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Arteta recognises his ‘challenging’ year

Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal supporters that it will take time for the club to find stability again, saying that recent results had “taken the gloss off” the progress they had made since his appointment.

This weekend marks the first anniversary of Arteta’s arrival as head coach and the Spaniard said he had experienced a number of challenges in one year that most managers would go through in a decade.

Arsenal’s poor start to the league season sees them in 15th place ahead of today’s trip to Everton, but Arteta retains the support of the club hierarchy and his players.

Arteta described 2020 as one of the most difficult years the club had experienced. As well as the turmoil on the pitch, Arsenal made 55 redundancies as a result of the pandemic, parted ways with head of football Raul Sanllehi and have restructured various departments.

“I think it has been one of the most challenging years of the club’s history for many, many different reasons,” said Arteta. “I think that we have made a lot of progress and have implemented a lot of positive things that have worked really well. We have gone through structural changes all across the club and that obviously has shaken the club.

“The recent form in the Premier League is taking the gloss off what we have done. But we have to accept that our Premier League form, in recent weeks, is not good enough for this football club. In this industry you need results. But after a big shake-up, we need to find stability and in order to do that we need time.

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“We all knew, at least the people that made the decision with me to start this 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.”

Victories in the FA Cup and Community Shield have provided notable highlights for Arteta, who has strived to bring together a dressing room that had become horribly fractured under Unai Emery. Asked how he has changed as a manager since his appointment, Arteta said: “I want to believe I am much better. I have experienced things in a year that. In a normal job you would experience in 10 or eight [years].

“But it has been great. Great because of the people I have around me [and] the experience we have been able to share with everyone in the club, with the players, has united everybody a lot.”

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