It’s official: Mikel Arteta is Arsenal’s new head coach. From Sunday. 

The Spaniard, who played for the Gunners for five years, returns to the Emirates having spent the last three and a half seasons working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

Arteta was signed by Arsene Wenger in August 2011, became vice-captain in 2012 and then captain two years later. He played in the 2014 FA Cup final against Hull City but missed the 2015 victory over Aston Villa with an injury.

Fitness problems plagued the Lego-haired midfielder in his final season as a Gunner, although he did come off the bench to [sort of] score in his final appearance at the Emirates in May 2016.

In his final programme notes before retiring, Arteta said: “Arsenal was my favourite club in England since I was a kid.

“To become the captain and share in the nice moments we’ve been through has been a spectacular experience for me.

“I hope whoever follows me as captain tries to maintain the values of this club, because that is what sustains us in the long term.”

That final line could easily have been penned by Arsene Wenger.

Arteta came close to succeeding the Frenchman 18 months ago but Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi had a last-minute change of mind at the interview stage and decided to go for Unai Emery’s experience. 

While Emery made a solid start to life at the Emirates, he couldn’t arrest a downturn of form that started in the final months of last season. The Spaniard was sacked last month and in his place, Freddie Ljungberg has held the role on an interim basis. 

At 37-years-old and with no management experience, Arteta’s appointment is a little risky, but at the same time, he’s served his apprenticeship alongside one of the greatest coaches in the modern game and been up close and personal with Wenger during his playing days. 

It’s believed we paid around £2 million in compensation to City to secure his services, and he has signed a three and a half year deal. He actually starts work on Sunday.

Best of luck Mikel, you’ve got a huge job on your hands. We’re rooting for you. 

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OdalGooner

Welcome back, sir! Looking forward to the coming seasons!

Da Boss

It only took Guardiola to announce it on our behalf, but, good news – good luck Micky, all the best to you and the team. Come on The Arsenal.

I AM GOONER

So excited, c’mon gooners, c’mon arteta you handsome bastard!

jon

Not bad for a first job as head coach! Welcome!

Naked Cygan

Yep, looks like a dental hygienist coming out of training and performing root canals. He saw his teacher performed it, never done it, but what the heck….

mpls

Does this mean we get drugs?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

@Naked, very true, no matter how many downvotes you got, including mine. Perhaps, this is not the time to tell the truth.

Oregoon

We may need as much novocaine (or better) we can get for the first few games. Hopefully.

Noni

Well, the trainee will have to do their first root canal some day. Might as well be today.

Lanre

Oh YES!!!

Steve Reynolds

At least a decision is made. We so so need this season to be turned. Everyone, fans and players, please please get behind him. Judgement in the summer.

Sheffield Gooner

Judgement at the end of next season I’d say, at the earliest.

Chemmer

I’m judging him after his first 5 games.

I need to see a change in football style and mentality. If he can’t get it done in 5 games then I’ll start to lose hope slowly.

I’m looking for consistent marginal improvement. I’m done with the same old Wenger “judge me in May” tag line.

That being said, I’m 100% behind Artera. But he needs to hit the ground running.

Sancheezy

…and so, it begins.

Lanre

Yes.. and so it begins

Gooner Sam

Yes…and so it begins

Denilson's back pass

Yes… it begins so like this

ACon

Yes… It begins like this, so?

Thierry_Ennui

Needles and pins…

Jamesanation

Hoping all the fans get behind him now. He has a huge job to do and whether you wanted him or not he’s here, and he definitely has the club in his heart. It’ll be a popular decision in my bit of the North Bank.
i think with realistic expectations for this season, we can really push on next.

GraeB

Let’s hope the players get behind him more importantly!

Already too many whispers abound for the press to stir up unrest – just as they always hope.

