I’m here to find ways to win – Mikel Arteta prepared to be pragmatic

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists he is happy to take a pragmatic approach if it brings success to the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners travel to Premier League champions Liverpool on Monday night looking to continue their winning start to the campaign.

They have won their two previous encounters with Jurgen Klopp’s side – a 2-1 league victory in July before a penalty shoot-out success in the Community Shield last month.

Those wins, coupled with beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final, having seen off Manchester City in the semi-final, have seen Arteta address some of the issues Arsenal have faced when coming up against their traditional top-six rivals of late.

The performances were also built on different foundations to those which former manager Arsene Wenger had laid during his 22-year tenure, but Arteta believes playing the ‘Arsenal way’ would be the wrong decision at present.

“Sometimes it’s what you want to do as a coach and sometimes it’s what you are allowed to do with the levels of players and performance that top teams can do against you,” he replied when asked about moving away from the previous approach.

“But we have to prepare the games, finding scenarios to win. I’m here to win. I’m here to find ways to do it.

“If I am proposing something very difficult that is exposing our team right now, I don’t think I’m acting in the best favour of the club or the players.

“The players we have available can change our game plan. We have to be able to adapt. I think in football now one way doesn’t work unless you are superior to the opponent all the time.”

Arteta also believes the recent high-profile victories have helped him to implement his plans as the squad buy into his philosophy.

“Obviously results are driving belief,” he added.

“The plan we put in place, they have to be comfortable with that. They have to realise we can achieve what we want when we jump on to the pitch.

“Then they will feel more secure and know what is going to happen, so it doesn’t surprise them or shock them. All coaches try to do the same thing.”

Arsenal continue to be linked with midfield duo Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar from Atletico Madrid and Lyon respectively as the transfer window edges closed.

But Arteta admits it is difficult for the club, who made 55 redundancies during the summer in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, to compete with Liverpool in the transfer market at present.

“We are in different moments as clubs, with the success they had over the years and how stable they have been in the Champions League and Premier League.” he said.

“We just try to get the right momentum by doing the deals we believe are going to make us stronger and, with the resources we have at the moment, try to push as hard as we can as a team to do it as quick as possible.”

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