Paul Merson told Sky Sports that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is criticising his players ‘when the camera is away’ just like Jose Mourinho does with his Tottenham stars in front of the camera.
The TV pundit thinks because Mourinho has ‘won everything in the game’, he can be as forthright as he wishes, whereas newbie, Arteta, cannot.
Arsenal produced a pretty woeful performance against Liverpool over the weekend, which Arteta took the blame for, whilst Mourinho let rip at his Tottenham stars when they dropped points at Newcastle.
Merson thinks Arteta is ‘thinking exactly the same’ as his Tottenham rival, it just cannot be said in front of the camera because he doesn’t have credit in the bank in terms of his managerial career.
“When they get beat and he comes out and takes the blame, he’s just doing the opposite to what Jose Mourinho does when he criticises his player, but Arteta is thinking exactly the same as Mourinho,” said Merson.
“Mourinho just says it and the difference is one manager has been around for a long time and he’s won everything in the game.
“He can just say it exactly as it is whereas Arteta is just starting out and he’s got to say the right things in front of the camera.
“However, when the camera is away, he’ll be thinking exactly the same as Mourinho.”
Well, Arteta may have to load the cannon if Arsenal lose to Slavia Prague today because this really is last chance saloon.
European football isn’t going to come via the Premier League this season, so winning the competition outright is the only chance the Gunners have.
And putting themselves on the back foot in the first leg won’t result in a pretty reaction from the supporters if such a situation occurs.