When Arsenal made Mikel Arteta their latest manager, one of the exciting reasons why the club’s fans thought he was the right man for the job was because of the work he had done with Raheem Sterling.
Several reports at the time claimed that while Pep Guardiola was the Manchester City manager, Arteta was in charge of player development and he had turned Sterling into the goal-scoring machine he had become.
We all expected the Spaniard to transform the likes of Nicolas Pepe, but he is struggling to do that.
While the likes of Pepe and Willian have looked out of place, Sterling has continued to flourish and it looks like the role of Arteta in the Englishman’s development was overrated.
Mail Sport’s Ian Herbert has now laid into Arteta’s time at the Emirates and claims that the team has hardly done better with him as their manager.
He also suggested that it now looks clearer that Sterling’s development was down to Guardiola than the Arsenal manager. He writes:
“If they had done their homework on Arteta, rather than approach him because he was young, Spanish and formerly one of their own, they’d have learned that he was the one who encouraged Sterling to operate closer to the six-yard box and look to score every game, even if that meant missing two or three chances.
“Unfortunately for those who yearn for a competitive Arsenal in the mix, it’s beginning to look as if Sterling’s transformation was more about Pep Guardiola than his former assistant. We were expecting a similar change in Nicolas Pepe by now, though the abiding memory of Arsenal’s beige performance at Burnley was the Ivory Coast winger kicking thin air instead of the ball which Kieran Tierney had teed up.
“Nowhere near good enough. Arteta is a reasonable, amenable and articulate man but his superficial appeal cannot take away the fact Arsenal have one of the most expensively assembled strikeforces in Europe, with Pepe (£72million), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£55.4m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£52.7m). Yet they have scored 35 goals in 27 matches.”