Thursday, April 25, 2024

Everything clicked for Arsenal after Dubai trip – Mikel Arteta

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Mar 2024

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Mikel Arteta believes “everything clicked” at Arsenal following their winter training camp in Dubai.

Since the Gunners’ week-long trip to the United Arab Emirates in January they have gone on a run of seven straight Premier League victories, scoring 31 goals in the process.

The camp came after Arsenal had suffered successive league defeats to West Ham and Fulham before being knocked out of the FA Cup by title rivals Liverpool.

The north Londoners now sit two points off the top of the Premier League table heading into their final 11 fixtures.

Speaking ahead of the clash with Brentford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Arteta said: “It was necessary (the camp).

“We had a tough period before where we played so many games and had some defeats. It was necessary to help us keep improving and demanding of ourselves, especially with the weather and some of the things we had time to work on.

“Everything clicked, we won, we played good and that helps.

“It was really good and it came at the perfect time for us. We built the chemistry around the place. The amount of time we spent together – we enjoyed the time on the field and off the field. It was a really positive trip.”

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will return to the starting XI in place of David Raya who is ineligible for the game against his parent club.

Arteta talked up the mentality of the out-of-favour England international, calling for him to take his opportunity at the weekend.

“He’s trained very well and he’s desperate to play, like all of the other boys, and it will be a great day for him on Saturday,” Arteta said.

“He has been brilliant, he’s really supportive and pushes in training. It’s a joy to have two top goalkeepers.

“One of the toughest things is dealing with players who don’t have the amount of time (on the pitch) which they deserve.

“We have an unbelievable group of players and we try to be straight with them and explain to them by giving them the support.

“When they get the opportunity at the end they try to contribute in the best possible way and that’s what Aaron will do.”

Kai Havertz is enjoying his best spell in an Arsenal shirt since his big-money summer move from Chelsea and Arteta lauded the versatile forward, who has scored in his last three matches.

“It says a lot about his character and how he’s dealt with those question marks,” Arteta said of the German. “He has a good attitude all the time when things don’t go well in certain phases of the game.

“He continues to work hard. We can see his mentality, his intelligence on the pitch and the personality he has. We’re very happy with him.

“His ability to occupy space and aggression in high press is very good. Those are attributes which are very good for us.”

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