Stan Collymore has branded Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal as a side “that’s too nice for its own good” and has recommended Diego Simeone as the Spaniard’s replacement.
Arsenal began their campaign in dreadful fashion last Friday with a 2-0 defeat to newly promoted Brentford, as goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard secured a deserved victory for the Bees.
They host Chelsea on Sunday with the odds stacked against them, as pundits and supporters question the direction of the club under Arteta and his superiors.
After joining midway through the 2019/20 season, Arteta has managed just two eighth-placed league finishes, alongside one FA Cup win. Many feel he has been afforded enough time to turn things around.
Collymore, the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker, has called for an immediate switch-up, identifying Atletico Madrid’s Simeone as the sort of manager who would come in and transform the culture of the club.
“Mikel Arteta isn’t the man to sort out Arsenal – they need a spiteful, nasty winner to take over at a club that’s too nice for its own good,” he said in his column for the Mirror.
“There’s no point pussyfooting around the issue anymore, they should go and get the Prince of the Dark Arts. Step forward, Diego Simeone.
“English football would sit up and take notice and, more importantly, so would the Gunners dressing room. The Argentine would have one goal: Win.”
He continued: “Arteta’s a nice bloke at a nice club with nice players. It’s the biggest insult I can throw at them. It suits them to a tee.
“Everyone at Arsenal is nice. You’d like to play against them, the training facilities are great, the stadium is wonderful, the players compliant.
“Being honest, I’d have shown Arteta the door at the start of the summer and made the change. There’s nothing I’ve seen to suggest he’s the real deal.
“As it is, he should be given until the next transfer window. If Arsenal are still nowhere near the top five – and they won’t be – then a serious move should be made for the Atletico Madrid boss.”