William Gallas claims Arsenal made ‘mistake’ with Mikel Arteta appointment

William Gallas believes Arsenal made a 'mistake' with manager Mikel Arteta
William Gallas believes Arsenal made a ‘mistake’ with manager Mikel Arteta (Pictures: Getty)

William Gallas believes Arsenal made a ‘mistake’ when they appointed Mikel Arteta as their manager.

The Gunners turned to Spanish boss Arteta, who spent five years at Arsenal as a player, after sacking Unai Emery in December 2019.

Arteta had impressed as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City and the initial signs at the Emirates were promising, with Arsenal finishing the 2019-20 season by winning the FA Cup.

Arsenal endured a miserable 2020-21 campaign, however, finishing just eighth in the Premier League and suffering a disappointing Europa League exit at the hands of Emery’s Villarreal.

Gallas expects Arteta to develop into a top manager but says he is not currently ready to be in charge of a top club and claims it was a mistake for Arsenal to appoint him 18 months ago.

‘Mikel Arteta was not ready yet to manage a club like Arsenal,’ Gallas, who spent four years at the Emirates as a player, told The Sun.

‘OK, he was assistant coach at Manchester City. But he had never managed a team. It is completely different.

Arteta was appointed Gunners boss in December 2018
Arteta was appointed Gunners boss in December 2018 (Picture: Getty)

‘The board made a mistake picking him. I’m sure he will be a great manager but you need to have experience to manage a big club.

‘To be honest, it is a great shame for the Arsenal fans after finishing eighth.

‘Arsenal is not the same Arsenal we knew 18, 20 years ago. We had players who were strong with strong personalities.’

The pressure will be on Arteta ahead of the 2021-22 season and former Gunners star Perry Groves says the manager has ‘no excuse’ not to secure a top-four finish.

‘From Mikel Arteta’s point of view, having that week to prepare for matches and not having to play on a Thursday, he’s now not got any excuses for Arsenal not to be in the top four,’ he told talkSPORT.

‘When Leicester City won the title they had no European games, Chelsea under Antonio Conte were exactly the same.’

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