Mikel Arteta is looking increasingly out of his depth in charge of Arsenal, but it’s his press conferences which have become the most worrying thing just now.
That’s pretty good going when you consider how poor the team is on the pitch and how easily they collapse when things go against them, but Arteta speaks like a manager who can’t deal with the pressure.
No amount of stats or diversion can hide the fact that he has taken Arsenal to depths that they haven’t seen for some time, so it’s just another reason for fans to get on his back.
The treatment of William Saliba is another sore point and he’s gone from the future of the defence to total outcast in double-quick time, but this report from tonight is deeply troubling if true:
Arteta says Saliba couldn’t play against Man City as “he wasn’t in the squad”. He seemed to be suggesting that he couldn’t play because he’s not in the Premier League squad. It was a bit odd.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) December 22, 2020
You have to hope this is simply Arteta trying to be blunt and saying he’s not playing because he hasn’t picked him, but if it’s a total misunderstanding of the rules then Arsenal’s problems are so much bigger than they originally thought.