Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Reveals How Mikel Arteta Won Over Arsenal Squad

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been full of praise for Mikel Arteta | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has again heaped praise on manager Mikel Arteta, crediting the Spaniard from bringing Arsenal back from the brink of collapse.

The Gunners were a laughing stock towards the end of Unai Emery's reign, labouring down in mid-table obscurity and facing the almost-certain fate that Aubameyang would jump ship at the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta
Arteta has worked wonders | Clive Rose/Getty Images

However, Arteta came in and quickly turned things around, leading Arsenal to FA Cup glory and convincing Aubameyang to ink fresh terms, and the striker told Sky Sports that his manager deserves all the credit for the Gunners' turnaround.

"When he came, the first day, we were in a room where I remember there were some chairs on the floor, everywhere in the room," Aubameyang recalled. "So he brings the players, the staff and all the people working here and he said 'this is the club right now, so you're going to work altogether and first of all, clean this room, and then we're going to talk'.

"After this you think 'OK, I think he's right, and we're going to follow this way' and this is how he made it and we have a lot of respect for him because he was a player as well. When you have a coach who knows what they're doing, you just have to follow.

"Two things persuaded me to stay. The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since he came in he brings a lot of positivity and a new philosophy for us. I think that was important because it matched my game and I feel that I can improve with him. I think this was the key factor and as well, the love that I receive from the fans and the whole club."

With optimism flowing through the Emirates dressing room, Aubameyang admitted that Arsenal will use Monday's meeting with Liverpool to see whether they are ready to compete for the Premier League title, but their focus remains on returning to the Champions League.

"When you win trophies, you want to win more trophies and this is what it's about," he added. "We want to compete, first of all for the league, I think this is the biggest point.

Mikel Arteta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has been sensational since Arteta's arrival | Pool/Getty Images

"We want to be back in the Champions League, we have to stay humble for sure. We cannot pretend to choose to play for the first place but we want to be part of the teams to compete for the first place and as I say, to stay humble and work hard and in the end try our best to win more trophies.

"I think everyone has one goal - to go forward and bring back the club to where it belongs. It's now a few years since we've played in the Champions League, for example, and for me and all the club, it hurts - not just a little bit but a lot."

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