Arsene Wenger has handed Mikel Arteta some advice – and made a bold prediction about Arsenal’s Premier League campaign this season.
Under Arteta, the Gunners appear to be regaining a feelgood factor not felt at the club since the best days of Wenger’s reign.
The legendary boss led Arsenal to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his 22-year reign in the hotseat, and regularly guided his side to Champions League qualification.
The hope is that Arteta can lead the north London side back into Europe’s top club competition for the first time in four years.
The manager has signed well over the summer, landing defensive midfielder Thomas Partey and his top centre-half target Gabriel, while he also convinced star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new three-year deal.
Mikel Arteta captained Arsenal under legendary boss Arsene Wenger
And Wenger has told his former skipper to stick to his philosophy for the team and keep moulding the Gunners according to his own vision.
Asked in a Q&A with The Guardian what advice he would give to Arteta, the Frenchman said: “To continue to have a grip on the team, as he has at the moment. And to go to the end of his beliefs.
“I think there is a good team spirit and they have a good chance to do well.”
After replacing Wenger’s successor Unai Emery midway through last season, Arteta led Arsenal to an eight-placed finish on 56 points.
Arteta led Arsenal to the FA Cup last season – but the ambition is greater this term
That was 10 points off the Champions League places, and 43 behind runaway Premier League champions Liverpool – although the Gunners secured Europa League football by winning a 14th FA Cup.
Wenger has predicted his former club can finish in the top four this season. But he reckons they should aim higher than that and suggested they could even mount a surprise title challenge…