‘Outside forces’ want to replace Mikel Arteta with Max Allegri as Arsenal boss, believes Alan Smith

Arsenal Training Session
Mikel Arteta is under serious pressure at Arsenal (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Massimiliano Allegri is being ‘recommended’ as Arsenal’s next manager, with ‘outside forces’ trying to encourage the Gunners to replace Mikel Arteta with the Italian, says Alan Smith.

Arteta is under huge pressure at the Emirates after a dreadful start to the season which sees them sititng 15th in the Premier League at the start of the weekend.

The Gunners have won just four of their opening 13 games and scored only 11 goals in that time as the Spaniard struggles to make an impact in his first job in management.

The club have been keen to back their manager and appear to have no plans to replace him, but former Arsenal striker Smith believes other people in football are looking to manoeuvre Allegri into the club.

Smith claims agents are working hard to see a move made, so they can cash in on Arteta’s struggles.

‘It’s an open secret among football agents that Max Allegri, the Italian coach who enjoyed great success at Juventus, is being recommended as Arsenal’s next manager,’ Smith wrote in the Evening Standard.

‘Not by the club I should stress, but by outside forces who want to capitalise on a difficult moment for the young manager. They seem to think Allegri would stand more of a chance, what with his years of experience in Serie A.’

Smith does not think it is necessarily the end of the road for Arteta, but the Spaniard must stick to his guns with the players and the club must make it clear that they are fully behind him.

Massimiliano Allegri has been out of work since the summer of 2019 (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘To survive situations like this, Arteta needs unequivocal backing from those above,’ Smith continued. ‘The management structure, led by chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and possibly including Stanley Kroenke’s son Josh, must take decisive steps to publicly support their manager to avoid his authority getting undermined. Those recent words of support from Edu, the technical director, are a start but not enough.

‘In tandem, Arteta has got to make clear to the dressing room who’s calling the shots, who’s actually in charge of this listing ship. Because if players sense weakness, attitudes can swiftly change. Respect for the boss starts falling away. That’s why Arteta’s message must be clear and strong.’

Arteta takes his side to Goodison Park on Saturday evening as they look for their first win since beating Manchester United on 1 November.

They will be without the suspended pair of Granit Xhaka and Gabriel, with Thomas Partey out through injury.

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