When he left the club in 2018, Arsene Wenger said:
“Arsenal fans, respect the club’s values. My support always.”
After his departure, it felt like the message fell on deaf ears, particularly with the club’s owners and several on- and off-field personnel who have since left.
Mikel Arteta, the man Wenger signed from Everton in 2011, wants him to return in some capacity, even if it’s just to watch a match at the Emirates or meet the current players at London Colney.
It remains to be seen if that will happen, but he continues to be his protégé’s cheerleader from afar.
Wenger said the Spaniard has changed the culture at Emirates Stadium.
“You need to identify the club’s values, and I think Mikel Arteta was very conscious of them because he was educated at Arsenal, he captained my teams, and he wanted to restore them.
“Overall, he’s done well. After that, you must believe in something special, something bigger than you, that you want to serve. He’s done well.
“I’m still in touch with them, and I think they’re doing well. Arsenal is a special club with special values, balancing tradition and progress. They’re good again.”
Few Arsenal fans predicted a title challenge given the club’s recent Premier League record.
Arteta’s team is top of the table after seven games, so Wenger thinks they can win it all.
I don’t see a super-dominant team this season, so they have a good chance, he said.
“I think it’s possible this season.” It’s a special season because of the World Cup, and you don’t know how that will affect players and teams. I think this year is good.”