After seeing his side draw 1-1 with FC Nurnberg out in Germany, Mikel Arteta believes there were plenty of positives to take back home with us to north London after a tough workout for our squad.
While we couldn’t quite hold onto the win following Bukayo Saka’s early strike, the boss was satisfied with the work put in during the 90 minutes, and was delighted to hand opportunities to new faces as well as some youngsters from our academy.
All that means he’s already looking forward to further challenges during the pre-season, as he aims to see performances develop hand in hand with fitness.
Speaking post-match, he said: “There are a lot of positive things that we can take, especially the way we played in the first half - the tempo, the composure, the commitment that we showed.
“We had some big chances to score more goals at the end, and mistakes are a part of football because they haven’t given much to be fair, but it was great to see our young players playing as well and doing really well in an environment that is challenging.
“We only had three training sessions with the majority of this group and the boys that played only 45 minutes, it was the maximum for some of them - it was more than enough. We picked up a few injuries which we want to avoid, so let’s go week by week now.”
The game brought to an end our time in Germany after four days of working out at adidas HQ and rebuilding the fitness and match sharpness that will be required when the season kicks off at Wembley against Manchester City in the Community Shield at the start of August.
Swift on the back of this trip is our tour of America where we’ll face three tough matches against the MLS All-Stars, Manchester United and Barcelona, and Mikel can’t wait to really step up our preparations Stateside.
Reflecting on our time in Germany, he added: “I think it was great. We maximised a lot of the things that we wanted to do and the objectives that we gave ourselves before we came here. Unfortunately, one of them was to win the game but we didn’t manage to do it at the end, but the rest of it was really positive.
“We’re going to play some big teams [in the U.S.], and it’s going to be really exciting from the support that we’re going to be having and playing in the stadiums, so we’re looking forward to it.”
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