Arsenal manager Mikael Arteta has warned Arsenal legends not to ‘spread poison’ after signing a new contract to 2025. Speaking ahead of their game against Leeds, the Spanish manager said: “Now I, hopefully, they have realized that anyone who wants to contribute to what we’re doing, genuinely contribute, with advice or support or whatever, he’s more than welcome to come. And anyone that wants to poison the club … they are going to be very far away from the club. “
After the 3-1 victory over Manchester United last month, Arteta welcomed former Arsenal favorites Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp to spend time with the players. This came despite criticism he has received from the pair in the past, particularly last year when they, alongside now Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira, allied themselves with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in his bid to takeover the club.
Speaking last year, the non-flying Dutchman said of Arteta’s Arsenal: “Just like Patrick and Thierry, I recognize the Arsenal from our own time less and less. The ambition to win top prizes is in Arsenal’s DNA. Never accepting loss.
“That mentality has slowly disappeared. I sense resignation about the current situation. That is serious. As if, given the financial situation, it is normal for Arsenal to end in the middle bracket. That does not belong to this club. Arsenal’s DNA must be restored. “
Henry has also been critical of Arteta’s Arsenal recently, stating that not getting into the top four would constitute ‘a failure’ for Arsenal’s season. Arsenal’s big upturn in form in 2022 has helped gain the support of both the invincible stars who seem to have warmed towards Arteta’s management.
It is not just the legendary forwards who have become more favorable towards Arteta. Martin Keown has also revised his opinion of him in recent weeks. Speaking to talkSPORT in February, the ex-center-half was highly critical of Arteta following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“You can’t keep falling out with people,” the Englishman said. “What I wanted was for him to continue to get the best from a player, that’s the role of a manager isn’t it, win games and get the best from players?
“What I don’t want also is the manager to get a reputation for falling out with players. I don’t know if another high profile manager has fallen out with so many players. “
Keown is now generally more supportive of Arteta and backs giving him a new contract even if he probably would have preferred to wait until the summer. “I thought they might have waited until the summer because we are now at a crossroads and got a huge game coming up,” he told talkSPORT. “They obviously feel there’s no desire for any change, they’re happy. I think they’re right but I probably would’ve waited until the summer.”
One ex-Invincible that Arteta has been able to rely on the support of however is Robert Pires. “I think he is doing a great job,” the ex-midfielder told Goal in March. “Arsenal have found their DNA based on a fast and attacking game. He asks a lot of his players and is very demanding, starting from the training sessions. “
Arsenal are clearly in a better spot than they were a few months ago. Gunners’ fans will be hoping their improved form continues and the decision to give the Spaniard a new contract is justified.