Ian Wright discusses the scale of Mikel Arteta’s task at Arsenal

Former Arsenal legend Ian Wright talks about the hard job ahead for Mikel Arteta.

Ian Wright believes that Mikel Arteta has his work cut out for him as he bids to return the Gunners to former glories.

Arsenal’s goal for the season is to seal a return to the Champions League, but a poor start to life under former manager – Unai Emery- has seen the Gunners struggle to turn things around.

Mikel Arteta was made the replacement for the former PSG boss late last year and he has been making gradual progress with the team.

However, Ian Wright insists that Mikel Arteta’s task is a tough one and the Spaniard would have realised now “enormous” the scale of the job is right.

He said this after Arsenal failed to take advantage of their fine start against Burnley missing two great chances to grab a goal before the break.

The Gunners eventually drew the game after firing blanks in the second half, and Wright believes Arteta has it all to do in terms of making this team a top English side again.

“Mikel Arteta now realises the enormous task he has,” Wright told Premier League Productions per the Mirror. “The way they started, it looked like something was going to happen but then after that they slowly went further and further into their shell.

“It’s something he has to address because in terms of the calibre of player we’ve got – and you have to give Burnley credit for where they are – but we should be performing a lot better.

“We’ve got a lot of young players coming through that you hope can step up to the mark but we’ve got a lot of players there that aren’t playing to a level where Arsenal should be.

“That’s the job that Arteta has got, to get them back to that level. Whether or not he can do that with the funds that he’s got, which isn’t much, is going to be a massive, massive ask.”

Cannot argue with too much there from Wright, it is a hard task but Arteta is going in the right direction and after the summer transfer window things should be a whole lot better.


  1. We are terrible right now. We made Burnley look like world beaters. Nothing from midfield to transition into attack. Ozil was poor, but that was because we do not have a player like Cazorla or Ramsey. It’s also time we benched Lacazette. He is useless. The rebuild is going to be an immense task. We will languish in mid table mediocrity unless significant investment is made to address our areas of real need. These are the defense and our midfield. And no more more marquee signing that does not even play! Good luck MA.

    1. The results under Arteta have been horrific.
      9 points from 8 games is pitiful absolutely shocking.
      Fans talking “improvement” is utter balderdash.
      Tell it like it is, the results are garbage.
      Now apparently Arteta needs a summer window to buy 6 more players to add to the two
      he just brought in as well as the 5 the club bought in last summer.
      So the answer is not coaching at all.
      Nope jut give Arteta 13 more players than Emery had when Emery
      got within 2 points of third and made the EL last season.
      With 13 new players I am expecting nothing less that the title next season.

      1. Stevo,
        You frequently wax lyrical about Emery on this site and I would be so interested to hear from you what was so special about his tenure as manager.

        You have described the so called improvement as balderdash under Arteta but never back up how and why you think Emery was special. Last season saw Arsenal in a commanding top 4 position before Emery lost it and the capitulation in the EL final was embarrassing.

        Why stick up for a man that was responsible for the shocking decline this season that eventually saw him sacked? You conveniently forget that.

        1. Sue P.
          The truth is after 8 games Emery had Arsenal a 1 point off third.
          Again the truth is “after 8 games Emery had Arsenal 1 point off third”.
          We are now 17 points off third.
          but the fans demanded Emery play Ozil. That’s when the rot set in.
          Ozil playing completely messed the team balance up.
          If Emery had been allowed to do his job Arsenal would be on 50 points
          and CL football would be achieved without needing to win the EL.
          Arteta’s 9 points in 8 games is absolutely diabolical.
          To say we are improving is complete and utter madness.
          0-0 at Burnley is a glorious victory..oh boy if you believe that you believe anything.
          Arteta was supposed to be a super coach yet now its all about
          3 transfer windows and 10-17 new players.
          At least we can only get better under Arteta but we are still on track
          for our lowest points tally in decades.
          But we are improving the fans will say 🙁

          1. Hello again Stevo,

            Thowing in points scored after so many games etc confuses things to me and actually doesn’t help.

            You say that Emery kowtowed to the fans to reinstate Ozil. This does nothing to make me think that makes him a better manager, in fact the reverse.

            You cannot possibly know that Emery would have scored 50 points with CL football in the offing.

            You seem absolutely convinced that Emery was THE man, and fail to see that we were heading for relegation under his stewardship. Any momentum he gained in the first half of his first season quickly went down the plug hole by spring. He was the wrong man, a decent man, but still the wrong man.

            Rubbishing Arteta so quickly, based on points on the board really doesn’t show the whole picture. You must have realised that the team didn’t know what the tactics were, had no obvious direction, lost focus and hope. Results were dire and watching games became excruciating.

            You seem totally results led and are unable to see more unity, more clean sheets. Burnley wasn’t a great game but not all games are.

            Emery had over a year to make his mark. You have given Arteta 6 weeks and are piling in with criticism. Give the bloke a chance. Thankyou and debate is good, but on this topic we shall have to differ

      2. stevo, the head coach is not the problem. If Arteta, like Emery before him, is not supported by the owner and Board in the transfer market to get the players HE WANTS, how can anyone expect the results to improve?

