Arsenal legend Merson reacts to Gunners' reported pursuit of Arteta

Arsenal legend Merson reacts to Gunners' reported pursuit of Arteta

Paul Merson believes Arsenal will be making a huge gamble should the club appoint the former players at the head coach. 

Arsenal fired Unai Emery and appointed Freddie Ljungberg as the caretaker boss as the north London side continues to search for a permanent head coach. On Monday, reports emerged that Mikel Arteta is the leading candidate to take over as the club's coach on a permanent basis. And former player Merson has explained why it will take more than a recommendation from Pep Guardiola to clean up the mess at the Emirates Stadium. 

"This is a big, big gamble putting someone that has never managed before in charge of a club the size of Arsenal," said Merson. 

 "It's all well and good saying he's worked under Pep Guardiola, but let's be honest, Guardiola would struggle managing this Arsenal team. Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp would struggle! You're only as good as your players at the end of the day and the idea of Arteta replicating Guardiola's style of football at the Emirates just falls apart when you look at the players he'll be working with."

On Sunday defeat

"I felt sorry for the Arsenal players on Sunday because they are not good enough to play for the club. They are playing for a top, top club but they are mid-table or even lower-league players that they are expected to win football matches week in, week out."

"It's not as if Arsenal are underachieving, they're just not good enough. Sunday's defeat to Manchester City was embarrassing, cringe-worthy even. I cannot think of a single player Guardiola would take out of this Arsenal team." 

Big task 

"To ask someone with no managerial experience to take charge in the current circumstances at Arsenal is a big ask. But there are also massive question marks over his credentials, massive questions."

"One of the major factors with Arteta being linked with the job is that he's worked closely under Guardiola, and he used to play at Arsenal. Other than the fact he won't get lost on the way to training, I don't know what else he brings to the table." 


"We've seen how out of his depth Freddie Ljungberg has been in recent weeks. What's the difference between Ljungberg and Arteta other than the fact Arteta has worked under Pep at Manchester City?

"It doesn't mean Arteta has earned his stripes or he's better qualified, and Arsenal won't suddenly start playing like City if Arteta is appointed because it's not as simple as that."