Former Arsenal and England playmaker Paul Merson has sent a warning to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta claiming that the Spaniard may face serious trouble if fails to finish in the top four next season.
Arsenal saw their hope of a top-four finish slip through their hands last season after two consecutive defeats to Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspurs. Tottenham pipped Arsenal to a top-four finish last with 2 points difference.
Mikel Arteta has been backed in the transfer to compete for s top-four finish in the Premier League and win the UEFA Europa League. Arsenal has signed Gabriel Jesus for €45 million from Manchester City, Fabio Viera for €40 million from Porto, Matt Turner for €5 million from the New England Revolution, and Marquinhos from Sao Paulo.
Paul Merson believes with the way Mikel Arteta is being backed in the transfer market, Arsenal must qualify for the Champions League and labeled last season as a failure for Mikel Arteta after finishing in the Europa League spot.
What did Paul Merson say?
The former Arsenal and England playmaker wrote in his Daily mail column saying: “Arsenal is not a project anymore and Mikel Arteta needs to show he can deliver or his job will be under threat.
“It needs to start now. This is it. They need to get the top four. If they don’t, I think he could be in a bit of trouble. He can’t keep feeding everyone this line that Arsenal is a work in progress. It’s time to deliver now. This is Arsenal Football Club. Arteta failed last season.
“He has to get them in the Champions League now. He can’t be allowed to fail again. The board seems quite happy with him and the ground is packed out every week. But Arteta is starting to sound like Roberto Martinez. Martinez has this way of talking after his team has lost that’s like the scene from Men In Black when they flick the switch and everyone forgets how horrible it’s been.
” Chelsea still looks good for third. But Manchester United are still in disarray in my opinion and Tottenham has Champions League football to distract them. Arsenal has a big chance here and they need to grab it with both hands. If they finish outside the top four but with the Europa League… Not a problem. Because that’s a big trophy and it gets you into the Champions League.
“But Arteta needs to get them in there one way or another because they had a big chance last season and they blew it. Getting Gabriel Jesus is massive. That will help no end. That is a big signing because he will score goals. I think he fits in. Put the ball in the box and he will score goals. He misses chances sometimes but he doesn’t hide.
“He keeps getting in there and he’s a proven goal scorer at this level. Some players, you see them miss a chance and you never see them in the box again. Their heads go down. That doesn’t happen with him. I think he is a big, big signing for Arsenal and could make a real difference.”