WTTGT Writer: Matt Mace
The wave of destruction and unrest that engulfed the Emirates over the summer has finally passed by. With players making their wishes to depart Arsenal known, Arsene Wenger has had arguably his most difficult spell as Arsenal boss. Yet with the dust settling and players away for the international break, Wenger has had time to implement his new signings into the dejected Gunners.
Whilst the likes of Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Park and even Benayoun will take time to adapt to a completely different playing style; one player that Wenger will be desperate to fit in quickly is that of Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal fans will not need reminding of their teams poor start to the season and whilst the problems in defence have been a major concern for some time, it was the glaring lack of creativity in midfield that also concerned the Arsenal faithful.
It appears as if players such as Rosicky, Gervinho and Arshavin have so far failed to add a creative spark to the Arsenal midfield. But Wenger has pulled of a master stroke in landing Arteta.
Obvious comparisons will be made between the Spaniard and Cesc Fabregas, whom he is evidently meant to replace. But whilst others have been left frustrated by Arsenal’s apparently foiled attempts to sign Götze and Hazard, Wenger has found a near perfect alternative to fill the midfield void.
Arteta, with six years of Premier League experience under his belt, has all the ingredients to be a successful Arsenal player. The 28 year old is reaching his “peak” and will provide a level head around an otherwise inexperienced team. Question marks will be raised over Arteta’s future, but Arsenal are no strangers to coping with injuries just look at last season’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United in which Aaron Ramsey proved that there are players ready at the club to step up when necessary.
And as far as stats go, Arteta certainly doesn’t disappoint. With only 29 league games under his belt Arteta created a total of 53 passes that led to goal-scoring opportunities. With just under half of these from set-pieces the 6’6” giant that is Per Mertesacker must be relishing attacking from corners and free-kicks.
In fact, only the departed Fabregas was able to create more chances and bearing in mind that the people on the end of these passes last season were the likes of Jermaine Beckford, Yakubu and Louis Saha, Arteta will be hoping to see his assists increase with the likes of van Persie and Walcott around him. I’d expect to see more consistent performances from Chamakh as well.
All of this from a player who cost £10m, and bear in mind that Crouch cost the same and Liverpool spent twice that amount on Henderson, then Arsenal may not casting an envious eye over to Catalonia to check up on their former captain.
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