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Paul Merson hypercritical of Arteta link with Arsenal

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Adam Nisbet
Adam Nisbet
Living on the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being a Newcastle United fan, Adam also keeps a keen eye on the NBA, UFC and Formula One.

Paul Merson has spoken out on the link between Mikel Arteta and the vacant Arsenal job, it was reported on on Monday afternoon at Arteta is now the club’s main target as they look to replace Unai Emery.

Merson called into question Arteta’s credentials, asking what he would bring to the club that similarly inexperienced managers wouldn’t.

“One of the major factors with Arteta being linked with the job is that he’s worked closely under Guardiola, and he used to play at Arsenal. Other than the fact he won’t get lost on the way to training, I don’t know what else he brings to the table.

We’ve seen how out of his depth Freddie Ljungberg has been in recent weeks. What’s the difference between Ljungberg and Arteta other than the fact Arteta has worked under Pep at Manchester City?

Merson not a happy gooner

It’s fair to say that these comments haven’t gone down overly well online, with a number of fans beginning to question Merson’s credentials and why he is still given spotlight as a pundit.

Merson made a comment about it being a mistake to bring in Arteta, an inexperienced manager at the beginning of his career, saying ” It’s all about where you start in management, where you cut your teeth. As far as I’m concerned you don’t start at one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”

It seems as though Merson has forgotten about a number of top managers that started their careers as the world’s biggest clubs, with the key example here being Pep Guardiola… the man that Arteta has been studying under for the past three years. Let us also not forget that Frank Lampard had only one season of managerial experience before taking the reigns at Chelsea, who are currently sitting in fourth place in the Premier League.

Arteta is a risky appointment for Arsenal, yes, however Merson seems to be acting under the illusion that a top class manager can come into the club and have them fighting for a place in the top four by the end of the season. Arsenal will struggle to even crack into the top six this season and with each passing game they drop further and further down the table. Appointing Arteta is a long term choice, accepting that there may be a rebuilding process to get the club back to where they want to be, they would be adopting his style and philosophy rather than his experience.

Only time will tell if Arteta would succeed at Arsenal, if he is offered the job, but Merson’s comments are way off the mark – that’s something that we have plenty of experience in.

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