Sol Campbell and Roy Keane are in agreement over Mikel Arteta’s situation at Arsenal.
Arteta has come under ciriticism during his time in charge of the Gunners having so far failed to advance the club following Unai Emery’s reign.
Emery left the club in eighth place, the same position they finished in once Arteta had finished his half-season in charge, though he did win an FA Cup.
And in his first full season in charge, Arteta guided Arsenal to another eighth-place finish, missing out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years.
The Spaniard’s efforts so far have been heavily criticised, and there was already pressure on his head coming into this season following the spending of more than £80million between Ben White and Martin Odegaard, though the latter of those signings was only this week.
And so defeat to newly promoted Brentford in the opening game was not what Arteta needed, but former Gunners defender Campbell has called for calm.
“I think you have to be optimistic,” Campbell said on Sky Sports ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea.
“They have spent a lot of money, the most in the league. But you have to realise it is a building programme here, it’s not the Arsenal of the old.
“Yes, with defensive scenarios and the attacking scenarios they have to get better, we have to be more clinical, you know it is hard work and football is not easy.
“It’s not easy when you are at the top, Arsenal have been there and they want to get back up there. You have to have time, there are some good players out there but they need time. But there’s no guarantee, you can spend £50million, £60million, £70million on a player, it is a hell of a lot of money but sometimes it can go wrong.
“I think Arsenal have to get comfortable with the fact that signings can go wrong, but they have to keep on going.”
Roy Keane agreed there is little need for panic, adding: “When you are at one of these big clubs everything has its extremes.
“When you win a couple of games everyone thinks you are the greatest, when you have a bad start to the season like Arsenal have, the critics are going to be out.
“But what he [Arteta] would want today is a reaction from his players. They have invested and brought in some good young players, but that is the potential.
“And they need a reaction from their senior players, and that is still a question mark for me.
“The younger players need a helping hand from these senior players, they need to stand up and be counted and prove what playing for a club like Arsenal should mean to them.”