Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has said that his biggest immediate challenge is to “convince” the squad of his preferred style of play.
The Spanish coach revealed he has tried to inject more tempo and aggression into his new side as he began his tenure with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
Arsenal have won just one of their last 14 games in all competitions and Arteta concedes the playing squad is in need of an injection of confidence, coupled by re-building a strong bond with their supporters.
“First I think I need the players and if I convince the players after we can convince the fans,” Arteta said.
“But, yes, I think it [a strong connection with the fans] is a very important part of the job.”
“I think energy is everything in life, in football and sport and if we are able to generate this it will give us a lift.
“I was really pleased with how the fans treated the players and I was happy that the players went to see the fans after the game as well because we need that connection.
“Slowly, we need to build that back to what it was because it is going to be very powerful for us to use that.”
Pressed on his reflections of the performance against Bournemouth, he added: “If we generate more of this [football] they will be more comfortable in the game, we will dominate it better and be closer to winning football games.”
Arteta believes his players need to approach every game with a mindset of delivering in front of their supporters, who quickly lost confidence under former boss Unai Emery.
“We play for them. They expect a lot from us and we have to give them enjoyment,” he said.
“We have to make their lives better. When we win they will live better because they will be happier so it is our responsibility. We have to do everything we can to achieve that.”
Arsenal host London rivals Chelsea, who are eight points clear in the race for Champions League qualification, on Sunday.
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