What sets the best coaches apart in the modern footballing world? The likes of Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane have not achieved what they have by simply buying the best players in the world and letting them do the work; they have made their charges better players with work put in on the training ground.
Raheem Sterling was already a top quality player before Guardiola took charge at Manchester City, but since the Spaniard has been in Manchester, Sterling has been turned into a world beater.
Arteta is not going to have millions and millions to spend, so he too has to work his magic on the training ground, and in just a short space of time, the innovative Guardiola protege is finding different ways to eke as much as he possibly can out of his talented squad, and against Fulham we saw yet more invention, tactically, from Arteta. And boy, did it reap rewards.
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Arteta: Willian selection not a dig at Pepe
When Arsenal signed Willian, there was a mixed reaction among the Gunners faithful to say the least. Why was a club in a transitional phase bringing in a 32-year-old, on a lucrative three-year deal, as a short-term fix? The fact it was on the same week as plentiful redundancies at the club left a bitter taste.
However, Arteta seems to have a plan for the Brazilian. Played as a wide forward or winger for the majority of his time in England with Chelsea, Willian was deployed more centrally in Arteta's system at Fulham on Saturday, and the pass from Willian for Arsenal's third showed why he was there.
The passing range is still there, even if the legs are on the wane. With width offered from deeper in Arteta's system, Willian can cut inside - a position he created three chances from, more than anyone else on the pitch, with two of those opportunities leading to goals.
The innovation did not stop there. Full-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has looked set to leave the club, and still could with Wolves interested, was used more as a left winger at Fulham as part of a midfield four, and looked more than comfortable in an advanced position.
Kieran Tierney became an overlapping centre-back to offer yet another outlet in attack, creating several chances with his pinpoint, arrowed balls over the top.
Trusting Gabriel in the heart of the backline looked to have been foolish as the Brazilian made an early error on debut that almost let Fulham in to score, but he settled, scored the Gunners' second and picked up the man of the match award for his assured display, repaying the faith shown in him by Arteta.
Mohamed Elneny - remember him? He was excellent at Craven Cottage in the midfield anchor role alongside Granit Xhaka, and is just one of several players Arteta has found a use from when many other managers would simply move these unused players on. The list of somewhat bold tactical calls from Arteta goes on.
"I am really pleased. I wanted to see my team determined with a lot of energy and do the things we did in training," Arteta said after the match. "We did it today."
The tougher games are to come, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United clashes all taking place before the end of October, but on this evidence, as Arsenal made the perfect start to the new season, the impressive apprentice Arteta will have a myriad of ideas to worry even his master Guardiola.
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