The former Topnik midfielder does not expect a victory in the derby over Chelsea, and those at the Emirates Stadium are stuck in a rut
Mikel Arteta is trying too hard to impress and entertain Arsenal, says Paul Merson, with the fiery Spaniard being called upon to restrain his ambition and make it harder for cannon gunners.
Clothing for North London has become too easy to refute this season, with eight defeats suffered through 14 suits in the Premier League.
Stuck in a serious rut, Arsenal leans just four points above the relegation zone.
Things won’t get any easier either, with a derby with London neighbors Chelsea following on Boxing Day, while Merson struggles to see how Arteta’s side can take anything from that competition.
For the former winger, there are currently too many mistakes on and off the field, and those at Emirates Stadium need to worry more about substance than style.
Merson said Sky Sports heading to a meeting with Chelsea at home: “You would be shocked for Arsenal to win, and that’s where this had to come from. That may not be true. I can’t even argue Arsenal’s win.
“I watched them against Southampton and I was thinking how many Arsenal players will get into the Saints team. Burnley went to the Emirates and imagined, The Wolves were there and experimenting! They played four backs, which they had never done before.
“Of course, self-confidence in Arsenal is not great and that can play a major role. Man United confidently looks like the second team, but Arteta has to go back to what brought Arsenal success – tactics against Man City in the FA Cup semi-final, a match against Chelsea in the final.
“They have to go back to that way of playing, but he is now in the position of a young manager, new to the game, he feels he has to keep impressing.
“He has to return to the fact that it is difficult to beat him, using the tempo in the counterattack. At the moment, Arteta seems to refrain from using what is considered a negative tactic and is more focused on trying to have fun – not good.
“Leeds have been like the old Arsenal for the past eight or nine years. Arsenal didn’t win anything, but everyone loved him because you knew you were going to watch a good game.
“Arteta must return to what brought him success in the first time of asking questions. They beat a very good Man City team at the time and Arteta has to show the players that video and get back to it. ”