LONDON - The Premier League's first ever winter break gave the Arsenal squad the opportunity to take new ideas on board and also to gel together ahead of the final stretch of the season, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday.
Arteta has been attempting to stabilise Arsenal's floundering season since former boss Unai Emery was sacked in December. The London side sit 10th in the standings - 10 points behind the fourth and final Champions League spot.
Although there has been an improvement in both their style of play and the cohesiveness of the side, results have been hard to come by, with Arsenal drawing their last four league games ahead of Sunday's home match against Newcastle United.
"It (the winter break) was like a mini pre-season for us in Dubai," Arteta told reporters. "We had time to work on a lot of our principles, how we want to set up against different formations, the relevant things we need to work on and off the ball.
"It was great to spend some time together, get to know each other, not just with the players but the staff and backroom staff. It was a very productive trip.