Rio Ferdinand slates fans who wanted ‘Arteta out’ as Arsenal are ‘the real deal’

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand praised Arsenal for ignoring the ‘Mikel Arteta out’ crowd and giving their manager time.

The Gunners’ magnificent 3-2 victory over Liverpool further cemented their place at the top of the table, despite the incredible form of Manchester City. Very few believed the north Londoners were capable of mounting a top four finish, let alone a Premier League title challenge that appears to be growing more realistic with every passing week.

While their lead at the top remains a slender one point, the 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby and the win over Jurgen Klopp’s side were regularly billed as games Arteta’s men would trip up on. But with the Gunners still going strong, Ferdinand has praised the Arsenal board for lending their full backing to Arteta and ignoring those who have demanded his sacking over the last few years.

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“Arsenal are the real deal, simple as that,” Ferdinand said to BT Sports after the game. “You look at their team and the way he [Arteta] is building it.

“One thing you do have to give Arsenal for, the hierarchy especially, is the time they have given him. I’ve heard Arsenal fans saying, ‘oh we want Arteta out’ at times.

“But the board were patient, they have given him license to go and make big decisions within that club. Now you can see a club with a real direction.”

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Very few Arsenal fans would have predicted this level of improvement when the Gunners could only muster a miserable eighth placed finish in Arteta’s first full season at the club.

However, two very intelligent transfer windows has seen the former Manchester City assistant coach overhaul an aging squad with a ginormous wage bill, to a young, hungry and dynamic team who look capable of beating anybody.

Youngsters Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, whose goals overcame Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, are two examples of young who have flourished under Arteta’s guidance. And Ferdinand believes other clubs, particularly those who are trigger happy with their managers, should take a page out of Arsenal’s book.

“Arteta is a great example to other football clubs who are making real big decisions in chopping and changing managers,” Ferdinand added. “Really, some people need a plan, time, and consistency.”

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