[Photo] Arteta poses with Arsenal shirt after being unveiled as new head coach

By on December 20, 2019

mikel arteta arsenal

Mikel Arteta has finally been confirmed as Arsenal’s new head coach after joining the club on a three-and-a-half year contract.

It’s probably been one of the worst kept secrets in football as we’ve seen photos in the media of Arsenal chiefs coming out of Arteta’s house earlier this week while widespread reports in recent days have claimed the former midfielder was set for the job.

Arsenal have been on the look out for a new manager since sacking Unai Emery three weeks ago following our worst start to a Premier League season in over 30 years and a number of managers have been linked with the role.

But Arteta emerged as the front-runner and the club have now confirmed the 37-year-old has agreed to become our new head coach after signing a three-and-a-half year contract. Arteta won’t officially start work until Sunday so Freddie Ljungberg will remain in charge for Saturday afternoon’s trip to Everton.

During his first interview Arteta has said he’s honoured to become the Arsenal manager and is desperate to get the club back competing for trophies again – something that was made clear during his talks with the Kroenke’s.

Arteta told Arsenal.com:

“This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club.

“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy.”

Head of football Raul Sanllehi said Arsenal met with a number of candidates but claims Arteta was the stand out choice as the club feel he’s the right man to get the best out of the squad.

Sanllehi told Arsenal.com:

“We met several top-class candidates and Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us. Mikel understands Arsenal Football Club and what it means to our fans around the world. We look forward to him getting down to work and bringing the best out of our squad as we work to get our season back on track.

“I must also pay tribute to Freddie Ljungberg for his hard work and leadership. Together with Per Mertesacker, he has done a vital job for us in difficult circumstances. Freddie and Per are important parts of the Arsenal family and care deeply for this club.”

Arteta is yet to announce his coaching team but Ljungberg could be on his way out as reports suggest he’s on the verge of taking over at Malmo. Hopefully it’s a case of Freddie wanting to leave rather than being pushed out.

This is obviously a very risky appointment for Arsenal as Arteta has no experience as a head coach but he’s highly rated in the game having been Guardiola’s No.2 for over two years and the Man City manager is a huge fan.

Arteta knows the club having played for Arsenal for five years and he should get us back playing exciting, attacking football but I just hope he manages to sort out our defence as without big improvements at the back, we’re going to struggle to compete.

Mikel’s first game will be the trip to Bournemouth on Boxing Day with his first home game against Chelsea three days later.