While pre-season isn’t a definitive way of knowing how the upcoming campaign is going to go, it definitely gives you a chance to see how players are feeling ahead of the big kick-off. Arsenal supporters will be watching with a close eye to see what Mikel Arteta can do this season, because if he can’t turn things around, his future will almost certainly be in jeopardy.
The Gunners went up against Scottish champions Rangers over the weekend and played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, after which Arteta spoke with the media about the performance and the future.
on the performance:
Overall I’m really pleased with the performance. I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances – I counted about eight or 10 clear chances to score – but this game is decided in both boxes. We weren’t clinical in the opponent’s box and we conceded two goals from two corners, which were the only chances they had apart from the counter-attack from our own corner. It’s much better from the other day and you tell that physically we were already better in the second game, the organisation was better, individually they played better, but I really liked the collective understanding of the game and how we executed a lot of things we’ve been working on in the training pitch.
on how promising this is:
It’s been really good. We created so many chances but we are not converting enough. Today we should’ve scored many more goals and with the quality of the players we have up front, they have to demand much more of themselves. But at least we are getting there, the process is becoming much clearer, much better. Without the ball as well, we worked really hard and were really efficient. We won a lot of balls in the final third so there are a lot of positives to take.
A great debut with his right foot as well! He’s only been with us a few days but you can already see his qualities, his physicality and then the quality on the ball that he has. He’s integrating with the lads really well, so it’s a good start.
On how he reflects on our time in Scotland:
I think it was perfect, even the weather was something that we didn’t expect. I think KT’s been really helpful with that and I think the way we’ve been treated by the hotel, the staff, the facilities, I think it was a really positive camp.
On returning to Ibrox:
It looks exactly the same. It’s one of my favourite stadiums, that’s for sure. It’s so special, the atmosphere here, how I was treated for two years. It was my first English experience with the Scottish people that are very, very special for me.
On clapping the Rangers fans:
It was great. It was a shame that we could not play with a full house because I would’ve loved for the players to experience it and go through a game when this stadium is rocking.
On the key objectives in Florida:
Now a little bit of recovery. We trained really hard, played two games, and now we’re going to be travelling to America in the next week. We didn’t have any injuries which is really positive in the first week. We’re going to have some new faces arriving probably, so very positive.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
How do you feel about Arsenal’s draw against Rangers?