Michael Cox has been speaking on the latest instalment of The Totally Football Show discussing Arsenal’s future under Mikel Arteta.
Just four victories in their opening 14 Premier League fixtures had the north London outfit under ever-increasing levels of pressure and saw several questions asked regarding Arteta’s suitability for the role.
Nevertheless, The Athletic’s Cox believes the Emirates Stadium outfit are still in need of further additions before they can think about returning to continental competition.
Speaking after Arsenal’s draw with Burnley, Cox said: “There have been quite a few games like this where they should have won it, and I think when they don’t win it, it has often been down to the players rather than Arteta’s strategy.
“And if you like the underlying numbers and that kind of thing, there’s been a major improvement since November-December where things were looking really dodgy. So yeah, I do see an improvement.
“I just think they’re probably a couple of players away, and a bit more familiarity with the system to start challenging for the European places. But, that said, for them to be in tenth is quite an underachievement, isn’t it, and they’re out of the FA Cup, but you wonder whether the Europa League might rescue Arteta’s campaign the same way the FA Cup did last year.”
TIF Thoughts on Arsenal…
Arsenal have been up and down all season, with their performances and results lacking any real consistency.
Having said that, they do seem to have made big improvements from the first half of the campaign, and Arteta has managed to bring through an exciting crop of young talent during this difficult period.
Although finishing in mid-table would be a big disappointment for the Gunners, Arteta deserves more time to mould the squad around his image and implement his style upon the players at his disposal.