Bellerin pleads for patience as Arsenal build ‘new identity’

LONDON (AFP) – Hector Bellerin said Arsenal are building a new identity under Mikel Arteta and will not be knocked off course by setbacks such as Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.

The London side enjoyed just 34 per cent of possession at Anfield, finding it difficult to play out from the back against the champions’ high-intensity pressing. But defender Bellerin said the Arsenal players had faith in Arteta’s philosophy despite their first defeat of the season.

“I think when you build a new identity, a new way of playing football, it’s not something that happens overnight,” he said.

“It’s something that takes a lot of time, it takes losses, it takes wins, it takes a lot of learning. We’ve got new players that have come in this season and they need to get used to the system.

“This is our game. This is what we have been training since Mikel has been here, so just because a team is the best in Europe at doing that (pressing), doesn’t mean we change the way we play.”