No forecast considered Arsenal as a contender for the title of champion in the Premier, dominated in the last five years by Manchester City and Liverpool.
Half a season later, there is no more likely champion than the
, led by Mikel Arteta.
In his fourth season, he has radically transformed Arsenal, hitherto engaged in a process of decline equal to or greater than that of Manchester United.
After the 19 games of the first round of the English League, Arsenal have added 50 points, a tremendous figure that puts them in a position to attack the 100 barrier, a feat that only Manchester City (2017-18 season) has achieved.
In that edition, Arteta was the young aspiring coach who served as Pep Guardiola's main assistant.
It was his first experience as a member of a coaching staff.
A year earlier he had retired after an illustrious career with renowned clubs: Barça, Glasgow Rangers, Real Sociedad, PSG, Everton and Arsenal.
A midfielder by nature, in line with the extraordinary media saga that emerged in Spanish football at the turn of the century, Arteta became a benchmark for his last two teams.
He was revered by Everton fans and was indisputable at Arsenal led by Arsène Wenger.
Without a spectacular physique, he triumphed due to his intelligence, technical quality and leadership.
Those who frequented him did not have the slightest doubt about his conditions to consecrate himself as a coach.
A year after his retirement, Arteta joined City as second to Guardiola, who had failed to win a title in his first season in charge of the team.
The impact was immediate: City won the Premier League, reached 100 points and scored 106 goals.
Guardiola attributed to Arteta, who knew the peculiarities of the English championship inside out, an important contribution to success.
Locked in their toy for the last 10 years, Arsenal suffered the weight of the legend of their coach, the Frenchman Arsène Wenger, who had transformed the club in every aspect.
He refined a team known for being boring, injected international talent, created a prestigious culture of the game and won the Premier League three times, most recently in 2004. His imprint ended up delaying the team's regeneration.
He left the club in 2018, much later than was convenient.
Like Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Wenger's succession turned into a drill.
In December 2019, Arteta left City and joined Arsenal, where his leadership as a player was still fresh in memory.
Few trainers have been faced with a more complicated mission and very few have solved it better.
In the midst of the internal convulsions of the club and in charge of a squad of expensive players, veterans and without ambition, Arteta went through two years of criticism and hardships -eighth place in the two following seasons-, but he imposed his criteria in all aspects .
Arsenal beating Manchester United on Sunday and leading City by five points is the culmination of an exceptional job.
Of the starting team, only one player, the Swiss Xhaka, comes from the period before Arteta.
All the others —Odegaard, Ben White, Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Ramsdale, Zynchenko…— have come to the club in the last three years, have been forged in the youth academy, in the case of Saka, or arrived very young, like the Brazilian Martinelli.
have flight in their football, harmony in their lines and an overflowing passion.
Its modern stadium, an environmental refrigerator since its inauguration, has become a boiling cauldron.
No one suspected it, but this intrepid Arsenal, masterfully led by Mikel Arteta, runs through the season like an unstoppable howitzer.
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