Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have five more matches to prove he deserves to keep his job, after which those in charge at the Emirates Stadium will decide on his future.
Arteta has always asked for more time and insists that he rebuilds a side that has completely lost its way since Arsene Wenger left in 2018, but both results and achievements remain far below the standard.
A 2-0 defeat against both Brentford and Chelsea has seen Arsenal begin one of their worst starts of a season in history, and with a trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City on the horizon, it does not look to be any easier.
Although there is an acceptance that the City game may be a write-off already, the Telegraph notes that Arteta must prove himself over the four matches that follow in order to avoid the threat of losing his job.
After the City match, Arsenal will face Norwich City, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton, and club officials expect “significant improvements” from Arteta during that period.
Arsenal officials accept that Arteta has struggled with a disease and injury crisis this season – the manager claimed he was without nine senior players to start the season – and the Daily Mail backs up the point that these matches have not been forgotten.
But when the absentees begin to filter back to the squad, Arsenal’s hierarchy demands rapid improvements and is not afraid to take action if neither results nor performance improve.
At the top of their wish list to replace Arteta would be former Inter boss Antonio Conte, who rejected a move from Tottenham earlier this summer, but they would face an uphill climb to convince the Italian to sign up.
Arsenal can turn to Antonio Conte / Chris Ricco / Getty Images
Conte snubbed Tottenham over concerns that he would not get enough support to make the team title winners, so Arsenal would have to make extreme promises to tempt the former Chelsea boss to make the move.
Arsenal are keen to stick with Arteta, who they believe have monitored positive changes behind the scenes, but the team’s failures on the pitch can and will not be ignored if they continue.