Former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has delivered his verdict on the job Mikel Arteta has done at the Emirates since taking over from Unai Emery.
The Spaniard had a mountain to climb when he was first appointed. Arsenal looked clueless in our final few games under Emery, and it was going to be difficult for any manager to come in and lift the squad up.
Despite a few shaky moments, Arteta helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in his first season. He followed that up by getting his hands on the Community Shield, and things really looked positive for the Gunners this time last year.
However, the 2020/21 campaign was a disastrous one for Arsenal. We finished eighth and dropped out of Europe, making it our worst season in over a quarter of a century. That put immense pressure on Arteta, but the board kept their faith in him.
The Arsenal boss now has almost no margin for error. He has to get his boys to start the season strong, and Wilshere believes that there’s a good chance he can achieve that, mainly because he’ll have more time to work on the training pitch.
Wilshere: Arsenal training under Arteta is intense
He told Talksport: “You’re always under pressure when you’re a manager. A couple of bad results and people start asking questions.
“I think Mikel has done a good job, to be honest. You can start to see that they’ve got sort of an identity that they’re playing towards. They’re all working hard.
“I’ve heard a lot that training is intense and he’s trying to get every single inch out of every single player he can. I think you’re starting to see that. With him having more time on the training pitch this year, I think they will be better.”
Lack of European football this season means Arsenal will mostly play just once every week. That could be a huge blessing for us, but if Arteta still fails to deliver, he could potentially face the same fate as his predecessor.