Mikel Arteta admits turning Arsenal’s form around will ‘take some time’
Mikel Arteta has admitted turning Arsenal’s fortunes around will “take some time” and urged supporters to get behind the team when they travel to West Brom in the Carabao Cup tonight before facing Manchester City on Saturday.
The 2-0 home defeat against Chelsea on Sunday left Arsenal without a point or goal from their opening two Premier League matches to increase the pressure on Arteta after failing to qualify for European competition last season. That meant Arsenal enter the League Cup at the second-round stage for the first time since 1995.
After a disappointing performance in the opening day defeat at newly promoted Brentford Arteta has since added the £34m signing Martin Ødegaard to his attacking options but stressed the need for fans to show patience with a young squad.
“I know they are disappointed when you lose at home. There has to be some reaction. But this is a project that is going to take some time,” he told Arsenal.com.
“You can see and tell from the recruitment that we’ve done and the really young squad that we have at the moment and it cannot happen overnight. We all want to make it as quick as possible and we know that the responsibility for us is to fight with the top teams in every competition and that’s not going to change.”
Ødegaard and Alexandre Lacazette are available for the West Brom match, with the Norway playmaker having received full clearance to play following his transfer from Real Madrid and Lacazette back in full training after his positive Covid-19 test. The summer signing Ben White also tested positive before the Chelsea match and is not available.
“The approach is to win the game and go to the next round,” Arteta added. “To try to get players back if possible to help us because then we have Manchester City, and to try to lift the players. Obviously they are hurt. The feeling is tough. They need some help as well with players coming back – the spirit there is good.”
Meanwhile Arsenal are hoping that Willian will accept a proposal from his former club Corinthians that would see him leave on a free transfer.