The Spaniard is expected to be handed the reins at Emirates Stadium, with Ray Parlour admitting he has some sizeable challenges on his hands
Mikel Arteta will need to emulate Arsene Wenger by mastering the art of man-management if he takes the reins at Arsenal, says Ray Parlour, with the Spaniard no longer in a position where he can be “everyone’s mate”.
The Gunners are expected to turn to a familiar face for inspiration when making their next coaching appointment.
Unai Emery has been moved out of Emirates Stadium, but his fellow countryman is poised to pick up the baton and take on the challenge of guiding Arsenal towards a brighter future.
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Arteta, who is expected to see a deal tied up ahead of a trip to Everton before officially taking charge for a Boxing Day date with Bournemouth, is considered to have a number of issues to address in north London.
Righting those wrongs will not be easy, while also keeping everyone happy, especially as the 37-year-old has no prior experience of life in a top job – with the last three years having been spent at Manchester City as assistant to Pep Guardiola.
Arteta did, however, work under the iconic Wenger during his playing days and is being urged to take important lessons from a French tactician who spent 22 years in charge of the Gunners.
Former Arsenal star Parlour told talkSPORT: “I think Arteta, going forward his biggest job and his hardest job is going to be the man-management skills.
“When you’re number two you’re everyone’s mate. You’re with the players. You don’t have to pick the side. You are in the dressing room as before chatting with the lads, like you’re still a player, but you’re still next to the manager, and feeding back a little bit.
“Now you’re manager, you’ve got to make big decisions. You might have to upset certain players and that’s the hardest job, to get the right balance between upsetting players and leaving people out and still keeping them on your side, which is very difficult to do.
“Arsene Wenger was a master of it. You can only pick 11 people. You’ve got a squad of 25. Everybody wants to play. It’s keeping everybody involved in the club to feel like you’re wanted. That’s his hardest challenge.
“He’s been a player himself. He knows how to deal with people. I’ve heard he is very inquisitive, always asking about things at the training ground when he was there. Wenger has said good things about him and appointed him his skipper.
“I’m sure he’s learned a little bit from Pep Guardiola on how he deals with players on a daily basis, because he’s got some big stars on that team, and it’ll be interesting to see how he does it at Arsenal. Of course it’s a gamble.”
Arsenal are taking a calculated risk at a stage of their 2019-20 campaign which has seen them take just one win from 12 games across all competitions, with a spark needed from somewhere if they are to get back on track and force their way into contention for top-four finishes and major silverware.