Mikel Arteta hopes his Arsenal team can continue their progress under him

Two trophies in ten months of management would suggest that Mikel Arteta is something of a golden child when it comes to coaching, writes
Throw in the fact that the 38-year-old had to cope with the fall out of the coronavirus pandemic, ask the squad to take a pay cut and then persuade Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new deal, it’s easy to see why Arsenal have already elevated him from head coach to manager.
The reality is that no title change or internal promotion can hide the gap that Arsenal need to make up to be serious challengers again.
Last season they were eighth and 43 points behind Liverpool, even if Arteta did manage to beat Jurgen Klopp’s team on penalties in the Community Shield last month.
“I don’t know if in football history someone has closed a gap of 43 points if they maintain the same level in just a few months,” said Arteta.
“Obviously what you are expecting to do is be much better and more consistent and then they can drop the level a little bit, and then the gap is not that big.
“But we can control what we can control, which is our performances and our level of consistency. We will do our best to try to be much better than last year.”
Having eased past an awful Fulham but struggled to a win against a much-improved West Ham, Liverpool present a genuine test of how much genuine change the Arteta revolution has brought to the club.
Arsenal are in a similar position to Liverpool in 2012 when they appointed a 39-year-old Brendan Rodgers.
There was little hope of challenging for the title and they had struggled to replace a dominant, legendary manager in Rafa Benitez. It may provide some hope that the gap can be closed over time.
“I don’t see any complacency at Liverpool,” said Arteta.
“They go to any ground, even when they are 2-0 up, 3-0 up, 4-0 up, and they still go in the same way. This is an incredible credit to the coaching team, the culture they have created and the spirit of that team.
“There is not one player that plays half-half on the day, that is not very interested or just plays for moments in the game. They just go for it, every single minute of every game. Throughout the season to do that for 10 months, that’s a massive compliment I think.”

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