‘There’s no weakness’ – Arsene Wenger backs Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal for unlikely Premier League title challenge


ARSENE WENGER has broken his Arsenal silence and backed Mikel Arteta’s team to launch an unlikely title challenge.

The most successful manager in the club’s history has never been back to the Emirates since his brutal sacking in 2018 and has steadfastly refused to comment on the team he left behind.

Arsene Wenger has backed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to lead a Premier League charge


Arsene Wenger has backed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to lead a Premier League chargeCredit: Reuters

But now the 72-year-old Frenchman has opened up on the current state of play and cannot hide his admiration for the job being done by Arteta.

Wenger said: “I would say they are moving in the right direction. I honestly think there is no weak position in the team… they are young, promising players and they have bought well this year.

“There is no completely dominating team this season and Arsenal has a chance with the potential that is there.

“We used to be in the top four and why not again? You cannot even rule out the fact that they can fight for the title and hopefully they can do it.”

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Wenger, who won three league titles and seven FA Cups during his 22-year Arsenal reign, was speaking at an evening with David Dein to help the club’s former vice-chairman promote his new book, Calling The Shots.

And even though Arteta has led Arsenal to the top of the table after replacing Unai Emery three years ago, Wenger is not planning to return to the Emirates any time soon.

He added: “I haven’t been there since 2018.

“After 22 years as manager, maybe I arrived at the end of the road and people wanted a change. 


“The club had chosen a different direction and I can understand that completely. Sometimes you need to have a completely new staff and my presence there could have been a problem.

“So I stayed away completely to give the club the chance to rebuild a new connection with a new manager.

“That’s why I never talked about Arsenal and never came back to the Emirates because I didn’t want to be a presence that is maybe not good for the club.

“But I still feel that my life is definitely linked with Arsenal so now I support them from my TV and I am also very busy travelling the world for Fifa.”

Yet Wenger, who is now Fifa’s chief of global football development, is understandably proud of the work he did alongside Dein at Arsenal.

He said: “Even above the trophies, the most important thing you generate at the club is values. On that front, David and I were on the same wavelength.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has enjoyed a strong start this season


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has enjoyed a strong start this seasonCredit: Getty

“I look from the distance of time and we both left the club in good shape. We were the first to build a new training centre, the first to build a new stadium and the first to pay back the debt.

“When I arrived in the Premier League, all the ownership was English. Today we have 58 American people who own football clubs in Europe.

“You would not have believed that 25 years ago. European football is now in the hands of American people who back then didn’t even know the rules.

“Football has changed. It has become of worldwide interest and the Premier League is the place where you have the biggest love for football and also the economic power.

“They have created a world brand that makes everyone want to come to England, but there is a threat because the other countries will not remain silent and the clubs will respond.

“This summer, the net spending on transfers in England was £1.4billion. The rest of the other four big leagues was less than £200million. The difference in financial power is absolutely huge.”


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