DaDude

Absolutely, I have no doubt the fans will get behind him, I guess he will be met with goodwill, even by those who would have preferred another manager. But that’s the difference between fans and players. I will stay an Arsenal fan, regardless if we appoint Pep himself, Arteta, Ancelotti, Iggy Pop, Kate Upton or the pope as new manager. I might question the competence of Iggy Pop, Kate Upton and the pope, but I will stay a fan nevertheless. A player who dislikes to work with Arteta and has a year or 18 months on his contract might already… Read more »

redrich

Looking forward to Arteta kicking some overpaid underworked arses. I’m genuinely excited – alright he’s not got loads of experience, but all the best managers in the prem at the mo are young guys…. I think he might restore a bit of pride. Welcome home Lego hair.

Alex

Yes, yes, Özil is gonna leave, just be patient, mate. You’ll get rewarded soon.

Usmanov

Why would you want Ozil to leave?
What kind of supporter are you?
So, you prefer Ceballos?

Usmanov

15 mil Ceballos?

mpls

If we had 15 million of him we might be in OK shape.

Ya gooner

Arteta was never the shouty type (as captain for us), he seems more like the sort of person who will get respect from his knowledge. I suspect one of the other coaching team will do the shouting lol

redrich

Agreed, you don’t need to shout to kick arse, sometimes a icy stare will do…. Reckon he’s got that in his locker.

Peter Story Teller

He is the new “Professor”!

AYO

Time will tell.

Cultured determination

That would be per

C.B.

Hooray. Good luck Mikel!

Bishop

Welcome back Lego hair. I am not convinced you are the right man for the job but will support you all the way. Please prove me and other doubters wrong

Gunner 4 Life

Pierre_Alexander

Get behind him. No more boos

Usmanov

Against Arteta? Yes.
Against the players? Can’t promise that. Considering it has become second nature for our fans at the Emirates.

Opuscopus

Welcome to arsenal

Gavin Binding

Exciting times! And, hopefully, exciting football ahead.

VikingGooner

Yay!

Best of John Lukic

This kind of gives me the same feeling as I had when when Arsenal hired George Graham. Can’t be any worse than what’s already going on at the club. Young, allegedly talented guy taking the helm. I’ll be all behind him. If he ends up sucking we can deal with that in time. I’m kind of excited, and believe me it’s been a while since I felt that way about Arsenal.

lovely_arse

Welcome back.

Hank1979

Great. Let’s get this show back on the road. Make some tough calls for a stronger future. If aubameyang and others want away lets get the most we can and let them off. Liverpool did it with Suarez and coutinho and spent well. Let’s hope the board support Mikel. Enough of the toxicity. Good times ahead I hope.

shokim

Welcome back, Mikel! What an appointment for your first job as head coach. Quite the baptism of fire. All the best!

Amusa

Tell them how it is Mikel. Tell the whole squad that they are expendable.
You put that 125% in our you can go play with the reserves.
I hope he gets a few defenders in January.

Andy

Hope that he will be our Arne Slot

GunneRon

Hola el Lego. Hope you take back us to where we belong, right at the top of English football, and looking down at the Spuds. COYG !!

TorontoGunner

Still perfect hair

G-Man

From the point we are at now, 4th place or a CLOSE 5th place with a definite Europa League win is the bare minimum. That won’t be easy either but we are 7 points off Chelsea who are 4th and we still have to play them twice. Both games are must wins. So is Man Utd round 2 and Spurs round 2.

Randy

Dont say that word man

Hi-Jay

CL football next season would be a MIRACLE.

ATG

Good luck Mikel we’re behind you all the way! I also hope Freddie & Per still have a place at this football club though!

Ukwa obuba

We hired Arteta because he is Gaudiola’s understudy. It is beyond stupidity.

Mekus

Wrong! We hired him because he’s Arteta that passed through Arsenal, knows and understand the Arsenal DNA and we believe in his qualities. Pep is still at Man City and you can join him over there Mr. Pessimist.

Mtz

Wenger came from japan when hired,
emery from PSG?, the rest is history as they say!

