Has Arsenal found the right man in Mikel Arteta?
Arsenal's recent spectacular results have highlighted Mikel Arteta's technical acumen, which has helped the club upraise. Is he capable of restoring their old glory?
The difficulty of finding a replacement for legendary managers is a scenario we have seen in almost every top European club, as evidenced by Liverpool's struggles after Rafa Benitez's exit and Manchester United's ongoing struggles since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure among many others.
The Premier League club wasted no time finding a new manager after finishing fifth in Emery's first season and enduring a string of poor results and a winless run of seven games under the manager.
Despite Arsène Wenger's comments about Emery's unfair treatment, the club appears to have found a tactician who seems to be the right man for the job in the person of former captain Mikel Arteta.
"Certainly, yes, because they didn’t give him a lot of time, " Arsène Wenger replied beIN Sports when asked if Emery was unfairly treated at the Emirates.
After a disappointing first season under Arteta, the Gunners have found their feet this season, producing a string of positive results that have transformed Arsenal's hostile atmosphere.
The manager has done an outstanding job leading his team to the brink of Champions League qualification this campaign for the first time since 2015.
Notwithstanding the harsh criticism for releasing several of Arsenal's top players, the manager's vision appears to have been vindicated.
Arsenal players are enjoying life under Mikel Arteta as they continue to produce consistent performances
His astute approach to assembling a group of young, talented players with a strong desire to play for Arsenal has contributed to the club's recent success.
He took his time curbing players like Mesut Ozil, David Luiz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lucas Torreira, and others, so as to make room for some fresh, eager legs.
As he leads Arsenal down a progressive path, the Spaniard's philosophy demonstrates how much he learned about vision from his former manager, Pep Guardiola.
The positive atmosphere of the Emirate stadium is gradually returning
Arsenal fans would be utterly behind him this time, having restored the club's euphoria. So far, Arteta's recent success may have given the club fans reason to believe that he could bring them back to its golden days.
With the manager on the verge of leading Arsenal to their first Champions League appearance since 2015, let us look at the significant changes he has implemented at the Emirates.
Brilliant midfield restructuring
Mikel Arteta has restructured Arsenal's midfield, which lacked guile and coordination, with some brilliant midfield recruitments.
With his ambitious view, the manager has recruited a group of young, talented midfielders eager to learn and proud to wear the Emirate jersey.
The smart additions of Thomas Partey, Martin Ødegaard, and Albert Sambi Lokonga to the team have bolstered Arteta's midfield options and added depth to his squad.
Thomas Partey's watchful eye on Arsenal's defense
After closely watching Arsenal's poor performances under Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta identified the need for an excellent defensive midfielder and signed the best available in Thomas Partey.
Since his transfer from Atletico Madrid, the Ghanaian international has emerged as a bulwark for Arsenal, and his outstanding performances have been crucial to the club's success this season.
Partey has quickly adapted to Premier League football, recording the most successful tackles of any Arsenal player (41) and helping them become the Premier League club with the fifth-highest possession (52) this season.
Mikel Arteta's midfield balance is aided by his outstanding interceptions and intelligent runs in both offensive and defensive play. The manager will be thrilled to have signed such a talented player for a relatively low fee of £45 million.
Martin Ødegaard's remarkable beginnings
Former Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard has become Arsenal's newest unsung hero. The Norwegian captain has dominated his early Arsenal career with his superb skills and understanding.
With his incredible creativity, the 23-year-old has propelled the Gunners to new heights since sealing his permanent move, having created six big chances, scored six goals, and assisted four.
Martin Ødegaard has been heaped with praise by football loves in the past few weeks due to his outstanding performances.
With 1,477 passes in 35 Premier League appearances, he has contributed solely to Arsenal's high possession this season, ranking third among Arsenal players in passes.
Arsenal fans will be pleased with Arteta's shrewd decision to make his loan spell at the Emirate permanent, and they will hope to see more of him in the future.
Smart defence Re-enforcement
Despite the club's history of poor defensive performances in recent seasons, Mikel's rearguard does not fall into that category.
Over the years, Arsenal fans have endured many poor defensive performances that have cost the club points and hampered their chances of qualifying for Champions League football.
Under Arsène Wenger, Arsenal had great goal scorers who scored over 20 goals per season, but they could not compete with other top teams due to the high number of goals they conceded.
Robin van Persie and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were two notable talented strikers who led the Gunners' frontline with incredible goals, but their efforts were thwarted by poor defensive play.
Brazilian defender Gabriel is one player who is enjoying life under Arteta with his four league goals this season
Arteta's prudent decision to replace Arsenal's defensive deadwood with highly skilled defenders has paid off, as it has been instrumental in his team's build-up play in the current season.
The Spaniard made the right call in replacing Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal, and a slew of other underwhelming defenders.
Arteta cast his net far and wide to find the best central defenders who could handle defensive pressure in Ben White and Gabriel, whose defensive pairing has given the Gunners the confidence to attack, with their 1512 and 1721 passes serving as an instrument to the team's build-up play.
In addition to his brilliant central defenders, the 40-year-old has acquired one of the best full-backs in the Premier League as a result of the competition he has created in the position.
Because of the manager's approach to rotating these players, Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cédric Soares, and Kierney Tierney have all performed admirably.
The Gunners have kept 14 clean sheets in 35 Premier League games this season, surpassing their previous 12 clean sheets, a significant improvement as the manager continues his rebuilding process.
Arteta is constantly working to improve his back-line, and Arsenal fans are pleased with his efforts thus far, hoping for a more positive outcome from the manager.
Faith in the Academy players
Mikel Arteta is one of many managers who believe in giving academy players a chance, and his faith in them has paid off handsomely for him.
Arsenal's tremendous improvement this season has been aided by the outstanding performances of Arsenal academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in Arteta's squad.
Their incredible efforts have contributed to over one-third of Arsenal's league goals, outstanding performances that Gunners fans hope to see more next season.
Bukayo Saka has continued to show why he has earned many England call ups with his outstanding performances
The talented duo has single-handedly helped Arsenal secure many points, either by scoring or assisting in some games, with Emile Smith-Rowe racking up 10 league goals and providing two assists in 33 appearances.
Bukayo Saka, who has become untouchable in Arteta's starting eleven after appearing in all 35 of Arsenal's Premier League games, has been a standout in a Gunners shirt, scoring 11 league goals and assisting six.
With the impressive development so far under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal's board of directors has rewarded the manager's excellent work with a three-year contract extension as they continue to chase their obligation to compete for the Premier League trophy.
The manager is still displeased with the depth of his squad, which he plans to bolster during the upcoming transfer window with full club support.