Former Arsenal full-back Gael Clichy has insisted that Mikel Arteta has every chance of replicating the successes of Arsene Wenger during the latter’s time in charge of the club. Arteta masterminded the Gunners to an impressive win over Tottenham in Sunday’s north London derby to register his side’s third successive Premier League victory.
First-half goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka rubber-stamped the result for Arsenal, who were firmly on top from the very first whistle.
Spurs managed to hit back through Son Heung-min with 11 minutes of normal time remaining, but the winger’s contribution ultimately proved to be nothing more than a late consolation.
The result saw Arsenal leapfrog their bitter rivals in the Premier League table on goal difference, with the Gunners now occupying 10th place.
Meanwhile, Arteta looks to have relieved some of the pressure on his shoulders after earning the second north London derby win of his managerial career.
The Spaniard was facing calls to be sacked after a disappointing start to the campaign, but appears to have successfully rescued Arsenal’s form ahead of what could prove to be a favourable run of fixtures.
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The Gunners will face Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Leeds United in their next four outings as they eye a return to the Premier League’s upper reaches.
Clichy, who made 264 appearances for Arsenal between 2003 and 2011, has since hailed Arteta’s return to winning ways by drawing comparisons with legendary former boss Wenger.
The Frenchman told BBC Radio 5 Live that he believes Arteta can emulate the achievements of his esteemed predecessor if he is given enough time to put his long-term plan into action.
“Arteta has so much knowledge and he had the luxury to learn from Pep [Guardiola],” said Clichy before kick-off on Sunday.
“I really believe in the long term he could be the next Arsene Wenger. He is quite young, and I truly believe, given time, he will prove people wrong.”
Arteta currently boasts a 55.3 per cent win rate after taking charge of Arsenal following the departure of Unai Emery at the end of 2019.
He will be looking to add another victory to his record of achievements when the Gunners travel to face Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
The Arsenal boss was delighted with his side’s performance against Tottenham, declaring after the match that his squad members are finally beginning to gel and complement each other’s playing styles to a greater degree.
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“I think we all agree that we saw a team that convinced from the beginning,” said Arteta.
“With good energy and high rhythm, with a lot of quality, great cohesion and understanding of what we wanted to do with and without the ball.
“Then we were super efficient. That is something we have been lacking in the final third.
“The right pass, the shot to hit the target more and I think we did that all really well in the first half.”