EPL

Wenger urges Arsenal to surround talented Arteta with experienced support

By Sports Desk December 18, 2019

Arsene Wenger believes Mikel Arteta's "great future" must be nurtured with a strong backroom team if Arsenal make the inexperienced Spaniard their new head coach.

The Gunners have held talks with their former captain and are expected to appoint him to replace Unai Emery.

Arteta, 37, spent five seasons at Emirates Stadium as a player before retiring and taking up a coaching position with Manchester City in 2016.

He is well-regarded after working as Pep Guardiola's understudy but ex-Arsenal boss Wenger said the club would have to take measures to counteract his lack of experience.

"I am an Arsenal supporter and at the moment I support the manager in charge. The manager in charge is [Freddie] Ljungberg," Wenger told reporters in Doha.

"When Arteta will be in charge I will support Arteta.

"Of course Arsenal is going through a difficult period. It's better that I don't comment on that. I just suffer like every supporter."

He added: "I believe that Mikel has a great future. He has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level.

"He will have to get surrounded well and get a good environment at the club."

Achieving the latter, according to Wenger, is an essential ingredient if Arsenal are to restore their status as a Premier League powerhouse.

The north Londoners have missed the top four in three successive seasons and have not finished higher than third since 2004-05.

"Most importantly, every club – and Arsenal especially – is built on special values and inside the club people have to take care of that," the Frenchman said.

"That is most important. What makes the culture of the club great is, first, the values of the club, and you have to be faithful to that. He will have to be surrounded, if he comes in, to respect that."

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