Are the Gunners improving?
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Premier League club until the summer of 2025. The Spanish manager’s previous deal was set to expire in 2023 and this new deal commits the 40-year-old to a new, long-term deal at the club. Speculation had been gathering ground regarding the Arsenal manager’s future for much of the season, with many fans believing that Arteta still had much to prove as the man to take them back to the top of English football. However, an impressive league campaign has all but confirmed a top four finish for the North London club, which would mean Champions League football for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
The journey continues
Congratulations on your new deals!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 6, 2022
“I’m excited, grateful and really, really happy today,” Arteta said in a press release on the Arsenal website. “When I spoke to Josh [Kroenke] he could see the club at the same point and he wanted to take the club the way I wanted to do it. So everything that he’s said, and that Stan [Kroenke] has said when I’ve been together with both of them, they’ve always delivered.
“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League. We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”
Slow and steady – Arteta is improving Arsenal’s standing in the league
The jury was certainly still out on Arteta’s performances as Arsenal manager until very recently. And it’s not hard to see why. In his first season at the club, Arteta’s team picked up just 33 points from 20 games and ended up finishing eighth in the Premier League with an average of 1.65 points per game. Last season, the Spaniard managed an identical achievement by once again finishing four places short of the Champions League qualification spots, but his team’s points per average dropped to just 1.61 points per game. It was at this point that serious question marks were being asked of the Spaniard and his misfiring team.
However, Arteta has been given the authority to make wholesale changes to his side this season, with a number of high-profile transfers arriving and even bigger names being shown the exit door. And for the most part, it seems to be working well. So far in this year’s league campaign, Arsenal’s points per game average has shot up to 1.91 and the club are on course to finish four.