Mikel Arteta has worked wonders since becoming Arsenal manager in 2019 in his first job as a head coach, but his former teammate Theo Walcott has now claimed that he was always destined for management.
Mikel Arteta took over an Arsenal side in desperate need of a rebuild, and has since built a young squad which is competing at the top end of the table.
He returned to the club having previously captained the side to an FA cup as a player, and Walcott has now told Sky Sports that the best team talk he ever received was actually by the Spaniard during his playing days.
“It was actually Mikel Arteta, he was playing for us at the time at Arsenal, it was when we were struggling and not making top four,” he stated.
“He essentially pulled a meeting for the players only, and he just said it how it was, said a few truths. He said exactly what we needed to do. And then after that moment, we just we made fourth, quite comfortably in the end, but essentially that inspired everyone and I’m not surprised why he’s doing so well here.
“He was in the dressing room before training, we missed a little bit of training as well. He didn’t care because essentially the main goal was to finish fourth or above and it worked.
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“That moment alone was like, he’s a manager, it’s meant to be, and for me he’s made us into an absolute force now. So I’ve been happily seeing behind the scenes and it’s really exciting.”
Arteta’s biggest strength?
Given that Walcott has played under Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti in his career, this comes as big praise. Arteta’s team talks have been highlighted as a strong feature of his management style, and his ability to motivate his players has seen him make a young squad more mentally resilient than previous Arsenal sides.
Today’s game against Everton will be a big test of how far Arsenal have come under Arteta. They are yet to win a point against his old side, and it will be a tough physical encounter which will require mental strength to win at a tough ground.
Arteta’s team talks have proven effective in the past, and he will hope that he can inspire his side to grab an important win at Goodison Park.