Jakub Kiwior has now admitted to being ‘quite surprised’ by how Mikel Arteta shapes the attitude of his players having never seen a coach form ideas like the Arsenal boss.
The Gunners signed Kiwior from Spezia in January to bolster Arteta’s defensive options amid their Premier League title quest. Arsenal paid the Italian team £21m for the Poland enforcer. But he has still only played in 10 fixtures and for 589 minutes since arriving in north London.
Arteta made Kiwior wait until March to make his debut as Arsenal drew 2-2 against Sporting Lisbon. He also had to wait until May to enjoy a sustained run in the Premier League, having started their final five games. But it was back to Arsenal’s bench for Kiwior so far this season.
Arteta has gradually incorporated Kiwior into the Arsenal set-up
Kiwior has enjoyed just 91 minutes this term after starting against Fulham following Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card at Crystal Palace. Arteta opted to use the centre-half as their left-back with Oleksandr Zinchenko returning from a calf issue, along with Jurrien Timber’s ACL injury.
Arteta chose to incorporate Kiwior into his plans slowly as the defender could not speak any English when he arrived at Arsenal. The 15-cap Poland star is still learning the language, too. But that barrier has not stopped Arteta from astounding the defender with his unique ways.
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The Gunners manager’s unique methods have ‘surprised’ Kiwior
Kiwior admits Arteta adopts ‘very different’ methods at Arsenal than what the Poland talent was accustomed to before joining them. He claims the Spaniard creates the unimaginable to inspire the Gunners’ squad and train their minds, even in the moments right before a game.
“It’s very different to what I was used to,” Kiwior told Sky Sports. “Coming here, it’s the first time I’ve seen this final meeting before going out on the pitch. It’s certainly something new.
“I was quite surprised that something like this was even possible, that a coach could come up with these concepts to shape our attitude to the game through all sorts of competitions and challenges to focus our minds.”
The Amazon Prime series, All or Nothing, highlighted some of Arteta’s unusual methods that Kiwior has alluded to. One of which was the use of a lightbulb to motivate his players before Arsenal faced Brighton & Hove Albion. Arteta used it to represent a squad that is connected.