Runzac

Yeah, well, that´s just like, your opinion, man

Arsenalista

I have a feeling he is going to do well. We are right behind you!

Comedian

Welcome Mikel,
Hope you don’t loose out any hair while being the manager of this Team.
Merry Christmas

Sideshow Mo (umm... I mean, Dave)

No worry: Lego Hair will still look good in grey 😉

Lord Bendnter

I don’t care what anyone says, that was an Arteta goal

Axedsoul

Welcome Boss!

Cultured determination

If he can also play in CM he’d be LANS

Pépé Le Pew

There’s no point moaning about it. He’s been hyped by the medias included Arseblog so let’s just welcome him and hope he is the prodigal son. Welcome Mikel

Rich

Will be interesting to see Freddie’s final starting 11 tomorrow.

He’ll have no choice but to put Niles and Saka at full backs or wing backs, and either Smith-Rowe or Willock in attacking midfield, hopefully the players help him go out on a high.

GoonerBill

Got to rally behind him now. its not going to be perfect overnight but if hes the man to take us forward, then he needs to be given the time

Ealing

Artetal

Arsemusic

Welcome home Arteta. Come on gunners let’s give him our support and be slow to criticise. It won’t be easy turning this shit show round. Coyg

Mekus

Welcome and best wishes Arteta. We will be rooting for you all the way. Hopefully, you’ll turn out as main part of the missing puzzle and make us all happy Arsenal fans once again. Already hooting for your success, because your success is our collective success.

Gunnertron

Welcome back Mikel Arseteta

LenoArt

Welcome back Mikel. We want the best with you.

voster

Welcome, good luck and all the best!

Let’s get behind the manager again, and give him the best chance of making a success of it – we’ll all benefit from that.

Fuzz

Mikel has shown balls to take this on. Hope it works out for us and him

Dom47

Haven’t been so happy re Arsenal in at least ten years! Welcome Mikel!!!!

eddymc2

Really? Asking because breaking the trophy drought, for instance, happened within the last 10 years.

Dom47

FA cups were the fake dawn which really took us nowhere and kept a waning Wenger in the job for even longer.

We were on a downward spiral all the time.

Gado Ludo

Whoa. Very excited about all this. Welcome back Mikel!!

Andrew, would you know/have any word/the latest/news/whispers/gossip on whether he brings along those other assistant coaches at City – Rodolfo Borrell and Domenec Torrent?

Kelvim

This lad might turn out to be a monster….

Kuleb Tito

That’s great news

HoldenontoArsenal

You can be unhappy with the choice. This man, a former captain, showed his love and spoke of his long term love of the team well before this. Always gave 100% for the club and made those around him better for playing and working with him. That deserves respect. That deserves time. As for me, if you even so much as start whining like babies about anything before then end of next season, YOU are the biggest problem at AFC. I expect we will see some young players do some amazing things, especially if the fans give them just a… Read more »

GraeB

Who is the troll who has down voted every positive comment on this page? ?

mpls

Maybe it’s Pep.

chepetin

My thoughts exactly. Probably trying to be different. And enough with the Lego hair comments. First it’s ‘good ebening’ and now it’s ‘lego hair.’

VZ1

Arteta’s appointment is very exciting. Looking forward to the rest of the season. It should not be boring. It is a huge gamble, but often AFC are quite lucky betting on “dark horses”. Supporting the club and best of luck to mikel. Not buying usual bs about “major rebuilding task” and “several transfer windows needed” which is going to be mumbled by so-called pundits. This goes without saying, but nobody will care about it after five matches. He will either flop or shine. The key element of his success is whether he will be able to quickly and ruthlessly eradicate… Read more »

Trump

#Artetaout

Too early?

GoonerNJ

Welcome back, Mikel! Best of luck to you! May this be the start of something wonderful!

Mintoes

Clear out Ozil, xhaka, mustafi, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac immediately. Give yourself a chance to make your mark and succeed.