Currently on loan at Monza, the Gunners defender is under contract in north London until 2024 but has rarely been favoured by the Spanish boss. Nonetheless, Mari is not surprised by Arsenal’s strong start to the campaign.
“I watch all the games, I really like watching football,” he told AS. “They are at a stratospheric level and the results of Arteta’s two years of work are being seen.
“For me, the key has been time. They have given Arteta time, time for this project. Obviously, it is not easy to change the culture of a club as big as this in a year, but there were many problems to solve.
“Arteta has done very well, he has earned it and this is the work of two years. It doesn’t surprise me at all because when I was there you could already see that their way of working was going to give them a lot of joy.”
Mari has described his time in the Arsenal squad under Arteta as a “masterclass”.
“To tell you the truth, he has been one of the coaches who has changed my vision of football,” he noted.
“He has given me a lot when it comes to playing football. He has tactically given me another point of view. I have done a two-year masterclass with him, and that means that now I can help my colleagues better.
“What matters in football is that a coach can give you the tools so that you can do your best in the game. I think that’s what he does. He is a coach who gives you just three details before the match - and they work. What he says is what then happens.”