Relaxed Arteta ready for season opener

Image source, Getty Images
  • Published

George Cummins, BBC Sport

Mikel Arteta was in a very relaxed mood at Arsenal's training centre today.

The manager was quietly confident his side will get off to a better start than they did last year when they lost the first three league matches after a Covid outbreak.

"It is different. Everything that happened before that game at Brentford was strange and unique," he said.

"The preparation, the pre-season and now it’s a different context. We are really excited and will try and start the best possible way."

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are two new signings that will put Arsenal in the mix again for the top four.

So what did Pep Guardiola say on the phone to Arteta when he signed them from Manchester City?

"It wasn’t exactly like that," Arteta said. "What I can tell you is that it works both ways. Pep said they are two phenomenal people that he is losing or giving away.

"I know them, I know how privileged we are to have them and I am really happy, that’s all I can say."

After lots of red cards last season, has the manager told his players he wants no reds?

"I told you last season its better not to talk about it," he joked at the end of his news conference. "The less we talk about it, the less it will happen!"