Is Mikel Arteta actually in danger of losing his job at Arsenal?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 30 November 2020, 10:52

Over the summer months everything was rosy for Mikel Arteta who scooped two trophies at Arsenal.

However, the Spaniard has since only mustered 13 points; the club’s worst tally after 10 games in the Premier League era.

Only four teams this season have fewer points.

In fact, you have to trawl back nearly 40 years, under Terry Neill (1981/82), to see when the Gunners last picked up fewer points (12) at this stage of a league season.

Arsenal’s 2-1 reverse at home to Wolves was their fifth defeat of the season, a result which left the club 14th in the table with a negative goal difference.

Bookies’ have reacted by slashing Arteta’s odds from 50/1 to 10/1 to be the next Premier League manager to leave.

But while Arteta’s future has been thrust under the managerial spotlight, is he actually in danger of losing his job?

"It's something that the day I decided to be a coach I knew that one day I would be sacked or leave the football club but I don't know when that is going to happen," he told BBC Sport after Arsenal’s third consecutive home defeat on Sunday.

"In this profession, I know it will happen but I never worry about it.”

It’s approaching a year since Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates. He’s since overseen 45 matches: 25 wins, nine draws and 11 defeats, which gives him a 55.56% Win Rate.

For comparison, Emery and Arsene Wengers' Win% were pretty similar, at 55.13% and 57.25% respectively.

Stand-out moments include lifting the FA Cup, overcoming champions Liverpool in the Community Shield, beating the same opposition in the league, outwitting Pep Guardiola and carding consecutive victories over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; one of which came earlier in the month.

Lows range from a disappointing Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiakos, post lockdown defeats to Brighton and Aston Villa, while the current campaign has been a source of immense frustration and inconsistency, especially of late following a run of four points from their last 18 available.

However, the most perplexing conundrum is star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has looked a shadow of the pulsating player who thrived under Arteta last season. His drop off in form has been baffling.

Prior to the new season, Areta had appeared to have made Arsenal more compact and resolute. Energy and enthusiasm levels had rocketed, while there was a new found guile and intensity to the Gunners, complimented by the artistry and execution of Aubameyang.

Yet progress in what appeared to be the start of a sparkling new era has since curtailed. 

Arteta, like Emery before him, is now undoubtedly battling against the thrashing waves of pressure. 

Speaking of Emery, he’s now rebuilding his reputation in Spain with Villarreal who are 3rd in the table, ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Now the heat is on Arteta needs to find a formula for his vulnerable defence and a toothless attack, while proving that there is a steely toughness to himself as a manager, otherwise he could edge dangerously close to the chopping block.

However, for now he is safe. Arsenal will just hope that their current patch of form is merely a blip in the long-term plan. That’s if there is one.

We'll leave you with this tongue-in-cheek comment from Roy Keane...

“I still think Arsenal have enough to stay up, I think; they’ll be strong enough to stay in the division.”

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

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Mikel Arteta

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Brendan Rodgers

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Odds Correct as of 2021-01-22 13:27:59
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