Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes he can persuade Arsene Wenger to “spend more time” at the club after his surprise appearance in their win over West Ham.
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his 22-year tenure at Arsenal and oversaw their move from Highbury into the Emirates Stadium.
His time at Arsenal was slightly soured towards the end as some fans called for him to be sacked after several years of not challenging for the Premier League title.
But he was given a very warm reception on Boxing Day with supporters singing ‘there’s only one Arsene Wenger’ in the second half as Arsenal beat West Ham 3-1, thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah.
The win puts Arsenal seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who play their game in hand against Leeds tomorrow, and Arteta’s side have now won 13 of their 15 Premier League matches.
And Gunners boss Arteta is hoping that fans will see more of Wenger on matchdays and that the legendary French manager can have further “influence” on the club.
Arteta said: “The players didn’t know and we wanted to keep it quiet and allow that space for Arsene here.
“And it was a really special day – thank you so much to him for coming. Hopefully, walking through the building, he’s going to feel everything that everybody thinks of him, everything that he left here.
“His presence is something that has to be very attached to this football club. So thank you for doing that because it means a lot to everybody in the club. I’m going to go now to speak to him, hopefully he’ll be waiting for us in the dressing room.
“Obviously, it’s great and winning means my mood is going to be much better to speak to him and be around the team. So yeah, he picked the right moment.
“A really special day, because Boxing Day is a beautiful day to play football. And I thought the performance was at the level today that he deserves, and hopefully he will like.
“I’ve been involved in the process, but it’s about him, the timing that he needed to make that step and hopefully, he’s going to live here and be willing to spend more time with us and be around us because he’s such an influence.
“For me personally, my career and the way I see the game, but as well for this football club.”
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