When Mikel Arteta returned to his former club to take over as manager, he was reportedly taken aback by what he discovered. In fact, the former Arsenal player had only been away from the club for three years when he retired from football to take up the position of assistant manager with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
He claimed that the club he previously left felt different than the one he rejoined in 2016, but he couldn't put his finger on what had changed in that short space of time. This prompted him to determine that he needed to rebuild the team before focusing on winning trophies.
His first two years at Arsenal were spent attempting to completely overhaul a squad that contained players earning large salaries who he did not believe were suited to the direction he wished to take the club. He was successful in this endeavor.
Despite the fact that it took him some time to dispatch the players, he eventually fulfilled his objectives, as he now has a squad that feels like it belongs to him for the first time since his return.
Now, After making those comments, it has been more than two years, and Arteta has spent much of that time working to give the club its sense of identity back.
Naturally, his efforts are beginning to bear fruit; Arsenal is presently fifth in the Premier League rankings, only one point outside of the top four on goal difference.
However, things aren't just getting better on the football field. Arteta's work behind the scenes has proven to be fruitful. His efforts have also resulted in significant changes to the training facilities, which has been given a facelift in order to celebrate past victories and serve as a reminder to his current players of the high standards they must aspire to reach.
Arteta decorated the walls of the stadium with photos, paintings, and motivational inscriptions. Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten streak is commemorated in a large mural that the squad must pass through before entering the training ground. The mural also features a large portrait of Arsene Wenger.
When Arteta arrived in 2019, there was a sense that the club had returned to its best form in a long time. This was thanks to the work he put in just to find the environment he couldn't identify with when he first arrived in 2019.
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