Joe Willock has revealed that Arsenal’s players didn’t warm to the idea of working under Mikel Arteta when the Spaniard first arrived.
Arteta had never held a senior managerial role before Arsenal took a chance on him and made him their manager last year.
Under the vastly experienced and previously successful Unai Emery, the Gunners had been struggling to get results, and he was fired late last year.
After a brief spell under club legend, Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal decided to make Arteta their next permanent manager.
The Spaniard came with no experience, and even some of the club’s fans wondered why they would name him as their manager when there were other more experienced managers like Carlo Ancelotti on the market.
The players also had their doubts about working with him, and Willock has recently discussed it.
‘When he first came in we were a bit sceptical about what he could do, obviously, he’s a very young manager,’ Willock told The Beautiful Game podcast.
‘Most of the players that play now have all played with him. So, we were a bit hesitant on how to approach the situation.
‘But we all let him in with open arms and we all thought, ‘Let’s see what he has to offer’.
‘He’s come in and he’s been nothing short of amazing really. His detail and man-management with every single player and we’re just all excited to work with him.
‘Personally, I’m just really learning so much from him and learning about the game in ways I’ve never really learnt about the game. He’s an amazing man and an amazing coach.’
The Spaniard has now led the Gunners to the FA Cup final, but for a few bad results, they would also be in a better position on the league table.