Mikel Arteta was always a “big risk” for Arsenal, says David Seaman, but the Spaniard is being backed to get things right at Emirates Stadium if given time in which to turn their fortunes around.
The Gunners took a calculated gamble when appointing their new head coach in December 2019 following the departure of Unai Emery.
Former Arsenal captain Arteta returned to north London and took on the first managerial post of his career. While he boasted Premier League experience from his playing days, and had been working alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, the 38-year-old was a rookie tactician thrown in at the deep end.
Early success was enjoyed, with FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs, but the wheels have started to fall off in 2020-21.
Inconsistency remains an issue for a side that has made its worst start to a season in 39 years, but Seaman believes Arteta will prove to be the right choice if patience is shown.
The legendary former Arsenal goalkeeper told The Target Men Podcast: “Overall, I’ve been impressed with Mikel Arteta.
“When he first signed for Arsenal, I thought it was a big risk because it’s his first job and it’s a big job. After Emery and the latter years of Arsene, we weren’t getting any better, so for Mikel to take over was a tough ask.
“At the time I thought Patrick Vieira might have been a better choice because he’d already had experience, but after I saw Mikel’s first press interview, I was really impressed.
“Since then, I like how he’s affecting the team, but he needs to be given time from the board to make it his own team.
“The game against Wolves showed that Arsenal are still lacking in confidence and a clear idea of what is expected of them.”
Arsenal have made it through to the last-32 of the Europa League this season, with continental progress maintained in a 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna, but a domestic spark is still being sought and the next opportunity to find one will present itself on Sunday in the north London derby with Tottenham.