Arteta reveals what surprised him most as Arsenal manager and his ambition for the club

Robin Bairner
Arteta reveals what surprised him most as Arsenal manager and his ambition for the club

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has spoken of what surprised him the most since taking charge of the Premier League side – and how he feels he has grown as a manager.

The Spaniard took over the team at the Emirates in December 2019 and presently has the team ninth in the Premier League and into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

READ MORE: Five Arsenal stars set to be victims of summer clearout

However, Arteta’s spell in charge has been dogged by inconsistency and the Covid-19 pandemic, which has played havoc with football clubs the world over.

Asked by Stadium Astro what he has learned in his relatively brief spell as a manager, he replied: “A lot because I thought it was a tough job with a lot of things that would come your way but I could never expect the amount of unpredictability that has come in the last 18 months – to all of us in general – but obviously in a massive club like Arsenal and the amount of things that you have to deal with.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal record

Wins40
Draws13
Losses20
Goals for128
Goals against82

“I’m lucky because we have a strong team – starting from the owners, to the board, to sporting director Edu, to all the departments at the club. We have created a very unique environment. We’re building a culture we’re starting to be proud of.

“We know we’re going to need time, but we’ve come so far. Sometimes you want to see that only in results but in football that’s impossible. Even when performances can be so good, sometimes results are not so good. Then people can have doubts. But we’re on the right track. But we accept there’s a long way to go because the level is the best in the world – and that’s what we have to reach.”

Arteta has come under fire at times as Arsenal boss

Arteta has come under fire at times as Arsenal boss

Arteta is sure that he has the Gunners on the right track.

“We know the expectation that we have and what our fans demand and want to see,” he said. “It’s true we’ve been through an incredible and unstable time in the last few months for many different reasons. So to find consistency is very difficult – if not impossible. But that doesn’t mean that we accept that inconsistency or that we are happy with it.

Arsenal’s next matches

Datevs.Competition
3 AprLiverpool (h)PL
8 AprSlavia Prague (h)EL
11 AprSheffield Utd (a)PL
15 AprSlavia Prague (a)EL
17 AprFulham (h)PL
24 AprEverton (h)PL

“We see a lot of things that are developing. I have no doubt that we’ll be in a really strong position.”

Arsenal’s goal this season is to qualify for the Champions League, but nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with nine matches remaining, doing so via the Premier League looks a distant possibility.