Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has rallied support for his former assistant and current Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard says the North London club won’t find a better manager than him at the moment.
Arteta’s job at Arsenal has come under intense scrutiny after a run of five Premier League games without a win. This has left Arsenal in the 15th spot of the English Premier League – a stark contrast to the Europa League run that is 100 percent.
Interestingly Arsenal won all the six group games and garnered 18 points. But in the Premier League, after 12 rounds of games, Arsenal can only boast 13 points from twelve games, with five points above the relegation places.
Despite the disappointing results, Guardiola has urged the club to keep faith with his former assistant and expressed confidence that the Spaniard will turn things around at the Emirates.
“Arsenal doesn’t have a better manager that leads this club — in this year and the next — that is better than him.
“I don’t have to give publicly my support because he has it and he knows that he has it. He’s one of the best managers I’ve ever worked with, of course, and seen directly.
“I’m pretty sure he will turn over and will do it like everyone expects. But sometimes when a club comes from not a good period, sometimes it needs time.
“I would say [if I was] part of the board at Arsenal, I will not have any doubts about his quality and capacity to put Arsenal in the place like Arsenal deserves to be,” said Guardiola.
Edu also backs Arteta after Guardiola despite poor form in the Premier League with Arsenal
Guardiola is not the only one backing Arteta. Arsenal technical director Edu said he is fully behind him. While stating that Arsenal is not ready for any managerial change as there was no such talk internally, he said what Arsenal needs now is stability.
“I think the club needs stability right now, we have faced so many changes. It is not about Edu, Mikel, it is about stability. Now is the time to try and be a stable club in the old sense – externally and internally, we need that.
“Since we arrived here we have been changing, changing, changing, now is time to be stable and together at the same time,” Edu told the Mirror.
“It’s normal and easy to be driven by results. But I can see the future, see where we go and the way we are building things on a daily basis. Everything here is right, everything here is working.
“How many young players have started to get opportunities and perform quite well in the first team?
“I can see a big and beautiful future. It’s very strange to say that at this moment, but I have to be fair – that’s the way I see the photo.”
It is not surprising that this support is coming in for Arteta despite recording the club’s worst start to a season in 46 years.
Before Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Burnley, Arsenal had not lost four successive league games at home since 1959.
But the mantra of the club appears to be on stability as they aimed to build another long term relationship with the Spaniard like they did with Arsene Wenger who spent two decades at the club.
But the results have to come in on time. This will stop the Arsenal board from thinking of another candidate who can be in line with their long term plan.
From the look of things, Arsenal won’t be able to contest for the Premier League as the difference in qualities with other top five teams is clear.
But the club will still want to win some domestic titles and probably Europa League to still show a sign of competition.
Arteta may have been given the benefit of a doubt after lifting up the team to win the FA Cup that subsequently qualified Arsenal for the Europa League. This might be another route to go to Europe again next season as the Gunners are currently lurking in the bottom half of the table.
But if the results didn’t come, Arsenal might be forced to withdraw their support as the job is about hiring and firing. He will have to prove that against in-form Southampton.
With Chelsea, Everton coming up next the support voiced by Guardiola and Edu might not be able to save Arteta from being fired at Arsenal if he loses those games.