Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Arteta offers Arsenal squad ´clean slate´ as Ljungberg remains on staff

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 Dec 2019

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Arsenal’s players will have a “clean slate” under Mikel Arteta, who has confirmed Freddie Ljungberg will remain at the club as part of the coaching staff.

After watching Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Everton from the stands, Arteta will take charge of his first game on Thursday, as the Gunners travel to Bournemouth.

Ljungberg was instead at the helm at the weekend, the interim boss picking a youthful, inexperienced line-up for the game at Goodison Park.

Mesut Ozil was left out of the squad due to injury, though Ljungberg confirmed the ex-Germany international would not have been selected anyway due to his reaction to being substituted during the loss to Manchester City.

However, Ozil – and the rest of his team-mates – will get the chance to enjoy a fresh start under Arteta, who has left his role as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City to return to Emirates Stadium.

“My job started straight after the game, so I had to pick the players up first of all mentally and then put them in the work frame that I want,” he said.

“With me, they have a clean slate. I told them that. You’re not going to be judged on things you’ve done in the past, whether they are negative or positive.

“This is evolving every day and I’m expecting you to perform and be in the right mindset every single day for me. If you do that, you’ll have a chance to play. If you don’t, you won’t.”

The new head coach will lean on Ljungberg for assistance after the pair held discussions at the weekend.

“I spoke to Freddie after the game. I told him my idea and the people I wanted to bring to form my coaching staff, their roles and responsibilities of each of them,” Arteta said.

“I wanted to know what he was feeling, I wanted to know what he had in mind, what his expectations were. We talked and we made a decision that the best thing was for him to stay with us.

“I think he can be very available. I think he knows the players, he knows the situation, he knows the history of where we’re coming from and also his knowledge of the game is going to really help us to be better.”

Arsenal announced on Monday that Ozil will be available to face Bournemouth, while Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos are both back in full training.

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