Arsenal currently lie 10th in the Premier League, having shown clear signs of optimism under Mikel Arteta’s new management.
The Gunners endured a torrid time in the latter stages of Unai Emery’s tenure, bereft of a clear philosophy while tactics flimsily altered game to game. Combined with a lack of strong defensive foundations, Arsenal found themselves in a precarious position, far off the European places they so desperately crave.
While Arsenal have won just one of their last five games, a signal of the continued work still to be done under Arteta, only they and Liverpool remain unbeaten in the top-flight since the turn of the year. Two months on from getting the job, the Spaniard is beginning to make his mark, even if results aren’t reflective just yet.
Indeed, Arteta would appear to have the backing of former teammate Robin Van Persie, who was asked about him during a Q&A session on Twitter.
Former-striker reflects on playing with Arteta
Mikel Arteta moved to the Emirates from Everton in 2011, where he stayed for five years and captained the side alongside other key figures during a strong period for the London outfit.
Elsewhere, Van Persie joined in 2004 from Feyenoord, spending eight years with the club before moving to rivals Manchester United in 2012. As such, the duo spent one year playing together, a period the forward reflected on via social media.
“I played with him for 1 year,” Van Persie said. “Very good player and professional.”
Responding to questions about Arteta’s playing style as a teammate, Van Persie answered jokingly.
“Luckily he realised straight away that he had to pass all the balls to me, that’s what I call a great player.”
‘First signs look promising!’, Van Persie backs Arteta
To date, Van Persie has ventured into punditry while Arteta’s path has taken him int management. Learning under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage at Premier League holders Manchester City, Arteta is now trying to implement his own stamp at his former club, hoping to re-establish the philosophy and bring the glory days back to the Emirates.
While results haven’t been as promising as fans would’ve hoped as yet, with Arsenal six points adrift of the Champions League place, given Man City’s recent UEFA ban means fifth-place are likely to make roads into the competition, the performance level and desire within the current crop has taken a notable step up.
Indeed, his former-teammate believes he has made a promising start to life as Arsenal’s manager, when speaking online.
“First signs as a manager look very promising!”
Arsenal face Olympiacos in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday evening before a crunch tie with Everton on Sunday – two big games that could have lasting implications on the remainder of their season.