After weeks of speculation, former Arsenal skipper, Mikel Arteta has been unveiled as the new manager of the club. After the sacking on Unai Emery at the end of November, interim coach Freddie Ljungberg has managed only one win in five matches.
The loss to Manchester City prompted Ljungberg to urge the Arsenal board to make a decision on a permanent manager. A day before Arsenal face Everton at Goodison Park, Arsenal announced the signing of the Spaniard, who, incidentally, was an Everton player before joining Arsenal in 2011.
Although he will watch this match from the stands, with Freddie Ljungberg managing his last game as interim coach, fans will be excited to see the performance of the Gunners under Mikel Arteta.
Arteta is highly respected by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who felt he could take over the club if need be, having worked as Guardiola’s assistant. The last few years working under the guidance of Guardiola will have been excellent prep work for his first foray into management, and City did not offer much resistance when he was offered the job.
At his first press conference, the new manager admitted he felt saddened at what he saw when the club faced City. The Gunners have won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions and haven't kept a clean sheet on their away matches since the opening weekend of the season at Newcastle.
The Spaniard has promised to change the mentality that has seen the side consistently struggle to live up to expectations. Arsenal are currently 10th in the Premier League having won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions. The players at the club have been underperforming and Arteta finally seems like a manager who can lay down the hammer.
He has promised to axe players if they do not listen to him. This might see a lot of the younger talent get a chance to perform, especially players like Gabriel Martinelli.
More than the fact that this is the 37-year-old’s first tenure as a manager, Arteta will have to deal with a lot of big names in the dressing room. It will be interesting to see whether Guardiola’s counter-attacking strategy will be employed by Arteta. This might see the end of Arsenal’s defensive issues and allow the pacy wingers to get behind opponent lines.
However, what remains to be seen is whether the new manager will be able to keep a positive atmosphere intact. Going by his astute press conference, players will need to adhere to his tactics or face the axe. This could see the departure of quite a few players. With his return, Arteta must try to gain the trust of his players and work hard to turn the Gunners’ poor results around.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @Arsenal