Arsenal’s rise under Mikel Arteta on show in successful start to international break
It’s been a great start to the international break for some of Arsenal’s stars, and it highlights the incredible rise the Gunners have enjoyed under Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal have completely transformed under Mikel Arteta, and the manager who was fired at the start of the season is now on the cusp of Champions League football.
Arteta was nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March after winning three out of four games, but since early February the Gunners have been unstoppable. They are now in pole position to secure fourth in the league, beating both Tottenham and Manchester United for a Champions League place.
It hasn’t always been easy for Arteta, but he’s now built a team that looks bright and full of promise. And his impact at Arsenal has been highlighted because of their international success.
When Arteta took charge in 2019, the Arsenal squad was stretched and struggling for ideas following the departure of Arsene Wenger and an unsuccessful stint under Unai Emery. From Arteta’s first starting line-up in the Premier League, only three members remain on the squad roster three years later.
Bukayo Sako, Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka have retained their places, but the rest of the squad have transformed into a young and innovative team looking to lead Arsenal into a new era. And Arteta’s impact blossomed in the international break, with many stars continuing their fine domestic form on the big stage.
Hardly any of Arteta’s former squads were even considered for their respected international squads, but now their training ground is much emptier when national teams come calling. Four of Arsenal’s young English stars were called up by Gareth Southgate, although Aaron Ramsdale and Saka had to withdraw due to illness.
But Emile Smith Rowe and Ben White will be looking to gain more valuable experience in future friendlies, and it was a special occasion for Gabriel Martinelli as he made his debut for Brazil. Martinelli was substituted in their 4-0 thrashing against Chile, and the youngster has already been labeled ‘world class’ by Jurgen Klopp in recent weeks.
Martin Odegaard continues to lead his side as Norway captain, and the midfielder scored in Norway’s 2-0 win over Slovakia on Friday. And Xhaka continues to wear the armband for Switzerland as Arsenal begin to round up the leaders again in the dressing room.
It wasn’t just Odegaard who got on the scoresheet, as it was also a big moment for fan favorite Kieran Tierney. The full-back scored his first-ever goal for Scotland on Thursday night in a 1-1 draw with Poland.
Unfortunately, a late penalty from Poland canceled out their opener, but that will leave Tierney hungry for more. Thomas Partey has also started to look like the real deal this season, and he will play a crucial role in Ghana’s World Cup play-off against Nigeria during the break, but as things stand winter could be loaded for Arsenal international stars.
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Even some of the stars on loan from Arsenal are recognized internationally, as William Saliba was called up to the France squad, but there was no place for Lacazette in the current squad. It’s been an exciting time for Arsenal and for Arteta, who has really turned things around since the start of the season.
This season was their first in 26 years without European football, but Arteta will hope to bounce back in the best possible way by qualifying for the elite level of the competition. They currently hold the advantage over Tottenham and United, but with games still to come against the two rivals, their composure will be tested.
The top four would be an incredible achievement for Arsenal, especially as they were at their lowest in the Premier League in September after their worst start to the league season. But they’ve since been transformed, and it looks like Arteta is really starting to do well with the Gunners.