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Mikel Arteta: A Man With The Stature To Succeed At Arsenal

Considering he is turning 30 years old on the 26th March next year, it might be reasonable to assume Wenger wanted younger, alternative models and made the late signing out of necessity or, worse, panic. The question this article will endeavour to address is not whether Arteta was the first choice signing for Arsenal (he was probably not), but rather I will address whether he is a good signing capable of enhancing our squad and lineup.

If I was able to meet Mikel Arteta, I would ask him whether thought that his chance to succeed at a top, top club had passed him by. At Barcelona he trained alongside Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola, Rivaldo and Luis Figo but never made the grade. Years later he joined Real Sociedad for €5.2m in 2004 to play alongside Xabi Alonso, who promptly moved on to Liverpool. Living as neighbour to Alonso and Fernando Torres in an exclusive block of flats on the Albert Docks (overlooking the Mersey), both fellow Spaniards moved on to clubs with more financial clout and left him behind. He watched players such like Joleon Lescott move on for big transfer fees whilst he stayed. The chance to play in Europe’s greatest club tournament with Everton was lost when they failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League – losing to Villarreal over two legs in the qualifier stage. He played 42 youth games for Spain at under16, 17, 18 and 21 level but has never been capped by the senior set up. Despite interest, a transfer to Manchester City failed to materialise last summer, and a move to Arsenal would have fallen through without his intervention this summer. Everton fans must surely forgive him for forcing the deal after so often being left behind in his career.

In other words, Arteta arrives in North London knowing he has been given a winning ticket to achieve great things. Arteta had the intelligence and physicality to play an adapted version of his natural technical game at Everton, combining it with the power and passion the Premier League necessitates. With naturally excellent posture that stands him at every millimetre of his full height and proportionate sportsman stature; he has the natural genetic ingredients to absorb greater physical contact from tackling players than Cesc, Modric and Ramsey. Arteta played at an Everton under David Moyes that focused on fast pacing and percentage football. Percentage football is based on playing the game in a statistically efficient way which generates the best of your footballers. They knew that crossing from wide to strong, fast players that can head the ball – such as Tim Cahill – would lead to goals and so they do. Arsenal use multi-dimensional attacking midfielders that run diagonally form wide to central and employ a centre forward (in Van Persie) who drops deep to exchange passes, start moves and hit curling thunderbolt left footers from 25 yards. Those facets of Arsenal’s game style centralise possession and will increase the responsibility of Mikel Arteta’s role. Arsenal might well be one of the most naturally narrow playing sides in the League.

Arteta is a man known away from competitive matches to be equally aggressive to win in training, shouting at coaches that as referees over decisions in training matches. It would appear that Arteta’s joining the club signals an increasingly changed mentality at the club. “I won’t be the first with a joke when we lose,” he said. I don’t think a quote such as “before you start joking you need to analyse the mistakes” could be attributed to the carefree spirits of Eboué or Denilson.

I believe he will be a very good signing. Arteta is hungry to win, hungry to take his chance and will be more than welcomed by Van Persie and Wilshere – judging by their tweets. Being fluent in Spanish, English, French and eat Italian he can sit alongside our cosmopolitan squad knowing he can teach them a thing or two. Academy players will see a player approaching 30 that will undoubtedly want to beat them all in training and has kept his performance and profile high in the world’s toughest league for years. Married to a former Miss Spain, confident, well spoken and considering a future in management (he said thinks about it) he emanates success and professional values. One organic reaction to his presence in a youthful squad should be teenage prospects seeing what it takes to get to the top level and then to stay there. Arteta will nurture and advise youngsters in the way that Guardiola did to him.

For all Arsenal chat, transfer news as soon as I get it and general discussion on the club, then follow @Detective82.

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Arsenal
Arsenal
9 years ago

This is exactly what i felt about him too

Paul
Paul
9 years ago

Remember Arteta has a poor injury record and with our medical team we have to fear for him.Wenger said Jack would be out for 10 days now it is 3 months!!!!!

Arteta is a good player but not a great one.

Ozgooner
Ozgooner
9 years ago

A good positive review of Mikel Arteta. Haven’t read many of these. If he can stay injury free he will be an excellent addition to the team. Meets nearly all the criteria AFC require at this moment.Good post fella!

jaypers
jaypers
9 years ago

Season ticket Evertonian here. I wish him all the best, hopefully a fresh challenge will enable him to recapture form that left him 3 years ago. And don’t let him take corners, can’t EVER clear the first defender. Ten mill is great business. Thank you Mr Wenger

Gabriel
Gabriel
9 years ago

Arteta is an exceptional player and he’ll obviously improve the squard with his wealth of experience and techniques

2gunnsUP
2gunnsUP
9 years ago

Fantastic piece….us arsenal fans must welcome Arteta and give him the support he needs to take the club and himself to greater heights.

