Arsenal defender David Luiz has lauded Mikel Arteta after being left impressed by the Spaniard since taking charge.
The former Gunners captain was appointed as Unai Emery’s long-term successor in December, and although there have been disappointments along the way, there has certainly been an improvement in performances and results under his stewardship.
Prior to the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus crisis, Arsenal were unbeaten in eight Premier League games and remain in the hunt for the FA Cup.
However, they did crash out of the Europa League and remain off the pace for a top-four finish, and so there is evidently still room for improvement.
Luiz though has focused on the positives and has revealed the influence that Arteta has had on the squad while suggesting that there is confidence at all levels of the club that they’ll get it right moving forward and enjoy success.
“Mikel is doing amazing, I am enjoying being almost 33 years old and still learning and improving and to see how beautiful football is,” Luiz is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard. “Every day he changes something more and changes something more and how a new philosophy can still improve me as a person, a player as a leader.
“Mikel has tried to make us understand where to play and how to play. He gives us a plan: ‘If the team is like that, if there is a low block parking the bus how you can create, take the responsibility to make a risky pass.’
“If the pass arrives there then we create an opportunity and score the goal, if the pass doesn’t arrive there we can win the ball back quickly.
“Mikel has brought for the club a philosophy where everybody has to think for the best of the club. And the best of the club is to make the club shine again. Everybody, not just players, everyday has to breathe this oxygen, ‘this club is to win’.
“It doesn’t matter when, or by who, that was lost. What matters is to bring it back.”
Having gained knowledge and experience alongside Pep Guardiola during his time at Man City, Arteta will hope to use all that to his advantage to enjoy a prolonged and successful stint at the Emirates.
Ultimately though, he’ll be judged on his ability to get Arsenal back into the Champions League and if he can win trophies. The north London giants still have some way to go before reaching that point, although there are seemingly positive signs both on and off the pitch according to Luiz.
With 10 games remaining, Arsenal sit in ninth place in the Premier League table with eight points separating them and fourth-placed Chelsea, while they do have a game in hand.
In turn, the race is far from done and Arteta will hope qualifying for the Champions League will boost his hopes of stamping his mark on the squad this summer to improve them further.