What Arsenal fans should expect from new manager Mikel Arteta

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Just an hour ago, Arsenal announced Mikel Arteta has new manager. He returns to the club he spent 5 seasons at, a club he once captained and ended his footballing career at. An underwhelming announcement to most Arsenal fans and surprising to most football fans, but this is what Arsenal fans should expect from Arteta:

He loves to play attacking football: Being someone who has been under the wings of Arsène Wenger and Pep Guardiola, two managers who love to see their sides play attacking and progressive football. Arsenal fans should expect to see their side playing attacking, fast flowing and progressive football once more “Arsenal way”. A philosophy former manager Arsène wenger infused into the club, a touch they lost a bit under former manager Unai Emery, but with the arrival of Arteta, Arsenal fans can again live in the dream of seeing their side play the “Arsenal way”. Arteta in an Interview in 2016 with Arsenal magazine said “My philosophy will be clear, I want the football to be expressive, entertaining. I cannot have a concept of football where everything is based on the opposition. We have to dictate the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative, and we have to entertain”.

He’s a leader: Arsenal recently has been accused of lacking leadership. Arteta, a natural born leader and was once captain of the club. He has also captained Everton and knows what it is like to lead even under pressure. An attribute that will play a key role if he’s to succeed at the club. The club since the arrival of Unai Emery has passed the captains armband around like a wine at a dinner table, and there has been questions on whether there’s even a leader in the team. Being someone who once captained the club, Arteta is expected to instill some leadership into the team.

He will improve talents: Arteta has good eye for details. At City, he was lauded as the man or the brain behind Raheem Sterling’s tremendous transformation. German international Leroy Sane once described him as “a lovely guy and a guy who’s always right”, he praised and thanked Arteta for always helping him after training. He was also the one who worked closest with Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko to mould them into emergency replacements for Benjamin Mendy, and held one-on-one sessions with both men to teach them their new duties. In midfield, he has been working with Rodri to drill into him the Guardiola basics, such as body positioning, how to commit a tactical foul, as well as teaching him when to press and when not to. Gabriel Jesus also recently praised Arteta for helping him improve his finishing. With his good eye for details, it’ll be fascinating to see how talents like Nicola Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli, Matteo Guendouzi, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe etc. develop in the next few months.

He has tactical eye: Arteta maybe is yet to fully display his tactical astuteness, but he was hugely influential behind the scenes and even has his fingerprints over specific moves and goals City have scored over the years. During a game against Arsenal last season at the Emirates, City were a goal up and struggling to kill the game off, Arteta noticed how Arsenal players were dropping too fast and deep on crosses, and therefore he told Mendy, ‘Don’t make a high cross when you get to the end line, make a cut-back along the floor,’ he also instructed Mendy and Sterling to try to make a double pass before the last cut-back. Minutes later, Bernardo Silva scored from similar move with Mendy assisting the goal. The excitement and the plaudits were seen on the City bench as Pep Guardiola and Rodolfo Borrell smiled and hugged him.

Arsenal caretaker manager Freddie Ljunberg after the Man City game on Sunday said “We have to learn to be more cynical when opponents have a chance to counter. It’s intentional by City. They do it, it’s obvious to see”. Arteta in a video posted by Amazon prime could be heard telling City players to make a foul when the opponent is in transition. Although the video wasn’t from Sunday’s game, City players executed this instruction perfectly when they played Arsenal, they made 24 fouls in the game as compared to Arsenal’s 9. Another attribute Arteta would infuse on his Arsenal side, one that could be crucial in how ruthless Arsenal become.

He’s courageous and won’t be scared in making decisions: Leaving the wings of one of the best managers ever in football to manage a club facing their worst run in 30 years, a club damaged beyond repairs as said by numerous pundits is an audacious move for anyone to make, especially for a guy who has no experience in coaching. Arteta deserves so much plaudits for even entertaining the idea of taking the reins at Arsenal. Arsenal have in their hands a very a fearless and a courageous man, a man who won’t easily be manipulated, a man who won’t be scared keeping underperforming star men on the bench. A man with cojones.

Arteta is also a good communicator. He can speak English eloquently, he has also mastered the dialect of Scotland, Merseyside, Manchester, and St Albans. He can also speak Spanish and French. He’s also familiar with the club. This would be vital especially to the board in disseminating information to the very demanding Arsenal fans.

Arteta’s good managerial attributes are evident and he has been tipped by managerial greats like Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola to succeed as a manager. It’ll be interesting to see how he would manage his former side Arsenal after spending the last few years honing his craft under the world’s best.

Arsenal now sit 10th on the Premier League table, 7 points off 4th Placed team Chelsea. Arteta will be in the stands tomorrow when Arsenal travel to Merseyside to face Everton for lunch time kickoff. He kicks off his managerial career on Boxing Day away to Bournemouth. Arteta’s appointment maybe a big risk but it is a risk worth taking.

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