Not for the first time in recent weeks, Mikel Arteta has stressed in the importance of improving the squad in order for Arsenal to make progress.
The 37 year old’s message when it comes to the ‘summer’ and the reopening of the transfer window has been consistent, and it’s clear that he is – in a good way – challenging those on high to back him.
When he was appointed, Josh Kroenke said of Arteta, “He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand.”
Now, following remarks last week about how the club and the squad have to improve, he has once again made that point to ensure nobody is in any doubt about what he wants in order to make that happen.
Recognising these are different times we’re living in, Arteta told Sky Sports, “I know that the situation that we have at the club and the context that we are in, but the club know my plan.
“In January, the situation was that we had to fill some gaps and give some stability to the squad.
“Now is the moment to make another step forward and improve the squad and the players that we have.
“The gap between the two top teams and the rest is really, really big and everybody is trying to catch up.
“The competition is between six, seven, eight, maybe even nine clubs now to fight for those positions, so we have to be very smart and we have to be very decisive when we make our decisions.”
You don’t need to have a Masters Degree in Reading Between The Lines to get what he’s saying, so it will be fascinating to see what happens when the market does open – both in terms of what do coming in, and who goes out.