Arsenal Invincible 'not sure' about Mikel Arteta and points finger of blame at boss

Jens Lehmann has doubts about Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. (Image: Getty)

Arsenal legend Jens Lehmann has questioned whether Mikel Arteta is capable of elevating the club to the next level after narrowly missing out on the Premier League title in two successive years. Arteta has established the Gunners as contenders but hasn’t yet proven he can dethrone Manchester City and his former mentor, Pep Guardiola.

Lehmann made 199 appearances for Arsenal across his main spell from 2003 to 2008 before coming out of retirement to become the club’s oldest-ever Premier League player in one more match in 2011.

The German icon knows a thing or two about winning, playing every league game in Arsenal’s 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ season, the last time they lifted the title.

He also won the FA Cup the following season and helped the North London giants reach the Champions League final in 2006.

After a prolonged period of mediocrity, Arsenal have risen again under Arteta, coming agonisingly close to a 14th title in the past two seasons.

But they haven’t been able to cross the finish line first, succumbing to the inevitable brilliance of Guardiola’s City on both occasions.

And doubts are starting to creep into the mind of Lehmann, who has suggested Arteta has reached his ceiling at the Emirates Stadium.

Jens Lehmann has doubts about Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. (Image: Getty)

“Arteta has done really well bringing Arsenal up, but if he is the right man for Arsenal now… I am not sure,” Lehmann told the Telegraph.

“Because you need to prove it. We could have won [the league] twice. Last year, they were leading, and in one month [April], they lost it [three draws and one defeat].

“The culmination was when [Bukayo] Saka missed the penalty against West Ham at 2-0 up and it was a draw. It was two points.

“What people who hire coaches sometimes don’t understand is that the personality of the coach is super important as well.

“Look at the personality of the coach. Is he a winner, or is he a nice guy who brings you to a certain level and then it is over?”

Arsenal finished five points behind City in the 2022/23 season following a late collapse that saw them win just three of their final nine matches and lose 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners looked to have gone the extra mile last term and won 16 of their last 18 fixtures but even that wasn’t enough to prevent a City four-peat.

Arteta’s side will be heavily favoured to challenge again next season, but Lehmann’s concerns may intensify if they can’t get over the line once more.