Premier league

Arsenal’s Luiz: Arteta coronavirus test scared players, home assignments like ‘school’

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David Luiz has told ESPN Brasil that Arsenal players have gone back to “school” during the coronavirus crisis after being left scared by manager Mikel Arteta’s positive test.

Arteta was the first high-profile Premier League figure to test positive for COVID-19, which led to fixtures being postponed and the league eventually suspended.

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And Luiz, 32, said players were concerned for their manager’s wellbeing when they heard the news.

“We were scared,” the former Chelsea defender told ESPN Brasil. “The day he tested positive, we were sad, scared and stayed in our homes.

We started our quarantine before anyone else here in England due to this. It was a huge warning for us to have someone [test positive] so close to us.”

Arteta was named Arsenal manager on Dec. 20 and the club has only lost once in nine league matches under the Spaniard’s stewardship — a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in his first home game in charge.

Luiz said he has been impressed with the ex-Arsenal midfielder’s leadership so far and it feels like being back in school with the home exercises he and his teammates have been tasked with during this period of quarantine.

“We have been given assignments just like in school and at university,” the Brazilian said. “I spent an hour and a half on a video call with Arteta, analysing games and training sessions from this season.

“‘Tell me about this game without watching it, David,’ he would say. Afterwards we would watch and see we were tying to do something good, but couldn’t execute it — or we thought it was bad, but in this case good.

“This discussion is good and will help us a lot in the future.”

Luiz also said he is confident Arteta will succeed in management, despite this being his first full-time role, having joined the club after spending three-and-a-half seasons as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

“I am totally confident Arteta will go on to become one of the best coaches in the world,” Luiz added.

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