Rio Ferdinand makes Arsenal admission about Mikel Arteta’s side he has ‘never’ said before

Arsenal look like a “well-coached” team under manager Mikel Arteta, something Rio Ferdinand admits he has never said before as a pundit. Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory in his first campaign in charge at the Emirates. The Spaniard saw his side beat Manchester City and Chelsea before overcoming Liverpool in the Community Shield.

Arsenal could only manage an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League last season, with Arteta only taking over in late December 2019.

But the Gunners have earned rave reviews for their improvement under their former captain.

And Ferdinand joined the praise ahead of the opening day match at Fulham.

Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “They’re a well-drilled team and I think this season it’s going to be a common denominator about what you say all the time about this Arsenal team – they’re well-coached. That’s how they look.”

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Presenter Jake Humphrey then asked Ferdinand how many times he has said that about Arsenal since he hung up his boots to become a pundit.

He replied: “I’d say almost never. I think in the last seven or eight, 10 years this team aren’t happy in these positions.

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“They’re happy to be here, they’re happy defending and they look comfortable more importantly.

“They enjoy it, they enjoy being in defensive areas to get their friends out of trouble.”

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Arsenal announced on Thursday that Arteta’s job title had changed from head coach to first-team manager.

And Arteta admitted it was nice for their progress under him to be recognised by the club after just nine months in the job.

“My title has changed a little bit but I’m just here to try and do my job as well as possible,” Arteta said.

“It is always nice to be recognised from the club for the job that I try to do but I just want to help the club to do the right things.

“When I have to be involved, great. When I work in any area, great.

“I just want to make this club more successful in this country as quickly as possible and in a sustainable way. That’s my ambition.

“It’s our ambition and we have to do it together.”

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