Nicolas Jover's impact: Arsenal's set piece efficiency soars under Mikel Arteta

"I knew Nico from before, and I asked him to come and join our project, he did, and he's having a really strong impact on the team.”

by Sead Dedovic
Nicolas Jover's impact: Arsenal's set piece efficiency soars under Mikel Arteta
© Michael Regan / Getty Images Sport

By coming to Arsenal, Mikel Arteta wanted to bring certain things to perfection. The Spanish manager learned a lot at Manchester City when he was Pep Guardiola's assistant coach. He applied the knowledge he acquired in Manchester to the London team. Arteta has done a great job in the last two seasons. 

Things are not so bad this season too, and Arsenal still has a chance for the Premier League trophy. What impresses many is Arsenal's efficiency in terms of set pieces. Nicolas Jover arrived at Arsenal in 2021. He is the coach who was crucial in helping Arsenal increase their efficiency in terms of set pieces. In an interview with the media, Mikel Arteta talked about when he realized the importance of set pieces.

“Many years ago. Especially when I was at City, and I believe that we needed somebody who specialised in that."- Arteta said, as quoted by

He wanted to talk to Nico and find out how Arsenal could become more efficient in terms of set pieces. It turned out that the two of them had a great partnership and helped Arsenal become a dangerous team for their opponents when it comes to that aspect of the game.

“And I gave my advice to go and recruit Nico. I met him, we started to discuss how we could apply set pieces to the open play, which is also connected, they're not two separate things, it's all connected in the game, and how we could maximize that."

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta
Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta© Shaun Botterill / Getty Images Sport

Arteta and Nico have met before.

"I knew Nico from before, and I asked him to come and join our project, he did, and he's having a really strong impact on the team.”

Arteta discussed the importance of being adaptable in soccer, explaining that the sport is always changing. He mentioned that opponents are smart and pay close attention to different tactics. 

Looking at football 20 years ago and beyond, and comparing it with today, you can feel how much this sport has progressed. Day by day the focus is placed on various aspects of the game. Football evolves, and managers must adapt to such changes. If you don't adapt, it can be a danger to your team. Other teams are waiting for their chance and waiting for you to make a mistake.

Arteta highlighted the need for players to adjust to various situations, whether it's during regular play or specific moments like attacking or defending near the goal. When he referred to a "final set action," he meant a crucial moment in an offensive play. 

Additionally, when mentioning "defending deep," he was talking about the strategy used when protecting the goal area. Overall, Arteta emphasized the vital role of adaptability in responding to the ever-changing dynamics of soccer.

The Spanish expert has shown that he knows how to adapt to changes in football. His team has made huge progress since he joined the team. Last season, they were close to winning the Premier League, but Arteta's team lacked strength in the last matches.

Mikel Arteta and transfer market

It is also necessary to have players who can adapt to your system. Like any manager, Arteta carefully analyzes the market and tries to find players who can meet his requirements. Mikel showed in the seasons behind us that he is a master when it comes to buying players. Arsenal does not have much financial power, comparing them to other teams. However, even with weaker financial power, Arteta knew how to find the right players who fit into the system.

“It is a big part of the game. Like you do recruitment, you need to have the right players. You have to maximize everything that you do. Like any other thing."

The goal of football, like any sport, is to be ahead of your opponents and not give them a chance to gain an advantage.

“Like any sport, it is about tricking the opponent and being consistent and believing in what you do.
In the end it works because players believe in what we do, and when that happens then you have a bigger chance to do it.”

There are huge expectations from the Spanish expert. Time will best tell if Arteta can maintain consistency and help Arsenal to be in the fight for the top in the coming seasons. Although fans often express dissatisfaction with some of his decisions, the fact is that Arteta's arrival has changed many things within the club. And this season could decide his future. Arsenal wants to become a stable Premier League that will fight for the top of the table and win the championship.

Arsenal Mikel Arteta