Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand worked with perhaps the greatest manager of all time in Sir Alex Ferguson, so he might be worth listening to when discussing the impact coaches can make.
Arsenal fans should therefore probably be quite excited to hear that Ferdinand has been hugely impressed by the obvious impact made by their new manager Mikel Arteta since he replaced Unai Emery in December.
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The Spanish tactician was a risky appointment by the Gunners, having never previously managed a single game of football before taking up the position left vacant since Emery’s sacking.
Arteta was, however, highly regarded for his work on Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City, and it seems there really was something to the hype.
Although results are perhaps not yet as good as they could be, Arteta has got AFC playing some better football once again, and Ferdinand thinks he’s clearly improved players like Bukayo Saka and other youngsters on the club’s books.
Speaking about Arsenal’s win at Bournemouth, Ferdinand singled out the performance of Saka, and went on to praise Arteta for getting the best out of him.
“I think Saka needs a special mention. This kid has been a breath of fresh air coming in,” Ferdinand told BT Sport, as quoted by the Metro.
“How quick he is, he’s confident as well, he plays the ball forward when he gets it, runs forward, the positions he takes up.
“That’s what I’ve liked so much about since Arteta has been in – the positions these young players are taking up and playing in, you can see the coaching coming out in them immediately. And that’s a great trait for someone so young as a manager.”