Mikel Arteta assesses Erik ten Hag's impact at Man Utd

Jamie Spencer
Mikel Arteta & Erik ten Hag are both early contenders for Manager of the Year
Mikel Arteta & Erik ten Hag are both early contenders for Manager of the Year / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised the rapid turnaround Erik ten Hag has achieved at Manchester United as the pair prepared to do battle in the Premier League on Sunday.

Ten Hag’s United are the only team so far this season to have inflicted a Premier League defeat on an Arsenal side that has otherwise been near flawless, with the fruits of the project masterminded by Edu and Arteta now clear to see.

United were quickly written off as having more of the same problems that have plagued them for years when Ten Hag’s first two games ended in defeat back in August. But things have been very different more recently and only a stunning Michael Olise free-kick in stoppage time on Wednesday night denied them a 10th successive win in all competitions.

“Really impressive,” Arteta said of Ten Hag’s work, via Arsenal.com. “I think he's turned things around pretty quickly. He has implemented a very clear way of playing.

“I think the players seem like they've bought into it, they have really good energy around the place. And a lot of things have changed in a very short period of time so credit to him and the coaching staff for what they've done.”

United have been particularly buoyed by the form of Marcus Rashford, who has scored eight goals in eight games since returning from the World Cup. But Arteta isn’t solely focusing on one player.

“It's not only him, unfortunately,” the Arsenal boss said. “There are a lot of individuals and the collective organisation that we have to be very aware of. We prepare the games to try to hide what they have to try to create a problem against us.”

A blow to United but a boost to Arsenal is the suspension of Casemiro, booked for the fifth time this season in the second half against Crystal Palace. The Brazilian’s summer arrival has been widely pinpointed as a particularly key moment in his team's transformation.

“It's something that we can't control. He didn't play in our first game either and we still didn't do enough to win that match,” Arteta said, clearly not reading much into it.

“When you look at the squad that they have, it's just incredible. The individuals and the collective organisation can beat any opponent in this league and we'll plan the game knowing that [Casemiro] is not available, that's for sure.”

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