Jack Wilshere has hailed the discipline of Mikel Arteta and has backed his former teammate ‘to get the best out of’ Arsenal following his arrival as head coach at the Emirates.
Former Gunners midfielder Wilshere has been monitoring the progress of his old side since the appointment of former club captain Arteta in December, the club having shown signs of progress following a disappointing start to the campaign under the sacked Unai Emery.
Wilshere insists the north London side, who currently sit ninth in the Premier League, have the players to turn their fortunes around and has backed Arteta to get the best from the club’s world-class talents.
“They’ve got world-class players,” Wilshere said during an Instagram Live interview.
“They spent £60 million on [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, £40m on [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Mesut] Ozil is world-class.
“I think they’ve got a good manager now who can get the best out of them. I think you need to give Arteta a transfer window and a pre-season.”
The 28-year-old has spoken on the impact Arteta has made since arriving as head coach last year, Arsenal having registered an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League prior to the suspension of football amid the coronavirus crisis.
Wilshere admits that the Gunners’ teams he played in were often vulnerable defensively, but says he has already seen subtle signs of improvement following the Spaniard’s appointment.
“Everyone who I’ve spoken to since leaving Arsenal or even when I was at Arsenal would say they wouldn’t mind playing against us because they knew they could get opportunities,” he added. “Going forward we were always a joke.
“I’m not just talking about the defence but defensively, as a team, they would get chances and I think Arteta has changed that a bit.”
Wilshere played alongside Arteta for five seasons at the Emirates before the Spaniard’s retirement, winning two successive FA Cups under the guidance of Arsene Wenger in 2014 and 2015.
The now West Ham midfielder has discussed the qualities he saw in Arteta ahead of his move into management, hailing the ‘unreal’ discipline of his former teammate and describing the 38-year-old as a leader in the dressing room.
“When I was playing with him you don’t really think about that but, when I look back, you could tell,” Wilshere said.
“He was one of those guys in training who was always on it. He wouldn’t accept anything less than 100 per cent. Even if we were doing possession, he would try and base it around a game and try and talk to you about what we should be doing.
“Around the training ground he was first in, never late, he would do everything properly. His discipline was unreal.
“On the pitch as well, he was the leader for us. In the dressing room and around the place he wouldn’t get involved in any banter.
“His English was good, he knew the game, he was good. He was a big player for us.”