Arteta: People are hurting at Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta admits "people are hurting" inside Arsene Wenger's dressing room after their recent slump in fortunes, and the Spaniard is expecting a positive reaction in Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium.
In a compelling and passionate interview published in Friday's Daily Mirror newspaper, the Spaniard admits Arsenal's players are angry with their recent efforts and insists the passion is there for the club to revive their form sooner rather than later.
"People are hurting, people are upset with themselves, the players are angry," he is quoted as saying. "I think that's a good thing. It's not like players couldn't care less, they know what they need to do.
"At Arsenal you have a group of players who want to give 100 per-cent and that makes things so much easier. I always see that in the dressing room. You look at the players' faces, the disappointment, the hurt. They want to put it right. You've got players here demanding and wanting to do extra training. It's in themselves to work harder to put it right.
"We have been watching videos over and over again of games, looking at what we've done wrong. That comes from everyone, absolutely everyone.
It's not just about this week. It's been before that, but we hadn't won the last games before and that was disappointing because we'd been on a good unbeaten run, but hadn't been winning games.
"You have to look at yourself and then you have to look at the rest of the players. The most important thing is a player's attitude, how you go about your job and the players here take responsibility.
"We need to win games, it doesn't matter how. The players want to put it right. I'm expecting a big reaction. I know we will get that from the players.
"We need to get a run going and that would change things, change the perspective on the future and what we are trying to do here. The confidence that we are going to win the game hasn't been there at the moment.
"We have to change that. We have to realise that we're a good team, we've got some good players and we have to make the Emirates a hard place to come."
Meanwhile, Arteta has rejected the contentious suggestions of his own manager that Arsenal's dip in fortunes is down primarily to a draining fixture list that has brought on a bout of early season weariness among Arsene Wenger's squad.
"It's not fatigue," he insisted. "It's not just tiredness but it can be mental fatigue, stress and everyone is tired. We've got everything here to be a really, really successful. We all know we can do better and when you feel that you get very frustrated.
"You can always add quality to any team. They can make a difference, bring in more spark and I'm sure they will do that if they feel they need to. That's not for us to decide but we feel confident the club will do what is right and necessary.
"I've noticed in the last three years that the league has increased so much. You get crazy results every week. Physically every team is ready and every game is tough."
"There's still six months to go, so you have to keep believing. It's all about how you react. If you want to show you are a big player at a big player club then you have to react. That's what we need now. I came here because I wanted to play in the Champions League, to be challenging the big clubs and for the big trophies.
"If you see the structure of the club then it's unbelievable. Every player here will tell you the same thing. We have to make the gap smaller between us and the top. There's a gap, but it's up to us to make it smaller."