After three games in charge, it appears Mikel Arteta is commanding everything at the Emirates. The players, the performances, and the crowd.
When you look at Arteta you see, certainty, knowledge, a method, and a system. This is what you see in Arsenal’s manager’s box for 90 minutes of football. When alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, you can see major differences in managerial qualities, with Arteta the one who looks more sure of his position he’s in.
Their freshest result alone proved just how much Arteta knows about this game we call football. After three games as the new man at the helm, the Gunners showcased probably their best football this campaign.
First, a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth when they travelled to the Vitality Stadium. This was followed up with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, which in all fairness was not a true reflection of the game. This was then backed up tremendously by an amazing team performance against Man United where they won 2-0.
From the Chelsea game to the United outing, the North Londoners were playing football. This was their first clean sheet since their 0-0 draw against Everton, three games prior to that. These two were also their first two blanks at the back since October last year, where they beat Bournemouth 1-0.
The team as a unit has put in a major shift from the number one slot to the number nine slot. Just a bit of fitness concerns showing how they are unable to last a full 90 minutes of football, but they are on route to a better end to the 2019-2020 campaign.
Granit Xhaka and the divided Arsenal public
In particular, one player who did ever so well in the United victory was Granit Xhaka. A player who was reported to be on his way out and a player outcasted by the Gooners public.
Following the appointment of the Spaniard was a strong first interview. The man who has the mammoth task of making the Gunners fire without misfiring has set in stone what he wanted of his players at the club from day one.
A strong message was sent that if you don’t want to be at the club, you’d be the first to be shown the door. I for one thought the first was Xhaka. Firm reports surfaced just before the window opened that the player might join German outfit Hertha Berlin in what was said to be a £29,7m move.
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Arteta has changed Xhaka’s mind
Since the time of his arrival back in 2016, Granit Xhaka has had the Gooner nation split about his time at the club. But since his last fixture where he had probably his best display in an Arsenal shirt, the opinions have changed.
Since his Arsenal inauguration, he has made 117 EPL appearances, scoring seven goals and assisting another 12. This season he’s currently experiencing his worst return in a Premier League season. He is yet to score or contribute to a goal for the Gunners this term.
However, that has not stopped the new manager from wanting him to scrap the move and continue to kick a ball in a Gunners’ stripe. The Man United display was the perfect match to emphasis how important he can be to the club.
Get Granit to play as he plays from Switzerland
The consistency the midfielder shows in country colours is far more attractive than those in an Arsenal shirt. If Arteta was to get him to show the same form plus consistency over a long period of time.
He will get the Gooner faithful back on the Swiss’ side. Xhaka and co have taken Switzerland and made them one of the best teams in Europe. They place third in the FIFA world rankings.
This is has a lot to do with the player and his influence on the national team. Cancelling the move was the best decision by the manager so far. Hopefully, he can repay him with a string of excellent performances.