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'The fun is back!' - Arsenal defender Sokratis relishing life under Arteta after Man Utd win

5:43 PM EST 1/1/20
Sokratis Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners won their first game under their new boss on Wednesday, leaving the Greek defender optimistic about the club's future

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was delighted after his side defeated Manchester United on Wednesday, saying "the fun is back" under new boss Mikel Arteta. 

The Gunners put in an assured performance on New Year's Day, cruising to a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium after first-half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis.

It was an encouraging step forward under Arteta, who took charge of his first Arsenal game at the weekend and saw his side fall to a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat against Chelsea, despite an improved performance.

Arteta's appointment followed a disastrous start to the season under Unai Emery, who was sacked in November after the Gunners went seven games without a win in all competitions.

But with Arteta now overseeing two solid performances against the Blues and the Red Devils, Sokratis sounded an optimistic note about his side's fortunes moving forward.

"We have started again, I think we have a lot of space to improve," Sokratis told BT Sport. "The second half we didn't play like the first but I think every game we are getting better. The fun is back!"

The Greek's defensive partner David Luiz echoed those thoughts, saying that he believes the Gunners can do "big things in the future."

"I think it was great. We were great in the first half and showed a maturity in the second," the Brazilian told BT Sport.

"We have to be honest and admit physically we are not ready, but you have to show heart and this team is ready to change a lot of things. We showed that today and we are going to do big things in the future.

"Mikel Arteta is a great coach, he was a great player. I think he can improve every player. And in life when you are happy results can be different.

"If you work with happiness and believing what you are doing it is totally different. Our season started very bad but things can change."

The Gunners still have plenty of work to do after Wednesday's win, with the club sitting in 10th place in the Premier League, nine points behind Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League spot. 

Arteta's side will take on Leeds United in the FA Cup third round on Monday before the Spaniard faces his first away match in charge of Arsenal with a trip to Crystal Palace on January 11.