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Arteta: Can He Lead Arsenal to Glory?

Mikel Arteta

Arteta issuing instructions to his captain

Arsenal appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach three weeks ago which caused a stir in the football community, with some seeing him as the new savior of the Gunners, while others accepted Arteta as the new coach with some doubts due to his lack of experience as a head coach of a football club. He showed his tactical acumen when he reacted in the wake of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s red card in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

The doubts over Arteta’s ability to help Arsenal escape the hole they are currently in are completely justifiable, considering his lack of coaching experience, but that is not to say he is completely without any competence to do so either. At the end of the day, he was the assistant coach for Manchester City since 2016 and during that time helped Guardiola win two Premier League titles and two EFL Cups.

But is the former Arsenal midfielder the right man for the Gunners?

To be fair, it is way too early to give a definitive answer to that question, and it may take some time before we are able to say for sure whether his arrival improves Arsenal’s chances to finish among the top five or not. That being said, we already got a chance to see the new Arsenal in action, which gave us a glimpse into what Arteta wants to achieve, with a clearer picture set to appear in near future.

The first change Arteta brought with him, that is easy to spot is the new 4-2-3-1 formation he used in all four EPL fixtures since he took over. While he did change up the players game-to-game, the new formation stood firm throughout. That alone is an improvement, considering Unai Emery had the tendency to change his team’s formation, which resulted in lack of any consistency of Arsenal. There were occasions where Emery decided to switch the formation mind-game so it’s completely reasonable why Arsenal looked lost in the first half of the season.

Another visible attribute from Arteta’s arrival is that we can spot is that Arsenal became far more active when they are not with possession as they press like a pack of wolves hunting their prey. It is clear as a by-product of his formation, considering the Gunners play with much more coordination and finally look like a solid unit.

What’s more, is that Arteta experimented with new players in order to find the right mix which would get Arsenal the needed results. With a plethora of options in the attack, each with its own style, it is understandable it takes some time to find the right combination, yet it is nice to see Arteta is doing all in his power to give his players a chance to prove themselves.

Another important part to note are Arteta’s plans for the upcoming transfer window. As reported, he wants the club to sign a defender and a defensive midfielder, which is exactly what Arsenal need. Reportedly, Dayot Upamecano is on Arsenal’s shortlist and while bringing him to EPL might be tougher than expected, Arteta has the right mindset, seeing how Arsenal’s defence was mediocre, to say the least.

As stated before, it might be too early to say whether Arsenal will improve under Arteta in the long run, however, there are some clear signs Arsenal have started to play much better since December 20. As it stands now, Arsenal are 10th in the league with a 6-9-6 record and a 1-2-1 since Arteta took over, which includes a win against Manchester United in round 21.

It goes without saying, there is still a lot Arteta has to prove in the upcoming weeks and the gap of nine points Arsenal still need to close before making it to the top four will by no means be an easy task. That being said there is at least a clear indication that Arsenal are playing better, leading us to believe there is still hope for them.

Will that be enough, however, remains to be seen.

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Positives to Take From Arteta’s Start at Arsenal

Image result for arteta arsenal

Happy new year from us at Gooner Daily.

In 2019, I must admit that I wasn’t consistent with blogging due to other commitments but things will be different this year. We have decided to start the year with a freshly baked article from my buddy, Patrick.

Enjoy!!!

Although the results haven’t quite matched the performances that Arsenal have put in under new manager Mikel Arteta so far, it has been quite clear that the team has improved since the Spaniard took over the reins.

Here is a look in more detail at some of the differences Arteta has made with the Gunners who were devoid of all confidence before he arrived.

Clean Slate For A Lot of Players

The arrival of Arteta at the Emirates Stadium has coincided with the manager stating that there is a clean slate for many players in the squad. Those who had fallen out with previous managers, most notably Mesut Ozil who frozen out under Unai Emery, have had the chance to impress the new boss.

“To be fair, his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible. I’ve seen this and I said I would give a clean slate to everybody and that was for him too.

“When we were preparing and watching where we could hurt the opponent, we believed he could be a key point.

“Like this, he responded, did what he had to do and we could have put two or three goals in the net because of him.”

Arteta has been rewarded for bringing in the likes of Ozil and Lucas Torreira back into the fold as they have performed well on their return to the team.

