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  • Alessandro Schiavone

Arteta holds no grudge against ex-critics who called for his head: Let them jump on the bandwagon

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he doesn’t mind if ex-detractors and critics suddenly jump on the bandwagon.

The Spaniard came under increasing scrutiny after losing the opening three games of the Premier League season.

But he has turned things around in admirable fashion, with his Gunners now standing fourth in the table and on course to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in five years after a run of six wins in the last seven outings.

Few people expected Arteta to spearhead such a turnaround, and many wanted to see his head roll when the going got tough.

But Arteta deserves credit for holding his nerve when Arsenal’s season looked like it was imploding with qualification to Europe’s premier competition compromised.

Speaking to Capital Football after the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Aston Villa, he said: “They can jump, they can jump.

“The more people we have on board the better.

“It’s normal at this club, the history and tradition is to win all the time. That’s the only thing that is acceptable and when you’re sitting here or playing you have to accept it.”

Boss Arteta is blessed with a mental fortitude and knows that when things go well in football, everything can take a sudden turn for the worse. But the opposite is true too as his rejuvenated side has proven, going from bottom of the table to fourth.

But if he didn’t let defeat define him six months ago, he doesn’t let success go to his head now, pointing out that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Touching on the complicated times he and his team went through at the start of the season, he said: “When we are there I just look how we can get better because very quickly things can change in football because the margins are so small.

“So just be humble and look at how we can improve because we have a lot of things to do much better.”


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