Mikel Arteta has thanked Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp for showing their support for the team, urging his young squad to take as much inspiration as possible from the iconic duo.
The former Gunners were in attendance as Arsenal saw off Manchester United to the tune of a 3-1 victory, with the pair meeting up with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka before the game.
“I always said they are all welcome here,” Arteta told Sky Sports of Arsenal’s former stars. “The experiences they had together, what they transmitted as a team, and what they actually achieved was phenomenal.
“That’s for the history and the legacy of the Premier League, so for us to have contact, for them to feel welcome here, and for them to be supportive with what we want to do, I think it’s something really valuable and important.
“I was really pleased to see them back here with smiles on their faces, feeling relaxed and doing something that is natural, and that should happen in a natural way because it’s their club. The way Arsenal is viewed today is because of players and people like them.”
However, despite acknowledging the importance of channelling Arsenal’s history, Arteta stressed that the Gunners must do their own thing and cannot copy any other team’s route to success.
“There are things you can try to compare, and you can acknowledge how other clubs have been through these processes and these phases of a project, like Liverpool,” he continued.
“But what the league was six years ago and what the league is today is completely different. Those leagues were won with 83, 84, 86 points. Now you need 95, 96 or 100 points to win the league.
“The context is completely different, so what was good three or five years ago is not good anymore, because the standards are so high. We need to focus on what we want to do and how we are going to execute it, and not look too far ahead.”