Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has thanked the club’s hierarchy for their public show of support and said recent results have “taken the gloss off” progress made during his first year in charge.
The Spaniard will celebrate his first anniversary as Arsenal boss on Sunday, a day after the Gunners visit Everton, aiming to end a run of six Premier League games without a win dating back to Nov. 1.
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Arteta has faced intense criticism with Arsenal languishing in 15th place, already 10 points adrift of the Champions League places, but chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and technical director Edu have both backed the 38-year-old in recent days, highlighting August’s FA Cup win and steps taken behind the scenes to create a winning culture at a club without a league title since 2004.
“Well I said it from the start, that I felt really supported by the owners, by the board, by the technical director and then by everybody that is at the club,” Arteta said. “Because at the end of the day it is a feeling that I feel with the staff, with the coaches, with the players — which are the most important one.
“What chemistry do you have with them? What understanding do you have? Do they follow you? Do they believe in what you are trying to do?
“And 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 the results. But after a big shake-up, we need to find stability and in order to do that we need time.
“We all knew, at least the people that made the decision with me to start this new project, that this wasn’t a quick fix and it was going to take time. And when you are shaking things up, things can take a while.”
Arteta’s year at the helm has seen a plethora of off-field changes including the departures of head of football Raul Sanllehi, contract negotiator Huss Fahmy, 55 non-playing staff being made redundant due to the financial effects of COVID-19 along with a considerable scaling back of the club’s overseas scouting network.
“I think it has been one of the most challenging years of the club’s history for many, many different reasons,” Arteta said. “I think that we have made a lot of progress and we have implemented a lot of positive things that have worked really, really well.
“We have gone through structural changes all across the club, that obviously has shaken the club big time. I would say the highlights of this 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 a calendar year.
“But we have to accept that the Premier League form, in recent weeks, has not been good enough for this football club.”
Arteta took his first managerial job at Emirates Stadium after three years coaching under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. He previously spent six years as a player at Everton between 2005 and 2011 and said he held discussions over moving into a backroom role on Merseyside.
“It was part of some conversations but I decided to take my route,” he added.