Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson says he has been impressed by new head coach Mikel Arteta despite not agreeing with his appointment at the Gunners.
The Sky Sports pundit questioned the 37-year-old’s lack of experience before being handed the reins at the Emirates, but he now admits that performances against Chelsea and Manchester United, in particular, have shown they no longer look like an “Arsene Wenger type” team:
“No, it wasn’t [an appointment I supported] at the start if I’m being honest. I thought for someone to come in who’s never been a manager before, to come into a massive club like Arsenal, I thought it would be a struggle, I know he’s worked with Pep Guardiola.”
“But what I’ve seen in the last few weeks, there’s been at least two or three games where it’s the first time I’ve seen Arsenal for a long time and I haven’t thought Arsene Wenger has been the manager.”
Merson is still not fully convinced that Arteta is the man to bring success to Arsenal, but the early signs are promising that he can bring about change at the club.
The first half against Leeds does, however, show that there is a lot more to do in order to see a shift in mindset among the Gunners squad. There was a lack of work rate and fight during the opening 45 minutes of the FA Cup tie, but an angry half-time team talk from Arteta turned things around.