'It was a special day' - Wenger 'picked right moment' for Arsenal return, says Arteta
- Wenger left Arsenal in 2018
- Club legend watched Gunners' 3-1 victory
- Arteta lauded Frenchman's influence
WHAT HAPPENED? Arsenal struck three second-half goals to see off West Ham and maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table on Boxing Day. Former Gunners manager Wenger was in the stands to see the victory as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah all got their names on the scoresheet, and Arteta was grateful for the Frenchman's presence.
WHAT THEY SAID: Current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said of his former coach: "He picked the right moment, a really special day because Boxing Day is a beautiful day to play football and I thought today the levels were what he deserved and hopefully he'll like. The players didn't know [about it]. We wanted to keep it quiet and allow that space for Arsene. Stan and Josh [Kroenke] are here as well and it was a really special day.
"Thank you so much to him for coming. Hopefully walking through the building he's going to feel everything that everybody thinks of him, the legacy he left here. As well his presence has to be very, very attached to this football club."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal are back on track as a club after several seasons of mediocrity. Arteta will be desperate to follow in Wenger's footsteps and bring the Premier League trophy to north London, with the Gunners' last title triumph coming in 2004.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta and his side travel to Brighton in the Premier League on New Year's Eve before hosting second-placed Newcastle on January 3.