Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists he is not afraid of the bag

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists he is not afraid of the bag as he enters the biggest week of his management career … but admits his team has many problems to solve

  • Mikel Arteta is under scrutiny and Arsenal are struggling to get results
  • They are eleventh in the Premier League and are behind in their Europa League semi-finals
  • But Arteta is confident they can reverse the deficit against Villarreal in Europe

Mikel Arteta insists he is not worried about the bag going into the biggest week of his short management career, but admits that anything that could go wrong will go wrong for his Arsenal.

The challenging Spanish coach will take his battle-weary squad to a rejuvenated Newcastle United on Sunday, with clearing a 2-1 deficit in Thursday night’s second leg against Villarreal the obvious priority.

Arteta has defended the club on all fronts over the past week with fan protests against American owners changing from Kroenke Out to Arteta Out.

Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta insists he has no fear of being fired in the biggest week of his short management career.

They started the weekend in tenth place and are facing a worst season in 26 years.

“Well, I don’t want to think that,” Arteta said when asked if he was afraid of the bag. ‘I want to think we’ll get into that [Europa League] final and then we have really positive consequences afterwards. ‘

And while fans, pundits and players seem to have struggled to keep up with his relentlessly changing formations and tactics, Arteta admits he hasn’t been able to get the desired results for so many reasons.

Arsenal have been devastatingly good at times, but 13 league defeats and just one win of their last five games is a faithful reflection of the chaos on the field.

The challenging coach takes his battle-tired team to a rejuvenated Newcastle on Sunday

The challenging coach takes his battle-tired team to a rejuvenated Newcastle on Sunday

‘It’s for a lot of different reasons,’ he explained: ‘One of them we haven’t had the chance to have a very consistent line-up. Consistency in results in the Premier League is very different from the Europa League where we have been very consistent.

But in the competition we don’t have that for many different reasons, one is the line-up, another is the number of mistakes we made at key moments, another is the lack of effectiveness in the last third I would say, to games to kill. Another is because sometimes the opponent has been better.

‘We try to be as clear as possible in our messages all the time, but sometimes the opponents get it right from the start. I think it was crucial against Villarreal that they scored early and how we reacted afterwards.

‘There are some games where we started really well and didn’t finish that well. So I don’t think there has been a pattern this season. ‘

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