Arteta in advanced talks to become new Arsenal head coach;
Wednesday 18 December 2019 14:42, UK
Arsene Wenger has warned that Mikel Arteta's lack of experience means he will need to surround himself with the right people if he is to succeed as Arsenal's new head coach.
Arteta is expected named as the permanent successor to Unai Emery, who was sacked last month, with Freddie Ljungberg's spell as interim boss having largely failed to improve results.
After spending the final five years of his playing career under Wenger's management at Arsenal, Arteta became an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, where he has been part of two Premier League-winning campaigns.
"I am an Arsenal supporter," Wenger said. "And at the moment I support the manager in charge and the manager in charge is Ljungberg. When Arteta will be in charge I will support Arteta.
"He (Arteta) is intelligent, he has passion, he has knowledge, but Ljungberg [does] as well.
"I believe that Arteta has certainly a great future, he has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that as well he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level and he will have to get surrounded well."
Wenger's near 22-year reign at Arsenal came to an end in May 2018, with the club hiring Emery as head coach following an extensive recruitment effort, during which Arteta was interviewed for the role.
Emery guided Arsenal to a fifth-placed Premier League finish in his debut season - a place higher than Wenger managed in his final campaign in charge - but a run of seven games without a win saw the Spaniard sacked.
Wenger dismissed the idea that his departure - after so long in charge - meant that struggles were inevitable, and appeared to criticise some of the club's decision-making since then.
"I don't think it's a necessity to have that," Wenger said. "When I left the club was in a very strong financial position and they bought many players in-between - they have not all worked out.
"I believe that it's not a question of time. The change can be very efficient very quickly, it's just about the right decision-making and that's all that it's about in football, it's about good players.
"We speak about the success of Liverpool, of course they have a great manager, but you have to say as well that in the last three-four years, they bought the right players."
Wenger, who was speaking at the Club World Cup in his role as FIFA's head of global football development, also shared his thoughts on Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil's ongoing situation with China.
Ozil, who Wenger made Arsenal's then club-record signing in 2013, criticised China's treatment of the country's Muslim minority.
In response, the Germany international has been all-but wiped from the Chinese internet, while Arsenal's games aren't being shown on TV in China.
"Mesut Ozil has freedom of speech like everybody else," Wenger said. "His opinions are not necessarily shared by everybody.
"What is important is that Ozil has an individual responsibility, he doesn't carry the word of Arsenal football club, and so what he says is about himself and not about Arsenal.
"When you make a comment about your individual opinion, you accept the consequences of it."