Arsenal’s new technical director Edu has challenged the Gunners to find a winning mentality as they bid to erase memories of last season’s disappointments.
The former Arsenal midfielder, who was a member of Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invicibles’ squad who won the 2004 Premier League title without losing a game, says it is vital for the club to build the mental strength that was so key to their success in those glory days.
“To work with a strong mentality, you don’t do it like that (instantly). You build a good mentality,” Edu said in an interview with Arsenal Media, his first since returning to the club.
“When you talk about mentality, it’s not only the players. The club has to have the same mentality as the players.
“We have to have the same mentality, and the mentality of Arsenal, we always had to have winning in front of us. That’s football. That’s the real world.”
Edu was working as Brazil’s technical director before moving back to north London and is now taking stock of the club’s situation after arriving to work with boss Unai Emery as the Spaniard enters his second season with the Gunners.
Last year the Gunners misfired badly, missing out on Champions League qualification after finishing fifth and suffering a Europa League final thrashing against Chelsea.
The 41-year-old, who played under Emery at Valencia, says the key to a winning mentality and a good season is results.
“When you’re talking about good jobs, doing other things, without results I’m not sure (it works),” he says.
“It’s unfair maybe, but the reality is like that.
“We have to fight very hard for results and we have to understand the real world, where you live and where you are now. So we are at Arsenal, we are a big club and we have to understand the situation.”
Edu recalled how Wenger’s squad would thrive off the continued quest for more success, which spread throughout the club.
“I remember we were winning a lot of things, our team was really strong and there were big names around, but the mentality of the group, the guys around, the staff, was so great,” he said.
“We were working hard but at the same time, we were enjoying it. That was important because at the time winning was important, but you have to enjoy it as well and we did that with our group.”
Arsenal opens their Premier League campaign away at Newcastle on August 11.