EPL

Arsenal will win trophies under 'natural leader' Arteta, says club great Wilson

By Sports Desk April 10, 2020

Mikel Arteta's leadership skills and feel for the club can restore the glory days to Arsenal, according to former Gunners goalkeeper Bob Wilson.

Arteta completed a return to Emirates Stadium in December when he was installed as head coach following the departure of Unai Emery.

The 38-year-old finished his playing days as Arsenal's club captain before quickly building a stellar coaching reputation among Pep Guardiola's backroom team at Manchester City.

Emery led Arsenal to the Europa League final last season – their first campaign without Arsene Wenger at the helm since 1995-96 – but they were hammered 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku.

A dismal run of seven games without a win in all competitions saw the ex-Sevilla boss sacked at the end of November.

Under Arteta, Arsenal have only lost twice in 16 outings, with their Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiacos the only blot on five wins out of six before football's shutdown in response to COVID-19.

"As a former captain, first of all he is one of the most natural leaders I've seen," Wilson told Omnisport when discussing Arteta, who has recovered from being diagnosed with coronavirus last month.

"He's hugely bright, he's hugely eloquent. You only have to listen to his interviews.

"The bottom line is he cannot do it alone. He needs the players and he needs a good coaching staff, which I think he's definitely getting together.

"And the club - that is the board and Stan Kroenke the owner – have got to give him the tools. That is now going to be even more difficult after COVID-19.

"But personally, I have a huge belief that Mikel Arteta is the man and that we will be winning trophies under Mikel Arteta."

Wilson appreciates the transfer market is likely to represent unfamiliar territory for clubs on the other side of the global pandemic, but he is nevertheless buoyed by the young talent emerging through the ranks at London Colney.

The likes of Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka have all impressed during breakthrough campaigns, although Wilson identified Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli as a truly special talent.

"Mikel has got three or four younger players coming through who have been blooded," Wilson said before lauding the 18-year-old, who boasts 10 senior goals in 2019-20.

"The one who I think… if Arsenal let Martinelli go, it's going to come back and bite us.

"He's unbelievable with the positions he takes up. I've spoken to [Arsenal technical director] Edu about Martinelli and he says that he sniffs the chances. He's got that unbelievable ability, probably god-given, to sniff out chances. This is a kid still."

Wilson added: "They've got big decisions to make. There will be one or two who want to go, but they've just got to be sure that they keep the young ones who can be integrated in the same way as I remember in my time under Bertie Mee and Don Howe.

"Those kids come in and it can be like a jigsaw puzzle – straight pieces and funny-shaped pieces but they blend.

"Mikel, if he gets it right, can do that because I'm not sure how the transfer market is going to work in this financial situation."

 

***Bob Wilson was speaking on behalf of the Willow Foundation, which will host an online quiz via the London Football Awards Instagram page this Saturday and a concert by singer Mica Paris via its own Instagram page on Sunday.  

For a full list of events and further information, visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk***

Related items

  • Tottenham's Parrott has appendix removed Tottenham's Parrott has appendix removed

    Tottenham could be without Troy Parrott when the Premier League resumes after he underwent surgery to remove his appendix.

    The 18-year-old was suffering abdominal pain and Spurs' medical staff found him to be showing early signs of appendicitis.

    Parrott is not expected to be back in training until late June, a club statement confirmed, with the English top flight returning on the 17th of that month.

    The young striker signed a new deal until 2023 in February.

    Parrott has made four appearances for Spurs in all competitions since progressing through the academy, with his Premier League debut coming against Burnley in December.

  • Mbappe not a good fit for Liverpool, claims McAteer Mbappe not a good fit for Liverpool, claims McAteer

    Kylian Mbappe is not a good fit for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, according to Jason McAteer.

    The Reds have been linked with a move for the Paris Saint-Germain star, who has been prolific in French football since breaking through at Monaco.

    Mbappe has also shone in the Champions League and was part of France's World Cup-winning squad in Russia two years ago.

    Signing Mbappe would be regarded by many as a statement of intent from runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool, but former Anfield favourite McAteer is not so sure – with RB Leipzig's Timo Werner and Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho higher on his wish list.

    "You can't stand still, you need to evolve. From a manager's perspective, always trying to stay two, three moves ahead," McAteer told Stats Perform News.

    "It's Jurgen's job to visualise what he sees next season, preparing for upcoming seasons.

    "PSG are a unique club, desperate to win the Champions League, put a fantastic squad together, [but] players want a bigger challenge. 

    "The Mbappe one for me doesn't sit quite right – a superstar in his own right, [but] not the right time to come to Liverpool.

    "[I'm] not sure he’s Jurgen's kind of player. At the minute, just not for me.

    "I'd rather see Werner or Sancho. We could see him [Mbappe] at Liverpool because he fits for different reasons, but for football, I just don't know that he fits at this current time."

