Mikel Arteta: ‘Arsenal need to be competing for top trophies’

Spaniard is confirmed as the new head coach at the Emirates

Former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has returned to the club as head coach
Former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has returned to the club as head coach 
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Football’s worst-kept secret has been confirmed with the news that Mikel Arteta is the new head coach of Arsenal.

The Spaniard, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City, has signed a three-and-a-half year contract at the Emirates and will officially start his new role on Sunday.

Former Arsenal captain Arteta played for the club for five seasons from 2011 to 2016, scoring 16 goals in 150 appearances.

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Caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg will take charge of the team for tomorrow’s trip to Everton (12.30pm, live on BT Sport 1).

Arteta: a huge honour

Speaking to arsenal.com Arteta said: “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.

“My first task will be to get to know the players better and get them playing the kind of fast flowing, attacking football that Arsenal supporters around the world want to see.”

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What club officials say

Josh Kroenke, Arsenal director

“We’re delighted to be bringing Mikel back to Arsenal. He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand. Mikel was the outstanding candidate and showed a burning desire to get Arsenal back to winning ways.

“I also want to thank Freddie Ljungberg for skilfully guiding us through the last three weeks. He stepped up at short notice and has helped us through this difficult period with great professionalism.”

Raul Sanllehi, head of football

“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.”

How Twitter reacted

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