The story of the ongoing Premier League season has undoubtedly been the rise of Arsenal, and by extension, the incredible journey of their manager Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard took the Emirates job despite having little to no credentials on his CV, and now, more than 3 years later, Arteta’s resume could read ‘Premier League winner’ by the end of the season.
Arteta’s restructuring and rebuilding of the Arsenal squad has been nothing short of spectacular, the 41-year-old has constructed a talented, young team that will likely fetch plenty of silverware in the coming years.
Naturally, the Spaniard’s methods, tactics, and patterns have all become the rage, and Arteta’s stock in general is at an all-time high.
There has been an increased interest in his personal life and career, but despite this, his brief spell at Scottish Heavyweights Rangers remains a lesser-known part of his journey.
Arteta signed for Rangers back in 2002, for a short-lived spell that ultimately proved to be pivotal to his development as a player.
Competing against the physical nature of Scottish Football, the experience toughened the midfielder.
Aside from winning the League title and League Cup, 2 moments, in particular, stand out as Arteta’s best at Ibrox.
These moments effectively turned the midfielder into a Rangers Hero, and as such, they are certainly worth taking a look at.
The goal on Old Firm debut
When Rangers come up against their historic rivals Celtic, it’s always an intense affair.
For a 20-year-old Arteta, facing the heat of Scottish Football’s greatest rivalry was undoubtedly a daunting prospect. But the Spaniard did remarkably well on his Old Firm debut.
Contested in October of 2002, he managed to grab a goal in the 3-3 draw at Parkhead.
Arteta scored through a long-range effort that slipped from the keeper’s grasp, giving Rangers the lead.
The point proved to be pivotal to the Gers title charge that season.
6'| 0⃣-1⃣ #CELRAN— SPFL (@spfl) April 4, 2020
GOAL RANGERS! Mikel Arteta has given the Light Blues the lead at Celtic Park.
📺 Tune in: https://t.co/32iYBv6Es2@RangersFC | #SPFL pic.twitter.com/D6Mep3j4RX
Treble winning penalty
Unquestionably his greatest moment as a Light Blue, Arteta stepped up to take a crucial penalty during the final game of the season.
With Rangers and Celtic tied on points, it was a matter of goal difference to decide the Premiership winners, meaning that Arteta’s pen was quite literally a title decider.
The late penalty came as part of a 6-1 rout against Dunfermline, contested on the 25th of May 2003.
Arteta sliced through the pressure placed on him and slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner.
The goal secured Rangers’ 50th league title and completed their 7th domestic treble.
Arteta ended the 2002-03 season as a surefire starter for the Rangers, and in the subsequent season, he improved on his scoring tally by grabbing 9 goals.
Despite his success in Scotland, Arteta chose to return to Spain with Real Sociedad the very next year.
Nevertheless, the Arsenal gaffer holds only praise for the club, and the same can be said for Rangers supporters, who thoroughly enjoyed watching the midfielder in Light Blue.
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