Mikel Arteta has claimed that language and communication is the key to success when discussing his young players and their future in the game. It comes as the Spaniard has gained a reputation for developing youth prospects with Arsenal so far in his career.
The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli in particular have impressed. Meanwhile signings such as Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard have all come in to become key players in their early twenties.
The Gunners have played well enough this season to reach fourth in the league so far, three points clear of Tottenham in fifth and with a game in hand over their rivals. Their run of form has put them in position to finish in the Champions League places for next season.
With a number of games left before they are confirmed in the top four, Arteta has refused to be drawn into a conversation about their chances of finishing fourth. He said, earlier this month: “I don’t like to look at the table a lot because we have games in hand, we’re going to play different fixtures and I know the objective and it’s only one, to try and improve tomorrow on what we’ve done today and go into the next match and that’s it.
“I cannot control results and I cannot predict which matches we are going to win, draw or lose, it’s impossible. If I start to do that I think we’re going to lose focus in what we want to do.”
Whether they finish in the top four remains to be seen, but one positive that can be taken into next season is the progress of the youth players. They have stepped up so far and could continue to improve.
The summer could also see a number of potential incomings, though Arteta has already outlined one rule for any young player coming in. The Spaniard has claimed that he wants them to learn English as communication is the “key to success”.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said: “Playing in one of the more difficult leagues in the world is a different challenge depending on where you have come from. But also it’s about how much they do to adapt. They might not speak English when they arrive, but what can you do in a month or two months?
“They might say ‘it’s difficult for me’ but how much are you really trying? Because for me the language is an absolute basic. It’s the platform for everything. If not, you cannot communicate, make yourself understood or noticeable. You cannot create your figure, your identity, within the dressing room and the club without being able to communicate.
“It’s impossible, so I always put a lot of emphasis on players when they arrive – the first thing is you have to learn the language. You have to be able to communicate. That’s whether you are coming from the academy or not it doesn’t matter – you have to be able to talk with your teammates. It’s something we talk about because in my opinion it’s a key to success.”
It gives an insight into what Arteta demands of his players, but also the thought process behind potential signings too. It may play a big part in how successful the team currently is and may play a bigger part in their potential successes in the future.