Former Arsenal star praises Arteta’s work ethic

By on September 7, 2022

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal’s flying start to the new Premier League campaign sparked talk that they could mount a serious title challenge this season.

The Gunners rattled off five successive wins, before being brought back down to earth with a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United last weekend.

Despite that result, only Manchester City and Liverpool are ahead of Arsenal in the latest Premier League betting to claim top spot.

Mikel Arteta’s side have a one-point lead over Man City after six games and will be eager to stay in the title mix over the coming months.

The Arsenal manager has gradually improved the club’s fortunes since replacing Unai Emery in the hot seat in December 2019.

He guided the Gunners to fifth in the Premier League last term, and there are plenty of reasons to believe they will finish in the top four this season.

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna knows Arteta well and has backed his former teammate to lead the club to success over the next few years.

Sagna says the 40-year-old has long been a student of the game and believes his work ethic makes him the ideal man to manage the north London outfit.

“Back in the day we used to have family dinners together and he was always the type of person who was talking tactics and analysing the type of players we will be facing,” he said.

“I remember I used to go and watch El Clasico with him and he was always talking about the teams, asking why they’re playing 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 or whatever. I was like: ‘Whoa, I’ve just come to watch the game, why do we have to talk tactics?!’

“But that’s him. He had to analyse and he was always living the game. He always had that part in him.”

Arteta initially cut his teeth in coaching at Man City as an assistant under Pep Guardiola alongside Brian Kidd and Domenec Torrent.

He first met the City boss during his time at the Barcelona academy, and the pair remained in touch during their respective playing careers.

Guardiola tapped into Arteta’s knowledge before Barcelona’s Champions League semi-final against Chelsea in 2012, and was convinced he would become a top-class coach.

Arteta subsequently became a trusted ally of Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium and played a crucial role in the development of several younger players.

He has transferred that ethos to Arsenal, giving opportunities to numerous rising stars including Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.

The Gunners are now one of the most attractive teams to watch on live soccer streams, and Sagna believes Arteta deserves plenty of plaudits for the job he is doing.

“I think it has to come naturally – if you’re going to make it as a top coach, these things come naturally,” he added.

“Of course, you can pass your badges to become a coach, but what makes all the difference is the way you live your job, the way you approach your training sessions, the way you participate in your training session and the impact you have on your players by directly involving yourself with them.

“On a daily basis, you feel like Mikel is leading the training and gaining the support of the whole team.”