Mikel Arteta proves once again he has all the tools to be a top manager.
The Mikel Arteta revolution seems to be well and truly underway. We beat Leeds despite starting the game slowly and I can’t help but think that Arteta is set to take us even further than we could have hoped when he took charge.
When I saw the team sheet for this game against Leeds I thought it was a strong Arsenal team, however, when the game started and Leeds United started dominating the play, I began to feel that we may have gotten it wrong this time.
At half time, only a goal was missing in Leeds performance and we desperately needed a response from Arsenal in the second half and we got it.
Whatever Arteta said to the players at half time worked like magic.
The boys came out fighting like they had everything to lose and these are a few things I noticed that Arteta changed.
Apply pressure on heavy touch
In the first half, Arsenal struggled to get near Leeds and they allowed the visitors to control the game, however, in the second half Arsenal closed them down more often and made sure they got the ball when any Leeds players touched the ball heavily.
Press higher up
In the first half, the game was played mostly in Arsenal’s half, but Arteta told his players to take the game to the visitors and close them down in their own half.
That tactic seemed to confuse the visitors and they found it very hard to get back into the game.
Target them for tactical fouls
One thing that Manchester City have constantly been accused of has been tactical fouls. Mikel Arteta instead of asking his players to commit them asked them to invite Leeds’ players to commit them.
Granit Xhaka repeatedly placed himself in a position to be fouled and that seemed to slow the visitors down as well as frustrate them.
This was another masterclass by Arteta.