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Leno sees Arteta clearing up mess of Emery’s ‘confusing’ reign at Arsenal

5:18 AM EST 2/7/20
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners goalkeeper says the mentality has changed at Emirates Stadium under a new coach, with positive progress being made once more

Bernd Leno admits that life had become a little “confusing” at Arsenal towards the end of Unai Emery’s reign, with Mikel Arteta drafted in to clear up the mess and establish forward momentum once more.

A change in the dugout was made at Emirates Stadium in November 2019, with Arteta eventually stepping into the shoes of his fellow Spanish coach Emery.

The former Gunners captain is considered to have offered cause for optimism since taking the reins, despite victories remaining in short supply.

Leno admits that the mood has changed in north London with a new coach at the helm, with a different mindset adopted as a result of having a clearer message.

The German goalkeeper told reporters of Arteta’s impact: “He has, in this short time, a big impact because you can see the intensity we play with. Also the structure in the team and the mentality out of the pitch.

“Before it was, I don’t want to say a mess, it was a little bit confusing, everybody was doing different things and we were not a team – not in the dressing room, not on the pitch, and you could see this.

“I think with Mikel it changed completely. The first day he came he was not talking too much about tactics, he was talking about how we behave in the dressing room, when we go to the games we have to be more professional, more like a team.

“I think it is not only what he has learned from Pep Guardiola, when you talk with all of the people that worked with him, they say he’s a very clever guy with tactics and how to improve players.

“At the moment we don’t have to talk about the Premier League title because Man City and especially Liverpool, they are too strong. Honestly, we have to say that they are on another level.”

A Premier League title challenge remains a long way off for Arsenal at present, with Arteta’s side currently languishing down in 10th spot in the table.

A 10-point gap separates them from the top four, with it looking like Europa League success will offer their most realistic route back into Champions League competition for 2020-21.