Mikel Arteta has admitted that he needs to ‘convince’ his Arsenal players of his ideas as he looks to rebuild a ‘connection’ with the clubs support.
Arsenal‘s fans have become a frustrated bunch over the last few years, the supporters often venting their frustrations towards the clubs players and managers after their struggles of late, the booing of Granit Xhaka just one particular incident from this season.
The rise of AFTV has recently been blamed for fueling negativity among the clubs support, though fans even turned their guns towards the popular YouTube channel following the clubs 0-0 draw with Everton before Christmas.
However, new Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was pleased with the fans reaction during his first game in charge, a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, admitting that he wants to build a ‘connection’ between the players and the fans.
“I was really pleased with how the fans treated the players [at Bournemouth],” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“I was happy that the players went to see the fans after the game as well because we need that connection.”
He added: “Slowly we need to build that back to where it was because it’s going to be very powerful for us to use that.”
Next up for Arsenal is a London derby against Chelsea on Sunday, the Gunners having won just one of their last 11 league games, and aiming for their first Premier League win at the Emirates since early October.
However, with no managerial experience behind him, Arteta admits he needs to ‘convince’ his players of his philosophy, having spent three years working under Pep Guardiola at Man City.
“We play for them [the fans]. At the end of the day, they’re expecting a lot from us,” said Arteta.
“We have to give them enjoyment, we have to make their lives better and when we win, they will be better because they will be happier. It’s our responsibility and we have to do everything we can to achieve that.
“First, I think I need the players and if I can convince the players, afterwards we can convince the fans. I think it’s a very, very important part of my job.
“Energy is everything, in life, in football and in sports. If we are able to generate this, it will give us a lift.”
The Gunners go into this weekend’s London derby in 11th place, eight points behind the fourth-placed Blues who are also somewhat out of form, Frank Lampard’s side winning just two of their last seven top-flight games.