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Bellerin claims Arteta has 'completely changed' Arsenal in way fans won't recognise

09:49 BST 21/06/2021
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners defender believes positive progress is being made under a manager who has tweaked the way players work

Hector Bellerin claims that Mikel Arteta has "completely changed" Arsenal, but not in a way that will be immediately recognisable to supporters and pundits.

A familiar face returned to Emirates Stadium in December 2019, with the former Gunners captain taking on his first managerial job in the wake of Unai Emery's dismissal.

Positive steps forward were taken in FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs, but inconsistency has remained an issue in north London as further change on and off the field continues to be mooted.

What has been said?

Bellerin is convinced that Arsenal have the right man at the helm, telling the High Performance Podcast of progress being made under Arteta: "I think personally at Arsenal that’s something (emphasis on off the ball movement) that has changed a lot.

"I think the ethics and the way they work since Mikel has been the manager of the club has completely changed.

"And these behaviours, our behaviours have been awarded by them. There’s more emphasis on that behaviour, so the way we run back or the way we create space for a player.

"Because you know you can move to receive the ball, you can move to get a player away or you can move into space, there’s so many ways you can move for and sometimes a goal is created not by the player that passes the ball or by the player that scores but by the player that actually created the space.

"And many people, like the fans in the stands or even the pundits sometimes, they won’t see that. But truly that’s what we’ve practised, that’s what the coach has asked, and by the player doing that we're able to score.

"I think even sometimes for the players it’s hard to see, when other teams do it and stuff, but we know in our dressing room and in the way we play that we scored that goal thanks to that player."

The bigger picture

Arsenal could only muster an eighth-place finish in 2020-21, leaving them without European football for the first time since 1995-96.

A lack of continental competition is going to do efforts to get fresh faces on board few favours, with the Gunners currently scouring the market for new recruits.

Exits are also being mooted, with Bellerin among those to have seen their respective futures questioned, and it promises to be a busy summer at Emirates Stadium.

The countdown is already on to next season, with Arsenal learning that they will kicoff their 2021-22 campaign away at Premier League new boys Brentford before then facing Champions League winners Chelsea and domestic title holders Manchester City.

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