Jamie Redknapp insists new Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta’s immediate task at the club will be to improve the culture at the Emirates Stadium after calling out two high-profile incidents this season.
Arteta was confirmed as the Gunners’ new boss on Friday as they look to improve their season’s fortunes which has seen their former captain Granit Xhaka stripped of the armband, while Mesut Ozil showed his petulance after getting substituted in their recent defeat to Manchester City.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, the club endured their worst run of form for decades.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Redknapp suggests that Arteta’s most important role will be to change the culture at the club before getting to grips with more footballing matters.
He said: “Could you imagine Granit Xhaka doing what he did towards Arsenal fans, or Mesut Ozil kicking his gloves in anger, if Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp were in charge at Arsenal? No, me neither.
“Players get away with too much at that club and new manager Mikel Arteta has a culture problem to solve.
“Arteta talked about being ‘ruthless’ at his unveiling on Friday evening and that is what he has to be.”
While there may be tasks of this nature for Arteta to deal with, the fact that Xhaka’s antics led to him being dropped as captain, while Freddie Ljungberg insisted he would have dropped the injured Ozil for the visit to Goodison Park suggests that players are duly punished for their misdemeanours.
That they occur is perhaps more of an issue, though Arteta has been brought in to improve the fortunes that took a sharp downturn under Unai Emery – so the Spaniard may not be seeking Redknapp’s advice.
It could be argued that poor results were contributory factors towards Xhaka’s frustrations with the fans boiling over as well as Ozil’s kicking-out on his gloves after being hauled off in their tepid performance against the champions over a week ago.
So perhaps Arteta could kill two birds with one stone – or three if you count Redknapp’s groaning – by leading Arsenal to success as their new boss.
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