After he missed the last half hour of Arsenal’s last Champions League game against Anderlecht and then the away defeat by Swansea City in the Premier League, Mikel Arteta can be absolved from blame for the way the Gunners have thrown away two winning positions in a row.
But hopefully the club captain will be available again for the Gunners’ next game against Man United and he is well aware of how important it is for the players to get the fans back on side again. The Spanish midfielder is not the sort to blame his individual team mates and he has told Arsenal Player that he feels his job as captain is to keep the team morale as high as possible, even after a disappointing result or two.
But Arteta is confident that Arsenal can get our season back on track with good performances and results against United and then Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and then the good feeling would return for players and fans alike.
The Spaniard said, “We have two games against Manchester United and Dortmund at home and if we get the crowd with us from the start and get the results then it will be a very different story again.
“A week ago, after three wins in a row, the place was getting back to normal with everyone looking happy. Then after two disappointing results, [it is down].
“It is a rollercoaster at the moment but we need to manage the emotion because this is a long-term situation and we need to be where we want to be in April and May, so let’s be patient.
“For me, the most important thing is to lead with confidence and remind the players how good they are. When you see some faces with disappointment and doubts, it is not good. They are players of the top level and after one, two or three performances it is natural – you get doubts, you are not happy with yourself, you get a bit down.
“But we cannot allow that to happen here. It is very demanding to play three or four times in 10 days and bad periods are going to affect the team. So you need everyone on their toes and ready to fight.”
This current international break has given the Arsenal players a chance to regroup and so far, the players involved in the international games have done well and will hopefully come back to the club with renewed confidence. And with players like Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Arteta himself back from injury, the Gunners have a great chance to get off the rollercoaster and keep moving onwards and upwards.