Robin van Persie believes former Gunners teammate Mikel Arteta has the potential to become a ‘great’ coach for Arsenal.
Arteta has already won silverware in his fledgling managerial career, guiding the Gunners to a 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea this month.
Though Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League, that Wembley triumph was enough to secure their place in the Europa League for next season, and former Gunner Van Persie, who spent a season playing alongside Arteta at Arsenal, has backed Pep Guardiola’s former assistant to become a top-class coach.
‘He was a good player. He was always fit, he connected play, he got his goals. He was good,’ Van Persie told Stats Perform News. ‘As a coach I do think he has the potential to become great. I said that even after watching the first couple of training sessions, or bits of it.
‘The way he comes across in the media, the way he makes his team play. It’s very promising, very positive.
‘He needs time. Sometimes you look at teams or you look at a coach and think “okay, this coach could have 200 years and it would not happen”.
‘When I look at Mikel, I do see change, I see the positive changes and little things happening. How they work together, how they defend together. They are a shorter distance together. Going forward but defensively too. They have got better at defending set-pieces which was always an issue.
‘David Luiz is having his best games. He gives confidence to players and most players are picking up on that, doing really well and they really play for Mikel.’
Also backing Arteta for success at Arsenal is former Gunners defender Martin Keown, who thinks they can use the FA Cup triumph as a springboard to further success.
He told football.london: ‘By winning trophies you demonstrate that when things go well it clicks. You’re good enough to beat the teams that win the leagues.
‘What you want to do is win the Premier League, get into that top four. Arteta will be ambitious to do that. It’s a great start and great for his confidence by the way, he’s a rookie manager but not anymore after winning a trophy.
‘That’s the next step for Arteta but it’s good for the players to see that they’re capable of winning things, beating a very good Chelsea team in the process, but it’s still a rebuilding project for Arteta and Arsenal Football Club.’
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