After Unai Emery's disastrous spell as Arsenal manager came to end, there was some hope that things would get better for the Gunners under new management. So when Mikel Arteta was appointed as the Arsenal boss, there was an expectation from the Arsenal fanbase that the performances will improve and that the players will at least give their all on the pitch, something that was lacking under their previous manager.
Now, we are almost two months into Arteta's reign and Arsenal have won three games under him, with five draws and just one loss. The improvement in the displays on the pitch has been there for all to see and here, we are going to take a look at the three positive changes Arteta has brought in at Arsenal since his appointment.
#3 Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira have formed a formidable pair
There is no disputing the fact that Granit Xhaka was at his lowest when Unai Emery was in charge of the club, as his relationship with the Arsenal fans completely broke down. But since Mikel Arteta has taken over, the Swiss international has looked a completely different man.
Playing alongside Lucas Torreira in a double-pivot, the 27-year-old has been doing the job of a sweeper, which is a role that suits him. Furthermore, he has improved defensively as well as he has constantly covered for the out of position centre-backs and full-backs.
It has to be said that an in-form Torreira has also had a huge role to play in the improvement of Xhaka as both of them complement each other really well. Torreira has been playing further forward, more as a number eight than a number six and he has done a great job at it.
Both Torreira and Xhaka are forming an understanding between each other and it has definitely been one of the positives of Arteta's reign.
#2 Emergence of young talents
In recent months, under Mikel Arteta, we have seen the emergence of young talents like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, and Joseph Willock. Arteta has shown that he is not afraid to drop the big guns for the performing youngsters as we saw when Nicolas Pepe was dropped against Burnley in favour of Martinelli.
Saka, playing at left-back, has improved leaps and bounds and he has given Arsenal's new signing Kieran Tierney a tougher route back into the team after the Scottish international recovers from his injury. Furthermore, the ever underperforming Mesut Ozil has some competition from Willock and it wouldn't be surprising if Arteta eventually drops Ozil and gives Willock a proper run of games in the starting XI.
All in all, in his short reign thus far, Arteta has given youth a chance and he deserves some plaudits for that.
#1 Improvement in defence
The biggest positive under Mikel Arteta so far has been the way Arsenal's defence has played, especially Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz as both of them have looked calm and composed at the back, barring one or two mishaps.
The defensive shape of the team as a whole looks better and the players look more comfortable without the ball, something that has been lacking at the club for years now. So far, the Gunners have kept three clean sheets in nine games under Arteta compared to five in the 26 games without him.
Arsenal, recently have been let down by their attackers and if they improve after the winter break, the Gunners will definitely start picking up more wins.Published 14 Feb 2020, 17:57 IST