Mikel Arteta the right man to manage Arsenal, says Alan Smith

Arsenal's talks with Mikel Arteta are at an advanced stage as the Gunners work to install the Manchester City assistant as their new head coach

Arteta has been an assistant coach on Manchester City's coaching staff since 2016 0:52
Mikel Arteta would be a calculated gamble if the 'innovative' Manchester City assistant is appointed as Arsenal head coach, says Alan Smith.

Mikel Arteta is the right man to manage Arsenal, according to Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith, while ESPN senior football analyst Gabriele Marcotti expects the Spaniard to take on a long-term project at the club.

Sky Sports News understands Arteta is still weighing up a final decision on his future despite more than 24 hours of discussions, with proceedings 'advanced' as Arsenal work to appoint Unai Emery's successor.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Mikel Arteta will make a quick decision over his future, while Arsenal hope to have Arteta in charge of the side on Saturday for their game at Everton,

Former Arsenal striker Smith has given Arteta his blessing to take over as the permanent Gunners head coach, and believes his work with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will help him in his first managerial role.

When asked if Arteta was the right man for the job, Smith told Sky Sports: "I think so, yes. From the outset I thought that he would be the most exciting, the boldest choice as a innovative young coach that can put on really good sessions and that transfers to the pitch.

"Obviously, he's had a huge influence from Guardiola up at Manchester City. He takes a lot of the sessions and Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne have both credited him with improving their game.

Mikel Arteta 4:01
Mikel Arteta was very close to getting the Arsenal job 18 months ago, but a last-minute change of heart led to Unai Emery's appointment

"Yes, he's never been a manager before so it's a vastly different job, but I think he carries with him an authority. He's quite ruthless if he wants to be, he's very driven like Guardiola, and Arsenal need that at the moment. They need someone to give them an injection of life, new ideas, modern ideas on the way the game is going now and yes, it is a risk, but it's a calculated gamble that I think will pay off.

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"It's not going to be a quick fix, but I would expect to see his fingerprints on his first few matches and some differences but the one worry for any Arsenal fan is the fact he probably hasn't got too much money to spend over the next few transfer windows.

"They seem to have spent that in advance on the likes of Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz, but by the same token, that's why they need a good coach to improve the players they've already got on board. I think he's the one that can do that.

Mikel Arteta was appointed Manchester City assistant coach in July 2016 1:10
Charlie Nicholas feels former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta is the perfect replacement for Unai Emery after working under Pep Guardiola

"Work on the training ground is needed. They need to instil some good habits because a lot of bad ones have crept in over recent seasons. It's not going to happen overnight, but I can see him having a fairly quick impact with what he's going to do on the training ground.

"Arteta knows the Premier League extremely well. He knows Arsenal well. Of course, there's a risk involved because when the buck stops with you, when you are making decisions that have ramifications on the team and the reaction of the supporters, he's got to take all that on board, and it will be a learning process for him.

"However, I think the basic ingredients are in place. His ability as a coach, first and foremost, is what that squad needs to move forward."

'Arteta facing a long-term project'

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Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg says the managerial situation at the club needs to be resolved

ESPN senior football analyst Marcotti also pointed out the impact Guardiola will have over Arteta's management style, and that the former Arsenal midfielder should be looking at an extended period of development for the squad.

"The question you have to look at is Arteta suited to having an instant impact in the way we presume he's going to play because we've never seen him manage a team," Marcotti told the Transfer Talk podcast.

"We presume it's going to be some variation of the way Pep Guardiola plays with suppressing in the vertical and wanting the ball. Is this group of Arsenal players suited to that style of play? If they are not suited to that then you have to assume Arteta is a three to five-year project, which is fine too.

"Personally, I look at this and I look at Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who could come back from Roma at some point, I look at some of the defenders they have and it's not immediately obvious to me that this is a seamless transition with this group of players. It means they've got a project and it means they have to operate longer term.

"Can they sell those players? Probably not because nobody is going to take Ozil and his wages and the other guys. It shows they are embarking on a longer-term project and if you do that, I think it's critical that you've got the pieces above him, whether it's Edu or Raul Sanhelli, and you've got the confidence of the ownership.

"These are the questions that should be asked right now."

'A huge blow for Man City'

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Arsenal should be targeting a more experienced high-calibre successor to Emery than Arteta, according to Kevin Campbell

Arteta was also a target for Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's departure, and Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth believes the Spaniard's departure will be a loss for Man City.

He also told the Transfer Talk podcast: "From Manchester City's perspective it would be a blow. You've heard Pep Guardiola speak really highly of him but for Arteta himself, how many times is an opportunity like this going to come along in this situation right now.

"Arsenal are looking for in the direction of a younger manager. He's got links with the club, he's played for the club and he has Premier League experience. Is this one at this time too good to turn down for him?

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"With a new manager, you'd think funds would be available but if Arsenal fans think there's going to be huge, huge outlay, I can't see that happening.

"If we go back to the summer, we were told this magical £45m figure but how much Arsenal have actually committed in transfers, be it in instalments and however transfers are paid, it's in excess of £100m to £120m.

"The likes of Nicolas Pepe came in. Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and not to mention William Saliba from St Etienne, who will be joining in the summer, also arrived.

"I think there will be some finances available to the new manager, but you can't see any really massive outlays from the Gunners because this is now the third season in a row in the Europa League. It's going to damage their finances."

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