EXCLUSIVE : A Look Into Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal Career So Far

Mikel Arteta was not the first choice midfield signing we had in mind but due to usual circumstances of dilly-dallying, we got him instead. Sitting in my room, and reading an article on Arsenal, the idea came to write about this reserved Spaniard who goes about his job without any complaints or glamour. Amongst the most impatient fans who claim to be die-hard(I’m guilty of this at times) he’s not the most popular figure as what fans perceive to be lack of cutting edge play on his part seems to be the problem.

I tried so hard to find the perfect and catchy title for this post and even considered “Mikel’s Art-Ether For Arsenal So Far” with the “Ether” representing the threat he presents to the opposite team and the “Art” for his role as playmaker (via @Illuminatish) but I stuck with the above.

For someone with 6 years of premiership experience, at a top club and commanding a pricey £10M for a 29 year old, a lot was expected of him when his signing was announced. To say his transition has been anything but easy would be a lie. Most fans are still not convinced he’s good enough to play for Arsenal. Let’s look at him closely.

Arteta is your classic CM, the playmaker that makes that transition between defense and attack, the one that dictates the tempo of the game and overall performance of the team. At Everton he played like that and at times as an attacking midfielder, that one that releases the final pass for the goal and scores the occasional goal. That’s who he is.

But at Arsenal, he’s been played differently. He’s been asked to sit deeper beside the DM, just infront of the back four and do the simple & careful job of collecting the ball & releasing it almost immediately. Pick the easiest pass, try not to get caught on the ball and help out when the attackers lose the ball. Which makes it easier for Ramsey to have that free role without really defending much.

For this primary reason, everyone seems to hate his style of play, I personally have gone as far as calling him a glorified Denilson. Looking closely at his game, you’ll see he brings a lot more to the table. Below are some of Arteta’s positives:

    ¤Anchors the midfield alongside Song and helps provide a solid enough base for all of Arsenal’s attackers. Defends well too and chases after every ball
    ¤Rarely loses the ball, builds attacks well and gives Ramsey all the freedom the Welshman needs to be the sole playmaker.
    ¤His variety of passes, mostly to the wings, gives us a different style of attacking play and frees up Van Persie from coming back all the time to collect the ball.
    ¤Reads the game well, at 29 brings welcome & much needed experience to the entire team both on the field & in the locker room.

Many claim he had his best performance against West Brom as he attacked with verve and hunger, gave an assured performance and for someone who has been accused of overplaying the pivot, distributing the ball to the wings and leaving others for the more clinical passes, he started and finished the move that led to third goal.

We must realize that despite his EPL experience, Arsenal is a whole new one for him, with an entirely different team where he has to curb his own attacking instincts to allow Ramsey flourish and take on defensive duties. In time, he’ll come good, but for now, we’ll have to put the team above his own performances. Let him continue with the careful style of play, who knows, maybe when Wilshere comes back, he’ll(Arteta) be pushed further up the pitch, I doubt gooners want to see that though.

2 Goals and 1 assist is not so bad considering Ramsey has 4 assists and 2 goals this season. As he said:

    “We’ve been working on being a bit more solid but I like to get forward, get freedom and I like to score goals. I want to participate more on the attacking side, so I did that(WestBrom) and I’m pleased with that”. When asked if that was the best of him, he said “I hope not, I’ve only been here 2 months”

Well there you have it. In time he’ll get better, I see him as a welcome addition who fans would come to appreciate as the season progresses especially if new signings come in come January. Have a great day gooners.


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Posted on November 7, 2011, in Write Ups and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. A good buy is what I see from arteta at a cheap price.He’s good both on d attack nd defensively.:he needs more time to adjust nd feel at home then we get to see his best in Arsenal colours..

  2. We should also take to account the previous clubs of his. No offence to Rangers & Everton but had he spent all those years with Arsenal, I mean…

  3. i think we all expected a fabregas type performance from him. saying he wld get better as the season goes on might be a tall order seeing as he is 29 already and given the type of occasional BS arshavin plays it might be hard to believe arteta wld get better. we just hope for the best although i still rate arshavin as our best midfield choice

  4. Arsenal are playing a lot clever than we used to when we had Fabregas because with Fab he was always looking for the killer ball pushing us further up the pitch so teams were able to expose us on the counter as soon as we lost possession in the financial third.With the artist its a matter of playing cautiously and if the killer ball is on he may just try it if he’s covered otherwise he’ll play safe. cos of this we’re not getting caught on the counter anymore and Manure who exploited that weakness the most will struggle to beat us if at all.Arterta is doing what Pettit used to do for us alongside vieira. just watch him but don’t compare.

  5. One of good article about Arteta that i’ve found so far..Arteta is not a Cesc-esque type of player. in fact, if you’re compare him with Cesc, i will easily call you a lazy journalist.. When they first announced that Arteta was signed by us, i’ve imagine in my mind that our trio midfield will become ‘neat’ and he has proved it so far. I feel gutted when few of us still not understand about his role and function in trio team. When he first arrived here, he’s working hard but he did not dominant the midfield, but i don’t blame him because he really need time to adapt here. Until now, he has played 12 games and his movement is getting better and better. His passing was effective and he has tremendous work rate with his good technique on the ball. I like watching him provided good cover in defence especially when we played Santos and Arshavin. I don’t feel that i need to touch on his positive sides because we know lots will come from the Spaniard. 2 goals so far and from outside the penalty box. It’s been long time we don’t have someone who can shoot the ball from there. I believe the Spaniard can contribute a few more goals from that area of the pitch as his shooting technique is top class. If he was given a chance, i want to see him play more deeper than his position now, but considering our trio, i don’t think so.. All the best to Arteta, hope to see more from him. Our best last minute signing of the season.

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