Interview

Arteta - What we want to achieve in pre-season

This summer is a very different pre-season to last year when Covid issues meant a very short build-up to the campaign.

We're currently on a training camp in Scotland, before flying to Florida next week ahead of two matches there.

So what are the main benefits for Mikel Arteta and his backroom staff?

"The first thing is that we've got time, something that we haven't had since I arrived here, to prepare a lot of things that are very necessary to develop," he said. "The second one, we chose Scotland - it was Kieran's advice to be fair and I think he was spot on. It's got everything that we need here. We are quiet, we are calm, we have really good facilities, we are not far from home just in case something happens in this COVID world. 

"It's been really good and we could have two really good games to start our preparation. America is about going away. We know the brand, the club that we represent, and that's a global brand. We have to be there, we have to be close to our fans all around the world. 

"That's a huge opportunity for us to do that and we have our owners there that we can see, meet and get close to the team, which is a really positive thing as well. And then we have a tournament that had everything that we wanted: international teams, a Premier League team, and we can start to raise the level in our preparation."

So what does Mikel want to see from his players during this period - and what are they working on?

"A few aspects," he said. "Obviously the physical aspect is very important. After five weeks, the players need to get in good shape and the best possible condition to compete at the levels that the Premier League requires. 

"Then mentally, we need to prepare the team with the ideas that we have, with the values that we have, with the ambition that we want to take into the league. 

"Third, to get the cohesion of the team right, the understanding of the game, what we are looking for, our game model, our principles, and how we're going to develop that in the next five weeks to get to the Premier League in the best possible stage."

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