Former Liverpool star John Barnes says that Arsenal will be “much better” next season because the players still back Mikel Arteta after he won a stand-off with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this year.
Arsenal have endured a poor season so far, and will drop out of the top half of the table once more if Aston Villa win their game in hand.
That position in the table was compounded this week by their elimination from the Europa League by Villarreal and former manager Unai Emery. That means that Arteta and his side have little to no chance of securing European football for next season.
But Barnes claims that despite this year’s results, Arteta is not under pressure because the players are still playing for him after a stand-off with Aubameyang earlier this season.
The Gunners captain was disciplined after arriving late for the North London Derby against Tottenham back in March, which Arsenal subsequently won 2-1.
“The players have to do what [Mikel] Arteta says,” Barnes told BonusCodeBets. “The Arsenal players are still playing for him and he’s not under pressure or in a situation where the players might absolve themselves of responsibility and feel that they don’t have to perform.
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
“Arteta had a stand-off with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang which he won after dropping him and not playing him, so maybe Aubameyang will now see things differently and do what the manager says to help the team. We’ll see a much better Arsenal next season.
“It’s hard to say whether Aubameyang will leave because to get the money that he wants with a transfer fee too.
“The best clubs don’t build their teams around one player, unless it is [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo and there is nobody like them around. It happens in smaller teams, like Aston Villa and Jack Grealish.”