Arsenal legend David Seaman has given his backing to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, while also urging his former side not to settle for being a cup team.
Despite a strong end to last season which saw Arteta’s men lift the FA Cup, the current campaign has not gone according to plan, with the North London club currently 11th in the table and nine points off a Champions League spot.
After an impressive opening to the season, the Gunners then went on a seven-game winless run in the Premier League, putting huge pressure on the Spaniard’s future at the club.
A change in fortunes at the turn of the year has eased the scrutiny regarding his position, with Arteta earning praise for giving game time to the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
While there have undoubtedly been improvements of late, the club remains in the bottom half of the table, with Seaman – who won three league titles at Arsenal – insisting that it would be ‘dangerous’ to focus on cup success.
“Around 1993 we dropped off in the league but in the cups we were doing OK,” he told the Sun.
“When Arsenal are not challenging it is a bad season and we were well off it — and it wasn’t until Arsene Wenger came in that things started to change, and even then it took two years to win the league and the first double.
“It’s maybe like what’s going on now. The team’s focus has changed towards the cups with the league out of reach.
“But it’s a dangerous game to play if you want to end your bad league form. You can’t just turn it on for the cup. You have to start building confidence in the league or you could be cut adrift.
“I like what I am seeing so far, the team just needs to be more consistent.
“We are getting performances and little runs, then we get beat and I think, ‘Really? We got beat by them?’.”
The former England stopper feels that despite his former side’s inconsistent displays this term, they have a good coach in Arteta.
“He definitely needs to be given more time. He is slowly sifting through the squad, getting rid of players he knows he doesn’t want.
“The board need to back him in the summer window and he needs his own team. The players he has currently, a lot of them he has inherited so it is difficult for him at the moment.
“From what I see and hear he is the right man and he gives me confidence. I’d be disappointed if they did sack him, we have got a good one.”
Martinelli expresses his desire to follow in Aubameyang footsteps as he tells Arteta he is ‘ready’ to play
See also – 90s Gold: Why Leicester’s Izzet and Heskey inspired cup specialists are so beloved