40 reasons why I’m a fan of Mikel Arteta
By Jahid Islam
Hello, readers of We Love You Arsenal! I’m Jahid (@JahidFullStop), back again with another article. This week’s waffle during the international interlude is about Mikel Arteta Amatriain. Don’t worry, I'm not going to offer in depth tactical analysis as to why he’s the best leader since Jesus or something.
Instead, with today, at the time of writing (26th March 2022), being his 40th birthday, I wanted to compile a list of 40 reasons why I quite like the fella. Strap in for a hell of a lot of reasons which don’t make sense, and a dozen or so that are actually relevant to futbol! Happy Birthday Mikel!
Mikel manages Arsenal football club, and he’s doing a pretty good job overall. Debate amongst yourselves.
Arteta used to be a decent football player himself, not too long ago. Scored a screamer of a free kick against Aston Villa a while back.
He used to play for Barcelona, Paris Saint German and, perhaps the biggest name on this list, the mighty Everton. What a CV!
There’s a picture of a young Arteta and Ronaldinho at PSG somewhere on the internet. It’s a very cold picture. I like it a lot.
He looks a lot like one of my close mates, Yasar, I call him Yasarteta. He’s a Utd fan and I think it pisses him off a little. Lol.
He was our captain from the 2014/15 season until his retirement. Our leader on the pitch, and eventually off it as well.
‘Teta speaks loads of languages; English, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, French, Italian and Portuguese. That’s (uno, dos, tres, quatro) cinco languages more than me!
He’s a student of Guardiola, one of the best managers of recent history. End of.
He’s a short king at only 5”9 inches tall. At 5”3 myself (5”4 on a good day), he’s representing all us little legged people at the elite end of football; the end that we can’t reach.
Mikel’s got a wonderful hairline and a magnificent mane of hair that I can only aspire to have when I’m older. My one’s already begun making its way to the back.
There’s not even a single grey hair or wrinkle in sight on his beautiful Spanish head. I need to know his skin and haircare routine, pronto. Or whatever ‘quick/ is in Basque.
He’s got illustrious eyebrows. They’re magnificently sculpted and I want the number of whoever plucks them for him. Do they take bookings?
He seems to be able to spontaneously grow a beard. I don’t know how he does it. He must have to shave after every meal or something in order to avoid getting a 5 o’clock shadow.
I say this with all due respect, but Arteta’s got one hell of a dump truck on him.
I love how he’s so animated on the touchline. Barking out orders and jumping about everywhere. It also means we get to see that dump truck in action…
He’s also got a sexy name. Mikel Arteta Amatriain. Ooof. He gon’ make me act up! (I am taken, so I will not be ‘acting up’.)
His match day fits are stunning. Does he have a personal stylist, or is he styled by himself?
He’s cleared out a lot of ‘deadwood’ (which is quite a harsh term, but is the most fitting one to use) from the squad.
Arteta’s got a set of bollocks on him. He’s seemingly not afraid to get rid of big egos for the betterment of the squad. Auba, Özil, etc.
He’s subsequently reduced the club’s wage bill drastically, which promises a more sustainable model of operations for the future.
He’s taken us back into contention for Top 4, and the promise land that is Tuesday and Wednesday night football.
We’ve actually been playing good football under Arteta. Especially this season in which our fluid football is actually beginning to translate to progression up the Premier League table.
Under Mikel’s management, youth’s been prioritised. I’m going to use every player that’s developed under him as a separate reason because I’m beginning to run out of ideas already.
Saka - he’s become one of the most entertaining forwards this season, and defenders have to literally gang up on him in order to avoid embarrassment.
Emile Smith Rowe - What a player. Competition’s reduced his appearances, but my god the kid’s became a beast on that left flank.
Martinelli - “Hi, I’m Competition! Sorry, ‘The Smith’, I’m just going to terrorise defences so that the boss has no other option but to play me. Thanks!”
Ødegaard - The gorilla glue linking our attack and defence. Signed by Arteta and now thriving in the heart of that team. Norwegian national team captain as well.
Gabriel - does he still count as a young player? I’ve assumed so. He’s been a brick wall in our defence, and formed a formidable partnership with…
Benjamin Blanco - Arteta was lambasted for this signing, thanks to the £50 million price tag and Utd’s acquisition of Raphael Varane for a lesser fee. But fuck the haters. He’s been a godsend.
Rambo Ramsdale - An even riskier signing than señor blanco. He’s already become a fan favourite and nailed down that starting spot with the 3rd most clean sheets in the league. Arteta’s eye for talent is *chef’s kiss* maravilloso!
Takehiro Tomiyasu. He’s been out with injuries recently, but what a signing. Playing him as an inverted RB has been a masterstroke by ‘Teta. Let’s move away from praising individual players who’ve done well under Arteta. There were a lot (thank god) but now I have to use my brain and think of some proper reasons.
Nicolas Jover - the sapient set piece specialist who’s to credit for our dead ball renaissance. Can you tell that I’ve whipped out the dictionary recently?
AirPod Albert van Stuivenberg - an experienced dude with AirPods who communicates with statisticians and others, in live time, to optimise player performance. I wrote an article on him a while back. I don’t know how this relates to Arteta, maybe other than the fact that he might’ve brought him in?
I like Arsene Wenger, and back when he managed ‘Teta at Arsenal, the maestro said that he hopes Arteta goes into management one day. Et voila. Il est ici.
‘Teta even put up an image of Papa Wenger at the training ground, and the players supposedly high five it every day. That’s heartwarming.
There’s good vibes at this club right now. It’s hard to explain, but I haven’t experienced this kind of energy since, well, maybe 2016?
Arsenal have released some absolutely banging kits recently, and whilst that’s not down to just Arteta, there must be a reason why Adidas release so many collabs with us.
I’ve got hope in our team going forward, and that’s thanks in large part to ‘Teta’s rebuilding of the squad.
Our squad is a lot younger than our rivals, with a much lower average age (hovering around 23.4 - 24.6) than the teams we’re competing against. Our team and its collective performances can only get better from here as each player develops individually.
He’s only 40 years old, or 40 and one or two days by the time you read this, so he’s got a hell of a lot more time in management yet to come. I’m expecting a lot more learning, progression and development as a manager and person from Señor Mikel Arteta Amatriain.
This has been a very different article from me. I’ve enjoyed writing it and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. I’ve been Jahid (@jahidfullstop) and I’ll catch you in the next one. Ba-bye!