That doesn’t happen in football – Mikel Arteta offered deal after three defeats

The Spaniard signed a new three-year deal on Friday.

By Press Association Published: 6 May 2022 - 1.22pm

Mikel Arteta has revealed he was offered his new Arsenal contract on the back of three consecutive defeats – a gesture he believes shows how serious the club are at backing him to be a success.

The Spaniard signed a new three-year deal on Friday, having initially taken the reins at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019 following the dismissal of Unai Emery.

He is close to taking the Gunners back into the Champions League for the first time in five years, with the side currently fourth in the Premier League as the season enters its final stages.

Their strong position has come as a result of beating Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham in their last three games, but Arteta was handed a fresh offer following a trio of defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton.

“The club offered me the contract when we lost three matches,” he said.

“And that day I went like this, chapeau and go, that doesn’t happen in football.

“That’s a part of what they think, the conversations that I had, the belief that they have in myself, the coaching staff, in what we are doing and the people that we have now owning this football club and leading this football club.

“I haven’t ever seen it and I just got emotional when I see it, because I just said: ‘These guys are serious and these guys are committed’. So, I better push forward.”

Now the deal is signed, Arteta is hoping it can provide a “final push” to his players as they aim for Champions League qualification, starting against Leeds on Sunday.

“They thought the best moment was to do it right now, to give a final push to the team, to give some clarity about what we have to do in the summer,”
- Mikel Arteta

They sit two points clear of local rivals Tottenham with four games remaining, including a trip to Spurs next Thursday, and Arteta believes the timing of his new deal could help see the club over the line.

“The club was really eager to do it as quickly as we could,” he said.

“Obviously they showed a lot of faith and belief in what we are doing, with the coaching staff, what’s the direction of the team.

“They thought the best moment was to do it right now, to give a final push to the team, to give some clarity about what we have to do in the summer, in the future.

“It’s a way of saying ‘listen, from both ways we believe in what we are doing and we want to commit to this project together’. This is the place I want to be so it was a really simple decision for me.”

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall has signed a new two-year deal.
Arsenal Women manager Jonas Eidevall has also signed a new two-year deal (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Asked about his ambitions, Arteta added: “To take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League.

“We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”

The announcement of Arteta’s new deal came at the same time as Arsenal women’s manager Jonas Eidevall also extended his stay.

The Swede was appointed last summer and could end his first campaign in charge by winning the Women’s Super League title, with Arsenal just a point behind leaders Chelsea heading into the final weekend of the season.

Eidevall has signed a two-year contract and believes he and Arteta approach football in a similar fashion.

“Obviously, it’s a great thing,” he said of his new deal.

“It allows me to continue to work for a club that I love so much and be around people that I really, really like, and to be able to achieve things together, so I’m really looking forward to that.

“I can also see similarities in the way that we approach the game, and how detailed we are in trying to prepare the team for every game, so I can absolutely see those similarities.”

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