Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have laid great foundations for the future but he won’t accept any complacency from his players when they return from their summer break.
While the Gunners had to make peace with a second-place finish following a record-breaking start to the campaign, the progress made on the pitch has been clear for all to see.
The challenge for the manager is ensuring his players continue on an upwards trajectory that matches the growing expectations of a rejuvenated fanbase.
After his side’s final game of the season – an impressive 5-0 dismantling of Wolves – the manager set the tone for next year.
“I think we have some great foundations, that is true, but in sport you have to prove it again,” he said.
“You have to be back first day in pre-season, look at each other and I don’t want to see any complacency, we’re going to have to be much better and it’s going to be a challenging season but a season with plenty of opportunities and one of those opportunities is to be consistent and do it again and do it better, and this is what we have to demand to each other.”
It’s expected that Arsenal will be very active in the transfer market this summer as they look to upgrade areas of the squad with players who can help close the gap on champions Manchester City.
Arteta also says it’s key that he finds a way to get even more from those already on the books.
“I’m really interested in understanding, reflecting on and analysing what we have in the house, the resources we have already and how we can improve, how we maximise and take players to a different level, the ones that we haven’t got everything from, do it and the bonus will be make those decisions and improve the team.
“We don’t want to lose that cohesion that exists around the team and that understanding, hopefully we will make the right decision.”
He added: “I need to get away and spend a few days with my family, bring the emotions and everything down. And reflect, think and I need to visualise.
“And I need to feel it, what is going to be the best way with how we are going to get this group of players to a different level.”