Mikel Arteta pleased with Arsenal’s progress despite pain of losing title race

mikel areta

The Gunners led the Premier League title race for 248 days last season before being chased down by Manchester City.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says it still “hurts deeply” to miss out on the Premier League title but is happy with the progress he has made since taking over a club that has lost its “soul”.

The Gunners led the Premier League title race for 248 days last season before Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City finally caught them, winning the treble and leaving the Gunners without a trophy for the third consecutive season.

Arteta admits he is still hurt that his side fell short, but feels there were plenty of positives to take from last term and his tenure overall.

Speaking to Marco, the 41-year-old Spaniard said: “To this day it still hurts me deeply not to win the Premier (League) after spending 10 months fighting with City.

“But that’s the sport. It means that what has been achieved with such a young team is worth it. That’s clear to me as well.”

The Spaniard, who took charge at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019, continued: “It started (again) three years ago. I was Pep’s assistant at City, we played against Arsenal and I saw that the soul of the club was lost.

“It was not used, it was not felt. I knew there was a possibility, shortly after, to be on the second bench and I knew this club is so big that you have to connect the team with the fans. It was hard and now I feel happy.

“We have a clear identity, there is a union and we are full of energy. That’s the biggest thing. From top to bottom, everyone is pushing in the same direction.”

Arteta responded to a question about reports linking him with a move to Paris St Germain, where he spent 18 months on loan during his playing career, by insisting he was “happy” and “grateful” to be at the club from North London.

“I can only say that I am happy at Arsenal,” he said. “I feel loved, appreciated by our owners, Stan and Josh (Kroenko), and I have a lot to do here at this club. I am happy and extremely grateful to be at Arsenal.”

The Gunners open their 2023-24 campaign against Nottingham Forest on August 12.

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