It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what class of citizen you are, everyone feels entitled to an alcoholic drink early in the am if you are at an airport, even the pilots. A bar I’m sitting in is offering half-priced shots, why not? I want to enjoy my last hours with my pangolin before the coronavirus kicks in.
Arsenal are hitting up that warm weather scene and sharing out the content like Sandra from work who just landed in Benidorm for that all-inclusive she hasn’t shut up about all year.
Mikel and the backroom team seem focused on three things.
1.Giving the players some mental recuperation.
The players were given a few days off instantly, they were allowed to go wherever the fuck they wanted (something Wenger didn’t really allow), then they met up with the squad, families in tow. I suspect the last 7 weeks have been pretty brutal on the players work/life balance, so some sun in a nice hotel will pr0bably go a long way.
2.Drilling home the ideas.
Arteta knows exactly what he wants from the players, but he hasn’t had a lot of time to reinforce the ideas verbally or implement them in training sessions. Unless you’re a freak of nature, you generally only learn from repetitions.
‘Hours together, to spend together, grab a coffee together, to have conversations, to have unit meetings, individual meetings, group meetings about the things we have to achieve. To review what we have done. I have made a big review of what we have done so far in these five or six weeks, the things where we can improve, the areas where we have improved and that we have to maintain, that we cannot lose. Hopefully we can make another step forward as a team now.’
He’ll be beasting the players on the pitch, he’s taking time out for unit meetings and one-on-one time with individuals. Much better to do that out of the cold of London. Less pressure allows ideas and instruction to percolate and sink in.
He’s also channelling some of that Unai Brent as well with cute trust exercises.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that the Arsenal squad has lacked fitness. We statistically tail off as the game goes on. Understandable, what Arteta expects is vastly different to what Unai Emery was able to get (even if he probably wanted the same things). The players need to think faster, work harder, and build resilience.
The club is also rehabbing players. In a new move, Shad was put on camera and he had all the positive things to say, most notably about Kieran Tierney. He has him doing non-contact ball work and a lot of running exercises. He seems to be very confident the players will come back very fit and well drilled on the ways of the new regime. He also seems very happy about where the other injured players are in their recovery, so hopefully, a new set of players will start to populate our battered squad.
Pablo Mari, who looks in great shape, has been training with the team. I think he’s a real roll of the dice, but one that I’m excited about. Rivaldo, the legendary Barca/Madrid attacker, had this to say about the Spaniard.
‘I think Pablo Mari will fit in very well at Arsenal and in the Premier League,’ Rivaldo told The Evening Standard. ‘He is a good player that struggled to impose himself in Europe as a loaned player of Man City for a while, but he really convinced people being part of a great Flamengo team last season. ‘He is very complete as a defender – capable of bringing the ball forward when necessary and a threat on set pieces. He has good passing skills as well and I liked what I saw from him. ‘In Brazil, everyone has good opinion about him, and he could be a very successful option for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta.’
Remember Rivaldo? Wot a playa
Mikel had this to say on the two new loan players.
“The new players that we have, it is a great opportunity for them to spend time together with the other players, get to know each other, live together – the same with the backroom staff as well. I think it will be a very important break.
“With Pablo a little bit more than Cedric, but we have to go step by step. He is a new player and I am sure he is very excited and wants to prove everything in three days, so we have to manage him wisely.”
Who knows when we’ll see them in first-team contention, but hopefully it’s not too long!
Finally, we have a new talent in the building. Miguel Azeez is a versatile midfielder making a name for himself as a holding midfielder that can break the lines and cause a lot of damage with his Grealish like control of the ball and bursts of pace.
Put me down for a hype ticket, I’m there, he’s the new Jack Jebb.
Miguel Azeez is the new Arsenal talentpic.twitter.com/3yc6Mt34MY
— BNS Comps (@BnsComps) February 7, 2020