Mikel Arteta says he could see his hard work on the training ground bearing fruit in his first 90 minutes in charge of Arsenal although he accepts his players have much to improve after their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality.
Dan Gosling opened the scoring for the home side against the run of play and even though the Gunners equalised with plenty of time remaining, we couldn’t manufacture enough quality chances to edge in front.
With games coming thick and fast, Arteta doesn’t have much time to get his ideas across but he thinks he can see progress already.
“I’m very pleased with some of the things I’ve seen, in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and spirit the team showed,” the Spaniard said.
“It was spot on. Probably better than I expected over 90 minutes. A lot of things that happened in the game, we prepared. They understood them and they tried to take them on board. We lacked the final product at the end.
He added: “It would’ve been great [if we’d won] because it would’ve given us a better lift in terms of the energy and confidence of the team, but we have to analyse the performance.
“There are positives to take and obviously is a lot of room for improvement in other areas.”
It’s been pretty obvious to anyone watching Arsenal this season that we’ve been performing at less than the sum of our parts. Rebuilding confidence is a core aim for the new boss who thinks it’ll require patience.
“It will be a process,” he said. “I was worried what would happen if we conceded a goal. We did and I was very pleased with the character they showed.
“They came in at half-time and their faces, their reactions [were spot on]. It was about how much they wanted it. Normally, when you are in this process and you concede a goal, the confidence goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back.
“It didn’t happen, it happened in the complete opposite sense and that’s a really positive thing to take on board.”