Arsenal change Arteta to manager from coach as part of restructuring at club

Mikel Arteta will now carry the title of Arsenal first-team manager instead of head coach as part of a restructuring that reflects his growing influence at the club.

Arteta, 38, was only appointed in December but an upturn in performances coupled with his leadership throughout the coronavirus pandemic has prompted Arsenal to effectively promote him.

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As part of an overhaul which led to 55 non-playing staff redundancies, the departure of head of football Raul Sanllehi and a number of long-serving scouts, the club has also made Vinai Venkatesham chief executive.

Venkatesham, who was previously managing director, will oversee a three-man team responsible for all football affairs as Arteta works closely with technical director Edu and academy manager Per Mertesacker.

"He has walked into probably the toughest nine-month period this football club has had in its 134 year history," Venkatesham said of Arteta. "I say probably, but I checked with [life president] Mr. [Ken] Friar and he has been here for 70 of those years and he says it is the toughest period the club has ever had so, take it from him if you don't want to take it from me.

"During that period Mikel has lifted the spirits of fans, staff, players and driven this team to an FA Cup semifinal and an FA Cup final, winning that trophy and winning the Community Shield. That is no mean feat.

"And we really acknowledge the man's capabilities, and that the man's capabilities fit much better as a manager than as a head coach.

Arteta steered Arsenal to a 14th FA Cup success against Chelsea last month and was pivotal in helping convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to agree a new three-year contract.

Venkatesham added: "The way I see it on the football side is we have three critical individuals. We have got Per Mertesacker who is heading up the academy. We have got Mikel and Edu who are together heading up the first team and I see them as a pretty phenomenal team.

"Energetic, winners, driven to succeed and they have got this football club absolutely in their heart. And between them you have got two club captains, an Invincible, around 350 appearances for this club so a really powerful combination and, in world football, something that I think is pretty unique."

Arteta was also a key figure in talks over a pay-cut which began soon after the United Kingdom went into lockdown.

Arteta is understood to have held talks with the first-team squad to convince them of the necessity to take a 12.5% pay cut for 12 months. The squad later received 5% back upon qualifying for the Europa League.