Arsenal players ‘concerned’ by Mikel Arteta’s appointment of goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana

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The former Brentford coach personally recommended Alex Runarsson (Picture: Getty Images)

A number of Arsenal players are ‘concerned’ by Mikel Arteta’s appointment of goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana, with question marks reportedly being raised over several backroom decisions.

The Gunners have endured a miserable campaign and sit in ninth place in the Premier League table, with the club set to miss out on European football next season for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Despite overseeing Arsenal’s worst season in Premier League history, Arteta’s position at the club is secure – though some of his decisions behind the scenes are starting to prompt murmurs of discontent.

Arsenal players 'concerned' by Mikel Arteta's appointment of goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana
Arsenal spent £1.5m on Runarsson after Cana’s recommendation (Picture: Getty)

Chief among them is the decision to bring in Cana, with The Athletic reporting that there is concern among the playing staff about the Spaniard’s suitability for the role.

Arteta handpicked his compatriot from Brentford when he first took over at the Emirates in December 2019, but there is a feeling that Arsenal have actually become weaker in the goalkeeping department over that period.

Bernd Leno’s form has dipped considerably, making several high-profile errors this season particularly at the backend of the campaign, and the German has even been linked with a transfer away.

That has prompted questions about Cana’s coaching ability, while his credibility was also put under the spotlight after he personally recommended disappointing summer signing Alex Runarsson.

The pair had worked together at FC Nordsjaelland several years ago but the Icelandic shot-stopper has looked shaky and nervous in his rare outings in the first team, performing so badly that Arteta felt compelled to bring in another backup goalkeeper in Mat Ryan in January, with Runarsson demoted to third choice.

Cana’s arrival also saw the departure of two well-liked goalkeeper coaches, Sal Bibbo and Andy Woodman, and his autonomy over the department has ‘raised alarms’.

The Athletic also report that the arrival of former PSG physio Bruno Mazziotti has been ‘divisive’, with the Brazilian clashing with already established medical staff at the club.

Sporting director Edu was responsible for bringing in Mazziotti, having wanted to provide a Latin presence among the backroom medical team after the departure of Paulo Barreira.

But his methods and manner have not gone down well at London Colney and, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, his stay at Arsenal is not likely to be a long one.

MORE : Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal board to back him in the transfer market this summer

MORE : Bernd Leno responds to transfer speculation he will leave Arsenal this summer

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