“The best time to face Arsenal was three years ago.”

Mikel Arteta has been hailed as “brilliant” by former mentor David Moyes ahead of West Ham’s Boxing Day trip to Arsenal.

The Gunners boss, who worked under the Hammers manager at Everton for six years, has led the north Londoners to the top of the table.

West Ham boss Moyes praised Arteta for his work at Arsenal

“Arsenal” has lost only one of its first 14 games in the Premier League and is 5 points ahead of “Manchester City”.

After missing out on the top four in the penultimate game of last season, Arteta has turned his side into bona fide title contenders in six months.

Moyes praised his impact at the Emirates, where he said it was the best Arsenal side he had faced in years.

He said at the pre-match press conference: “I think the best time to face Arsenal was about three years ago!

“Since Mikel Arteta came in, he’s done a brilliant job, chased them away, won a couple of trophies and stepped up a bit where people thought it wasn’t going to happen.

“As a manager, it’s a great thrill to have players who then come into management and succeed.


Arteta led his team to the top of the Premier League table

“Mikel has always had a very good career and he has also worked under Arsene Wenger which would give him a great insight into how things work at Arsenal football club.

“He worked under Pep Guardiola, who might be the best manager in this era.

“So he got a lot of great advice from those managers, but look, he was also a smart guy and he stuck with it when things got a little tough and people were maybe on his back.

“They got away with it and often managers need time to recover from it.

Moyes coached Arteta for six years at Everton from 2005 to 2011.


Moyes coached Arteta for six years at Everton from 2005 to 2011.

Arsenal have great teams, so it would be wrong to compare [this one] to the teams of the past.

“But if you talk about Arsenal recently, there was so much criticism that I couldn’t believe it.

“I thought they were building a good team, I could see that [Emile] Smith Rowe, [Bukayo] saka and [Gabriel] Martinelli comes in and I start thinking, “God, people don’t see that here.”

“They looked like a really good team in the build-up and I think they are now.”

Arteta was quick to praise Moyes in his press conference as he praised his former coach for his training.

She noted: “He was extremely supportive at all times and in everything we did together and I have great memories with him as we had a successful time together.

“First of all, I am very grateful for the trust he has always shown me.

“For everything I learned from him on the field, off the field, about building a team, getting the right characters in the team to build what you want.”


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