Mikel Arteta believes if he can convince the players he can turn things around the fans will believe but do the fans need much to convince them?
I don’t think Arteta needs to do much to convince fans he’s the right man for the job. Just not being Unai Emery did that.
But seriously, Arsenal fans, for the most part, as just willing him to succeed.
“First I need to convince the players and then, if I can convince the players, afterwards we can convince the fans, Arteta said before he puts his team out to face Chelsea in what looks like it will be an intriguing and unpredictable encounter.
“I think energy is everything, in life in football and in sport.
“If we are able to generate this, it will give us a lift.
“I was really pleased with how the fans treated the players [at Bournemouth] and I was happy that the players went to see the fans after the game as well because we need that connection. Slowly, we need to build that back to where it was. It’s going to be very powerful for us to use that.
“We play for [the fans]. At the end of the day, they’re expecting a lot from us. We have to give them enjoyment, we have to make their lives better and when we win, it will be better because they will be happier. It’s our responsibility and we have to do everything we can to achieve that.”
Whether it was Ainsley Maitland-Niles chasing a player to left wing to get the ball back against Bournemouth or the general body language of the other players, there was more to be positive about from those 90 minutes in Arteta’s first game than we saw in the entirety of Unai Emery’s tenure at the club.
I think the only time Arsenal played that well under Emery was before he’d had a chance to train them properly.
We saw the Lucas Torreira we thought we bought last summer and Bournemouth can consider themselves very lucky that it just didn’t click for Arsenal’s front line as they had enough clear cut chances to win that game 4-1.
That, on its own, was enough to get most Arsenal fans onside.
A win on Sunday against Chelsea and we’ll start talking about building Miki statues, so glad are we to see even the tiniest glimmer of hope.