Mikel Arteta “could be out of a job” at Arsenal unless he ends the season well, according to former Premier League striker Darren Bent.
The Spaniard replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019, winning the FA Cup in his first season at the helm after finishing eighth in the league.
This campaign they have failed to improve in the Premier League with Arteta’s side sitting ninth in the table, while they are pinning their hopes of Champions League qualification on glory in the Europa League.
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Having drawn the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final with Slavia Prague 1-1, they still have a decent chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
However, Bent reckons Arsenal may have been better off appointing Carlo Ancelotti over Arteta and adds that the Gunners boss could be out of work at the end of the season unless his fortunes improve.
“When Arsenal were looking for a manager there was two people up for grabs: Arteta and Ancelotti,” Bent told talkSPORT.
“I thought Ancelotti should have been the one to go to Arsenal and Arteta to go to Everton.
“The early signs were really good in terms of look how quickly he picked up a trophy. Yes, this season has been really inconsistent but I don’t want Arsenal to turn into a club where they keep sacking managers – at some stage you’ve got to give someone a little bit of time,” he said.
“The FA Cup papers over a lot of cracks and if Arsenal go out of the Europa League and finish tenth or eleventh, I think he could be out of a job.
“I would like to see him stay and turn it around because I’m not big on sacking managers. Arsenal are not Chelsea.
“Chelsea have been very successful doing it that way but I don’t think that will work for Arsenal.”
Fellow pundit and former Arsenal player Perry Groves added: “He’s asking players to do stuff they can’t do because of Man City and Guardiola.
“He wants them to play out the back and be intricate.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stuck by Harry Maguire 100 per cent. Leaving your captain out when he’s late and dropping him, he should have pulled him to one side and fine him two weeks and say: ‘Mate you cannot be doing that’.
“Then leaving him out after the Liverpool debacle. He’s lost the trust of the captain and the whole dressing room.”