Mikel Arteta calls on Arsenal fans to provide ‘powerful energy’ but knows he must convince them first

Mikel Arteta knows he needs to build the trust of the Arsenal fans (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal fans to provide his team with a powerful energy and in turn he promises to make their lives better as they will enjoy watching their team.

The new Arsenal boss is desperate to repair a tense relationship between the team and the fans which festered under his predecessor, Unai Emery.

A toxic atmosphere had developed at the Emirates, which was part of Granit Xhaka being stripped of the club captaincy after a clash with fans when he was substituted against Crystal Palace earlier in the season.

Arteta, who captained the Gunners and won two FA Cups during his time as a player at the club, knows that the fans in north London can be a driving force for success and wants to build on the positive response his team received during his opening match as manager – a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.

‘I think energy is everything, in life, in football and in sports. If we are able to generate this it will give us a lift,’ said the Spaniard.

Arteta is looking to foster a relationship with players and fans (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I was really pleased with how the fans treated the players [against Bournemouth] and I was happy that the players went to see the fans after the game as well because we need that connection.

‘Slowly, we need to build that back to where it was. It’s going to be very powerful for us to use that.’

Arteta knows full well that it is a two-way street and the fans need to have some encouragement in order to provide the energy he is looking for, especially when the atmosphere has been so poor in recent weeks.

‘Hopefully we can change it,’ Arteta continued. ‘First I need to convince the players and then, if I can convince the players, afterwards we can convince the fans.

‘I think it’s very, very important in my job. At the end of the day they’re expecting a lot from us.

‘We have to give them enjoyment, we have to make their lives better and, when we win, it will be better because they will be happier.

‘It’s our responsibility and we have to do everything we can to achieve that.’

Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday in a huge test for Arteta so early in his managerial career.

The draw at Bournemouth left the Gunners 11th in the Premier League table and closer to the bottom three in points than fourth place, where Chelsea currently reside.

After the point on the south coast, Arteta insisted his aim for the season was simply to make an impact on the team as quickly as possible.

‘My only one now is to review the game and find solutions to do it better,’ he said after the draw with the Cherries.

‘To attack better, to concede less on the counter-attack, to defend better and prepare a good training session for them to improve them, that’s all.

‘I don’t look at the games against Chelsea or [Manchester] United – it’s now. At the moment the urgency is now. And we need an impact now.’

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