Recalling the good old times, when we last locked horns with the citizens, The stunning Mikel Arteta winner still standing before my eyes. A small tribute to the Spaniard.
“The mark of a true professional is giving more than what you get” and surely Arteta is one of them. The boy aged 15 got a piece of advice from a master, Pep Guardialo. The legend said “Mikel, you have to be happy when other people in the team are playing well around you, it means you have made them better, don’t try and find happiness in your own moments” and the boy has followed it since.
Given the golden generation of Spanish football players, “La Roja” with no doubts has been the best team in the world by greater margins. It is not easy to win three major honours back to back. The victory was brought by the combination of efforts of the coaches and players all over the country to produce a team of such talent and caliber. The players who made the team won the titles, but the players who didn’t made it into the team shaped the playing eleven into a even more competitive unit. The amount of talent Spain has challenges it’s every other competitor in all aspects. Players like Santi Cazorla, Cesc finds it difficult to get a regular starting place in the squad. Well, it doesn’t happen in many other countries. All these facts put together, sums up and give out a sequence of questions. Does Spain really need Mikel Arteta? If yes, in which position? Xavi’s? Iniesta’s? Will Del Bosque ever consider Arteta has an option?
On the other hand Mikel’s history and performances has been nothing less than magnificent. Ever since he left Barcelona for regular playing time, He excelled in France, Scotland and in our very own most competitive league in the world, The Premier league itself. It has been seven years Arteta has been playing in English soil for Everton and Arsenal. At Everton he is a classic No10 who creates goal scoring opportunities where he thrived in the role. He won Everton player of the year of the year back to back years. At Arsenal he is more a box to box midfielder, technically sound and efficient, he rarely wastes possession. It is no coincidence that the Gunners’ defensive frailties have been eased since Arteta came into the side. He is quick to win back the ball and kill the opponent’s counter attacks covering every bit of grass in front of the back four. Provided this Wenger statement “He is a winner and he does what it takes to win, it’s as simple as that, If he sees that he has to sit to allow us to be efficient, he will do it. If he needs to push forward, he will do it just because he wants to win. That’s why I made him vice-captain.” Which clearly states the Mikel is a great team player and will not accept defeat to the team easily.
Things would have been different if he would have not left Spain, maybe he would have played for his country and fulfilled his wish. Now whose fault it is Del Bosque’s? No, what is the need for him to change a winning combination. Mikel Arteta’s? Do flying out of home is a fault? How long can the Spanish national team ignore a player performing at such a high level? Because being vice-captain in arsenal in not a cake walk and in which Arteta excels.
Keeping every argument aside, the player himself has what it takes to represent Spain, which he proved playing at the highest level. His professionalism can be understood by the fact that he hardly makes headlines for wrong reasons. A complete professional who gives more than what he gets, a prolific midfielder, an on field leader, the one Mikel Arteta should be considered for the Spanish national team. Technically he can play in Busquests role as a ball winning midfielder and may form a lethal combination alongside the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc.