Edu hits back at critics making Arteta ‘process jokes’ as Arsenal ride high

Date published: Monday 13th March 2023 9:55 - Will Ford

Arsenal technical director Edu and Mikel Arteta talk

Arsenal technical director has hit back those that “made jokes” about Mikel Arteta’s “process” with Arsenal leading the way in the Premier League.

Arteta’s first two seasons in charge saw the Gunners finish eighth and the Spaniard was thought to be close to the sack on multiple occasions in that period at the Emirates.

Despite signs of progress last season, Arsenal collapsed at the end of the campaign and were beaten to the top four and Champions League qualification by north London rivals Tottenham.

Throughout the tough times, Arteta laboured over his “process”, leading many to mock the Arsenal manager and the club.

But now those critics have been put firmly in their place with Arsenal riding high at the top of the Premier League having lost twice all season, and are now widely tipped to win their first league title since 2004.

And Edu reflected on the doubters at the London Football Awards, explaining how internally they didn’t doubt the journey the club was on.

At the event at Camden’s Roundhouse, Edu said: “When we started, we were talking a lot about a process.

“People were making jokes about our process. I think we were quite clear about all the steps and what we went through.

“We knew we were going to go through some challenging periods because we had to make some unpopular decisions which were going to cause some instability.

“But importantly, internally we were quite together to understand the process and now we are where we are.”

Arteta, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard were among those celebrated at the London Football Awards, scooping the Manager, Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year gongs respectively.

And Jamie Redknapp now believes Odegaard has usurped Kevin De Bruyne as the Premier League’s best midfielder.

“Right now he’s number one. There’s nobody [better],” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“Normally we would say Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfield player, not just in the Premier League but the world. But something isn’t quite right. He isn’t playing as many games as he’d like.

“But Odegaard does this thing where – all great players possess it – it’s like time stands still when he has the ball.

“Most players [would rush the shot today], especially midfield players as we’re not used to getting in those situations.

“But the calmness that he possesses, he’s scored four or five goals like that with that left foot. He’s the captain, he’s the leader.

“Yeah, for me he’s number one [in the Premier League]. And he’s leading that team.

“The other thing he does as well, when he hasn’t got the ball he goes and presses it. He’s the first one, the first point of defence, he goes and presses and then all of a sudden it catches. He does it so well.”

READ MORE: Premier League winners and losers: Liverpool, Vieira, Moyes and Lingard get an almighty kicking

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