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Arteta finding the cure for ‘sick’ Arsenal, says former double winner Petit

17:27 GMT 08/02/2020
Mikel Arteta Arsenal
The ex-Gunners midfielder has seen signs of encouragement from a new manager in north London, with rejuvenated players buying into a fresh message

Mikel Arteta appears to have found a cure for “sick” Arsenal, says Emmanuel Petit, with leaks at the back being plugged as a clearer message gets across to an inconsistent squad.

The Spaniard has been handed a first managerial post, with the coaching baton picked up in north London that was put down by fellow countryman Unai Emery.

A sizeable rebuilding project will have to be overseen by Arteta at Emirates Stadium, with there no quick fixes to be found.

Early encouragement has been offered in that process, despite only one Premier League victory being collected from seven fixtures.

Senior stars that had looked out of sorts under Emery are finding form again, while the Gunners are not as soft at the centre as they once were.

Petit puts that down to Arteta, with a fresh set of eyes considered to be helping a fallen giant to get back onto its feet.

“When Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, the team was sick,” Petit told Paddy Power.

“Sick on the pitch and in the dressing room. They were losing shape and blindly going nowhere. They were weak.

“Now, after several weeks of the Arteta regime I’ve seen different things happening in terms of intensity, togetherness and work rate off the ball.

“The mentality is different and some players are getting back to form, like Granit Xhaka. I’m very pleased with how he has played and the mentality he has shown.

“Mesut Ozil has looked better on occasion and I’m happy with what I see from Lucas Torreira.

“The players seem to be getting the message from Arteta and I think it’s clear what he wants from them on and off the pitch in terms of discipline and commitment. It looks like they’re following the rules he sets out on the training pitch.

“They haven’t been winning as many games as they’d like but they also haven’t been losing. More goals are needed if they want to win, which is the major problem.

“The first priority when Arteta took over was to stop the team conceding stupid goals, and he has done that. But in the meantime they’re suffering a bit up front – I think if they keep playing like this that, sooner or later, they’re going to win games.”

Arsenal, who sit 10th in the Premier League table, are currently taking in their winter break and will not be back in action until taking in a home date with Newcastle on February 16.