Mikel Arteta is probably safe in his position right now and that has meant that he can make big decisions without too much risk, however that may not always be the case, starting today.
Stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy, sidelining the clubs’ record signing Nicolas Pepe and even bringing Granit Xhaka straight back into the team are all big calls, especially the first two and he can get away with these big calls as long as the fans are on side.
But that is the thing, the fans are barely on side right now and a loss tonight against West Ham United would see these major decisions come under even more scrutiny and his judgement questioned forensically.
If Arsenal beat the Hammers then the decisions by Arteta will look like pearls of wisdom and that is the fine line the manager is walking right now.
There is a history of managers making such huge calls only for them to backfire, Ruud Gullit dropping Alan Shearer springs to mind and the Dutchman was out of a job the very next day because Newcastle United lost that particular match, to Sunderland of all teams.
As I said, for now, Arteta is fairly safe and can make the big calls from a confident position but he had better start getting the results on the pitch that the fans are demanding because if he does not, he will not look so safe for much longer.