When he got appointed as the new Arsenal coach back in December Mikel Arteta divided opinions among club supporters. Most people talked about his lack of experience since he was only an assistant manager for Pep hence Arsenal task looked huge for him.To work with Guardiola was a sign that he is good and destined to greatness in the near future, it was just a matter of time when he’ll land a job. Arsenal may have finished number 8 their worst league position in over 25 years but under Arteta they’ve shown to be a team that will compete again soon.
In Arsenal he got back to his former club where he was the captain till his retirement in 2016. When Arteta took over Arsenal were in complete shambles they couldn’t grasp a win, everything was at mess,it was going to be a huge task for the young Spaniard to manage a young squad that was short of confidence and the fans-players relation was bad too because of bad results.
This wasn’t going to be a quick fix and turn around for him,it was going to take time and support of the board for him to implement his idea to the Arsenal team.
I’m going to highlight why I see Arsenal getting back to the top level with Arteta;-
1.Fa Cup Triumph.
He became first Arsenal manager to win it as a captain and as a manager.
Winning the fa cup after beating Chelsea courtesy of Aubameyang brace ,was a big morale boost for him in his first few months as a manager and his young squad to have a silverware to celebrate after a difficult season,fans got everything to believe in him and hope the Arsenal board can back their manager in transfer market.After the fa cup semi finals were confirmed most people considered Arsenal as the weak teams among the semi finalists which included City, United and Chelsea.When the draw was done Arsenal found themselves against Manchester City a team that they hadn’t beat for the last three years,as expected the odds were against them to go through. During the semi final Arteta was able to show the world his tactical prowess attributes he was able to outsmart his teacher Pep ,to make it a good victory his side first goal involved a string of over 25 passes from their own box to city’s goal ,reminded me of good goal Arsenal scored vs United under Wenger back in 2009,shows you how Arteta is bringing back the old Arsenal policy of entertaining passing football.
2. Players have improved.
When Arteta joined many players were performing badly the likes of Mustafi, Xhaka,Luiz,Laccazete. Under him we’ve managed to see a couple of players playing to their best, Xhaka was in bad blood with the fans,he got booed and even got the Captain armband taken away , a move away from the club was looking imminent ,his agent even confirmed they’re a deal for him to join Hertha Berlin.Arteta managed to convince him to stay and made him pivotal in his system at the central midfield the trust from the fans is also back and to know suprise Xhaka is enjoying his football once again.
David Luiz is another player who was at his worst before Arteta came,most fans were against him in short time he was putting in bad performance game after game, giving away penalties,poor marking,but under Arteta we’ve seen some top performance especially in fa cup semis against City was arguably the best player on the pitch , something he had not done in previous appearances , also in the finals he did well.
3.Implementing his Identity
Having learned from the best managers ever to grace the premier league (Wenger and Pep), Mikel with no doubt is trying to implement his own playing identity to the Arsenal team,since his arrival Arsenal rank among top teams with best pressing record something they weren’t doing under Unai Emery.
During their game against Newcastle back in February,Arteta’s side won 4-0 where the 4th goal had a build up of 35 passes which is a premier league record, during their fa cup semi finals against City their first goal involved a build up of 18 passes which was really impressive considering they did it against a very strong City side. With time Arsenal will be back playing there best football which fans enjoyed during Wenger’s era.
3. Beaten top coaches
In his short time as a manager ,Arteta has managed to pull some big wins against top opposition coaches in EPL, Arsenal beat Liverpool (Klopp) and Man City (Pep) in a span of five days, these results show’s he’s a manager with a plan of how to beat top coaches he comes against with.Other notable coaches that Arteta has managed to outsmart are;- Ole Gunnar (Manchester United) it was a game where Arsenal dominated Man United in all sectors and managed to walk away with 2-0 victory, without forgetting his side comeback win in the fa cup final against Chelsea.
4. No nonsense manager.
He may look polite and humble but the treatment of Ozil and Guendozi tells me he’s a manager who doesn’t entertain mediocrity from his players just like other successful managers in the game who managed to freeze out indiscipline players from their team.Guendozi behavior during their game against Brighton and Ozil’s reported mistake of failing to attend team meeting didn’t go down well with Arteta, he’s taken a hard decision and decided to deal away with the duo and a good note the team has been doing great even without them.
5.Back him in transfer market and be given time.
We all know a manager can’t be successful without the support and backing in transfer market and be given enough time to implement his philosophy.
In short time we’ve seen what Arteta can do ,wrtings are all over they’re destined for greatness with support of the board,for him to build his team from fa cup triumph he’ll need to strengthen the team weak.areas which are defensive midfielder, center back and an attacking midfielder to improve their creativity.
On top of that the club should tie down his talisman Aubameyang to a new contract , after fw cup victory Arteta said he wants Aubameyang to extend his contract so that it can be easy for him to build his team on his captain and most important player.Auba is there best player since his arrival in EPL no player has scored more goals that his 70 in all competitions, Arteta will want club to give him a good contract to make hid work easier.
Within a few years Arsenal will be back under Arteta it’s all about trusting him and giving him time.Their will be light at the end of his project.