After Arsenal’s Europa League exit, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes gave their verdicts on Mikel Arteta’s future as manager.
Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes have urged Arsenal to give Mikel Arteta the time he needs to turn things around.
A 0-0 second-leg draw with Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night sent Arsenal crashing out of the competition with a 2-1 aggregate defeat.
Despite the Gunners also sitting down in ninth-place in the Premier League, and braced for no European football for the first time in a quarter of a century, an under-fire Arteta believes he can still restore the club’s fortunes.
Now Scholes has vouched for the Spaniard and revealed he doesn’t see any other coach coming in and doing a better job.
“I feel a bit sorry for him,” said the Manchester United legend on BT Sport.
“I think if a manager ever needs time to turn things around at a club, this is it.
“Arsenal have been on a decline for such a long time. The things you hear out of the dressing room, it doesn’t feel like a good dressing room to me. The experienced players have let him down. I don’t think the signing of Willian has worked at all. He’s looked very moody.”
Scholes continued: “I just think the lad [Arteta] needs time. Arsenal have slipped a long way from where you expect them, but give him time. I think he is a good coach.
“I don’t see another coach making much of a difference.”
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‘Arteta has to tap into the culture of the club’
Ferdinand, meanwhile, agreed with his former United teammate’s opinion. He believes the key for Arteta is to ‘tap into the culture of the club’ and prioritize signing players with character rather than just quality.
“That’s an important point – who comes in and changes the fortunes of the club?” said Ferdinand.
“I think he needs time. We’re too quick to hang the managers and say we need somebody new. He’s been brought in as a project, let him get his teeth into that project and try to change things.”
Ferdinand added: “I think he has to tap into the culture of the club.”
“This is a club that is steeped in great history, winning things, great players throughout the years, and teams that are built on great characters [with] solid men in their dressing rooms.
“Before Arteta’s time, that hasn’t really been the foundation for which the teams have been built on and this team is similar in that sense.
“Arteta has probably been let down by the senior players. His best and most responsible players have been Emile Smith-Rowe, [Bukayo] Saka, [Kieran] Tierney.
“They are young players and that can’t be right for a team that have got aspirations to be at the top of the league rather than being mid-table, where they are.”