Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has backed Mikel Arteta ahead of Carlo Ancelotti to be the club’s next permanent manager.
The TV pundit does not think the Italian’s man-management style is what is required for the Gunners at the moment, and wants a younger coach with a long-term plan for the team:
“For me, someone like Carlo Ancelotti would be the wrong choice. As successful as the Italian has been, he’s more of an old-school manager who steadies the ship through clever man-management.”
“Arsenal’s predicament has moved beyond that. It requires a tough visionary who can grab hold of this squad and fashion a way of playing that, in the short term, will achieve better results by making the team harder to play against.”
“I said it last week and I’ll say it again. Mikel Arteta has what it takes. I just hope that the Arsenal board feel the same way.”
It appears that the Arsenal board are in agreement with Smith, in terms of Ancelotti at least. The 60-year-old is not believed to be on the club’s shortlist of candidates as he reportedly doesn’t fit the ‘profile’ they are looking for.
In contrast, Arteta remains a leading contender to become Unai Emery’s permanent successor. The Spaniard was believed to be in the frame when Arsene Wenger departed in 2018 and he is said to be still interested in taking over at the Emirates.
Manchester City’s assistant manager is apparently keen to talk with Arsenal’s hierarchy but wants certain guarantees before he puts his name forward.