Mikel Arteta has admitted that the mood and confidence in the Arsenal camp is ‘much better’ following last week’s late win over Aston Villa.
The Gunners were facing the prospect of a fifth successive game without a win, though a 93rd-minute Emiliano Martinez own-goal and 98th-minute Gabriel Martinelli strike earned all three points.
That win, combined with Manchester City’s 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, saw Arsenal move back to the top of the Premier League, and speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to take on Leicester, Mikel Arteta admitted there has been a much more positive mood around the camp this week.
“Much better mood, much more positive,” he told the media. “The confidence is much better, the environment around training is much better.
“The fact the team showed the capacity to reveal in an adverse situation when you are 2-1 down and played less than 72 hours before and everyone is expecting you to be tired mentally – to be able to come back and win the game is a real big boost for us. I see how much they want it.”
It was Jorginho’s strike that hit the bar before bouncing down and in off the unfortunate Martinez last week, with the midfielder having joined the club from Chelsea on deadline day last month.
❓ Leicester City
Mikel Arteta on the importance of the next two games for Arsenal. 💭 pic.twitter.com/CUKmeudSF9
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 24, 2023
“He’s got the experience,” Arteta said of the Italy international. “He’s got the qualities we need in the team and he knows the league so well so there is not a lot of things that are new or catching him by surprise.”
As for team news for the clash, Arteta said he was hopeful that Thomas Partey could be available.
“Not a lot of changes. Obviously a question mark on Thomas. He hasn’t trained much but looks like he could be available so let’s see how he trains today. He is a really important player for us who we have missed in the last few games but hopefully he can be available.”
Meanwhile, the Gunners boss gave a positive update on Gabriel Jesus’ rehabilitation.
“He is progressing really well, he is doing more and more on the field,” he said. “The knee is not reacting, so really positive.
“I would like to have him back as quickly as possible but we have to respect the time frame that we got from the doctors and the specialists – but he is really pushing the boundaries right now.”
Read – Iconic Performances: Arsenal legend Bergkamp scores THAT hat-trick at Leicester
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