Mikel Arteta has suggested that Arsenal got ‘too comfortable’ during last weekend’s draw at West Ham and has rejected comparisons to last season’s collapse in form.
Arsenal‘s lead at the top of the Premier League table has been cut to four points after successive draws with Liverpool and West Ham, while second-placed Manchester City have a game-in-hand on the league leaders.
The north Londoners have the chance to extend their advantage when Southampton visit the Emirates on Friday evening, ahead of a seismic showdown with City on April 26th.
Ahead of the clash, Arteta said his side have shown an ‘incredibly positive’ reaction in training this week.
“Our players have full belief in what we do. What is at stake is incredibly beautiful and we want to fight for it,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
“Tomorrow, the best thing we can do is play really well, create an incredible atmosphere and win that game.
“We are very confident. We know there will be twists and turns, that is part of anything you do in football.
“You have to know that and be prepared for that. The way the team has reacted this week has been incredibly positive and we want to see that tomorrow night.”
The Gunners’ recent dropped points have come despite leading two-nil in each of those fixtures and Arteta believes his side ‘got too comfortable’ after racing into an early lead at West Ham last week.
🗣️ “When you set the standards and expectations really high, you have to maintain them.”
Mikel Arteta on being expected to win EVERY game in the Premier League this season. pic.twitter.com/nCDePlx3WZ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 20, 2023
The Spaniard insists his side are keen to put things right against the Saints, with Arsenal’s title challenge remaining in their own hands.
“The club hasn’t fought for this position for a very long time. It is in our hands and we want to do it,” he said.
“We maybe got too comfortable at some stage of the game [against West Ham]. The players know, they know in their gut, I don’t have to coach them, they knew straight away. We didn’t have to talk about it, they know they have to be much more ruthless.
“But nobody is talking about that now or what is going to happen next Wednesday [at Manchester City]. We just have to focus on what we have to do each day.”
Arteta rejected comparisons to last season’s collapse, after Arsenal lost six of their 12 league fixtures in 2021/22. That run saw the club drop out of the top four and miss out on Champions League qualification, as north London rivals Spurs overhauled the Gunners in the table.
“The way the season built last season was very different to now,” he said. “I don’t think you can compare the two. It is about how you cope on the day, and what you do in that moment.
“Our success will be judged in the last game of the season.”
Read – Iconic Duos: Arsenal’s monstrous midfield partnership, Petit and Vieira
Read Also – Golazo Merchants: Arsenal’s Gallic genius, Robert Pires
Subscribe to our social channels:
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube