The Gunners have had to go through a lot since Arsene Wenger left the club. Unai Emery had his highs and lows during his tenure at the Emirates, as did Arteta in his first two and a half years.
There was even a point when many wanted the Spaniard gone. Very few people had Arteta’s back then – one of them was a man Arsenal fans have never been too fond of, Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho’s incredible Mikel Arteta and Arsenal prediction is coming true
Back in December 2020, a little over four months after Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup triumph, the Gunners took on Tottenham away from home, and we suffered a 2-0 defeat.
We maintained 70 per cent possession and completed over twice as many passes as Spurs, but we just had two shots on target in the entire game and failed to convert them.
Goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min sealed the game for the hosts, but what was interesting after the fixture was how Mourinho was very supportive of Arsenal – which has almost never happened in the past.
He praised Arsenal and Arteta and predicted that if the Gunners board give the Spaniard time, he will make the club great again. That is slowly, but surely, coming true now.
Mourinho said back in December 2020, as quoted by The Sun: “I want to give good words and congratulations to Mikel because he gave us a very difficult game. Tactically, they are very good, they were very well organised, they were building with four, defending with five.
“Then in the second half, they tried to find triangles on the side and they gave us problems, problems that we managed to resolve because the players in this moment have good tactical culture. And even above that, they have an incredible spirit, but they gave us problems because they are a good team and he [Arteta] is a good coach.
“I can imagine tomorrow there, that the headlines will be about them not being in a good position on the table. But I believe with these players, with Mikel, Arsenal will be Arsenal again.”
The Insider’s View:
Almost every popular pundit was calling for Arteta’s head back in 2020 and 2021. There were even a few who wanted him gone at the end of last season, when we missed out on the top four.
Now, it’s clear as day for everyone to see that these people just jumped on the bandwagon back then and simply did not understand what Arteta was trying to do at Arsenal.
Mourinho saw it back then, as did Pep Guardiola and a few others. That’s why they are among the greatest managers the world has ever seen.
Every Arsenal fan is fully behind Arteta now, and hopefully, we can go all the way and win the Premier League this season. Watch how all the people who had turned on our manager will change their tune then.