When Mikel Arteta was appointed Arsenal head coach back in December 2019, it is safe to say that no one could have predicted the ups and downs the club would encounter on and off the pitch.
Despite a poor run prior to Christmas Arsenal are facing 2021 with more positivity than they would have done just a month ago.
Read on for Yusuf Malik's favourite three moments under Mikel Arteta - and a trio of less favourable memories.
My three favourite moments under Mikel Arteta
Arsenal 2 - 0 Manchester United
For me Arteta'a first highlight came on the first day of 2020.
Arsenal claimed their first win under Arteta’s leadership with a convincing victory over Manchester United.
The intensity and energy shown on that day was far from what fans had to endure during the latter months of Emery’s reign at Arsenal.
This win provided an insight into the style of play Arsenal fans could expect once Arteta had properly moulded this team into his image.
You could not blunt the excitement surrounding Arsenal at that moment. It ignited hope for many connected to Arsenal that they had found the right man to lead the club forward after Arsene Wenger.
2020 FA Cup Final
It is almost poetic that Arsenal’s record 14th FA Cup was hand delivered by number 14 himself.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring both goals in the final, as he did in the semi-final, to secure victory for the Gunners over Chelsea.
Conventionally, winning a final signifies an ending; all the diligence, dedication and great results that have accumulated come together and are rewarded through the trophy.
However, the 2020 FA Cup sparked something different as it felt like the beginning of something new at Arsenal was starting, and the beginning of many more trophies the Gunners would contend for under Arteta in the future.
The Signing of Thomas Partey
Even the highlight of beating Manchester City and Chelsea in the FA Cup could not disguise the fact that Arsenal still required reinforcements in the transfer window.
The club did relatively well with the Gabriel signing and Ceballos returning to the club.
However, there were no doubts that a top quality midfielder was desperately needed for Arsenal to compete for a top six position, which brings us on to Thomas Partey.
It may have taken until the last day of the transfer window, but Arsenal had finally acquired an elite midfielder with a mixture of technical ability and physical prowess that had not been witnessed since Patrick Vieira.
Not only was Partey needed, but the manner in which Arsenal signed him portrayed a decisiveness that Arsenal had lacked in the market previously.
Understandably in the past, due to Arsenal’s many transfer mistakes, the club had been accused of being naive and incompetent in the transfer market.
However, with Partey, Arsenal were ruthless and didn’t hesitate on the final day of the window as they did not even notify Atletico Madrid that they were going to activate Partey’s release clause to sign him.
The Thomas Partey signing was also the first signing that involved Stan Kroenke investing his own money, but whether this is indicative of future signings is unclear.
Still, it does show a change in direction and perhaps financial involvement from the owners.