New Arsenal boss Arteta issues rallying cry
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on December 23, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

New Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has laid out what he expects his side to do in a bid to restore the club to its place at the top end of the Premier League.

In a move which is sure to delight long-suffering Gunners fans who have seen their team slump this season, the impressive Arteta outlined the demands he will make from his squad.

With the Gunners picking up only five wins in 18 league games supporters have been looking down at the table rather than up, concerned the north London giants could be sucked into a relegation battle rather than a tilt at the top four.

Yet, Arteta, who has shown a steely resolve during his short time as boss made it clear what he expects from his charges.

Speaking at London Colney on Monday he underlined his strategy.

"The priority, as I said before, is what we are going to transmit on the team, is a reflection of the demands we are going to put on them every day in training," he said, adding: "That's commitment, accountability, aggression and passion to play this sport and to represent this football club. 

"This is the basic  I am going to demand from them, and from there we can start to build things and improve all the things.

"That have to be done as quickly as possible, but if we don't have this in the right manner, I think it will be difficult."

Arteta confirms Freddie Ljungberg is staying on the coaching staff 

There was further good news for Arsenal supporters when Arteta confirmed the popular Ljungberg would be staying on the coaching staff.

The Swede who assumed the helm as interim head coach following the sacking of Unai Emery last month only managed one win in six games.

However Arteta was keen to retain the services of the iconic former Arsenal attacker and believed the indifferent run under Ljungberg was more to do with the deeper malaise at the club than a lack of coaching talent.

"I spoke to Freddie after the [Everton] game," Arteta explained at Colney, the club's training ground and HQ, adding: "I told him my idea and the people I wanted to bring to form my coaching staff, their roles and responsibilities of each of them.

"I wanted to know what he was feeling, I wanted to know what he had in mind, what his expectations were. 

"We talked and we made a decision that the best thing was for him to stay with us. I think he can be very available," before going on to praise Ljungberg saying: "I think he knows the players, he knows the situation, he knows the history of where we're coming from and also his knowledge of the game is going to really help us to be better."

We need to talk about Mesut

Arteta was quick to emphasise every player in his squad has a chance to impress anew.

With Ljungberg confirming he would not have picked underperforming mercurial talent Mesut Ozil for the goalless draw against the Toffees even if the German midfielder had been fit for selection.

Ozil, who earns £350,000 a week, showed his petulant side when he kicked his gloves away in frustration. The Swede had hooked him early in the second half during Arsenal's 3-0 home defeat by Manchester City at the Emirates earlier this month.

Arteta struck a more conciliatory tone ahead of the vital set of fixtures during the forthcoming festive period.

"With me, they have a clean slate. I told them that," he said, insiting he made it clear that they were: "Not going to be judged on things they've done in the past, whether they are negative or positive. 

"I'm expecting [them] to perform and be in the right mindset every single day for me. If you do that, you'll have a chance to play. If you don't, you won't."

Arteta looks towards his first game in charge at Boutnemouth

The new Arsenal boss hailed his squad for their commitment in the 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday.

While the match may not have been laden with attacking atent and chances galore Arteta was heartened to see the side show determination at Goodison Park and believes it will hold them in good stead for the trip to the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

"We [were] much more committed, we have [had] a different kind of aggression every time we lost the ball. 

"I think the body language was much, much better than in the past few games. I think they played with more passion in this game.

"There were things to improve but those things have to be non-negotiable. Those things have to be on the table in every game, every training session and the way we're going to live together."

Kick It Out

Arteta was also rightly quick to condemn racism in every form following events during the clash between Tottenham and Chelsea and other flashpoints this season in England and on the continent.

"Right now, there's a protocol in place that has to be guided," he explained.

"I think every context and every situation is different, so it's difficult to react because emotionally a player can react in many different ways to the same situation.

"But yes, we have to be ruthless with this as well and we have to take [racism] out of the game."