Garth Crooks has claimed in his BBC Team of the Week column that Arsenal have made the wrong decision in appointing Mikel Arteta as Unai Emery’s replacement, and claimed they should have got new Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Both Arteta and Ancelotti watched on as their sides played out a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon, with the duo taking over at their new clubs after the match. Ancelotti had been linked heavily with Arsenal.
But the Gunners chose to bring in a new manager who had previously played for Arsenal – making Arteta and Patrick Vieira the prime candidates, the latter currently manager of French side OGC Nice. Ancelotti, meanwhile, has taken over at Everton.
Crooks believes Arsenal needed an experienced head to sort out issues in the defence and the long-standing problem of a number of big egos in the changing room. He thinks Ancelotti, or Vieira, would have been a better route than Arteta.
“What are Arsenal doing appointing a manager who isn’t bigger than his players? Far be it from me to tell the Gunners who their manager should be but come on. Mikel Arteta – really?” Crooks said.
“Last week I suggested the north London giants should look no further than Carlo Ancelotti. Meanwhile, Everton have gone for the more experienced man. A younger man who has a greater affinity with the precocious talents of the age appears to be the way forward for Arsenal executives.
“But if that is the case, then Patrick Vieira should have got the call. What a statement that would have made. Instead, Arsenal have gone for a number two when they desperately needed a number one.”
TBR’s view – Arteta a risk, but perhaps a risk that needed to be taken
It is a complete step into the unknown for both Arsenal and Arteta. Though he has had the best apprenticeship possible in working under Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, he has no experience as a boss in his own merit.
Working with players such as Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz suggests Arsenal needed a manager with a big managerial calibre. So, it is a risk to appoint a manager that has not taken charge of a single senior match.
Arsenal do, though, need a complete new vision. It has worked for Chelsea with Frank Lampard, but not at Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is a results-based business, and only a few wins will get fans on Arteta’s side.