Former Arsenal defender William Gallas has warned Mikel Arteta that he could be fired if the team doesn’t make it into the top four. Arteta has entered his third full season in the hot seat and has so far failed to secure the Champions League appearance the club wanted.
Arsenal was on their way to fourth place last season, but the last-minute slump sent their arch-rivals Tottenham past them into the Champions League.
Arteta has since been supported during the transfer window. Arsenal brought in Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Gabriel Jesus this summer and the pressure has increased to get them into the top four this season.
What did Gallas say?
Evaluating Arsenal in an interview with Genting Casino, Gallas commented:
“Of course he’ll be in trouble if he doesn’t make the top four. Arteta was asked to make the top four and he didn’t do that last season.
“If Arsenal don’t play in the Champions League next season, that will cause a lot of drama. They definitely need to qualify for the Champions League.
“They bought new players, it’s up to Arteta and the players. It will be a big problem for all of them if they don’t do their job to qualify for the Champions League.”
When was the last time Arsenal qualified for the Champions League?
After finishing third in the previous season, Gunners took part in the biggest organization in Europe in the 2016-17 season.
He started the tournament promisingly, finishing Group A ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, Ludogorets and Basel. However, as many times before, he was eliminated in the qualifying stages.
Arsenal, who played with Bayern Munich in the last 16 round, could not avoid losing 5-1 both in Germany and England and said goodbye to the tournament.
Gallas liked Saliba
Gallas also took the time to discuss his country and namesake, William Saliba, who was impressive against Crystal Palace in his first game at Arsenal last Friday.
“Saliba is a really good player. He had a great season in Marseille, now he’s back at Arsenal. It’s a big step forward.
“He’s going to show what he’s really capable of. He was sad that he left Arsenal on loan last season. When I look at him, he reminds me of a player I used to play with and that player is Rio Ferdinand.
“If you look at how Saliba played and how Rio played when he was young, they have the same style. I didn’t say he would have the same career, but I hope so. He has a similar style to Ferdinand.
“I think Saliba will gain more confidence as he plays more games and will gain more confidence and will surprise a lot of people. Because there’s pressure on his shoulders, he’s still very young and has a lot to prove. He’s going to get better.”