Mikel Arteta: Arsenal ‘must heal’ -News

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says his side have had “an incredible journey” but now “must heal” after losing the Premier League title race.

The Gunners’ defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday saw City clinching a third consecutive title with Arteta and his players wondering what might have happened.

After a smooth start to the season, Arsenal are eight points clear at the top of the table after 18 games and maintained their lead over Manchester City at the start of April despite playing one more game.

However, they have won just two of their last eight games, allowing Pep Guardiola’s side to turn them around and claim the title with three games remaining.

“I can’t think about it now. We have to congratulate Manchester City,” Arteta told BBC Match Daily.

“It’s been an incredible journey for us to compete against Manchester City for more than 10 months and be so far ahead of them.

“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve changed a lot at this club. We’ve taken huge steps but the icing on the cake is winning titles, but we’re not there yet.”

Arsenal lead the table for 248 consecutive days in 2022-23, the longest stretch of days without a top-flight finish in the history of England’s top flight.

After such a dramatic decline, Arteta is now looking for a way to motivate his side for the final game of the season and beyond.

“That’s football. It’s a very sad day, we’ve been working towards this goal for 11 months and we’ve been ahead for so many days,” he told Sky Sports. “We played, but it wasn’t enough.

“Now we have to heal. It’s very painful. I have to find a way to cheer up the players, we’re going to have a tough week.”

“We did it ourselves”

Arsenal have won just two of their last eight games, losing three

While Manchester City are on a stunning 11-match winning streak in the Premier League, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale believes Arsenal’s downfall is their own making.

“We had a few games where we dropped points due to individual errors. Those three or four games just went wrong,” he said.

“Until the dust settles in the summer. We’re very disappointed with what happened, but we’re proud we’ve pushed all the way forward.

“In six seasons a team has beaten Manchester City to the title. But it’s our own doing, individual mistakes where we should have won the game.”

The Gunners conceded 16 goals in eight games that ultimately cost them the title as they struggled with the form and fitness of key players. While Arteta has taken the blame, he has also hinted at a lack of quality depth within the squad.

“I apologize. I believe we can do it, the team didn’t, it’s my responsibility,” the 41-year-old said.

“When you come to April and May, you need 24 players ready to go. For a number of reasons, we don’t have that.”

‘If Man City smell blood, it’s game over’

Arsenal, which ranked fifth last season, exceeded expectations and challenged for the top of the standings for a long time.

However, entering the final months of the season, have Arteta’s men bowed to the pressure of Arsenal’s first league title since 2004?

“There’s no question it’s become very difficult for them over the last few weeks – I think it has to do with the mentality,” former United defender Gary Neville told Sky Sports.

“I do think that because of the nature of their defeat, being at the top of the game, there is an element of giving up the title.

“The biggest moments in the most pressured environment, you have to contribute in those moments and I’ve always doubted this Arsenal team.”

Former Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam told BBC Radio 5 Live: “What they’ve done so far is much better than what they’ve done before.

“But they’ve been at the top for so long and now they’ve thrown it away. There’s nothing to hide from.”

While Arsenal made mistakes, it was conceded they were up against a ruthless Manchester City team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was part of the Liverpool team that beat Manchester City to the title in 2019-20 but also narrowly lost to Manchester City despite scoring 97 and 92 points in 2018-19 and 2021-22 respectively. Guardiola’s team.

“If City come close, if they smell blood at Christmas, New Years – then the game is really over. Once they start winning, there is no stopping them,” the defender told Red Bull.

“I think it has to be a mentality because at this point they’re not even going behind in the game. There’s no chaos, no panic, no ups and downs.

“Arsenal is exciting because they’re dropping points, but in an exciting way. City, I don’t even know how to describe them, they’re like juggernauts.”

The way the Gunners collapse will be irritating, but there is so much to savor about Arsenal this season and even the painful moments of recent weeks could prove to be valuable lessons for the next game.

“The word ‘bottle’ annoys me,” former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman told 5 Live. “It’s really brought down Arsenal’s performance this season.

“They’ve had an amazing season. Anyone would be in the top four, let alone finish second and go all the way to the end of the season and fight Manchester City for the title.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, seven-time Premier League winner Roy Keane added: “We’re trying to compare Arsenal to one of the greatest teams of all time, but they’ve had a fantastic season. They just performed. Not good.”

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