Joe Cole fears there will be no way back for Mikel Arteta unless he is capable of masterminding Arsenal’s first Premier League win of the season against Norwich immediately after the international break.
The Gunners have embarked on their worst ever start to a top flight campaign in well over half a century and are pointless after three games having failed to score a single goal.
After a disappointing eighth placed finish last term, Arteta was backed to the tune of £160million in the summer transfer window but none of his new recruits have been able to make a significant impact thus far.
Ben White is line to make his return after missing three matches due to a bout of covid, while the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and deadline day recruit Takahiro Tomiyasu will be in contention to make their home debuts against the Canaries.
Newly promoted Norwich are also yet to earn their first point of the season and former Chelsea and England star Cole believes nothing but victory can spare Arteta from the sack.
He told Coral: ‘The future at Arsenal is obviously up in the air. I know they’ve played Chelsea, they played Manchester City, the two best teams, but it’s the manner of both defeats.
‘They had all pre-season to prepare for the Brentford game and they got it wrong on the day because they weren’t at it mentally. That has happened too much with the Arsenal. That’s not Arteta’s fault. It’s been something that’s just been like damp getting into the woodwork at the club.
‘In the two defeats against the big boys, it was like they laid down and died.
‘I think from Arteta’s perspective, he never got to grips with Lukaku in the Chelsea game. It was clear that you had to get a player in front of him defensively on a block and stop the balls going into him.
‘And against Manchester City, I just felt petulance, I think petulance from the players. The tackle from Xhaka in a crucial time of the game, shouldn’t happen from an experienced player.
‘I do like how Arteta has handled the situation. He is hardening as a manager, you can see that in him. So, I think he’s got that. He’s obviously a well-schooled coach because of his work with Pep. He’s a thoughtful guy.
‘He’s in the storm at the moment. He has to find a result against Norwich and if he doesn’t beat Norwich, I think it’s probably the end for him.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page