Mikel Arteta insists he is “very confident” that his Arsenal bosses have the right plan in place to assuage fan fears and restore the Gunners’ place among English football’s elite.
Arsenal head into their final Premier League game of the season set for their lowest points total in the 38 game, three points for a win era and, with eighth their highest possible finish, destined for their worst top flight finish since 1995.
The FA Cup Final against Chelsea offers some hope for salvation but Arteta insists even winning that and finishing eighth is some way short of what Arsenal should expect from a season. He will find few who disagree with him in the club hierarchy, who are now putting together a plan to reverse the downward trend that this club have found themselves in.
Part of that has already been successfully applied – if wins against Manchester City, Liverpool and Wolves are any evidence this is a team that has fulfilled their head coach’s wish that they “suffer together” – but Arteta has not hidden his desire to strengthen his club in the transfer market. Arsenal will have to do so with a very limited budget, one that would be boosted by Europa League qualification through winning the FA Cup.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
Not every supporter shares Arteta’s confidence over the hierarchy’s plan for the coming months – some paid for a banner bearing the slogan “Back Arteta Kroenke Out” to be flown over Villa Park during Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat on Tuesday – but Arteta is convinced that those above him will get things right.
“I have to say that I am very confident with the way that the owners and board are approaching this crucial time for us,” he said. “We know that we don’t have any margin for error, that everything has to be so planned and with a great process to put the team into the next level.
“Once we know a little bit more and have more information about where we are it will be easier to make those decisions.
“I came here, I knew the challenge, to come in the middle of the season with all the issues that were happening. Once you are inside you can dig deeper and realise why things happen. It’s the consequence of many little things that happened.
“I’m so confident we’re going to do it right, we need a little bit of time and the fans, when they get nervous, it’s normal. For me it’s not that they get nervous, it’s frustration that this club and its history are there. People relate this badge with success, emotion, joy and trophies.
“We cannot change that, we must not try to change that. It’s what makes us big. We only have to think like that. It’s the only way to think about this club and its future.
“If we are all in the same place like that we will make it. We have to do it and then transmit it to players and then every member of staff and then the fans. If we do it and we…