Mikel Arteta - the boss to lead us to glory.
Our manager has clearly transformed this Arsenal team since he took over, writes Aariyan Ludhor for the Gooner Fanzine.
Turning the team from a mid-table side to title contenders in just four years, he deserves huge amounts of credit for the job he has done and the changes he has made around the whole club.
Sunday’s 6-0 away win against West Ham proves how well Arteta can get us to play.
In what was arguably the best performance of the season, we ‘hammered’ the Hammers with five different goalscorers including both centre backs Willliam Saliba and Gabriel, forwards Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka, and ironically former West Ham captain Declan Rice.
Our biggest PL away win ever, it was genuinely an annihilation, in stark contrast to the previous two meetings earlier this season. Throughout the whole match we had a chokehold on David Moyes’ side. They had just 29% possession and were forced to drop their formation so deep that poor Jarrod Bowen may as well have not been playing. He was completely isolated against our defence and was physically bullied by our centre-back partnership.
Half our outfield team scored, and yet the scoreline didn’t even flatter us. We honestly could have put eight or nine in the West Ham net and it wouldn’t have been harsh on the Hammers.
Despite the London Stadium being a tough place to travel this season, we played as if we were the home team.
To be fair, after the first half, we may have had more fans in the stadium anyway because many of theirs left at 4-0. I guess your dominance shows when thousands of your opponent’s fans leave at halftime.
In the past four games we have been scintillating to watch and undoubtedly one of the best teams in the league.
Facing Crystal Palace, Forest, Liverpool and now West Ham, we have won every single league game this year and not only that, been absolutely dominant in each match, scoring 16 and conceding only two.
Particularly for the Liverpool match, Arteta managed a great game. We were up against the League Leaders but through our manager’s approach we made them look poor.
Their only goal came from a rare mistake from Saliba and we dictated the game through the midfield.
Personally, I think there is a need to highlight the move by Arteta to play Jorginho in this game, who had a MOTM performance.
His calmness and composure on the ball resisted the aggressive Liverpool press and gave the gunners control of the match.
This forced Liverpool to spend most of their possession in their own half and limited their attack to one shot on target for the whole game.
In recent weeks, Mikel has been very effective with his team selections and is clearly not afraid to take risks in order to win - a great characteristic of a quality manager.
Overall though, I feel that Arteta doesn’t get enough credit for the work he has done in rebuilding our club.
Here’s why I think it should be unanimous he's the right man to lead us to glory
Firstly, Arteta can be considered as a managerial wonderkid.
At the age of 41, his youth as a manager has brought positivity to a club like Arsenal, and this can be analysed by comparing the atmosphere before and after he first took the job in 2019.
For instance, while we all love Arsene Wenger, his 22-year tenure came to an end in a sour way.
Planes with derogatory banners were flown around the Emirates, and as fans many of us became tired of mediocrity and wanted change. “Thanks for the memories” and “It’s time to go!” became common phrases that many would shout at the stadium, and so with grace Arse?ne stepped down.
Since then we’ve had Unai Emery who although is doing well with Aston Villa, never really clicked at Arsenal, and Freddie Ljungberg, who was interim manager for a month.
During this period the atmosphere around the club was toxic and Arsenal sank lower and lower down the table to the point where we didn’t even make the Europa League.
Arteta has completely revitalised the atmosphere around the club, on and off the pitch, and I would say he’s unified the fans with the team again.
As a former player who is passionate for the badge, he has given supporters someone to rally behind and adore.
Just look at the Liverpool game - Trossard wins the match and Arteta is running laps around the pitch, fist pumping people in the crowd. That’s one way to prove the fans love you.
Arteta has also claimed the affection of Arsenal fans by his decisions and style of play as manager.
At Arsenal Football Club, we have always prided ourselves on our attractive styles of play. From Herbert Chapman’s counter attack to Wenger’s invincibles, our team has been highly regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful teams to watch. And right now, with our current manager, we are embracing this tradition.
Mikel’s footballing philosophy stems from some of the greatest footballing minds and coaches to ever step foot in the dugouts.
Starting his career in the Barcelona academy La Masia, he has learnt strategies alongside stars like Xavi and Iniesta, and under Arse?ne Wenger he of course spent five years of his career at Arsenal.
However, it was under Pep Guardiola, when Arteta was Man City assistant manager, who he seemed to gain the most influence from.
Like Guardiola, Arteta’s system emphasises tactical discipline, and uses a structured approach to break teams down.
Like Wenger, Arteta is loyal and defends the club to the death. In many ways, Arteta is a Wenger-Guardiola hybrid who adds his own little touch of passion.
This combination has captivated our fans who regard him as one of the world’s best up and coming managers. This has allowed him to rebuild a side that finished 8th, and get them challenging for the League and UCL within three years.
Finally, Arteta has shown to the Arsenal fans that he can take the reins forward as manager, through focusing his transfer strategy on younger players who would transform the club.
By doing this, Arteta brought through future stars who would become inspirational to Arsenal fans today, especially younger ones who have only just started to watch the beautiful game.
Arteta heavily developed some of our key young players like Bukayo Saka who can become icons in the years to come.
Thanks to our manager, we have one of the youngest squads in the league and a core of such great talent. Saliba, Gabriel, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, and Rice are just some of the many names that strike fear into our opponents.
I think that Mikel has shown he is the perfect fit for Arsenal.
From his pure emotion on the sidelines to his attractive style of football, he really is the epitome of everything our club is about.
With so many players who have many years to progress, I can only see our club getting stronger and stronger as the years go on.
As a result, I think that with the football dynasty Arteta is building, he is the boss to lead us to glory.
Aariyan Ludhor @_xtratime_