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Mikel Arteta's Possession Exercises

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Few coaches in world football have made a bigger impact in recent years than Mikel Arteta. Guiding Arsenal to touching distance of the Premier League title last season and playing in a style that has galvanized both players and fan base, it's easy to see why there has been a real fascination within the coaching community. In addition, his work off the field that was shown in the Amazon documentary has revealed a coach who is deliberate about the impact of culture and psychology on performance. This week we take a look at a select number of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal training exercises and try to get an insight into his methodology on the training pitch from what we have seen online. Are there are consistent themes in his session design that perhaps help him to communicate his principles to his Arsenal team? Let's take a look!

We also have a free PDF for coaches to download Six Mikel Arteta Possession Exercises. Click here to get your copy.

Below is our weekly MSC YouTube Breakdown that details three of the exercises.

Below is another example of one of the sessions detailed in the PDF.

8v8+4 Hexagon Game

Twenty players are organized into two teams of eight, with four neutrals (in yellow). The game is played in a hexagon shape. Players are free to move throughout the area, but to optimize the overload, it’s best to organize the neutrals with two in the middle and one on either end (see diagram below).

The objective of the game is to use the numerical advantage (with the overloads creating a 12v8 situation) to retain possession. For every six consecutive passes, a point is awarded to the team in possession. If possession turns over, the roles simply switch.

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