The Spaniard brought the curtain down on his playing career back in 2016 while on the books at Emirates Stadium. He was just 34 years of age at the time and made an immediate move into coaching – with Pep Guardiola joined at Manchester City.
Explaining why he was back on the training field as Arsenal readied themselves for a trip to Goodison Park, Arteta told Sky Sports: “It was forced! It was nothing that I wanted to do, but yeah, we had one or two players [absent] and some academy players that could not join. It was good. It was a good work out. I lost some weight!”
He added when asked if he snapped into any crunching challenges: “I did a few [slide tackles] but I didn't get anyone injured.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Arsenal have collected 10 points from their opening four games in 2023-24, with Arteta saying when asked to assess the Gunners’ efforts so far: “I would say if we had 12 points I would give us a 10, but there is always a number of things that we have to improve on and have to do better. Listen, we started [by] winning the trophy against Manchester City in the [FA Community Shield] final, we should have won the four games, that's for sure. We should have won it [their 2-2 draw with Fulham]. But the margins, they've been too small. And probably that's the thing that we have to do better to kill games earlier. We have the dominance that we have shown already and be more ruthless.”