Gary Neville: What I really think of Arsenal under Mikel Arteta
Gary Neville has his say on Arsenal's start to life under new head coach Mikel Arteta
Gary Neville believes that Mikel Arteta is taking Arsenal in the right direction – but has warned Gunners fans that they will need to be patient.
Arteta has been settling into life at The Emirates after he was brought in as Unai Emery’s replacement at the end of last year and the Gunners have been showing some signs of steady progress under the Spanish head coach.
Arsenal made it back to back wins in the Premier League last weekend when they sealed a 3-2 victory over Everton in front of their home fans to keep themselves in the race for a top-four finish.
As things stand, Arsenal are currently in ninth place in the table and seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea FC in the race for Champions League qualification.
Former Manchester United defender Neville has been impressed with how Arsenal have improved since Arteta’s appointment, but he has warned Gunners fans that they should not expect dramatic changes overnight.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville said: “Arsenal have threatened to be better under Mikel Arteta, with a lot of draws and perhaps they haven’t got the victories they would have wanted.
“There have been improvements in defence, up until Sunday, where they reverted to type with some really sloppy play. Everton could have scored three or four goals in that last 10 or 15 minutes.
“We always expect a bounce from new managers. You can spot the differences in Arsenal since Arteta took over.
“Arteta is trying to build from a base whereby his team have been shambolic defensively all season, trying to correct that. You have to try and stop the conceding of goals initially.
“Arsenal are well away from getting to the top, top level, and we can’t expect too many changes overnight, just small steps in the right direction.
“It’s key to get the right players in the right positions, and cover up the weaknesses, which is what Arteta is trying to do; play a system that covers for the fact his centre-backs still struggle defensively and his goalkeeper as well at times.”
Arsenal will return to FA Cup action on Tuesday night when they travel to Portsmouth in the fifth round.
The Gunners will then face West Ham United at The Emirates in their next game in the Premier League on Saturday 7 March.