Mikel Arteta is set on re-educating Arsenal in the art of controlling football matches but says his players will have to be “on their toes” every day if they are to improve.
While the Spaniard was pleased with the way the Gunners implemented his tactics during his first game in charge at Bournemouth, particularly when out of possession, he knows it’s going to take time before they reap the full benefits of his football philosophy.
Ahead of his first game back at the Emirates, the Spaniard reflected on his players’ Boxing Day efforts and what he wants to see next.
He told Arsenal.com: “There is a still a big room for improvement, but that’s every day, being on their toes, being demanding with them, being challenging with them, and convincing them that if they do that, straight away they don’t have to run as far, they will be more organised, they won’t fight with each other because one is not doing what is required, and they will control the games better.”
He added: “I would like to start to see a little bit more control in some situations, and more awareness of why things happened.
“The players have to understand two seconds earlier the picture that is coming, and where the solutions are. But that will come over time. They will pick it up.
“We don’t have much time to train in, I only have I think two sessions in one week with the starting XI, which is nothing. But through video, through talks, through individual meetings, slowly, they have to embrace that information… and we will start to build some fundamentals and principles that as a team will help them.”
All of this makes us happy. While a top four finish looks out of the question at this point, there’s still much to play for in the Europa League and FA Cup. So here’s hoping the players are quick on the uptake.