Hector Bellerin says Mikel Arteta is the right man to help Arsenal build for the future and says the players are doing everything they can to take on board his ideas as they lay the foundations for long-term improvement.
While the Gunners have won only one Premier League game since Arteta took over and continue to languish in mid-table, a renewed emphasis on defensive solidity has seen us extend our unbeaten run to seven games since the turn of the year.
There’s still huge room for improvement, evidenced by the fact we’ve become draw-obsessed, but Bellerin sees shoots of hope after seven weeks working with his former captain.
Speaking to Dubai-based publication The National, the right-back said: “Mikel has been an appointment that is not just to cover [a short time], this is something to build upon.
“He has the Arsenal philosophy from the start; when he came as a player they knew that he was the right person to lead the dressing room, because he came as a captain as well.
“He’s a great choice and this is for the future. And that’s the way we’re training as well. We want to obviously win the games that we have in hand, but we also want to build a good foundation to be able to, whatever player comes, whatever player goes, it doesn’t matter what first XI is starting on the pitch, everyone knows what their job is.”
A particular emphasis has been placed on being more disciplined on and off the pitch, something Bellerin has welcomed after a ragged end to Unai Emery’s time in charge.
Asked to compare Arteta and his predecessor, he said, “They’re very different type of managers.
“Mikel has always been very tactical in his work and in his whole life – he’s very professional with very clear ideas. He’s put that into the team very quickly.
“The discipline in the dressing room has also changed a lot and that’s a very important pillar to then build on.”
In the short-term, Arsenal have three fronts to fight on as we look to rescue a season that has been worse than anyone might have expected.
“We can always make top four; that’s the least that Arsenal can have as a target,” said Bellerin.
“But what we need to do is get the idea that the boss wants to implement, get it 100 per cent and, once we can, build from that.
“Once we can play every single game and can control every game in the way we want to do, top four is just going to be something that will come.”