Jack Wilshere identifies the major change Mikel Arteta has made at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere in discussion when they were team-mates at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has impressed former Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere (Picture: Getty)

Jack Wilshere has praised Mikel Arteta for the defensive improvements Arsenal have made since he became manager and urged fans to reserve judgement on the Spaniard until he has been given a transfer window and a pre-season.

Unai Emery was relieved of his duties after a dismal start to the campaign both domestically and in the Europa League and the Gunners’ struggles continued under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg before Arteta was appointed at the end of December.

Though the coronavirus crisis brought the football season to a halt last month, there’s a feeling of optimism at Arsenal once again after the side’s results picked up significantly under Arteta’s tutelage.

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ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on March 10, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arteta has lost just two matches as Arsenal manager (Picture: Getty)

The north London club have won eight, drawn five and lost just two of Arteta’s 15 matches in charge, racking up an impressive tally of 23 goals in the process, but Wilshere has been most impressed by the side’s defensive work.

Arsenal have conceded just 12 goals in those games and Arteta’s former team-mate sung his praises during an Instagram Live with entrepreneur and personal shopper Sam Morgan on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked whether Arsenal operate in a way that will allow them to compete for the title, Wilshere replied: ‘They’ve got world-class players. They spent £60million on Aubameyang, 40 on Lacazetta, Ozil is world-class.

‘I think they’ve got a good manager now who can get the best out of them.

‘Everyone who I’ve spoken to since leaving Arsenal or even when I was at Arsenal would say they wouldn’t mind playing against us because they knew they could get opportunities. Going forward we were always a joke.

‘I’m not just talking about the defence but defensively, as a team, they would get chances and I think Arteta has changed that a bit.’

Wilshere confident Arteta’s education as Pep Guardiola’s assistant will stand him in good stead in the hot seat at Arsenal and says supporters should be patient with their new head coach.

‘I think you need to give Arteta a transfer window and a pre-season,’ the West Ham midfielder added.

‘He needs to get his work in in pre-season whenever that may be this year but I think they will be alright.

‘He knows the league, played in the league for years. He was at Man City with arguably the one of the best teams in Premier League history and one of the best managers in Premier League history.’

Wilshere has not been surprised by Arteta’s successful start in management considering his attitude and commitment during his playing days at Arsenal.

‘When I was playing with him you don’t really think about that but, when I look back, you could tell,’ Wilshere continued.

‘He was one of them guys in training who was always on it. He wouldn’t accept anything less than 100 per cent.

‘Even if we were doing possession, he would try and base it around a game and try and talk to you about what we should be doing.

‘Around the training ground he was first in, never late, he would do everything properly. His discipline was unreal.

‘On the pitch as well, he was the leader for us. In the dressing room and around the place he wouldn’t get involved in any banter.

‘His English was good, he knew the game, he was good. He was a big player for us.’

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