Former Celtic and West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie believes Mikel Arteta will be sacked by Arsenal if the Gunners lose to Villarreal on Thursday.
Arteta has come under immense pressure this season, with Arsenal currently ninth in the Premier League table.
The Gunners are also facing a Europa League exit this week, following a 2-1 defeat against Villarreal in the first leg of their semi-final clash.
Defeat on Thursday would essentially rule Arsenal’s season as a big failure, and McAvennie believes that would spell the end of Arteta’s tenure.
When asked by Football Insider about whether Arteta would be sacked if Arsenal lost on Thursday, McAvennie replied: “I would think so.”
“Arteta will have known – he knows the risk. He knew that when he took the job. That’s the nature of sport.
“I don’t think it will worry him too much – it’s the only job in the world where you get rewarded for failure.
“I think he’s a good guy, a good coach. He’s trying to do things his way, but it’s just not working.
“He’s had key players out, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Kieran] Tierney. But there’s a lot of boys at Arsenal who aren’t good enough.
“But no Europe next year and no trophies, I think that’s enough.”
SL View – Does Arteta deserve to be sacked if Arsenal lose on Thursday?
It is safe to say that this campaign has not gone to plan for Arteta and Arsenal.
The Gunners have not performed for vast periods of the season, despite some isolated positive performances against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Leicester City.
Since Arteta took over midway through last season, Arsenal also seem to have gone backwards in terms of quality.
The Spaniard has failed to get the best out of his star players, including Aubameyang who has disappointed in recent months.
Despite Arsenal fans understanding the level of rebuild needed when he took over, a lack of progress under Arteta suggests they should take a different approach this summer.