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Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal ready to be nasty after new characters enter dressing room


Arteta believes Arsenal are ready to show their nasty side as they look to build on their first win of the Premier League season when they travel to Burnley on Saturday

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Mikel Arteta previews Burnley clash

Mikel Arteta believes there is plenty of “love” in the Arsenal dressing room – but they are ready to show their nasty side.

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Arteta said it was “vital” they signed characters as well as talented players and they did that with the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Japan defender Tomiyasu is already popular with Arsenal fans after his all action debut against Norwich while Ramsdale has also been a hit on social media for his caring and charitable side.

But Arteta also says Arsenal are determined to prove they can dispel a few myths about being a soft touch say from home as they face a tough trip to Burnley.

Gunners boss Arteta said: “A team is formed by individuals who have the same purpose and to have the same purpose you have to trust each other. You have to be connected with each other.

Arteta believes Arsenal are ready to be nasty as they prepare to face Burnley

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“You have to create energy between each other. To do that, there has to be some affection, some love, some belief between them. That only happens when you like what you see, you like the characters and you feel connected with them.

“It probably helped because Tomi has a smile on his face. He looks clean, honest, transparent and then when he’s on that pitch, he doesn’t doubt.

“He’s fully committed, he goes for every ball, he’s reassuring, he’s got a presence and he’s a very honest player and you could see the reaction and the connection he had straightaway with the fans. It was very pleasing because it was so quick.

“We didn’t even have time to introduce him basically but that shows me as well how intelligent our fans are because they picked him up straightaway.

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“But you will see flashes probably of the best version of themselves. You can get 1,000 examples of players in the Premier League who needed some adaptation. So far, I’m really happy with what they’ve done.”

Arteta is a former Arsenal captain so knows only too well that they are often seen as having a soft centre at places like Turf Moor or at Bolton back in the day.

However, Arteta believes Ben White will be able to cope with Burnley’s Chris Wood but also the whole team will not be intimidated.

Arteta said: “We know that you guys (the media) already use a few words that I hate to hear, but they’ve been used when we play this kind of opponent. Let’s change it. Let’s change the narrative and put a different one after Saturday.

“Ben knows what he is going to face, not just him but every defender in the Premier League against any opponent. You are going to be exposed and he needs to do what he is good at.

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“The things that he can improve, he can improve them, but when you jump against [Chris] Wood 10 times in the air, with a ball flying in the air, it is pretty difficult to win every duel to be fair. So it is about that duel and what happens around him as well.”

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