Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli thinks Mikel Arteta is an unbelievable coach whose commitment to his footballing principles is inspiring.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - OCTOBER 22: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on as he gives instructions to his side during the UEFA Europa League Group B stage match between Rapid Wien and Arsenal FC at Allianz Stadion on October 22, 2020 in Vienna, Austria. Rapid Wien are allowing a limited number of 3000 spectators to be in attendance as Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are eased. (Photo by Chris Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on as he gives instructions to his side on October 22, 2020. (Photo by Chris Hofer/Getty Images)

For the most part, Mikel Arteta is having a strong start to life in club management, given the circumstances. Not many coaches win a major English trophy before they’ve even spent a year with their first club, particularly when they take over a side sitting in 11th place.

Poor results and performances in the last few weeks have some Arsenal fans starting to express doubts, but Arteta’s opposite number for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Dundalk likes what he sees from the Spanish manager.

“Arteta is an unbelievable coach, I really like him,” Giovagnoli said. “He is young and he has tried to apply his football principles the best he can. Can you imagine he was building up his defence in his box against Liverpool without panic? They never kicked the ball (long).

“This is fantastic, things like that, and it really inspires me. I like this kind of coach who is not afraid of nothing. They want to get the result but through their football principle. This is amazing.”

Arteta certainly seems to have a lot of respect from his fellow managers, at least at this stage in his career. You rarely hear any of them say a bad word about him – though perhaps we just need to wait for the inevitable rivalries to form.

Arsenal fans will hope the 38-year-old manager is still in his transition phase at the club, with a lot more to come from the team in the future. A confident win over Dundalk would be a good way to start.