Premier League

Mikel Arteta was 'shocked' by the divide between fans and players at Arsenal

The Gunners boss has revealed the bond between fans and the team needed fixing when he arrived as head coach

2:46pm on Thursday 19th November 2020
Cameron Smith

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that he was "shocked" by the divide between the fans and the players upon his return to the club last December.

The ex-Arsenal captain rejoined the Gunners as head coach following a successful spell as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City to replace the much-maligned Unai Emery following his sacking.

He achieved an eighth-place finished last campaign, as well as delivering the FA Cup to the Emirates.

However, despite a promising start to life as manager, Arteta has warned fans it may take time to rediscover the type of form that the Arsenal of old produced.

"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 told the Gunners official website.

Upon his return to the Emirates, Arteta revealed: "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.

"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."

Acutely aware of the issues that could befall the North London side, Arteta will be hoping to iron out the team's problems and better last term's finish.

With the side currently sitting in 11th in the table, and with Leeds United up next, the Spaniard have some work to do to achieve this.

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