Mikel Arteta claimed the “best medicine” for Arsenal’s woes will be victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day as he opened up on the mounting pressure on him and his squad.
The Gunners have endured their worst start to a league season since 1974, slipping to 15th place with eight defeats in 14 games.
The positive atmosphere Arteta restored by delivering the FA Cup in August has all but vanished and Arsenal face a make-or-break fixture with their London rivals to turn their disastrous campaign around.
The Spaniard admitted the Gunners have been left “hurting and suffering” due to their form as he previewed the Emirates clash.
“At the moment, to keep the team together, to keep the team alive and to be a team, not a group of players, it takes a lot of energy because when you are losing football matches you have to lift them up, to get them together,” said Arteta.
“You have to get them all being positive to each other, to not blame each other or any external factor when things are not going well.
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“The best thing to do when you have a situation like that is to have the possibility to do things outside of the site, get them together in a change of environment, but at the moment, with Covid [restrictions], we cannot do it and probably we are not going to be able to do it in a while.
“We have to try other ways, but I have to say the players are really putting in a lot of energy enthusiasm not to lose what we are building, but it takes a lot of energy because we are losing games.
“Every game is a lot of weight on your shoulders, it’s a lot of disappointment and people are suffering. We are hurting and suffering and we have to get back, start believing again and try to push the players, then they respond and are excited for the game.
“The best medicine, better than anything than can happen outside of our facilities, is to win against Chelsea.”
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