Mikel Arteta was supposed to bring a touch of Pep Guardiola with him to Arsenal, says Stewart Robson, with the Gunners still waiting on a new coach to spark them back into life.
A former club captain finds himself back in familiar surroundings filling a first managerial post.
Arteta has stepped into the shoes of fellow Spaniard Unai Emery and been charged with the task of delivering as reversal in fortune for a north London outfit that has rather lost its way.
Having spent time working as assistant to Guardiola at Manchester City, it was expected that a similar blueprint to that at the Etihad Stadium would be laid out at Emirates Stadium.
Arteta has earned praise for the manner in which he has gone about his business at Arsenal, with a fallen giant considered to be getting back to its feet.
Robson, though, claims to have seen little sign of progress – at least not the kind that an expectant fan base were hoping to see.
The former Gunners midfielder told Love Sport Radio: “He needs to get some consistency in the way his team plays from one half to the next. There have been some games where Arsenal have been totally outplayed.
“You think of Leeds in the first half where they couldn’t get near to Leeds. You think of the second half against Chelsea at the Emirates where for 20 minutes Arsenal were excellent. Then they went back into their shell, defended far too deeply and Chelsea got back into the game.”
Arsenal did battle their way to a point in a thrilling 2-2 derby draw with Chelsea last time out, but have collected only one Premier League win under Arteta – against Manchester United.
Robson believes they need to become a tougher nut to crack, adding: “The Arsenal of old closed the ball down, they stopped the opposition playing and getting out of their own half.
“This Arsenal team are not doing that. They are not making it difficult for the opposition to get out of their own half.
“This is what Pep Guardiola has done at Manchester City and I thought that is what Mikel Arteta would bring to Arsenal.”
All too familiar struggles for the Gunners have left them 10th in the Premier League table and Robson admits it is looking increasingly unlikely that a 10-point gap to the top four can be bridged.
He added: “They would have to put in an excellent run, they would have to put some consistency together.
“And that hasn’t been the case under Unai Emery and I wouldn’t say that has been the case under Arteta.”
Arsenal’s next outing will see their attention switched to FA Cup matters, with a fourth-round date with Bournemouth due to be taken in on Monday.