Mikel Arteta says the first thing he will change at Arsenal is the ‘energy’ after being appointed as the club’s new head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
The club’s former captain has been announced as the permanent successor to the sacked Unai Emery at the Emirates, joining the club where he twice won the FA Cup as a player before spending the past three seasons on the coaching staff at Premier League rivals Manchester City.
The decision to appoint Arteta is certainly a bold one from the club’s hierarchy as the 37-year-old prepares for his first senior role in management, and the Spaniard says one of his first jobs will be to lift the atmosphere surrounding the club following a disappointing start to the campaign.
“The first thing is to change the energy,” Arteta said at his first press conference as Arsenal boss.
“I was down after the game on Sunday, when I felt what was going on. I have to engage everybody. The players have to start accepting a different way of thinking.
“I want everyone at the club with the same mindset.”
The fortunes of the North London club have drastically declined in recent years since Arteta’s departure from the Emirates three seasons ago, and when asked if the club had lost its identity since his departure, Arteta admitted: “That’s what I’m sensing from the outside. I’d like to understand the reasons why… to implement certain things that are quick wins for the players, staff and everybody.”
Arsenal’s struggles have left them tenth in the Premier League ahead of this weekend’s trip to Everton, the club having won just once in their past 12 fixtures in all competitions following last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.
However, Arteta insists nothing but challenging for silverware is good enough for a club of Arsenal’s standing, and outlined his intentions to have the club challenging for trophies in the near future.
“The ambition of this football club is very clear. You have to fight for trophies and be in Europe. The rest is not good enough,” he added.