Emmanuel Petit slams Unai Emery and rates Mikel Arteta’s start as Arsenal manager

Emmanuel Petit has been impressed by Arsenal under Mikel Arteta
Emmanuel Petit has been impressed by Arsenal under Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Emmanuel Petit claims Arsenal were ‘sick’ and ‘weak’ under Unai Emery and has outlined how Mikel Arteta is changing his former club.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Arteta returned to the Emirates in December after being confirmed as Emery’s permanent replacement.

Arsenal have won just one of their seven league fixtures under Arteta but club legend Petit insists there have been signs of progress from a team that was ‘sick’ and ‘weak’ under former manager Emery.

‘When Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, the team was sick,’ Petit told Paddy Power.

‘Sick on the pitch and in the dressing room. They were losing shape and blindly going nowhere. They were weak.

‘Now, after several weeks of the Arteta regime I’ve seen different things happening in terms of intensity, togetherness and work rate off the ball.

‘The mentality is different and some players are getting back to form, like Granit Xhaka. I’m very pleased with how he has played and the mentality he has shown.

‘Mesut Ozil has looked better on occasion and I’m happy with what I see from Lucas Torreira.

‘The players seem to be getting the message from Arteta and I think it’s clear what he wants from them on and off the pitch in terms of discipline and commitment. It looks like they’re following the rules he sets out on the training pitch.

‘They haven’t been winning as many games as they’d like but they also haven’t been losing. More goals are needed if they want to win, which is the major problem.

Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates in December
Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates in December (Pictures: Getty)

‘The first priority when Arteta took over was to stop the team conceding stupid goals, and he has done that.

‘But in the meantime they’re suffering a bit up front – I think if they keep playing like this that, sooner or later, they’re going to win games.’

Arsenal are currently tenth in the Premier League and face Newcastle United next weekend.

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