Arsenal deserved Super League invite despite recent struggles, Mikel Arteta insists

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opposed his club’s involvement in the plans

Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal deserved its invitation to the Super League as they remain “one of the best clubs in the world”.

Arteta has said he opposed the controversial proposals for the breakaway competition, but claimed Arsenal had earned the right to be recognised as one of European football’s elite clubs due to their “history and values”.

The Gunners were included as one of the Super League’s 12 founding members despite not reaching a Champions League final since 2006 while domestically, the club are lower than Leicester, West Ham and Everton in the Premier League table this season and have not won the league since 2004.

Despite this, Arsenal would have been guaranteed entry into the Super League, which collapsed on Tuesday following an intense public backlash.

Arsenal’s inclusion as one of the 12, alongside teams who had won Champions League and domestic titles in recent seasons, was also mocked by fans, and Arteta was asked what he would say to those who did not think that the club deserved to be involved.

“That we are one of the best clubs in the world, and we could not be any prouder to represent this club, its history, and we totally understand the demands and the excellence that we have to be pursuing,” he said.

“You cannot deny the history, and that history is attached to results, it’s attached to a certain way of doing things, to certain values, to representing those in the right manner, to having the amount of support and love that we have around the world.

“And that’s not a coincidence, that’s been earned over years and years with merit to a lot of people who have been involved in the history of the football club.”

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Arteta revealed he had received an apology from the club’s owners for joining the Super League, and said he welcomed the opposition from football fans against the tournament.

“I think this has given big lessons and it shows the importance of football in the world,” said Arteta. “It is a massive statement for the history of football.”

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