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Mikel Arteta admission confirms Arsenal’s drastically different plan to Man Utd

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he would like Arsene Wenger to take up a role within the club, just over three years since the Frenchman left his position as manager

Mikel Arteta reflects on Arsenal’s defeat at Liverpool

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are undoubtedly two of the greatest ever Premier League managers.

Once fierce rivals, the two elder statesmen of the game have become acquaintances following their respective retirements.

Both have also left gaping holes at the clubs they achieved so much success managing, with Manchester United and Arsenal still trying to find their identities in the ensuing years.

Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, appear someway beyond their Premier League counterparts when it comes to truly moving on from what came before.

A coherent transfer strategy, underpinned by a knowledge that in order to build long-term foundations, the past needs to be somewhat forgotten.

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Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have put their differences behind them in recent years
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Michael Craig / Offside.)

Despite Wenger’s tenure at the Emirates only ending three years ago, the squad is barely recognisable from the one which beat Huddersfield in his final game in charge.

Technical director Edu has spoken at length about how the high turnover of players, particularly senior ones, have been made to help set up the Gunners for a period of sustained success.

In the most recent window, Arsenal signed six players, all aged 23 or under, at a total outlay of £150m.

The half dozen are already having varying impacts on a team that for the first time in years seems to be moving in an upwards trajectory.

Contrast that with Manchester United and the difference is stark.

Seemingly beholden to the past, it took almost three years to acknowledge Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s considerable flaws, thanks mainly to his exploits as a player for the club.

Cristiano Ronaldo, despite hitting the ground running upon his Old Trafford return has unquestionably upset the balance. Nostalgia trumping planning.

Zlatan Ibrahmimovic launched a stinging attack on his former employers this week, claiming they must stop talking about the past in order to move forward.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Manchester United talk about the past too much
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ESPN)

He told the Guardian : “They talk too much about the past. When I went there I said: ‘I’m here to focus on the present and to make my own story.’

“But when you have too much it becomes like a loop. You have to think about the present or you should go to a hospital and clean your head.”

The growing noise from discontented outsiders is perhaps why United officials intend on giving Ferguson no formal role in their imminent manager search.

Sir Alex handpicked his successor David Moyes in 2013, while he played a key role in the return of Ronaldo earlier this year.

This time around, the Scot will likely be on the sidelines with football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher taking centre stage.

Mikel Arteta has confirmed he would like Arsene Wenger to return to the club
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Image:

Sky Sports)

And while Ferguson’s influence looks set to be scaled back, Arteta is happy for his predecessor to take on a bigger role, as confirmed in his latest press conference.

“There has been communication, I saw him and I talked to him when we went to see the film and it was incredibly pleasant to see him and chat to him,” the Spaniard said about Wenger being offered a formal role.

“Hopefully we can bring him close because I think he would have a great time just seeing the environment he can create around this place because of the respect and admiration and the love that everybody at the club has for what he’s done and for what he represents as a person for this club.”

After a concerted effort to move past Wenger, Arsenal now feel in a position to embrace him again. Ferguson meanwhile remains a looming shadow over whoever replaces Solskjaer in the dugout.

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