Mikel Arteta has had quite the journey as Arsenal manager so far.
His story as the Gunners’ boss has been full of ups and downs – attracting very polarizing opinions from supporters.
When he took over the club in December 2019, Arteta had an enjoyable first year or so.
He helped them win the FA Cup in the 2019/12 season and then the Community Shield at the start of the 2020/21 campaign as well.
But once the honeymoon period was over, things started to go from bad to worse.
With Arsenal fans having heightened expectations that the club would be back at the top after Arsene Wenger’s departure and Arteta struggled to match those expectations immediately.
The Spaniard got a lot of criticism as the Gunners finished 8th in his first full season in charge – ending their 25-year consecutive run of participating in European competitions.
The lack of European football ended up benefiting them, as Arsenal recovered and produced some impressive stuff in the 2021/22 season with a very young core.
They finished 5th but had a memorable season which helped Arteta regain the faith of the supporters.
Arteta’s training methods and unconventional, to say the least, as it has been perfectly depicted in the Amazon ‘All or Nothing’ documentary about Arsenal.
In the second episode of the series, the Amazon documentary showed Arteta’s unique way of inspiring his players ahead of their 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at home last season.
Before the game, he brought out his drawing board to depict the importance of ‘Passion, Clarity and Energy’ to be in his team.
He initially drew a heart and a brain on the board and termed them as ‘passion’ and ‘clarity’ respectively.
The Spaniard then drew a shape of a person and described them as ‘energy’.
Arteta urged the players to combine the three mentioned elements together to oust their rivals in the North London derby.
Incidentally, the team talk worked a treat as Arsenal completely ousted Spurs and produced what was arguably their best performance of the 2021/22 season.
His ‘passion, energy and clarity’ shapes have become so popular that fans demanded it to be put on a t-shirt dedicated to Arteta.
Surprisingly, the Gunners actually agreed to it and released a brand new t-shirt with the shapes in a black t-shirt for the fans on their online shop.
Due to its popularity, the t-shirt was sold out in a matter of hours after it was released.
It has to be one of the fastest-selling club merchandise for the season, excluding official jerseys.
It only shows how ‘Super Mik Arteta’ has grown into a highly trusted and beloved figure in the Arsenal fanbase – a feeling that is only growing with the Gunners sitting atop of the Premier League table after winning 6 out of their opening 7 games.