Photo: Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta poses with the Community Shield after Arsenal defeated Liverpool 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 full time draw. (Getty Images)
Two titles in the space of a few short weeks has given rise to great optimism at Arsenal and even more so, among their long-suffering fans.
Arsenal legend, Mikel Arteta, took over last December and since then has improved the club both on and off the field.
One of his early wins was a 2-0 victory over rivals Manchester United on New Year’s Day, which helped set the tone for what has so far been a good eight months or so, at the helm.
Despite the break in football due to Covid-19, the Spaniard has been able to keep things going at the club and managed to take down defending champions Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal before getting the better of Chelsea in the Wembley showpiece, to lift the club’s 14th FA Cup title.
A big part of their success has been the performance of their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose goals have proven crucial. Winning the FA Cup means Arsenal will be back in Europe this season, which is important in trying to attract the talent necessary to move the club forward, but just as important is retaining the signature of Aubameyang, who is still yet to commit his future to the club.
Winning the Community Shield against premier league champions Liverpool, in which Aubameyang not only scored the opening goal, but the decisive penalty in the shootout, may help to convince the Gabon international that his future is indeed at Arsenal.
But even while the situation with Aubameyang continues to sort itself out, fans are already saying “It’s better with Arteta”.
Admittedly the club has progressed under the leadership of the man who was spent three years as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, before being given his own mandate at the club he called home as a player.
While things have been good since Arteta has taken over, there is still a far way to go for the Gunners who must prove this season that they are “up for it”. They have flattered to deceive in the recent past and so it is now time for them to fulfil the potential shown in recent times, by challenging for the Premier League and getting back into the UEFA Champions League.
Arsenal finished their elongated 2019-20 season with a win and a trophy and began the 2020-21 season with a win and a trophy, but the serious stuff begins in two weeks when they take on newly promoted Fulham in the first game of the new premier league season away at Craven Cottage.