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Arteta making Arsenal a real deal again

It appears that ending the season with the FA Cup is just the start for Arteta. The Spaniard has looked fearless since taking to the dugout, despite the daunting task that is the Emirates Stadium top job.

Whereas his predecessor Unai Emery struggled after ultimately trying to do too much too soon to turn fortunes around, Arteta has gone back to basics and concentrated purely on shaping a style and identity.

The former club captain has worked with the raw materials he has, turning the Gunners into a possession-conscious side once more with an instinct to play on the counter and supply talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Arteta making Arsenal a real deal again

Mikel Arteta turning the Gunners into a possession-conscious side

This bore fruit in the run up to and victory in the FA Cup, before playing out efficiently once more as a resolute side squeezed out the win against Liverpool in the Community Shield.

Mikel Arteta will happily take this win and he deserves a great deal of credit.

In the last 50 days, Arsenal have got the better of Liverpool (twice), Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final and Chelsea in the final.

The players had only a handful of training sessions together in the build-up, but we saw a well coached side cause Jurgen Klopp’s team problems.

You could see the philosophy behind the opening goal as Arsenal went from back to front in less than 20 seconds.

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It involved a wonderful cross-field pass from 18-year-old Bukayo Saka, who makes such intelligent decisions for his age, to the goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Then the left-sided centre back Kieran Tierney made an overlapping run while left wing back Ainsley Maitland-Niles underlapped.

Using the space in front of him, Aubameyang duly found the far corner, just like Thierry Henry would have done.

There was a real identity to this performance under Arteta.

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His back three was sturdy and you wonder whether that is the system he is ready to stand by.

Mohamed Elneny came back from his loan at Besiktas looking secure in midfield alongside Granit Xhaka.

Emiliano Martinez looks worthy of being Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Bernd Leno.

Of course, we’re all wondering whether Aubameyang will stay and, judging by Saturday, it seems more likely that he will. This was a good day out for Arteta’s Arsenal.

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Arteta has already made the shrewd move of bringing Willian on board, and is set to raise funds in order to make more signings before the October 6 deadline.

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