Ex-Arsenal star reflects on ‘two-year masterclass’ under Arteta as Gunners reach ‘stratospheric level’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy

Former Arsenal star Pablo Mari says Mikel Arteta “changed my vision of football” and reflected on a “two-year masterclass” under the Spanish boss.

Mari joined the Gunners on loan from Flamengo in January 2020 and made his move permanent six months later.

The centre-back made 14 league starts under Arteta before he moved to Udinese on loan at the start of 2022 and then Monza in the summer.

Despite a lack of regular football and then being shown the door, Mari is clearly a huge admirer of Arteta.

“He is a coach who has changed my vision of football. I have done a two-year masterclass with him,” Mari told AS (via Sport Witness).

Arteta has seemingly been close to the sack at Arsenal on a number of occasions and was criticised at the end of last season after they missed out on Champions League qualification having slipped out of the top four.

But the Gunners now lead the Premier league with 28 points from 11 games, and Mari says he’s not surprised by the “stratospheric level” they’v reached this term.

“Yes, of course [I am watching Arsenal], they are at a stratospheric level. For me the key has been a word called time. It doesn’t surprise me because it was clear that their way of working would give them a lot of joy,” Mari added.

Technical director Edu has played a big role alongside Arteta in Arsenal’s rise, and that role has caught the attention of other suitors.

Arteta insists Edu’s role at the club is “really important” and hopes to see him remain for “a long time”.

“I just hope he stays here for a long time because I think it’s going to be a really positive thing for the club,” Arteta said.

“I work with him really well, I think he’s a super important figure at the club who represents all the values and ideas that we want, to do everything in the right way, and hopefully that will be the case.

“There is a lot happening in a football club and he has a huge role and he has a really good way of communicating with people and managing a lot of things that happen daily. For me and for the team he is really important.

“It has to build that relationship. It has to be very well respected, the roles have to be very clear, you have to share the same ideas.

“But at the same time you have to be challenged by each other because sometimes coaches we have all the ideas and we want something right now that is not the best thing for the club and we have the right balance, not only with Edu but with Vinai [Venkatesham] and with Rich [Garlick] and with the ownership.

“It’s really important. We make a decision, it’s all together it’s not your decision or my idea. It’s important in good and difficult moments as well to be together.”

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