Mikel Arteta confident Arsenal’s return to Champions League won’t be a major disruption

Arsenal are back in the Champions League for the first time since the 2016-17 season and manager Mikel Arteta is confident their return won’t be a major disruption. The north Londoners resume the campaign following the international break with three difficult matches in quick succession.

Speaking on David Seaman’s Seaman Says podcast this week, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested this season could be more difficult for Arsenal as a result of their European commitments, saying: ‘We have to deal with the Champions League, so that costs points as well.’

But Arteta feels the Gunners are more than equipped to deal with their return to the Champions League and is excited by the trio of games that awaits his side this coming week.

Arteta: We’re Ready for the Challenge

Asked how much playing the Champions League games will test Arsenal, Arteta replied: ‘Well, it’s exactly the same as last year. We played every three days, but it was the Europa League. So the competition is different. Obviously, the demands of that competition and the expectations are different, especially as we’ve been away from there for seven years. But it’s excitement. This is where we want to be. When you look at the fixtures and the games that we have to play, I think everybody’s really looking forward to it.’

On facing Everton, PSV and Spurs over the next week, he continued: ‘I’m really excited about it obviously. First, Everton is the only one that we have in mind. Obviously our record speaks for itself. In the last six years we haven’t won there, so we’re going to have to earn it and we know that we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them there and it’s something that we haven’t managed to do, so that’s where we’re going to start.’

CEO Vinai Venkatesham Stepping Down

Arteta also touched on CEO Vinai Venkatesham announcing he would step away from his role next summer, saying: ‘He’s been here 14 years and I think he has a right to make that call. He’s made that call. He thinks it’s the best thing for him, for his future, for his family. For what I can say from my side: I had a great working relationship with him. I enjoy it. He’s a person, first of all, that I value, who has been integral in what we’ve done and I want to wish him the best. But I think he still have a lot of things to do in the meantime until the end of the season!’


Mikel Arteta is confident Arsenal can handle their return to the Champions League and is looking forward to the challenge ahead. With three difficult matches in quick succession coming up, Arteta knows his side will have to be at their best if they are to come away with a positive result. Meanwhile, CEO Vinai Venkatesham has announced he will be stepping down from his role next summer.

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