Mikel Arteta called on Arsenal’s players to act like “fighters, not victims” as they attempt to halt a disastrous series in the Premier League that saw them gain only two points from seven matches.
Arsenal will be hoping for a welcome respite when they host Manchester City on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Arteta believes the first-division results do not tell the whole story, and in a lengthy and unconvincing presentation, the Spaniard presented a selection of stats that he believes show he must win “many football matches”.
Asked how he would react as a player when things went against him, Arteta said negative influences could not be tolerated in what appeared to be a message to his current squad players. “I loved looking around, whether it was the staff, the coaches, or the players,” he said. “I wanted to see the fighters.” “Usually when [a bad run] You have two types of people: combatants and victims. You need fighters and you don’t want any victims.
“Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity and start blaming anything that happens around them or doesn’t go their way. You need people to fight, people to contribute, people willing to give everything to the club at this moment.”
Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton He largely repeated recent setbacks given that, like Tottenham and Burnley before them, Everton had been largely satisfied with accommodating Arsenal’s ineffective possession. But Arteta, who appears to be referring to a preplanned point given he is asked about morale inside his locker room, said the in-game stats show Arsenal must collect more points and that they are, by and large, doing enough. To win matches.
“When you look at the perspective of how we lose football matches and how we got to where we are, it is unbelievable,” he said. “Last year we won the game against Everton [at home] With a 25% chance of winning, you win 3-2. Last weekend there was a 67% chance of winning any match in Premier League history, and a 9% chance to lose, and you lose. Three percent against Burnley and lose, seven percent against Tottenham, and lose. There is something other than performing on the field, it is something else we have to go our way and at the moment it is not happening. “
Arsenal have scored only two goals through a striker in the league since mid-September and have struggled to create chances, but Arteta said everything that stops him from finishing the match is enough to change his form. “I am not interested in having the ball, I am interested in what we do with that ball and how efficiently we are,” he said. “Our conversion rate and the quality of our finishing touches are what let us down at the moment because with the rest it is what it should be like to win so many football matches.
“I had succeeded there before and we were winning because the quality of the finishing was high and we were winning those matches.”
The scoring touch of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who reappeared last week in Tied with Southampton, City will miss. He was absent at Goodison Park due to a calf injury and Arteta said that while the captain “felt more positive yesterday than he had been the previous two days”, he would undergo a screening later this week to determine when he could return.