Despite their poor start to the 2020-21 Premier League season, Pep Guardiola believes Mikel Arteta is the right man to lead Arsenal.
At Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal lost 1-0 to Burnley, their fourth straight home league loss, marking their worst such streak since 1959. In the table, the Gunners are 15th, 10 points off the top four, and just five points clear of the relegation field.
As Arsenal ended the previous campaign on a high with FA Cup performance, the decline under Arteta, Guardiola’s former Manchester City assistant, has been rapid.
Pressure builds on the boss who most importantly, Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has struggled to get the best out of his main players.
The striker, who signed a lucrative new contract ahead of the season, netted this term just twice in the league, although his own goal for his first career club sadly proved decisive against Burnley.
Arsenal has scored only 10 league goals over 12 games, their lowest figure at this point of a top-flight season in 39 years, as Aubameyang has struggled.
Only Newcastle United, Burnley, Sheffield United, and West Brom have had fewer shots (124) and target shots (40) than Arsenal, but Arteta will continue to back Guardiola.
“Arsenal doesn’t have a manager to lead this club in the next years better than him,” the City boss told reporters.
Since he has it and knows that he has it, I don’t have to give him my support. Of course, he’s one of the best managers I’ve ever worked with and seen directly — because of his attitude, his determination, his passion for his club. He would still be here without his love for his club. I’m pretty sure that he’s going to turn it over and do it as everyone expects. Often when a club doesn’t have a nice time, it needs time. In this country, I know [people think] there’s no need for time. If I was part of the board at Arsenal, I would not have any doubts about his quality and capacity to put Arsenal in the place that Arsenal deserves to be.”
This season, City have had their issues, sitting ninth after an underwhelming goalless draw on Saturday at rivals Manchester United.
None of the supposed “top six” won – proof of the strength of the Premier League, according to Guardiola – with Tottenham and Liverpool both drawing and Chelsea has beaten.