Mikel Arteta revealed he has been in regular dialogue with former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger since taking charge at the Emirates in December.
The current Gunners boss was captain under Wenger during the latter years of the Frenchman’s tenure at the club, having played for Arsenal for five years between 2011 and 2016.
The pair won two FA Cups – in 2014 and 2015 – together and ahead of Arteta’s first major final as a first-team manager against Chelsea on Saturday, the Spaniard divulged that staying in touch with Wenger has certainly helped him this season.
‘They’re private conversations [with Wenger],’ Arteta said, in his pre-match press conference on Zoom.
‘He’s such an intelligent person and knowing he’s going to supporting me makes me calmer.
‘You can talk about anything with him, get the book out and take notes.
‘I know what managers think about the FA Cup right now. Every trophy becomes massive. Look at the semi-finals, the teams that were involved is a good way to measure how managers are giving importance to the competition.’
Meanwhile, the Arsenal boss also insists he does not believe Saturday’s game will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s last at the club.
The Gunners captain has been linked with a move away and with European football on the line tomorrow, Arteta was defiant.
‘No I don’t have that feeling,’ Arteta said, when asked if Saturday would be Aubameyang’s last game in an Arsenal shirt.
‘It’s a package. You need a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player. At the moment he is with us and I think he should be proud of where he is.’
‘I wouldn’t like to link these two factors [keeping Aubameyang and playing European football] but financially it would be helpful. We’ve got an opportunity to do both tomorrow.’