Gary Neville pinpoints important tactical change at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made some crucial changes in defence according to former England defender Gary Neville.

The Gunners have won four of the their last five games in all competitions and are unbeaten in nine in what has turned out to be their best run of the season so far.

That run has helped Arteta’s side move to within four points off fifth-placed Manchester United, which will be worthy of a Champions League spot should Manchester City’s ban be upheld.

Neville has seen progress at the Emirates since their change in management, but admits there is plenty of work to be done after watching their sloppy victory over Everton on Sunday.

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Neville said via Metro : ”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.

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"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."

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah were both on target as Arsenal held out to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side at the weekend, leaving Arteta proud of their display in a physical match.

He said: ”Absolutely, I am really pleased with the performance. It's not easy to play three times in seven days – we came here very late from Greece – and then we concede an early goal as well which mentally asks you questions.

“But the team reacted straight away and started to dominate the game and impose themselves, create the chances and score the goals.”

  • Arsenal FC
  • Gary Neville
  • Premier League
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Arsene Wenger
  • Unai Emery
  • Champions League

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