Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told to copy old Arsene Wenger approach next season

Arsenal's Premier League Fixtures 2022/23

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Arsenal have to go into next season believing they are title contenders. But a former Emirates star who knows what it takes to win the Premier League fears that once again the Gunners will finish outside the top four.

Mikael Silvestre played in the 2009 Champions League semi-final for Arsenal and helped reach the quarter-finals the following year during his two seasons at the club. At the time, under Arsene Wenger, the club qualified for the Champions League every season – although that 2009-10 campaign is still the last in which they won a knockout tie in the competition.

Even before Wenger left, Arsenal fell off the gravy train of Europe’s elite competition and they have struggled to get aboard since. Their closest bid came last season when inexperience saw Mikel Arteta’s side throw away the advantage to Tottenham right at the end of the campaign.

But without the right kind of leadership that he himself used to offer, he fears that Arsenal will miss out on a top four place again. So instead of focusing on that, he wants the club to aim even higher.

“The objective has to be to challenge for the title,” Silvestre said. “They need to set the bar as high as possible.

“If you settle for less – finishing top four – you are never going to do it. There is a long way to go, let’s be realistic, but Arsenal have to make sure winning the title is in their mindset.”

Certainly, that was always the target under Wenger despite not lifting the Premier League since 2004. “It was difficult when I was there but the manager had the belief that we had enough quality to compete and we gave everything,” Silvestre said.

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“The objective was still to win the league. But there were just better teams than us. We had a young squad – a bit like now – except for William Gallas and myself and Manuel Almunia. So sometimes the consistency was not there.

“That is pretty much the same situation for Arteta now with the consistency issue, but the talent is there for sure. The way they recovered from the terrible start to last season showed very strong resilience and if they can cultivate and continue that.

“But they then need to add a bit of power up front.”

Mikael Silvestre was speaking at the launch of SPITCH’s all new Season Mode. SPITCH is a fantasy football app where you compete against other participating managers for the chance to win cash prizes. Sign up and earn £5 in credit here. 18+ only.

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