Mikel Arteta finally got a tune from Arsenal and the guys are leading the way
one day, ArsenalThe car’s engine was powered by the old guard – the likes of Patrick Vieira, Terry Henry and Tony Adams set the standards impossibly high.
The past decade has been kind of wild for the Gunners, as they have gradually lost the leaders who made the club what they are, year after year. William Gallas and Robin van Persie Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Lauren Koscielny. Arsenal fans have been crying out for a figure who can push the club back into the title race after watching several Arsenal players try and fail.
For a time, simply finishing top of the top four was a fiasco for Arsenal – and now it’s the Holy Grail after four years out of the championship. Champions LeagueAnd their last ordeal since his departure Arsene Wenger This coincided with no generals on the field.
Gone are the days of Thierry Henry (centre) and Patrick Vieira (right), who led Arsenal to their glory years.
Arsenal have lost influential players in recent years and neither Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka (right) have been able to guide the club on their own.
Mikel Arteta – the same former Arsenal captain who knows what it means to lead the club and how important it is for the group to have someone to look at – has been slowly rebuilding the club from the rubble of a disastrous period under Unai Emery but lacking players to strike the right balance.
David Luiz is a seasoned player with a bunch of accolades on his resume but his recent performance couldn’t keep up with that and he was released in the summer. Anyone who has seen Granit Xhaka can admire his fiery nature but he often crosses the line – and it has cost him the armband.
Current captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was only appointed because he was seen as an Arsenal mascot, someone the team could fall behind. It’s not vocal enough and its shape has diminished.
So Arteta had to look elsewhere and build a leadership system, as Gareth Southgate did with England – he had one official captain in Harry Kane and introduced several other key figures like Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford.
Mikel Arteta is building a leadership unit in the UAE centered around young talent
Arsenal’s transfer activity is set this summer after they spent £149m failing to win any of their first three matches. There have been serious question marks over the movements of Martin Odegaard, Albert Sambi Lukonga, Aaron Ramsdale and Nuno Tavares. It was justified – but after three wins on the bounce, there is clearly a strategy.
“I think we’re building some leadership in the group,” he said last month. “It’s a really young group, with a lot of players under the age of 23. Martin [Odegaard] He is the captain of the national team and Sambi [Lokonga] The captain was in Anderlecht.
Martin has this ability to do it with his talent, taking the ball at moments when others would likely refuse, but also with his attitude, his rhythm and the way he presses and puts pressure on people.
“I am happy to have him not only give us what he gives us with the ball, he is a real leader and an example without the ball.”
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One of his young summer deals also showed the same qualities. Aaron Ramsdale’s £23m move from Sheffield United raised eyebrows – he barely cut trees last season as the Blades slipped to the championship, but he has already ousted Bernd Leno from number one at Arsenal and shows he is ready to fight back.
He’s only allowed one goal to be scored in the three games he’s played since becoming first-choice, and Arteta was delighted with how he fought for his place and then followed up that with emphatic performances after his 1-0 win over Burnley.
“This is his character and leadership,” he said. This is how he presents himself as a person and that’s what I love. He has a presence and he dominates his territory.
New goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale overcame bad last season to become Arsenal’s No. 1
Center back Ben White also came from Brighton for £50m – another sum that was set when compared to the relatively modest £42m deal that Man United completed for World Cup winner Raphael Varane.
Whether Arsenal overspend or not, White’s attitude and willingness to put his body to the test and strive to propel the team forward is exactly what the club needs. He has been nominated as the future England captain in his career. Mark O’Brien, his former Newport County teammate, said the team can tell right away that he is a player to follow and who can be trusted.
“[League Two] It’s a very physical league, but he handled it well. He used to block shots and enjoy defending, but he also showed his own qualities by being really good at handling the ball. He looked like a complete player. I just knew, there and then, that he was going to bigger and better things.
You can trust him. Usually, you feel like you have to train the little boys during matches and talk to them a lot. But he got bigger and bigger the more he played and he started showing off everything that was going on around him.
Ben White (left) has gradually settled into life in North London, and Emile Smith Rowe (right) leads by example with his honest showings
White throws himself in the tackle and his attitude is what Arsenal have been screaming for
With the attitude he has, and how straight forward he is, Ben lets his football do the talking. I think it will get better and better. I could see him captaining the England national team in the coming years.
After a rough start, White settled into the squad and managed to steer Spurs away from his goal to secure a 3-1 derby-day win over their arch-rival – a match that also saw two other rising stars step up to the plate.
Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring at Emirates Club and quickly became a fan favorite after joining the club at just ten years old. The 21-year-old’s attitude will affect his teammates and appears to be making an impression on the international scene as well.
Former England Under-21 coach Eddie Boothroyd said, “Honesty is the word that jumps to me. We can talk about all the technical qualities he has, and his willingness to work with the team. But he is very honest in what he does. He desperately needs to be satisfied.”
Smith Rowe has been an inspiration in midfield and has made a huge impression this season
Bukayo Saka is another player who is admired by Arteta for his courage and ability to make decisions
Gareth Southgate has admitted he is ‘close’ to the England first-team squad and wants him to develop further. Also on the scoresheet was Three Lions star Bukayo Saka – who had to dig deep as a player and banish the painful memory of missing the crucial penalty against Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
He was also subjected to racist abuse from the fans after the match. Still only 19 years old, he has shown his character to fight against adversity and get back to level with Arsenal, showing his hunger to aim and help Tottenham.
Arteta is a huge fan of Saka and how he constantly demands the ball and makes bold decisions when the match is tight.
Collectively, the Spaniard is assembling a group of young talents who fight for each other and lead as individuals first and foremost. The more players who display these qualities, the more his team will begin to look like a unit and you can see the seeds planted.