After leading Arsenal to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 10 years, Mikel Arteta stressed that nothing is broken at the Emirates Stadium.
Before now, there were speculations that Mikel Arteta who has been under immense pressure since Villarreal kicked Arsenal out of the Europa League in the semi-final stage, doubted the ability of his players. The speculation started after the Pre-match press conference of the London derby.
During the post-match press conference of the London derby, Mikel Arteta whose team has enjoyed three successive Premier League wins insisted that the media misinterpreted his comments. The Spanish tactician also insisted that he would always defend his players instead of speaking against them.
There have been rumors that the Spaniard is not happy with some players at the club because they are not meeting up with expectations. Hence, when he talked about players not giving their “120 percent” during games, it was taken as criticism against his players.
However, after Emile Smith Rowe scored Arsenal’s only goal that gave the club the most desired win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta insisted that he didn’t speak against his players and that his team is united.
Great team effort, Let’s finish strong 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/Aly3FnNXdw— Emile Smith Rowe (@emilesmithrowe) May 12, 2021
“Nothing is broken. Inside, nothing is broken,” he told Sky Sports. “They [the media] try to put things on me that I never said.
“You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing seventh, eighth, ninth. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they are trying…
“I said that if I don’t get 120 percent off each player, it’s my fault and my responsibility, but it wasn’t [portrayed] like that in the press and I am so annoyed with that.
“I will defend my players in front of anybody for the rest of the time that I’m here. They deserve that because they earn it every single day.
“Every player that is here does that. If he doesn’t, he is not here, because the only thing I’m going to demand until the last day is that they give me everything that they have. That is unquestionable and non-negotiable, 100 percent.”
Mikel Arteta is proud of his players
Meanwhile, in a rough season in which Arsenal lost out on the opportunity of winning the Europa League and the FA Cup, the club is pushing to qualify for next season’s Europa League.
The only option left for them to achieve their aim of making it to Europe is to continue to win games in the league. Unfortunately for the North London club, they are left with just two league games to play before the season ends. This means that Arsenal have to win the two games to stand a chance of qualifying for Europa.
They are currently sitting on the 8th spot on the league table with 55 points in 36 games, two points below 7th placed Tottenham. The team have to beat Crystal Palace and Brighton to stand a chance of enjoying European football next season.
Hence, Mikel Arteta is very proud of Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Chelsea which has further increased their hope of a European league football ahead of next season.
“I am really happy with a lot of things we’ve done,” Arteta said about Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea. “Right from the first minute, the attitude and the desire that we showed.
“We had to dig in, which you have to against this team because they are a fantastic team. We did it and we gave everything we had to try to do the best possible job and we did it.
“It’s a big win for the club, for the players and the fans. I know how much a London derby means and it’s been 10 years since we’ve won at this ground so that tells you how hard it is.”