Arsenal director Edu reveals why club never sacked Mikel Arteta despite his disastrous start

Arteta and Arsenal director of football, Edu || Image credit: Getty

PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal director Edu reveals why club never sacked Mikel Arteta despite his disastrous start

Mark Kinyanjui 18:06 - 21.09.2023

The Brazilian director of football has explained why he never asked for Arteta to be sacked during his darker earlier days in charge of the club.

Arsenal Sporting Director Edu Gaspar has explained why the club never sacked Mikel Arteta during the darker periods in his early years as coach

After a rough start to his managerial career at Arsenal, the Spaniard has gradually built an exciting young team that got the club back into the Champions League and looks capable of seriously competing for major trophies.

However, things have not always looked so good for the Spanish coach in his time in the Emirates Stadium dugout.

After quickly leading Arsenal to an FA Cup triumph after taking over the job from Unai Emery in December 2019, he endured a dark period in his young career.

In late 2020, the club found itself in the relegation places in December, which led to fans and critics calling for his sacking.

The integration of Emile Smith Rowe and the signing of Martin Odegaard then injected a breath of fresh air, as the club managed to get to the Europa League semi-final but fell short, and although they got out of the relegation places, they only finished eight for the second season in a row.

The next season, the club started even worse, as they lost in humiliating fashion to newly promoted Brentford, before being battered by Chelsea and Manchester City in their second and third league games of the season.

However, things did improve, as they found themselves battling for the top four, only to fall short at the final hurdle in 2022.

Edu has explained why he felt the club still opted to stick to him despite all those failures 

“You have to analyse your squad and ask yourself why we are not getting positive results,” Edu told journalist Joao Castelo-Branco

“It’s the coach’s or the squad’s fault? I presented to the directors that the squad that Mikel inherited wasn’t the best possible squad for him. It wasn’t his problem but ours. We have a responsibility to help him and empower him to do the best work possible.”

Arteta and Edu have certainly overseen a major overhaul in the Arsenal first team squad. Major names such as Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Nicolas Pepe, amongst many others, have been moved on.

A younger, hungrier squad has been put together, full of players committed to Arteta’s message and style of play. The club managed to pull a surprise title hunt last season, and although they fell short to Manchester City in the end, it was a significant improvement from the darker days.

Arsenal are now a club on the up, able to attract the likes of Declan Rice and convince players such as Bukayo Saka and William Saliba to pen new long-term contracts.