Hiring Mikel Arteta won’t solve the soft executive nature at Arsenal and the club needs a strong leader like Diego Simeone, says Henry Winter.

Arsenal are in talks with Arteta about becoming their new manager, according to Sky sources, and he is the leading candidate to succeed Arsene Wenger.

However, Winter thinks the Arsenal board need to install a more forthright and experienced coach to toughen up the timid culture at the club that has lingered for too many years – someone like Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.

“Arsenal need a complete clear out – they need a strong, experienced, individual to address the failings,” he said on The Sunday Supplement.

“Someone needs to go in and sort out that dressing room, to get rid of Shkodran Mustafi and to coach Hector Bellerin.

“How many world class players are there in that squad? Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

“They need a Diego Simeone type. Someone who is tough and can get into that soft dressing room, that soft boardroom – there is a soft executive feel at that club. There is a malaise that runs right through the club, which won’t be solved by Wenger going – he was only partly the cause of it. They need stronger individuals in there.”

Arteta played for Arsenal between 2011 and 2016, becoming club captain in 2014. Many feel that this association with the club will help Arteta establish himself, but Winter disagrees and thinks the club should appoint Patrick Viera if they’re going down the former player route.

“I would have gone with Patrick Vieira due to his experience and he has stronger engagement with the supporters due to the invincibles team,” he said.

“Arteta was part of the problem with the Wenger era in terms of he was supposed to be a leader there when the club was drifting. He’s got to explain how he can break that.

“That squad needs so much work – the amount of dead wood there. It’s the Mary Rose.”


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