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Arteta: I’ve adapted to Arsenal quicker than expected

The Gunners may be struggling in the Premier League this season but the coach is optimistic after his first year in charge

Mikel Arteta says he has adapted to life as Arsenal coach quicker than he expected.

The former midfielder took charge of the Gunners in December last year after a three-year spell as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

While the 38-year-old guided the north London team to FA Cup success last season, the 2020-21 campaign has proved difficult, with his side sitting 15th in the Premier League after picking up just five wins from 15 matches.

The Spaniard admits he has had to adjust to his new surroundings quickly and hopes to make things easier for his squad.

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“I question myself every day, but since I arrived here, first of all I had to analyse really well what is happening, what we can and what we cannot do,” he told reporters.

“And I have adapted much more than probably what I thought I would when I took the team, because there are certain things that I think are much better for the qualities of the players that we have, and other things that probably we are not prepared to do yet.

“Obviously we have to adapt because at the end of the day we have to make life as simple, as clear and as efficient as possible for our players when they go on to that pitch.”

Arsenal went on a run of seven games without a win in the Premier League before they claimed a 3-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea on Saturday, with 19-year-old Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, 20, combining to score their final goal. 

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Joseph Willock and 19-year-old Gabriel Martinelli also played a role in the win and the coach hopes the squad’s younger players can continue to play a key role this season. 

“I think there’s a message within the squad that everybody’s important here, everybody’s here to contribute, and everybody’s useful.

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“It doesn’t matter if you are young or a senior player, everybody’s here to contribute.

“And I think it’s a great message for everybody that when we have to rely on them, we know that we can rely on them and we don’t have any doubts about them.”

Arteta’s men will look to build on the victory over Chelsea on Tuesday when they take on Brighton in their last match of 2020, with their first of the new year to follow on Friday against West Brom.

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