Mikel Arteta could be walking a tightrope next season if he fails to get Arsenal firing on all cylinders from the very start.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be relieved of his duties during the early stages of next season if the Spaniard's planned summer overhaul fails to improve the team's fortunes, according to reports. The Gunners have endured a torrid Premier League campaign and are limping to a disappointing mid-table finish.
Arteta's side are still in with a chance of winning the Europa League, but if they fail to qualify for next season's competition, they will be forced to go through an entire campaign without continental football for the first time in 25 years.
The former Arsenal and Everton midfielder can take credit for a number of positives since his appointment in November 2019, including the successful integration of a number of talented youth players.
However, the collective performances this season have simply not been good enough for a club of Arsenal's size and stature.
Arteta found himself under significant pressure over the festive period with the Gunners firmly in the bottom half of the table, but a mini-revival kept his job secure.
Since climbing back into the Premier League's top ten, the club's on-pitch improvements have been minimal, with a number of critical errors dropping valuable points for the north London outfit.
A large-scale summer overhaul is expected at the end of the campaign, with reinforcements desperately needed for Arsenal to stand any chance of fighting for a top-four finish next season.
It seems as though Arteta's immediate future will be reliant on a successful transfer window, as club chiefs are prepared to wield the axe if performances do not improve, according to talkSPORT.
The report claims that the 39-year-old has been given a ten-match ultimatum to show that his side can be competitive, which is set to come into effect at the start of next season.
Arteta declared ahead of Sunday's victory over Newcastle United that he is not worried about the sack ahead of the most important week of his short managerial career.
He will lead the Gunners into battle against Villarreal for Thursday evening's decisive Europa League semi-final second-leg clash, with the aim of overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit at the Emirates Stadium.
"I don't want to think that way," Arteta told reporters. "I want to think that we are going to be in that [Europa League] final and then we are going to have really positive consequences after that."
Arsenal have been less than impressive in recent outings, taking just two wins from their last six Premier League matches.
When quizzed on the factors behind his team's dire form, Arteta explained: "It is for many different reasons.
"One, we haven't had the opportunity to have a very consistent line up. Consistency in results in the Premier League is very different to the Europa League, where we have been very consistent.
"But in the league we haven't for many different reasons, one of those is the line up, another is the amount of errors that we have produced in key moments, another is the lack of effectiveness in the final third I would say, to kill games off.
"Another is because the opponent has sometimes been better. We try to be as clear as we can all the time in our messages but sometimes the opponents gets it right from the beginning.
"I think it was crucial against Villarreal that they scored early and how we reacted after that.
"There are some games where we have started really well and not finished that well. So I don't think there has been a pattern over the season."