Once it was clear that Unai Emery wouldn’t be continuing at Arsenal following a string of poor results, the big question was who would replace him.
A few big names were mentioned, but it seemed the Gunners wanted to follow in the footsteps of other clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United by appointing a former player of theirs to be in charge.
In the end, Mikel Arteta, who was assistant manager at Manchester City at the time, was appointed, and while the mood at the club was immediately lifted, the results have struggled to follow.
The Spaniard has only managed to oversee four wins in his first ten games, but will take solace in the fact only one of the other six results has been a loss (2-1 to Chelsea).
Arsenal’s situation remains of great interest to the world of football, which is why Ouest-France, getting the chance to do so, had a chat with Robert Pirès and got his thoughts on Arteta’s first steps into management.
He said: “For me, he’s the right choice. He’s already played here, he knows how the club is run. He has Edu’s trust, and he signed a three and a half year deal, so he’s been given the keys a bit. You need to be patient with Mikel. I see them daily, the training sessions are good.
“Now, all that’s missing is wins. Once we have the rhythm in that department, we’ll find the European spots, I’m sure of it”.
The Arsenal Foundation Ambassador was also quizzed about the form the club are currently in and was asked if it was the ‘beginning of a crisis’.
He explained: “No, not really. It’s not an exposed club like teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Paris can be. I say that in regards to the fans. In England, the fan keeps following his team no matter what, even in a situation like this one, but it’s not a crisis. It’s just part of the club’s history.”
As for what the club need going forward, Pirès reckons they just need to ‘find the confidence we’ve lost’, and all that needs to happen for that is ‘to win’.
He knows Arteta is aware of that, as do the players, and he emphasised the club’s goal this year is to win the Europa League, which Arsenal came very close to doing last year.
How does he know that? “I know that because I’m with them on the daily. It’s the priority”.