Arteta on red cards and improving our discipline

The mid-season break has been a chance to reset and re-energise our squad - and one of the key messages Mikel Arteta has been discussing with his squad is the importance of discipline.

We've had a player sent off in three of our last five matches, and the manager accepts that it is a record we must improve if we're going to finish in the top four.

"We played three games out of five with 10 men, and if that’s one of the things in the last 17 games that we continue to do, our chances to be where we are going to be really low," Arteta said.

"We have to play with 11 players on the pitch. We need most of the players available and fit as much as possible. We need to maintain the togetherness. We have to keep improving our game model and we have to go game by game.

"To do that we have to be super focused and we have to perform on the day and the rest will come because we are in the position where it's possible and we can achieve it but only if everybody has that mindset."

So what can Mikel do to remind the players about their discipline?

"I think there are a few factors," he said. "First of all how we raise them throughout our academy, the type of characters that we build and that’s the best way to do it in that pathway.

"Then, in recruitment, the type of characters and personalities that you are signing and making sure that they are the right ones to fit within your culture and then the other one is living by example, so when you see certain behaviours daily, they become habits and those habits are easy to follow and once they’re integrated, I don’t think anybody can escape from that and try to do something different, because it gets exposed."

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