International Soccer

Arsenal legend doubts whether Mikel Arteta is ‘right man’ for the job

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has questioned whether Mikel Arteta is good enough for Arsenal, after failing to end the club’s 20 year wait for a league title.

The Gunners came within inches of grasping Premier League silverware during the 2023/24 season, but were unable to end Manchester City’s dominance on the final day of the campaign.

It was Arteta’s second successive season trailing behind Pep Guardiola’s squad and, despite his efforts, the Gunners boss did not find a way to outsmart his rival.

Arsenal’s trophy drought has enabled some to cast doubt over Arteta’s capability, with club legend Lehmann the latest to share his views.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Lehmann highlighted Arteta’s struggles, questioning whether his ‘personality’ is prohibiting the club from earning success.

Jens Lehmann

Lehmann was an important player in Arsenal’s squad / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

He said: “Arteta has done really well bringing Arsenal up but if he is the right man for Arsenal now, I am not sure. Because you need to prove it. We could have won [the league] twice. Last year they were leading and in one month [April] they lost it [three draws and one defeat].

“What people who hire coaches sometimes don’t understand is that the personality of the coach is super important as well. Look at the personality of the coach. Is he a winner or is he a nice guy who brings you to a certain level and then it is over?

“Unfortunately, Arsenal didn’t win it this season [and] as a big club every now and again you have to win, you can’t always be second, third or fourth. We [the 2003/04 side] are still the last Arsenal champions which is a little bit of a pity. It’s too long.”

Lehmann played a crucial role in Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ squad, playing every game of their undefeated season. He remains the last Gunners goalkeeper to have won the Premier League, with all of his successors unable to repeat the achievement.

The German star boats an impressive amount of experience as a player, and hopes to take his knowledge into a career in management.

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