Mikel Arteta is now Arsenal manager after the club confirmed an upgrade in his status from head coach.
The promotion – implemented following the exit of Raul Sanllehi – makes for a streamlined structure with only Technical Director Edu sitting between him and Vinai Venkatesham.
The boss hinted prior to the Community Shield that the way the club’s hierarchy made decisions was being examined. That he’s been given more responsibility is a show of faith in his ability and certainly makes sense.
Since arriving at the club in January, Arteta has played a very active role in persuading key players to stay, deciding who gets contract offers and identifying transfer targets; all of which, technically sat outside his ‘head coach’ job description.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, Vinai Venkatesham said: “Mikel’s been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal’s history – and we’ve been around for 134 years. Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward.
“He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.
“The other thing that’s clear is that right from the day he walked through the door, he was doing much more than being our head coach. So we’re going to be changing his job title going forward. He’ll move from head coach to be the first-team manager. That’s recognition of what he’s been doing from the day he walked in the door, but also where we see his capabilities.
“He is doing a great job of coaching the first team and that’s his primary responsibility, but there is so much more that he can bring and that’s why we’re making this change, in recognition of his capabilities and also the job that he’s doing already.
“So in terms of how that will work, going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they’ll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important, whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they’ll be looking after those areas together.
“And they’ll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that’s players that we’re going to buy, whether that’s players that we’re going to sell, whether that’s players that we’re going to loan.
“Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions. But those are going to be their responsibilities and I think we’re going to have a really dynamic team to drive this club forward.”