Arteta hopes Arsenal aces can win fitness battles when football returns

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says his Gunners stars will have to be adaptable when it comes to returning to playing the game in the aftermath of the suspension forced upon football by the coronavirus crisis.

Arteta knows there is a long way to go before he can get his aces in action once again as the lockdown is maintained resulting in players naturally losing their edge. Arsenal players such as Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nic Pepe have been following training schedules at home but will, along with the rest of the squad, lack a certain match fitness when action resumes. Fans who like a bet on football can visit ng.bettingsites24.com, a comprehensive portal dedicated to analysing the best online betting sites and enjoy a flutter as we wait for football to resume.

And while Arteta, the former Gunners midfielder who replaced Unai Emery as boss at the end of last year, is prepared to accept the unusual nature of any return, he says the approach will have to be one which is flexible.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the Spanish coach said a full pre-season type schedule would be ideal but that adapting to the events of the past couple of months will be key. He said:

“It’s not what we need, it’s more about what we’re going to have. I’m afraid that we’re not going to have a lot of say in it, so we’re going to have to adapt and make the most out of it. Normally, a pre-season should be between five and six weeks. I think you have that timeslot, you get the right preparation, you can work on the concepts that you need. Physically as well, you can expose the players in playing and during games sufficiently to get certain guarantees to compete in the right way.”

Meanwhile, Arteta has lifted the lid on the player he came up against who was the most difficult opponent. As an Everton midfield ace – before he joined Arsenal — he tried to thwart the exploits of a certain Thierry Henry and has spoken of the difficulties that entailed.

France World Cup winner Henry was a revelation with the Gunners and in an eight-year career in north London the magical marksman smashed home and astonishing 174 goals in 254 appearances. And Arteta said:

“When I had to face him as an Everton player, it was at a moment that he was unstoppable. It seemed that he was playing against youth players, and at that moment I noticed a superiority on his part with respect to everyone that I have never felt.”

Super striker Henry (who hit 51 goals for France in 123 appearances) in his prime is certainly a player Arteta would welcome back at Arsenal any day – as would the supporters.

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