Revealed: Arteta is now 'first-team manager'

Mikel Arteta's job title has changed from head coach to first-team manager.

So why has this change taken place - and what does it mean?
"Mikel's been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal's history - and we've been around for 134 years. Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward," chief executive Vinai Venkatesham told Arsenal Digital.
"He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.
"The other thing that's clear is that right from the day he walked through the door, he was doing much more than being our head coach. So we're going to be changing his job title going forward. He'll move from head coach to be the first-team manager. That's recognition of what he's been doing from the day he walked in the door, but also where we see his capabilities.
"He is doing a great job of coaching the first team and that's his primary responsibility, but there is so much more that he can bring and that's why we're making this change, in recognition of his capabilities and also the job that he's doing already.


Mikel Arteta reveals how he's changed our culture

"So in terms of how that will work, going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they'll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important, whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they'll be looking after those areas together.
"And they'll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that's players that we're going to buy, whether that's players that we're going to sell, whether that's players that we're going to loan.
"Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions. But those are going to be their responsibilities and I think we're going to have a really dynamic team to drive this club forward."


Analysis: The key changes Mikel Arteta has made


Saliba - I'm very proud to follow Vieira and Henry

Having watched Patrick Vieira dominate our midfield in the past, William Saliba says it is a great honour to inherit the famous No 4.

Our French centre back grew up admiring his compatriot - but says it was another legendary Gunner that he had on the back of his shirt as a kid.

"I had an Arsenal jersey when I was little with Thierry Henry [on the back], so I liked the club since then," Saliba said. "Now I am very proud to have the Arsenal jersey.

"I don't know why [I got it]! I went in the shop, and I only wanted Arsenal. I liked Vieira and Thierry Henry because I was little and I only knew the French players and they were very good.

"I am very, very proud to have the number four, so I have to be ready to carry number four."


How smooth Saliba can make a big impact

It is not only Vieira who has worn the No 4, but fellow captains such as Per Mertesacker and Cesc Fabregas - so could Saliba take the armband eventually too?

"I hope, I hope... I hope one day, maybe!" he said. "I am very happy to be here, with good team-mates and with a good badge like Arsenal, so I am very excited and I think it is good to be here."


Calm and composed | The best of Saliba v MK Dons








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