Arsenal name former captain Mikel Arteta as head coach

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By Luke Hurst
Mikel Arteta played for Arsenal for five seasons
Mikel Arteta played for Arsenal for five seasons   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Arsenal have named former club captain Mikel Arteta as the club’s new head coach.

The Spaniard played for the Gunners for five seasons, between 2011 and 2016, making 150 appearances and picking up two FA Cup trophies along the way.

It will be the first head coach position in his fledgling managerial career, as the 37-year-old leaves his post as Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach at Manchester City.

Arteta said: “This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club.

“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy.”

He has work to do. Arsenal currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League table, after a poor start to the season which saw Unai Emery sacked at the end of November.

Another former Arsenal midfielder, under-23 coach Freddie Ljungberg, took over from Emery as caretaker manager but managed just one win in the five games he was in charge.