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Alan Shearer “Arsenal must back Arteta to turn things around”

| 17.12.2020

Coral Ambassador believes Mikel Arteta needs time and a budget to get Arsenal back to where they want to be.

England and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer also spoke about how he thinks all three English sides in the Champions League can qualify for the quarter-finals, why he would sell Paul Pogba as soon as possible if he was in charge at Manchester United, his football star of 2020 and his New Year wishes for 2021.

Arsenal need to back Arteta to solve long standing issues at the club

“Arsenal were very impressive at the end of last season. The way they won the FA Cup, beating Manchester City and Chelsea, it all looked as though it was on the right track with a team that was organised and that wanted to play for the manager.

The team we are seeing now looks totally different, just four or five months on. They have no creativity and there’s a lot of problems. If you look at the signings they have made in the last eighteen months there have been a lot of errors made with transfers and contracts, with Ozil frozen out, and when you put all of those together then Mikel Arteta has big problems on his hands.

How well Spurs are doing is probably heaping more pressure on Arsenal and I don’t see them getting anywhere near the top four this season now. They need to try and string some good results together and a 6th or 7th placed finish now looks like their best outcome and that is what they should be aiming for.

The board need to stay calm and give him time to turn it around with support in the transfer market both in January and next summer. The issues Arsenal have had for the last few years now will not change in six or twelve months, it will take a while to get them back to where they want to be and they need to back Arteta to do that,” said Shearer.

Shearer expects all English sides to progress in the Champions League

“I would expect all the English sides to progress in the Champions League, whilst Manchester City will be happiest with their draw. Despite that, they are the one who need to improve the most on current form.

They need to find a way to kill teams off, they are missing far too many chances at the moment. Sergio Aguero returning against West Brom will help as if he is fit, he will add goals.

It’s a common theme at the moment across Europe that a lot of the bigger teams aren’t doing as well as they would of been expected to, with many of the usual suspects not sitting top of the football leagues across Europe. Going forwards I think they will begin to improve and get back to their best and this should be seen in Europe in the spring.

Bayern are the worthy favourites, they were definitely the best side in the group stages which the results emphatically showed but City, Chelsea and Liverpool all have a very good chance of making it through to the quarter-finals.

If Pep doesn’t win the Champions League during his spell at Manchester City, he will regard it as unfinished business. He was brought in with that as the ultimate goal, they have spent a fortune in building a squad capable of it, and he will be desperate to do it.”

Pogba’s silence tells the story – I’d get him out at whatever cost

“I think how Paul Pogba didn’t say anything himself about his agent’s comments recently is telling. He could have come out and said that he sees his future at Manchester United, that he doesn’t want to leave, but he hasn’t and that tells the story.

Without doubt, the time has come for United to sell him. We have heard it all before and we haven’t seen anywhere near enough good performances from Pogba to justify keeping him.

I am sure there will be clubs that will want him but it’s tricky to see any paying the fee that United will want. If it was my decision, I would cut my losses and get him of the football club at whatever cost.”

Shearer’s star of 2020 and his wishes for 2021

“Jurgen Klopp has to be my star of 2020 for what he achieved at Liverpool. He gave them what they wanted, what they needed and craved for so long, and they eventually got their hands on the Premier League title after thirty years of waiting.

They were absolutely magnificent along the way, every single player in the squad played their part, but that all comes from the manager so my star of the year is Jurgen Klopp for what he delivered for the Liverpool fans.

Looking forward to 2021, there’s a few Christmas wishes that I have for football in the New Year. The first is to get the fans back properly, I can’t wait to see full stadiums and I want to see them rocking and the excitement and atmosphere back at grounds.

Unfortunately, VAR would have to be my other. I want to see it working, the way they told us it would when it came in, where it was for clear and obvious errors and not to re-referee games.

One of the things I am most looking forward to in 2021 is the European Championships, which will now hopefully go ahead as scheduled.

England have a lot of exciting youngsters who will have a fantastic opportunity to shine. We have some phenomenal talents coming through who can play a huge role within the senior team and it will be exciting to see.

When you add that to the existing core of Kane, Sterling, Henderson and the likes then you have to be hopeful that England will do very well at the Euros.” Shearer added.

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Michael Johnson

From the sunny north-east of England to the slightly sunnier Spain, Michael is a die-hard football fan and an experienced writer who loves to put his passion for the game on the page.