Unfortunately for Unai Emery, and quite possibly Freddie Ljungberg, the respect was lost in the dressing room. Arteta looks to be earning that respect back quite quickly which says a lot about how much the players think of him.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scoring Goals Again

Arteta will be fully aware of how important captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to be for him. The good news for the Spaniard, and Arsenal fans, is that the striker has now netted in his last two games.

Arsenal are now at 25/1 in the football betting for a top-four finish and, if they are to remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot, Aubameyang is going to need to be at his very best. He netted 31 goals in all competitions last season and an even bigger number may well be required this time around.

Confidence Back In The Passing

Pep Guardiola has been credited for the way he has transformed English football during his time at Manchester City, with many clubs now copying his model. Alongside him for a number of those years has been Arteta, so it will be interesting to see if he asks his players to perform in a similar way to how City operate on the field.

The early signs suggest Arsenal will be easy on the eye under Arteta. They were passing the ball around with confidence in the first-half of their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the London Derby and it was only when the Blues netted their equalizer that the confidence seemed to disappear. The confident passing play was on show yet again as the Gunners ran Manchester United ragged with some intricate football, and unlike, the Chelsea game, the Gunners were rewarded for their hard work and intensity with three precious points – their first home victory since the narrow win against Bournemouth in October 2019.

The Gunners Defended As A Team

The biggest criticism of Arsenal this season has been how weak they are defensively. That is something which can’t be fixed overnight, however, against Bournemouth and Chelsea, every player in an Arsenal shirt took on the responsibility.

Matteo Guendouzi and Torreira gave the back four some much-needed protection, while even Aubameyang was tracking back to help Bukayo Saka out on the left-hand side. If that continues going forward, the Gunners should start to concede fewer goals and, in turn, results are sure to improve.

Image result for torreira tackle

With a new year on the horizon, Arsenal fans will be hoping things are finally moving in the right direction on the pitch once again.

Sayonara

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Arteta Confirms Manchester City job and Legends Collide in September

Goodluck Mikky.

After spells with Paris St. Germain, Rangers SC, Real Sociedad, Everton and of course, five amazing years at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has hung up his boots to take on a coaching coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. From the moment he joined Arsenal in late 2011, Arteta became a positive influence on the team but he will always be remembered for the self sacrifice he made on behalf of his team when he curbed his attacking instincts to become the team’s holding midfielder following Alexandre Song’s departure to Barcelona.

The manager had touched on the influence he had on the team and hoped that he’d become a coach someday,

“Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing. He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right.

“Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.

“I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.”

Arteta made 149 appearances for the Gunners and captained the team to two FA Cup titles in consecutive seasons. I can still remember how he urged then club captain, Thomas Vermaelen, to join him in lifting the 2014 FA Cup and it was evident that he was obviously the club’s leader, even though the band was handed to the Verminator.

It was only befitting that Arsene Wenger gave him the armband on a permanent basis on the start of the 2014/15 campaign. Arteta’s last two campaigns as the club’s captain didn’t pan out too well for him on a personal note, as he struggled with injuries which probably played a big role in the midfielder deciding to hang his boots. He must have felt that his body couldn’t cope with the rigors of fast-paced Premier League football anymore.

The midfielder put up an emotional message on his Twitter account, confirming the speculation that he will join the coaching staff at Manchester City

I am very happy  for the lad because the experience he’s going to gain under the tutelage of a legendary manager like Guardiola would be invaluable. On the bright side, we would still get to see the lad and I’m sure he would get a great reception when the Citizens visit the Emirates in the course of the new season.

Elsewhere, the official site has announced that there is going to be a novelty match between Arsenal Legends and Milan Glorie on September 3, 2016.

Arsenal legends promo

via Arsenal.com

Wenger would manage a team that would feature Arsenal legends like Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and pretty much some of the invincibles and 98′ / 02′ double winning lot. He would face off against an AC Milan team managed by Fabio Capello, who won four Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League for the Rossoneri. The team is going to include the likes of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Christian Vieri, Hernan Crespo and Gennaro Gattuso.

All proceeds from ticketing would go to the Arsenal Foundation and it would be used to make the world a better place.

For folks like me that are miles away in Nigeria, I would put the date on my calendar and brace myself up for a wonderful game of football. Arsenal and AC Milan have had their clashes in the past with the Rossoneri edging out the Gunners a couple of seasons ago.

Time to enjoy the public holidays and get some well deserved rest

Sayonara.

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