Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery and midfielder Santi Cazorla agree on Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal are currently ninth in the Premier League and with no real hope of qualifying for Europe next season, unless they can win the Europa League, where they face Villarreal in the second leg of the semi-finals on Thursday, currently trailing 2-1.
Nevertheless, Arteta has plenty of support from former Arsenal men with his predecessor giving his vote of approval ahead of defeating him in the first leg of the semi-finals last week.
Emery said last week: “Arteta is putting his own stamp on things – in the way they play, it’s easy to identify he’s bringing back that Arsenal tradition of playing attractive football.
“His first steps as Pep Guardiola’s assistant have helped him to position himself in this new profession which is being the manager.
“Now he has been given this opportunity at Arsenal, and I think it’s a good place to develop because he is much loved by Arsenal thanks to the time he spent in the team.
“He had his time [playing] there with Arsene Wenger so I’m sure he can apply everything he learned. I think it’s a good marriage: Arteta-Arsenal, Arsenal-Arteta.”
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Former Gunners favourite Cazorla agrees with Emery, believing Arteta, for all his difficulties in the Premier League, is the right man for the job.
“I think he’s the right man to take the club forward. It’s difficult to follow a period like Wenger’s – the club has to adapt to another kind of football, another philosophy, another vision of football,” Cazorla told UEFA.
“He’s got a clear idea of how he wants his team to play, they’re in the semi-finals and they did well in the FA Cup [last season].
“They have been pretty inconsistent but you’ve got to give him time and I think they’re convinced that Mikel can get a lot out of the squad and achieve big things.
“I’m great friends with him and whatever good happens to him and the club I’d be happy for them because I’m a ‘Gunner’.”