Mikel Arteta discusses Champions League pressure on his players

Mikel Arteta does not want to put the players under unnecessary pressure.

Mikel Arteta insists that his players are capable of handling the pressure placed on them as they look to secure a return to the Champions League.

Arsenal hasn’t played in Europe’s elite competition since the 2016/2017 season and they have just been knocked out of the Europa League which was their best route back into the competition.

Arteta’s men now face a tough task of finishing inside the Champions League places, but they are still tenth on the league table.

The Spaniard is, however, confident that his players understand what is at stake and they are prepared to go for their goal with all that they have.

Speaking ahead of the game against West Ham, Arteta said as quoted by the Mirror:

“When we were in December nobody talked about Champions League, It was an impossible thing. It is not in our hands.

“If we don’t reach any European competition we know what the meaning of that is so they don’t need any more pressure.

“They don’t think too much about the Champions League or the Europa League – or the relegation zone when we were talking about that, which is a much worse pressure I believe as well.

“They are dealing with the situation. We try to help them to focus just on what they have to do on that pitch and the rest will come naturally.”

Arteta has helped the Gunners to remain unbeaten domestically since the start of the year and they will be looking to continue their fine form with a win over West Ham this afternoon.

Finishing inside a Champions League could also be the key to the club keeping hold of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and of course, attracting high profile players to the Emirates.

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