Santi Cazorla has suggested that it was always going to be difficult for Mikel Arteta to succeed at Arsenal after Arsene Wenger’s long reign, but he is the right man for the job.
Arteta was Man City’s assistant manager before he replaced Unai Emery at Arsenal in December 2019.
The Gunners improved towards the back end of the season and they ended the campaign on a high as they won their fourteenth FA Cup.
The 2020/21 term has been an inconsistent one for Arteta and Arsenal. They are in the Europa League semi-finals but they currently sit ninth in the Premier League.
Cazorla played with Arteta at Arsenal. He has told UEFA, as cited by Football London, that his former teammate is the right manager to take the club forward:
“I think he’s the right man to take the club forward. It’s difficult to follow a period like Wenger’s – the club has to adapt to another kind of football, another philosophy, another vision of football.
“He’s got a clear idea of how he wants his team to play, they’re in the semi-finals and they did well in the FA Cup [last season].
“They have been pretty inconsistent but you’ve got to give him time and I think they’re convinced that Mikel can get a lot out of the squad and achieve big things.
“I’m great friends with him and whatever good happens to him and the club I’d be happy for them because I’m a ‘Gunner’.”
Former Gunners boss Emery is now in charge at Villarreal. Before last week’s Europa League semi-final first leg, he backed the current Arsenal boss to succeed:
Emery said: “Arteta is putting his own stamp on things – in the way they play, it’s easy to identify he’s bringing back that Arsenal tradition of playing attractive football.
“His first steps as Pep Guardiola’s assistant have helped him to position himself in this new profession which is being the manager.
“Now he has been given this opportunity at Arsenal, and I think it’s a good place to develop because he is much loved by Arsenal thanks to the time he spent in the team.
“He had his time [playing] there with Arsene Wenger so I’m sure he can apply everything he learned. I think it’s a good marriage: Arteta-Arsenal, Arsenal-Arteta.”