Arsenal legend Ian Wright says Mikel Arteta is the right manager for the Gunners, “without a shadow of a doubt”.
Arteta was confirmed as Arsenal’s new permanent head coach just before Christmas last year, the Spaniard replacing compatriot Unai Emery after the latter was axed by the Emirates Stadium side.
At the time, Arsenal were stuck in a rut, languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table with a meagre five wins all season amid some poor results, including a draw with relegation strugglers Norwich City.
Things have since looked up for Arsenal under Arteta, and at the time of the Premier League’s suspension, were sitting ninth in the table, unbeaten in their last eight league games.
Wright, speaking to SPORF, believes that improvements have been made at Arsenal in a number of areas that will eventually lead to the club getting better results in the longer term.
“If we’re looking at somebody as a coach with ambition and drive and determination then, without a shadow of a doubt, we’ve got the right person,” said the Gunners icon. “I think you can see that with the intensity, the energy and the passion that the players have got.
“I did an interview with David Luiz the other day and when you listen to him speak about Mikel Arteta and what he wants and what he expects and the fitness and the drive that the players now have and you can see that there was a change at Arsenal.
“People are saying we’ve drawn a lot of games but there was a change in the output of the players, the intensity, the determination to try and execute the manager’s philosophy.
“And I think, as time goes by, hopefully with help from the owners, he will be somebody that if he is stuck with which we probably will then we will be going in the right direction, without a doubt. He’s somebody that’s driven to be successful. You can see that in him.”
Arsenal could hardly have picked a better head coach than Arteta – a club icon who learned the ropes under the great Pep Guardiola and now gets the chance to mould in his image a team that has underachieved in recent years.
The key thing, like Wright hinted, was that he needs time – the signs are there and, with a little time to really stamp his mark on the Gunners, the potential for success is there.