Former Premier League star Pablo Zabaleta responds to Arsenal fans who want Mikel Arteta sacked

Pablo Zabaleta has urged Arsenal to stick with struggling manager Mikel Arteta
Pablo Zabaleta has urged Arsenal to stick with struggling manager Mikel Arteta (Pictures: Getty)

Pablo Zabaleta says it is ‘pivotal’ that Mikel Arteta remains Arsenal manager and has told disgruntled Gunners fans: ‘He is the right man for the job’.

Arteta enjoyed much success when he first arrived at the Emirates, with his Arsenal team winning the FA Cup last season.

The Gunners have endured a miserable start to the 2020-21 campaign, however, and are only 15th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s clash with Burnley.

Arsenal are already 11 points behind leaders Tottenham and eight points adrift of the Champions League places, but Zabaleta says Arteta is not the problem.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Man United v Man City, the former Manchester City and West Ham defender said: ‘For me, it is pivotal that Mikel is at that club as their manager

‘I believe in him, and I just think the club needs to back him. Sometimes it takes time for a new manager to implement his ideas and to get the players to buy into what he’s trying to do.

‘But you don’t always get that time in football and you have to win. You have to find a way to get results at any costs.

‘And if you’re not getting results, you see managers getting sacked. It’s not only for Mikel, it’s across every team in every division.

‘If you look on social media after Arsenal lose two or three games, their fans want their manager out. But who do you bring in? It’s very difficult.

‘Fans don’t have patience. They want to see their team winning every weekend. But to Arsenal fans I would say this: Arteta is the right man.

‘It’s just a matter of time, and hopefully in January the board can give him some money to bring in two or three top names.

‘That’s the only way they’re going to get to where the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool are.

‘When you look at Liverpool, they spend £50m on a goalkeeper, £80m on a defender, but you don’t see this at Arsenal.

‘OK, they gave a new contract to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he’s not the only one; he can’t do it on his own. Alongside him he needs top players to increase creativity and ultimately score more goals.

‘I’m not saying they have bad players. When you look at their squad, they have lots of good players, who all play at an international level, but their players are not at the level of the likes of Liverpool.’

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