Arteta – Gunners must rebuild connection with fans ahead of Chelsea’s visit

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has opened up about the importance of rebuilding a relationship with the supporters of the club ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the Emirates for the Premier League clash on Sunday.

Arteta oversaw his first game as Arsenal boss on Boxing Day and it ended in a 1 all draw away to Bournemouth after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized for the Gunners. The forward went on to celebrate with the supporters after the equalizer.

A lively atmosphere is expected when their London rivals come calling on Sunday and Arteta has pointed out the importance of a strong bond between the fans of the club and the players ahead of the game.

“I think energy is everything, in life, in football and sports, and if we are able to generate this [against Chelsea] it will give us a lift.

“I was really pleased how the fans treated the players [at 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 what it was because it’s going to be very powerful for us to use that.

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“[Chelsea] are a terrific team, so it will be a really good test for us.”

It can be noted that there has been some lack of affinity between some sections of the club’s fans and the players. One of such was when Granit Xhaka reacted angrily to boos after he was substituted and jeered by fans against Crystal Palace, resulting in him losing the captain’s armband.

Mesut Ozil is another player that has come under fire this season and Arteta will be hoping that his appointment will result in a clean slate for all the players under his tutelage.

Meanwhile, Arsenal desperately need maximum points in this game as they currently sit 11th on the log ahead of Week 20’s fixtures. Chelsea have also been far from impressive in recent games although they won their last away game 2 nil away to Tottenham Hotspur in North London.

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