Graham Potter waxes lyrical about 'progressive' figure ahead of Brighton's clash with Arsenal
Graham Potter has praised the work of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, claiming the Gunners are improving under the Spaniard.
Speaking ahead of the Seasiders’ clash against the north London outfit, the Englishman claimed that despite their struggles, there are signs of improvement.
Arsenal have endured one of their worst seasons in the top-flight and are on course to record their lowest-ever league finish in the Premier League.
The Emirates Stadium outfit have lost 13 of their 37 league games so far this term, scoring just 53 goals and conceding 39 in what has been a season of inconsistency.
However, the majority of the side’s losses came pre-2021 with Arsenal second in the league if the division was judged over the last 23 games.
When asked about Arteta and his management, Potter said: “You could see that they’re disappointed because a club of that size is always competing in the top competitions, but sometimes in football that happens, but they have performed really well in games and should have won and scored more.”
“They have missed some opportunities. They can still attack you from any area on the pitch, they’re making progress as a team, Mikel is making progress there. They’re going to be strong, fighting for the points to get into Europe. From being written off a few months ago, they’re still in the fight and that’s a credit to them. They’re going to be a tough team.”
TBR View: Arteta’s has his flaws, but, the overall picture is right
Potter’s claims are a fairly accurate review of the team’s season. Whilst there has been obvious disappointment, there is enough in to claim the former Manchester City assistant coach will thrive in years to come.
The defensive aspect of the Gunners’ side is the most obvious improvement from previous regimes with the club possessing the third-best record in the division.
However, there have been some disappointments in attack, mostly to do with Arteta’s stubbornness in team selections. Willian was given far too many opportunities to shine early in the term whilst Nicolas Pepe was consigned to a bench role.
Moving into the end of the campaign, the Ivorian has shown he deserved greater number of chances to start when the Brazilian was failing week in, week out.
The project in the final third was saved by a couple of youngsters, namely Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, who have shown off their own talents whilst carrying out Arteta’s attacking plan to a tee.
Arteta may have struggled, however, as rightly pointed out by Potter, there is reason to believe the side are on an upward curve as opposed to a downward spiral.