Arteta ideas working for Arsenal: Bellerin

LONDON • Hector Bellerin believes that Mikel Arteta has made a huge difference since his arrival in December, and that there would be more positives to come.

The Gunners, who are in 10th place in the Premier League, have won just one league match under their new manager, with five draws and a defeat.

They host 12th-place Newcastle, who are level on 31 points, at the Emirates tomorrow.

While Arsenal have hardly been free-flowing in their play, they do appear to be more disciplined and focused than in the latter days of former boss Unai Emery's tenure.

Speaking from the club's training camp in Dubai during the league's winter break, defender Bellerin said: "Mikel has always been very tactical in his work and in his life, he's very professional with very clear ideas.

"He has a new philosophy and the way he has implemented it in the last few games that we've played, there's been a big change.

"I think sometimes we need to be a bit more efficient in front of goal but that's also something that comes with confidence.

"I'm sure you're going to see that very quickly."

Arteta was pleased with how the mid-season break turned out for his players, saying that it was "like a mini pre-season".

The 37-year-old added: "I wanted to use it to work on our principles and our styles of play, and as well as how we live together.

"There are things I want to implement together as a group, not just for the players but for the staff as well. It has been really useful."

He will be hoping to get his second win tomorrow, considering the Magpies' poor record at the Emirates - they have lost all their last seven visits there.

Centre-back Pablo Mari, short on match fitness, will not make his debut for Arsenal while fellow loan arrival Cedric Soares is out with a knee injury.

Forwards Joelinton and Yoshinori Muto are back in training for Newcastle, bolstering manager Steve Bruce's forward options with both Andy Carroll (hip) and Dwight Gayle (hamstring) sidelined.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'Arteta ideas working for Arsenal: Bellerin'. Print Edition | Subscribe