London. Arsenal hired Mikel Arteta as its new coach on Friday with the hope that his former midfielder will be able to change the direction of the afflicted London club, after spending three years learning the trade as assistant to Pep Guardiola with the current English champion Manchester City.
Arteta was confirmed as a full-time replacement for Unai Emery, who was fired three weeks ago.
The 37-year-old Spaniard was persuaded to leave his role in the City even though he was considered by many to be the natural successor of Guardiola.
Arteta signed a three and a half year contract to direct Arsenal.
The former player retired in 2016 after spending the last five years of his career with Arsenal. Return to Emirates Stadium with Arsenal in a bad run, without Champions League and out of the fight for the Premier League title.
“We all know that there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that, but I trust that we will do it,” said Arteta. “I am realistic enough to know that it will not happen overnight but the current squad has a lot of talent and there is a huge source of young players that make their way from the academy.”
The Arsenal languishes in the 10th place of the Premier, as close to the relegation zone as the best four places in the table.
Arteta was close to taking the reins of Arsenal after the departure of coach Arsene Wenger in the period prior to the 2018 season. However, who was left with the position was Emery, who could not revive the club and left the team in the middle of chaos after being fired last month.
Arteta receives a team that suffers from a porous defense and lacks quality and leadership in the midfield. The club is in its worst form since the mid-1990s, before the arrival of Wenger.