Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he supports the club’s interim coach Freddie Ljungberg but knows how Mikel Arteta can succeed as the Gunners’ substantive head coach if he is eventually hired as Unai Emery replacement.
Arteta who played for Arsenal for five seasons before retiring from professional football has been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City since 2016.
The Spaniard has reportedly been picked by Arsenal’s hierarchy to become the next substantive manager following the sacking of his compatriot and Wenger successor, Emery, and will be officially announced in the coming days.
“I am an Arsenal supporter and at the moment I support the manager in charge. The manager in charge is [Freddie] Ljungberg,” Wenger told reporters in Doha.
“When Arteta will be in charge I will support Arteta.
“Of course, Arsenal is going through a difficult period. It’s better that I don’t comment on that. I just suffer like every supporter.”
Wenger added: “I believe that Mikel [Arteta] has a great future. He has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that he will have to deal with the fact that he as no experience at that level.
“He will have to get surrounded well [with experienced backroom staff] and get a good environment at the club.”
“Most importantly, every club – and Arsenal especially – is built on special values and inside the club people have to take care of
“That is most important. What makes the culture of the club great is, first, the values of the club, and you have to be faithful to that.
“He will have to be surrounded, if he comes in, to respect that,” Wenger concluded.
If appointed, Arteta’s first game as Arsenal manager will be against his former club Everton at Goodison Park in Saturday’s Premier League game.