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Neville identifies how Arteta is finally proving Arsenal critics wrong


Gary Neville has pinpointed how Mikel Arteta is proving his Arsenal critics wrong.

The Spaniard took over at the Emirates at the turn of the year, replacing Freddie Ljungberg – who had been in interim charge from Unai Emery.

When he took the job, Arsenal were in a mess – players wanted to leave, the defence was shocking and they were languishing in midtable.

By the end of the year, the Gunners had won the FA Cup against London rivals Chelsea.

They were playing exquisite football, beating Liverpool and Manchester City along the way.

And Arsenal have started this season where they finished off, winning the Community Shield and claiming two victories out of two in the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta joined Arsenal last season as manager

When Arteta was initially placed in charge, there were some who disputed whether the former midfielder had the experience necessary to manage such a club.

But Neville has insisted that the critics have been made to eat their own words.

Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, he said: “I think Mikel Arteta is punching above his weight.

“He is going above and beyond the players he has.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.

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New signings Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes both hit the ground running against Fulham but Mikel Arteta is still on the lookout for new signings. Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and Brentford keeper David Raya are two of the names on their radar.

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“The shape and the organisation, things we have criticised Arsenal for in the past, is good.

“They are not finishing in the top four like Arsene Wenger used to get criticised for but they look like a team which is more cohesive.

“It has continued from the end of last season and he is doing a great job.

“I just think Mikel Arteta would love that £150million that Frank Lampard has got this summer at Chelsea.”

Arsenal won the FA Cup under Arteta

Arsenal emerged 2-1 winners over West Ham in their second game of the Premier League season.

Eddie Nketiah was the hero, scoring the winner five minutes from full-time to give the Gunners the three points.

“We were a little bit lucky for sure but we found a way to win,” Arteta said after the match.

“That’s the mentality I want. At the end it’s three points. There are a lot of things to improve.

“We are still very far from where we want to be. We are still adapting things but it’s great to have six points already.

“Between 55 and 65 minutes I could see the team giving up. I tried to lift them up and I saw a different team in the last 20 minutes. We’re going to have games like that.”

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