    Klopp's side sit 25 points clear at the top of the table, with action in England set to resume on June 17 as the Reds close in on a first top-flight title in 30 years.

    Ligue 1, meanwhile, was ended in April with leaders PSG awarded the championship on a points-per-game basis.

  • Steven Gerrard turns 40: Notable players never to win the Premier League Steven Gerrard turns 40: Notable players never to win the Premier League

    Steven Gerrard enjoyed plenty of success during his illustrious playing career. 

    As a youngster, he was part of Gerard Houllier's Liverpool squad that completed a cup treble in the 2000-01 season, including beating Deportivo Alaves 5-4 after extra time in the UEFA Cup final. 

    Then there was the Miracle of Istanbul under Rafael Benitez in 2005, followed a year later by an equally unforgettable FA Cup win. Gerrard was the talisman on both occasions, playing his part in the comeback against Milan before going on to deny West Ham at the death in Cardiff.

    With fellow club legend Kenny Dalglish there was a third EFL Cup success, but a league title eluded Gerrard. The Reds ran Manchester United hard in the title race in 2008-09, then came up agonisingly short five years later with Brendan Rodgers at the helm. 

    But Gerrard is not alone in missing out. As the ex-England international turns 40, take a look at 10 other notable names who never got their hands on the Premier League trophy.

     

    Gareth Bale 

    After a slow start, Bale eventually blossomed into a superstar at Tottenham. The left-back signed from Southampton benefited from a switch into a more advanced position, scoring 39 goals in all competitions in his final two seasons with Spurs. However, the best finish he managed in a Premier League campaign before joining Real Madrid in 2013 was fourth. 

    Marcel Desailly 

    Frenchman Desailly became accustomed to winning during his time with Milan. He just so happened to win the World Cup in 1998 with Les Bleus – then followed that up two years later by adding Euro 2000 to his list of honours. Yet there was no Premier League crown during a lengthy Chelsea stint, instead having to make do with the FA Cup in 2000. 

    David Ginola 

    A winger renowned for his flair (and his hair), Ginola was part of the Newcastle United squad that succumbed under pressure from Manchester United in 1995-96. Kevin Keegan's swashbucklers led by 10 points at Christmas, only to end up as bridesmaids. At Spurs, the Frenchman was named PFA Players' Player of the Year, while he also played for Everton and Aston Villa.

    Juninho 

    Middlesbrough certainly made a splash when promoted to the top tier in 1995, bringing a touch of Samba flair to their new Riverside home by signing Juninho from Sao Paulo. It was a transfer coup at the time and the diminutive Brazilian made a big impact, too. He left for Atletico Madrid in 1997 and, after returning on loan for the 1999-2000 season, he came back for a third stint, though his only trophy was the EFL Cup in 2004. 

    Harry Kane

    Will Kane overtake Alan Shearer as the Premier League's all-time leading scorer? Can he win the competition if he stays at Spurs? You would be forgiven for feeling one of those is more realistic than the other, particularly after the near misses of the Mauricio Pochettino era. That 2015-16 season for Tottenham must feel like the one that got away.  

    Matt Le Tissier 

    A one-club man in the top flight, Le Tissier became more accustomed to battling against relegation than getting involved in title fights. Southampton relied on his goals to help stave off the threat of the drop some years, but rumours of a move elsewhere never materialised during his peak. He finished up with 100 Premier League goals, plenty of them penalties.  

    Mesut Ozil 

    Perhaps epitomising Arsenal as a whole during his time in north London, Ozil has both delighted and frustrated fans. His playmaking abilities are not in doubt, but is he a luxury you can afford in your XI? A three-time FA Cup winner with the Gunners, the former Germany international's best league result is second to surprise winners Leicester City in 2016. 

    Luis Suarez 

    A former team-mate of Gerrard's at Liverpool, Suarez was an integral part of the 2013-14 Reds that seemed destined to end the club's long wait for glory. The Uruguayan scored 31 goals in 33 league games, yet a late slump left their top scorer in tears as Manchester City pipped them to the post. The following campaign, the forward had moved on to Barcelona. 

    Fernando Torres 

    Torres formed an outstanding partnership with Gerrard during their time together at Anfield. The pair were influential in a memorable 4-1 triumph at Old Trafford in 2009, yet United had the last laugh that season, ending up four points clear of their rivals. The Spaniard also finished second again two years later with Chelsea, although by then he was a shadow of the striker he once was. 

    Gianfranco Zola 

    A hugely popular signing by Ruud Gullit in November 1996 who later returned to work at Chelsea as assistant to Maurizio Sarri, Zola scored 59 Premier League goals and grabbed the winner off the bench in the 1998 Cup Winners' Cup final triumph over Stuttgart. There was also FA Cup and EFL Cup success during his time in England, just no league crown.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.