Arsene Wenger delivers Mikel Arteta backing as Arsenal icon quizzed on Gunners return

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Arsene Wenger has suggested that Arsenal are moving in the right direction under Mikel Arteta in spite of the club’s terrible start to the new Premier League season. The Gunners currently sit rock bottom of the table after failing to earn a single point from their opening three matches.

Arteta’s side were humbled by newly-promoted Brentford in their first outing before falling to another two defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Manchester City.

The north London giants have conceded a total of nine goals and are yet to score for themselves in the Premier League, with their only win of the season coming against West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup.

Arsenal’s dire form has seen Arteta come under fire after the Spaniard was backed heavily in the summer transfer window.

The Gunners spent close to £150million on the additions of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu before Tuesday’s deadline.

It seems unlikely that Arsenal will make a return to the Premier League’s upper reaches this season, but Wenger appears to be fairly relaxed about the situation.

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The legendary 71-year-old told Bild Live that his former club will be poised to mount a quick recovery, with Arteta’s transfer business putting his side in a promising position.

“Today the club is in good shape,” said Wenger. “They had two tough games [against Chelsea and Man City], the team has potential and I hope they can come back.”

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal chiefs will decide to give up on Arteta and his long-term project for the club if their desperate run of form is not quickly averted.

The Gunners will have two great opportunities to register their first win after the international break, with Norwich City and Burnley up next before a north London derby clash with Tottenham.

Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 after a 22-year spell in charge of the club and currently serves as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

It seems as though another career change is unlikely to be on the cards any time soon, with the Frenchman going on to play down an eventual return to the Gunners if Arteta is relieved of his duties.

“I’m 71. I’ve given this club the best years of my life,” added Wenger. “At the moment I’m just a fan.”

Arsenal were in action this week in spite of the ongoing international break, with Arteta’s side thrashing Brentford in a behind-closed-doors friendly at London Colney on Thursday.

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A brace from Cedric Soares helped Arsenal to a resounding 4-0 win over their cross-city neighbours, with Gabriel Magalhaes and Alexandre Lacazette also getting on the score sheet.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Arteta declared that he was more than happy with the club’s summer business but admitted that it was difficult to push deals over the line during a hectic transfer window.

“It was a really complicated market,” the Spaniard told reporters when quizzed on how proceedings went.

“We had a lot of things to do, I think we had 16 or 17 transactions in total, which is a lot. The club has made a big effort.

“We had support from the owners to try to do it and we had to recruit in the terms that we could, and I am very pleased.”

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