Mikel Arteta has issued a rallying call to his Arsenal squad, who currently sit 15th in the Premier League table and are four points off the relegation zone after the first 14 games of the season, while he continues to point to bizarre stats to explain their poor form.
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Arsenal lost 2-1 at Everton on Saturday as they continue to slide down the table and there is now real talk that Arteta’s side are in a relegation scrap.
Speaking ahead of their League Cup quarterfinal against Manchester City on Tuesday, Arteta had this to say when asked about the tough moment which has arrived.
“Normally when that happens, you have two types of people: fighters and victims. You just need fighters – you don’t want any victims,” Arteta said. “Victims just bring excuses, bring negativity and they start to blame everything that is happening around them or that is not going for them. You just need people who fight, people who contribute and people who are ready to give everything to the cause in these moments.”
Statsman Arteta at it again
Arteta was recently scoffed at very bringing up the stats surrounding the amount of crosses Arsenal put in per game, and the statsman was at it again.
Citing their in-house analysts, Arteta stated that his side have been incredibly unlucky so far this season.
“Last year we won the game against Everton (Emirates, February 23) with a 25-per-cent chance of winning, you win 3-2. Last weekend, it was a 67-per-cent chance of winning any Premier League game in history and a nine-per-cent chance of losing, and you lose. Three per cent against Burnley and you lose, seven per cent against Spurs and you lose,” Arteta said.
“There is something else apart from that. It is not just the performance on the pitch, it is something else that needs to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t. Saying that, it doesn’t care because you lose and the only thing that cares is that you lose a football match and this is what we hear.”
99.99 percent of the time I would call talk like this clutching at straws. Sorry, Mikel…
Aubameyang injury update
To add to Arsenal’s woes, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has picked up an injury to his calf and will be out for the midweek clash against Man City as he also missed the defeat at Everton.
Aubameyang, 31, has picked up his form in recent weeks but has still only scored three goals in his last 13 Premier League outings.
“Auba is not fit for tomorrow, that’s for sure. [He] is feeling much better. He was more positive yesterday (Sunday) than in the previous two days. He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team,” Arteta said.
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Maybe this is the right time for Aubameyang to step out of the team, take a breather and come back hungry and refocused. Yes, he hasn’t been scoring, but that’s down to two things: 1) Arsenal are not creating anywhere near the amount of chances they should be during games. 2) When then scraps of chances do arrive, he is snatching at them because he’s so rusty.
Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and youngster Folarin Balogun will carry the attacking load for the Gunners against Man City, and given their form in cup competitions and the Europa League, would you bet against them to pull out a superb display and beat the holders?