Mikel Arteta ‘fully behind’ Arsenal side after Champions League exit and three-game winless run

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Mikel Arteta ‘fully behind’ Arsenal side after Champions League exit and three-game winless run

Mikel Arteta says he is fully behind his Arsenal side after their three-game winless run heading into the Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa last Sunday leaves Manchester City in pole position to win the league title, as well as being knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich on Wednesday after falling to a 3-2 defeat over two legs.

However, despite the difficult run of results, the 42-year-old highlighted the improvements his side have made in recent seasons.

He said: “As an experience, it wasn’t the best one (week). We’re fully focused on the task and we’re going to give it a real go. I’m fully behind them.

“Thank you very much for the journey we are on together. Thank you for being in April and in the Champions League quarter-finals, being so close and thank you so much for competing against the best team in the history of the Premier League, and the (next) best team in this competition in Liverpool, with the chance to win it. Thank you so much for everything they’ve done because it’s unbelievable.

“The better you become and the closer you are to fighting with the best teams this league has ever had in the history of the Premier League, you know what the margins are. We’ve been at the top for many months in the last 24 months. When you are there, there are only two ways that you can go. You stay there or you go down, and there’s only one winner. If you want to be in that mix, you have to cope with any situation that comes because if not, everything is a disappointment.

“If you want to go from not being in the Champions League for seven years, to fighting for the league two years in a row, tell me a team that has done that.”

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Arsenal have developed a tendency in recent years to struggle towards the latter stages of campaigns, infamously winning just three of their last nine league games of the 2023-24 season, a run which City capitalised on to go on to win the title.

When asked about Arsenal’s recent campaign’s derailing in the penultimate month of the season, Arteta said: “A lot of the time the margins and the things you compete for are decided between that month and May. Before that, you have to be extremely consistent for nine months. Let’s see what we can do now to fight for what we want, which is to win the Premier League.

“Sometimes it happens during the game, sometimes a minute after the game and sometimes a year later. Also, that perspective changes. Sometimes the impression you have after the game becomes really different after two, three or four weeks with a bit of perspective. Certainly, it’s something that you have to do because it helps you to learn, be better and have better tools for next time.

A win over Wolves at Molineux on Saturday will see Arsenal, who are two points behind league leaders Man City, return to the summit as City face Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

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(Steve Bardens/Getty Images)