Arsenal have found a successor to Unai Emery: the Premier League club have appointed Mikel Arteta as their new manager. Arteta spent years as a professional with the Gunners, most recently as assistant coach of top club and league rival Manchester City.
“It’s a great honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We have to fight for the top trophies,” Arteta said, adding: “We all know there is a lot to do. But I’m confident we can do it.’
It had become clear in recent days that Arteta would become the new Arsenal coach. On Thursday, The Athletic had written that the Spaniard had already delivered his farewell speech in Manchester.
The commitment is a gamble from an Arsenal point of view. The 37-year-old has no experience as head coach, having been assistant to coach Pep Guardiola since the 2016/2017 season. Arteta says he knows Arsenal and enjoys a high reputation at the club. He played for the Gunners from 2011 to 2016 and was captain at times.
Guardiola had previously said he would not prevent a move to Arsenal. “Arsenal was very important to him,” he said: “He ended his career there, that’s one of the biggest clubs in the country. I just wish him the best.”
Arteta faces no easy task. The ambitious club is currently in a disappointing tenth place in the table, with only five wins from their first 17 league games. The gap to fourth place, which entitles them to participate in the Champions League, is seven points. This is the fourth time Arsenal have missed the most important club competition ever.
At the end of November, Arsenal had parted ways with manager Unai Emery, who had inherited club legend Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018. The separation of Emery had no positive effect: Even under interim coach Fredrik Ljungberg, the team won only one of five mandatory games.