Theo Walcott reveals how Wenger was scared of Arteta

Theo Walcott has opened up about a time he knew Mikel Arteta could become a manager and an incident that even made Arsene Wenger scared of the current Gunners’ boss.

Arteta and Walcott were Arsenal teammates for around five years under Wenger, and both were key players.

At one point, Arsenal was struggling to catch up with the rest of the Premier League’s top teams and were not close to winning the title or even making the Champions League regularly.

Wenger was trying his best to keep the players motivated and ensure that they got the job done, but he needed help from within the playing group, and Arteta stepped up.

Walcott has now revealed an episode in which the current Gunners’ boss locked the players in the dressing room for talks while Wenger waited for them outside.

He said, as quoted by The Sun:

“The turning point for me in terms of how I viewed Mikel Arteta was an experience I had with him as a player at Arsenal.

“It was at a time when we weren’t making the top four. We had training in 30 minutes and he locked all the players in the dressing room, as if he was the manager.

“He was taking control of the whole space and telling us how it is. In that moment it was like he was the manager, and that was the turning point for me.

“That’s when I thought he could go on to be a manager.

“Arsène Wenger was waiting for us to come outside for training but we weren’t coming out because Mikel stopped the training session.

“He was such a strong character that even Arsène was afraid of him.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Since we named Arteta to our bench, he has been making progress as a manager, and it is not surprising that he has always been a leader.


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Tags Arsene Wenger Mikel Arteta Theo Walcott


  1. I would be surprised if Wenger was afraid of his captain. He chose him after all.

    The fact that AW wanted to keep Arteta within the club after his playing days were over, suggests to me that he had faith in him. Neither is it impossible that both men had discussed the situation in advance of the training session.

    1. Correct SueP. It’s not a new thing where the Captain holds a meeting with the players to discuss things. Tony Adams done after we lost at home to Blackburn in Wenger’s first Double season.

    2. If you listen to it in the interview, TW was obviously exaggerating the point. When it’s written down it makes it appear more serious than was intended. He was just saying arteta had a lot of influence and in hindsight he’s not surprised arteta ended up being a boss.

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