Arsenal have signalled their intention by handing Mikel Arteta a new contract, which opens up room for an exciting future ahead.
After how Arsenal started the season, nobody in their right minds envisaged them being favourites to clinch a top-four finish and Mikel Arteta signing a new contract before the end of the campaign. Both those scenarios transpired, with the Spaniard penning a new three-year deal.
If there were any doubts about Arsenal’s trust in Arteta’s process, the new deal should completely quash them and close the debate. They can now look forward to their last four games with a sense of excitement and optimism.
A manager’s position in the team has often been misunderstood in English football, flush with trigger happy owners. Fortunately, Stan Kroenke has been sensible enough to understand Arsenal’s needs for the long term. Bringing Arteta was part of that plan, and now the contract extension is proof of their ambition.
“We want to take the club to the next level & to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League.” said Arteta after penning the extension.
Mikel Arteta 🤝 Jonas Eidevall
Here to stay pic.twitter.com/NlbJ5ZOU2L
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 6, 2022
Arsenal and Arteta had set targets to finish at least sixth, which was guaranteed after the recent win over West Ham United. The Gunners were happy enough not to wait for four more matchdays, as the plan was always to extend.
Edu Gaspar’s words are more reflective of what they want to do. He said, “I think the timing is perfect. I really believe the message will be a big lift to everyone. It’s important to show everyone where we want to go as a club. We are going to face a big summer again, and it’s important to have our manager here.”
With Arsenal moving forward, we look ahead at what to expect from Arteta after signing the new deal and where he should take the club in the next phase. The Spaniard may have steadied things, but now it may be time to shift gears and move ahead at speeds many do not believe Arsenal are capable of. But they have to reach those limits.
Mikel Arteta is suited to Arsenal and their players.
Arsenal saw a period of stagnation and watched other clubs pass by them at pace with modern ideas, money and a competitive environment. The Gunners had a steady presence in the UEFA Champions League in Arsene Wenger’s last years and have never featured in the competition since the Frenchman’s departure.
Unai Emery came in and failed. It was not due to his inability as a coach, but because he did not suit Arsenal. The four-time Europa League winner has the nous of managing Villarreal with success, but in north London, the Spaniard was indecisive. Mikel Arteta’s first litmus test was making hard decisions and sticking with them, which he did efficiently.
Arteta has overseen the pandemic phase, shifted ineffective yet high-earning stars out of the Emirates, and instilled a culture acceptable to the players and fans alike. He has faced staunch opposition, critics and his fans with an ounce of patience who were ready to turn their back at the slightest chance.
The Arsenal fanbase had always wanted something to support, an idea, a style or a target. They are appreciative of what Arteta wants on the pitch, and he is achieving things that may have been beyond Wenger. He has steadily become the spine of the club, and even if he leaves tomorrow, Arsenal are still in a much better place than they were three years ago.
Arteta has to mastermind bringing in the right players that fit his system. The signings this summer will reflect more on the intention of signing the new contract. With Arteta at the helm, Arsenal can now focus on obtaining the best-suited players, and that is their plan in the months ahead.
What does the new contract mean for the squad and potential transfers?
Arsenal have a young core of players, and most are comfortable adapting to the manager’s style. Leaving those with uncertain futures aside, some of the regulars from this season will see the news with renewed optimism and may have a desire to see the journey out.
Players like Emile Smith Rowe, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have flourished under Arteta this term and could become vital components in the years to come. That said, Arsenal may find it much easier than before to renew their contracts, especially those who could be in danger of leaving.
His quotes on the tweet below indicate how some squad members have been waiting for this renewal and that their own futures depended on it.
Mikel Arteta on his new contract: “They [players] found out this morning. Some of them have been asking me for months because they have questions about their individual futures. That is not something I want to be talking about, I want zero distraction. It’s clear for the future.” pic.twitter.com/RsLi8cjlLR
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) May 6, 2022
Arsenal are expected to offer Saka and Martinelli new deals in the summer. The duo has flourished under Arteta this season and may look to extend their stay at Arsenal now that Arteta has. It only makes negotiating and convincing these players to sign new agreements much easier for the club. After the manager’s renewal, the Arsenal fanbase remains confident about those extensions.
Arsenal are looking to bring in the next set of talents this summer. Players would like a stable environment presented by Arteta rather than joining a club with a big reputation and a volatile dressing room; case in point, Manchester United. The Gunners are on the ascendency, and this factor is known to their potential targets and their agents. The Spaniard’s longevity will play a huge role in convincing stars to join Arsenal.
The north Londoners are seeking new strikers, and one of them could be a high-profile, expensive signing. A few years ago, few would have expected Arsenal to pull off a signing of that sort, but things could be drastically different in the next window. Their links with Gabriel Jesus, Victor Osimhen and Darwin Nunez are proof something interesting is brewing in the background.
With a new contract comes renewed responsibilities.
Arsenal took a measured decision in bringing Arteta as their new manager after Emery’s dismissal. Despite plenty of criticism coming in for appointing a rookie, the north Londoners may have calculated their move rather than taken a risk as it first seemed.
Similarly, Arsenal offering a new contract to Arteta seems like a thought-out decision. The club achieved measurable progress on and off the pitch, and the credit should be reserved for the Spaniard. Their trend may be on the ascendency, and many believe this side will be able to compete with the current title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City in the coming years.
With this new contract comes responsibilities, and Arteta should be looking to feature alongside Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola in future standings. As a first step, Arsenal need to play Champions League football each season and finish in the top four consistently and then see if they can stitch together a title race.
The owners are proving their mettle by consistently backing the manager in the transfer market, and now Arteta needs to create a competitive environment and bring more stability. As for setting realistic targets, if things go as planned, Arsenal should target the Premier League title during the next two-three years.
Arteta and Arsenal are meant to be together. The process of creating ideas and those conveniently matching with those of the board and the players is a relatively good sign of a bright future ahead. This is a chance for Arsenal to become challengers for trophies, as such concerted opportunities come once in a while.
Fans tend to measure success with trophies, and there will be those criticising the club at the next defeat Arsenal suffer under Arteta’s management. If this process is what the owners, managers and players believe in, the titles will follow soon.
Arsenal are building a machine for the future, with Arteta at the helm. Some sections still consider him a rookie, but the new deal proves the Spaniard is steadily entering the elite zone of tacticians. The future looks merrier for Arsenal and their very patient supporters, but it may be time for a massive step forward in the direction of honours, with Arteta the perfect man to lead them there and paint London red.