How Did Arteta Transform Arsenal?
Back in January, Chelsea sacked club legend Frank Lampard and German coach Thomas Tuchel took over. Last month, Manchester United sacked club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and brought in the Godfather of German football Ralf Rangnick. It seems like the Premier League clubs have developed an obsession for German managers. However, that’s for another day. We are here to discuss Arsenal and how they have trusted Mikel Arteta’s process and how it’s finally paying off.
Much was expected from Arsenal and Arteta when this season began. The Londoners spent the most among all the Premier League teams this season. They spent over £140 million on new players. But they still started the season terribly. The Gunners lost their first three games while scoring none and conceding nine goals. This included a 5-0 thrashing against defending champions Manchester City.
But the storm at the Emirates Stadium has passed. They have won five of their past six league games and are currently 4th on the Premier League Table. Mikel Arteta’s effective management has enhanced the team’s performance.
So what caused this transformation? Let’s take a look at five things Mikel Arteta has done correctly at Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta has put youth as the centrepiece of his project. He has stood by that and has created a team that can play together for many years. With dynamic youth and experience to lead it, Arsenal are starting to create a compatible long-term spine.
While that may not produce success immediately, it is sure to reap the same in the long term. Players like Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Sambi Lokonga and Tomiyasu offer an exciting, young look to Arsenal. And of course, Martin Odegaard, how can I forget him? He has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal in recent weeks. Odegaard is making the team tick and his perfectly timed through-balls is something that was missing since Mesut Ozil left the club. The Norwegian playmaker has scored 3 and assisted 3 in his last 6 games for Arsenal.
Out of the top 10 players with the most minutes for Arsenal this season, six are less than 23-year-old. Therefore, it is evident that with the force of youth, Arsenal can play more expressively. They are currently playing without any fear and look like a team that once matures well into a single unit, could challenge for success and dominate English football like their predecessors at the start of the century under Arsene Wenger.
Arteta is building a fitter and stronger Arsenal team. This is a team that is working harder than ever before, and it shows in the passion with which they play and train. There are always concerns about burnout, especially in international football, but the fact that this squad is so young means they have the physical capacity to adjust.
Arsenal have direct ball runners who are now playing at a faster tempo in transition and with more aggression off the ball. Having the necessary profiles to meet those demands helps this progress, and it’s clear on the pitch that this team is getting stronger.
And not to mention, the Fans are finding it far easier to connect and support the club full of young, hungry and passionate players who are all superstars in their own right on and off the pitch.
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