Mustafa Abba-Isa
Mustafa Abba-Isa
9 years ago

Since Arteta was wearing No. 6 shirt with Merseyside, he’s my dream signing because style of play. And he have the maturity, which is compatriot did not have, i think is his twilight will bring out the best in him, as the likes of Zidane, Forlan etc did.

Agboola kareem Ayinde
9 years ago

pls do not crucify him yet is a good player in all aspect you are under value him b’cos is an everton player bt he wil suprice you all

Gunzblazzin
Gunzblazzin
9 years ago

great post, i hope he can do great for us and guide our young midfielders, wilshere is out for 3 months, what a crushing blow, i guess its time for ramsey to shine 🙂

venky
venky
9 years ago

He is going to be as good as Cesc, just that he was not provided with the right opportunities. Mark my words he would be playing for Spain before december. The first time I saw him play for Everton immediately I thought WOW! what a player?!,WHY DON’T WE BUY HIM?. He is going to asisst no less than 20 times this season if he stays fit. He is gonna be the catalyst for us this season just like Arshavin was when he arrived. The fact that he took a pay cut to join us similar to Cesc ot join Barcelona… Read more »

fred
fred
9 years ago

bla!! bla!! bla!!! I want 2 c hm play first!

Damien scoobaay
9 years ago

This is a top article.

goonerwayne87
goonerwayne87
9 years ago

Well said mate. All i thought when we signed was a quality experienced premier league player. I personally hope he hits the ground running. Always rated him and im ignoring the remarks about him being passed his best. No one knows until he pulls on that famous red and white jersey. Cone on u gunners!

coggster
coggster
9 years ago

i agree with the article, top player. Im just worried about his past injury catching up with him.

Macey
Macey
9 years ago

he’ll be good if he can get his fitness back 100% he was looking to getting back there recently when he did his ham-string. I hope he does I’d watch him and would like to see him succeed. A Toffee.

GeorgeBlazenby
9 years ago

“… and eat Italian?” Careful there Arteta, that pasta puts on the pounds!

Wale
Wale
9 years ago

I hope so too, cos he is what arsenal needed now and i pray if deliver. Lol

George
George
9 years ago

We did an okay job on players in, but a great job on shifting players out! This reduce our wage bill by a bit, allowing us to bring in more quality players with inevitably higher wages in the future. We can almost expect for certain that Almunia, Squillaci, Rosicky, Arshavin, Benayoun, Denilson, Bendtner to lead the clear out next summer. Djourou, Chamakh, Vela has got a good chance of following them out too. I am sure of this, because Wenger showed in this window that he has little tolerance left for underperforming players with huge wages. All these will free… Read more »

Bluejohn
Bluejohn
9 years ago

I wish him well at Arsenal, he could have left us two or three years ago, but stayed. At 29, European Cup football (I have refused to call it Champions League ever since teams did not have to be champions to enter), probably swung it for him, you have a fantastic player on your hands, (possibly not as good as Cesc, but not far off), I too am sure he will be in the Spain team now that he is at Arsenal, tbh, he has deserved a call-up for a few years. Just two points, your “top,top club” comments come… Read more »

bongo
bongo
9 years ago

Bluejohn is correct. I’m an Arsenal fan that has nothing but admiration for Everton and always watch their games if there’s no clashing gunners fixture. They don’t play percentage football, they play a nice style of football, fast paced attacking football. There is a misnomer that they play percentage football because they simply don’t have a striker that puts away the numerous chances they create with any kind of regularity. That has been the most frustrating to watch about Everton. Saha is that kind of marksman but he’s always out. It’s very often left to the midfield players to have… Read more »

My Arsenal
My Arsenal
9 years ago

very good article. I agree he will bring a lot to the youngsters.. There is a lot of talk about his age. But I really don’t see a problem with it. He’s 29 and as he isn’t a national player that will probably save him a few good years much as Berbatov,Giggs etc. Arteta was a starplayer in Everton and we know he will bring loads to Arsenal, but I’m also by the view that Arsenal will bring so much to Arteta. There is some quality in Everton.. But with the likes as RvP,Gervinho,Walcott, Wilshere I believe Arteta will reach… Read more »

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[…] knowledgeable Gooner Talk has spoken in detail about Mikel Arteta, his move from Everton and how his experience and his age should help him settle in and deliver on […]

MothersMilk
MothersMilk
9 years ago

Any truth to Vermaelen out for a month due to surgery? It was in some Murdoch rag this morning so to be taken with a sack of salt…

SAMO…

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