Thursday, September 29, 2022

Guardiola´s influence on Arteta clear to see, says former Arsenal midfielder Davis

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Aug 2022

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Pep Guardiola’s influence on Mikel Arteta is clear to see at Arsenal this season, former Gunners midfielder Paul Davis has told Stats Perform.

Arsenal are the only Premier League side to have made a perfect start to the 2022-23 campaign with three wins from their opening three matches.

It is the first time the north London club have achieved that in 18 years and has left fans excited about an unlikely title tilt – or a top-four finish at the very least.

Arteta previously spent three years working under Guardiola on the Manchester City coaching staff, which Davis believes has made the Spaniard a better manager.

“If you’re not going to become a better coach when working with someone like Pep, you shouldn’t be there,” said Davis, who spent 15 years at Arsenal prior to departing in 1995.

“He’s obviously learned so much and he’s now using a lot of that with Arsenal. You can now see that in games.”

While supporters are now firmly behind Arteta, it was a different story 12 months ago after Arsenal lost their first three matches without scoring.

“Arsenal are in a good place now and everybody’s happy,” Davis added. “But all the fans last year were saying we’ve got to let him go. They’re not saying the same thing now.

“Last season they were going through a bad time. When people were telling me he’s got to go, I was saying ‘Hold on, he doesn’t have to go yet – give him some time’.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s been given time, and now you can see the development of the team and the players.”

Arsenal’s fast start comes on the back of a busy close season in which they signed Fabio Vieira, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, the latter two joining from Man City.

Jesus has been involved in five goals in his first three Premier League appearances, which is the most of any Arsenal player in their first three games in the competition.

And Davis, speaking exclusively on the release of his new book, Arsenal And After, can see comparisons between Jesus and another Arsenal favourite from the past.

“What’s surprised me about him is the hunger he’s shown – it’s like he really wants to be here,” added Davis, who works as a senior coach developer at the Football Association.

“Someone mentioned the other day that Jesus reminds them of Ian Wright, which I can see now but couldn’t at the time. 

“Ian had that enthusiasm of wanting to score goals, and he scores goals similar to the ones we’ve seen from Jesus. They have a similar type of game in wanting to get in behind.

“If he can carry on scoring goals like Ian, Arsenal fans will be happy and I’ll be happy. He’s made a great start and I can’t see why it won’t continue.”

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