Alexandre Lacazette has hailed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and says the ‘mentality’ at the club has changed since he took over.
Former Gunners midfielder Arteta returned to the Emirates as head coach in December 2019 after Unai Emery’s sacking.
Arteta, who had been working as a coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, guided Arsenal to the FA Cup title in his first season in north London.
The Gunners endured a dismal start to the 2021-22 campaign but soon recovered to climb into the Champions League places ahead of top-four rivals Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham.
‘We’re focused on being in the top four,’ Lacazette told Mundo Deportivo. ‘We want to get the team into the Champions League next season.
‘We work for it all week, and at the moment, it’s working. We want to continue like this, working hard every day to play well at the weekend.
‘Arteta is the leader, the boss, even the boss of the club. Since he arrived, a lot of things have changed, including everyone’s mentality… It’s all because of him.’
Arsenal boss Arteta believes one of the ‘biggest successes’ of his reign so far has been to create a ‘culture and an atmosphere’ which allows young players to thrive.
The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel have all enjoyed impressive seasons for the Gunners as they push for a top-four spot.
‘Well when I went into management I had a clear vision of what I wanted to accomplish with Arsenal,’ Arteta told the club’s official website.
‘I wanted to build a winning team that was also financially sustainable and that could transmit the values, the identity and the passion that the club has had over the years.
‘To do that we had to make some important decisions and get the club moving in the right direction, so that we could also achieve that in the long-term.
‘There have been some very difficult decisions to make. First of all you need to come up with a plan. You have to have a lot of support from within the club to do it, and then the decisions need to be right.
‘Until now I think one of the biggest successes has been to create – as a club – a culture and an atmosphere where our players, staff and everyone can feel that this is a place where they can fulfil their potential.
‘It is a place where they can grow, they can participate and everyone can add value to the club.
‘When you get that, you create a real sense of belonging and that’s something more powerful than just personal interest. I think that’s been one of our biggest wins so far.’