‘Massive questions’: Paul Merson warns Arsenal about Mikel Arteta appointment

Arsenal legend Paul Merson says Mikel Arteta isn't qualified to take over the reins at The Emirates

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson believes there’s big question marks surrounding whether Mikel Arteta is qualified enough to take over the reins of Arsenal.

The Manchester City assistant manager is one of the leading candidates to succeed Unai Emery as the next permanent Arsenal boss at The Emirates.

Arteta is a former Arsenal captain but the retired Spanish midfielder has no managerial experience aside from working as Pep Guardiola’s number two.

The ex-Everton star was initially linked with the Arsenal role after Arsene Wenger’s exit in May 2018 before the Gunners went with Emery ahead of Arteta.

Freddie Ljungberg was appointed as the club’s interim manager last month after Emery paid the price for Arsenal’s worst run of form in over 30 years.

However, the Swedish coach has only managed to steer Arsenal to one victory since becoming the Gunners caretaker boss.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson has a lot of concerns about Arteta becoming the next Gunners manager.

“To ask someone with no managerial experience to take charge in the current circumstances at Arsenal is a big ask. But there are also massive question marks over his credentials, massive questions,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“One of the major factors with Arteta being linked with the job is that he’s worked closely under Guardiola, and he used to play at Arsenal. Other than the fact he won’t get lost on the way to training, I don’t know what else he brings to the table.

“We’ve seen how out of his depth Freddie Ljungberg has been in recent weeks. What’s the difference between Ljungberg and Arteta other than the fact Arteta has worked under Pep at Manchester City?

“It doesn’t mean Arteta has earned his stripes or he’s better qualified, and Arsenal won’t suddenly start playing like City if Arteta is appointed because it’s not as simple as that.”

Arteta scored 16 times in 149 games in all competitions during his five-season stint at the north London side.

The Spanish midfielder won two FA Cup trophies during his spell at Arsenal before he retired in 2016.

The Gunners have failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last three seasons under Emery and Wenger.

Arsenal are currently in tenth position in the Premier League table.

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