Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has said that he always believed that he would return to manage the North London club. The newly appointed head coach will be sitting in the dugout at the Emirates for the first time on Sunday and was speaking to the club's media channel.
Arteta left Arsenal in the summer of 2016 and recalling his final day, he said, "I remember the last time I was going down the tunnel, with my kids in my arms. I said to my wife, 'One day I will come back here as the manager'. It has come a little quicker than I expected but that was a dream. I've got more family now - I've got more kids! I've had more experiences but I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do so, two years before my retirement, I started to do my coaching badges. I already had that feeling that I wanted to try this game over that line, and I am really happy where I am."
The 37-year-old added that he did not enjoy the final years of his playing career because he put himself under a lot of pressure but highlighted that he will not be repeating the same mistakes and will enjoy coaching, whilst maintaining the same high standards. "I am trying to enjoy it more, and I am enjoying it This profession deserves to be enjoyed a lot.
"A lot of things happen along the way - injuries or situations that you have to face - that sometimes doesn't allow you to see the whole picture. But hopefully, I have people around me to pinch me a little bit every day and say 'Look where you are, enjoy it. "'Work as hard as you can and make the most out of it and try to be professional, but at the same time, you know, this is a reward for what you've been preparing for.'"