“It is a shame really” Merson says Arteta has joined Arsenal at the wrong time

Paul Merson believes that Mikel Arteta is a good manager, but he reckons that the Spaniard has joined Arsenal at the wrong time.

Arsenal named him as their latest boss at the end of 2019 after a season and a half under the management of the underperforming Unai Emery.

He helped the club win the FA Cup and the Community Shield within his first 8 months at the helm.

His team started this season with the aim of ending the campaign inside the top four, however, their performances have delivered little so far.

The club needs thorough changes, which Arteta has been helping with so far, but Merson wished he had joined in a better time when all these messes have been sorted.

He said that the Spaniard’s team has been making quiet progress and praises him for trying to make changes, adding that there was a lot of deadwood when he first joined.

“I don’t think (today’s game) is going to be to see how far they have come forward because this is Manchester City,” said Merson via Football Daily. “They are on a roll.

“Last season, they beat them in a big football match in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They had a plan and they have to go back to that plan.

“I think they are quietly improving. I like what Arteta is doing. He’s just trying to get rid of everything. It was like a storm had ripped through the place (when he first joined). There was a lot of deadwood and people on a lot of money.

“I think he has come in, and it’s a shame really, I would have liked to have seen him be the next manager after all of this had been cleared up. I just think he is clearing up a lot of mess – and it’s taking its time.”

Tags mikel arteta Paul Merson


  1. Voice of sense…. People ignore the work he’s doing with the whole team and focus on the team’s results alone, ignoring the fact that Arteta’s focus is still split as he’s still clearing out first before building again, and what an amazing job he’s done clearing out unwanted and average players. There’s still more to let go though

    1. At Eddie
      That’s because results matter. And whilst clearing out so called dead wood how much Arteta himself signed. A shit show is what it is. People talk about progress but can’t point to it. Where exactly is the improvement.

      1. The point of clearing out isn’t it to sign players?
        Are you saying he should’ve done both at once??
        Is that even possible when you consider the fact bout how the club is being run

  2. Willian,luiz,odegaard,Ceballos,that little goal keeper brother are you a payed troll or what. Half a team and the supposedly good ones are the loaned players lol. Please just show us the positives under Arteta. PLEASE.

    1. Exactly my point, you look like the troll here, you just embarrassed yourself..
      Over half of your list are loaned players.
      Players be brought in because of lack of cash to buy, you’re aware there’s lack of funds and you’re questioning the players he bringing in when he’s only trying to get the best cheap ones he can until the club supports him with money.
      Dont you look like clown troll now?
      Anyways I’m done with this discussion as you never have anything positive to write for the past one year.
      Everyone here knows you, when you write, you’re never writing anything good, not even once. Always the guy spreading negative and bad vibes all around this site

      1. EDDIE, DON’T WASTE YOU PEARLS OF WISDOM ON THIS SIILY CHILD. HE ACTS AS A TROLL as I have often thought. But in his head, he probably considers himself an Arsenal supporter, though he has never yet on here acted as a supporter, Always criticising and a cert for the Pessimist of the Year award, I’d say!

  3. There you are making excuses. Have to say brother you’re paid to engage people. Talking about no money how much have Arteta wasted or saved the kreonke’s. Fans are for results simple because we pay.

  4. I’m with you Eddie, and I’ll try to rise to Jah Son’s challenge. Improvements:
    – Defensively, it’s pretty undeniable. Many goals we concede come through individual errors rather than holes on the pitch. I don’t think it’s right to compare but one of main memories from Emery’s reign was how much space was left between midfield and defence.
    – Recruitment. Especially in the last window, freed up a lot of space on the wage bill with departures (all of which seemed to be amiably dealt with by both parties). Incomings, bar Willian, have been decent to superb. Gabriel and Partey have filled desperately needed gaps in the squad. Ceballos, Odegaard, David Luiz, Cedric, Pablo Mari have proven to be shrewd investments under a tight budget. They may not have been world class but they improved the squad for very little output.
    – Player progress. Pepe has shown his best run of consistency lately, Saka and ESR have come on leaps and bounds, Holding, Tierney, Xhaka have all improved under Arteta (whether or not you attribute the gaffer to the improvement).
    – Club culture. The atmosphere was palpably dire when MA took over. Despite another difficult season, the boys remain a cohesive unit with some notable leaders allowed to play their role.

    There are criticisms, of course, Balogun’s treatment, Nelson’s disappearance, attacking patterns, individual player errors/discipline (not sure you can chalk that up to MA) and inconsistency on the pitch. There is much work to be done but I don’t think it’s wise to use results as the only metric to evaluate progress. It would be like judging education purely by exam results (ironically exactly what we do as a society but that’s for another day).

    I know many disagree and I’ve also had my moments of doubt this season but I remain fully behind MA and stay optimistic for the future (today’s game notwithstanding).

    1. This is only rational statement here. Some persons are all about instantaneous results. Do you seat to even analyze how managers becomes the success they are today. MA is still a Rookie so considering a lot of things around Arsenal, MA is doing a great Job if you ask me. I am not shocked even football analyst and legends that started criticizing his appointment earlier on are chewing back their comments with one lately saying he is sorry for the Era MA took over arsenal that he is really clearing a lot of mess at the moment and doing a great job. Those who think shallow responds shallowy.

    2. We can sugar court all we want there is no progress here in fact we are getting worse than before no consistency in team selection how is this man Abemayang playing instead of Lacazzette the guy is out of form so useless of late he just is not the same player he was before this new contract i really wonder who actually gave him the arm band ???

    3. Respect with this analysis.

      Most fans this days are betting fans, so, when result don’t go their way, they look for someone and anyone to blame for their lose.

      When I sight them, I don’t take them serious. I can’t help anybody’s ignorance.

      Thanks for taking you time to type this.

  5. There has been progress, with the best set of youngsters coming through since Tony Adams era. For 1987 league cup read last season’s fa cup. It took 2 seasons then and it will take 2 to 3 now, not the 5 minutes, the I want it NOW generation expect!

  6. Having been an Arsenal fan since 1950, I consider this squad to be among the weakest in all those years. I believe Arteta is doing a decent job, but he can only deal with what he has at his disposal. For me, the most worrying aspect is that yesterday we looked like a bunch of individuals with no plan and no leadership. There are some very good players, but the majority are only average or worse. Frankly a 1-0 defeat could have been 4 or 5. Man City are a class act and a TEAM and didn’t it show!

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