Mikel Arteta has been lauded as ‘brilliant’ by former mentor David Moyes ahead of West Ham’s Boxing Day trip to Arsenal.
The Gunners boss, who worked under the Hammers manager at Everton for six years, has guided the north Londoners to the top of the table.
Arsenal sit five points clear of Manchester City having lost just one out of their opening 14 Premier League matches.
After missing out on the top four on the final game of last season, Arteta has turned his side into genuine title contenders within six months.
And Moyes has hailed his impact at the Emirates, where he stated this is the best Arsenal team he would have come up against in years.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “I think the best time to face Arsenal was about three years ago!
“Since Mikel Arteta has come in he has done a brilliant job, got them going, won a couple of trophies and gone against the grain a bit where people might have thought it wouldn’t happen.
“As a manager, to have players who then go into management and do well is a great thrill.
“Mikel was always someone who has had a really good career, he’s worked under Arsene Wenger as well who would have given him a great idea of how things work at Arsenal Football Club.
“He’s worked under Pep Guardiola, who arguably could be the best managers certainly in this period.
“So, he’s certainly picked up great advice from those managers, but look he was a clever boy as well and he’s stuck at it when things were a bit difficult and people might have been on his back.
“They’ve ended up coming through it, and quite often managers need that time to come through it.
“Arsenal have had great teams, so it would be wrong to compare [this one] to the teams of the past.
“But if you’re talking about recent times, Arsenal were getting criticised so much I found it hard to believe.
“I thought they were building a good team, I could see [Emile] Smith Rowe, [Bukayo] Saka and [Gabriel] Martinelli coming through and I’m starting to think ‘My goodness, people aren’t seeing this right here’.
“They looked a really good team in the making and I think that’s what they are now.”
And Arteta was quick to praise Moyes in his own press conference as he credited his former coach for his teachings.
He remarked: “He was extremely supportive all the time and everything we did together, and I have incredible memories with him because we had a very successful time together.
“I’m so grateful first off for the trust he always showed in me.
“For how much I learned of him on the field, off the field, about building a team, about getting the right characters in the team to build what you want.”
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