Arteta: ‘I want Wenger back at Arsenal’

Gunners boss sends plea to his mentor

Thursday, 11th November 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger spent 22 years at Arsenal – winning three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields

FOR most managers trying to stamp their mark on a football club, the thought of having the person who set the benchmark peering over their shoulder would sound like a nightmare.

Take Manchester United, for example, where every time a goal is conceded or points dropped the gaffer of the day just knows the TV cameras are zooming in on Sir Alex Ferguson looking disappointed in the stands.

Mikel Arteta, however, is either too confident – or too foolish – for his own good as he has actually called for Arsenal’s most successful boss of all time to return to the club.

Crowds gathered at the Finsbury Park Picturehouse in Islington this week for the premiere of Arsene Wenger: Invincible – a new documentary dedicated to the Frenchman who transformed the Gunners into one of the best clubs in Europe.

Arteta was among the guests, and he took the opportunity to send Wenger a very clear message about coming back to the Emirates Stadium.

He said: “I think he set a different tone at the club and I would like to recover a lot of things that he did. I would like him to be more present at the club. I think the players would love him, they would benefit, and be inspired to have him around, and I think for the club it would be a huge boost.

“It was so intense for him for over 20 years and you need to get away a little bit, but I think it would be so beneficial for all parties to have him more present.”

Wenger, 72, spent 22 years at Arsenal – winning three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields. He also famously oversaw the “Invincibles” side of 2003-04 that went the entire Premier League season without losing a single game.

Wenger spent five of those years coaching and guiding Arteta the player, so it’s of little surprise that the current Gunners gaffer cites his old mentor as an inspirational force that helped guide him into management.

“If it was not for him I would not be in the position I am today and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the career I had,” explained Arteta.

“I was still young and I had my ideas, but he was a different level of inspiration on how I looked at the game. He was very good at being able to transmit what a football club meant into the players and he put different question marks on me. That is why I started to study and take coaching much more seriously.”

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