A look through Arteta’s brief reign as Arsenal boss…
Mikel Arteta’s first season in management has been brought to a pause in the most dramatic and unexpected way possible amid the shocking outbreak of coronavirus all over the world.
We all hope things can return to normal as soon as possible – and that includes seeing Arsenal on the pitch again – but for now, we thought we’d take a quick look at the things Arteta has done well, and what he’s struggled with so far since replacing Unai Emery as head coach.
Success – Improved defence
This is clear to anyone who’s watched us since Arteta took over – the defence was all over the place before but was clearly a priority for the Spaniard to fix, and he’s done that. The likes of David Luiz and even Shkodran Mustafi have improved a great deal, leading to five clean sheets in our last seven games.
Success – Lifted the mood
Everything you hear from Arsenal players in the media recently suggests they are far happier and more aware of what they’re supposed to be doing now that Arteta is in charge. These quotes from David Luiz paint a particularly promising picture of how things have changed in that respect.
Success – Smart transfers
Ok, there’s admittedly not much to work with here, but Pablo Mari has looked a smart signing on loan despite not being a big name who had top clubs queuing up for him. According to The Athletic, it seems Arteta had the final say on this deal and made him a priority, so credit to the Spaniard for helping find such a gem.
Failure – Europa League humiliation
Make no mistake about it – this was a pretty horrendous result. From 1-0 up on aggregate after the away leg, there’s no way we should have thrown this away. Of course, Arteta can’t take all the blame as that late horror miss from Aubameyang could have made all the difference, but we should never have been in that situation in the first place.
Failure – Ozil and Pepe
It would admittedly have been nice to see more of an improvement from these two players in particular. While most of the team has stepped up a level, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe continue to frustrate. Ozil’s superb performance in that 2-0 win over Manchester United proved something of a false dawn, while Pepe has still only blown hot and cold and not always managed to even make the starting XI.
Failure – Aubameyang saga
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract is still not sorted, and the Sun suggest we’ve accepted defeat on that front. Again, Arteta cannot take all the blame here by any means, but it’s a shame that he has perhaps struggled to sell his vision to such a top player at such an important time.