Arsenal star Granit Xhaka names Mikel Arteta as the best manager he’s ever played under


    Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
    Granit Xhaka signed for Arsenal in 2016 (Photo: Getty)

    Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has hailed the work of Mikel Arteta, calling him the best manager he’s ever played under.

    Following their 3-2 win over Manchester United last Sunday, there is now real belief that Arsenal can win their first Premier League title in 19 years.

    At the halfway point of the season, the Gunners are five points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand and are showing no signs of slipping up.

    Arteta has received widespread acclaim for his role in transforming the side he inherited in 2019 into title contenders and improving players who had previously struggled under Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.

    Xhaka has been perhaps the most notable success story, going from an unpopular midfielder who was certain to leave the Emirates to a key man in Arteta’s team who is currently playing the best football of his career.

    The 30-year-old has seen those efforts rewarded recently, winning the Switzerland Player of the Year award for 2022 which he collected in person in Bern on Monday.

    ‘I landed on Monday morning and am flying back to London on Tuesday morning,’ Xhaka told the media at the event.

    ‘Of course, I got permission from the coach. He told me I absolutely had to pick up this award in person. I really appreciate that the coach gives me such freedom.

    ‘Not every coach does that, because on Friday we’re already playing again in the [FA] cup at Man City.

    ‘I feel fitter than I have ever felt in my career. I have my coach to thank for that. He has been with us for three years now. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

    Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League
    Can Mikel Arteta guide Arsenal to their first title in 19 years (Photo: Getty)

    ‘I’ve had many coaches in my career, but never one like Arteta. He seems like he is focused only on football 24 hours a day.

    ‘He always has a plan A, B and maybe even a plan Z. But he’s not only top tactically, but he’s also top as a person.

    ‘The euphoria [at Arsenal] is enormous. I’ve been at the club for seven years and the atmosphere has never been so good.

    ‘We are right at the top. But we take it game by game. Hopefully, it’s enough for the cup at the end.’

    This season, Xhaka has played in all but one game for Arsenal, scoring four goals and making five assists.

    On the international stage, he featured in all 13 of Switzerland’s fixtures in 2022, captaining his country to the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup.

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