Bruce Arena just celebrated the first anniversary of his hiring as head coach of the New England Revolution on Thursday, meaning he's still getting a feel for his players and the organization.
The coach would obviously much rather be going through his first full season on the sidelines for the Revs at the moment. But speaking on his "Coffee with the Coach" segment with host Elizabeth Pehota on the Revs' website, Arena said his relatively newness to the club has allowed him and his staff to find ways to use the league's hiatus productively when it comes to analyzing their roster and figuring out ways to get the most out of it.
"There's frustration, but also you get a little time to reflect on things," Arena said. "When we as a staff did player evaluations it was really good. We came in last year and it was kind of quick. We really didn't get to know the players that well and as the new season started we had a much better feel for the players and they had a much better feel for us and it allowed us to have a better understanding. Now after having a couple of games in the league and in the preseason we really know what our roster's about and a lot of the individuals. So it really gave us a lot of time to think about the things we can do once we get them back, how we can utilize players a little bit better, how we can do a better job of coaching as well. So we took advantage of the time."
As for his message to Revs fans who remain in limbo waiting for the day they can go back to Gillette Stadium, Arena said he's confident that the product the Revs put on the field whenever the league does resume play will be one they can be proud of. Arena's arrival coincided with a pronounced turn-around for the Revs' 2019 season after he was hired for the departed Brad Friedel, guiding the club to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Revs started the 2020 campaign with a 2-1 defeat to the Montreal Impact and a 1-1- draw against Chicago Fire FC -- not the start that Arena wanted, but one where he said he saw enough good things to leave him confident about the team's future prospects.
"Although our first two games of the season didn't bring the kind of results we hoped to have had, I think that I've seen a lot of good things and I'm confident when we get the team back together again we're going to produce a good team," Arena said. "When the day comes they're allowed back into Gillette Stadium to support the team, I think they're going to be pretty proud of their team. If that doesn't come in the near future, we'll be on television and we need your support and we appreciate the kind of support the Revolution get from the fan base and we look forward to seeing you again."
Catch the whole interview below.