Arsenal’s underperforming collection of stars have been warned that they will not stick around long if they dare to cross Mikel Arteta, with the Spaniard edging ever closer to taking the managerial reins at Emirates Stadium.
Sources have confirmed to Goal that the appointment of a new permanent boss in north London is set to be finalised imminently.
Arteta is poised to succeed Unai Emery, with the former Arsenal club captain heading back to familiar surroundings to fill a first managerial post after cutting his coaching teeth alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Questions have been asked of his lack of experience, but Alan Stubbs believes the 37-year-old will hold his own and look to stamp his authority quickly on a squad that has rather lost its way of late.
A former Everton team-mate of Arteta told talkSPORT: “He’s got an opinion, he had that as a player.
“He wasn’t afraid to say something if things weren’t right on the pitch.
“He’s got a very strong opinion of how he wants to play and how he wants to manage.
“He’s one of them, who if somebody crosses him, I don’t think he’d have a full-blown argument with them, but they won’t be at the club long.
“I think this is where the Arsenal hierarchy have really got to back Mikel, if it is Mikel [who gets the job].
“There are obviously a few big personalities there who will try and run the dressing room, I think we all know who the difficult ones are without even saying, and Mikel will have to cycle through them very quickly.
“The club have got to back him to say OK, if that’s a problem, get them out no matter what wages they’re on.”
If Arteta is to take over at Emirates Stadium, then he will be taking on a major rebuilding project.
Arsenal’s ongoing struggles for consistency in 2019-20, which have seen them collect only one win from their last 12 games in all competitions, have them sat tenth in the Premier League table – seven points adrift of the top four and Champions League qualification.
They also have some potentially season-defining fixtures approaching, with their final game of the calendar year set to see them play host to London rivals Chelsea before opening the New Year at home to Manchester United.