Mikel Arteta admits it will take time to turn around Arsenal’s fortunes

PA

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta maintains everyone at the club knew there would be no “quick fix” as he looks to get their campaign back on track.

The Gunners head into Saturday’s Premier League match at Everton languishing in 15th place following the 1-1 draw against Southampton.

Arsenal’s winless Premier League run now stretches to six matches, with the club enduring their worst start to a top-flight season since 1974-75.

Arteta, though, insists the “project” is all about the long haul, as he closes in on one year at the helm.

“I said it from the start that I felt really supported by the owners, by the board, the technical director, and then by everybody at the club,” said Arteta, who took over following the departure of Unai Emery.

“At the end of the day, it is the feeling that I feel with the staff, with the coaching, with the players, which is the most important.

“It’s about what chemistry you have with them, what understanding they have. Do they follow you? Do they believe in what you are trying to do?

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium

“I always have to say thank you, because I haven’t seen anything that goes against what we are trying to do – but it is like anything in this industry, you need results.

“After a big shake up, we need to find the stability, and in order to do that, we need time.

“We all knew – at least the people who made the decision with me to start this new project – that this was not a quick fix and it was going to take time. When you are shaking things up, things can take a while.”

Arteta recovered from contracting Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic, and went on to guide Arsenal to FA Cup glory with victory over Chelsea at Wembley on August 1.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and manager Mikel Arteta celebrate their FA Cup final victory at Wembley
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and manager Mikel Arteta celebrate their FA Cup final victory at Wembley

“I think it has been one of the most challenging years in the club’s history for many, many different reasons,” the Spaniard said.

“We have made a lot of progress and implanted a lot of positive things that have worked really well.

“We have gone through structural changes right across the club that has obviously shaken the club, big time.

“I would say the highlights of the year are the two trophies that we have won together, and the most disappointing thing is that we haven’t had our fans with us to take us through this difficult moment.

“I think it could have been a really, really positive year, but the recent form in the Premier League is taking the gloss off what we have done in the calendar year.

“But we have to accept that our Premier League form in recent weeks is not good enough for this football club.”

Despite all of the difficulties he has faced since taking over on December 23 last year, Arteta remains fully committed to tackling the challenges ahead.

“I love what I do,” the 38-year-old said. “I feel so lucky and privileged to represent this football club.

“The circumstances and context that (the club) is in this moment are where they are – and we have to face them because there is no other choice.”

Arteta recalled enjoying seven “incredible” years at Everton as a player – and knows how tough Saturday’s return to Goodison Park will be.

“They are teams in two different moments, but we are preparing the game to go there and beat them because we need a result,” the former Toffees midfielder said.

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