Mikel Arteta Reveals the Secret to Arsenal's Success this Season
The manager of Arsenal Football Club, Mikel Arteta has given an insight into the success his team has enjoyed so far this season.
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The Spaniard was speaking in an interview with Sky Sports News ahead of the Premier League return where he explained how he brought out the best of Granit Xhaka. The captain of the Switzerland national team has been the difference between the Arsenal of this season and that of last season.
Arteta said in the interview that he threatened Xhaka with a replacement to bring out the best in him.
I think it was a necessity. The squad wanted to evolve to another level and be more dominant and have more resources in the final third to attack and to score more goals. We needed to make that change. I spoke to him at the end of the season and said, ‘I need to unlock something in your brain because you’re so comfortable and confident playing in this area that you have forgot what is actually going to win us the game and the team now demands somebody here, so unless you unlock that I’m going to have to do something about it. He took it straight away. He’s a very intelligent player, he came to pre-season fitter than ever, slimmer than ever, and he knew that if we wanted to take the team to a different level we had to change his role. He knew that was coming. We believed he has those qualities, those qualities were there to be exploited and they were hiding. The team needed those qualities very much.
Arteta also spoke about the mistakes that Xhaka had made in the past before this season but the Swiss man has improved in his style of play.
As I said, he is extremely intelligent, he has the physical capacity to constantly threat and occupy those spaces and recover his position quickly enough to have the balance we need. He’s been really consistent, the way he trains, the way he practises, to evolve to the demands we want for the team. He’s a special person. He’s very straight, he’s very honest, he’s very loyal and he’s very passionate about what he does. So when you have someone like that you want to help him, you want to protect him, you want him to fulfil the talent he has. He’s made some mistakes and he’s learnt from it, but he has always faced adversity and difficulty and he’s never run away from it. This is what all managers wants from their players. You know you can count on him, he will fight and break walls for you. This is what we expect from our players.
Arsenal top the league table with five points ahead of defending champion, Manchester City.