Mikel Arteta has opened up on the mental pressure of Arsenal’s dreadful start to the Premier League season and says the negativity surrounding the club ‘has to come away’.
Arsenal endured the worst start to a season in the club’s history after losing each of their first three fixtures, sitting bottom of the division heading into the international break with no goals scored and nine conceded.
Having been beaten by Brentford and Chelsea, the Gunners were then thrashed 5-0 at Manchester City in a low moment for Arteta and his side, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal secured a narrow 1-0 win over Norwich on Saturday to get the north London side’s campaign up and running.
Arteta has now discussed the strain of the club’s start to the season and how he has coped with the mental pressure of a testing period.
“What I did probably was against myself because you are upset with yourself, you are angry, you are tired,” Arteta said. “You just want to hit yourself because you are not doing things right and you are not getting the outcome you think you deserve. You have to understand why you do it.
“So after the loss against City, probably I was at the lowest. And then you start to try to analyse things. You hear different opinions – media, criticism – and then probably you go even further.
“And then starts the importance of having the family I have, the wife and kids I have, the parents and the friends I have. In difficult moments they show their commitment in your relationship with them. After that it is every person that works in this club, from top to bottom, and the energy they try to provide.”
Arteta underlined the importance of removing the negativity surrounding the Emirates at present and says it is important not to look for excuses as Arsenal bid to turn their fortunes around this season.
“That negativity has to come away,” he said. “You have to bear in mind that first of all you are doing everything you can to your best capacity, and don’t kid yourself or look for excuses. Normally the easiest thing to do is blame the players, [to say] ‘they are not good enough, I have this, I have that’ and then you try to over-coach them. I was not willing to do that because first of all they don’t deserve that. The people around this club don’t deserve it.”