Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal opted for a pre-season training camp in Scotland on Kieran Tierney’s advice.
The Gunners have spent the week stationed at the Oriam Performance Centre, just outside Edinburgh; a facility the left-back was familiar with from his Celtic days and one he’d also experienced on international duty.
The camp will come to a close this evening with a second friendly match in four days. Having lost 2-1 to Hibernian at Easter Road on Tuesday, Arsenal will look to bounce back against SPL champions Rangers at Ibrox; a match organised to celebrate the club’s 150th anniversary.
Ahead of a return to his old club, Arteta shed light on the benefits of having a proper pre-season and the way the plans came together.
“The first thing is that we’ve got time, something that we haven’t had since arrived here, to prepare a lot of things that are very necessary to develop,” he told Arsenal.com.
“The second one, we chose Scotland – it was Kieran’s advice to be fair and I think he was spot on. It’s got everything that we need here. We are quiet, we are calm, we have really good facilities, we are not far from home just in case something happens in this COVID world. It’s been really good and we could have two really good games to start our preparation.”
Next week, Arsenal will head Stateside for a second training camp. The first team squad will head to Orlando, Florida to take part in the Florida Cup which will start with a clash against Inter Milan.
“America is about going away,” said Arteta. “We know the brand, the club that we represent, and that’s a global brand. We have to be there, we have to be close to our fans all around the world.
“That’s a huge opportunity for us to do that and we have our owners there that we can see, meet and get close to the team, which is a really positive thing as well. And then we have a tournament that had everything that we wanted: international teams, a Premier League team, and we can start to raise the level in our preparation.”
Arteta also confirmed that first team coach Andreas Georgson, who is set to return to Sweden to become Malmo’s Sports Manager, is being replaced by Nicolas Jover. The Frenchman joins from Manchester City after two years working under Pep Guardiola.
“We had a situation in the summer with Andreas [Georgson], where he had the possibility to leave to his country,” said Arteta. “He had different reasons to do that and I understood that situation, so we needed to recruit somebody.
“After looking through what the best solution would be, a person that I know was on the market, was available, is someone whose expertise are incredibly useful and valuable for us. He’s joining us. His name is Nicolas Jover and I’ve worked with him before at City.”