Mikel Arteta has stuck to his word on culture with Alexandre Lacazette departure

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on April 16, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on April 16, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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With the arrival of Mikel Arteta came a monumental shift. Senior players had grown comfortable in sizeable wage packets and unspoken guarantees of game time. With this comfort grew a certain level of arrogance and power.

During Arteta’s earliest interviews, his words caught the ears of many fans, and not just those of a Gooner persuasion. When asked about the daunting task on his hands, he rarely spoke about specific players or solutions on the pitch. He spoke about a shift in culture that has long been needed.

The vagaries of such statements caused countless individuals to scoff. Without clear goals in place, those in power can avoid blame while claiming successes. Arteta, however, has stuck to his word.

Mikel Arteta is sticking to his guns regarding Arsenal’s culture shift

Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette is leaving Arsenal at the end of June. (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

From the very first transfer window, he showed a level of ruthlessness not seen at the club for years. While many were frustrated by the lack of transfer fees in selling these experienced but poor players, there is no doubt that the market was influenced by the insipid deals completed by those no longer at the club.

Years later, Arteta has maintained that same ruthlessness and willingness to create an environment not just in the stadium but in the changing room. An environment driven by togetherness, work ethic and a desire to win.

Alexandre Lacazette’s departure arguably came too late. He left for free after all. Yet how many times in the past would a mediocre striker have been given a new contract for what he could bring? Arteta has gradually shifted out a crop of older players not performing on the pitch and filled in the gaps in the squad with exciting young players full of potential and eager to prove themselves.

Now comes the next phase of the culture change. He must add quality players who are still young but boast the experience needed to win tough games and trophies at the top level. Players like Jesus and Zinchenko fulfil this requirement and would only add to what Arteta is building piece by piece.