Monday, April 22, 2024

“You can tell he’s earning confidence” – Arteta impressed by Kiwior progress

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal brought forward the signing of Jakub Kiwior knowing the player would need time to adapt to the team’s tactical requirements.

The Poland international has played every minute of Arsenal’s February fixtures since Oleksandr Zinchenko limped off during half time of the 3-1 win over Liverpool and although he’s not an orthodox full-back, the 24-year-old has grown in confidence as part of a side that’s been firing on all cylinders.

Accepting he’s not made life easy for the player, Arteta says he’s been impressed with Kiwior’s recent progress.

In his pre-Sheffield United press conference, he said: “We made a decision to bring him in earlier because we believed that whichever player we were going to sign to have the role that he was going to need time, and that was the case.

“We have made it difficult for him for two reasons, one because he hasn’t played that many minutes and second because we asked him to play in a position that he’s never played before.

“It’s like putting William Saliba as a full-back tomorrow and telling him to perform and do what he has to do. I think he’s adapted really well I think he’s playing better and better.

“You can tell that he’s earning confidence and physically he’s better. He understands the role much better and he’s been really good.”

As recently as the 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage, Kiwior was being asked to play as an inverted full-back when Arsenal had the ball. While he has experience playing in midfield, the responsibility to keep play moving didn’t come naturally to the Pole and he’s since benefited from Arteta tweaking his side’s tactics to suit his qualities.

“It’s all about that,” said Arteta about adapting to the needs of his players.

“At the end, you can’t ask players to do things that they don’t feel capable of, especially of doing in a natural way. So we have to tweak a few things to make sure that the players play in their strengths.”

In the coming weeks, Arsenal should see the likes of Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jurien Timber – a trio of players capable of playing at left-back – all return to full fitness.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Kiwior after that and whether he’ll be happy resuming his role on the bench as backup to Gabriel Magalhaes.

As became apparent in January, the player has a lot of suitors in Italy and it wouldn’t be surprising if they try and lure him back in the summer.

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Keep him, strong and physical players are making such a difference to our team!


Yeh, beginning to think like years ago we are putting the frighteners on teams in the tunnel before kick off.


Him playing at FB has added something to our abilities to attack and defend corners better.

When Saka crosses, we have Rice, Havertz, all 4 defenders, and Martinelli attacking the ball! That must be intimidating to defend against.

So, that’s one big advantage of playing him at LB.


He’s a really great player to have in this squad. It will be a major relief to have some defenders back (and then the headache worth having comes up) as we’ve been one knock away from trouble at the back for a while. The key here is versatility. It appears Kiwior’s solidity is really valuable in games where we have enough to dominate the ball, but I think Zinny is still the man for the champions league where that inverted role and his ability to split the lines while dragging players out of position will be key. We gotta give… Read more »


I still believe that what Zinch adds going forward is negated by the ever-presented goal-leaking possibility he represents… especially in the CL.

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta’s talent spotting is quite incredible. Everyone scratched their heads when we were linked with Douglas Luiz and Pedro Neto. Now we are seeing why Arteta had identified them as major talents as they both have become serious premier league players. Even Raya was on the radar years ago when Brentford played in the championship. Arteta just seems to see things in players very early (and yes, I know Arteta isn’t the only one in charge of these things. Edu and his team deserve credit too). Kiwior is just another example of finding young and relatively cheap players before they… Read more »


I believe Arteta is playing the game with Editor on. He has full access to all players and staff’s Potential Ability, so it makes it easier to select.

Johnny 4 Hats

Everything just feels so fated with Arteta. He walked into the club when Saka, Saliba and Martinelli were just emerging. All three are now £100m talents. And he’s added fantastic players around them. Gabriel might be his greatest signing. An absolute steal. Ben White was brave and it’s really paid off. Remember United fans laughing at us when they got Varane for £10m cheaper? Odegaard is just silly. Laughable. Farcical. Yup. It’s really all come together so amazingly, not dissimilar to Klopp’s first few at Liverpool. The stars have just aligned. Not saying it’s this season, but this team is… Read more »


Amen to all that.
Think about it, how many players in their 20’s, as Arteta was, get called up by Pep Guardiola looking for advice?
And Pep didn’t think twice to grab him as a rookie for the #2 role.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Liverpool academy players when relied upon, deliver results. We seem to always have great talents in our academy but if you rely on them, you are out of Carabao and FA Cups. If you stay in these competitions, they even have more opportunities to develop. Arteta needs to address this.

Johnny 4 Hats

We are running title challenges with four academy players in our squad. One of them is our best player. We gave a premier league debut to a 15 year old this season. I’m struggling to find another club doing that.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Start six of them who are not in the first team and win a Carabao or FA Cup game. This is what I meant.


Look, that was just mid table Chelsea. Let Klopp play them against monsters like Rice, Saliba and Gabriel


You’ve left out Trosser the Two-Footed Tricksta… at all of 20m – an outright burglary!

El Mintero

As a counter, you could easily reel off a whole list of players bought under his watch that have failed/been moved on. I’d rate his success in transfers at 60%. Not bad but not amazing either.


Stop gaps like Willian? There’s really not many…


It feels like Arteta’s learned his lesson from trying to get Tierney to play the same inverted fullback role, with the team being accomodated to change instead to fit Kiwior.

Adney Toams

AND it gives us another game-plan 👍


Maldini wanted Kiwior from Spezia before we got him, and still does.
That is high enough consideration if the guy wasn’t already showing us on the pitch.
Don’t drop him now .

djourou's nutmeg

i’ve seen some dodgy passing from him fortunately go unpunished, a little bit early-xhaka-esque, which was obviously expected given he literally never played with us before. but that’s been enough for me not to jump on the hype train it’s been built around him (boo downer, i know). however, he’s been mostly very solid, the team has adopted well to his inclusion, and he might end up having a fundamental role in the years to come. a player capable of playing cb, lb and dm? i can’t see him going anywhere after learning a new system for a whole year,… Read more »


Spot on


He keeps things simple with his passing, allowing Rice, Jorginho and Odegaard more time to flourish with the ball, and Martinelli to receive ball in more dangerous spaces. His off the ball movement has also improved a lot. Zinny has his strengths, but in some games he takes too long on the ball, giving opponent defense more time to defend rigidly.


Interesting to hear his transfer was rushed in early – to the usual boo-boys who jumped on his case after those first few iffy showings… how’s that egg tasting? The lesson hear is that there is always more going on behind the scenes than us mere plebs are privy to. Just about every player needs time on the pitch (and off it, around the training ground) to acclimatise, find a groove, even just becomes mates with his team… erm, ‘mates’! TH14 didn’t score for more than his first dozen games, remember? Kiwior is a stong, sizeable, skillful lad with a… Read more »

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