NEWS: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals what he has learned from watching Bundesliga during lockdown ahead of Manchester City clash

NEWS: What we can expect from Premier League return - Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been studying the Bundesliga during lockdown for clues

NEWS: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals what he has learned from watching Bundesliga during lockdown ahead of Manchester City clash

Mikel Arteta explains what he has learned from watching the Bundesliga during the coronavirus pandemic. PICTURE: Corona Road. CREDIT: OFFSIDE

Arsenal are gearing up to play Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday evening as the Premier League returns after a gap of more than three months.

The Gunners last game was a 1-0 victory over West Ham at the Emirates on Saturday, March 7, with Alex Lacazette scoring the only goal to move his side into ninth place, only eight points Chelsea in the final Champions League spot. 

It all seems so long ago after coronavirus gripped the planet, wiping out our way of life - and sport.

However, Germany's Bundesliga returned last month and many of us over here have been intently watching the 'new normal.'

Thankfully top flight football in England is about to return - but what can we expect from it? And how different will it be from what we previously experienced.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been studying the Bundesliga experience - and has been sharing what he has learned.

"I watched some aspects that I think we can take some advantage of, but I think you have to experience it," Arteta said.

"I’ve watched some games from the Bundesliga, but then when I was at the Emirates and there is no crowd and you cannot steal that energy, push or drive, the game is different.

"The intensity has dropped a little bit and I think the physical state of the players is not as it was three months ago, so you can sense that as well, and that urgency doesn’t exist anymore from the crowd and how passionate the crowds are here in England, but we have to adapt.

"We have to experience it and find ways to motivate our players in moments. Let’s see how it goes."

Changes in goal celebrations 

Prior to lockdown football fans savoured whacky team celebrations after a goal - but the Bundesliga has witnessed players remain a safe distance from each other once the ball beats the keeper.  

Bar the occasional elbow-bump players are encouraged to follow the two metre rule when fighting the urge to celebrate wildly together.

Social distancing 

Bundesliga substitutes sat far apart from each other with interviews held at a safe distance using long mics while all coaching staff and cameramen wear face masks to help stop the possible spread of Covid-19. 

Eerie atmosphere

Because fans are forbidden from entering stadiums to cheers their heroes on the lack of noise is a huge change - even if canny Bundesliga PAs pipe in crowd noises at appropirate moments. This followed the initial rond of matches where the silence was defeaning with the only sound being the voices of the players and squad.  

Tired legs 

Make no mistak lockdown clearly had an effect on the match fitness of Bundesliga players - witness stars afflicted with cramp well before the 70th minute despite the slower pace of matches.  

Arsenal have been training hard since restrictions were eased but it will be interesting to note how tired the players appear during Wednesday's match at the Etihad. 

Arteta: It's been a challenge for all of us

"It's been a challenge for all of us," Arteta explained ahead of the date with City, adding: "It's been a challenge since I joined, because of the situation that we were in, but I think we made a lot of steps forward.

"We tried to change the energy that we had around the place, even our stadium with the players and with the staff as well and I was very positive in the way that we were developing things.

"Obviously, we had a big turning point with the coronavirus and being away from each other for three months, but we've been trying to keep going in our direction, being close in contact and communication with our players and our staff and I think we are in a really good position to move forward.

"We have some uncertainties that we cannot control and we do not know how the players are going to respond now, playing every three days after three months, but most of the clubs are in the same position.

"We will try to adapt and to make the most out of it. We don't try to find any excuses. We'll go for it and enjoy it because I think we're all missing football so much that we're all desperate to get back playing."

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