Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane’s recent U-turn on his opinion over Arsenal under Mikel Arteta may show how the club can progress in the long-term under the Spaniard. The 40-year-old just penned a new deal to stay at the Emirates until 2025, a welcome extension to the majority of fans.
It comes after a season of change for the Gunners, who saw a number of incomings and outgoings last summer. They seemed to have worked though, with the side currently in pole position to finish in the top four and secure a return to the Champions League in 2022/23.
Given the work already managed in this season alone, it points towards positive things for Arteta, who was happy to stay at the club. He said: “Well, I’m delighted because obviously from both sides we have shown a real commitment of what we want to do together in this beautiful journey and the plans and the vision that we share, that’s the reason why I’m doing it. I think the club is doing it because we share the same beliefs, the same passion and the same level of trust about each other and how we’re doing it and I’m really excited about what we can do together.”
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His performances this season, with such a young squad, have also managed to prove a lot of people wrong. One such person is former Manchester United captain and pundit Roy Keane, who recently had to change his thoughts on the Gunners.
Speaking at the start of the season, he said: “I still think they’re a bit soft at times. Especially against the bigger teams.” However, the side have often come out swinging, sitting fourth with two points over North London rivals Tottenham.
They have also shown a different side to them this season, managing to grind out closely fought victories and banishing that “softness” that Keane mentioned prior. He has since changed his opinion on Arsenal, saying in March, via the Mirror : “It’s been an amazing turnaround considering where they were at the start of the season.
“Against Wolves they found a way to win the football match, they kept going and grabbed a late goal. That’s the key to success. You can have your off days, but you find a way to win and it was a huge three points for them.”
Keane’s change of mind proves just how far this side have come under Arteta and just how much further they could go. However, in the short-term, focus will be fully fixed on finishing in the top four this season and returning to the Champions League for the next, starting with the home game against Leeds on Sunday.