Much of the advice given out to pretty much anyone when things don’t go to plan revolves around regrouping before attempting another shot.
Get back up off your haunches, get your head together and come back with another plan.
Our squad’s training camp in Dubai pretty much encapsulates this – and can be nothing but good news.
The benefits are obvious, but the timing couldn’t be better.
The home straight for the season has begun. The window has closed, the new recruits have been purchased and the last big push now begins.
Two cups remain for us, and the Premier League is in the last straight. We have the opportunity to salvage something but it is clear that it will take much more than what we have offered thus far.
Mikel Arteta is in the process of transforming our team. From top to bottom in terms of actions on the pitch, the Spaniard is overhauling things, but he needs time.
So this training camp is the perfect breeding ground for reinforcing ideas.
Arteta doesn’t have to prepare for games, he can focus fully on the tenets of his ideas, while also scrutinizing the dynamics of the squad fully during intensive sessions geared toward progress.
Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares also now have the ideal opportunity to bed in and forge links with the current squad. This is critical to the success of these players. Whenever teams are involved, new recruits must quickly understand and follow how the squad works, and now Mari and Cedric have a week with their new teammates without a break.
We have seen Arteta’s charges fall foul of the demanded level of fitness required to implement his new methods. Slumping after 60 or so minutes, our press has dissipated because we haven’t had the fitness to deal with it for a whole game. But training heavy under the Dubai sun? Extra sessions?
Just the ticket.
We can expect a realigned Arsenal when we do return to action. There will be progress, we just have to hope that it is enough to see us make a real fist of the business end of the season.
Over to you Mikel.