Mikel Arteta has stated that the club’s current struggles are a test of character for the whole club and not the players alone.
We currently sit close to the relegation zone as we are 15th on the Premier League table. We are without a league win in over six weeks of premier league football. We have only scored 10 goals in 12 games.
Speaking ahead of today’s game against Southampton, he said: “It is a big test and it’s good to see how we react but I wouldn’t put it on the players, I’d put it on the club; how do we react in difficult moments as a club?”
“As well, it’s something that we [collectively] transmit to the players, the moment that there are cracks, how do we react?
“Do we blame each other? Do we criticise each other? Do we start to act united and push the boat together?
He also spoke of the backing he’s received from technical director Edu and CEO Vinai Venkatesham, he continued: “The example has to come from above and we’ve had some good examples in the last few days [Vinai and Edu speaking to the press] and then, yeah, the players, like I have to do, have to take responsibility.
“They have to put it right on the pitch, which is the only area where it makes a difference.”
It was suggested that his current players are not used to this situation and might need some adaptation.
“It’s true that going through some defeats in a consecutive way – for example, the home form we’ve had in the last four games – is a hard one to swallow,” he said.
“It’s a hard one to accept. It is completely different because the energy that is created when you are fighting for trophies and with the top teams in the table is a very re-energising energy for the passion you put into a game.
“The other one is a pressure that constrains you a little bit, it makes you a bit tighter and nervous. You have to deal with that, for some of them it’s something new and we need to get through that.”