Arteta’s feelings on Aubameyang’s future
After heavily hinting that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wanted to stay at Arsenal and sign a new contract, Mikel Arteta explained his comments in more depth in his press conference on Thursday evening.
Arteta was asked why he feels positive about Aubameyang wanting to stay at the Emirates.
“I don’t know, it’s the way I feel, the way I communicate with him, the conversations I have with him, the people around him and it’s the energy that I sense. It’s just my opinion,” he replied.
Arteta did say that things change quickly in football but expressed his belief that Aubameyang wants to remain with the team and that the club captain feels at home with the club.
“Things change very quickly in football but when you ask me in that moment how I feel about Auba’s future, in this moment I feel he wants to continue with us and keep developing and helping us to be a better team,” he continued.
“He needs to feel we can achieve the goals he has individually and collectively. He’s very settled in the city and loved by his teammates. That’s what gives me positivity.”
Bellerin pinpoints Arteta change
Hector Bellerin has highlighted the key change that Arsenal have made to win their last three matches in all competitions, two of which have come in the Premier League.
The league wins over Southampton and Norwich City, with clean sheets in both, maintain the Gunners’ slim hopes of a Champions League place, which Bellerin says is the primary aim of the team entering the final stretch of the season.
“For us that [Champions League qualification] has been the goal since the beginning of the season. And obviously coming back from lockdown that has always been our goal,” the right-back said after beating Norwich.
He also touched on the improvements the team has made under Arteta, especially with regards to the tactical work, the physical preparation of the players, and the greater aggression when defending.
“It wasn’t the best of starts to our Premier League return, but we have been working really hard through the whole of quarantine – not just physically but tactically as well,” he continued. “I think we just needed those games to get all those new concepts onto the pitch. I think slowly we are getting there and we are improving.
“I think, especially after the Brighton game, we realised we had to be more aggressive. We had to be better in the duels. I think in the past few games we have shown that we are up for that and we want to fight.
“Sometimes with clean sheets and results like that comes confidence – and when there’s confidence you can take more risks. You can feel more comfortable and results become better.”
When Arsenal can play with fans again
For now, Premier League matches are being played behind closed doors. With social distancing guidelines still in place and large events and social gatherings prohibited, crowds are not present at football games.
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However, while developments in this issue seem to be slow, with some suggesting that crowds would not be allowed back until well into next season, sources have told football.london that test events could be held with the aim of getting crowds at certain sporting events back into stadiums as soon as next month.
These crowds must abide by social distancing guidelines and the stadiums will not be at full capacity, but it will allow a portion of fans to watch the games live and support their teams.
The new season is expected to start in early September, which is a potential date for these measures to be implemented.