Ahead of our Boxing Day match with West Ham United, Mikel Arteta reflected on his time spent working with Hammers boss David Moyes, and the direct impact he’s had on his career.
Mikel played under Moyes for six years during his time at Everton, who signed him from Real Sociedad in 2005 when the Spaniard was just 22. They enjoyed immediate success together, with Arteta’s arrival playing an important role in the Toffees’ top-four finish in 2004/05 as they reached the Champions League qualifiers.
Mikel would go on to play over 200 times for Moyes, and admits he learnt plenty from the Scottish boss in that time that helped shape his managerial philosophy, and was happy to pay tribute to his former boss before they meet again on Boxing Day.
“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,” Arteta said.
“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.”
As we get ready to return to Premier League, Mikel is fully focused on the challenge of facing West Ham and praised the changes Moyes has implemented since taking charge at the east London club.
“I know for sure he has been working the team really, really hard since he took over,” Mikel added. “He absolutely maximized the potential of that team, and took that team to a different level.
“I’m sure they have been working really hard like we all have been in this period, and tt will be a very difficult contest.”
Mikel also spoke about welcoming the fans back to the Emirates Stadium for a traditional Boxing Day clash, which he feels is extra special this year after the World Cup break.
“We know the importance of starting strong again. We’re playing at home, it’s a very special day in Premier League history. It’s a very special family day to play football.
“It’s an incredible atmosphere that day and we want to make the most out of it.”
Hear everything Mikel had to say in his press conference, including further team news including an update on Gabriel Jesus, and his plans for the upcoming January transfer window.
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