Why Arteta is perfect for Arsenal


Real Sport 101’s Sam France names reasons to be excited about Arteta’s probable Arsenal future
‘Coach’ Arteta
“Arsenal know him well. He spent half of his decade in the Premier League there, and anybody who saw him in the dressing room would have seen him as future management material. Confident in his assertions, but keen to discuss, and with an eye for tactics which complimented his central playmaking role, Arteta had been nicknamed ‘coach’ for some time and it was no surprise to see him walk into a role immediately after his retirement. So far, their faith has been well-placed. He has known failure at Manchester City, and he has known success. A frustrating first season under Guardiola was followed by one of record-breaking, unimaginable success.”
Flexibility and adaptability
“He is a coach who understands the need for flexibility and evolution and he has now experienced it first-hand. The Claudio Bravo experiment was written off and the early season marauding wing-back play from Benjamin Mendy reworked into an inverted role for Fabian Delph. Arteta may already have an idea of his first XI and a tactical plan to implement, but he will also know that plans B and C have to be watertight too. One-on-one work with the likes of Sterling and Leroy Sané has brought huge rewards, which bodes well for Arsenal’s occasionally misfiring stars.”
Plenty to work with
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken to the Premier League like a cormorant to water, arriving with a splash and leaving with a mouthful of fish or, to bring an ill-conceived metaphor to a close, a bagful of goals. A few precise tweaks to the operations of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could yield huge rewards. What is clear is that whatever players are brought in, the Spaniard seems quite capable of improving them and getting the best from them. Translating that to improved performances across an entire team will not be easy, but it is the logical next step on his coaching journey.”
Evolution, not revolution
“Arsenal need an injection of fresh ideas and operations without a total revolution at the club. Diego Simeone, for example, would have had to burn the place to the ground and start laying the bricks himself to bring about the sort of rebuild he would have envisaged at the club. Arteta is a product of the Barcelona way and the footballing philosophy that Arsenal had for years comes closest to embodying such a philosophy, before Guardiola set up shop in Manchester. The Arsenal way has become stale. Players are comfortable in their roles and don’t often seem like pushing themselves to their full potential. At long last, Arsenal fans have a reason to be excited again.”


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