Mikel Arteta has welcomed the distraction of the Carabao Cup this week but insists cup success is ‘not enough’ for Arsenal amid their struggles this season.
Arsenal have endured their worst-ever start to a Premier League season and currently sit just four points above the relegation places after defeat to Everton this weekend, the north London side having failed to win in their past seven league fixtures.
Arteta has come under increasing pressure but will have the chance to briefly forget about his side’s league struggles in midweek, with the Gunners hosting Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
Arsenal won the FA Cup last season and victory tomorrow night will put the club within touching distance of another Wembley final, and Arteta says their cup clash with holders City can provide a welcome distraction to their sorry league form.
“This is what we want to use it for, as well as a competition we want to try to win,” said Arteta at his pre-match press conference.
“We have two difficult opponents before in Leicester and Liverpool, we managed to beat them both and now we are playing at home and we are one step closer to Wembley.
“So it is a really nice game to play, as this is the type of game we are looking for through the season.”
Arteta insists that Arsenal will try to win every competition they play in during the current campaign, though warned his side success in the Carabao Cup will not be enough to compensate for their wretched record in the Premier League so far this season.
“It’s not enough, isolating just one competition. We have to play every competition to try to win it,” said Arteta.
“Last season, we managed to win two of those and we have a really nice opportunity because we’ve done really well in the competition this year and tomorrow’s game is another step forward to be closer to winning another trophy and this is what we are going to try to do.
“But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to reflect on the rest or it’s going to look better because at the moment – whatever happens in any other competition – in the Premier League we’re nowhere near where we should be.”
Arsenal are likely to be without club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the clash after the forward missed the loss to Everton with a calf injury, whilst Thomas Partey is also a major doubt as he recovers from an injury picked up in the north London derby earlier this month.