Football News

“Better than I expected” – Arteta praises Arsenal for achieving non-negotiable standards

By Steve Jennings

Published: 21:45, 26 December 2019

Mikel Arteta has praised his Arsenal players for being “better than expected” in terms of meeting his demands in their draw with Bournemouth.

The Gunners came from behind to draw 1-1 at the Vitality Stadium in Arteta’s first game as Arsenal manager, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelling out Dan Gosling’s opener.

How did Mikel Arteta’s managerial debut pan out? Five things to know…

  • Mikel Arteta took charge of Arsenal for the first time against Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
  • The Spaniard got off to a bad start when Dan Gosling opened the scoring for the hosts.
  • But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised to ensure an unbeaten start to the new regime.
  • Alexandre Lacazette missed a good chance to secure a debut victory for Arteta.
  • The new manager praised his players’ character and attitude after the match.

Under the sacked Unai Emery and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal were often criticised for having a soft centre, giving Arteta an immediate priority to sort out after taking over last week.

And if the Spaniard’s post-match comments are anything to go by, his players have made an ideal start despite failing to take all three points from the south coast.

“It was intense, I was so excited, I just wanted to pass that energy to the players and I really enjoyed it,” Arteta said.

“I think we had the chances in the second half to put the game in our favour, but in general in terms of attitude, desire and commitment, it was better than expected.

“I did not know how long the players would last at that rhythm with the demands I made of them but the attitude was spot on.

“There are no negotiables at this club, there are standards that have to be done at this club and they held them today.”

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“Ozil played really well”

Mesut Ozil is one of many players who could flourish under Arteta if the new regime is successful.

And Arteta was quick to praise the German, who played a key role against Bournemouth creating four chances – more than any other player for either side.

“I think he played really well,” Arteta added.

“He worked and could have been the difference, we could have scored three or four goals from his balls through. The final product wasn’t what we wanted.”