Arsenal legend Tony Adams thinks Mikel Arteta will be under huge amounts of pressure next season to maintain a “level of improvement”.
The Gunners have had a brilliant season in the Premier League with Arteta’s side running Manchester City close in the title race.
Arsenal led the way for the majority of the season and only poor form in the final two months of the campaign allowed the Citizens to win the Premier League.
It will be a struggle to maintain that improvement next campaign with Arteta and Arsenal technical director Edu facing another big summer in the transfer market.
And former Arsenal defender Adams reckons Arteta could come under early pressure next season if the Gunners aren’t showing continued improvement.
“Mikel Arteta worked wonders to get Arsenal into second place considering the players he had at his disposal,” Adams told The Sun.
“But when a manager has massively over-performed and raised a club’s expectations so high, there’s often a fallout if the level of improvement isn’t maintained the following season.
“And when that happens, he’s often gone by Christmas.”
Adams thinks recruitment for Arsenal will be extremely important as a lot of Arteta’s current squad have “already peaked” in his opinion.
The Arsenal legend added: “I am not for one minute suggesting that the Gunners are going to be getting rid of Arteta, but I do fear that this could be as good as it gets for them.
“No one expected them to finish so high but the downside to all that is where do they go from here? I hate to sound like a prophet of doom, but I do believe that a lot of this team has already peaked.
“It was possibly the best season that many of them will ever have. I don’t think they’ll get to that level again.
“They’re definitely not going to challenge Manchester City next season and without serious recruitment this summer it will be a struggle for them to finish runners-up again.
“City’s B team is better than any other Premier League side and we know that Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea will all be much stronger next time out.”
Jamie Carragher recently took a similar opinion to Adams on Arsenal with the former Liverpool defender expecting Manchester United and the Reds to be City’s closest challengers next season.
Carragher said on Sky Sports: “I’m gonna go with Liverpool and Manchester United. I think Liverpool will come back, and the jump in terms of really challenging Man City may be a little bit too big – it might still be a little too big for Manchester United.
“But, I do see those two teams. Where Manchester United are going they look really solid. If they get a couple of attacking players and score more goals, that’s what they need to do.
“Liverpool will invest again in midfield players, and they’ve got players who’ve won the biggest trophies before, so I’d say Liverpool and Manchester United.”