Monday, January 24, 2022

Arteta ´excited´ to ´take Arsenal back to where it belongs´ with young squad

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Dec 2021

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Mikel Arteta says he is “excited” to “take the club back to where it belongs” with a young Arsenal squad after two years in charge.

Arteta was appointed Arsenal head coach on December 20, 2019, and won the FA Cup and the Community Shield in his first year in the job.

However, the Gunners have not played in the Champions League since slipping out of the competition towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s tenure. 

Arteta believes the rebuilding work has been done, with six players under the age of 24 arriving in the most recent transfer window and the club sitting fourth in the Premier League.

“Now it is a new phase where we start to rebuild the team, we take a very clear direction with how we want to move forward with the club, a real connection between the team and supporters, the ownership and board and I think now it is excitement,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.

“Excitement to keep driving this project forward, to keep working with this really young squad, but ready to compete, to get better and take the club back to where it belongs.”

The excitement Arteta feels does not just extend to the young players that he brought in at the start of this season, but also those he inherited, including 20-year-old Gabriel Martinelli.

The Brazilian was used sparingly at the start of the season, but has featured regularly since coming off the bench to score in the 2-0 win over Newcastle United on November 27.

The forward has started each of the last five Premier League games, scoring four times and registering two assists, and Arteta feels he has developed well away from the limelight, learning to harness his natural energy and enthusiasm.

“You cannot play every action at 100mph, it is impossible,” Arteta continued. “It is not very efficient for you because you burn yourself out after a few minutes, and then you are just chasing a situation and not reading exactly what is needed. 

“Gabi is doing much better at that. We have to try to [develop] that without losing the passion, the energy and this capacity he has to just affect the game with the way he acts on the pitch.

“He trains incredibly hard, he is always willing to do more and he is not scared or afraid to take risks, and that is what I like about him.

“I can imagine [playing against him] – you’re not going to have any time on the ball, every time the ball is 50/50 he is going to chase it and he’s going to use his body, his speed, his technical ability to get away from you. 

“You have to be careful, because he can attack you one-v-one, he can attack your back, he can make movements off the ball. He is a real threat in front of goal.”

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