HomePremier LeagueWolves v Arsenal: Arteta reflects on difficult week

Wolves v Arsenal: Arteta reflects on difficult week

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Mikel Arteta admits this week “hasn’t been the best experience” after watching his Arsenal side lose crucial games in the Premier League and Champions League.

Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa saw the Gunners slip two points behind table-toppers Manchester City while their Champions League adventure also came to an end on Wednesday night when they went down 1-0 at Bayern Munich to lose 3-2 on aggregate.

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Despite the setbacks, however, Arteta is optimistic of an immediate response when they go to injury-hit Wolves tomorrow night.

He said of the past seven days: “It hasn’t been the best experience. We had to fit in the league, we had to fit in the Champions League.

“We are now fully focused on the times we have in front of us with six games to go. We are again behind City and we are going to give it a real go.”

With City in FA Cup action this weekend, Arsenal will return to the summit with a win at Molineux and Arteta says that is all the motivation he and his players require.

“The context is clear,” he added. “If we win, we are top of the league. If you need anything else to be motivated and if you need anything else to keep your mind clear you have a problem.

“It’s been a very intense journey. This job is constantly testing your resilience and your ego. All the time you have to go through that in a natural way and positively.”

Arsenal have been accused of threatening to repeat last season when their title challenge fell away in April but Arteta was eager to point to their progress, rather than their failings.

He said: “The better you become and the closer that you are to fighting the best teams in history you know what the margins are.

“When you are there’s one of two ways you can go. There’s only one winner. If you want to go from not being in the CL for seven years to fighting for the league for two years – I can’t think of another team that has done that.”

Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns but Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber is not yet ready to return from a ruptured ACL.

“It’s too soon for him [to play against Wolves],” said Arteta. “He’s going to continue to play for the Under-23s. He looked good in training. He now needs to make that step and the certainty to go. The rest [of the players] are all good.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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