Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, is under huge pressure as his side languishing in 15th place in the Premier League table heading into tomorrow’s showdown with Chelsea. Club legend Paul Merson believes his side are in a serious relegation battle with dropping down to the Championship a serious risk.
There have been calls from sections of the supporters to axe Arteta before it is too late.
Ex-Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is currently out of contract and would be an ideal replacement as if former Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
However, Merson fears the Arsenal board may not be able to convince a manager of their calibre to take over the position.
“Arsenal are facing a relegation battle,” Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star. “But it’s all very well saying Mikel Arteta’s time is up – who could they get to replace him?
“I don’t see the world’s best managers queuing up to take the job on because they know Arsenal aren’t winning the league any time soon.
“I don’t know why it’s gone so horribly wrong. They beat Manchester United at Old Trafford not so long ago. It just doesn’t seem like there’s harmony there.
“They give away goals cheaply and their confidence is shot. There is no way they are beating Chelsea.
“Then they have to go to Brighton and West Brom. Well, West Brom will set up to be hard to beat, and Brighton are going to give someone a thrashing soon.
“Arteta says they’ve been unlucky. How? Teams are not scared of them any more.
“Southampton played them the other week, and I was thinking: ‘Who from this Arsenal team would get in the Saints one?’ There’s not many…
“I don’t know where Arsenal are going. I don’t think they will go down. But don’t kid yourself. Arsenal are in trouble. Better teams than Arsenal have been relegated before.
“They are in a fight. And I can’t see too many of those players rolling their sleeves up.”
Arsenal winger Willian moved to the Emirates from Chelsea this summer and was sold a dream.
“Arteta probably believed it at the time because they had won the FA Cup and just beaten Chelsea and Manchester City.
“But I watched them against City this week and you KNEW they couldn’t win. Even when they scored, you knew there was another gear or two in City.
“If you win the game, you have every chance of winning the trophy. But right from the start they just sat off and barely touched the ball for two minutes.
“At the moment they just don’t look like winning football matches.”