Mikel Arteta will lose his job as Arsenal manager at the end of the season if he can’t guide the Gunners back to the Premier League top four, insists Tony Cascarino.
The ex-Republic of Ireland striker claims the Spaniard is under huge pressure to deliver a return to Champions League football after being backed by the club.
Arsenal were the English top flight’s biggest spenders last year as they splashed out over £150million to strengthen their team with the likes of now first-teamers Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
It wasn’t enough, though, as the Gunners ultimately came in two points behind north London rivals Tottenham to finish fifth in the table.
Arteta has been backed again by the club’s American owners, who have made it clear they ‘trust the process’ by helping to bring in Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.
That’s already over £100m worth of talent so far, but that figure could yet reach closer to last summer’s transfer tally with reports they are still chasing a deal for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans.
It means the expectation has never been higher for this new era Arsenal team to deliver, and Cascarino believes another top four miss will cost Arteta his job.
“If you look at the top six, the two that don’t get in the top four this season their managers will lose their jobs, without a doubt,” said the Weekend Sports Breakfast host.
“If Arsenal don’t make it, Arteta will lose his job.
“I think he’s done everything he can to make his team as competitive as possible, but you now have to make the top four.
“Unless they only narrowly miss out… but it would have to be the smallest margins or a dramatic end [to save him].
“Performances week-in, week-out will also count, because that will affect the feeling at the club.
“I went to a couple of games at the Emirates at the end of the season, and it was rocking. People called it a library, but it was rocking at the end of the season.
“But if they don’t make the top four Arteta will be gone – that’s what happens.”
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