My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

What Made Mikel Arteta Such a Great Player for Arsenal?

Mikel Arteta might well have made a name for himself as the manager of Arsenal Football Club, but we should definitely not forget that he was a pretty successful player for the team too. In fact, it is probably the fact that he was once on the pitch for Arsenal that has helped make him such a popular manager; because he obviously can walk the walk when it comes to playing football as well as talking the talk – and that is always going to be a positive. Anyone into Premier League betting is going to want to know that they’re placing their money on a well-supported team and for sure, Arsenal is firmly in that category.

Playing For Arsenal

Whilst he might look slightly different, Mikel has actually been part of the Arsenal family since 2011, when he joined the team at the last minute following a transfer from Everton. During his time as a player for Arsenal, he played over 200 matches over five seasons and was certainly considered one of Arsene Wenger’s success stories. There are many stand-out moments in his playing career but without a doubt, the day he first wore the captain’s armband will be remembered by many. Mostly because it was not known before the game that Mikel would be stepping out as captain, in fact, Mikel himself didn’t know until he walked into the changing room and saw the armband hanging on the hook over his jersey.

Longevity in his Football Career

Mikel was able to stay playing professional football for Arsenal for a good number of seasons and a big part of this was his diversity as a player. As it was recognised that his mobility began to change he moved to a different playing position – in front of the back four rather than positions further up the pitch for some games. This allowed him to stay part of the team and help lead them to successful matches, such as the team he scored a 30+ yard free kick and helped the team beat Aston Villa 2-0.

His Fellow Players

Former Arsenal player Bacary Sagna has recently talked about all things football, including his thoughts on Arsenal and how well Mikel is doing. They were Arsenal teammates when they both played for the North London team so it is interesting to see what someone who knows him well thinks of him as a manager. He touched upon their friendship and how they and their families would often have dinner together. However, it wasn’t just football play they would talk about, instead, Mikel was keen to discuss stats and data, analysing the players they would be facing and how they could come out on time. “I remember I used to go and watch El Clasico with him and he was always talking about the teams, asking why they’re playing 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 or whatever. I was like: “Whoa, I’ve just come to watch the game, why do we have to talk tactics?! But that’s him. He had to analyse and he was always living the game. He always had that part in him. And I think it has to come naturally. If you’re going to make it as a top coach, these things come naturally”.