It’s been a difficult 12 months for Mikel Arteta, but he appears to still have the backing of the Arsenal dressing room.
The Spaniard’s initial success as manager of the North London outfit, namely another FA Cup win, has since been overshadowed by one Arsenal’s poorest seasons in recent memory.
There’s an awful lot for the Gunners to work on, but one player is delighted by how much he’s learning from the gaffer.
“The ethics and the way [we] work since Mikel has been the manager of the club have completely changed. These behaviours, our behaviours, have been rewarded by him.
“There’s more emphasis on behaviours like the way we run back or the way we create space for a player.
“You can move to receive the ball, you can move to get a player [to move] away or move into space, there are so many ways that you can move.
“Sometimes a goal is created not by the player who passes the ball or the player who scores, but by the player that actually created that space and did what he had to do at that time.
“Many people among the fans, in the stands or even pundits sometimes, they won’t see that. But, truly, that’s what we’ve practised, that’s what the coach has asked and, by the player doing that, we were able to score that goal.
“Even sometimes for the players it’s hard to see, when other teams do it and stuff. But we know, in our dressing room and in the way that we play, that we scored that goal thanks to that player.
“When we analyse the game the coach will say: ‘Guys, it’s thanks to this player and this, this, this and this, and then we scored the goal’. So I think that is something that, internally, has been rewarded and I think that’s really important.”
Losing the dressing room would almost certainly spell the end of Arteta of course, however, he still has time to turn things around.
He will be judged on his results, so how well he works the transfer market this summer will surely have an effect on the type of start the Gunners get off to.
Arsenal supporters will be hoping Arteta’s players finally step up to the plate for him in 2021/22.