David Luiz hails ‘amazing’ Arsenal boss Arteta & insists he’s still improving under Spaniard

The centre-back has credited the Gunners head coach for implementing his own unique philosophy at Emirates Stadium since his return to the club

Mikel Arteta is doing an “amazing” job at Arsenal, according to David Luiz, who claims he has improved his all-round game under the former Manchester City assistant’s stewardship.

Arsenal appointed Arteta as Unai Emery’s permanent successor at Emirates Stadium back in December, after Freddie Ljungberg’s brief interim spell in charge of the first team.

The Gunners were unable to put together a meaningful run of results in the first half of the season, and slipped down the Premier League standings and out of contention for a place in the Champions League as a result.

Arteta’s reign got off to a slow start but significant signs of improvement have been made since the turn of the year, with Arsenal yet to suffer a single top-flight defeat in 2020.

Arsenal won five of their last six matches across all competitions before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiacos the only blot on their impressive record.

Arteta’s men still have an outside chance of making the top four and are through to the FA Cup quarter finals, meaning they will still have plenty to play for by the time it is safe for football in England to resume.

Luiz is one of several members of the Arsenal squad who have raised their game since Arteta’s arrival, leading by example in the heart of a defence which is now recording shut-outs on a regular basis.

The Brazilian is certain that the Spaniard is the right man to take the club forward and has highlighted the new manager’s tactical nous and winning mentality as his standout attributes.

“Mikel is doing amazing, I am enjoying being almost 33 years old and still learning and improving and to see how beautiful football is,” Luiz told Adidas.

“Every day he changes something more and how a new idea and philosophy can still improve me as a person, as a player and as a leader.

“Mikel has tried to make us understand where to play and how to play. He gives us a plan: ‘If the team is like that, if there is a low block parking the bus how you can create, take the responsibility to make a risky pass’.

“If the pass arrives there then we create an opportunity and score the goal, if the pass doesn’t arrive there we can win the ball back quickly.

“Mikel, he brings a philosophy where everybody has to think for the best of the club, and make the club shine again. Everybody, not just players, everyone has to breathe this oxygen. It doesn’t matter where or when we lost it, we bring it back.”

Luiz added on his desire to return to action with the Gunners as soon as possible: “I want to be on the pitch. Doing what I love and making people happy.

“If we are going to play the season until the end I want to try and be in the Champions League with Arsenal.”

The 32-year-old also talked about his fellow countryman Gabriel Martinelli’s first season in the Premier League, insisting he has the mentality to succeed at the Emirates in the long-term.

When asked what Brazilian supporters make of the teenager’s progress at Arsenal, Luiz responded: “Now they are very proud. I didn’t know [about him].

“I had heard some things about a little guy doing well. When I saw him I said ‘wow’.

“Not just because of the talent as a footballer [but] especially because of the mentality. I think he wants to improve, wants to learn and understands that he has the opportunity of his life.

“He wants to change his status, wants to be part of the team and part of the club – I think this is a very important thing for players to understand today.”