The Arsenal squad has been lacking confidence and the best reflection of it is the performance and the results on the pitch. Reviving their confidence in the squad is the primary focus of new head coach Mikel Arteta, who about getting the 'energy' back in the club.
After his first match in-charge on Boxing Day, the Spaniard was asked about the amount of psychological work required to help the players and he said, "It will be a process. I was worried about what would happen if we conceded a goal. We did and I was very pleased with the character they showed. They came in at half-time and their faces, their reactions [were spot on]. It was about how much they wanted it. Normally, when you are in this process and you concede a goal, the confidence goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back. It didn't happen, it happened in the complete opposite sense and that's a really positive thing to take on board."
Arsenal came back from a goal down to draw the match 1-1, and Arteta said that he was not happy cause the team did not win. However, he had highlighted that the performance was 'better than expected' throughout the match. Specifying that the players had reacted to the training drills, he said, "I'm very pleased with some of the things I've seen, in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and spirit the team showed. It was spot on. Probably better than I expected over 90 minutes. A lot of things that happened in the game, we prepared. They understood them and they tried to take them on board. We lacked the final product at the end."
Having won only one match since October, North London is seeking inspiration from all quarters. Arteta's team is struggling 11th on the Premier League table and have secured just 24 points with exactly half the season played.
Another important week looms at Emirates with two back-to-back matches against Chelsea and Manchester United, and Arteta will hope to secure positive results, which in turn will help to revive the players' confidence.
(with inputs from arsenal.com)