The Gunners head coach says the only way the club can be successful again will be with a unified fanbase behind them
Mikel Arteta says it will be impossible for Arsenal to be successful without having a united fanbase behind the team.
During the past decade, Gunners supporters have been notoriously divided – whether it be over the future of Arsene Wenger while he was still at the club or over the frustration felt towards the ownership of Stan Kroenke.
But there were positive signs during the win against Manchester United on New Year’s Day, showing that Arteta’s arrival as head coach could be the key ingredient that brings the club together once again.
The atmosphere inside Emirates Stadium was as good as it has been for some time and ahead of Monday night’s FA Cup third-round tie with Leeds, Arteta has spoken about the need to get the supporters back onside.
When asked whether he would be able to achieve what he wants in north London without the fans, the Spaniard said: “It’s impossible.
“It’s too powerful, the fanbase we have. Our history. How much these people have been with this football club, the great players and teams they’ve seen.
“If we get that connection [again] it’s so powerful. Without it I think that’s impossible.”
Arteta signed for Arsenal in 2011 following the infamous 8-2 drubbing at Manchester United.
Just as it has been at times this season, the atmosphere then was poisonous following a dreadful start to the campaign, but Wenger’s side steadied the ship and slowly started to turn the tide.
Less than three years later they won the FA Cup, ending a run of nine years without a trophy. Arteta says that period showed that improvement on the field will see the fans’ passion and belief return.
“When I arrived after the defeat to Manchester United it [the atmosphere] was like this and slowly we started to change it and it got much, much better,” explained Arteta.
“It’s in our hands. We have to give them and if we give them they will give us even more.
“They’re looking for success again for this football club, they’re used to that, there’s a history relating to that.
“When you take the fans to Wembley it’s a different scenario, something they’re proud of. It’s a special day. They travel with their family. I think it generates something special.”