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.”