Arteta ‘delighted’ to welcome back fans: ‘We need that connection’

Arsenal are able to host supporters again after the Government announced on Thursday that London will be placed in Tier 2 of the latest Covid-19 guidelines when the national lockdown lifts next week.

That means Arsenal will be allowed up to 2,000 fans at matches going forward from December 2, with supporters set to be present for their Europa League match against Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

Arteta is excited to welcome fans back to the Emirates Stadium and can’t wait for the ground to one day be full given the energy supporters give the team.

“I have really been missing the fans because they are a key thing and a key element of what we are trying to do,” he said.

“We need that connection. One of the most powerful things – because I have experienced this – is when the Emirates is full and you feel the energy of your supporters right behind the team. That’s unstoppable.  

“And you can see certain results in certain grounds, that in another context, would never happen.  

“And it’s your fans that are pushing you, driving you, creating those momentums during games, to push the team when it’s needed. And the players and the club need them. It’s great news. It will only be 2000 to start with, but it’s a start and I’m delighted.”

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Arteta is coming up to a year in the job at Arsenal, but he admits there is still a long way to go after winning the FA Cup last season.

The Spaniard has admitted he has found the current campaign tougher and more work is needed to transform the team.

“If you are asking how do you rebuild the squad, it takes a few windows at least to do that,” Arteta said.  

“Again, I know that we all want to see, and I am the first one who wants to see, Arsenal at the top of the League.  

“And my only intention every time I prepare for a match is that. After, where we get, time will tell us.  

“There are still a lot of things that are going to happen and we have to prepare for difficult moments.  

“We knew that right from the start, because it is not something that has happened in the last year. “It has happened many years in the past and to take that into a league with 38 games, that’s a big challenge.  

“We are ready. And we know that the challenge and the responsibility is to turn it around as quick as possible and get the club fighting where it belongs.”

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