Arsenal’s "bigger problem" than Mikel Arteta identified in scathing analysis

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Jamie Redknapp believes Mikel Arteta is dealing with “a team full of kidders” at Arsenal right now and should be given time to clear out the deadwood in his squad.

The Gunners have suffered their worst start to a top-flight campaign for 46 years this season, with eight defeats out of 14 in the Premier League leaving them four points above the relegation zone.

They were also thrashed 4-1 at home by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night, which was their biggest home loss in a major cup match for 22 years.

Several Arsenal fans are now calling for Arteta to leave the club, especially following a bizarre recent press conference which saw him rattle off “chance of winning” percentages as proof that his side are deserving of more points this term.

However, Redknapp insists the Spaniard still has far too many players in his ranks that he cannot trust, while also questioning which manager would replace him at The Emirates.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “[Arteta] has to be very careful. Even what he was talking about earlier on with percentages of games you should be winning, when you have a certain amount, like 25 per cent chance of winning the match.

“You can’t insult football fans’ intelligence with things like that. You’ve just got to say it as it is, and I think that’s a real problem for Mikel Arteta.

“People are saying, ‘Is he going to lose his job?’ Losing 4-1 at home is not ideal. The last win they had was 1st November against Manchester United.

“In his defence, that day I remember doing the game and I thought, ‘They could be on to something pretty special here’. We saw a very talented midfield player in Partey, he looked exceptional. The way they set up, I thought, they might be good.

“Then, all of a sudden, things have gone and they are now devoid of confidence.

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“Of course, you could go and sack the manager, but the bigger problem is there’s a group of players there, there’s only three or four that if you were the manager coming in you’d say, ‘I can trust those players’.

“I’ll tell you what would happen next time, whoever comes in, David Luiz will probably play well for 10, 11 games and we’ll say, ‘He’s a good player’, then he’ll start making mistakes because he’s bored.

“You’ll have [Granit] Xhaka, thinking, ‘Wow, he’s a good player as well’, he’ll then get sent off.

“The manager will probably bring [Mesut] Ozil in and everyone will go, ‘He’s the answer, we should never have left him out in the first place’. He’ll do it for a couple of games then won’t track and he’ll get bored as well.

“Then that will be the problem with this team. Too many of them, no matter what you do, will let you down. It’s a team full of kidders right now, and I feel sorry for the young players.

“The manager, you’ve either got to stick with him and say, ‘We’ll give you time to get out a lot of the players that aren’t good enough’.

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“We keep hearing about dressing room unrest, keep hearing about someone in the dressing room that’s giving information.

“If you’ve got that, you’ve got a major problem, you’ve got no chance. You’ve got to get rid of those players as quickly as possible and it’s not easy to do.

“You can get rid of the manager, but who comes in? Who is out there?”

  • Arsenal FC
  • Mikel Arteta

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