Mikel Arteta was quizzed on the latest protests and the current owners of Arsenal Football Club ahead of their crucial Europa League clash with Villarreal.
The Gunners are set to travel to Spain to take on the La Liga side tomorrow, but the preparation hasn’t been ideal with fans protesting outside the Emirates ahead of our previous match on Friday.
Our team ended up losing that match with Everton 1-0, although the manager insisted that the protest wasn’t to be an excuse for his side’s performance.
The manager has now been quizzed on whether his side are effected by the speculation surrounding the owners and the protests which have been happening.
“I cannot control the speculation and what is going on,” Arteta stated in the press-conference ahead of Villarreal(via Arsenal.com).
“What I’d like to know and talk about is the reality, and the reality is that we have owners that are really, really committed and that they want a successful team on the pitch. They’re going to do everything they can to achieve that. This is what we have and I feel fully supported by them.”
Arteta was then asked if he expected there to be further protests.
“Again, that is nothing I can control,” he continued. “They have the freedom and the possibility to express themselves. If you ask me as a manager what I want towards the team, obviously I want the stability around all the sectors of the club because I know it’s best for the players and it’s best for the performance of the team.
“The players need their supporters fully committed behind the team. The moment we have them inside our stadium, I’m sure that’ll be the case.”
The fans will of course be behind the team as we venture into the Europa League final stages tomorrow, much like the fans have supported the team in darker times, but the feeling around the owners isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Will the focus tomorrow be solely on the football?