Steven Gerrard praises Mikel Arteta for ‘stepping forward’ in tough times at Arsenal

    Mikel Arteta of Arsenal FC
    Mikel Arteta has gone through some tough periods (Picture: Getty Images)

    Steven Gerrard has praised fellow manager Mikel Arteta for the way in which he got through challenging periods at Arsenal.

    Just last season, Arteta came under fierce scrutiny after the Gunners lost their opening three matches of the campaign.

    The north Londoners managed to bounce back and ended up missing out on a spot in the Champions League qualification places by a narrow margin.

    This season, Arsenal sit top of the table after winning five of their first six matches, while Arteta picked up the Premier League manager of the month award for August.

    Gerrard, who is under pressure himself at Aston Villa, has highlighted how Arteta and Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl dealt with setbacks and vowed to attempt to do the same.

    ‘It is the most demanding league in the world, in the bottom, the middle and at the top. It was the same when I played,’ Gerrard told Sky Sports.

    ‘It’s not always going to be the perfect journey and you’ve got to perform when the heat is on, when it’s tough. You’ve got to roll your sleeves up more and put yourself forward even more.

    Steven Gerrard head coach of Aston Villa
    Steven Gerrard has praised his fellow manager (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘A lot of managers have shown that sometimes you’ve got to have tough periods, setbacks, and show that you can cope in them moments. Show that you can come through them, build on them.

    ‘You’ve got to be patient and try and get to the stage where the building process continues.

    ‘There’s a lot of examples of that – Ralph [Hasenhuttl] is one.

    ‘You’re looking at Mikel Arteta, obviously flying high now at the top of the Premier League now. I bet if you spoke to him, it wasn’t all about ups and fantastic times and enjoying it all.

    ‘But what he did do in the tough moments, he stepped forward.

    ‘I think that’s what we have to do as managers in these situations is show your players and supporters and internal staff that you’re all-in and ready for the demands, responsibilities and pressures and you’re going to try to perform to get your team through them.’

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