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The former Gunners defender believes a highly skilled Spanish tactician remains the right man at Emirates Stadium despite ongoing inconsistency
Mikel Arteta knows that he will be “judged by results”, says Nigel Winterburn, and the Spaniard will be backed to overcome the pressure that is mounting on him at Arsenal.
The FA Cup and Community Shield wins over the summer, which came in a matter of weeks, led many to believe that the Gunners had rediscovered their mojo.
More cunning transfer deals were also said to have been conducted, with the likes of Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey mixing youth, experience, meddling and cunning.
However, old habits are slow to die for Arsenal and inconsistency has become a problem once again.
The North London giants have had their worst start to the season in 39 years, and are already catching up in the race for the top four in the Premier League.
Arteta will inevitably be asked questions as a rookie manager desperately searching for a winning formula, and the 38-year-old is quickly learning how difficult life at the top can be.
Winterburn admits that Arsenal are doing their boss few favors at the moment, but believes the right man is at the helm to turn fortune around and become a better manager along the way.
Former left back Gunners said FreeSuperTips: “Mikel Arteta is a new manager with very limited experience. I like what he is trying to achieve at Arsenal, but most people would agree that this will be his most difficult period yet.
“He’s realistic, he knows he’s judged by the results, particularly the way we report things now, especially with social media, expert podcasts, every game is analyzed. He is very strict and knows that if this bad form continues, the pressure will increase on his shoulders.
“He has to learn on the job here at Arsenal, and this means going through periods when things are not easy. From my point of view, I wish we were winning every game and being at the top of the league.
“If Arteta can come out on the other side of this difficult period, it will allow him to develop as a coach and tell him a few things about the players he also got in the football club. It’s not just him, it’s also up to the players to try different things and find the right combinations. “
Part of the problem for Arsenal seems to be that they don’t know which system and personnel suit them best, and Winterburn is eager to see Arteta return to a five-man defense.
He added: “When Mikel Arteta first came to Arsenal, he selected a back five to make us more stable on defense, but his preferred option is to play with a back four. However, I am not convinced that Arsenal are good enough to play with four defenders.
“It’s not just about the back four, it’s also about not being sure about protection against defense, as well as midfield combinations lately.
“I still believe that when Thomas Partey returns, we will be significantly stronger. Although people talk about him as a sustaining midfielder, we’ve already seen in a couple of games that he’s able to take the ball away from the defense from deep positions and make us move faster.
“We need to move the ball much faster than we are doing right now. Everything seems a little too structured and slow lately. “