The speculation eventually ended in favor of Mikel Arteta, Arsenal now has a coach.
After weeks of intensive search for the man who will manage activities at the Emirate Stadium, following the departure of Unai Emery, former Arsenal man, Mikel Arteta has become the anointed one of the North London club.
Josh Kroenke, speaking on behalf of Arsenal board and our owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, said: “we’re delighted to be bringing Mikel back to Arsenal. He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand.
“I also want to thank Freddie Ljungberg for skillfully guiding us through the last three weeks. He stepped up at short notice and has helped us through this difficult period with great professionalism.”
Mikel Arteta was snapped up from the confines of Manchester City, where he was working as an assistant to Pep Guardiola. The job rumor roving about every available coach was laid to rest at the mention of the former Arsenal man, maybe because he has the club’s philosophy and has been under the tutelage of Guardiola.
Head of Arsenal football, Raul Sanllehi said: “We met several top-class candidates and Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us. Mikel understands Arsenal Arsenal Football Club and what it means to our fans around the world. We look forward to him getting down to work and bringing the best out of our squad as we work to get our season back on track.”
Since the departure of Arsene Wenger, finding other feet that come close to his size of shoes has been a herculean task, just as the fling with Emery has shown. But Arteta seems to know what he is up against and he doesn’t sound scary being the chosen one.
He said: “This is a huge honor. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club.
“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy.”
However, there is a huge doubt by the fans that Arteta will be able to scale the hurdles ahead of him, and many have taken to Twitter to register their disappointment in Arteta as a choice to lead the gunners, trending the hashtag, #ArtetaOut.
But it doesn’t seem like Arteta is worried about that, rightly so because he has so many things to worry about right now: One of them, the close-fistedness of Arsenal board. The philosophy of ‘buying with less and selling with more’ is something nobody needs to explain to Arteta, he lived long enough in London to know why Wenger survived several seasons without trophies.
A couple of underpriced players to support those from the academy, and Arsenal is seeming ready to compete with walking millions of pounds commanding the round leather game in other clubs; all to the detriment of trophies, and continuous heartbreak of fans.
It is therefore, more like a contract to overhaul a failed club, which appears too big for a coach of Arteta’s experience. Though there is high hope that he will be able to turn things around for good, bringing back the glory of many years ago that was lost in the profit of buying and selling of players. But then, it all depends on if Kroenke and co. could change their priority to align with the fans wishes.
By agreeing to coach Arsenal, Arteta has become the youngest coach in the premier league at 37. He played for Arsenal from 2011 to 2016, a spell that contributed to the club’s decision to hand him a three and a half year’s contract.
Arsenal is yet to announce Arteta’s assistance, but there is hope that Freddie Ljungberg, who stepped in after Emery, and guided the club until the appointment of Mikel, would be compensated thus.