by Lewis Ambrose
After seven months Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta finally played at Emirates Stadium again over the weekend, starting in Sunday’s win over VfL Wolfsburg.
Following that win Arsenal lifted the Emirates Cup for the first time since 2010 and, after some turbulent years, Arteta is hopeful that the togetherness of the squad helps build something special this season. Arsène Wenger’s teams have been torn apart for years with key men leaving but there have been no significant departures this summer and the entire squad seems to be in high spirits.
“We have been together a while now and we have this belief now that we are capable of achieving something important,” Arteta told Arsenal Player following the 1-0 win on Sunday. “It took some time to build this cohesion, this momentum.”
The momentum has come from back-to-back FA Cup victories following 9 years without a trophy. Arsenal won the cup in 2014 and retained it last season in emphatic fashion. Now the fans are wholly behind the team and the manager more than in recent seasons as the club aims to achieve even more.
“I think the crowd is feeling much closer to the team at the moment and together we can make it,” Arteta said.
“I think pre-season has been good. The tour in Singapore was great as well, probably the best we have had.
“Here, the opponents were tough but we managed to play well and win both games.”
Arsenal faced last season’s runners-up from France and Germany over the weekend and won both games without conceding. A superb display saw the Gunners beat Lyon 6-0 on Saturday before a much tighter affair followed against Wolfsburg on Sunday.
The game against Wolfsburg saw Arteta start an Arsenal game for the first time since last November and the captain came through unscathed to cap an excellent weekend.
“Overall [the Emirates Cup] has been a really nice tournament,” the Arsenal captain said after the final game
“I have enjoyed the games as well, they have been very good. I hope the fans had a good time.”
It was certainly an enjoyable weekend, hopefully we have many more of those over the course of the season.