Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin urged the club to use Sunday’s derby against bitter north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur as a springboard to putting their recent struggles behind them and getting their Premier League season back on track.
League leaders Spurs are on a nine-match unbeaten streak and have the best defensive record in the top flight this season while Arsenal have lost four of their last six in the league and languish in 14th place.
“It doesn’t matter what stage of the season it is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing for something or not, it is always such a meaningful game,” Bellerin told beIN Sports.
“I’ve always enjoyed the pressure and the aggressivity of those games… When you’re in a negative spiral, having a game like that at the weekend is the best way to turn things around.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been under pressure following the club’s slide down the standings.
Bellerin said calls for him to be sacked were unfair as he needed time to implement his philosophy at the club.
“When you’re planning on doing something big… changing the identity of the team, of the club, change the behaviours – he’s not trying to make changes just on the pitch but outside of it, this isn’t something you can do overnight,” Bellerin said.
“We have to, as players, take responsibility… because I think we all know that Mikel and his coaching team give us all the tools that we need to win all the games.”