Mikel Arteta is earning universal praise for the job he's doing at Arsenal.
It's not even been a year since Pep Guardiola's protegé returned to the Emirates Stadium to replace Unai Emery and near enough every Arsenal fan is on board with his project.
Arteta ended his first season with the club's fourth FA Cup title in six years, before starting his second campaign with a Community Shield win over Premier League champions Liverpool.
Arteta's work at Arsenal
The Gunners then opened up their league campaign with victories over Fulham and West Ham United, while there were still positives to take from a 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Monday.
The scoreline of 3-1 might have been identical to the one suffered by Emery last season, but the fact Alexandre Lacazette came so close to equalising speaks volumes about the change.
And besides, even with defeat on Merseyside, Arteta has only actually lost seven of his games in charge, which is pretty staggering when you consider he's approaching his one-year anniversary.
Belief in a long-term project
You can't help feeling as though the world is his oyster if the Gunners try to follow in the footsteps of Liverpool by putting their faith in a five-year rebuild.
Well, if nobody else, that's exactly what former Arsenal player Adrian Clarke believes and he even went as far as claiming that Arteta is better than three of his biggest rival coaches.
Better than Jose Mourinho?
Speaking to talkSPORT on Tuesday, the 46-year-old opined that Arteta is better than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho in his current capacity.
Clarke said: “I think that the two players they’ve been linked with – Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar – are absolutely tailor-made to improve the Arsenal team.
“They are stylistically the two players Arsenal need right now to go to the next level. Because I do believe in the coach.
“I think Arsenal have got a coach who is better than Lampard, better than Ole Gunner Solskjaer… who is better than Jose Mourinho right now, the version of Jose right now.
“I wouldn’t swap Mikel Arteta for any of those guys, and I don’t think many Arsenal fans would.
“What he needs is the squad now to compete with those rivals, and I think the addition of two midfielders would make a massive difference.”
GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says
Comparing Lampard, Solskjaer and Arteta is harder than you'd think when you consider they all have unique connections to the clubs like manage.
That being said, if I had to put my money on the coach from those three who'd be able to do the best job no matter where they were airdropped, I think I'd have to go for Arteta.
But even as an Arsenal fan, I draw the line at saying Arteta is better than Mourinho because aside from being a legend of the game, the 'Special One' has continued to prove himself as a serial winner.
Mourinho might have fallen a long way in recent seasons, but he was falling from so high up that he's still amongst the footballing gods.
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