How Mikel Arteta’s Cultural Reset Has Reunited Arsenal With Their Fanbase | AfroNaija



 
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How Mikel Arteta’s cultural reset has reunited Arsenal with their fanbase

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How Mikel Arteta’s cultural reset has reunited Arsenal with their fanbase

Arsenal fall to late Manchester City punch

Amid the chaos that surrounded the first Premier League game of 2022, the result was almost forgotten.

Manchester City, outplayed for much of the game by a youthful Arsenal side, ultimately dug deep to find an injury-time winner courtesy of Rodri, to complete their comeback and stretch their winning run to 11 games in the process.

And while Arsenal fans will grumble about the inconsistent refereeing, or rue the Gabriel Martinelli miss at 1-1, one thing was clear. This Arsenal team have won their fans back.

This was a side that gave their all for the cause, as the reaction to the last-minute Manchester City winner showed. Bent over double, laid flat out, the Arsenal players response told its own story. Meanwhile, the fans stayed long past the final whistle to sound their appreciation for their side and what they saw.

So, how has it been turned around?

Mikel Arteta’s cultural reset

“We had to create the right culture for our club and it has to be an environment that first of all everybody has to respect each other, that we have to work together and we have to express the passion and how we lucky we are to be where we are. That’s the first one to start with.”

Those are the words uttered by Mikel Arteta on the back of the FA Cup success he experienced in his first season. Respect and togetherness. The two cornerstones of the new Arsenal philosophy. So ingrained are these tenets in the “new Arsenal” that players have been shown the exit door for even the slightest indisgression.

Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and most recently Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all felt the wrath of the manager when they overstepped the mark, with the former two having left the club and the latter looking increasingly likely to follow suit.

And, what has emerged from the chaos is a team that oozes passion and energy. Unlike years past, not one player on the pitch against Manchester City could be accused of not showing passion for the club and the utmost desire to win.

 The impact of “Project youth”

Of course, respect and togetherness are all well and good, but should be the bare minimum expected of even a Sunday League side, let alone a side that wants to be challenging for major honours. There is more to it.

Spearheaded by the Hale End pair of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, Arteta has created a core group of players that the fans can really get behind. They rarely hide, and with the side’s youthful look (only 3 of the starting XI on New Years Day were over 25), the fans really believe that they have a chance to create something special in north London.

There are almost certainly going to be ups and downs in the years ahead, but the roar that greeted the performance put in by Mikel Arteta’s side to kick off 2022 as one of the loudest that the Emirates stadium has heard since the Gunners moved from Highbury in 2006, and gave fans a taste of just what the potential strength of this Arsenal side could be in years to come.

It has taken a long time, but the players and the fans may finally be pulling in the same direction.

Read more:

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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