- Mikel Arteta believes that no crowd pressure is benefitting his Arsenal side
- Arsenal have enjoyed an upturn in form and have slim Champions League hopes
- They host Leicester on Tuesday after an impressive win against Wolves
Mikel Arteta believes no crowd pressure is benefitting his Arsenal side during Project Restart
The Gunners have been in good form, having defeated Champions League hopefuls Wolves
Arsenal host Leicester and Arteta says that his players have felt less rushed during games
Mikel Arteta believes playing without the pressure of crowds may have contributed to his Arsenal side’s resurgence during Project Restart.
Tuesday’s visit of Leicester marks the start of a crucial week which could make or break Arsenal’s faint hopes of securing Champions League football.
The Emirates has often swelled with discontent in recent years and, after a fourth successive win in all competitions, Arteta thinks some of his squad are benefitting from playing behind closed doors.
‘When they play in front of 80,000 people it is much harder, mostly when they’re on the ball or the ball is coming close to them,’ he said.
‘Others need that extra motivation, extra pressure, extra passion to perform better. Every player is a bit different.’
When it was suggested that his players seemed less rushed during victory over Wolves on Saturday, Arteta added: ‘I agree.’
Playing in an empty stadium has also allowed the Gunners boss to put his language skills to good use. Arteta revealed he has been barking out instructions in Spanish, English and French, in part to stop opposition managers knowing what he is saying.
Uncertainty still reigns over the future of midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. Arteta said recently that ‘some things have to change’ for the 21-year-old to stay at the club. When asked whether they should have by now, he said: ‘I don’t know, the reality is it hasn’t so we are still where we are.’
One midfielder whose prospects in north London appear brighter is Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard is on loan from Real Madrid but Arteta would like him to stay.
‘I’m really happy with him — he’s becoming a really important player for us,’ Arteta said.
‘We are talking to (Real), obviously we don’t own the player, he’s not in our hands so the clubs will need to have a communication and see what we can do.’