Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta makes Arsene Wenger request to board that players ‘would love’

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that he would like legendary former boss Arsene Wenger to have more of a presence at the club. The Gunners head coach starred under Wenger during the latter part of the Frenchman’s iconic reign.

Arteta made 150 appearances for Arsenal before announcing his retirement in 2016 to join Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City.  

Wenger departed two years later after overseeing a steady decline at the Emirates Stadium.  

The 72-year-old had scarcely been seen around the North Londoners since his departure. He has served as FIFA’s chief of global football development since 2019, with one of his ideas including the controversial plan for the World Cup to be staged every two years.  

However, Arteta would like his former boss to be given a role at Arsenal. He insisted that his current squad would be inspired by Wenger’s presence. 

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The former Spain midfielder even suggested that he might not have gone into coaching had it not been for Wenger.  

“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,” Arteta, who replaced Wenger’s successor, Unai Emery, in 2019,  said at the premiere of Arsene Wenger: Invincible.  

When quizzed on whether Wenger is the reason he became a manager, the former Man City assistant added: “100 per cent. 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.

“I would like him to be more present at the club. I think the players would love him, 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.” 

Arsenal suffered a difficult start to the season. Defeats in each of their opening three Premier League matches left them bottom of the Premier League heading into the September international break without scoring a goal. 

Eight league matches later, they remain Arsenal’s only losses. Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Watford elevated the North Londoners into fifth.  

Arteta has survived calls for his dismissal and has pointed to the unity of his team as a reason for their upward trajectory. 

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“I told you, I think it was about what I could see around me. The belief, the sense of belonging they have to be part of our team,” Arteta said after the Watford success, which was sealed by Emile Smith Rowe’s second-half goal.  

“The unity they showed in difficult moments, not to try to point at anybody. To show responsibility, leadership and courage to overcome the situation.  

“To face the criticism because it is part of football and move forward, slowly try to engage some people and be lucky.  

“Because we had some supporters that showed in difficult moments, that they love this club so much and they realised how important it is to play the game with them and when that happened you can see the atmosphere inside the stadium.”
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