‘They are like animals’ – Ex-Arsenal star full of praise for Arteta, outlines key changes

Former Arsenal star Bacary Sagna has lavished Mikel Arteta with praise for the impact he has made at the club since being appointed.

The Spaniard returned to the Emirates in December as he was appointed as Unai Emery’s long-term successor after deciding to leave his coaching role at Manchester City.

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Although there have been disappointments along the way, namely crashing out of the Europa League, the Gunners have undoubtedly looked more impressive in terms of their performances and the results have been coming.

Perhaps it’s only fair to judge Arteta after he’s had a chance to stamp his mark on the squad while also having a full season in charge to imprint his philosophy and ideas onto the players.

Nevertheless, Sagna has already been hugely impressed by the Arsenal boss, detailing where he believes things have changed since he arrived.

“If you look at the team, even the team spirit has changed,” he said, as quoted by “Whether it’s running or tracking, they are like animals.

“Everyone was criticising [Shkodran] Mustafi and David Luiz, but Mikel has changed their way of defending.

“Maybe he gave them some more confidence, some more love, I don’t know what he’s done but he’s changed something.

“It’s because he has a strong spirit and a strong attitude. He is someone who is charismatic. When he stands on the pitch he sends a message to his players. He shows real leadership.”

Time will tell if that lasts and if Arteta can lead Arsenal to a successful future, but the early signs are positive for now and Sagna is clearly confident that the club are heading in the right direction under the current manager.

Arsenal are off the pace in the battle for Champions League qualification although they remain in the hunt for the FA Cup, although it remains to be seen if the season can even be completed given the current coronavirus crisis.

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