The Gunners boss has called for backing in the transfer market, but is owner Stan Kroenke willing and able to give him what he needs to compete?
Mikel Arteta didn’t waste much time to get his point across.
The final whistle against Liverpool had only just blown on Wednesday night when Arsenal’s head coach stood in front of the TV cameras and raised his concerns about what could be to come.
Yes, his side had just beaten the Premier League and European champions, but they had done so having managed just three shots at home and enjoying just 30 per cent possession.
It was a classic ‘backs to the wall’ victory – one built on grit, determination and a willingness to work hard. That is what Arteta demands from his players and that spirit – as well as a large slice of luck – got them over the line against Liverpool.
But this is Arsenal – not a club that can just park the bus at home on a weekly basis to grind out wins. The three points may have gone their way midweek, but the difference in quality between Arsenal and the title holders was clear for all to see.
Arteta knew it and a victory like that gave him the perfect opportunity to publicly call for more from the Arsenal hierarchy – and owner Stan Kroenke – who may have been watching in the U.S.
“The gap between the two teams is enormous,” he said during his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
“I think it’s pretty clear that we need to strengthen the squad.”
When asked whether money would be available for him to do that, Arteta added: “I don’t know. It’s a big concern.
“You need it to build a squad. It’s not magic. You need to improve with quality, quality players in the squad and you need bigger squads to compete in this competition. There’s the challenge.”
Arteta has since insisted these comments were not meant as a message to Kroenke. “If that was misinterpreted, it wasn’t my intention,” he said. But this was not the first time Arteta had made it clear how vital investment will be to his project in north London.