Mikel Arteta has revealed the extent to which he’s been working with the defence since he arrived at the club, and has praised the positive influence of David Luiz over the last couple of weeks.
Everyone with eyes has watched Arsenal in recent times and understood there are fundamental issues with the defensive side of the game, and that’s something the new manager has been working on.
Speaking about that focus and involvement ahead of today’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, Arteta said, “We have to because I have to share my principals and what I expect from them in every situation on the pitch.
It might be a bit a little bit different from what they do with other managers, but positionally they have to understand what I expect from them.
“We do different types of drills, drills where they are facing the ball when the ball is far from them, situations where they have to defend transitions when they are overloaded, when they are in equal numbers.
“When the ball is with the full-backs, what I expect from them. Where I want the line in relation to the ball, not just the opponent, a few things that for us are important.”
The manager has also praised Luiz for stepping up and using his experience to good stead.
“He is a player that has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room,” said Arteta.
“We have to use that in a very powerful way. I wanted him to step up, I wanted him to put all his qualities – his personality and his experience – towards the team and he made a big step forward.
“In the games he has played under me so far he has been terrific. His attitude in training, the way he communicates with his team-mates, his desire to still learn, it’s superb.
“I am delighted with him.”
Let’s hope he, and the team, can continue their improvement against Crystal Palace later today.