Having failed to qualify for the Champions League group stages for nearly half a decade, the footballing landscape at Arsenal is ever changing.
Once an established member of the top 4 in English football, the Gunners are now very much on the periphery when it comes to challenging for Premier League titles. With 14 FA Cup titles to their name (including earlier in 2020) their trophy haul continues to tick over impressively however, with no Premier League title in the bag since 2004, they are enduring a relatively barren spell.
Mikel Arteta is the latest manager tasked with improving fortunes at Arsenal but with the North Londoners currently languishing in 14th in the table, the pressure is on the Spaniard to turn things around quickly.
At the age of just 38, Arteta is one of the youngest managers in the Premier League and his affiliation with Arsenal as a player sees him held in the very highest esteem at the Emirates. He finished his playing career with the Gunners in 2016, before moving on to assist Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City–as they became an all-conquering side within English football.
His influence at the Etihad didn’t go unnoticed and Arsenal broke the bank to lure him from City once they parted terms with Unai Emery in December 2019. Arteta has endured a mixed year in the job and whilst he obviously needs results to improve, the fact that Arsenal fans revere him is sure to give him increased margin for error.
Big money signings
One of the key criticisms of Arsenal towards the end of the Arsene Wenger era was their inability to spend money in key areas of the team. With the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all investing in a big way–Arsenal were seemingly left behind in the race for supremacy.
Over £200 million has been spent by the Gunners in the last two seasons, with the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney all joining the club for hefty transfer fees. Whilst Arteta is seemingly still getting to grips with some of this personnel, he will be looking to get the big money signings ticking sooner rather than later.
Mikel Arteta forged a fierce reputation at Manchester City for being able to get some of the biggest names in the game to align with his thinking. Whilst there has been glimpses of it at Arsenal, many fans and pundits are yet to be convinced that the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian and David Luiz are adhering to every tactical plan the Spaniard offers.
Man-management will be key moving forward for Arsenal as they look to climb up the table and with such talent at his disposal, Arteta will be keen to get his biggest names working collectively as soon as possible.
How much time Arteta will be afforded in the Emirates hotseat remains to be seen, with the cut and thrust of the Premier League often putting pay to managers. However, if he can recover from here and put Arsenal into a position of strength, his managerial stock will continue to rise the world over.