Stan Collymore insists he was wrong about Mikel Arteta ’s appointment as Arsenal manager but says there is a long way to go to prove his worth.

The Spaniard has just helped the Gunners lift the Community Shield to go with their FA Cup win at the end of last season.

Arteta has only been in the job since the turn of the year but is already making his mark after the sacking of Unai Emery it seems.

While performances have improved on the pitch in almost all aspects, Arsenal were still way short of clinching a top four spot in the Premier League.

And they only qualified for next season’s Europa League after they won the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Collymore says it has been a good start for Arteta but says there is a long way to go to catch the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

“When Arsenal announced Mikel Arteta’s appointment as manager, it left me distinctly cool,” he wrote on his Daily Mirror column.

Mikel Arteta led Arsenal to the Community Shield on Saturday
Mikel Arteta led Arsenal to the Community Shield on Saturday

‘Pep’s assistant,’ “I thought.” ‘Perfect for Arsenal, he’s a really nice guy without a ruthless streak.’

“I have to say I was wrong about that and I’m really warming to him big time now.

“In eight months, he has got them playing out from the back and pretty much where old gaffer Arsene Wenger wanted them to be.

“So it’s a 9/10 to Arteta for proving me wrong and 9/10 for winning two trophies.

Mikel Arteta guided Arsenal to the FA Cup trophy this season
Mikel Arteta guided Arsenal to the FA Cup trophy this season

“But in reality, all they have done is win seven matches to lift the FA Cup and Community Shield and that’s a long way from having what it takes to win 15 or 38-game trophies.

“My concern now is that there’s an expectation among Gunners fans that they are going to make this leap from winning level-two to level-one trophies this season.

“Beating Leeds, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Chelsea to win the FA Cup then winning what, in dining terms, is just an amuse bouche doesn’t make a title challenger.

“The way you judge a team’s title chances is by asking the question: ‘Between August and February, can they break the back of the opposition when everyone was on the starting line together?’ And I just don’t think Arsenal can.

“Now, if we get to January and they are in second or third place, a point or so behind Liverpool or Manchester City and mixing it with Manchester United and Chelsea, then I will say, “OK, maybe they do have some of the steely resilience I thought was missing”.

“But if I compare their first XIs and squads to City and Liverpool… well, they just don’t compare I’m afraid.”