Mikel Arteta: I will give every drop of blood for Arsenal

Arsenal confirmed the appointment of Mikel Arteta on Friday and the new head coach declared he "will give every drop of blood" for the club.

New Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta.   -  Getty Images

Mikel Arteta feels like he is "back home" after being appointed Arsenal's new head coach and declared himself ready for the challenge ahead. Arteta has worked as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since July 2016.

"I feel back home. I'm extremely happy and proud to have been given the opportunity to be manager of this football club," he told a news conference on Friday.

"I've been preparing for a few years for this challenge to come. I can't wait to start working with the players. If I didn't feel ready and prepared I wouldn't be sitting in this chair. I completely understand the fans' concerns. I will give every drop of blood for this football club to make it better.”

The Gunners have won just one of their past 12 matches in all competitions and Arteta - who will take charge for the first time against Bournemouth on Boxing Day - acknowledged a massive improvement is needed.

"The first priority is to change the energy," he said. "Last week I was here with Manchester City and I felt a little bit down. I want to get everybody in the club with the same mindset. We have to build a culture that sustains the rest."

READ | Arsenal appoints Mikel Arteta as new manager

"My job is to convince everybody that this is how we're going to live. If you're going to be part of this organisation it’s going to be this way. We need the fans. We need to engage them, to transmit our behaviour and intention. That's the only way they'll give us a little bit and we'll feel that connection."

And Arteta, who won two FA Cups during his playing days at Arsenal, admitted he has Wenger to thank for setting him on the path that led to his appointment in north London.

"When I was playing in England, I started to realise what Arsenal meant," he said. "I was born in Barcelona and the club that had most similar style, values and vision was Arsenal.

 

"So I was telling the people around me that I had a dream and it was to play for this club. And it was one man, his name is Arsene Wenger, that believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play for this club.

"After that he made me captain and I wouldn't be sitting here if he didn't have the vision to give me the opportunity to enjoy this incredible club."

- Pep taught me to be ruthless – Arteta vows to bring 'incredible' Guardiola qualities to Arsenal -

Arsenal's new boss Arteta has claimed being ruthless and consistent is what has made Pep Guardiola such a successful manager.

"What I've learned mostly is you have to be ruthless, consistent and fit every day the culture of the club to have a winning mentality," Arteta, who will officially take charge of the Gunners after Saturday's game at Everton, told a news conference.

"[Pep's] work rate is incredible. How inspirational he is to people is incredible, but to me the secret is the players and staff have to believe what you deliver. You have to be able to transmit it and then people will buy into that. When you do that, you have a team, everyone is united, and we will be strong."

Arteta acknowledged it was difficult to leave City, which is 14 points behind league leader Liverpool in what has been a more difficult season, but believes the opportunity was too good to turn down.

"Sometimes you can have a plan, an idea or a way to develop," he said. "But then emotions get involved and when Arsenal knocks, it is difficult to say no. It was a very difficult decision, but I felt the club needed someone to appoint. They trusted me and were so convinced they wanted to go with me, I had to take the challenge."

However, the former midfielder insists his relationship with Guardiola and City remains intact, even though the timing of his departure could prove troublesome.

"The relationship between him and me is incredibly good. Obviously, he was sad, the timing wasn't the best for him, but he understood," Arteta said.

"He knows how I've been growing and the needs that I had, emotionally, the ambitions that I had. If I had admiration for him before, after working with him, I could not explain how much of a nice person he is and what a professional he is."

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