Mikel Arteta will be backed at Arsenal.
Four wins from 14 Premier League matches, hovering perilously over the relegation zone and with no signs of respite in performance level or from outside aid, the word ‘sack’ is quickly emerging as the Arsenal buzz word.
One’s backing of Mikel Arteta can be classed as determined or disillusioned. The #ArtetaOut brigade grows increasingly vocal, a standpoint that is more justified with each insipid minute of football this team trudges through.
Saturday’s defeat to Everton was an extension of an already agonising stretch of form worse than most fans will ever have witnessed. Worse than most fans ever hope to witness again.
But there will be no change of manager. Not yet.
Public backings from Edu Gaspar and a declaration of intent from the hierarchy with a new title attest to that. There are no falsehoods emerging from the club regarding Arteta’s future. They will back him.
That isn’t to say one eye isn’t on the end of the road. Structurally the club has been ripped up and poorly sewn back together more times than is healthy over the course of a decade, let alone a year – a level of instability that unequivocally filters through into matters on the pitch.
Short-termism with certain player acquisitions does leave Arteta far from infallible, muddling the strategy that was believed to be in place with focus on the extended future.
It says a lot when most of the football world are undeterred in foreseeing Arteta’s career in management being one littered with success. The current trajectory of this team could do no more to dispel that belief, which has said judgments being interrogated for sanity.
Everyone wants Arteta to be successful at Arsenal. The club still believe he can be successful at Arsenal. Any change of manager at this stage is a death warrant for whoever comes in. This squad is performing hopelessly below their capabilities, but no manager in Europe could galvanise this group of players from the rut they’re in.
Are there more experienced, wiser and glamorous options out there? Absolutely. Does that entail success? Absolutely not.
Arteta has to change his ways, but the club won’t change him. Not on the eve of two huge transfer windows. Above all, this club needs stability. Internally, it’s accepted that hitting the reset button again will do more harm than good.
This period has been coming, albeit not quite as cataclysmic.
The same crop will hold the authority, the new manager will yield to it. Talk of Massimiliano Allegri being in the running is understandably enticing given his track-record, but for all his know-how, the issue of communication with Unai Emery would return, and no experience of English football enhances the difficulty of an already perilous position.
Arsenal are sticking with Arteta. If this persists then the penny will drop, but it’s still on the table, far from the edge in the eyes of the club. Love it or hate it, that’s where they are.