When the top hierarchy at Emirates appointed former player Mikel Arteta in December 2019 as the new head coach at Arsenal, the Spanish tactician was open in the talks he had held with the owners of the North London club.
During his unveiling, Mikel Arteta made it clear that the club needs to be competing for the top honors in the sport. Talking about the top trophies in the game, he meant the Premier League, Champions League, or possibly the FIFA Club World Cup. Of a truth, a club of Arsenal’s caliber should be competing for such honors and not the top four.
The former Arsenal midfielder also disclosed his discussion with the club owner’s; you hardly hear such in the open. Arteta said winning top trophies was made very clear to him during talks with club owners Stan and Josh Kroenke and the top hierarchy at the North London club.
He however admitted that there is a lot of work to be done to achieve such a feat, but says he remain confident the club can achieve its aims with collective efforts.
Arteta’s realistic comments that it won't happen overnight pleased a lot of fans, they are tired of failed promises. Arteta’s hopes were built on the quality of the current squad, which he believes has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of youngsters coming through from the club academy.
A year and two months after Arteta was unveiled, the Spaniard’s time at the club’s dugout has gone through its own ups and downs.
After a troubled end to the tenure of SpaniardUnai Emery, Artete’s era has helped steady the ship at Arsenal, eventually ending the campaign with the Gunners finishing 8th on the Premier League log.
However, Mikel Arteta achieved his greatest feat thus far in the Emirates FA Cup, defeating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the semifinal of the cup competition, before overcoming London rival Chelsea in the final match.
The current Arsenal campaign hasn’t been smooth for Arteta and his boys, however. The North London giants got off to their worst Premier League start in almost fifty years and fell terribly close to the relegation zone in the last month of 2020.
The position of the manager came under severe scrutiny before a sudden up-turn in their form in December, despite the heavy schedule, which helped to lessen some of the pressure on Arteta’s shoulders.
Arsenal currently sits in the eleventh position on the Premier League table and are eight adrift the top-six with European spots appearing to be out of reach.
According to reports, Arsenal’s management set out clear objectives that the Spaniard needed to achieve in his first 18 months at the club.
It was reported that the priority for Arteta’s first season was to finish the season in a respectable position on the log, the challenge for a place in the Europa League, and instill a playing culture into the team.
And while the Spaniard ticked those boxes, he is in danger of falling short in his debut full campaign.
Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League was set out as a major priority for the current 2020/21 season, although club technical director Edu suggested that the pandemic may have shifted the objective.
Forget the pandemic; staying in the lower half on the table in February is not an acceptable feat.