David Luiz reveals how Mikel Arteta has put the fun back into playing for Arsenal

David Luiz is one of many Arsenal players to have turned around their form under Mikel Arteta (Getty Images)

Arsenal defender David Luiz says the whole squad has been boosted by Mikel Arteta’s ‘contagious enthusiasm’.

While results have been mixed for Arteta’s side with one league win in seven since taking over from Unai Emery in December, performances have improved.

The north London club’s form in the FA Cup has been markedly better, seeing off Leeds and Bournemouth to progress to the fifth round of the competition – where they will face Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Brazilian international Luiz puts the change in mentality down to Arteta’s work ethic in training, which feeds through to the players.

He told ‘He knows football, he knows inside the pitch. He loves football, he loves to work, so this enthusiasm is contagious for everybody.

Mikel Arteta managed to keep hold of star player Pierre Emerick Aubameyang despite interest from Barcelona (Getty Images)

‘What Mikel is trying to build is something big and I really believe in his philosophy, I really believe we can do something big this year and in the future, so I’m really, really happy because we have our way to go.

‘To do something, I think the first thing is you have to dream, and then you believe you can do it, then after to study how to do it, and then to understand during this process you’re going to have some good moments and some difficult moments but you can never change your mind.’

Luiz also spoke about how Arteta has brought the ‘fun’ back into playing in an Arsenal shirt, saying: ‘I think the result of people when they are happy is 10 times better than when they are sad.

‘I believe in this smile, I believe in the fun and I believe in these kind of things – and this is part of football. This is part of the life, but not just that is the main thing.

‘I think you have to work hard and you have to understand what we represent, you have to understand the philosophy of the club, you have to understand and to know the history of the club, you have to understand how everybody is involved with the club and the people here inside the club, outside the club, the supporters everywhere in the world.

‘He [Arteta] has tried to help us and give us the direction and how to live life, how to be inside the club and for me, this is so important to have.’

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