Arsenal’s position in the table is known by everybody at this point but it’s still utterly astonishing, especially when you consider that they picked up six points in their opening two games.
Mikel Arteta did extremely well to avoid any kind of negative media coverage for a while as the slide began, but the knives are out now and you can see that’s he’s getting a little bit desperate in his press conferences.
It was always clear that he was appointed as a manager who would completely overhaul the club and that might take a few seasons to really take shape, but relegation was never on the cards.
It still seems impossible that Arsenal could actually go down, but Arteta’s job has to be at risk just now, especially when you consider that Unai Emery was hounded out for doing a comparatively good job.
David Ornstein recently spoke about the situation on the Athletic podcast and it sounds like there’s one key thing that separates Emery and Arteta – trust.
It sounds simple but essentially it seems to be the case that the board trust Arteta in terms of his vision and philosophy at the club, so there’s no chance that he’s going to get sacked just now.
It’s a big call from the board because momentum is famously tough to overcome in football once a team starts to slide, while it’s nothing like their dire situation with the LA Rams where they could deliberately lose to secure a higher draft pick – if Arsenal go down there will be no rewards and it will be a legitimate disaster for the club.
The ideal scenario now would see them doing well in the cups and climbing to a safe position where Arteta can experiment with some of the younger players and allow them to develop, so the next few games will be absolutely crucial.