Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal coach has dismissed every suggestion of him taking over Barcelona after Xavi Hernandez, the current Barcelona coach. Just a year ago, he was out of his depth with Arsenal and now, especially after the excellent start of the team in this season, he is now a man in demand.
This could be as a result of his impressive coaching and excellent transfers done at the beginning of the summer. So far, the Gunners have only lost their games twice this season and are now currently at the top of the league.
After taking over as Gunners’ boss in 2019, he has overseen an impressive progress in the team. Winning the FA Cup in his first season, he guided the Arsenal team to eight placed finishes successively. In the last season, they came out as the fifth in the Champions League due to a poor ending to the campaign.
With three years of being Arsenal’s coach, the Spaniard is bent on getting it right. The arrival of both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, former City players has created a huge change for Arsenal that have not had a genuine title in almost a decade.
There is a new winning mentality, especially from Gabriel Jesus from his stays at City, as he has already scored five goas in ten league matches which is more than how many Alexandre Lacazette managed in the entire 2021/22 campaign. Arteta said about Jesus “We now have a new confidence, a spark, and that winning mentality that he has.”
This season, he has gotten the best from the Arsenal team with six wins already from their first seven Premier league games, scoring a total of 31 points in just 12 games in the league. This puts them at the top of the leader board, two points away from their close second, Manchester City.
This impressive form has raised hopes of winning this season’s title since 2004 under Arsene Wenger.
The achievements by this genius have led to the start of the rumours of him taking over the Catalan team, Barcelona. When he was asked about the rumours ahead of the Gunners’ upcoming Europa League final fixture against Zurich, he addressed the media: “I am extremely proud and happy to be where I am now. I think Barcelona now, they are in a really good path.”
He indirectly rejected such claims of him becoming the Barcelona boss, insisting he was content with his role. He was also quick to praise Xavi’s work and the progress the Barcelona team are making. “I think they (Barcelona) have a phenomenal coach, a coach that has been an absolute legend at the club. He has lifted the whole place and you have to be very respectful of that.”
In the summer window, Barcelona spent up to €150 million just to bring in the likes of Jules Kounde, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, but are still struggling in the competition, though they are faring much better in the La Liga game.
The Catalan team has seen impressive progress under their current manager, Xavi, although the results so far have been thoroughly filled with challenges, including failing to win in the knockouts of the UEFA Champions League.
Though the wait for a trophy might take longer than expected, Barcelona has no reason to let go of Xavi at such a premature stage. Even despite the disappointments, Xavi’s leadership has arguably improved the team and it can be seen clearly that he has plans for the team.
After winning 10 out of their 12 opening matches, they sit comfortably as the second with only two points between them and the leading Real Madrid. They will enter the Europa league through a play-off round after losing both home and away to Bayern Munich, and only managing a double from matches against Inter Milan. Xavi said “We have to persist and there is no need to hesitate. We are in the Europa league. We are on the right path. The titles will be won in 2023, we have to wait to see if we have options.”
Though there might be an eventual move by Arteta to Barcelona, but it is not currently in view as he still has a long way to go in the Arsenal team. The Spaniard has taken the Arsenal team to another level and may seek a bigger challenge elsewhere if they end up winning the season’s title.
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