December 4, 2022

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Arteta issues Gunners rallying cry in bid to reignite top-four chase

2 min read

Mikel Arteta has called on Arsenal to bounce back from a slump in form when they visit Chelsea on Wednesday.

Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 loss at Southampton on Saturday as they suffered a third successive Premier League defeat, the third such occasion under Arteta in three seasons.

That leaves the Gunners level on points with Manchester United, who play Liverpool on Tuesday, and three behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played a game more.

While manager Arteta acknowledged the frustrations with his side’s recent returns, the Spaniard insists Arsenal’s desire remains intact as they fight for Champions League qualification.

“At this club, it’s only about winning, and they were three different games, but with the same outcome,” he told reporters on Tuesday at a pre-match news conference.

“We are extremely unsatisfied with that, we know that, we’re hurting, but at the same time we know how we lost and what we merited from those games are not reflected in the amount of points that were taken.

“We have to understand why we lost those games as well, but there is nothing to look back on. Everything is still to play for, our ambition is still intact, our desire is still intact.

“We know the challenge ahead and we’re going to go for it.”

Arteta also suggested the mood in the Arsenal camp is still high as they prepare to face Chelsea, who could complete a league double over the Gunners for the first time since 2015-16.

“I have been very clear with why we have lost the games and then give them more support and confidence and be behind them because it is what they need and what we are going to need altogether between here and the end of the season,” he added.

“When things go well it’s easy. It’s all about ‘we’ but when things don’t go that well, maybe it’s about ‘him’.

“I hate that and I’m the first one to try to apply myself to do that, defend our players, protect them and let them be who they’ve been because they’ve been pretty good to be fair.”

Chelsea may have lost their last two home games in all competitions, against Brentford and Real Madrid, but Arteta appreciates the size of the task at Stamford Bridge.

“We have to be at our best against the best team in Europe that showed last year what they can do with everything that they have and with the ability that we have as well,” he continued.

“We’re going to go there as always to win the match and that is going to be our intention tomorrow when we’re at Stamford Bridge.”

Arsenal have lost their last two away league London derbies, at Brentford and Crystal Palace, and are aiming to avoid defeat four straight league losses for the first time since March 1995 under Stewart Houston.

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