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Home   /   Mikel Arteta: The third best PL manager

Sub-edited by Max Francis

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Due to their respective success in the North West, it’s widely accepted that Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are the best managers in the Premier League.

However, there is a strong debate to be had about who stands just behind the Man City and Liverpool bosses. Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino are two that are commonly brought up by fans. Despite that, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a name that has to be brought into the conversation.

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The Spaniard returned to Emirates Stadium as Head Coach in December 2019 just a week on from watching on from the side-lines as Guardiola’s assistant as Manchester City easily strolled past an Arsenal side deprived of any fight or heart and languishing ninth in the Premier League table.

Within just six months, having dealt with the outbreak and subsequent lockdown caused by COVID-19, Arteta had masterminded FA Cup success in 2020 after beating City in the semi-final and Chelsea in the final.

Arsenal felt reborn. Although, the feel-good factor wouldn’t last long.

Arteta’s first full season saw his side struggle, eventually finishing 8th for the second consecutive season. However, the following two seasons would see immense progress on and off the pitch at Arsenal. A 5th placed finish would represent progress, and the following campaign saw a dramatic improvement as The Gunners pushed city all the way in the 2022/23 title race before missing out at the end.

The possibility of Arsenal even just being in and around the race for the title seemed unheard of when Arteta first took over, yet just three years later, he had changed everything and reignited the soul of the club.

On the pitch, things are arguably as good as they have been since the move to Emirates Stadium in 2006. Arteta’s 60% win rate as Arsenal manager is the most out of any manager in the club’s According to SofaScore, In the first 12 games of the current campaign, Arsenal have conceded the least xG of all 20 teams (9.64). The 2022/23 season saw the most points The Gunners had collected and the most goals scored in a single campaign in the Premier League era.

Arsenal may be improving on the pitch, but off the pitch things are progressing just as smoothly. The connection between the players and the fans has never felt closer, something the Arsenal boss takes great pride in. Bringing the fans and the players back together was one of his biggest aims when first taking over, stating in his press conference: “We need the fans. We need to engage them, we need to be able to transmit with our behaviours, our intentions, what we want to bring to this football club.”

It’s easy to see why Mikel Arteta should be right in the conversation for being the third best manager currently in the Premier League and has the full faith of not only the Arsenal board but also the majority of the Arsenal fanbase.

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May 2024