‘Confidence is the biggest thing any player needs'

Arsene Wenger has a famous quote about how quickly confidence can drain away from a team. 

“You go up by stairs, but down in a lift.”

After conceding a last-gasp equaliser against Slavia Prague on Thursday night days after a home defeat to Liverpool, Mikel Arteta knows that keeping spirits high will be a challenge.

“I’ve been a player and confidence is probably the biggest thing that any player needs when they step on that field, so he is not hesitant to make decisions, he knows exactly what to do and he can execute that because he knows things are going to go well for him,” the manager said. 

“The surroundings of the individual are really important as well, what the collective is transmitting and bringing to the individual, that is why it is a collective sport. But with confidence you can sense it and it is key for any successful team.”

So what can Arteta practically do to instil confidence back in the team?

“It is the way we talk to them, the way we train them, the way we transmit the messages we want to them,” he said. 

“But every individual is different, how he approaches positive or negative criticism, what happens when he gives the ball away and they make an error, what is the reaction? That is down to the individual and we need to understand what the individual needs in these moments.”

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