Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed he was shocked by the state of the club when he took over, due to the bad atmosphere that had been brewing under his predecessor Unai Emery.
The inexperienced Spanish tactician replaced Emery after leaving Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City last season, and he’s widely seen as having done some impressive work at the Emirates Stadium so far.
Even if Arsenal’s results in the Premier League have been a little inconsistent, he’s improved their performances against the big six sides and earned the club a surprise FA Cup final victory last season, as well as the Community Shield at the start of this campaign.
Arteta certainly joined Arsenal in challenging circumstances, and he’s spoken about this in an interview with Arsenal’s official site.
In what sounds like a dig at Emery, Arteta makes it clear he was shocked at how damaged the club was when he took over this struggling side.
“You cannot build something new [quickly], when something has been damaged and hurt badly, that you can see a big split between even our own fans and the team,” he said.
“When you were in that stadium 10 months ago, I was shocked.
“You have to rebuild that [bond]. In order to do that you have to build some foundations, and afterwards start a process. You have to prioritise that process at the start, and where you are going to get to.
“To do that you need some pieces that have to fill in there, and you have to start to create a puzzle and try to manage it because there will be bad moments and you don’t want to break it.
“All the time you have to be very alert because it takes very little to break what you are building.”