Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confessed that the past couple of weeks has been the best of his career, culminating in a first win of the season against Norwich City.
The Gunners chief came in for plenty of criticism last season after a woeful showing by his side. They failed to qualify for Europe, looking devoid of confidence and ideas at times. That problem continued into the first three Premier League games of 2021-2022.
Defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City saw the north Londoners sit bottom of the standings at the start of the day. They have now climbed off the foot after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck their first league goal of the season.
The Gabon international bagged midway through the second half to earn his side three precious points. Arsenal deserved the victory, with many more attempts than the Canaries.
However, there was still a lack of quality in the final third at times. And Arteta could not hide his joy at the final whistle.
“We are really happy. We knew it was a really tricky game and we got what we wanted which was to win the match and to get points on the table,” he told the BBC.
“We had to suffer but I knew to win the game it would be like this.”
The players have been away from the club for the past two weeks during the international break. And it seems as though the Spaniard has retuned with renewed vigour after a much-needed break.
“After three defeats things get complicated. I must say it has been the best 10 or 14 days in my professional career,” he added. “Not the easiest, but the best. You learn a lot in difficult moments, who you are with.
“In difficult moments when you see the people and the level of organisation and the fans we have.”
Arteta sees ‘different’ Arsenal
The former Gunners midfielder made seven changes to his starting line-up at the Emirates. There were positive passages of play but times when Norwich could have scored themselves.
The manager was full of praise for the way the supporters got behind the team. And he sensed that there was a definitive shift in momentum with the new faces he brought in.
“They were ready to suffer today but they just give, give, give to the team. Today and the last week everything glided together,” he continued.
“We have to improve in a lot of things but today we made seven changes and already it looked different.”