Arsenal have a lot of things going for them this season, with a great team spirit, a manager who has really got his mojo back and a squad full of talented players. So you cannot really say that any one player is vital to the cause, although a lot of football pundits have spoken exactly that way about Olivier Giroud.
For me though, Mikel Arteta is not only overlooked for his contribution, he is absolutely vital to Arsenal’s success this season. He is the Xavi Hernandez of the Gunners team, as the Barcelona fans say, the brain of the team. Last season we were all calling for a `proper` defensive midfielder and I am really glad we signed up Mathieu Flamini. Not only has the Frenchman given Arsenal some bite which we have missed, he can cover for Arteta when the Spaniard is unavailable.
But Arteta really makes us tick in a way Flamini doesn’t. As usual against Spurs, his passing accuracy was the best in the team but that only tells a fraction of the story. His passing was clever and dictated the pace of the game. He read what they were doing and was there to make sure it didn’t happen. He organised those around him and, just like his hair, he was always in control.
In a red hot derby atmosphere, with a young and slightly experimental side, Arteta was the calm centre that allowed the rest to play without fear. I dread to think what will happen if he picks up a bad injury, because I feel we would miss him more than any other player. Do you agree?