Mikel Arteta has made his non-negotiables very clear since taking charge of the club in 2019, so when it came to working with a divided dressing room which included some questionable attitudes, it didn’t take long for the Spaniard to ring the changes.
Certain players would be dropped for disciplinary reasons or even sold due to a lack of commitment to the cause. Three years down the line and you can’t say it hasn’t worked. The squad is the healthiest it’s been in a very long time, the characters and attitudes within the walls of London Colney appear to be spot on and that has been reflected through performances this season.
Despite being the youngest team in the Premier League, it has shown fight, determination and quality throughout, and although there’s still plenty of room for improvement, the future is certainly looking bright once again.
With Arsenal finally on the right track, Arteta is determined to ensure his high standards are maintained more than ever ahead of what is set to be another busy summer for the club.M
football.london understands two forwards, a central midfielder and backup right-back are all on the shopping list and the Gunners boss has outlined what he expects from them should Edu get deals over the line.
“You need different characters. You don’t just want a team that is all the same. You need players that can express their feelings in different ways and react in different ways,” Arteta said in his pre-Villa press conference.
“But they have to have certain commonalities, respect, passion, integrity and the values that we want at the club. That’s for sure. And you do that it’s much easier to be stable and perform at the highest level.”
Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White were two of six arrivals last summer, making a big step up from their respective clubs in the process. Both in their early twenties, the England duo have become established and reliable options for club and country this season.
The pair, along with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, have excelled in Arsenal colours this season which Arteta puts down to their positive nature.
“Those four examples have some commonalities in their character but they are very different.
“They are all really humble, they are approachable, they love what they do, they have big commitment to their profession every single day and the focus in their life is football. And when that happens then it’s much easier to do because your head is always there, ‘how can I get better?'”
Arsenal have been linked with a host of names ahead of the summer, including Armando Broja, Alexander Isak and Fabian Ruiz.
No matter how good their footballing ability is, Arteta has reminded them that they will need to produce more than just quality moments on the pitch in order to succeed at the Emirates.