Mikel Arteta’s start at Arsenal assessed by Paul Merson and Gary Neville
Twelve games into his Arsenal tenure, Paul Merson and Gary Neville evaluate Mikel Arteta’s beginning at the Emirates, and the signs are currently positive.
With six wins, five draws and just 1 defeat, Arsenal seem to be moving in the perfect direction beneath the Spaniard, who has awarded the Gunners a chance of reaching the Champions League next year after taking more than Unai Emery at December.
Here, we have the perspectives of Merson and Neville, who believe that an elevated defensive solidity is evident beneath Arteta…
Former Arsenal forward Merson believes Arsenal’s realistic aim is or over, and grades Arteta’s start at a B…
“Arsenal would have dropped the game against Everton four weeks ago. You see Arsenal today and it’s not the Arsenal of 2004. That is really where Arsenal are now, so really beating Everton 3-2 is a big result.
“They’re aiming for fourth or fifth today, so that’s a great outcome. They are harder to beat, and Arteta is becoming players to attempt to play, like [Mesut] Ozil, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is scoring goals. They are still open at times, but if you are giving Arteta a tier because he got there, it could be B. He’s doing something right. Show me someone that may run until they can walk!
“It is moving along , and that’s the ideal thing . If he would come and won five games on the trot, people would have believed he is the messiah, then all of a sudden they would have hit a bad run, and he’d be clarified as a one-hit-wonder. He has done it the ideal way, and it has moved steadily.
“They are in with a big likelihood of the top five, which when City are prohibited, means Champions League soccer.
“Arteta will understand what he needs to change next year. It’s moot coming in, going mad at players today, and then all of a sudden needing those gamers if others get injured. The players he’ll want to get rid of don’t will need to understand that right now. There’ll be some staff changes in the summertime.”
Sky Sports pundit Neville states Arsenal are making steps in the perfect way, also Arteta is playing with a fashion which covers their weakenesses…
“Arsenal have jeopardized to be improved beneath Mikel Arteta, with a lot of attractions and perhaps they haven’t got the victories they would have wanted.
“There have been improvements in defence, up till Sunday, where they reverted to form with a few really sloppy play. Everton could have scored four or three objectives at that past 15 or 10 minutes.
“We always expect a bounce from new supervisors. Since Arteta happened over, you may spot the gaps.
“Arteta is attempting to build from a foundation whereby his group have been shambolic defensively all year, attempting to correct that. You need to attempt to prevent the conceding of goals.
“Arsenal are well away from getting to the top, high level, and also we can’t expect too many changes overnight, just smaller steps in the right direction.
“It is essential to get the right players in the ideal positions, and cover up the weaknesses, which is exactly what Arteta is attempting to do; perform with a system that covers for the truth his centre-backs still battle defensively along with his goalkeeper as well occasionally.”