Mikel Arteta: Arsene Wenger gives verdict on work done by Arsenal coach
Mikel Arteta was appointed as Arsenal manager in December 2019, after spending the previous two years as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
The Gunners had struggled for consistency following the departure of Arsene Wenger in 2019 and Arteta inherited a squad that was short of confidence but the 38-year-old has impressed in his 10-month stint at the club so far.
He saw off Chelsea to lift the FA Cup and beat Liverpool on penalties to win the Community Shield in August and despite finishing last season in a disappointing 8th position – their lowest league finish since 1995 – he was still able to secure European qualification by virtue of their cup triumph.
There has also been progress made in terms of securing captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new deal and fans are generally optimistic about their chances going into the future.
This season, the Emirates outfit kicked off their campaign by dispatching Fulham 3-0 on the opening day, and have since won two of their first three league matches, with a 3-1 loss to Liverpool in the league avenged by knocking Jurgen Klopp’s side out of the League Cup three days later.
Mikel Arteta has won praise for his transformation in such a short time and he got commendation from his former manager Arsene Wenger.
Speaking on the job done by the Spaniard, Wenger told The Times:
“[Arteta] got the grip back on the team. They finished well, though they had a bad Premier League. Fifty-six points!”
Over the last decade, there have been suggestions that Arsenal have been on a downward spiral, as they have seen hitherto unfancied clubs like Manchester City and even city rivals Tottenham usurp them.
This is a position that is however refuted by Wenger, with the legendary manager addressing those claims earlier this year:
“In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before  we finished second in the league,”
“Arsenal is a club that is in a very strong position financially. It has good players, after that when you are a manager you have to stand up for what you do and your result and not look around you.”
Arsenal recently learnt their Europa League opponents and have been grouped alongside Rapid Vienna (Austria), Molde (Norway) and Dundalk (Ireland) in Group B of Europe’s second-tier competitions.
The Gunners will be back in action in the Premier League on Sunday when they host Sheffield United and Mikel Arteta will hope he can inspire his side to a victory against the Blades who are yet to pick up a point.
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