Lists & Guides


It is safe to say that Arsenal is having a safe and improved start to the season under Mikel Arteta despite the Spaniard being too short to mark his one year as the head coach of the Arsenal Football Club. Despite the Gunners languishing at the ninth position on the EPL table, they are four points behind the current league leaders Southampton despite playing a game less. 

The Emirate Stadium club have been made to adjust on many rudimental changes under the guidance of the Spanish coach and it thus reflects in the play as Arsenal have finally ended the long-term Old Trafford nightmare with a one nil victory over Manchester United.

Mikel Arteta’s arrival as Arsenal head coach has breathed new life into the club and the Spaniard’s impact is already clear with several players improving tremendously under the new boss, while the Gunners are currently looking to challenge for the most prestigious English gong. According to SBR, the Gunners are at +3300 to lift the English Premier League trophy this campaign with the aid of their new arrival and improved players.

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Arsenal’s vast improvement under Mikel Arteta was evident in their 1-0 win over Manchester United. The goal from the Aubameyang spot kick sealed the victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side but it was the manner of the Gunners’ performance which was eye-catching. Under former boss Unai Emery, Arsenal were often criticized for their lack of identity on the pitch and their labored build-up play.

But Arteta has since implemented a high-energy pressing game which has seen the Gunners impress in large spells against the big guns in the league while defeating Liverpool thrice and Manchester city once and Chelsea since the return of football in May. 

However, the following players are the most improved players under the guidance of Mikel Arteta at Emirate stadium. 

Shkodran Mustafi

It’s fair to say that Shkodran Mustafi has had a difficult Arsenal career to this point. Whether it’s been errors that have led to goals, wayward passing or dodgy positioning, there’s been plenty of evidence for his critics to point to. However, as the Mikel Arteta revolution continues, the German defender is enjoying a renaissance in north London and it’s a remarkable turnaround all things considered. 

At the beginning of the season, Unai Emery had publicly announced that Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny should ‘find another challenge’. Fast forward to the Arteta reign, and the defender looks sturdy and certain at Arsenal’s backline as an important part of the Arsenal defense. 

During his run in the team, a usually porous Arsenal side was showcasing a fortitude that hasn’t been apparent at all this season as they managed three clean sheets in a row before their win over Everton.

Although, the German had a more difficult task to win back fans as there was enough compelling evidence and weight of public opinion suggesting that his ​​Premier League​ credentials are no longer valid and the acquisition of Gabriel and resurgence of Luis and Holding has put his tentacles at arsenal’s backline to jeopardy, but it’s not a doubt that the 28-years-old German defender has well improved under the guidance of the Spanish boss at Emirate stadium.

Granit Xhaka 

Never for once the Arsenal faithful would imagine the redefined Xhaka would be on another level playing a blossom games week in and out in Arsenal’s shirt. Xhaka has been by far and away the most improved player under the Spanish coach, which is crazy considering it was only at the beginning of the last campaign he was stripped of his captaincy after reacting angrily to fans booing him off the pitch.

It takes a great sportsman to recognize an error in judgement and not only to apologize for it but to fix it. Xhaka has done exactly that and he deserves all the credit in the world for his glow-up.

Heading into last season before the arrival of Mikel Arteta, Xhaka’s main problems were his defensive ability and his discipline, as too often he would dive into reckless challenges and get himself a yellow card or even sent off. While he has picked up 13 yellow cards, Xhaka hasn’t been sent off once under the Spanish tactician.

He’s improved his defensive abilities massively. So much so that in the match against Manchester City, it seemed like he was the sole reason why the Gunners kept a clean sheet, as he was constantly getting in the box and preventing the likes of Kevin De Bruyne from having a sniff at goal.

I’m certain that working under Arteta is no coincidence. After all, the Spanish boss knows a thing or two about how to become a successful midfielder at Arsenal.  

Bukayo Saka 

The Nigerian born; English forward has not only been elevated but he has seen a lot of diversification to his role under the guidance of the Spanish tactician at the Emirate stadium which invariably had earned him the much-anticipated England National team call up in October.

But the winger is however known for his pace and vision coupled with a precise crossing of the ball, but the England international problem has always been his lack of his defensive shift strength. 

Moreover, the Nigerian born England international has been hitting a new height under Mikel Arteta with his level of defense strictly improving, coupled with the energy and intensity. 

The young, vibrant winger has seen lots of improvement on his defensive tactical nuance which has fostered more appearance under Mikel Arteta and beyond his tenacity and vision the England forward has improved a lot in all quality as a winger and as a left full back. 

David Luiz

When Arsenal kicked off the first match of the project restart against Manchester City, David Luiz was not a feature in the starting XI. However, when he came on as a substitute, he made his presence known for all the wrong reasons. 

His poor control saw Raheem Sterling through on goal before he brought down Riyad Mahrez in the box to concede a penalty and a red card. It was not the return to action Arsenal wanted, but Mikel Arteta didn’t hold it against Luiz and instead looked to build his confidence.

And it certainly showed, too. In all three matches against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, Luiz was absolutely phenomenal. Yes, he was protective of the goalkeeper but in all the right ways, as he looked to win challenges fairly and even put his body on the line when need be.

Judging by the FA Cup final with natural sound, it showed that Luiz was constantly being instructed by Arteta and it paid dividends in the end. The Chelsea goal was sloppy but early goals often are. After this, Luiz picked himself up and guided his defence to a resilient performance after this. The contract renewal will have done his confidence the world of good which reference the trust of Arteta in Luiz.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Nov. 10, 2020

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