Arteta: Fans’ absence making it harder to build new Arsenal project


ikel Arteta says it is proving difficult to build his project at Arsenal without the support of the club’s fans in stadiums.

Supporters are currently unable to watch matches at football grounds due to Government guidelines around social-distancing and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fans have been lobbying to get back into grounds and Standard Sport has started its own campaign to support the cause, too.

Clubs, including Arsenal, have been showing how they can welcome fans back safely by inviting them to come to grounds and watch the game on screens inside.

Supporters, however, are still unable to watch their team on the pitch and Arteta has admitted that makes it harder for him to lay the foundations of his rebuild at Arsenal.

( Arsenal FC via Getty Images )

“What I can tell you is that obviously when you are trying to build a new project there is something that you need and that is your people and your crowd,” said Arteta.

“If not, you are unable to generate that synergy, that cohesion, that unity within them to feel that they belong to what we are trying to do – that they feel united, they feel close to what we are trying to do.

“It is really difficult and we are now suffering when they are not in the stadium because I really want them to see closely, not on TV but really closely, what the team is trying to do, what the players are putting in so they can feel that connection with them.

“So they will then be really participating in what we are trying to do and that is a really powerful thing and there are a few examples in this country of how important that is when you are trying to build something.

“It is a shame that we don’t have it but we just try and adapt and make the most out of it.”

Arsenal are back in action on Sunday when they head to Old Trafford, where incidentally Manchester United have said they are ready to welcome fans back as soon as the Government gives them the green light.

The Gunners have struggled on their trips to Manchester United in the past and they’ve not won in the League there since 2006, but Arteta is dreaming of ending that run.

“We will go to Old Trafford with the same mindset to go there and try to win the football match and improve,” he said.  

“Every three or four days. We are in a process and hopefully we will be a more solid and ruthless team week in and week out.

“It would be great [to win on Sunday], I think it’s been 14 years since Arsenal have won a Premier League game at United and, after the defeat like we had against Leicester last week, I think it’s the prefect scenario to go there and try to do that.”

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