Mikel Arteta got his first win as an Arsenal manager last night against Manchester United. It was an excellent performance and the 2-0 score reflects the different face of the Gunners.
The Spaniard has been at the helm for only two weeks or so, but there have been clear signs of improvement in his first three matches. Let’s take a look at the four most important changes that Arteta brought to the club.
Pressing and Commitment
One of the biggest issues with Unai Emery’s Arsenal was the lack of proper pressing. The Gunners had some half-hearted attempts at it but failed most of the time. Arteta wants to change that and the results are obvious.
This is a team that swarms the opposition at every opportunity, trying to win the ball or at least kill any momentum. The commitment of every player on the pitch, including the strikers is one of the main reasons Arsenal’s press is finally working.
It will take time to build the required automation but the start has been impressive.
Discipline and Organization at the Back
The art of defending in football has always been more about discipline and organization than individual talents. If the team knows what to do and every player is fulfilling his obligations, the defense will be strong.
We saw that against Bournemouth at times and especially at Chelsea, but there were costly lapses of concentration and individual errors in both games.
That wasn’t the case against
Manchester United. Arsenal stood strong even when the opposition was trying to
The likes of David Luiz and Sokratis suddenly look like good defenders once again and Arteta must take the credit. He brought discipline and organization almost instantly.
One of Arteta’s most important tasks was to encourage the players to believe in themselves and the team again. The Gunners have looked broken this season and the main reason is the lack of a clear system by Unai Emery.
When the team doesn’t know what to do, underperforming seems inevitable. Once Arteta arrived at Arsenal, he was adamant that his main goal would be to explain to the players what he wants and get them on board.
This clearly has been the case, as Arsenal is playing with purpose now. Everyone knows what is expected and the victory against Manchester United will serve as further evidence that the hard work and Arteta’s tactics can bring success.
Using Important Players Properly
There are two particular players that look so much better under Mikel Arteta. Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira were often used in various positions or even warmed the bench under Emery.
Both have proven in the past that they have the talent to be regular starters. Arteta obviously recognizes that and uses them in their best positions.
Torreira has been excellent anchoring the midfield, while Ozil finally looks like the player that was considered as one of the best playmakers in the world.
The German is working hard, finding pockets of space and moving the ball forward. His creative energy can be vital for Arsenal and the fans will be pleased with the last three games.
It’s still early days and there’s a lot more work to be done, but Arteta’s Arsenal is looking better. The players and the supporters are encouraged and the whole atmosphere around the club is changing.
Despite the lack of experience as a head coach or manager, it looks like Mikel Arteta might be just what the doctor ordered.