Mikel Arteta came in to Arsenal as a new manager that had only had experience as an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola, but he also had had many, many years as captain under both Arsene Wenger and David Moyes, who are some of the longest serving and most successful managers in England.
And when he arrived, the club was in complete disarray, with lots of overpaid unambitious prima donnas that were not bothered enough to fight for the shirt. It may have taken two years of stress and many millions of Pounds, but Arteta has now assembled a young and hungry squad that are keen to win every single game.
And the first couple of years were hard and unsuccessful, trying to clear out the deadwood while still trying to motivate the squad to try and finish as high up the League as possible. Arteta watched David Moyes fighting for many years trying to create a team, without much investment or superstars, and even managed to get Everton into Europe a few times despite the monopoly held by the super rich clubs.
Wenger also was extremely successful with bringing in young players and making them stars, and it was only when he was persuaded to buy so-called superstars that the club stopped being so successful.
So, Arteta learnt from two managers how to create a united team, and then spent a couple of years working with superstars under Guardiola, so he knew what his long term plan was intended to create.
Moyes has admitted that he felt sorry for Arteta, as he could see that he had a great plan, but the fans and pundits didn’t respect his work, and simply wanted to be successful straight away. But Moyes kept faith in his old protege. “It doesn’t surprise me. I used to listen to talkSPORT regularly and a lot of people on here were critical of Arsenal over the last few years,” Moyes said on talkSPORT.
“I think Arsenal have been a really good team for a while when nobody was giving them the respect.
“They’ve brought in (Martin) Odegaard who has made a real difference in the position he plays for them and makes it really difficult.
“I think Mikel had an idea of what he thinks it should look like. After working with Pep (Guardiola) for a few years and giving him that guidance on how to prepare a good team, it was just I felt that nobody was giving Mikel any credit whatsoever.
“He’s a real diligent boy, young manager learning his way, he’ll make a few mistakes along the way, but I did and everybody does when you are in management in the early years.
“He isn’t half putting together a good side. Sometimes you need to have good fortune to have good young players at your club when you arrive in. And I think Arsenal have good young players in their system.”
You can say that perhaps Arteta and Edu got lucky with Saka and maybe Smith-Rowe, but the whole new squad and mentality is due to the work of those two in the last few years. Mind you I bet talkSport are still knocking Arsenal when they can!
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