      3. STEVO, YOUR COMMENTS ARE SO LOADED WITH YOUR OWN ODD BIAS TOWARDS THE HIGHLY DAMAGING EMERY THAT I WONDER WHETHER EVEN YOU EXPECT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. DO YOU? Are you really that incapable of thinking of any other matter than bald stats which are clearly meaningless and ignore-by your own choice- all the othe rimportand factors in the comparison. Emerty by almost universal agreement left Arsenal in a state of confusion, hopelessness, without shape, without direction, with a midfield wide open for opponents to walk through and with a defence that was laugably appalling. All those things have totally changed, and yet, ALL you seem capable of seeing in your blinkered view, is pointless and daft points average per game. REALLY YOU NEED TO GROW UP AND START USING YOU BRAIN. Until you do that you will rightly be scorned on here an an unthinking immature reactionary only and rather strange Emery lover. Almost all normal Gooners would far rather wipe the memory of his clear mismanagement from our minds,if only we could.

      4. I agree with Ian. However Arteta needs tools to deliver. The team needs overhauling because some.of the players are just average.

        Unfortunately, he was forced to go for two loanees, over of whom was
        brought on a treatment bed. It is a shame really that Arsenal are in this predicament because the owners were hoping to and probably still are, to use Arsenal as a milking cow. They prefer to reap without sowing.
        Our team is in a bind and will need miracles to compete with the current top six. We all know there no such miracles in football.

        This explains why Arsenal will not
        hire a top notch managers because they don’t come cheap. Arteta has got a lot of potential but he is in a learning curve. The current trajectories of Spurs and Everton
        reflect bags of their managers’ experience.
        We will continue to sing the blues as long as the current crocked owners stay put.

        On anothher issue, I hope the gaffer will not let F. BaloGun slip through his fingers as did Sancho at Manchester city. H. Kane
        and Knabry, both of whom were academy players left us with eggs in our face. Several clubs in Europe are reported to be watching him closely. Scoring 3 goals.in 6 minutes clearly demonstrates that he is a real deal, a real BaloGunner. How many academy players have scored 28 goals in 28 matches ? BaloGun did it.
        Please Arteta I beg you to urgently consider.a professional
        contract for him sooner rather than later.
        If you dont, managers of other clubs will.

    2. Wrighty is totally correct. Our position shows the truth. We are not unlucky. Losing Ramsey, the Ox, Cazorla, and Wilshire, has left us with no inspiration or creative urge. We are….BORING and need better players. In the summer we have 5 or six players to get rid of. Defensively….OH MY G….we are poor. It’s not just about stopping goals, it’s about forward movement with PURPOSE. Meaningful movement…intensity. Arteta must be like the ‘Sword of Damoclese’,ruthless enough to say goodbye to the players who cause stagnation. The summer window and the fanciful nature of the Kroenkes, will lift us or destroy us. At the moment it’s on a highwire…honey on a razor’s edge. It could go either way depending on the Kroenkes.

    3. He cannot fix, what started breaking ten years ago we are not near city.even a blind man can see.

  2. Interesting.

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    If this has a modicum of truth …….

    “Southampton were reportedly ‘left shocked’ by Arsenal’s January pursuit of defender Cédric Soares.

    Arsenal signed Cédric on deadline day – a six month loan – despite his Saints contract expiring this summer.

    According to David Ornstein, senior Southampton officials expected Soares to leave but to a lower league club, perhaps even abroad.

    To make matters even more interesting, the 28-year-old has been ruled out until March with knee ligament damage and arrived to undergo his medical at London Colney with a knee brace on.

    Arsenal will end up paying £5m (loan fee and wages) for someone out of favour, injured and available for free in four months.

    What a club! ”

    We have a first … a player turning up for his medical in a knee brace !!!!!

    You couldn’t make it up !!

    1. @AJ
      And yet, Southampton were about to renew his contract to try and get a better price for him… You can’t make this up. IJS

      1. Hi @ NY_Gunner.

        What new contract offer was that ?

        “Southampton will look to permanently offload Cedric Soares when he returns from his loan spell at Inter Milan”.

        The Saints opted to loan the defender out to the Serie A giants during the January transfer window after he was deemed surplus to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s requirements.

        Probably the new contract offer they told us about 😉

        All depends what rubbish (or not) you choose to read I suppose.

  3. It also depends on the player sales. Saliba already bought is a massive plus, the next Varane. It’ll be interesting to see what we do up front, if we move one or two out or not. We’ll know more about Arteta with how the Auba situation works out, it makes sense to bring in money, also makes sense to offer him a contract, I don’t envy having to make that call.

    1. M A has mentioned ” changing the dynamic” at our place, something with which I totally agree.

      I believe we could see some “surprising” (or not) outgoings in the summer, aligned with some equally surprising in-comings.

      It’s all about getting the pieces of the jig-saw to fit – “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts”

  4. stevo, what you forgot to mention was how many new players were brought in to support UE when he took over.

    There were eight players to begin with, followed by the five you mentioned and then our biggest ever signing at a reported £72,000,000 Pepe.

    So how you can say that MA will have 13 more players, when he has overseen just two signings is a complete mystery to me?

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