There won’t be any Champions League football at the Emirates this season, but there is a growing sense of optimism at Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta in charge.
The Gunners look to be going places under the fresh-faced Spanish boss, who was handed the reins following Unai Emery’s bitterly disappointing spell at the club.
Arteta has had a hugely promising start as Arsenal boss
Arteta, who learnt his trade as Pep Guardiola’s no.2 at Manchester City, has got his players fighting for every ball and there seems to be a genuine belief in his philosophy.
From discipline, to tactics, to studying his opponents, Arteta has shown he has it all.
Make no mistake, though, Arsenal fans will tell you his biggest achievement so far is convincing talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new contract.
Supporters have just had official confirmation of their star mans new deal, just days after the striker marked the start of the Gunners 2020/21 season with a goal.
Aubameyang is on the verge of signing a new Arsenal contract
Aubameyang found the net in Saturdays 3-0 win over Fulham with another fabulous finish, cutting in from the left wing and curling the ball into the far right corner of the net.
But why are Arsenal fans loving every minute of Arteta’s reign? talkSPORT.com has identified the reasons the 38-year-old has become a hugely popular figure already at the Emirates in a matter of months.
Tony Cascarino hails Aubameyang and tips Arsenal to break into the top-four
He’s only been in charge for nine months (with four of those chalked off due to COVID-19), but Arteta has already steered the club to two pieces of silverware.
He led the Gunners to glory in the FA Cup where they twice overcame their underdog status to defeat Man City and then Chelsea to claim the oldest prize in football.
In the final, the Blues were in complete control and took the lead through Christian Pulisic. But Arteta, aided by the drinks break midway through the first-half, worked some of his magic and completely turned the game on its head.
He demonstrated the same tactical prowess just over a month later in the Community Shield where his side defeated the Premier League champions on penalties.
Arteta’s ability to get his players up for the big occasion bodes very well for the future.
Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season. Can they carry on their good progress this season?
Beating the big boys
Arsenal have endured a torrid run against their traditional top-six rivals in recent years but the corner is being turned.
In fact, Arsenal hadn’t beaten Liverpool since 2015 prior to Arteta’s appointment but he has now got the better of Jurgen Klopp twice in his short stint in north London.
That is a big achievement given the powerhouse that Reds have become under the German.
Arteta has been in charge less than a year and has out thought Klopp, Guardiola, Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his short time at the club.
If you didn’t think a top four finish was possible, those results might make you think again.
Arteta has already got the better of Klopp on two occasions
Secured top new signings
It is no secret that Arsenal are pretty skint at the moment, but Arteta has improved his team significantly with very little resources.
The £27m signing of Gabriel Magalhaes is an important addition to the squad and he has proved his worth with his impressive debut against Fulham at the weekend.
A number of Premier League clubs were said to be interested in signing him including Manchester United and Everton, but it is understood the former Lille ace ‘bought into Arteta’s philosophy’ and Arsenal subsequently won the race for his signature.
Willian has also joined the club on a free transfer despite interest from other clubs both in England and abroad and he got his Gunners career off to the best starts with THREE assists in his opening game.
With other brilliant talents such as Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar linked with a move and Aubameyang sealing a new deal, it’s now clear top class players are genuinely buying into Arteta’s project – which couldn’t be said for his predecessor.
Willian has showed exactly why Arsenal have paid him the huge wages
Implemented a great new style
When asked what the idea what his philosophy would be in 2014, Arteta said: My philosophy would be clear.
I will have everyone 120 per cent committed, thats the first thing. If not then you dont play for me.”
Artetas vision and philosophy on management back then clearly consistent with what hes achieved in a short time at Arsenal.
Just as we saw with Matteo Guendouzi, the Spaniard is not afraid to throw players out into the cold if they do not buy into the cause.
Guendouzi was frozen out of the Arsenal team on the instructions of the manager, who had enough of the young Frenchmans antics.
But Arsenal have also shown that they can play an attractive brand of football without relinquishing their defensive duties.
In the big games, they get back in numbers but also have an explosive counter attack.
Under Emery, and even under Arsene Wenger in his latter days, Arsenal’s defence was often calamitous and Arteta deserves great praise for the way he has rejuvenated the back line.
Arsenal are more solid in attack and defence under Arteta
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