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Pitch to Post: How Mikel Arteta's 'less is more' approach with Arsenal could succeed

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There has been a noticeable shift in Arsenal's style since Mikel Arteta took over from Unai Emery

Arsenal are improving under Mikel Arteta simply by doing less. Will it succeed? The Pitch to Post podcast discuss…

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There has been a noticeable shift in Arsenal’s style since Arteta took over from Unai Emery last December, with their win percentage across all competitions improving, and a major trophy under their belt following August’s FA Cup success.

So often synonymous with attacking, free-flowing football, Arteta looks to have made Arsenal a more solid outfit with his “less is more” approach; the statistics show the Gunners are simply attacking less, and having to defend less.

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Here, the Pitch to Post Review podcast panel analyse Arsenal following their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday, and Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand believes Arteta’s approach is bold, but is helping ease pressure on their much-maligned defence.

“I think Arteta has been bold with Arsenal – not in a traditional sense of trying to play risky, attacking football – but bold in the sense that he’s trying to actually do the opposite, or at least to be more conservative.

Less is more?

(PL only – per game) Arsenal with Unai Emery Arsenal with Mikel Arteta
Goals 1.78 1.53
Shots 12.3 9.2
Chances created 9.5 6.7
Goals conceded 1.37 1.03
Shots faced 14.05 12.84
Passes into final third 52.5 48
Overall win percentage 55% 62%

“You’ve seen an improvement in form in the likes of Granit Xhaka, plus we’ve seen Mohamed Elneny come back – those are two players you’d probably have thought were done and dusted at Arsenal – and they’ve made what I think is a pivotal signing in Thomas Partey.

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“Even in the defeat at Man City we saw the product of what Arteta is trying to do – Arsenal fans will probably be frustrated they didn’t go at City more, but I would ask: has that not been Arsenal’s broken style for 10 years? Completely top heavy? I think they were beaten in the end by City’s own conservative play – it was a bit of a chess match.

Follow Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal in the Europa League on Thursday in our dedicated live blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app: Kick-Off 5.55pm

“It’s probably helping Arteta that there are no fans inside the stadium screaming at Arsenal to get forward constantly.

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