions League is.
“To be that poor in the first half and then produce that in the second half, it is not acceptable. It was not the result, it was the manner of the result, they were awful from minute one.’
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s top-four hopes are over.
When the Liverpool legend was quizzed if Arsenal can overtake Tottenham on the League log he said:” Yes. The Spurs are not losing from that position.
“Arsenal knows it. There is nobody in world football who thinks Arsenal will make Champions League football off the back of that. No chance.”
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