“Some clubs may have got rid [of him]” – Alan Smith Gives Verdict On Mikel Arteta’s Managerial Stint At Arsenal

Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Linked With Barcelona
Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Linked With Barcelona

Arsenal legend Alan Smith has heaped praise on Mikel Arteta, saying the Spanish manager has done an excellent job since coming on board in December 2019. He also praised the Gunners for not sacking Arteta early on and allowing him to build a stable foundation.

Alan Smith Claims Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Is One Of The Best Out There

Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta took charge of the Gunners on December 22, 2019, three days after leaving his role as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City. He has since built a strong, young core, establishing the north Londoners as serious title contenders. He came agonizingly close to ending Arsenal’s Premier League drought in the 2022-23 season, and there is belief he will be able to go the distance this time around.

Most fans and former players are happy with how Arteta has fared over the last four years, and Smith is no exception. The two-time English champion said (via EPL Index):

He has done really well, the great thing is the club stuck by him. Some clubs may have got rid but Arsenal made the right choice in sticking with him.

His ability on the training ground stands out the most and Declan Rice has already commented on how much he has learnt from him already. Arteta is definitely still learning, but he’s still one of the best coaches out there at the moment.

How Has Arteta Performed Since December 2019?

Under Arteta, Arsenal have played an attractive brand of soccer. They have been excellent on the ball, impressed with their movement, defended in numbers, and exhibited a lot of patience to break down their opponents. According to the data from Transfermarkt, Arteta has taken charge of the Gunners in 214 games so far, guiding them to 128 wins, 32 draws, and 54 defeats. Under his tutelage, the north London outfit have won two FA Community Shields (2020-21, 2023-24) and one FA Cup (2019-20).

Arteta, whose contract with Arsenal expires in June 2025, has been linked with a switch to Barcelona. However, given how well he has handled the pressure at the Emirates Stadium, the Premier League aspirants are unlikely to let him go this summer.

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