Press conference

How we'll adapt to behind closed doors football

Our match at Manchester City win Wednesday night will certainly be very different without any fans in the stadium.

So what is Mikel Arteta expecting - and what has he learnt from watching the Bundesliga?

"I watched some aspects that I think we can take some advantage of, but I think you have to experience it," our head coach said.

"I’ve watched some games from the Bundesliga, but then when I was at the Emirates and there is no crowd and you cannot steal that energy, push or drive, the game is different.

"The intensity has dropped a little bit and I think the physical state of the players is not as it was three months ago, so you can sense that as well, and that urgency doesn’t exist anymore from the crowd and how passionate the crowds are here in England, but we have to adapt.

"We have to experience it and find ways to motivate our players in moments. Let’s see how it goes!"

The situation is just the latest challenge for Arteta since taking charge, but it is one he is looking forward to.

"It's been a challenge for all of us," he said. "It's been a challenge since I joined, because of the situation that we were in, but I think we made a lot of steps forward.

"We tried to change the energy that we had around the place, even our stadium with the players and with the staff as well and I was very positive in the way that we were developing things.

"Obviously, we had a big turning point with the coronavirus and being away from each other for three months, but we've been trying to keep going in our direction, being close in contact and communication with our players and our staff and I think we are in a really good position to move forward.

"We have some uncertainties that we cannot control and we do not know how the players are going to respond now, playing every three days after three months, but most of the clubs are in the same position.

"We will try to adapt and to make the most out of it. We don't try to find any excuses. We'll go for it and enjoy it because I think we're all missing football so much that we're all desperate to get back playing."

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