Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side are in the top half of the Premier League table after turning around their start to the season.
The Gunners lost their opening three games of the campaign as pressure on Arteta came from all angles, but a mixture of returning players and renewed confidence has drastically changed the mood in north London.
Arteta’s side invested over £150million in the playing squad over the summer as they looked to strengthen in multiple positions from goalkeeper to central midfield.
Specialist coaching staff additions
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed the appointment of Nicolas Jover in the summer.
“He’s joining us,” Arteta briefly announced. “His name is Nicolas Jover and I’ve worked with him before at City.”
Jover began his coaching career at French side Montpellier, before moving on to Brentford where he spent three years. He then joined Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff in 2019.
The set piece coach has been brought in to improve the Gunners incisiveness from corners and free kicks, having worked with Arteta when he was assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“The set-piece coach Nico told me you’re going to score from your first touch so that’s why I went running over to him. It was a nice moment,” Calum Chambers told Sky Sports after scoring a header in the Carabao Cup win over Leeds.
The Gunners loaned out a number of players this summer with the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, William Saliba, and Dinos Mavropanos all finding new clubs.
Joe Willock was the big permanent transfer that brought in significant funds and it’s clear that Arsenal’s business is not finished yet.
They will look to loan out several youngsters in January, with permanent departures and contracts expiring in the summer for the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Mix of youth and experience
Arteta has blended the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in with the more experienced players such as Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“The group age [of the squad] is a little bit closer so they are experiencing most of the same things and they talk a lot about it,” he said.
“Then we have the senior players that they have to lead and they have to take that role, and they are doing that in a different way.
“Leading is not telling someone what he needs to do, for me it is being able to transform that person and not just with words, but with facts as well.
“There are players now that on that pitch that they are able to transmit something and change certain behaviours and attitudes in other players. That is contagious, and for me that is leadership.”
It certainly bodes well for the future and it’s one reason why Arsenal’s running statistics are among the highest in the Premier League.