Arsenal beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday would be an “upset”, says Kevin Campbell, with Mikel Arteta still “learning on the job” when it comes to competing with the Premier League elite.
A highly rated Spanish coach has shown that he can mix it with the very best in the business.
Liverpool and Manchester City represent notable scalps on his managerial CV, with a man who cut his coaching teeth alongside Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium showing that he can learn quickly.
Arteta did, however, take on a sizeable rebuilding project at Arsenal, and that job remains a work in progress.
Consistency has remained an issue for the Gunners, particularly away from home against fellow members of the so-called ‘Big Six’.
Another opportunity to start righting those wrongs will present itself when paying a visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, with United looking a little out of sorts on home soil.
Campbell, though, believes any visitor to the red half of Manchester should expect a rough ride, with Arsenal not yet in a position where they can make such trips full of expectation, rather than hope.
The former Gunners striker told Gentingbet: “I think the upset will be if Arsenal win, and deny Manchester United – it will mean they haven’t won a Premier League game at home all season.
“Manchester United beating Arsenal wouldn’t be an upset, but if Arsenal beat Manchester United then it would be. I wouldn’t mind an upset but it’s going to be a very difficult game.”
Arsenal have shown that they are capable of beating any opponent on their day, with plenty of quality in their star-studded squad, but Arteta is still finding his feet in a Premier League dugout as he approaches the one-year anniversary of his reign.
“Everyone must understand that Arteta is learning on the job so he will make mistakes, that's for sure,” Campbell added, with the Gunners having suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Leicester last time out.
“I think the team he picked was a good team and they were strong enough to win the game against Leicester. I just don't think Arsenal are playing well enough right now.
“So, it's not really exposing his inexperience, I just think, it’s a situation that Arsenal have to get through and that’s all.”
Martin Keown has suggested that Arteta is making life difficult for himself by tinkering with his tactical approach, with the Spaniard accused of repeating the mistakes that cost Unai Emery his job, but Campbell is not buying that and believes experimentation is all part of the process.
He added: “I disagree with Martin Keown, I think Arteta has proven that, albeit in cup competitions, but he can win by switching systems.
“The problem is, the team aren't playing well enough at the moment. So, it doesn't matter what system you play, when the team aren’t playing well then, they’re just not getting the result.”