Edu Gasper, Arsenal’s Technical Director, has explained why he decided to give Mikel Arteta a new contract despite the Spaniard losing three games in a row.
Arsenal was battling Tottenham for fourth place in the league and a coveted Champions League berth at the end of last season, but a string of losses to Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton handed the advantage to rivals Tottenham.
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Many Arsenal fans were calling for Arteta’s head at the time, claiming that if the club finished fourth, he should be fired. But, in an unexpected turn of events, Arteta was given a new contract.
Edu stated to the Sun that he wanted to ensure stability in the transfer window while rebuilding, hence the decision to offer Arteta a new contract.
It’s not my plan — it’s the club’s. I lead the ideas and open the discussions but we are all building together.
Mikel is also a big part of that plan and that was why the timing of his new contract at the end of last season was such an important part of the process.
We were going into a transfer window and we wanted people to see Arsenal as very organised and well-planned.
For that to happen our manager’s contract had to be renewed, so we could say to players and agents, ‘Mikel is our manager and he’s going to be with us for a minimum of three more years’.
That’s how to avoid any doubts when you’re going to sign a player.
The way I sell this club is to tell the player, ‘OK, we’re not in the Champions League yet but you can be the guy that gets us there. How long since we won the title? You can put your name in Arsenal history’.