Firstly, how was your summer break and how good was it to recharge your batteries? It was very much needed. It’S been a very busy 18 months with a lot of unexpected things happening with a lot of responsibility and and decision making, but very excited at the same time. But i needed to see my family again be a little bit away from football and start to prepare. What is going to be a very hopefully successful season for us? What are you looking for from the squad in pre season and uh? What in particular, will you be working on well a few aspects? Obviously, the the physical aspect is very important after five weeks and the player needs to get in in good shape and the best possible condition to compete at the levels that the premier league requires. Then mentally. Prepare the team with the ideas that we have with the values that we have and with ambition that we want to start to face the league and third get the coalition of the team right: the understanding of the game, what we are looking for, um our game Model our principles and how we’re going to develop that in the next five weeks to get to the premier league in the best possible stage, tell us about how you and your staff assess the players when they come back from their summer break. Well. Communication is basically understand where they have been, what they’ve been doing and what do they feel that they need, and i think, it’s the best way to try to help them as much as possible.
We’Ve got a lot of good professionals here, people that they know the players really well they’ve been here for a long time and then just needs to sniff, and the team needs different things throughout these precisions. Sometimes they need a stick. Sometimes they need a bit of caring and love, but um the chemistry between players and the staff it’s a really good moment, um to build that relationship and – and that is because it’s one of the foundations that sustains everything when good and man moments appear throughout the Season we’ve also seen a new face, or two in your backroom staff tell us about some of those changes. Yeah. We had a situation in the summer with andreas that had the possibility to to leave to his country. He had different reasons to do that. I understood that situation and we need to recruit somebody and and after looking through what the best solution would be and a person that i know it was in the market. It was available and it’s someone that i think his expertise are incredibly useful and valuable for us and he’s joining us. His name is nicolas jober, and i work with him before at city we’re, up here in scotland, for a training camp and obviously off to america. Next week, it’s quite a different pre season to last year. What are the main benefits for you for this extended period of time with the players? Well, the first thing is that we’ve got time, something that we haven’t had since i arrived here to prepare a lot of things that are very necessary to develop the second one.
We chose scotland, it was kieran advice to be fair and i think he was a sportszone he’s got everything that we need here. We are quiet, we are calm, we have really good facilities, we are not far from home, just in case something happened in these um kobe worlds and and it’s been really good and we could have two really good games to start our preparation. America is going away and we know the brand, the club that we represent and and it’s a global brand and and we have to be there – we have to be close to our fans all around the world that’s a huge opportunity for us to do that. We have our owners there that we can see and meet and get close to them to the team, which is a really positive thing as well, and then we had a tournament that had everything that we wanted. International teams are primarily team and we kind of start to raise their level in our preparation. What are some of the challenges in reintegrating players who have been away at the euros and the olympics when they come back to the club at different times? That’S, the normal dynamic, any top teams. We are grateful that we have international players. They have experienced an incredible tournament. Some of them have been more successful than others, but i think they represented the club in a really positive and an incredible way. I’Ve had my say, with in some of the cases and and that’s very valuable and their now return to training is going to be different to to what others are doing.
I will have to fit that in and it won’t be an issue. One of those players coming back will be bakayo saka. We know you’ve been in touch with him. How is he how’s he getting on he’s fine? Obviously he had some tough days after what happened to him in the final, but i think you have to look at the whole picture this kid at 19 years old. He played almost every game in the premier league and he was our player of the season. I think he has any respect admiration of everybody at the football club, but i don’t know that he’s going to an international stage. He started the the european competition with an injury and still he has managed to be in the starting 11.. He reached the final and, and he couldn’t leave that trophy, but i think he has a much bigger trophy than that and is that now he really knows that in good and bad moments, everybody at the club, every arsenal fan and every english fan is right behind Him and he hasn’t that with his behavior, his talent and uh, with the way he is and that’s gon na be there for the rest of his life. A trophy is there in the wardrobe and then you have to be demanding the next one, but what he has achieved uh and how he had united people. I think he’s very powerful and he should be really really proud of that, like you say, he’s got so much to be proud of for what he’s achieved this summer.
Can you tell us some of your emotions at seeing how far he went and how big a role he played in england’s campaign? I wasn’t surprised. I spoke to gareth before the tournament and – and we were all sharing the same opinion on on b – that this kid is going to push everybody there just the way he trained the way. He is the way he competes he can be starting those competitions. The maturity that he’s showing at his age is pretty special. I haven’t seen many of those and now he’s gon na have to cope with other things. The next year is going to be about the expectations. Can he do it again and he raises his game again? Can he improve? Can he keep making better decisions being more concluded? He can start to win more regularly and that’s the thing that he needs to do that at a very early stage in his career. What steps have already been taken to support bakayo and what steps can everyone connected to the club do to help him at this time? Well, all the players and staff were right behind him before the final and they all sent him a beautiful message of of unity and and hope that he could leave that trophy be involved and how proud we were all um at the club to see him at That stage um credit to the academy everything that they’ve done to raise the boy.