Joe Cole on why he feels sorry for Mikel Arteta and aims dig at Edu over transfer decisions

It has been one of the worst campaigns in recent memory for Arsenal, with very little left to play for the Gunners ahead of their final three games of a dismal domestic season.

There will be no silverware for Mikel Arteta this season, as his side crashed out of the Europa League in dismal fashion at the hands of Villarreal, managed by former Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

The pressure continues to grow on Arteta, who has presided over the worst home form for decades, breaking a number of unwanted records in the process.

Before the turn of the year, the Gunners lost four consecutive home games, the first time that has happened since 1959.

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They also stare down the barrel of the daunting prospect of no European football next season, a bleak reality that they have not faced since 1996.

The Gunners did bounce back with a 3-1 win over Sam Allardyce’s West Brom, and speaking before the game, ex-Chelsea winger Joe Cole claimed Arteta is not the only person to blame for the Gunners woeful efforts this season.

Cole explained: “I feel for Mikel in the sense that he joined a sinking ship, in my opinion. The club had been on a steady decline, I think he’s a talented coach. It’s a massive job to take as your first job, Arsenal Football Club, but then you’ve also got to look at Edu bringing the players in.

“Whoever is bringing the players through the door, whoever it may be.

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“Mikel needs to take some responsibility and I hope he’s doing that privately when he’s doing his appraisal, but this is where they’re at now, Arsenal, and the fans need to understand that.

Cole did concede that there are shoots of optimism for the Arsenal faithful in the form of some of their young talent.

“The bright spark is that they have some of the best young players in Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Saka,” he added.

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