Joe Willock says Mikel Arteta brought a new energy to the Arsenal squad after his recent appointment, and they can finally laugh again.
Mikel Arteta took charge as the new head coach at Arsenal last Sunday, managing his first game on Thursday. It’s still early days for the new boss, but Joe Willock says he’s already helped to lift the atmosphere and get the players excited again.
“Arteta’s brought a different sort of energy and a different sort of tactics that we can relate to more,” Willock said. “I feel like everyone’s excited. There’s a big buzz around the changing room and everyone’s laughing again.
“Everyone’s got their head up. We’re trying to build confidence in each other and on the pitch as well. Hopefully, we can transmit that on the pitch.”
The part about tactics is certainly interesting. There was a sense throughout Unai Emery’s time at the club that the players never really bought into his plan. Obviously, that makes it hugely difficult to have any real success.
If the players believe in Arteta’s plan and apply themselves every day in training, there’s no doubt that it will give them their best chance to salvage something out of this season.
Perhaps the top four is already gone given the eight-point gap right now. Still, the Europa League and the FA Cup still give them something to play for. The more momentum they can build in the second half of the season, the better for the following campaign as well.
For now, it’s all just words. We need to see the players put Arteta’s ideas into action over an extended period of time.